I’ve just returned from my regular artificial eye clinic in Darwin. The rain bucketed down. The days were steamy and slow. Several people who had booked in for new eyes didn’t show up. I had plenty of time for playing songs on my new ukulele!
I do expect that the next clinic will be incredibly busy. I am also expecting a wave of clients to come from a new referral source.
This trip I’d been invited to address an optometrists conference. Many of the participants told me that they had no idea where to refer people presenting with the need for an artificial eye or conformer shell. I was left with the impression that there will be lots of referrals from now on.
I met up with Tess Presswell from The Fred Hollows Foundation. The Foundation are very active doing valuable work in the Northern Territory. Tess mentioned that she is working toward getting Alice Springs Hospital to pay for eye prostheses. In Australia if you have your eye removed at a public hospital your prosthesis is automatically paid for by the hospital. In Alice Springs communities have to fund raise to pay for anyone needing an artificial eye.
In Darwin I dropped in to the eye clinic at the Royal Darwin Hospital and got to meet some of the ophthalmologists working there. I showed them the Adjusting to Eye Loss mind map and explained how we are using it. They have booked me up to talk to their staff during my next visit in July. The Royal Darwin Hospital eye clinic staff have been very supportive of my clinics in Darwin.
As a person who has always been very shy about speaking in public I am amazed to find myself willingly taking on this role. I guess my determination to spread the word about eye loss recovery is stronger than my fears about public speaking.
My next Darwin Artificial Eye Clinic starts on Monday, 20th July 2009.