Jeff Dickie is living well with glaucoma.
Many diseases are associated with the optic nerve, making glaucoma a complex disease to diagnose. In some cases, as in Jeff’s, the road to living well with glaucoma can start as a rocky path with no clear direction. A barrage of testing, appointments, and early treatments that failed left him feeling quite depressed.
Jeff was diagnosed with glaucoma at 62. Before the diagnosis, his vision was good in one eye and not so good in the eye that suffered glaucoma.
His first reaction was to feel very worried and disturbed to find that any loss of sight was permanent. “It took a period of accepting the new reality, and I guess a close brush with death through severe sepsis, which coincidentally happened around the same time offered some perspective on how to view a disability.”
During his lifetime, Jeff has contributed much to the success of other projects, including developing a landmark in New Zealand’s conservation of historic buildings and fulfilling his dear friend’s legacy.
With a degree in Social Anthropology and a penchant for restoration projects such as Victorian homes and Edwardian commercial buildings, he was co-opted to the Dunedin City Council’s committee that was the catalyst for the rejuvenation of the now vaunted historic “Warehouse Precinct. “
For today I remember your smile.
Jeff’s other passion in life is his music which was shared with his long-time friend, Malcolm Black, frontman of The Netherworld Dancing Toys, who propelled the Dunedin band to the heights of the New Zealand charts in 1985 with hit single For Today.
When Malcolm was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018, Jeff, Malcolm, and the band recorded a special new album, “Songs for The Family,” in Jeff’s home studio, and the band performed one last show in 2019.
Nigel Stone — a Wellington producer who worked with the Netherworld Dancing Toys in the 1980s —now one of the world’s foremost film music recording engineers, flew in from London with a collection of vintage recording equipment, including microphones once used at the famed Abbey Rd studio, to helm the recording sessions in Jeff’s home studio.
Hindsight, eyesight & foresight.
As a progressive disease, Jeff is aware of the importance of adhering to his regular treatments to ward off blindness. “Currently, twice-daily eye drops are both a reminder of a severe problem and an effective treatment. As anyone with a health problem, the ongoing hope is a miracle cure.”
He attributes being able to manage his glaucoma well to the excellent care he receives from his eye specialists. “Apart from that, I am constantly surrounded by my wonderful wife, Liz, and my various children, who keep me very grounded by reminding me of my numerous shortcomings! There are many, apart from hindsight, eyesight, and foresight!