Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Also, The Rain Isn't Gone

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  • Russell Brown,

    I've always had excellent vision, and I'm kind of struggling with the onset of with age-related difficulty in reading printed text. I need reading glasses, but I can't quite get used to reaching for them. And they fall off my face, because I sat on them that time. And the frames are lame.

    It's a particular problem at the supermarket. I like to read labels, and I can't . I've toyed with the idea of bringing a magnifying glass.

    But my vision at ~1 metre is still choice. Even the half-metre between me and the computer screen is generally okay. And, happily, autocue distance is good too. I don't look like I'm squinting.

    And perhaps it's the novelty, but I love eye tests. I find them fascinating.

    I might freak out more with a hearing test ...

    Also: Emma, I met your mum. She's lovely, and she seemed to really enjoy her night at the Media7 recording.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    There's wee creditcard-sized mgnifiers Russell - with LED if wished-

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    Also: Emma, I met your mum.

    If she's ever in need of a superhero catchphrase, may I suggest the following, inspired by Pink Floyd?

    At them, Hart morther!

    Sorry. Don't know what came over me just then. Let me tell you about my own mother and her eyesight: for forty years she had baffling incidents of various nature. She was slightly accident prone, had some difficulties reading when she was tired, and thought her Latin teacher had it in for her. Turns out she had a neurologically impaired vision: her brain couldn't not process the 20% or so at the right end of her field of vision. So it completed pictures for her instead, giving her the illusion of a normal vision. In hindisight, that explained the marks she got in Latin: she was really good, and finished the tests earlier than the others. But when she copied from her own draft, she left out the last bit of each line, whereas her schoolmates who copied from her drafts got perfect marks.

    Of a more disturbing nature is the fact that she got her drivers licence, passing the eye test with flying colours, but then had a series of near misses with pedestrians coming from the right.

    Also, she almost has no face recognition ability, which has caused offence to many unsuspecting friends and acquaintances. But she's learned to stall and let the people she bumps into speak for a while until the voice or other clues will reveal who they are.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Also: Emma, I met your mum. She's lovely, and she seemed to really enjoy her night at the Media7 recording.

    She is indeed quite improbably lovely.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Mother, not morther. Oh, nevermind.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Mother, not morther. Oh, nevermind.

    Actually, I think you'll find that was a Nirvana album.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Mrs Skin,

    It's like non bald people shaving their heads to look good. Bastards.

    *Adjusts mental image of Giovanni*

    the warmest room in the h… • Since Feb 2009 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • Barbara,

    I had numerous visits to have my eyes tested as a child. I had a squint and had two operations. I enjoyed the testing, but didn't like having to wear a patch over one eye - the plaster was sticky, so I was always peeling it back.

    At 6 My mother thought I'd need glasses so had done a great job on preparing me for them, only to have me very upset when they were not required.

    My two sons are myopic and I was pleased that the Optometry Clinic students at the U of A were so understanding and helpful in the transition to glasses. The number one son said it was like going from an impressionist scene to a realist one.

    Sandringham • Since Mar 2008 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I had the above mentioned LASIK three years ago, and it's just been the best thing. (Those with cojones can read my account of it here.)

    It's the little things that make it worthwhile - not having to worry about glasses steaming up on humid days or getting raindrops on them on rainy days; being able to lie on the couch on my side and watch TV; enjoying the full screen at the movies, not just the parts that lined up with the range of my lenses; and just the simple joy of being able to take in all the depths of a panoramic view.

    Curiously enough, Public Address partly led to me getting LASIK. It was a post by Damian of his LASIK experience that made me realise it wasn't as scary as I'd thought.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    LASIK is good - but has some risks(you can lose your night vision among other things) and isnt available for high myopes. I look forward to the newer procedures-

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

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I have always found the problem with memorising the eye chart is that after one or two goes-round I genuinely *do not know* whether I'm reading the lines clearly enough for it to count, or whether my memorisation means I can decipher the blurs better than I should. They need, I don't know, rotating sets of letters. Make it a digital projection, it wouldn't be hard....

    OK, they can get lost with remarkable ease, and dust & other particles can cause quite remarkable pain, but I still love 'em...

    I have hard contacts, and the amount of pain involved if you get an eyelash under them and your contact case/glasses are not to hand is, as you say, quite remarkable. Like, whimpering-on-the-floor remarkable. Their other benefits make it worthwhile, but it's a feature I could definitely live without.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

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

    I believe because dentists doing quite-well-thank-you-very-much are unwilling to invest in a $200K laser drill. But show me one that is and I might break my current rule and visit. No problems so far anyways.

    And it a similar rule with optometrists, regardless of deteriation in one and the other playing age-related catch-up I can still read, don't drive anyway and am fond of interpreting what I'm seeing in the distance, the surreal becoming the real as I approach. Not Un Chien Andalou surreal I'm happy to say.

    But that has an exception: sudden sight loss in one eye is a early (but short) warning of brain blood pressure on the nerve, needing urgent life saving surgury in the case of a friend. But then it's off to the doctor not the optometrist for me...

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Austin,

    Once again, I am the type of interesting medical specimen that makes health professionals say 'hey, come and have a look at this!'.

    Those are the words you really don't want to hear. A few years back went to my GP practice for something, and the nurse was having a squint in my ear for some reason. This is a large inner city practice with a shared open plan nurses area in the middle of the consulting rooms, so lots of people milling around.

    She took a look in my left lug and muttered a little "um, er", took a look in my right, then back to the left again, and then uttered the aforementioned words.

    Ten minutes later, and having pulled my GP out of a consult to have a look, it felt like everyone including the cleaners had peered into my skull, and I wondered if I should be selling tickets.

    They said it looked like I had no ear drum in that ear. What the...?

    Went off to see an audiologist who took a look and explained I had a "hump in my forechannel" (I know sounds like something that might appear in those movies Emma likes, but its nowhere near that exciting). It basically meant that the reason the GP couldn't see my ear drum was that her little scopey thing couldn't see around corners.

    Now yesterday I've baffled my dentist, not least when I told him the amount of fairly serious painkillers I'd taken. He seemed to think I should be unconscious, and not sitting at my desk at work, and still in agony I might add (my time-lapse response to painkillers - taking about 2-4 hours to have any effect, by which time I may be delirious with pain - being another medical mystery to be proud of...).

    Oh and don't start me on my resistence to antibiotics...

    Wellingbottom • Since Jul 2008 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    My parents realised there was somthing wrong when as a child I replied "What mountain?" to a question about the view.
    It also explained why I was afraid of dogs and slides; one I couldn't see until it they were too close, the other I couldn't see the end of...

    The rate my eyes were getting worse should have made me blind at about 15. Of course I was not told this, my parents just made me do lots of things I didn't like so I would have the experience before I lost my sight. Luckily the eyes stabilised as I grew up and are now at -16 (I can read newsprint if it is closer then the end of my nose).

    it was like going from an impressionist scene to a realist one

    Oh yeah, those impressionist ones with the REALLY fuzzy edges

    My glasses are so thick they produce rainbows around the edge of windows. Moving from these to contacts was a life changing experience, we'll forget about the 2 hours of agony as the opthalmologist tried umpty million different lenses to find a pair that fit my distored orbs. Yes a hair behind a hard lens is whimpering on the floor painful, but a series of ill fitting lenses worse IMHO. On the positive (and far outweighing the pain) my field of view increased by about 100% and I could play sport,swim and vastly improve my safety on the road (try doing a paper round in the rain with glasses).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Once again, I am the type of interesting medical specimen that makes health professionals say 'hey, come and have a look at this!'.

    Colour blindness tests were like that for me. 'Oh, I've never had anyone fail *all* of them before, Doctor, come and have a look at this.' Curtailed my flying career and electrical work still a weak point on the DIY front.

    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.

    Has to be done if you wear glasses as the things are not set up correctly. You only get suckered into an expensive AA stipulated eye test once in your life.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Julian Melville,

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

    Now that I'm paying for 20 years of not-going-to-the-dentist by having several years of going to ever more expensive dentists with fancy titles, I have discovered one thing: the really expensive good ones don't hurt much at all. And they have cool digital imagey stuff too.

    The cheap crappy dentists hurt like hell and you have to go and get their work redone by a proper one after a couple of years anyway. At least that's how it worked out for me.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    Colour blindness tests were like that for me. 'Oh, I've never had anyone fail *all* of them before, Doctor, come and have a look at this.' Curtailed my flying career and electrical work still a weak point on the DIY front.

    Don't let that get you down Don, when I started work on Auckland's power system we had a guy in the office who was colour blind. Always checked his work very carefully...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    To add to the list of things you don't want to hear whilst on the examining table:

    "Could you come and give me a hand, I can't seem to find this lady's cervix"

    May explain why I am a tad bit overdue for a smear.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Once again, I am the type of interesting medical specimen that makes health professionals say 'hey, come and have a look at this!'.

    Yeah, that is seldom fun.

    I had that with my first adult eye test, at 21. I'd had a couple of near misses, mis-calcualting distances when passing cars. Then met this woman at a party, got on very well with her....

    Couple of days later saw her in the grotty cafe under the quad - which admittedly was pretty dark. Well, I thought it was her. Went up, gave her a fairly familar greeting, and she stared and said - in a very eastern suburbs accent - 'I've never seen you before in my life.'

    Time for an eye test.

    Went to the Auckland Uni optemtry clinic - don't know if they still do this but back then it was a cheap way of getting glasses done. The students got to examine you as part of their training.

    Anyway the student examining me took a long time. I thought this was probably normal. She took off to get her supervisor. AGain, I thought this was probably normal.

    He took a lot of time examining me, then went and got a bunch of other students, who took it in turns to look.

    This went on for quite some time. Eventually the supervisor asked me if I'd ever had any serious bangs on the head recently. I hadn't. None I could remember.

    I still don't know what they saw, but he thought I was concussed. Sent me home. Told me not to drive.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I still don't know what they saw, but he thought I was concussed. Sent me home. Told me not to drive.

    Something funny with your pupils, maybe?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    "Could you come and give me a hand, I can't seem to find this lady's cervix"

    Okay, that's never happened. I mean... how lost can you get? My dr refused to do my smear tests any more because I have an unfortunate habit of giggling a lot.

    I think my favourite weird thing was the bruising - I could rest my arm on the back of a chair for thirty seconds, take it away, and the whole contact area would be bruised black. It was a great party trick. I think I may have done all the tests on the lab test form except the ones you have to have testicles for, including the one where they cut your wrist with a razor blade and see how long it takes to stop bleeding.

    So now apparently I also have very pointy corneas.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    To add to the list of things you don't want to hear whilst on the examining table:

    "Oops!"
    That's what I heard from the assisting half way through surgery on my hand. And everyone in the theater went over for a look.
    They never told me what the oops was about.

    I've worn glasses since I was two, expect for a few years off wearing contacts (the hard ones) in my early 20s.
    I hated eye tests when I was a kid, they often used eye drops that made the world far too bright and had to spend the rest of the day with my eyes closed.
    They don't seem to do that these days and they have the cool toys.

    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!

    So I'm not the only one that goes:
    "Can you go back to the first one",
    "Ahmm, try the second one",
    "Arrr, the first one again",
    "arr, that one will do".

    I got tested for the laser surgery, but I'm long sighted and out of range of what they can do.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    I hated eye tests when I was a kid, they often used eye drops that made the world far too bright and had to spend the rest of the day with my eyes closed.

    Those are good. I have to have them every year or so becasue my eyeballs are so distorted there is an increased risk of retinal detachment.
    You wander around with fully dilated pupils and get the strangest looks from people.

    I love the part where the optician says 'Is this one better? Or this one?

    It took me about fifteen years to realise I could answer "red or green?" with "no idea". My optomertist now asks "red, green or no difference?"

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Those are good. I have to have them every year or so becasue my eyeballs are so distorted there is an increased risk of retinal detachment.

    My eyes haven't really changed in the last 15 years, which is probably why I don't get them any more.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Stevenson,

    My eyes haven't really changed in the last 15 years, which is probably why I don't get them any more.

    I'm really short sighted - so my eyeballs are longer then normal, ie stretched, so increased risk of things pulling apart.
    If you're really long sighted then you don't have the same risk, as the eyeball is a different shape with less stress on the retina

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 206 posts Report Reply

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