Friday, December 30, 2016

Steady progress

Seems like I slowed down in the past week or so.  For a while there it seemed like progress was occurring extremely quickly.

To be clear, I still think I am making rather smooth progress.  It is just that the perceived improvement isn't always so smooth.  That is one of the benefits of doing so many different exercises.  Vision therapy exercises, almost by definition, provide you a meter with which to gauge progress.  Having a variety of different gauges is very beneficial for letting you know whether you are truly stuck, or just having a poopy day.

Actually all of my gauges are pointing to smooth incremental improvement.  The prisms and fixation cards.  Check.  I'm now vacillating between two diopter prism and no prism.  I'm still working with that technique that I talked about before with getting good accommodation on the right eye, and focusing on fixation with the left.

I am noticing improvement about every day.  It is a very incremental thing.  Every day it takes less time to get equal acccommodation across the eyes.  I've been experimenting with different 'fuse' 'focus' sets, from the bottom, to the bottom middle, to the top middle.  I doubt I'll ever be able to fuse the top set because I think that would require going exotropic.  I'm fairly certain that my eyes are straightening out, steadily.

I've been noticing this in particular with my modified Brock String.  Diverging out to the last string has always been--not necessarily a pain in the ass--but it always required effort.  Now it's pretty easy.  In fact, going from each bead to the other has become very--quite--easy.  Also moving the bead around my entire field of vision is seeing improvement.  The distance between the double beads is getting smaller and smaller.  Yeah, I keep saying that.  But it's true.

Finally--oh yeah, I can't talk about Vivid Vision.  I am working on it.  It is software for people with strabismus.  It, like other vision training, provides feedback.  I'm seeing improvement in that as well.  Alright.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

More progress with stuff

More progress with fixation cards and prisms, columns, modified Brock String, and Vivid Vision.

Quite a bit more.

Last entry I talked a bit about how I was doing fixation cards exercises with four diopter prisms and sometimes removing the prism altogether.

I wasn't quite ready for removing the prism altogether.  I was ready for a reduction of prism.
Currently I'm ... and this is really fascinating to observe for myself.  Currently, I'm sort of alternating between two diopter prism and no prism when doing fixation card exercises.  About two minutes in I stop using the prism, and then go without.  Sometimes I put it back in.  But day after day I notice that I need prism less and less.  It is fucking awesome to see.  I don't know how the visual system works, but I know how to interact with it.  I know how to improve it.

Today I used the two diopter prism maybe for total of two minutes during the fixation cards exercise.  I could tell that it was a productive session, and I was able to fix both eyes for a good part of it.

One thing I want to say that has been really helpful was this technique I developed a while back, in which I would focus on getting perfect accommodation on my right eye, and then pay attention to fixing with the left eye.  There was a sort of stickiness to the accommodation on the right eye, so it would stay accommodated, while fixing with the left eye.  This, I believe, was helping me override the accommodation reflex and force simultaneous accommodation.  But more than that, it gave me feedback which told me what good binocular posture feels like.  I've been using those feelings to use in my everyday experience.  So it's sort of become a reinforcing habit.  In a way, I feel like I'm now building and reinforcing binocular vision skills even when I'm not technically doing vision therapy.   I'm gaining stereopsis without vision therapy.  It's become a self-reinforcing thing.  It feels like that.

Anyway, Brock String was freaking awesome.  The double image beads are so close to each other.  Divergence and convergence are getting very easy.  I'm noticing this ability everywhere now.

As mentioned in previous entries, I cannot talk about the Vivid Vision stuff too much.  But I'm doing it every day.  I think it's part of what's helping.  I think it's going to be very useful software for many people.  I was sort of pissed off when I heard that the software is going to only be available to be administered as part of a program with vision therapists.  But now I 100% understand their decision to do it this way.  It's not a liability thing.  It is because guidance is needed in this sort of enterprise.  And Vivid Vision is going to be a very powerful and useful tool in the vision therapy toolkit.

What else... uhhh,  Doom 3 BFG Edition.  Holy crap.

Not really sure what Doom 3 BFG Edition is.  It's something about making Doom 3 work better with 3d.  But someone made a Vive mod for it.  And it's fucking awesome.  If you have a Vive, you need to get Doom 3 BFG and then mod it for the Vive.  It is one of the best games for the Vive, period.  It costs like $4.

It's sort of funny because the game is 13 years old, so it's made to run on 13-year old graphics cards, so it runs incredibly well on the Vive.  It's weird because it's hard to imagine playing a normal WASD FPS-type game with two hand-held motion controls.  But the modders made it work.  Very well.  The quality of the game really comes through, and even though it's 13 years old, it feels like the game is made for VR.  And like I said, not just like any VR game, but a really good VR game.  I've yet to encounter any bugs.  Everything works very well.  The graphics are great.  And it's really scary.  Because everything is in stereo 3d, and very high quality with no glitches, it's sort of like playing Doom 3 for the very first time, but in a way that's waaaayyy better and more immersive than any prior experience of Doom 3.  It's just awesome.  And it's $4.

What is vision therapy like?

Imagine playing the hardest video game ever made.  You've never played the game before.  The tutorials for the game are in a different language.  You have to create the controller with your mind.

That should give you a rough idea of what you're dealing with when doing vision therapy as an adult.  Perhaps the most challenging aspect of vision therapy is knowing whether you're actually doing it effectively.

In the past month or so I've become increasingly confident that I am in fact doing vision therapy.  I have gotten to the point where I am doing a particular thing in an exercise and I can say with reasonable confidence 'this is helping me gain stereo vision.  I will notice the effects of what I am doing in this moment later on.'.  I have become intimate with my visual system, and fluent in vision therapy.  I have finally built my controller, and I am now able to really play the game.  And goddamn, it feels good.

It reminds me of something that Susan Barry said in a Vivid Vision Spotlights podcast.  She was talking about how important it is in vision therapy for the student to have a sense of ownership of the process, to actively see changes which result from the exercises he is doing, and to experience the  control he has over the outcome.  Beyond all of the awesomeness involving stereo vision, she was talking about how empowering it is to be able to radically change your experience of life via hard work and diligence via vision therapy.  I already liked Susan Barry a lot, but after listening to those podcasts... man, she's just great.  Super awesome person.

I don't yet have stereo vision.  But I am now at a point at which I can see the connection between my exercises and the changes in my vision so vividly.  It is already very rewarding.  The changes are happening so quickly.  My grasp on how to do vision therapy has improved so much.  It's a very exciting time for me.

Alright, I'm going to do a separate entry for what's actually going on.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Making good progress with fixation cards, Brock String and Vivid Vision

Making good progress.  I've become very sensitive to change, and I can see changes occurring with objective metrics.  So even though I'm noticing changes on a near daily basis, I can tell there is quite a bit more work to do, because I know that every step I take is going to be deliberate painstaking work.

I'm still making progress with the fixation cards.  As of now, I start with attempting to fuse with a four diopter prism.  Then about four minutes in, I try without any prism.  Sometimes I put it back in.  I've noticed huge changes in my ability to get both eyes to accommodate in near synchrony.  Still no depth the fixation cards.  

Brock String is still doing really well.  The double images are still getting closer to one another, even in the trouble areas.  

In addition to Fixation cards, columns, and Brock String, I've begun to work with Vivid Vision.  I signed an NDA so I cannot talk about it, but I'm helping them test and debug some of the software.  I think it might be helping my vision in addition to the other vision therapy exercises I'm doing.

My last conscious hour every day in the past week has been reading this new book that I'd heard about from James Altucher's podcast.  It's called Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.  

It was written by a guy who holds the record for having the most Swedish-sounding name ever: Anders Ericsson.  It's a pretty cool book.  The central thesis of the book is that we can create our potential, and we can create talent.  This is in contrast to the view that genes determine our potential, and it's up to us as to whether we fulfill that potential.  

To me, that idea sounds a little confusing at the outset--that we can create our potential.  I think maybe a more accurate and less confusing way of putting it is that ordinary people have much more potential than we realize.  And whether that potential is realized depends a lot on the quality of training techniques that are implemented.  

In the book he talks a lot about the idea of deliberate practice, which--I'm not going to get into it, but it's a much more focused and active kind of practice.  Constantly probing for where you're weak, thinking about what you're doing, and what may need to be done, or stripped away.  It's active and deliberate.  He compared this to the ordinary way in which people learn, which is that people pick something up, and get to the point where they're 'good enough', and then they stop improving, and keep doing what they're doing, because there's no apparent reason to.  They're 'good enough'.  

Well, that really struck a chord with me, because this 'deliberate practice' is exactly what I'm been doing with vision therapy, particularly in the past few months.  In fact, thinking about thinking, and thinking about learning, has been something that I only really started doing sometime around 30 years old, and it's had tremendously beneficial effects on me, in all aspects of life.  It has definitely coincided with the improvement in the quality of my life.  

But anyway... cool book so far.  Very, extremely relevant to people who are doing vision therapy as adults.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

More changes

More exciting developments coming.

Today I noticed significant changes during daily activity even before I did vision therapy.  Better divergence, more light.

I'm getting better results with the fixation cards.  As I mentioned in previous entries, it appears that performance improves near the end of the session.  Today I got curious to see what would happen if I removed the prism.  It was pretty difficult, but I could tell that soon I would be able to do get good performance without any prism.  Then I went to to Brock String, and I had very good performance.  The double images are closer than they ever have before.

Objective changes now appear to be occurring very rapidly.  I think maybe it's to do with the latest technique I developed that I mentioned briefly in a previous entry.  That is, I fix and accommodate sharp with the right eye with both eyes on their respective targets.  It can take a while for me to get it sharp.  But once it's sharp, then I focus on fixing with the left eye.  I don't, per se, worry about getting it completely sharp, but I focus on fixing with the left eye while the right eye is sharp.  Once I get that, then I start fixing hard with the left eye.  While I do this, I pay attention to see to it that the right eye stays sharp.  By doing this, I think I am tuning the accommodation mismatch between the two eyes, because the eye naturally wants to accommodate for things that it's fixing on.  And while I'm doing this, I'm focusing on the feeling I have while doing this, so I can remember it for later.  And hopefully build onto the feeling.

In other news, I'm again working with the guys at Vivid Vision.  I can't say much about it since I signed an NDA.  So that's going on while I'm doing traditional vision therapy.

I used Vivid Vision with the DK2 (Oculus Rift 2nd generation developer kit), and it seemed to do interesting things with my eyes, but in the end, it didn't seem to work.  This is consistent with what James has said about his current generation of VV software.  He said something along the lines that it works best with people who have mild to no strabismus.  

But for someone like me, who had moderate esotropia and hypertropia with very heavy suppression as an adult?  I suspect the reason this VT journey has been so challenging for me is because my visual system would have been completely content being the way it was.  My vision was stable as a strabismic.  There were times when, as a child, I noticed a very slight drifting double image in my field of vision, but it was barely visible.  My suppression was almost complete.  Recovering full stereopsis would be a task of pulling my other eye back from the dead.  Now as an adult, trying to gain stereopsis involves constant deliberate action the entire way.  Everything has to be done through a grueling, manual, conscious process.

Right now, for people who are in a situation similar to my own, I see vision therapy via HMDs, as in Vivid Vision, as a complement to traditional vision therapy.  When I'm doing traditional vision therapy, it's just me, my visual system, fixation cards and prisms.  It's very simple, and I can put all of my attention on using feedback to build on connections.  From my current perspective, the amount of concentration I am able to muster is definitely helped by the simplicity of the equipment.  And the amount of work that I'm able to do seems like it would be hard to acccomplish via VR games with a cord around me as I walk around.

But I'm going to keep an open mind.   As my angle improves, as it has been via traditional vision therapy, perhaps the antisuppression aspects of the VV games will prove beneficial.  But of course, we're still talking about the first generation of software.  Eventually VR HMDs will have built-in eye tracking, 4k displays, will be much smaller, be wireless, and have the ability to control the angle with which light rays enter the eyes.  Then programmers will have the ability to make software that's potentially much more flexible and powerful than anything that's possible today.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Noticing changes yesterday and today

Yeah.  Vision is definitely improving.  I noticed it in particular yesterday as I was walking by a plant.  I wanted to stop and look at it as I moved slightly back and forth, so I could add in some parallax to the experience.  But there were other people around and I didn't want to draw attention.  I'm unusual enough as it is.  Things were looking big and bright.  I was noticing space between.  Before you get excited--no, it's not stereopsis--yet.  It is the experience of decreased suppression.

I should mention that I added another routine into the mix.  As of now it's

  • Four minutes of acrylic target accommodation exercise
  • 12 minutes of fixation cards changing between seven and four diopter prisms
  • Two to three minutes of Columns exercise
  • Eight minutes of modified Brock String
Not sure, but it seems like that Columns exercise is helping.  It definitely seems as though performance improves a lot toward the end of the fixation cards exercise.  I have to mess with things a bit in order to get accommodation equal across the eyes with the fixation cards.  It seems easier with the seven diopter prism.  But then it gets really easy, and then I go back to the four.  And then by the end of the exercise, I'm performing pretty well.  It could have been difficult because I didn't sleep well last night.  

Saturday, November 12, 2016

More changes are happening and decreasing prism power

I noticed quite a few changes today.  My divergence seems to have improved a lot in the past week.

My divergence has improved such that I'm seeing it prudent to reduce the prism diopters from seven to four base in.  Heh.  I'd given up on that prism set that I bought from Ebay all those years ago.  Now they're coming in handy.  I seem to be able to get the double images easily on top of one another even with the four diopter prism.  This is, after all, what I had in mind about what stereopsis recovery would be.  Getting fusion with the help of prisms, training my brain to fuse, and then reducing the prism until I'm not using them at all.  It's just strange to see it actually happening.  For some reason I expected vision therapy would not work for me.  But it is apparently working for me.

I still don't quite yet have proper fusion.  The fixing is getting good, and appears to be improving.  Also, the accommodation mismatch is improving a lot.  I'm not sure.  It feels like I'm slowly but surely closing in on the problem.  What's a good analogy?  Imagine you're a novice chess player, and you're up against a grand master.  However, he only has his king, and you have a king and a queen.  You're going to win.  But he's going to dance around and be a pain in the ass, and make it evident about how clumsy you are, and how unfamiliar you are with the board.  It might take ten or fifteen minutes of awkward maneuvering, but eventually, you're going to figure it out and beat him.  I think that's where I am.  I'm fairly confident it's in the bag.  Time is on my side.  Vision is steadily improving.  The problem will eventually be squeezed out of position.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Noticing changes and continuing to get a grip

I took a four day break from vision therapy.  I went on vacation to Miami with my girlfriend.

It was interesting.  Sometimes I notice changes in my vision when I lack sleep, or something jars my nervous system.   For instance, on the day that I left for Miami I slept for like two hours so that I could make the jet because it departed at six am.  I remember on the flight I didn't have any thing to do or read, so I was looking around on the plane the entire time, playing with my vision.  I noticed that my left eye was 'on', more or less the entire time.  It was pretty damn cool.  Still had diplopia and whatnot, but not a whole lot.  The spread of the double images wasn't bad.  It was the feeling, and the awareness that I had of the eyes being on that I found enthralling.  It felt different and I did my best to hold onto it.

Today was the first day that I did vision therapy since last Wednesday.  I noticed improvement in both the fixation cards and the Brock String.  I noticed quite a bit more depth with the Brock String.

The fixation cards are getting better.  The change in the accommodation differences is getting more manageable.  It seems like the accommodation improves quite a lot toward the end of the 12 minutes.  I think one technique that appears to be working is fixing mostly with the left eye, since the right eye oddly stays well accommodated on the target.  When I bring the card closer, accommodation on one of the targets breaks down, but by fixing hard on the left eye, I can get them both very damn near close to perfect accommodation.  This technique seems to help stretch the ability for my eyes to accommodate in synchrony.

I am again getting excited.  Vision therapy is nothing if not a roller coaster of emotions.  Up, down, confused, excited, dejected, enthralled, depressed, and sanguine all over again.

I found out recently that Davina Klatsky died.  She's someone I met from Vision Therapy for Adults, and who joined DIY Vision therapy (both strabismus Facebook groups).  It's so sad to hear.  She was a sweet, but tortured lady.  I forget all of the details, but I think she suffered a developmental disorder, which resulted in an asymmetry of her body.  She had a lot of complications in her health, strabismus being among the symptoms of those complications.  She was extremely self-conscious about her unique appearance, which one presumes was a result of the developmental disorder.  I thought she looked fine.  Her posts were, from what a remember, a bit frenetic, despairing, and angry about the lack of help available for people with strabismus.  Like I said, I got the impression that she really was a tortured soul.

But yeah.  I wasn't in her shoes.  Life can be brutal.  One can only speculate what it must have been like to be Davina.  Nonetheless, I liked her a lot; she was a sweet lady.  She was one of us.  May she rest in peace.

Friday, October 21, 2016

What is the purpose of prisms in vision therapy?

It's been a week since I'd started using a seven diopter prism, base-in, with the fixation cards exercise, and I've been noticing quite a difference.  In just a week, I'd made quite a lot of progress toward fusion.  Still not yet there, but getting closer and closer.

I am now able to sort of fix with both eyes simultaneously while doing the fixation cards exercise.  It's a little weird because I don't yet have full simultaneous control of both eyes, so there is this sort of confusing feeling of my head existing in two separate realities.  Like my head is in two different rooms, and one of the rooms is drifting around a bit.  But overall it's a nice sensation, because it feels like I am doing the right thing, and this is where I need to be going.  So I'm now fixing, but not quite yet fusing.

So what is the purpose of prisms in vision therapy?  I think a not bad explanation is that they are like a stepping stool.  They make it easier to achieve fusion in the first place, by accommodating for whatever eye turn you may have.  In my own experience, I think an even better explanation for what prisms are in vision therapy is that they are like sticky hands.

Imagine that you are in a big, empty white room.  Except that in the middle of it there is a big white cube, and for some inexplicable reason you feel an incredible desire to get on top of it.  The problem is that the cube is as high as you are.  You cannot see the top face of the cube unless you jump.  In order to get on top of the cube, you're going to have to run toward the cube as fast as possible, jump up as high as possible while slamming your body into the side of the cube, and try to get your hands on top of the cube.  Then you will need to try and grip the top face of the cube with your hands and swing your lower body up to the top of the cube until you can get one leg on top, and then sort of roll the rest of the body over.  Damn.  I'm sweating just thinking about it.

Now imagine that the top of the cube is slippery, and you have no ability to grip the top of the cube.  You can run and jump and slam your body into the cube as much as you want.  Once you get your hands on top of the cube, they're going to slip right off.  If your hands slip off the top of the cube, then nothing else matters.  No amount of planned technique for how you're going to swing your body or what you're going to do with your legs will matter.

In my experience, what prisms have allowed me to do with vision therapy is get a grip.  Prisms have allowed me to grab and hold onto the top of the cube.  And now I can begin to think about what I am going to do next.  The stepping stool analogy isn't bad, but this analogy, although more verbose, is more accurate and precise.

I can speculate why using the prisms work in this way, but I don't frankly know.  I've used them in this way in the past and not with the same results.  But now, for whatever reason, prisms are working for me, and very importantly they make sense to me.  For the longest time, I always had this expectation that stereopsis was suddenly going to pop in for me as Sue describes her steering wheel suddenly popping out at her.  What does that mean?  Does that mean the eyes suddenly go from strabismic to straight?  Part of me, and I'm embarrassed to say it, thought that that's how it worked.  Not really, but kind of.

The prisms seem to free up energy to enable you to build on other skills like fusion and motor ability.  Without the prisms, it's just so much work to get superimposition, nevermind fusion, and the effort takes so much energy, nothing is left for building these important skills.  By freeing up energy, you're enabled to get a grip and build the important skills, and then ramp up a smooth gradient of progress.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Getting closer to fusion with the help of a seven diopter prism

I'm getting quite a bit closer to fusion with the help of my seven diopter prism.

I started using it out of frustration, because I'd been doing the same regimen for about two months, and it seemed like I would be able to, in time, get accommodation synchronized across the eyes with the fixation card exercise.  But I stopped making progress.  Since accommodation and eye angle are linked, I figured I might be able to coax equal eye accommodation via a prism. So that's what I did.  I started using a seven diopter prism base in.  This enabled me to get both double images very close to being in sync--both in terms of fusion and accommodation.

It seemed to free up some energy, and while I don't yet have fusion, it has brought me very close to fusion.  The targets are almost a single fused target at times.  The prism has brought fusion into much closer and more realizable reach.  There are times where I was sure that I had fusion, briefly.

Interestingly, it hasn't hurt my ability to diverge my eyes.  I would have thought it might because my using the prism I'm sort of conceding to my eye's esotropic tendencies, and rendering it even lazier in terms of divergence.  But that doesn't appear to be a problem.  In fact, the Brock String exercise has improved quite a bit since I incorporated the prism in the fixation card exercise.

The rationale is to really practice fusion and teach my brain that this is what it wants.  And then to reduce the prism.  But somehow I doubt that that will be the big part.  I think the big part will be achieving fusion.  In all my years I never had it.  I think my eye's laziness was such an ingrained habit that in all of my years of vision therapy no amount of coaxing would enable me to truly get both eyes working together.  I'd used prisms before.  But now they seem to be working.  Or I had finally started making sense of what I'm doing with prisms.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Learned something new. Got over another hurdle.

Two weeks ago I added another exercise into the mix.  It's this guy which I hold here.

As you can see, it is an acrylic sheet with a Sharpied-in cross hair with concentric circles.  It's an exercise that Tuan prescribed to me.  

What I do is put it really close to my eyes to the point at which I can barely get it to come in clearly (about three to four inches).  Then I close one eye and look at the target with the open eye and focus on getting it clear.  Then I relax and look through the sheet and into the distance.  Then I focus and get the target clear again.  Then I relax and look through again.  Back and forth.  Again and again.  Then I close that eye and open the other eye, and I alternate this exercise between the eyes.  

It's an accommodation exercise (obviously), which focuses on building accommodation strength on each eye independently.  

I start with this exercise for four minutes, and then continue with the fixation cards described in the previous entry for twelve minutes (I started with ten minutes, but then later intuited that another two minutes would be beneficial), then do eight minutes of Brock String.  Then I do some VR games for around 20 minutes.  VT takes about 30 minutes per day.  

Anyway, this addition has been pretty beneficial.  It seems I had plateaued and this exercise let me get over it.  I was skeptical about it, because one of the things that I've always noticed is that each of my eyes works perfectly fine on its own.  Accommodation, motor ability, tracking, etc.  It's only when it's time to work both of them to work together that things go awry.  But since I'd included this exercise I'd noticed quite a lot of improvement in all areas.  

The first thing I noticed was how it had improved the fixation card exercise.  It is much easier to keep the double images on top of one another as I pull the card closer and farther away.  And to begin with it's easier to get the double images to (not yet quite) fuse.  As I pull the card closer and farther away the double images stay together much better than ever.  So that's awesome.  

Also the Brock String has improved markedly.  The double images of the beads are getting closer and closer together from all angles as I move the string around in a circle.  I also am getting better depth with the Brock String.  

As they say, you notice improvement in depth with close-up objects.  This is true in my experience.  I was playing Raw Data a few hours ago with the Vive and I noticed quite a lot more vividness and depth particularly when looking at my guns.  Raw Data is one of the most high-quality VR games out there right now.  When you look at your cyborg hands, you can very slightly squeeze the Vive's motion controllers, and you see your hands slightly move.  Give it more, and you see more.  Pull the trigger on the controller slightly, and the trigger on the gun pulls slowly.  Move the controller around and look at it from different angles, and you can see the gun from different angles.  And the gun is sort of skeletal so you can see the mechanics.  It is incredibly slick, and has this tight feedback loop.  It is very satisfying just to look at your guns up close, look at them from different angles, see how the light reflects off it, squeeze the trigger.  And also because it's close, the effect of stereopsis is at its maximum.  There is like this weird sweet spot of stimulation that Survios just nailed.  Feedback, stereopsis, build-quality, light physics, etc.  It's pretty incredible.  Nailed it. 

But yeah, enough about Raw Data.  I was sort of surprised at how the addition of that exercise improved everything else.  It didn't occur to me to exercise each eye independently because I was under the illusion that each eye worked fine.  Because after all, I can close either eye and see everything fine.  Accommodate, track, etc.  What I needed was team training.  But that reasoning doesn't take into account the fact that for the most part, all day, I'm using one eye.  So yes, I can accommodate with each eye just fine.   But maybe fine isn't good enough.  That's the only explanation I can think of.  It must be the case that accommodation on my left eye wasn't good enough because when I began doing this, I saw massive improvement in all areas

It's sort of humbling.  The more I learn, the more I realize I barely have a clue what the fuck I'm doing.  The things I thought I knew aren't true.  The more I think about this stuff, the more I realize how important good vision therapists are.  How necessary and integral they are.  And the less I think that doing vision therapy solo is the answer.  Each time I talk to Tuan, he gives me advice and prescriptions that I find out later were exactly what I needed.  And I'm wondering to myself 'How did he know that?'.  The answer is probably that he's well trained and educated, worked and works his ass off, and is extremely intelligent.  

Vision therapy is probably too complicated for an amateur to do it alone is where I'm starting to move.  There's too much to know.  And some vision therapists have just the right knowledge.  They have the ability to know where you are and what is needed at that moment.  And for you, that knowledge is invaluable.  You haven't had hundreds of patients, and had the iterative knowledge of 'this worked for him in this situation' and 'my experience says now is the time for this'.  They have the formal education of the eye and potentially a huge amount of experience in knowing how people respond to different exercises.  

So that's where I'm starting to lean.  And it's problematic for reasons I've talked about in other entries.  How do you know who is going to be helpful?  And how do you afford help from these professionals if you don't have a lot of money?  Well, for the previous one you have to get their credentials.  The more people they've helped achieve their goals the better.  Get records of whom they've helped.  Do not get a cheap but inexperienced vision therapist.  Experience matters.  A vision therapist is not a vision therapist is not a vision therapist.  

And for the second question that's more tricky.  How one affords vision therapy.  Sometimes insurances covers it, sometimes not.  What Tuan and I did worked very well.  I got an evaluation done from a local vision therapist to get various metrics of the status of my eyes, and then he would listen to me and give me advice over Skype.  Because it's remote, there's no need for an office, which saves money for him, and the talks are usually around 20 minutes.  And the information got is incredibly useful.  My impression is that technology is probably the answer to the problem of the cost of vision therapy, and making the knowledge and expertise of high quality vision therapists accessible.  

But anyway, that was a long-ish entry, but it was something that I'd been thinking about.  I don't know of anyone who's recovered stereoscopic vision via vision therapy who didn't have help, with the exception of Frederick Brock and James Blaha.  I guess it has become increasingly apparent to me that I would probably be going in circles if it wasn't for an experienced and high quality vision therapist like Tuan.  Thank you, Tuan. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Accommodation and eyeball motor control

If there's anything that's been on my mind lately about vision therapy and my experience of what vision therapy has been, it's the link between accommodation and ability to accurately direct the eyeballs with facility.

It's been on my mind that as my ability to synchronize accommodation across both eyes has improved, actually controlling the direction of the lazy eye has become a viable option.  It's like... when the eyes aren't synced together, the eye that's out of focus might as well not even be a part of your anatomy.  You don't really have any kind of control of that eye.  Or at least that's been my experience.

So it's sort of funny to me when vision therapists say stuff like 'try to use both eyes at the same time with everyday activity'.  Well, when my lazy eye wasn't a part of my body that didn't even make sense.  Did not compute.  It's sort of like a miracle worker saying to someone who had his limb amputated 'Just have another arm.'  That doesn't even make sense.

I know they mean well and are trying to do their best.  And while they're educated in the eye and binocular vision, they do not know everything.  There's probably quite a bit about visual system mechanics that most vision therapists don't know.  And then on top of that, they're trying to understand what's going on with your visual system based on their measurements and based on what you're reporting to them about your visual system.  They have to do their best with incomplete and sometimes shoddy information.  I recognize that their job is hard, and that the field of vision therapy therapy is itself often seen through skeptical and or disdainful eyes.  I completely understand and do not begrudge.  I am incredibly thankful to their existence, especially to qualified vision therapists.

Ironically something happened when Tuan got me training on synchronizing my accommodation by essentially saying 'just do it'.  Wiggle your big toe.  And that got me on the path to fixing my accommodation issues.  And only in the past couple of days has 'control your lazy eye with everyday activity' begun to make any kind of sense.  When doing the Brock String, or sometimes when my attention shifts from my current task to what is around me, I notice that I'm seeing through both eyes.  It's particularly noticeable when doing the Brock String.  And I notice that my control is much finer, and controlling it as a new thing, a new part of my life that is there, is starting to make intuitive sense.  It's bizarre, miraculous, and very exciting.  And this new skill seems to directly coincide with my ability to get both circles sharp as I move the fixation card closer and farther away.

I've talked about it before... I've said stuff about the link between attention and accommodation and motor control, and not being able to pay attention through an unaccommodated eye.  Not sure whether it's true for anyone else, but it definitely is true in my case.  It makes sense, and my success with synchronizing accommodation (not done yet!) appears to be a vindication of this line of reasoning.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

More progress

I knew it was a long time since my last update, but I'm surprised by how long it's been.  About a month and a half.  Things have been crazy busy.

I haven't changed my regimen for sometime now.  But really it's only been since March, or about four months that I'd been doing it, and during those months I'd seen massive progress.  I'm 100% sure that what I'm doing with the fixation cards is fixing my vision.  Or at least it's taking care of a major aspect of my vision training.

It's the accommodation mismatch.  It's getting so much better, and the control is so much better.  And today it occurred to me that the last week has been significantly better than ever before.  The accommodation across the eyes are almost completely in sync with one another up to the most closest.  My eyes are much straighter.  I recently visited my family in NH, and my mom said that my eyes are straighter and bigger.  So it's not just the imagination.

One thing that's very significant is my modified Brock String exercise.  I think I'm on the verge of officially getting depth with the Brock String.  I just need to create a new one.  My clear acrylic ring contraption has been beat to shit.  When I move it around in all of the extremes both of the eyes are almost completely on it.  It feels like I could be a few months away from achieving my goals.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Vision therapy and the ketogenic diet

What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is a diet that puts the body into a state of sustained ketosis: that is when the body uses fat for fuel instead of carbohydrate.  Ketogenic diets are, therefore, very high in fat and very low in carbohydrate.

What does it have to do with vision therapy?  I don't know that it has anything to do with vision therapy, but I suspect that at least in my case it might.

People use ketogenic diets for many reasons.  Most probably use ketogenic diets for weight loss.  Many people who have difficulty losing weight are able to lose weight using a ketogenic diet.  Often they'll lose tons of weight and then get close to their goal and then stop losing.  Then they'll cut out the remaining carbs so that they're close to zero carbohydrate, and then they're able to lose the rest.

Another reason people use ketogenic diets is because it allows them to avoid the glucose/insulin dynamic, particularly people with type 1 diabetes.  For instance they don't produce insulin, so ketogenic diets work out very well for type 1 diabetics.

Another reason people use the ketogenic diet is that it's supposedly really helpful for assuaging the symptoms of epilepsy.

I don't know why I tried it initially -- I think it's because I'm a believer in experimenting on the self.  You never know what can be your baseline experience of reality unless you change up the inputs in a systematic way.  A small and simple change can have a radical impact on the quality of your life.  For me, the ketogenic diet is an example of this.

For me, the ketogenic diet doesn't make me particularly lean.  I stay at about the same BMI, but I eat quite a lot.  Probably around 2,000-2,500 Calories, and maybe about 50 Calories worth of carbohydrate since it's difficult to completely eliminate those.  But very highly ketogenic, very high fat, and I try not to get too high on protein.

The main benefit I get from the ketogenic diet is cognitive.  I remember the fourth day of doing the ketogenic diet I remember coming back from the gym and a few hours later I suddenly felt a very unusual cool calmness wash over me.  I was sitting at my desk doing work and I suddenly noticed that I was in sync with myself.  I wasn't making any typing errors.  I stopped having to use the backspace button.  I wasn't rushing ahead of myself, and I could focus very easily.  I could watch myself focus and direct myself easily without getting distracted.  It was one of the most unusually pleasant experiences I'd had.  Very similar to being in a meditative state, but it was stronger than any meditative state I'd experienced.

Later that night I was reading a book.  At one point I noticed that I was reading much more quickly than I normally do, and I wasn't going back to re-read things.  I was just continually reading quickly and comprehending everything I was reading perfectly.  It was a very new experience.  Yet another thing I noticed is that I didn't lose energy.  Never had any sagging.  Just always awake, high focus energy throughout the day.  And I didn't seem to need to sleep as much.

I kind of got off the particular way I was doing the ketogenic diet.  I'd experimented with Calorie restriction, and I've also experimented with doing ketosis continually for more than a week.  That was bad.  Doing Caloric restriction on the ketogenic diet just takes away a lot of the huge energetic benefits that a high Calorie ketogenic diet gives me without any change in body composition.  Doing the ketogenic diet for multiple weeks in a row gets me really sick, I've learned.  After one week of high Calorie ketogenic diet with close to zero carbs, I get to about 3.2 m/MOL blood ketone levels.  If I keep at it, the m/MOL levels just keep climbing and by the end of the week it'll be at 6.8 m/MOL, which is very close to ketoacidosis.  Supposedly non-diabetics have buffering mechanisms which prevent ketoacidosis--I probably never did, and some people can stay at these levels indefinitely.  But I've done this a few times, and each time I did it, I felt god awful and got sick.  But taking a day off to load up on carbs fixes this almost immediately.

Thus, I now stick to high Calorie ketogenic diet and I load up on carbs every Saturday.  When I do this, everything works amazingly.

But I finally got back to doing two ketogenic meals per day--one in the morning, one in the evening--and the original experience is back.  I feel freaking fantastic, energy is there, and if I sleep like crap one night, it's no biggie.

I do suspect that it's having a positive effect on my vision therapy.  Like I mentioned--if you're doing high Calorie ketogenic--you get insane focus--or I do.  In particular doing the fixation cards--the accommodation seems to be getting more easily achieved.  I can get closer and closer to the cards without running into the accommodation out of sync issue.  It's still there, but I can get farther than ever before.  More energy, or I've gotten better?  I think probably both, but the energy has helped me get better.  I don't come home from work tired.  I come home from work ready to do stuff.  So the extra energy is definitely helping with vision therapy in my experience.

And I think this mental focus that a high Calorie ketogenic diet has given me has been helping a lot with my vision therapy exercises as of late.  Vision therapy is all about focus.  The better you can focus and concentrate on what you're doing the better.  The better your brain works, the more effective vision therapy is going to be.

Everything--all of our salient traits--from a biological standpoint--seem to be touched, influenced, and perhaps shaped, by the fact that we're energetic beings with a finite amount of energy.  Everything is an energy trade-off.  And this is definitely true of the visual system.  One part of your visual system can sap and take aware energy from other aspects of your visual system.  Coordination of your cilliary muscles can take away your ability to coordinate the direction of your eyeballs and vice versa.  Vision therapy can make you physically exhausted.  This might be at least part of the reason why doctors tell their patients to sleep a lot after LASIK surgery.

But if you have a huge amount of energy available always, it seems like there may be fewer required biological compromises to make.  And I don't know why this wouldn't be true of the visual system since it is part of our biology.  That's at least what my experience with the ketogenic diet has been.  It definitely feels like I need to make fewer compromises.  I can take it for granted that the energy is going to be there if I eat the fat.  I almost feel guilty because it makes me so much more effective at everything.  Almost.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Brock string and fixation cards are still effective

There's still quite a bit of work that needs to be done.  But the good thing about the way I'm using the fixation cards is that it tells me what needs doing and how far I have to go.

The closer I am able to get to the card while having good accommodation for both eyes while fixing each eye on its respective target, the closer I am to achieving my goal of stereopsis.  My eyes have to be accommodated and focused on their targets clearly in order for stereopsis to happen.  That might not be the only thing that's needed; there may be other things as well, but I am focusing on this for now, and doing this is proving beneficial.

In the past few weeks I've noticed quite a bit of progress, especially earlier this morning.  I was able to get pretty close.  Then I close one of my eyes and then bring the paper within a few inches of my eyes until I reach the limit of accommodation.  I realize that I don't have that much further to go.

These changes to my vision seem to be translated into other areas.  I've noticed this while looking at my eyes in the mirror.  Double images of myself when I look at myself in the mirror are particularly uneven.  One set of images is significantly off.  But that seems to have improved quite a lot.  Brock string has improved a lot.  One of my weaknesses has always been getting superimpositioning the beads on top of one another when I'm looking at them obliquely, particularly if they're at the top right of my visual field.  Well, this is still an issue, but the distance of how far away the double images are has significantly gone down.

So I'm still chugging away, doing eight minutes fixation cards, eight minutes of Brock string, and then messing around with my HTC Vive.

Oh yeah, I haven't mentioned my HTC Vive.  I got it a few weeks ago.  It is goddamned incredible. The motion controls, the walking around in VR.  There is a pretty cool zombie shooter that I've been playing called Hordzes.  Because I do not yet have stereopsis, VR is not as engaging or stimulating as it is for people with stereopsis--not by a long shot.  I think the level of stimulation that some people are able to achieve with VR opens the possibility of people getting PTSD from experiences in VR.  VR is a powerful medium that has the ability to give people experiences that they remember.  It sears memories into their brains, the stuff is so powerful.  To give you an idea of what I mean:

But the past few times I've been playing Hordze, I've been noticing that I'm finding it harder and trickier to not shit myself at times.  I can feel the 'oh shit' come and the electricity jumping through my arms and feel sudden clamminess on my arms and hands.  A real visceral response.  Not sure if that's just a testament to the immersion that the Vive is able to give to people with stereoblindness, or if it means that my vision is really improving and that I'm on the way to no longer being stereoblind.  I suspect the answer is that it's both.

The motion controls really are amazing, as they change from game to game.  There is an element of cheesiness because the motion controller I'm holding is light, but in the game I see this giant assault rifle that I can turn around and look at from all angles.  As they say, stereopsis really applies only to fairly close objects.  You don't really benefit from stereopsis when you're looking at mountains (although I'm sure there are still other advantages to looking at mountains with two eyes).  The stereopsis sweet spot is really up close, and I notice it particularly when I'm looking at my motion contollers in VR.  It's not true stereopsis, but it is definite a form of stereopsis that I'm experiencing.  I do get the impression that practicing this stereopsis experience, even in if it is at a low level, is helping me achieve my goal of stereopsis along with the other exercises I'm doing.  I feel like what I'm doing is working, and that feels good.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Minor change made a significant difference

I recently made a minor change to my workout.  I'm now doing about eight minutes of fixation card exercise and another eight minutes of large bead jumps with the Brock String.

The goal that I'm currently working toward with the fixation cards is to get the images to come in clearly for both eyes simultaneously at all distances.  Just a few days ago I appear to have made very significant progress in that regard.  When using only one eye at a time I can get the image to come in clearly when the paper is about three inches from my eye.  That is a normal accommodation limit for most people.  But when I use both eyes one of the eyes gets much blurrier sooner.  But I noticed the other day that I can get much closer than I could before.  This seemed to coincide when I began implementing those bead jumps into my regimen a few days ago.

So that's good.  I did seem to have a particularly good eye day yesterday.  I was looking at my eyes in the mirror as well.  The deviation---it looks pretty good.  Sometimes I forget and don't realize that I'm making progress until I check in like that.  The workouts have just become a part of my life, I guess.  It'll be weird to think of a day when I'm not doing any vision therapy.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Still making progress with fixation cards

Still been making progress with the fixation cards.  Still been doing the same techniques since the last blog entry.

It seems there is quite a way to go in order to have vision that works the way I imagine it should (able to get both images to come in clearly simultaneously).  When I close the left eye and fully accommodate with the right eye, I can tell that my muscles inside of that eyeball are doing something different from what they're doing when both of my eyes are open and fixated on the paper (each respective image on the fixation card).  But I can't quite fully accommodate each eye on each image.  But it does seem to be improving each and every week.  Getting closet to the ultimate goal with each week.

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are being shipped now.  That means that Oculus is now making the Oculus software available on their website.  Although it doesn't officially support the DK2, I haven't yet found anything that doesn't work with the DK2.  Nice.  Thank you, Oculus.  Also, it comes with free demos, like Lucky's Tale, some VR films, and a number of other things.

Holy crap, has the software improved.  Everything up to this point has been amateur stuff.  Lucky's Tale, on the other hand, is incredibly polished.  Very beautiful and smooth.  It's a platformer, very similar to Mario Brothers or Mario Brothers 64.  But they make spectacular and creative use of the VR medium.  It's very fun, and I've had the most powerful stereo effects yet.  It's very, very impressive.  And this is still all with the DK2.  In a few weeks or so I should have an HTC Vive (better than the Rift and far, far better than the DK2).

I am positive that the exercises I've been doing are the reason the experience has been so impressive.  But anyway.  In a few weeks or so I'll probably take Pasquale's advice.  He had some advice about getting clear fixation cards, among other things.  Also, hopefully we'll soon be seeing some more mature Vivid Vision software now that commercial VR is available.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Progress with fixation cards

Things have been going really well with the fixation cards.  I've been doing it basically every day.

I just bought a house so I've been busy with a lot of things, so I skipped some days here and there with vision therapy.

Today I've noticed very significant progress with the fixation cards.  I can get pretty good divergence with the baseball.  That is, I can get them on top of one another fairly easily.  It was pretty surprising.

Still no depth.  But I think I need the accommodation to be in sync--for both pairs of images to be clear in order for that to happen.  It hasn't yet happened, but I do feel the beginning of what I expect will be depth, and that it's going to get stronger and stronger as I get better at the exercise.

It's great seeing progress.  I made quite a lot of progress with the Brock String and now I'm making good progress with the fixation cards.  And I have noticed improvement in vision outside of the exercise as well.  I just feel like I'm using both eyes more and more.

Sometimes it's difficult to pay attention through both eyes simultaneously--to know whether the image is clear or not--but I'm getting better.  My ability to focus on the activity is improving as well.  Mental focus on what I'm doing is a huge part of the exercise.

Normally I fix with the left eye, and then work to fix with the right eye at the same time.  The right eye image is blurry when I do this, and when I diverge to superimpose the double images.  I'll pull card away and this will do something to make it clearer, but then I bring it closer while simultaneously trying to keep it clear.  I sort of move it back and forth, observe the changes and feeling of eye muscles as I try track the images and try to keep them both sharp and focused.  I think this helps.  Then sometimes I will straight-up fix with the right eye, just so I know what focused looks like.  Focused and full-on accommodated for each eye is slightly different.  But I do this so I don't lose sight of what the goal is: both eyes should be fully accommodating.

Not sure when I'm going to achieve my goals.  But I'll keep going.  The VT doesn't take up that might time.  I'll keep doing it for as long as it makes sense--although I'm confident that powerful new technologies will arrive for vision rehabilitation in the coming years.  I'll have it someday, in the meantime it's just about not letting it dominate my life and maintaining a good balanced approach.  Try to get as much out of each individual session as possible.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Another self tip

Fix with the left eye, get it sharp, and then worry about sharpening the right eye.  Add in some movement to encourage fixing with both eyes.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Working with fixation cards

I'd been working with this for the past few weeks to Tuan's suggestion.  It was brutally hard when I was doing it with him on the other end of Skype.  I tried doing it with a prism and could barely get the double images to superimpose even when using a seven diopter prism.

That was about a week and a half ago.  Since we'd spoke I'd got much much better at it.
I noticed a lot how much better I am at it today.

The idea is that you diverge your eyes so that the left eye fovea is on the left side target and the right eye fovea is on the right side target.  When this is happening, you should see three balls (say, three footballs if you're on that line), because you're technically seeing four balls (two per eye, and you have two eyes), but one part left eye pair of balls is on top of one part of the right eye pair of balls.  So the middle ball is a combination of the two, and the other two are seen just once by each eye.  

Sounds a little confusing, right?  Well it is a little confusing, at least at first.  

One thing Dr. Tran mentioned is that when I diverge my eyes and try to fuse the images that it's important to try and get the double images to come in clearly.  Well, that's pretty difficult to do.  But he said something that struck me.  'Try to think about what it takes to make each eye come in clearly and then try and do that for both eyes simultaneously'.  Sort of like singing and playing guitar simultaneously.  Incidentally I never could sing and play guitar at the same time.  But when I thought about it, there's no reason I shouldn't be able to do this.  People override their accommodation reflex all of the time, particularly when they resolve those random dot stereograms (Magic Eye).  This is a direct confrontation with the accommodation reflex.  

The fact that he said that just made me realize that I should be able to do it, and so I started trying, and I'd been doing that for the past one and a half weeks, and I'd made very significant progress in that small amount of time.  

I don't need any prism to get the double images to superimpose (for the bottom football).  As you move up it gets more challenging (requires more divergence), and I've been able to get decent superposition at times with the soccer ball.  I remember early last week it was damn near impossible to get the left eye pair to come in clearly until  around the nine minute mark (I only do 10 minutes--it's a fairly strenuous workout).  But now it takes less and less time for me to get both sets of images to come in clear.  That is to say it is challenging.  And as it gets easier there's a simple way for me to add to the challenge.  Move up to the next set.  When football gets too easy, move to soccer ball.  As that gets easier, move to baseball.

You're supposed to get depth, but I haven't yet had any.  My suspicion is that when I'm able to get both coming in perfectly clearly, I will get depth.  I've gotten a very subtle sensation that I might have seen something that might have been the beginning of depth.   It would make sense because it's only when you're focusing on something with both eyes simultaneously that you can truly seee through both eyes simultaneously.  I imagine it will be an 'oh shit' moment.  

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Messing with prisms again

I'd been thinking of ways I can load the Brock String. I busted out some of the old prisms I had bought around four years ago.  I did some exercise with the base in.  This forces my turning in eye to move a bit exo in order to superimpose the double images.  So it's making the muscles go a bit further than normal.  I did that for a few minutes yesterday and then I went back to the normal Brock String exercise thinking that it probably wasn't doing anything.

Suddenly today when I was doing the Brock String I noticed that the closest beads were really close to me, noticeably more than normal.  The thought occurred 'is that because of that one minute I did the other day with the prisms? nahh...'  But then I thought about it a bit more and realized that's probably what it was.  And then I did the rest of the exercise with the prism.

When I finished the Brock String and went back to Windlands in VR, I was sort of surprised by how things looked.  Things had improved quite a lot.   The game had jarred me a bit.  Running around and grapping onto things really gave me a sense of motion.  Things were different from yesterday, noticeably.  That's one of the things that people tell me when I show them my Oculus Rift with a demo like a rollercoaster.  They often mention how amazing the sense of movement is--it really almost feels like they're being thrown around.  Well, I'm starting to get a sense of that.

I guess there are different ways that prisms can be used.  There's sensory fusion, and then there's motor fusion, right?  It seems the typical use is sensory fusion, allowing superimpositioning, and thus, allowing the brain to rebuild on the binocular depth neurons.  And then the eyes align themselves in order to give the brain the information it's being trained to want.

I'm using the prisms the other way.  I'm actually making it harder to superimpose.  I'm making it so that my muscles have to stretch more than usual (exo) in order to superimpose.  I think of this a little bit like taking a bendy material and bending it more than you where you want it to settle, because when you let go, it's going to bend back a little.  I don't want exotropia.  But practicing exotropia might make it more easy for my muscles to maintain a straight gaze since they're so accustomed to esotropia.  Maybe it's necessary to sort of trick my muscles in this way because my muscles were screwed up with the surgeries I'd had when I was a child, who knows.  I'm curious to see what happens later this week.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Brock String and Windlands

Been a while since I'd done an update.

Still been at it, every day.  Usually do about 5-10 minutes of Brock String before I head off to work.
I get home, do some eye stretches, another 10 minutes of Brock String, and then I've been playing a VR game called Windlands.

I'd been doing Vivid Vision for some time, but about a month ago my Oculus Rift stopped working again.  I was able to get it working again by installing the latest runtime and upgrading some drivers.  However, the Vivid Vision software I was using doesn't support the latest runtime.  So I can't use Vivid Vision until it's updated to use the latest runtime.  In the meantime I've been playing that game that I mentioned Windlands.

It's probably the coolest VR game I've yet played.  You run around in a huge open expanse with trees, castles, and canopies.  You have two grapple claws that you can use to grab onto remote objects and pull/whip yourself around to meet objectives.  It's ridiculously liberating.

Uhhh, where am I with vision?  Man, I just looked at my last recorded blog entry and realized how long it's been.  I've made a huge amount of progress in the meantime it seems.  It seems that what I'm doing with the Brock String is really working.  I've been noticing daily changes.  Things are definitely improving, particularly with the Brock String.

I've been changing the exercise quite a bit.  I vacillate between three different things.  I go from normal with the string at my nose jumping my eyes from the closest bead to the farthest.  I do that for a bit.  Then I move the string away from my nose and to my bottom left, left, top left, top right, right, bottom right.  As I have it at each configuration, I do the jumps: close, distance, close, distance.  And sometimes I hop to intermediate beads.  Then the final thing I do move the string around in a circle and I hop around each bead as I do it.  The few areas I have difficulty with the superimpositioning is with the top right and bottom right areas, and generally in the right area.  I can easily get the X on the most intermediate bead.  I can get the X in other places but it's not quite as obvious.  Just today I noticed that I could see the very distant bead pretty well with both eyes.

But I have no doubt in my mind that my vision is improving as a result of this Brock String exercise.  I'm not sure whether the VR stuff helps, but it wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.  Vision these days seems so much easier, so much more natural, and more bold.  The amount of progress I've made in this past month has been substantial.

I'm wondering whether it might be a good time to bust out some anti-suppression solitaire.