I find myself at the PC today, so I thought that I may drop in and say hello.
I’ve been avoiding the PC for a couple of months. It all started after a visit to my eye surgeon in July. Once again he refused to remove any stitches. Once again my eyes seemed to show only the smallest amount of progress. They are just not settling down, he said.
I despaired. After all, I have a mortgage that needs paying, and while my money in the bank will last us well into 2017 I really had no desire to use it all up.
When, when, when… I asked. The surgeon had no satisfactory answer.
On the way back to where my wife had parked the car we walked by a Vision Australia shopfront. To be honest, I knew nothing about Vision Australia other than its self-proclaimed goal to help people with vision issues. So we wondered whether they might help me find work suitable to my current vision. We stepped in and asked. Yes, they did. So I made an appointment.
At home Nicole and I chatted. We wondered why it was taking so long to heal. After all, back in 1991 I had had exactly the same operation and was able to use the eye within 2 months. My age? Or perhaps I simply was not resting my eye. After all, ever since the op I had struggled daily using my PC and my smartphone. When not doing this I read, the novels ever an inch away from my face. We could only imagine it was this overuse of my sight. Hence I stepped away from my PC and reserved my smartphone for a few minutes of Facebook each day (Facebook is my main tool for keeping in contact with relatives). Hence why you have not seen me.
The experience with Vision Australia was good. They had to perform an independent assessment of me which initially annoyed me. The specialist was very knowledgeable, and I answered all questions truthfully, at which point she stated that I was not bad enough to meet their requirements for aid. Well yes, I responded. Sitting in a controlled environment and given plenty of time to work out what I was looking at, naturally I did fairly well. Unfortunately my 30+ year career has involved staring into computer monitors and required me to be very, very accurate (I’m a professional software engineer working mostly on financial systems) often with high workloads. My experience with job agencies is that they try to get you back into your key skill areas and I felt that for me this was impractical, hence I wanted lateral thinking from an organisation experienced with dealing with the vision impaired. Also, my eyes still weep really badly and go blurry after 3 hours if consistent computer use.
The case worker who sat in there will me was excellent, however. She went to senior management and made a case for helping me. Yippee. This means now that any potential employer will be funded by Vision Australia for equipment that will extend my timeframes using a computer. And yes, they have such stuff. So this means that I can go back to computer work! It will really make a huge difference and I am so grateful for them doing this.
OK, so besides staying away from the PC, what have I been up to?
Well, around the same time an old friend of mine asked whether I wanted to volunteer some of my time entertaining old folks in nursing homes. Apparently since October last year Jon had been taking his guitar and other equipment to nursing homes and singing. Yep, why not, I responded.
At first I did a few Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra songs…
What’s that? You did not know that I sang! Well, I have mentioned it once or twice before. I have always been a fan of the old crooners from the 40s, 50s and 60s.
Well, it has been going amazingly over the past few months. I’ve been building up my repertoire and Jon has been encouraging me to try different material so as to stretch myself. So I have just started singing stuff my Bad Moon Arising and Rhinestone Cowboy – neither of which I would normally have considered.
The nursing home audiences have also been marvellous. They clap and sing along and we all have a great time. Now Jon and I are trying to work out a way to encourage community focused groups to fund other duos like us to do the same. Mostly they just need equipment as the time is volunteered.
Anyway, so that is what I have been up to.
Oh – so why am I back using the PC? Well, two reasons. Firstly my daughter has a young friend who loves my digital art work and his birthday is comping up. So I am going to create one especially for him. Secondly, it’s time to find myself a job now that I have Vision Australia behind me. :)
Thanks all for reading and I hope that you are all well. I will try to catch up on all of your blogs over the coming weeks.