Spotlight on: Leslie Gastelum 🌷

“Hello, my name is Leslie. I’m currently undergoing a proper diagnosis of VSS, but I truly believe what I’ve been experiencing for the past 13 years has been VSS all along. It all began one day when I was teen. I was outdoors playing in my backyard with my family when I began to notice something was going on in my field of vision, it all happened so abruptly. It was a total nightmare, I saw what looked like an abyss in the focal part of my vision.
I believe this may have been associated with a migraine aura but after about 15 min my vision began to clear up, I quickly noticed the quality of my vision had changed. I noticed vibrating motion along the walls and platforms and surfaces. I couldn’t clearly express what it was I was seeing to my parents or doctors. In addition to the vibrating motion, I began to see floaters, flashes, starbursts, double vision and glare. It’s been an ongoing battle, leading to major anxiety and depression, I became medicated but still felt severe anxiety. I was so frustrated to have seen several doctors, neurologists, ophthalmologists and would leave feeling hopeless because all they could say was everything looks ok, eyes, MRI..all I ever heard was it’s a “migraine variant” and they insisted I take seizure meds. I knew in my heart this couldn’t be normal. I did research and discovered that VSS is an actual condition, finding out how rare it is didn’t surprise me, no one I ever spoke to understood me. I live in continuous fear, and I know this isn’t a healthy quality of life so I continue to seek help. I hope that at UCLA headache clinic I can receive a proper diagnosis and possibly start trying treatments that may improve the quality of my life.
Everyone deserves to hear that there’s help out there and that what you’re feeling is valid. To anyone out there suffering visual symptoms, you’re a lot stronger than you know. Stay strong!”

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