Thursday, November 27, 2014

My Oculus Rift unbroke :) :) :)

I finally got the HDMI connector that Oculus's support Fedexed me, plugged it in, did some finagling, and to my amazement it worked.  I just put in 40 minutes of Diplopia yesterday.  I am super happy right now.

What else... I was surprised by how big and depthy everything was.  I still didn't pass most of the vision integration tests, but it does seem as though my vision has improved a lot in the past few weeks without playing Diplopia.  Even one of my diplopia tests seems to indicate progress (looking down at my double left foot).  What's going on?  Why is this happening?

Well, maybe it's because I took a good long break.  But I think even more than that, it's a combination of two different habits I've recently formed.  I do 20 minutes of meditation while undergoing tDCS in the morning, upon waking.  That, and I've also been doing a lot of reading using the modified reading techniques that I've described in previous entries.  This means that I minimize saccadic eye movements by maximizing the use of my peripheral vision.  

By doing meditation and tDCS in the morning, I'm priming my brain for changeability.  Meditation is known to improve learning.  tDCS is known to do the same.  Then later in the day I read with the new reading technique to improve the peripheral vision.  It does seem that I've improved the peripheral vision of my left lazy eye quite a lot.  It seems to have very good mobility as well, in order to avoid diplopia.  When I was walking down the hallway I noticed books to my right, and was surprised by how close the double images of them appears.  It really felt like I was beginning to get an understanding of what objects look like in three dimensions.  It kind of left me thinking 'whoa.'. 

What else... I found a much better way to use my Iontophoresis.  I got fed up using the crappy cables that I had created to interconnect the Ionto's weird leads to the banana plugs I use for the electrodes.  They kept corroding, which caused the Ionto's impedance detectors to go off.  I ended up finding leads with the correct 'Safety Leads', which connect to a pin-to-banana plug adapter.  I also bought a bunch of plastic pipettes for soaking the electrodes with saline.  This has made tDCS much, much less cumbersome.  That's a big deal, when you have this giant ski mask-looking thing (Oculus Rift) attached to your head, with a hairband underneath, with electrodes strategically placed--with headphones on to top it off.  

It does feel like I'm getting closer.  I know better than to guess when, but I'm not sweating it.^90719330893-sku^671+0059@ADL4SCRIPHESSCO-adType^PLA-device^c-adid^58890930013

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My Oculus Rift broke :/

Yeah, it was pretty stupid.  The HDMI cable seemed to be bad, so I replaced it.  It worked--for a while.  But because you have to open an access panel, it left some of the innards exposed.  Well, some saline from a cathode dripped onto the HDMI connection and the video went out.  It's still an Oculus Rift.  Everything about it seems to still function--all except for the video.  I'm in the process of getting a replacement.  I hope they replace it, or are able to provide a solution of some sort.

Folks, if you get a DK2, be very careful.  There do seem to be some problems with the HDMI connection, which have been reported by several others.  There may be nothing that you can do about it, but to be on the safe side, handle your Rift with great care.

Regardless, I'm going to get a replacement.  The question is whether Oculus is willing to replace it (there's no warranty as it's a beta device--it's sold 'as is'--understandable), or whether I should wait for the commercial version.  They say that it's going to be released 'within months'.  It makes no sense to get another DK2 if it ships in six weeks, and then another four weeks later the commercial version becomes available.  I am miffed.  But I'm also happy because I know that the Rift is an effective tool for vision therapy, the best thing out there so far by far, in my humble opinion.  I'll get another Rift and back at it, fixing my vision with Diplopia with hopefully only a minor hiccup.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

More progress with Diplopia

It's the end of the weekend.  I just did a 40 minute session of Diplopia with tDCS.  I noticed quite a difference from the last time I played (three days ago).  It started me off with Bricks.  Immediately I noticed that things are bigger and seem closer to me.  I still failed the initial visual integration tests that begin before you're immersed into the game.  But I did do better than ever.

What else, my driving has improved quite a bit.  I am much more aware of what's going on around me.  This must be a result of decreased suppression.  Driving is actually kind of enjoyable when your eyes work properly.  I did notice, yesterday in particular, that my lazy eye seems to be doing extra work in terms of mobility--like my brain is whipping it into shape by saying 'hey, we're using you now, so start behaving like an eye.'  Laziness will not be tolerated!

I do have some anxiety as my suppression continues to decrease.  Are all of the pieces going to work themselves out?  Or am I going to break my vision?  haha!  Pretty nerve wracking.  This is a sentiment that I know is shared by Robert (mentioned in previous entries).  He's worried, in particular, about reading.  Are the words going to match up and properly overlay on top of one another so that he has a true singular view of the page?  Or is it going to be a confusing non-aligning mess in which he's unable to make sense out of anything?  Man.  It takes a lot of balls to do vision therapy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

I think combining tDCS and Diplopia (game) is working

I did get a warning from a friend who linked me to a Sovoto post where someone mentioned that the game Diplopia had given him--well--diplopia.  No doubt, I do have diplopia, and have always had diplopia.  It just got stronger when I started doing vision therapy.

The diplopia has indeed gotten stronger since I've been playing Diplopia, and much stronger when I started incorporating tDCS in the Diplopia routine.  But I'm not worried about it because the diplopia  means that my brain is ignoring my left eye less and less.  As long as that happens alongside improved mobility and coordination of that eye, then we're good.  And that does seem to be what's happening.

Some of the metrics that I use for measuring alignment are definitely showing indications of progress.  For instance, taking pictures of my eyes while tilting my head down while looking up at the mirror shows significantly less hypertropia than before.  Also when I looked down at my left foot for the double left foot, the double images are almost single.  Also, driving has improved quite a bit--just my confidence in changing lanes and knowing what's there.

Also, I'm really kicking ass at the Bricks game.  But there's still quite a bit improvement to be had. What seems to work best for me is two days on (with tDCS), two days off.  I really wanted to do Diplopia yesterday but I made myself not do it because I knew that I would benefit from the rest.  And indeed the next morning my vision looked great.  Vision therapy is sort of like weight training.  You don't get stronger while you're working out.  You get stronger during the time off.  Well, break time is off for now.  I've got two more days of intense training.