The conventional meaning of “unplugged” is an undertaking, usually for public consumption, in which someone performs without any considerable preparation or a safety net. That would be a marvelous description of the latest OEP Heritage Series video just released, in which Dr. Paul Harris conducts a one-on-one interview with Dr. Robert Sanet. Even if you have known Dr. Sanet for many years, or perhaps especially if you have known Dr. Sanet for many years, you will gain personal and professional insights into the mind and experiences of a very special individual.
You will be struck by what Dr. Sanet related about his personal experiences as a vision therapy patient. After being in a terrible accident which required considerable oculoplastic surgery, Bob was left for a five year period with a prescription of 16 diopters of vertical prism split between his two eyes in order to be able to fuse. While an Optometry student in California, he met Dr. Ralph Schrock at a meeting and knew that he wanted to undertake vision therapy with this talented and empathic doctor. Starting at the 6:00 minute mark, Bob relates that he would drive three hours from L.A. to Dr. Schrock’s office in San Diego. He would have three sessions of VT per day, with the opportunity to observe and eventually assist with VT in the office interspersed. How Bob was able to arrange getting out of his own clinic assignments in school to do this is “must watch TV” — and I won’t spoil the pleasure you’ll derive in listening to it for the first time. But in view of Dr. Dan Fortenbacher’s excellent blog about Vision and Reading/Learning, I want to share the following excerpt of Bob’s comments:
“The first change I noticed was that my measured hyper went from 16^ to 14^ to 12^ and then to 10^, so I kept reducing my prescription. My stereopsis improved dramatically. But for me the most dramatic thing wasn’t actually going from 16^ of vertical prism to 2^ of vertical prism in my glasses, but that I could read well for the first time in my life. It was a remarkable experience for me, truly memorable, to realize that I was reading for an extended period of time; be able to concentrate well on what I was reading – my mind didn’t wander anymore; I wasn’t losing my place when I was reading anymore; my comprehension was much better …” And the pièce de résistance: “I remember I was #1 in my class in Neurology. I got the #1 grade. I had never gotten an “A” in my life until my second year in Optometry school! So for me, vision training isn’t something that just interested me. It was truly life changing in many, many ways. But the biggest way for me was the ability to read with comfort and comprehension for an extended period of time. And everything else was a bonus over that.”
So that’s the background of how Bob became a sponge in vision therapy, soaking up everything around him to make him a better student, a better therapist, a better doctor, and ultimately a better person. Speaking of good people, at the 12:00 minute mark Bob comments about his wife and partner Linda, whom he describes quite aptly as “spectacular”. You’ll learn about how their relationship evolved, and so much more, in this engaging video that is an instant classic in the Heritage Series. Be sure to watch it from beginning to end!