Jon Crispin's Notebook

Back in Nepal / Eye

Posted in Institutions, Jon Crispin, Medicine, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 31/05/2017

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Cris and I are back in Nepal where she continues her work on the UNICEF funded early grade reading project through World Education.

It has been an interesting trip.  I developed a problem with my right eye when I landed in Dubai, and by the time I got to Kathmandu last Tuesday evening it was clear that something was really wrong.  Cris took me directly to CIWEC travel medicine clinic where they set me up with an ophthalmologist early the next morning (Wednesday).  Dr.  Meenu is a cornea expert, but she wanted me to see the retina guy at the Triphuvan Teaching Hospital. She immediately put me in her car and drove me there.  Dr Pratap examined me and saw two spots on my retina that were torn and bleeding.  He immediately took me into the laser room and repaired as much of the damage as he could.  I saw him this past Monday for a follow-up and he was really happy with the results.  Since this whole thing started I have had huge black floaters in the middle of my right (shooting) eye, but they should begin to resolve in the next few months.  It was all a bit unsettling, and I am so grateful to Dr. Pratap for caring for me.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Here he is on the left with some of his students.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

And with a patient.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

I learned pretty quickly that Nepal has a great reputation for eye treatment in the developing world.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Dr. Pratap’s notes.

Nepal / B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies / Teching Hospital

Here’s the clinic.  Officially the B.P. Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies.  Note the  word “Lions” in the name.  The Lions Club is famous for it’s support around eye issues, but I had no idea their reach extended as far as Nepal.

I debated with myself a long time about posting this.  Blogs like this are by definition self serving and ego based, but I have always tried to steer away from having it be about me, per se.  But weird things can happen when one travels, and I wanted to share my good fortune in getting such prompt and excellent treatment, and to give thanks to all the people here who have helped me.  Cris has been a brick through this whole thing and so patient with my worries.  I also really want to thank Peggy Ross for getting on the phone and setting up an appointment with my ophthalmologist in Springfield soon after I get back to the States.  Her skills at getting through bureaucratic systems are unmatched.

Yale / The Cushing Center

Posted in Art, ephemera, Friends, History, Medicine, People, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 04/11/2013

I was at Yale today talking about the suitcases to Jessica Helfand’s freshman seminar class on visual biography.  She was one of the first people to connect with the project and has been a huge supporter from the get-go.  This is the third year I have spoken to the class and it always helpful to get feedback from the students on my work with the cases. / After the class I usually head over to the School of Medicine  Library and visit The Cushing Center.  It is one of the most amazing displays of someone’s life one can ever see.  I have posted about it here and here, and if any of you are in New Haven, it is absolutely not to be missed. / Thanks to Jessica and her students for a great day.

Binghamton Asylum Glass Plate Negatives

Posted in Asylums, History, Medicine, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 04/02/2013

In the late 1980’s Brad Edmondson and I went down to the Binghamton asylum buildings that I was photographing for my original New York State asylum project.  While were in the “Castle” building we came across a room that was filled with boxes of glass plate negatives of patients from the early days of the asylum.  It was an amazing trove of images and we immediately hoped to be able to do something with them.  We had no luck getting access, but I have thought about them over the years.  Craig Williams from the New York State Museum arrived at the facility on the morning of 11 September, 2001 to have a look, but events of that day put the kibosh on his access.  About a month ago I heard that the Broome County Historical Society had finally made arrangements to check out the plates.  On Friday I went to Binghamton to have a look at their efforts to organize, clean, and catalogue every plate.  It is such a relief to know that they are finally in safe hands and will be preserved.

The negative’s eventual home  is still up in the air, but the Greater Binghamton Heath Center which runs the facility is eager to get them into safe hands.  Here you see one of the volunteers cleaning the non emulsion side of a plate.  They are all a bit dusty, but otherwise in amazing condition.

Here’s another box of unexposed plates.  Love the graphic design.

I am always on the lookout for bits of ephemera from the buildings.  Another object from the collection is this very cool typewriter.

I’ve never seen one like this and haven’t had the time to research the brand.  Anyone out there ever heard of the Printype Oliver Typewriter?

It is a beautiful machine and I like the little character in the photo below.

Old keyboards are also interesting.

Thanks to the Broome County Historical Society and the Greater Binghamton Health Center for allowing me to see the plates.  And to Roger Luther who like me has a great interest in New York State asylums.

Cushing Center

Posted in Architecture, Art, Medicine, Science by joncrispin on 28/11/2011

The suitcases project has opened a lot of doors for me.  Jessica Helfand teaches a freshman seminar at Yale called “Studies in Visual Biography”.  She is interested in (among other things) how ephemeral objects can tell a lot about the individual who owned them.  Very early on she noticed my Kickstarter page and invited me to come down to New Haven to talk to the class.  I went today and it was a blast.  Afterwards Jessica took me to the Cushing Center at the Yale School of Medicine where neurologist  Dr Harvey Cushing’s collection of brains resides.  There is an amazing story about how the center came about, and the representation of his work and life are housed in a beautifully designed space.  It is all very scientific, and not at all macabre.  Well worth a visit.

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