Introducing Jennifer, our #WarriorOfTheWeek! ❤️

Spotlight on: Jennifer Traver ?

“I’ve had VSS for over 20 years! I first noticed the static back in high school, about a year after my migraines. Numerous physicians looked at me with confusion and told me I had eye strain. An MRI revealed a Chiari I malformation, but I was told that was not the culprit of my VSS. Since then I’ve had many visual and non-visual symptoms, including flare ups. The longest flare up, during graduate school, lasted 3 months in which I could barely read and didn’t leave my home. Thankfully the static returned to its usual annoyance and I finished through the struggles with a 4.0. I would love to share a few notes…

1) It’s helpful to keep a daily journal. Include what you’ve eaten, activities you engaged in, your stress level, etc. This can help you determine triggers that can worsen your visual snow.

2) Be prepared to educate others (including doctors). I often get “But, you look fine” To which I answer …“That’s funny, because you look pixelated“. It helps to have a sense of humor.

3) You may have to change the way you go about your daily life, but continue to find joy in new activities. I started playing with watercolors- where it’s OK to be blurry.

4) I work in early childhood education and VSS has helped me become a better educator. Early childhood is all about individualization and scaffolding children’s learning based on learning styles. I certainly know what it’s like to look at things from a different perspective and clearly understand that not all struggles are visible!

I am cautiously optimistic that a treatment will become available in the years to come. In the meantime, supporting each other through this initiative and offering encouragement in times of darkness is a treatment in and of itself.”

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