Delighting in our senses

I always love reading author Susan Hill’s blog and I was particularly taken with one of today’s posts, where she talks about her hearing and sight. I thought I would copy the comment I made about her post.

How interesting that you mentioned raindrops. My great uncle had very severe visual impairment from birth, and as a child attended a school for the blind. One day in his early twenties he was looking out of the window and realised that he could see raindrops trickling down the windowpane. No-one, including his doctors, was able to explain how his sight had returned (miraculously it seemed). He is in his seventies now, still with perfect sight – he doesn’t even need spectacles to wear when reading.

My late grandfather was also blind from birth having been given oxygen as a premature baby. He maintained he was always glad that he was blind not deaf as the sound of his grandchildren laughing and talking was one of his life’s greatest pleasures. A grumpy bugger otherwise, but on that point he was adamant.

I saw a new patient today, MrsJ – I’ve “inherited” her from DrM who retired this year. Firstly I was delighted with her opening gambit: she asked whether I was a whisky or a wine sort of doctor [wine, seeing as you ask]. I was further lifted by the appearance on my desk of a large box of Ferrero Rocher. This doesn’t happen as often as you’d think and always makes me smile.

MrsJ is blind with very little residual vision; she wears dark glasses outside and carries a white cane.  Embarrassingly she had to remind me during the consultation that she couldn’t see, as I passed her something to read. Oops. I felt a little humbled by my preconceptions when I realised why I’d forgotten. Partly I was distracted by her very stylish and brightly coloured outfit, which seemed at odds with my prejudice about what a blind person usually wears.  The other issue was that she came to see me about a rash on her forearms which hadn’t been settling – “It’s just so unsightly, doctor”. I think I deserve a dressing down for assuming that a blind person would be less bothered about cosmetic appearances, although I am reassured that even if I lose my sight one day, that my vanity about how I look is likely to remain.



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4 responses to “Delighting in our senses

  1. The comment you left about your great uncle is an amazing story. Do you know what the official cause of the visual impairment was to begin with?

  2. love the blog, keep it up!

  3. Hello, I have just wandered over from ‘A Fortunate Man’, to read your blog, which comes highly recommended, and rightly so.

    I look forward to reading more!

    Best regards,
    Jellyhead (an Aussie lady doctor who is usually but not unfailingly nice)

  4. NiceLadyDoctor

    Calavera – I’ve never managed to find out and (families being families) there’s never been quite the right moment to ask directly.

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