Appreciate Your Visual Memory

We often take our sight for granted. We don’t always appreciate our ability to see the faces of loved ones, the beauty of the ocean at sunset or even something as simple as the trees and houses lining the streets we take to work each day. After reading about one Colorado woman’s condition, you’ll want to take your appreciation a step further and be grateful you can remember all the wonderful things you see around you. Check out this article from USA Today about a woman who suffers from an incredibly rare condition called “visual amnesia.” She’s been living with the condition for 21 years – the result of brain damage after a car accident when her brain was without oxygen for 10 minutes. Now, she can’t remember what she sees – faces of friends and family or the clothing in her closet. Working as a teacher in Denver, Holly Winter has learned to live with the loss of visual memory. According to the article, she posts photos of students around her classroom and learns to recognize them by consulting her list of their physical characteristics. Friends know to reintroduce themselves. Winter has turned her condition into a positive. She teaches at a school that is affiliated with a hospital so she’s working with children who have medical issues and encouraging them to move beyond their conditions. Take a minute to read this article and then pause to appreciate what you can see – and that you can remember it later. Share your comments on how you take time to appreciate your sight.

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Kerry Solomon, MD

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