Hear from our strong #WarriorOfTheWeek, Julia, & her inspiring #VSS story. 🎶
Spotlight on: Julia Poetain 🎻
“Hi friends, my name’s Julia Poetain. I’m 26 years old & have been dealing w/ the progression of my self-diagnosed VSS for 5 years. My symptoms started in 2014 on a family trip to the beach when I noticed spots in the sky from the airplane window. Since then, I’ve experienced every known symptom to VSS. When it started to progress, I was in music school working towards my degree in violin performance. It became harder for my eyes to adjust when looking from conductor back to my music on the stand during rehearsals.
As a musician, my eyes play a huge role in learning & performing music, so I became petrified & extremely depressed. I’ve always had 20/20 vision so I was confused why my eyes were declining. I was afraid of potential blindness & felt depressed. Not to mention the dizziness, nausea, flashing lights, hazy vision, & headaches that became worse w/ school stress. Not one doctor believed me or knew what I was talking about. Still to this day I have not met a doctor who has any clue – this NEEDS to change!
I’m an admin by day & professional violinist during evenings & weekends. Static vision & floaters are most challenging for me. I wear anti-blue light glasses while working to avoid migraine. Other ways I cope are through meditation, exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep, & leaning on support from my family/friends. I’ve learned to accept this new reality & use my experience to deepen my compassion for others. VSS is a silent battle & is not a disability that’s visible. Some days are easier than others!
A big part of staying positive is following other people’s journeys w/ VSS & knowing there are others like me out there fighting the same fight. Any of you who needs someone to talk to, my inbox will always be open! Thank you to VSI for bringing us together as a supportive community & hopefully one day find a cure. Much love to you all!”