​I first met Mr Hay back in 2003, after hearing that he was an optician specialised in working with people with Dyslexia. At school I excelled in my practical ability but found reading a huge struggle and exhausting, Suffering from migraines regularly. This had a huge impact on my confidence and often left me very frustrated as always felt I wasn’t reaching my full potential. When studying for my standard grade exams the fatigue and migraines became so bad that I had to work my study plan around napping. I passed all 8 standard grades but decided that I wouldn’t be able to go on any further at school so I took a job as a trainee hair dresser. I worked as a hairdresser for five years but always had an unsettling feeling that I could of done more with my life. Deep down I had always wondered if I was dyslexic so decided at the age of 21 that I would rather deal with the stigma that goes with dyslexia rather than be held back any more. I went on to be tested to find out that I didn’t have dyslexia but it appeared to be more of a reading disorder. The specialist I saw at the time had heard of an optician in Aberdeen who had started specialising in people with dyslexia and could possibly also help someone with my problems.

I had seen opticians in the past due to the migraines I suffered with and did wear glasses but they didn’t help me with reading at all. I did feel like I’d probably reached another dead end but was at a point in my life where I would of been grateful for any kind of help as I was sick of feeling stupid, when I knew inside that I wasn’t so I contacted Mr Hay’s opticians to inquire about the work that he carried out. At first I spoke with his receptionist who then passed me on to Mr Hay himself who went on to explain the work he had been doing and would be happy to see me. I explained to Mr Hay that I had never managed to read a book and had to use a ruler to help me stay on the correct line as without it I’d loose my position quickly resulting in me have to read a page a number of times to obtain any information. Also that the words would move around the page and always appear blurry even with my glasses on. I knew that this could not be normal as no one would actually enjoy reading a book if this were the case for everyone!

After our chat Mr Hay carried out an eye examination which at first was a lot like the others until he added another glass which was like someone had just switched a light on in my head. For the first time I saw print, not fuzzy grey but black and bold. It no longer moved across the page and it wasn’t hurting trying to focus. I remember my eyes filling with tears as I was so overwhelmed, it was one of the the best moments of my life. I had glasses fitted with the lenses used and went on to have a programme of vision therapy as I also had a reduced field. This was also very helpful as I’d always been very clumsy, banging into things and suffering from motion sickness. Along with the therapy i was shown exercises into training my eyes to work together which would also help me get out of the bad habits I’d picked up over the years.

In 2006 I qualified with a degree in adult nursing and currently work in ward 216 at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. I have studied further completing and passing the Cardiac rotational programme. I still find my English is poor, this I put down to the gap I have in my
learning. Now that I wear my glasses a retain information much easier where as before it was such a slog. Resulting in I can spell large medical terms but I struggle with words you would learn in primary. I wish I had met Mr Hay sooner as I know 100% it would of made a difference in my academic choices but I’m just grateful that I did find him when I did. I can’t emphasise enough how grateful I am to Mr Hay and his team as his treatment truly has changed my life.

Emily M.