Friday, December 29, 2017

Still making progress

I've taken about two weeks off from vision therapy.  I've still been doing quite a bit of virtual reality stuff, however.  Man, I'm seeing quite a bit of progress through that time.  It's weird how I notice such improvement even when I'm not doing vision therapy.  

Couple things I've noticed as of late.  

One is that it's becoming quite a bit easier to use and pay attention through both eyes.  Still no full control, but my control is getting quite good.  The tracking and coordination is getting quite good.  

The other is that I'm able to read all day if I want, and my eyes don't get into this sticky mode where they want to stay converged (reading books requires quite a bit of convergence).  There is a little stickiness, but it goes away pretty quickly.  

I am finally noticing longlasting changes to my eyes.  

I still don't when my goals will be achieved, but I don't care.  Taking it one week, one month, one year at a time.  It's not taking up that much time with my current regimen.  I'll get it soon, or not.  I'm good either way. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A fun ride

Last couple of weeks have been pretty fun, I have to admit.  Watching the vision progress lot, regress a little on tired days, and then progress a ton more.  Last couple of times I played Vivid Vision, I've noticed quite a bit more depth each time.

I'm excited to see what vision is like tomorrow (tomorrow is a VT day).  I am currently doing vision therapy (about 45 minute sessions) three days a week.  Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday.  Weekends tend to be good days because I'm more rested on those days.  Wednesday is good because it's smack in the middle of the week. 

It's fun, because it feels like I finally figured out what's works and the progress is undeniable.  It's a matter of staying on course and staying focused.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Pretty excited again

I'm seeing real progress.   It just keeps coming, and it's coming very quickly.  Yesterday while playing Vivid Vision, things were pretty intense.  My eyes seem to be aligning, I'm noticing less cyclo deviation, and I'm noticing less difference between the two eyes.  It's pretty freaking exciting to think that this project that I've been working on for the past seven years may finally come to a glorious end.  Oh well. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Here we go again

Seems like things are going quite well, and that I may be on the right track.  Today I did part of the fixation exercise without any prism.  It was near the end of the 20 minutes.  This may be the final leg.  Let us pray.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Still making progress

Same old pattern.  Find a method that allows me to make progress, make progress, flatten out, search for new exercise that allows me to make progress, make progress, flatten out, search for new exercise that allows me to make progress, lather, rinse, repeat.

Well, I'm currently making progress--been doing the same thing for about a month or two, and have been making great progress.  I suspect that this may be the final hump, which has me very excited.  It has me excited because I suspect it's something I should have been doing all along, but was afraid that it was something that I would have to do because I didn't think I could do it. 

It turns out to not be so bad.  It appears my eyes are straightening out.  I believe I'm closer than I was was before.  Not sure how much time I have left to go. 

One weird thing I've been thinking about is how strange this journey has been.  I get the sense that there's no way that a vision therapist could have guided me to where I am, and that getting here actually requires a ton of persistence, stumbling, experimentation, locking in gains, and slowly ratcheting on up.  The techniques I've developed are too meta and probably too nuanced to explain.  One has to become intimate with one's own visual system, and figure out how it works in a way that makes sense to one's self. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Making quite a lot of progress.... found a vein.

I might have found the fast leg of the journey.  But who knows. It was a leg that I had hoped in the back of my mind that I wouldn't have to take, because it's apparently tedious.

It's stretching open the portal, as mentioned in the previous entries.  I have noticed a lot of progress in the past few weeks by implementing this technique.  Really hammering on the fixation cards exercise, and then casually doing Brock String (mainly for gauging progress),  and then doing Vivid Vision.  That's my approach at 80/20 (giving primary focus on things which give the best results).

Shit, I have learned so much.  Right now what's on my mind is the pliability of the mind.  And the idea that there are little things--little elements in the mind, which you can reach out, and sort of touch.  And if you give those elements enough focus, they can grow, and you can begin to do interesting things with them.  If you're Wim Hof, that means that you can consciously control your immune system.  If you're me, it means you can be significantly more thoughtful and effective about your approach toward vision therapy.   The mind is powerful.  We're beginning to understand how powerful it is and the weird things that can be achieved via focus.  I'm really beginning to believe that normal people can do amazing things with the right training and meditative practice.

Yeah... yesterday I saw the smallest distance ever between the double beads.  Pretty excited.  As the beads get closer, I'm going to have to train more and increase my sensitivity to the decreasing change between the feeling of switching from each eye.  I will commensurately build on that sensitivity until the switching is entirely squashed and both eyes are fully on all the time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stretching open the portal is working

For now.  For now, stretching open the port is working.

By that, I'm talking about the fixation cards exercise wherein I slowly and deliberately try to stretch fixation across both eyes.  Inevitably when I stretch over to the other side, while slowly moving the card closer and farther away, I will switch fixation to the other eye.  However, I pay very close to the feeling of the stretching, and I don't sweat it when I switch over.  Not switching eyes isn't my goal at the moment.  Stretching my fixation ability across both eyes simultaneously is.

It's a hard, tricky, and subtle technique, and one that I'm convinced I never would have discovered had I not learned how to slow down, relax, and hyperfocus my mind via meditation.  Your brain and mind are doing a lot of things that you'll never get to see and appreciate without the crazy levels of focus and introspection you can attain with a rigorous meditation practice.

Stretching open the portal appears to be the exercise that is doing the most lifting at the moment.  I actually don't think it's Vivid Vision.  I think in my case with vision therapy--the process requires raw, deliberate, conscious effort, and there's no way of getting around that.  I don't think a guy like me will ever break the lifelong habit of using my eyes incorrectly by playing a game.  That's not knock on Vivid Vision--I think they are amazing, and what they are doing is amazing and admirable--that's just my impression at the moment.

It goes back a little to a previous entry in which I reflect about why I think vision therapy is so much easier for children than for adults.  And my thesis is that vision therapy is easier for children not so much because of their high neuroplasticity as much as it is that they don't have a strong preference for doing anything in any particular way--simply because they lack experience.

Well, I have a ton of experience.  I have a ton of experience in using my eyes incorrectly.  33 years in fact.  And that, I feel, has a lot to do with the apparent requirement for me having to learn how to meditate and devise ways of trenching new neural pathways, manually and consciously trying to convince each neuron in the chain, that yes, this will eventually be worthwhile.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Getting close to fusion

I probably have five entries titled something along the lines of 'focusing on fusion'.  It's something I've been focusing on lately, but in a different manner.  Lately, my strategy has been focusing on getting fixation on both eyes simultaneously, and today, I think I finally got that a little for the first time.

I've talked in entries past about how I can fix with one eye and the other eye is sort of just hanging along for the ride.  I can see through the non-fixing eye and its input is sort of lazily drifting around, while the fixing eye's is rock-solid.  Well, I've been using that drifting image as a means of feedback to know that I'm not fixing properly with that eye.  I can switch over to the drifting image, make it rock-solid, but then the other image starts drifting.  Whack-a-mole.  So the strategy has been to pay extremely close attention to that moment when there is a switchover from control of one eye to the other--sensitizing myself to that switchover--building on that ability.  It's extremely subtle and hard to detect the instant it happens.  But I've been getting better at it, and as I've gotten better at it, the less the non-fixing eye seems to drift around.  So I think that a good exercise to do.  It seems to be doing something.

Today near the end of the exercise--I did 20 minutes, but added another few because I was doing well--I actually was fixing with both eyes for a few moments.  Controlling both eyes independently simultaneously.  Singing and playing guitar at the same time.  It was feeble.  And surprisingly--the images weren't superimposed.  But **I** was definitely behind both eyes at the same time.  But if I can get to this state sooner next exercise, I should be able to build the motor ability of both-eye coordination to the point where I can increasingly easily get superimposition--err--fusion.

When I was doing the modified Brock String, I noticed I was definitely getting an X.  It was really satisfying.  One of the lines of the X was a little translucent, but it was the Xest X I'd yet experienced--an indicator of decreased suppression.

When I was doing Vivid Vision---there was a point where something came at me unexpectedly and I jumped and yet 'shit!!'.  I felt electricity jump through my arms.  That was the first time I had an experience quite like that in VR.  

Another thing I noticed I'm definitely getting blending.  When I superimpose things on each other--if they're different colors, like yellow and blue--it becomes green.  Blending.  So I have definitely come quite a ways.  The indicators are everywhere.  I'm going to keep doing this thing now.  Keep blogging and see where this goes.  Should be good.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Still stretching open the portal

Yeah, I waver between optimism and pessimism.  But none of that wavering changes the fact that my vision is changing.  My vision has never been better than it is now and it is because of the exercises that I'm doing.  Those reasons alone make quitting an impossibility.  In the most basic sense, what I'm doing now is the same as I've done in the begnning.  Constantly looking at what I'm doing, sensing what exercises producing the best results, and then tweaking the exercises.

I've changed my regimen a bit.  Now it's 20 minutes of fixation cards, five minutes modified Brock String, and 20 minutes of Vivid Vision.  And I'm doing less vision therapy.  I'm going to cut down to doing vision therapy three times a week.  Let's just see how that goes.  I don't think it's going to have a negative impact.

I mean, because of vacations and visiting my family in New Hampshire, there have been periods in which I wasn't doing any vision therapy.  But I do find myself in idle time playing with my eyes and playing with this middle zone between switching eyes, and trying to stretch that space out as much as possible so that I'm using both eyes more and more as time goes on.  If you know what vision therapy exercises are doing, you don't really need equipment for vision therapy.  You can do vision training anytime by consciously doing what it is that the vision therapy exercises constrain you to do.

The 20 minutes of fixation cards seems to have been a good decision.

I am doing weird things to my brain by doing this exercise.  I am really finding the spot and paying as much attention as possible to what is happening when I switch from eye to eye.  Doing this appears to lessen eye preference over time, and I'm noticing significantly reduced suppression when doing the Brock String as a result of this.  Also, Vivid Vision is becoming trippier.  VR--I think--with stereopsis is going to be an entirely different experience.  Slowly, I'm tearing open this door in between my eyes.  Finding this new muscle and building it.  That is the key--first finding this capability--and then building on it.

I think I'm onto something.  I will keep going.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Opening the door to Narnia

I made an adjustment to the regimen.

I'm now doing 20 minutes of fixation cards.  Also, I've changed the way I do the fixation cards.  It's a little hard to explain but here goes.

I'm not focusing on the in-between between fixing with the right eye vs with the left.  It is a very odd sensation, because that moment between changing eyes is done almost without me being aware of it.  What I'm going to try and do is keep switching between the eyes slowly as possible, and train my ability to detect the switch, and just go slower and slower until I find the point at which both eyes are under my command.

It's so weird because the targets are red and green, and it switches between red and green without my awareness, even though I'm triggering it and willing for it to happen.  Vision therapy can definitely be trippy, and sort of borderline philosophical (who's doing what?  What is the I?  What am I?) practice.

 Displaying IMG_20170617_155313.jpg
That's the card I'm working with.  You see that dirt on the middle right bottom?  That's oil from my fingers from having used this same card for around a year for about 15 minutes per day.  That's about 92 hours of holding that sheet.

Hopefully as I get closer to that inbetween state, I can stay there, become sensitive that that new place, and keep enlargening the door so that I can eventually walk through.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Using less prism again

I'm fairly certain that I'm making progress.  I am noticing more depth in Vivid Vision.  My eyes are aligning.  I just wish things would move quicker.

I am now operating under the idea that fusion should not require much effort.  Now when I'm doing the fixation cards, after I've been using the seven diopter prism for a while it gets to the point where it's easier to get fusion if I use less prism.  This, I think, is because the fixation card exercise practices fusion, and my brain then tries to continue that practice when looking at things in the world.  This, of course, doesn't involve prism, so the result is that the brain gets used to no prism a bit so when I go back to the exercise later with seven diopter prism, there's less need for so much.  As a result, over time with doing this exercise, I need less and less.

Now I'm using just four, but it's a legitimate four--unless something happens and I have to move back in order to get effortless fusion.

So yeah, things are moving along I suppose.  I really have been noticing some depth changes, and decreased suppression, especially when looking at bottles on desks, or the books on my bookcase.  I am noticing the input more and more.  I'll do this for a couple more months, ride it out, get as much out of it as possible, and then re-adjust if need be.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Advantages and disadvantages in doing vision therapy as an adult

I think it's fairly reasonable to say that it's way easier to get results in vision therapy if you're doing it as a child.  I once asked this question to a vision therapist that I know and her answer was 'Children fix their vision without even trying.'

A big part of the reason is to do with neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is significantly higher in children, although we have it for our entire lives.  The different levels of neuroplasticity between adults and children is the reason why if you move to a new country when you're six, you'll learn to speak that new language perfectly, with no accent in a few years or less.  But if you go to a new country when you're 20 years old you'll never get rid of the accent, even if you live there for 50 years.

It's the same reason why it's harder to get results when doing vision therapy as an adult.

The biological process of learning is different depending on your age.  When you're learning a new language as a child, you build gray matter in the brain.  When you're learning a new language as an adult, you lose gray matter in the brain.  Sucks.

According to Anders Ericsson, becoming good at anything--whatever it is, playing golf, looking at things with both eyes, playing the piano--is achieved by leveraging neuroplasticity.

I'm starting to come to look at neuroplasticity a little differently these days.  I think that maybe in order to achieve my vision therapy goals I have more than enough neuroplasticity.  What is proving and proves to be my difficulty is knowing what to do, and being aware of what is happening and being aware of what my possibilities are at any given moment.

This may be a different way of looking at neuroplasticity.  When you're old, you get set in your ways.  Your excess synapses get pruned.  This paves the way for quicker and more reliable high-level circuits, but it also reduces the number available options--ways of doing things, ways of thinking, habits, etc.

For a child to fix his vision, maybe the reason it's easy is because everything is new to him.  It's not difficult for him for a new thought to occur, or for it to occur to him to do something in a different way.  It doesn't matter as much to him whether he uses his eye this way or that way, because he has very little experience doing it either way.

That is why it's harder for adults to achieve one's goals in doing vision therapy as an adult.  It's not that you don't have the required neuroplasticity.  It's the habit of doing things the way you've always done them.  The inertia which makes it so hard to probe around, and make a new connection.

This is why a good vision therapist is so important--and why even if you have a good vision therapist--you have to make a concerted effort to understand what you are doing, to remain open, probe around and think about what effect the exercises you are doing have on your visual system.

In other words, vision therapy is way easier for children because of their huge neuroplasticity and lack of preference for doing things in a certain way.   The advantage that adults have is that, while they have significantly less neuroplasticity, they have more than enough, and they have the ability to intellectualize (if they have the temperament) how to leverage that neuroplasticity.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Noticing a pattern

I've been noticing a pattern in which I appear to graduate to a lower prism too quickly.

I'll get to a point where I think I am ready to gradulate to a lower prism, and then I go to the lower prism, and then I'll stop making progress.  Then I'll go back to the higher prism and then I'll continue making progress again.

Today I went back to the seven diopter prism because I noticed that getting the fusion was requiring a lot of effort.  The impression that I'm getting is that when you're doing fixation card exercises and attempting to get fusion, you don't want the exercise to be effortful.  You want the attempted fusion to be effortless.  I've got to remember this, and stop moving forward too quickly.  

That's what I get for doing this solo.  I am continually making mistakes, but at least I'm learning from them.  There's no possible way that I could do what I'm doing without journaling.

I did notice something very interesting while doing the fixation cards.  I was getting damn near close to fusion while using the seven-diopter prism.  When doing the fixation cards, you notice three circles.  The middle circle is the fused circle, and the two others are seen by each eye.  Well, I noticed that it appears that the circle on the right side shrinks and gets bigger while I move the paper closer and farther away.  I've sort of noticed this a little in the past, but now I just noticed it quite a lot more.  It's odd.  It must be something to do with the binocular depth neurons coming online.  I also noticed quite a few more depth effects while playing some of the Vivid Vision games.  I can't say more about VV obviously.

It's a little annoying and tiresome constantly going back and forth with progress starting, stalling, starting, and again stalling.  But I am inching toward my goal, and I am periodically noticing depth effects that I'd never seen before.  I think it's going to happen.  I just have to pay attention to what I'm doing and continually revamp my methods as required.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Progress has slowed down a bit

I think I realized something.

I am graduating prism levels too quickly.  I will make very good apparent progress with the prisms, and that will cause me to use less.  I think I need to stop doing that, and keep using the prism even when I think I don't.

Because what seems to be happening is that I make good progress, and then I use far less prism (or none), and then I don't want to say that I go backwards exactly, but it becomes apparent later that I'm not ready for it.  The prisms definitely do free up energy to work on other tasks, like fusion.  It's far easier and less energy expensive to get the accommodation in sync, while fusing, if I'm using the prisms--even if I don't think I need it.   I've made this realization in the past, but I needed re-realize it.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Getting more depth and notice energy effects

Well, I'm still writing in this thing and I'm still noticing changes in my vision.

Today I used a bit of four diopter prism, no prism, and two diopter prism.  I noticed as I was doing the exercise that I'm still actively processing and learning how to do the exercise--partly because my relationship to the exercise continues to change.  As I get to the next level, I realize that there's a different way of doing it.

I'm definitely noticing energetic effects in particular as of late.  I get way better performance when I'm properly rested.

I actually noticed that I'm doing better at Vivid Vision games, and the depth is getting better and stronger in some of the games.  I'm really noticing the changes.  I'm inching along.  As long as I make progress, I'm happy.  Plus, I really can't stop now.  I get the sense that vision therapy is a binary outcome endeavor.  You should either go all the way with vision therapy or not do it at all.  If I stop now, then I'll have this really distracting diplopia forever--or until suppression gets rid of it.  It's imperative that I have this other eye under full control.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Very substantive prism progress

Things are still moving forward.

There hasn't been much change in the regimen.  Still doing 12 minutes of fixation cards, eight minutes of modified Brock String, 20 minutes of Vivid Vision.

Things appear to be getting more vivid in Vivid Vision.  The fixation cards--I did it yesterday with no prism at all.  My level might be two diopters, but I seem to be able to do fine with zero prism.  So the eyes must be straightening out in order for this to be true.

I do still see some misalignment in the eyes, but it really depends on the time of the day as well as energy levels.  Sometimes the eyes look really good, particularly when I'm well rested.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Crazy week

It's been a crazy week.  Crazy, but good.

It's been a week where I was noticing improvements almost every day through the week.

For one thing, I noticed that I stopped using my glasses when using my computer at work.   I just felt like they were unnecessary, and I could actually see better without them.

I've also noticed that around afternoon, my vision feels quite a bit more 'on'--like I'm using both eyes more and more.  At times I get a sense of some rivalry because teaming isn't yet perfect, and yet, suppression has gone down quite a lot.  I noticed that around Tuesday I think, as I'm looking around the office.  Then as the days went by, I noticed that I was getting into this state earlier and earlier into the day.  Changes are definitely occurring.  It's hard to know for sure whether they're positive, but I think they are.

A few weeks ago I noticed that was I looked at my security alarm panel on the wall in the distance, and then block the left eye's view of the security alarm with  my thumb, I notice that I see the thumb and the security alarm superimposed on each other.  In other words, they're blending with each other.  It's like both the security alarm and my thumb are translucent.

I'm doing the fixation cards with prisms, modified Brock String, and Vivid Vision.  Sometimes I use four diopter prism with the fixation cards, sometimes it's seven, depending on the day, and depending on how much sleep I go.

I don't know.  It really feels like things are happening now.  It's pretty damn exciting, and a bit nerve-wracking.  How much longer do I have?  Can't say.  I don't know.  I'm just riding this wave.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Reaping the rewards of focusing on fusion

Not much to say here.  I've seen quite a lot of improvement in the past month or so.  Way more improvement than what was seen from when I initially started using prisms with the fixation exercises way back in October (I think?).  Indeed, changing my focus to fusion was the right approach.

Focusing on fusion appears to be what is needed to ameliorate the accommodation out-of-sync issue.  Apparently practicing fusion with exercises causes my brain to want to practice fusion in real life for the most time, and so the real healing of the accommodation reflex occurs outside of exercise.  

Not sure how much time is left, but the changes that I'm seeing are real.  The changes with the double vision on the Brock String exercise is incredible.  They are so much closer to each other than they ever have been.  And the amount of prism that I can use and still comfortably practice fusion with the fixation cards is down to two--not like before, because I was forcing accommodation, but I'm genuinely on a two now.  

I'm also getting the impression that the Vivid Vision is starting to work on me.  I suppose I think that you need a certain amont of alignment for it to work.  Not sure whether that's true, but it jives with my knowledge for now.  I'm sanguine and looking forward to the changes that I anticipate in the coming weeks.

I have simplified my regimen a bit.  I removed the Columns workout and the acrylic accommodation sheet with concentric circles.  I think the fixation cards with the prisms are doing the heavy lifting these days. 

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Focusing on fusion appears to be the right thing

I spent the past few days focusing on fusion--primarily with a four diopter prism.

I am tending to the accommodation problem in the background, but mainly focusing on fusion.

That seems to have had very significant payback in a very short amount of time.  It's incredible.  I just noticed that when doing the Brock String--the double images were closer to one another than ever before.  It was quite striking.

I was thinking about it last night, and sort of had a cognitive shift, and the thought occurred to me 'of course this is what I should be doing!'.  Getting the lazy eye accustomed to work, and actively pointing at things.  It is a high-level behavior, which possibly has downstream effects concerning the accommodation issues I've had.  That's what my experience has been.

It seems vision therapy is a combination about tending to the micro as well as the macro.  Micro: getting each eye to work on its own.  Focusing on individual accommodation.  Macro: focusing on the activity of fusion, which encompasses all subskills.

You have to develop the subskills to a passable standard.  But at some point, you have to really work on fusion.  And then the fusion macro skill will bouy the other subskills, and cause them to self-sharpen.  I've spent the past two or three months uselessly sharpening the subskills to death, seeing marginal improvements, when I really should have been putting the emphasis on fusion.  I'm going to do that for a month and see what that does.  Not going to mess around with trying to decrease prism power.  Only going to focus on fusion, and see where that takes me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Focus on fusion

I think I started removing prism diopters too quickly.

I notice that when I'm at the right level of prism adjustment, the exercise with the fixation cards is a very different thing from what it is when I don't have enough.  I get really close to fusion.  And fusion/not fusion is a binary thing.  You're either fusing or not.  So there is a chasm of a difference there.

When there's not enough prism, I have to focus a lot on accommodation, which really defeats the point.  I suspect that I might have wasted a few months of vision therapy because I jumped the gun with the prism reduction.

I think I'm going to go back to the four diopter prism and really practice fusion, and I'm not going to move forward until I can still get fusion comfortably with a lower diopter prism.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A nice chat with Shane

Yesterday I talked on the phone with Shane, a member of the DIY Vision Therapy group.  I was interested in him because of a Facebook conversation we had earlier about the ketogenic diet.   I mentioned that the energizing effects of the ketogenic diet seems to have a positive effect on my vision.  He mentioned in that conversation that he knows of two others who claimed that their eyes had straightened themselves out while on the ketogenic diet.

So we talked for about an hour on the phone.  We started basically with where we live.  He's from Canada (I forget exactly where).  I didn't get his age--not really important.

His condition is interesting, and sort of unusual.  I was looking at his pictures as we were talking and commented that he looks normal, and that pushed me to ask 'do you have strabismus?' to which he answered yes.  Apparently his strabismus is on and off.  So sometimes his vision really looks normal--like a normal person, and sometimes, especially when he is tired, he gets rather significant exotopia--I couldn't wager a guess as to how many diopters, but it's significant.  He said that his eyes are aligned maybe 50% of the time.

And interestingly he has full stereoscopic vision when he is fusing, and he is able to resolve Magic Eye puzzles, which is the ultimate test for stereopsis.

Like many others, Shane developed strabismus.  I'm growing increasingly aware of those who were born with normal vision, and who had normal vision as children, but who got strabismus later.  Shane got strabismus, I think when he was in fifth grade.  I forget exactly the details, but apparently he got really, really sick, and got a fever of 104 degrees F.  After that, he started getting exotropia periodically.  He did mention that he thinks that perhaps vaccines which were given to him caused his strabismus--something to do with mercury and aluminum getting past the blood-brain barrier.  I sort of doubt it's the vaccines, and possibly to do with damage done by the illness.  There could possibly be a genetic component as well, since he mentioned he has a cousin with strabismus.

We did talk a bit about drugs and the ketogenic diet.  Shane has used Ritalin and Adderal to treat his ADHD.  He noted that he had no vision problems when he was on Adderal, which is speed.  But he had to stop taking it because it was destroying his teeth.  He also used Wellbutrin for some off-label use, and said that it also seemed to have positive effects on his vision, although he stopped since it seemed to have a lot of side-effects.

I noted that the ketogenic diet--when you're really in ketosis--appears to have some antidepressive effects.  That is, the feeling that I have when I'm in ketosis is familiar and similar to the feeling of being on an effective antidepressant.  [As an aside, I have had experience with depression (basically my entire life) and antidepresssants (for about three years).  I no longer have depression and haven't needed antidepressants at all for about two years.  Obviously there's more to be said there, but that's a long aside.  Main point, I have some experience with these drugs.].  Interestingly, I have heard of papers in which researchers have combined antidepressants with vision therapy with positive results.  It is my understanding that some of these antidepressants can improve neuroplasticity.  They definitely improve mood.  For me what's interesting is how similar the feeling is between being on a well functioning SSRI and being on the ketogenic flow.  It is a very specific feeling, and it feels great.  It's coupled with very high levels of feelings of well being, focus, cognitive energy, easier breathing, diminished appetite, and diminished sex drive.  And I notice that it appears to have a positive effect on vision therapy.  So I wonder what's going on with a ketogenic brain, and why the effects seem to be so similar, at least for me.

[edit: I did some research and found that there have been some findings on the antidepressive effects of a ketogenic diet]

Shane did mention that he knows of two others who mentioned that their eyes straightened out while in the ketogenic diet, but we didn't really get into any details of that.  They're people in some zero-carb Facebook group.  I just joined the group, so I'm going to investigate a bit more.  There are 10,000 members... so it should be interesting.

I guess what's notable about the past three paragraphs or so is the idea that there are things you can put inside your body which can possibly influence and improve your ability to fix your vision.  More work for me.  More stuff to look into.

Aside from that, he did ask me a number of questions regarding vision therapy, like 'is it effective', and surgery and LASIK, and whatnot.  I basically said that surgery sometimes works, but it's risky.  I told him that vision therapy definitely works, but there are a number of caveats.  And that was basically the extent of the conversation.  It was pretty good.  Pretty interesting and eye-opening.  Heh.  And with that awe-inspiring paragraph, I will now stop writing.

Slowing down

I think I got a little too excited a number of entries ago.

I'm not sure what's going on, but it seems almost like I'm going slightly backwards--but not quite.  Before I was talking about how I was quickly going down in prism, and that I was basically working with two diopters to zero prism, and I was using this focus/fixing technique to stretch the accommodation reflex to where it should be.  Well today I had to go back to the four diopter prism.  I probably wasn't ready to go down in prism just yet.

Anyway--strangely--I think things are still improving though.  Some things involving Vivid Vision.
But yeah, I'm going to sort of move according to my current abilities so that I can achieve the focus/fixing technique, which seems to work.  Important not to get ahead of myself.  That's the whole point of prisms.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

What seems to be happening

There are a few things that I'm noticing that are happening.  I'm still seeing improvement, but also changes in unexpected ways.

One thing is that I'm correcting more for my hypertropia.  This makes sense because I'm not ever doing any exercises which accommodate for my hypertropia.  I suspect it's happening because my esotropia is improving so much, and that's decreasing my suppression, and so the result is that what's  standing out the most is the hypertropia, which jumps out into the foreground, and so it's on me to actively combat it.

Another thing that's unexpected is that I'm able to get up to the second to highest level in the fixation cards.  I'm not quite there yet, but I saw a level of improvement that was unexpected.  That begged the question 'just how much divergence does this require?'.  Of course, that requries finding out my IPD, which I just did, using this mirror method.  My IPD is 66 mm--50th percentile.  Dead average.  Then I measured the distance between the targets on the second to the top, which is about 55 cm.   The very top is something like 70 mm, so I don't anticipate ever being able to get the top targets.  Doing so would require going exo.  But it does at least makes sense that the second to the top is achievable--and actually surprisingly achievable.

That's what's really so surprising--how much ground I'm covering in such a short amount of time.  It's freaky.  It's like every time I get excited about how fast I'm moving, something else puts it into perspective, and I'm reminded that yes I'm covering a lot of distance, but there is a lot of distance to cover, and you're not done yet.

The degrees of freedom are opening up.  It's getting easier and easier to diverge and converge and focus on different things, but it should be very easy to get everywhere.  There shouldn't be some default area where my eyes want to situate themselves which makes it harder for them to go in some areas than others.  The resting place should be neutral, and my eyes should go from one place to another with facility.  I'm not there yet.  There is still some tuning of the accommodation reflex that is required.  That is apparently my key to a neutral binocular posture.  A more neutral posture will then enable antisuppression exercises to really be beneficial.  That will make the hypetropia even more obvious, which I will then tend to.  And it will go into a cycle, which tightens up until I have a totally neutral posture with no angular deviation.