Nanette, 57, is registered blind after losing her sight when she was 31 years old. At first she found it very hard to accept and fought it for a very long time. Nanette refused to be registered blind as she felt that that was against her ‘can do’ attitude. Her acceptance followed counseling she received from RNIB and Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The condition that Nanette has is called Sarciodosis which usually affects the lungs or joints, but also in some cases the eyes when the lens and cornea stick together. Nanette has a very rare form that affects both eyes and has resulted in blindness. Her sight was restored for a while through steroids but it has again deteriorated and her sight is again very blurry.
Her sight loss happened to her at the worst possible time in Nanette’s life and due to her condition Nanette was unable to see her new born son until he was seven months old and the steroid treatment restored her sight temporarily.
After being such a successful career woman with an engineering degree and training as a lawyer she found her sight loss frustrating and desolate. She hated and still resents the constraints that sight loss has brought to her life. Nanette does not currently work.
A lifeline came in the form of RNIB’s Talking Book Service. Nanette has been a member for the last two years and particularly loves crime and detective fiction, although is now considering expanding her selection to new genres.
Due to the area that Nanette lives in she is lucky that the council pay for her talking book subscription, with RNIB subsidising the rest. There is the worry that due to the current cuts in spending that the council will stop the service.
Nanette sees talking books as a door that has the potential to bring her back into the sighted world. She has always loved the printed word and even though talking books aren’t strictly the ‘printed word’ in a traditional sense, it is however the closest that she can get. She finds the actor’s voice who is reading it extremely important, her favourites being Stephen Fry, Timothy West and David Suchet. It is her escape from the world and she often gets completely absorbed, losing a whole afternoon without even noticing the time.
Without RNIB’s Talking Book Service Nanette says her “life just wouldn’t be the same”.
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