Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Staring into space

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  • anjum rahman,

    late into the conversation as usual, but yes i had the "tree" experience when i got my glasses at 16. didn't realise i needed them until i went for my drivers license. what kept going through my mind were lines from an eddie murphy movie (can't remember which one, it starts with him pretending to be a blind beggar who gets caught out by the police) "i can see! it's a miracle! hallelujah, praise the lord, i can see!"

    on the other hand, i had a real experience of disappointment when looking into the night sky. the stars which had been large shiny orbs suddenly became pinpricks of lights that weren't nearly as nice to look at.

    i've had laser eye surgery as i finally got fed up with the glasses and the disposable contacts. it's been great, well except for the stars at night...

    hamilton • Since Nov 2006 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Janet Digby,

    Parents with concerns about a child's vision should take them to the optometrist. Vision screening aims to detect amblyopia primarily and is not a complete vision assessment. In particular it won't detect problems with near vision.

    Families who have a Community Services or High User Card may be able to access support through the Spectacles Subsidy which is managed by Enable NZ.

    You can access information about it at

    And yes, you make an interesting point about funding for hearing impaired children vs vision impaired children. Quite a difference!
    Our report has more details and can be found at

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Thanks Janet, that's very useful.

    Probably what hasn't been touched on here is the lengths to which children will go to conceal a visual impairment too. I can blame 'the system' for missing me until I was eight, but I did my best to game them.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Andrew your comment about the colours after cataract surgery reminds me of my mother-in-law an artist who painted brightly colored paintings - after her surgery she was horrified ....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2623 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Andrew your comment about the colours after cataract surgery reminds me of my mother-in-law an artist who painted brightly colored paintings - after her surgery she was horrified ....

    Yeah, I've heard that's common with artists who've had cataracts. Over a body of work you can see the decline, and then the sudden compensation when "normal" sight is restored.

    From my own experience, when the patch came off after the op, I nearly fell over with information overload & dizziness. I wore sunglasses inside for the first day.

    Best thing though, was my eye was so bloodshot - deep, deep crimson, people averted their eyes in the street. I was so disappointed that the 2nd eye didn't go the same way a month later.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Janet Digby,

    Yes Emma, but I hardly think we can blame you as an eight year old for undertaking in sinister actions!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Public Address Radio note:

    We talk to Janet about the See Here project tomorrow afternoon at 5.00 pm, Radio Live.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Wedde,

    I was 16 before I discovered that, in the words of my optometrist, I was "as blind as a bat". It was only by trying on my brother's glasses and being able to see clearly that I realised I had been living in a blur.

    Most expensive discovery of my life.

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hi Janet. Great to see you working on another valuable project.

    David, I missed the broadcast and it doesn't seem to be on the RadioLive site. Can we get hold of a copy anywhere?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I've bought four pairs of glasses online and all of them are as good as any I've ever had. Of course, I'm a small-plastic-frames person, retro-librarian-styles, so I don't have any issues with nose-fit or weight or any complicated stuff like that. Plus if they don't work out, you spent $30. No biggie.

    I buy frames in those 6 story malls in Jakarta that only sell glasses, bags & watches (frames real, watches & bags not so) last ones were rather snazzy Porsche ones for about $100. The lenses I add in Denpasar in a place that puts a device on your nose and then prints out what seems to be a perfect prescription from the top, all for $20 in about 30 minutes including the fitting.

    I like.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3284 posts Report Reply

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