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Processing visual data in grocery stores
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Processing visual data in grocery stores

So I was telling hubby why I had picked up a bottle of sugar-free, alcohol-free Tussin DM rather than our usual bottle of Tussin - because my eyes have trouble seeing and processing the information in a grocery store.  When confronted with a shelf of different items, it's hard for my eyes to sort through it all and pick out the item I want.  I spotted 'Tussin DM' and went for the bottle - even though it clearly states For Diabetics, which neither of us are.

So my husband asks "Why don't you ask the question about how to deal with that problem on one of these MS forums?"  "Great idea," I said, "But I think I've already asked it!"  

At least I think so...  but if not, here it is again - how do you guys deal with grocery stores in general, and looking at a shelf of stuff to pick out the items you want?  I swear, it takes me three times as long to get through a store, because I'm always having to go back and find the item I forgot when I was getting the tomatoes, or the toilet paper, or whatever.
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382218_tn?1341185087
I don't seem to have the problem you describe.  Do you think it's a vision thing, a cognitive thing, or both?

I set foot in a grocery last week for the first time in about 8 months!  I only picked up a few things and did not find I had problems selecting what I needed.  Mind you, it was all pretty basic: eggs, bread, milk; you get the picture.

Where I did notice my double vision troubling me was when I lost my friend and went looking for her.  As I walked straight ahead looking down the aisles to my right, I was fine.  However, when I went the other way and had to look to my left, it was dizzying.  This is b/c my doublevision is at its worst on left lateral gaze.   I was seeing two of everything, felt dizzy and a bit nauseated, and had a couple of close calls with other shoppers/carts.  The worst is thinking someone's about to walk right into me and I kind of flinch, yet they're really nowhere near me.  I must look like a disoriented psychiatric patient or something!

This is why I haven't been to the grocery store in 8 months!

db
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230625_tn?1216764664
Yes, I can relate.  I've had the same problem.   Costco shopping would really set me off!!  I couldn't go through that warehouse store without holding onto my shopping cart for dear life!   The looking back and forth across the aisle made me woozy.

My ENT ordered physical therapy for my dizziness and the exercises have really helped.  During my assessment, my therapist had me move my head from side-to-side and up-and-down while fixing on a letter about 8 feet away and keep that letter in focus.   I had a difficult time with that.    

I was told that an average person can move their head about 2 times per second and keep the letter in focus.   I was struggling at half that speed.

She gave me tracking exercises that help re-train your brain.  It does take awhile.  Occasionally, I'll feel a bit dizzy.  I start the exercises again and it sets it right.

Have you had PT for your dizziness?  Is that an option for you?  I would highly suggest looking into it if possible.  It does help.

Take care, Pat
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429949_tn?1224695179
Yes, this is exactly the problem I have in the store, especially the super center Walmart that I have shopped for about 15 years. I have this store memorized but when I am in there it is as though I have not ever been in there and I am lost.

I can relate to looking at the items on the shelve and trying to select the one I am looking for.  The items and colors seem to be running and clashing together and I have to concentrate way to hard to find the one I need. And I can't keep a train of thought in there, kind of like I am disorented.

I had this disorentation at home too at first but now that has cleared up almost completely. But when I get in that big store with those florecence lights the disorentation starts again. Don't get me wrong, it is better in the store than it was after the attack, but deffinately worse, much worse than home.

I wondered if it was the lighting, because I changed most of my lighting at home to dimmer lights where I spend a lot of time at, and this helped a lot. I know those lights in the stores have something to do with it but I don't know what! There are stores that have different lighting that I have a easier time with, so I think the lights are related.

Also it is a much smaller area at home with no crowds and not a massive amount of movement. It seems the bigger the  area and the brighter the lights and the more croweded it is, the more trouble I have staying oriented. I am not sure if this is caused by the visual field cut or the brain damage  or both!

This is what me and my husband do. Like I said, I have the store memorized in my head, so before we go I make two lists. One that consists of the outside ilse, this is my list because I can navigate in  those  better, probally because there is less traffic jammed together. He takes all of the inside ilses, and we meet back at the check out. This keeps him from becoming frustrated with how long it takes me and keeps me from feeling pressured to move faster than I can. The lists are a life saver for me and I mark each item off as I place it in the cart. We have three boys, so shopping is not a quick job!

~Santana~
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231441_tn?1333896366
Hi,

I have to agree that the lighting in these stores does make things worse.  Maybe the lights are actually flickering at a high frequency.  I get ocular migraines and these can be induced by store lighting....

Agree with shopping lists.  OR can you order on-line?

S
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429949_tn?1224695179
I have never ordered online and I don't have credit cards, so this is not an option for me. I go back to the low vision specialist on June 13th and he is suposed to prescribe me some filters. I am going to ask if he thinks that transition lenses would help the lighting problem. Thy are suposed to adjust to different lighting. Anyway, I have worn my dark sunglasses in the store before and people stare at me and this makes me uncomfortable, so I struggle without them. If I get some that looks like regular glasses then no one would notice. I don't need prescription glasses because my VA is 20/25. My vision cut and dysfunction is in the brain my doctors say.

~Santana~
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Avatar_m_tn
lol...and I thought I was the only one that had fun in stores. Anyways, my problem is at times, mind you not often, but at times, I'll just stare at the products and not know what I want, I mean I'll just stare. One day it happened and just before I visited lala land I looked at my watch cause I was running late. Well lala land came and went, and when I looked at my watch it was 10 minutes later. Needless to say I came for a fast pickup of spice and by the time I got home my chicken was ahhh, yeah well you know, lol. Do not fret though, life only gets better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes me too!

I try go in the early part of the day and I try to go more often - before my list of things I need gets to long.
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338416_tn?1260996698
Yeah, I think part of my disorientation comes from those bright fluorescent lights.  I do get disoriented if everything's brightly lit - it's like there's more light coming through my eyes than I can handle.  But part of it is just trying to sort out which jumble of items I'm looking at on the shelf.  

My current technique for dealing with it is to shade my eyes, so I'm only looking at a small area.  Maybe my eyes process better if I don't give them too much to do.
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