Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Also, The Rain Isn't Gone

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  • Ian MacKay,

    Hey. I too used to walk around the house with my eyes closed to see if I could navigate in case I went blind. I walked with smart steps just like a blind person does with a seeing eye dog. But I mis-judged and smacked my eyebrow against the door jamb. My brow split open and I had to go to work with a blackish eye and when I said I walked into a door they didn't believe me. (If you hiss a bit you can hear the sound change according to the nearness of a solid object, like my wife!)

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Being partially deaf I can tell you that hearing tests are no fun either. Especially when you start hearing phantom sounds.

    Furthermore, we are living the 21st-fucking-Century! Why does dentistry still hurt?!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Being partially deaf I can tell you that hearing tests are no fun either. Especially when you start hearing phantom sounds.

    Yeah, having gone through it with my eyes, I can tell when my daughter's had enough of hearing testing. Audiologist don't seem to, but then I guess it's different when it's what you do all the time.

    Communicating between the two of us could get really interesting.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I've never minded optometry care - it's all sort of mysterious and gadgetty. I did mind, hugely, though the time my optometrist needed to turn my eyelid inside out.

    I think I sneaked through a few vision tests at school because they tested my good eye first and then did the bad eye with the same chart so I was able to operate on memory.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    A very close acquaintance of mine (let's call her "Amy") did her driver's license eye-test with her good eye open the whole time because she "misheard" the instructions.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I have to upgrade my lenses relatively frequently: I love the part where the optician says 'Is this one better? Or this one?"
    After looking through many very slightly different lenses for 10 minutes, I'm crosseyed & couldnt pick a difference if the things were different colours & sxreaming Pick me!
    I also need an opthalmologist's consult (because of the real possibility of retinal detachment)- and I uncheerfully go to those - because without sight, I am nothing.
    But dentists... I havent been to one for over a decade, & my teeth look terrible, and two have broken in half (both had been root-canalled - well, almost all my molars have been rootcanalled- so that doesnt matter.) As long as I can still chew and they dont ache much, I'll keep on avoiding dentists.
    It's not stupidity - it is sheer terror. And the fact that I have an ability to replay anything that terrifies me *exactly* in my head. Takes the power of bad whisky to occlude the memory...
    My hearing is poifect-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The test I had to see if my eyes were suitable for LASIK was fun - I had to look at a ghostly image of Mt Fiji for one, and then a black and white 1950s sci-fi-style black and white spiral for the other test.

    A few weeks later, they sliced my cornea with a blade. That was less fun.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    I've wanted glasses since my late teens when I realised I looked far more sophisticated and intelligent when trying on my friend's goggles.

    Unfortunately I've been cursed with the best vision of anyone I know (I can read street signs from two towns away) which leaves me with a boring old naked face and no clues to my scorching intellect.

    A few years ago I used to teach high-level snowboarding by getting the client to put on a blindfold and use their instincts and remaining senses to find their way down.

    I tried it myself once by riding blind in a snowstorm at midnight with a skin full of margueritas and broke three ribs. I obviously wasn't listening hard enough.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Allan Moyle,

    Like the screen res. comparison of how you feel you've been seeing the world.

    I'm not sure if the your optometrist has mentioned what they think issue is yet, but I have a much greater respect for them after having a pituatary tumour the size of a squash ball picked up by a retail outlet optometrist.
    She puzzled in the first session (45 mins) , said I should come back for a 2nd which lasted 5 mins at which point she said they were referring me to an opthalmologist, who confirmed her diagnosis.
    Fortunately benign, and 9 days later it (and my pituitary) were removed, with no lasting effects to my sight.
    Comforting to know that the training is thorough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    A few weeks later, they sliced my cornea with a blade.

    C'mon now, you're too young to be the lass in Un Chien Andalou. Or was it a remake?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Amen to that, Hadyn. Hearing tests set off my tinnitus. Guessing which non-contextual frequency is real can be a headache too.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    I'd really rather be deaf than blind, except for occasional moments when I'm, say, listening to Aretha Franklin sing.

    I agree. I'm glad I haven't had to consider eyesight an issue. Maybe my brain's making up for the lack of input from the unemployed auditory brain cells, but I've never had to consider laser eye surgery. If there's one thing scarier than blades in eyeballs, it's freaking lasers on them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    After looking through many very slightly different lenses for 10 minutes, I'm crosseyed & couldnt pick a difference if the things were different colours & sxreaming Pick me!

    Word. They also switch the lenses over too quickly for my ageing eyes to adjust focus.

    I've wanted glasses since my late teens when I realised I looked far more sophisticated and intelligent when trying on my friend's goggles.

    Heh, yeah, that thing about passes and glasses? So not true.

    A few weeks later, they sliced my cornea with a blade.

    I have a total horror of things in eyes. Eye abuse is the one thing that can really intensely squick me out.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    Heh, yeah, that thing about passes and glasses? So not true.

    I'll have you know my last two serious squeezes wore/wear glasses. I think they look sexier on than off.

    And I'll just add that I'm in no way minimising the impact that deteriorating vision must have on people. No doubt it is frightening and truly sucks.

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    My daughter throws a paddy as soon as she gets into the optometrist's room.

    As well as being mildly autistic, having hypertonic muscles, and being born with clicky hip, she also has had a squint.

    The odd thing is nothing hurtful or bad has happened to her in the optometrist. She just hates it as soon as she sees their equipment.

    We suspect its part of the autism - not liking having someone in her face. She is quite even tempered about most things - compared to most children of that age (6), let alone someone with autism.

    I have glasses, have had since I was 21. I won't do contact lenses - the idea of sticking something on my eye is Not Desirable.

    However I'm OK with the idea of laser surgery and I'm saving up for it.

    Glasses are expensive and they're a safety hazard for tramping, when the weather turns foul.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    One other gross eye thing - a safety film at school which involved a nasty eye injury.

    Was anyone else shown that? They herded us into the school hall, showed us a pair of safety goggles, and immediately bunged on a film of a guy working on a lathe.

    A sliver of metal peeled off and went into his eye.

    That bit, at least, was staged.

    The eye operation wasn't. Up on the screen comes a close up shot of a bloodied eye and a scalpel moving in...About three blokes in the audience hit the floor in the first 10 seconds.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Heather W.,

    I've wanted glasses since my late teens when I realised I looked far more sophisticated and intelligent when trying on my friend's goggles.

    Michael, you could get them anyway, it is possible to get glasses with non-corrective lenses. Apparently wearing glasses is in.

    North Shore • Since Nov 2008 • 189 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Michael, you could get them anyway, it is possible to get glasses with non-corrective lenses.

    I'm waiting for non-corrective contact lenses to call civilisation officially over.*

    But seriously, what's up with non-corrective glasses? It's like non bald people shaving their heads to look good. Bastards.

    *I know, I know: the tinted ones.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    I've worn glasses since I was 7, so now the only people who knew my face pre-specs are my parents. I tried contact lenses, but when you weigh them up against the extra five minutes in bed in the morning... well, no contest. Now my face looks, to me, weird and naked without glasses, and I feel incredibly vulnerable, unarmed.

    I used to worry so much about getting the "Which is clearer - the red or the green?" question wrong! What if I think it's red, but actually the green is less blurred. What if I get it wrong?! Like I was going to get a 'C' grade from the optometrist and mum would make me do more study or something...

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • horse,

    Don't mention the frakking eye-test machines at the AA for licences. In the last couple of years I've finally got my motorcycle licence, which meant 3 opportunities to pay $20 to the optometrist for a piece of paper that says I can see well enough to drive, all because the frakking AA eye test machine doesn't work for me. And a lot of other people I've talked to. But apparently we're statistically insignificant.

    Palmerston North • Since Feb 2007 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Jojo, I've worn contact lens for nearly 50 years and, believe me, in an emergency you can have the things in your eyes in under 30 seconds...*

    I wore glasses that were cumbersome (high myope here), steamed up or broke with readiness (not the lenses - they bulletproof, and hurt my nose. Contact lens meant Freedom! (hey, you can wear the wee buggers while swimming! Actually see where you are going in the water for the first time!) OK, they can get lost with remarkable ease, and dust & other particles can cause quite remarkable pain, but I still love 'em...

    *Yeah, I didnt say cleaned or anything-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I've worn contact lenses since I was 16 and can be amazingly quick with them when need be but now i have totally magic ones that stay in for a month at a stretch which is even better - no fumbling about in the mornings. I take them out to swim because I've lost some in the pool before. I have to say that shortsightedness has greatly reduced my ability to enjoy watersports which is a reason I might consider laser surgery at some stage.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Now my face looks, to me, weird and naked without glasses, and I feel incredibly vulnerable, unarmed.

    Yeah, my face is just a big bland slab without my glasses. Also kind of fuzzy.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I wear goggles underwater, and find that it improves my (reasonably severe) myopia no end. Or at least that's my entirely unscientific impression.

    I like those moments when you're having your eyes tested when you give an answer and the optomotrist pauses and mutters something and you know your most recent answer just completely contradicted the answer you gave 3 questions ago.

    The thing that annoys me the most is choosing frames. I basically can't see without my glasses on, and to choose new frames, I need to take my glasses off. I have to take someone with me to give me an honest opinion as to how frames look, as the only way I can see is having my face about 4 inches from the mirror.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The thing that annoys me the most is choosing frames. I basically can't see without my glasses on, and to choose new frames, I need to take my glasses off.

    My partner worked this out. You take a digital camera with you. You still need another person, but you don't have to trust their judgement.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

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