Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Progress Evaluation

Today I had my second progress evaluation in Vision Therapy.  Dr. Gruning was very pleased with what he was seeing.  During the exam, I noticed how I did not switch my eyes back and forth as much as when I was first evaluated nine months ago.  

 I know things are changing and feel that in time I will be better able to get my brain to pull my two eyes together into alignment.  I had no idea when I started Vision Therapy, what I would learn, that we really see with our brains.  I never made the connection between my eyes and my brain, and now I see that they are so connected.  I am not sure I will be able to get them in total alignment, but then again I had no idea I could correct my Vertical Strabismus from 80-90 P. D. (Prism Diopters) to my current 35-40 P.D. 

Today I looked at the clown on the light box.  Dr. Draper asked me if I saw the clown and his blocks looking like they were coming out at me.   I did not.  The clown has always looked the same...a flat menacing clown.   Dr. Draper pulled the Mylar sheets apart and asked me if the clown became two clowns.  She really had to pull the sheets far apart for me to see the two clowns.  She said that based upon what they were seeing, I was able to see in 3-D peripherally, but not in the center of my field of vision.  Apparently, I was surpressing one of the clowns, but not the R L letters.  They thought this was really incredible.  It was like my brain was selecting what it wanted to see and just blocking out the rest.   

The second half of therapy I worked with the red/green rotator, which is a giant rotating circle on the wall that I have worked with many times before.  If I am suppressing (shutting down) one eye, I would only see the red or green part of the big rotating disk depending on what eye I am suppressing, but for me, I see both the red, the green, but also the thing that I would see if I was suppressing, which is the black.   It has taken me a long time to understand what this means, but it is a pattern that I have come to recognize in most of the red/green exercises I do.  I am able to see out of both eyes now, but I can't seem to put things where they are supposed to be, so I see three things instead of two; I see the red things, the green things, but I also see the black things that I would see if I was suppressing one of my eyes.  

It is similar to when I first started to notice that the ground was moving beneath me this summer.  I was cycling with my husband and as soon as we started, I had to stop because I was seeing ahead, but at the same time I was seeing the road moving beneath me.  It was the most bizarre feeling.  It made cycling a disaster, but I was elated because I knew it meant, that eye that is normally looking down at the ground, was waking up.  My mind was saying, "Ok, you really want to see out of two eyes, here goes!"    Suppressing one eye is the brain's way of keeping sense of your visual world.  If two eyes are looking at two different things, then your brain says, "What the heck is this, I can't look up and down at the same time!"  so it picks one eye to keep things simple.  I have kept this order by suppressing one eye or the other for over 40 years...

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