A New View of the World
Since first grade I knew my eyes were “funky.” I went cross-eyed in a variety of settings – the theatre, watching a music performance, sometimes in a movie and once simply sitting in a small class with a teacher who made me nervous. I sometimes had double vision and often had headaches. I worked with behavioral optometrists in my twenties, and again in my thirties, but did not have success in overcoming my problems. Then when I was in my forties, I found Dr. Ruggiero and her team.
Getting My Life Back
On February 21, 2009, I had a stroke. At the time, I was in my early 50s, without any significant medical conditions, active and living a healthy lifestyle. The stroke happened on a Saturday afternoon while I was doing some easy chores and projects at home; no precipitating cause was ever found. Along with a total loss of equilibrium, the stroke caused severe double vision and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). After discharge from the hospital, I spent a few weeks in rehab learning to stand and walk again. However, I still couldn’t see to read, write, drive or work.
That all changed when I met Dr. Ruggiero. I completely credit her and her entire staff for giving me my life, as I knew it, back.
Unparalleled Breadth of Care
I have recommended several friends to Dr. Ruggiero’s office because I think the level of care, the commitment to treating patients as individuals, and the willingness and interest in problem solving individual circumstances to their most beneficial outcomes is of highest priority in the office.
As an educational consultant, I have also facilitated contact between the parents of students in area schools with her office when children are struggling with academic work in ways that might be related to the functioning of their visual processing systems. As more research is published concerning the effectiveness of vision therapy, it is essential that students who are in need of these services receive them.
When I recommend Dr. Ruggiero’s office to others, I tell them that the depth and breadth of care will be unparalleled. I also tell them that the interpersonal interactions that I have had with all members of the staff have been excellent, professional, helpful and supportive.
As a musician, teacher and performer, good vision matters – close up, far away, and in between – for various aspects of my work. But not only have I been nearsighted since grade school, I’ve now added aging eyes to the mix.
Dr. Ruggiero understands my vision and my needs and has worked with me to find the perfect solution for my eyes and my lifestyle. She looks at the big picture and doesn’t stop until we’re both satisfied that my vision is the best it can be. My contacts work great at all ranges – no need to carry around reading glasses – and my backup glasses give me seamless vision as well.
I find myself recommending Dr. Ruggiero over and over to friends who are not happy with their prescriptions or who say, “I can’t wear contacts because…” The attention to detail, breadth of understanding and care that Dr. Ruggiero brings to her patients makes all the difference.
Wearing Glasses with Ease
I was desperate for reading glasses; I couldn’t even see well enough to read the newspaper! Yet every time I tried to use glasses other than the ones I’d had for a long time, I’d get violently motion sick and remain so for hours afterwards. I was deeply afraid that I would “lose my vision” when my old glasses inevitably broke.
Dr. Ruggiero figured out right away that my convergence insufficiency was the root of my inability to switch glasses. Thanks to the appropriate diagnosis and effective vision therapy, I’m now able to switch glasses like a normal person – and see!
A Trusted Physician
When my complaints about my vision lead to the conclusion that my eyes weren’t working together as a team, Northampton Vision Specialists provided vision therapy – and what a difference! Conversely, when a diagnosis indicated a retinal problem, they were speedy in getting me to a specialist – no three-month wait, and no attempt to fix it themselves.
Bottom line: I’ve had very few doctors whom I felt cared about me personally. There have been some, and Dr. Ruggiero is right up there at the top. Visiting her office for an exam is like having coffee with a bunch of friends – and by the way – here are your new glasses. Except for the dilated eyes, I always leave her office feeling good about myself and the day ahead.