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Expect, Plan, and Prepare: Expect the Best

As time passes after your diagnosis and the shock wears off, you may find yourself wondering how you are going to go forward. How do you know whether your vision will get worse?

Will my vision get worse?

You will read the statistics from the NIH NEI (National Institute of Health National Eye Institute) article ‘Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration’ that says, “Not everyone with early AMD will develop late AMD. For people who have early AMD in one eye and no signs of AMD in the other eye, about five percent will develop advanced AMD after 10 years. For people who have early AMD in both eyes, about 14 percent will develop late AMD in at least one eye after 10 years.”1

You’re probably thinking, “What if I don’t have early AMD? How can I deal with not knowing what to expect?”

Dealing with uncertainty

It seems trite to say, but none of us can predict the future. I like the advice of Denis Waitley: “Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.”

Expect the best

It’s in our nature to seek out the stories of the worst-case scenarios. You may have already been told about someone’s grandmother who had wet AMD and was ‘blind’ and sat alone in the house for the last decade of her life.
Why not look for people who have not only an OK life with AMD, but those who have created a ‘new normal’ life that is as good as their life before their diagnosis?

My friend Sue

I personally don’t have to look far. If you have read my biography and my page ‘Who Am I?’, you’ve read the story of my long-time friend Sue who at 62 had vision loss from AMD which suddenly stopped her from driving and set her back emotionally and financially for a period of time.

At first, she went through a rough time emotionally, but she figured out what she needed to do to create her ‘new normal’ life. At 65 and with advanced dry AMD, she’s doing everything she did before the vision loss but drive! She works as a psychologist, teaches, goes to exercise classes, travels, skis, kayaks…you name it, she does it. Is she special? Of course, she’s my friend! ::smile:: Not everyone can BE her, but we can all learn from her example! I highly recommend that you read her pages. She will inspire and amuse you!

Mary Betty Roeder

Mary Betty Roeder is a woman who did videos for the Macula Vision Research Foundation (MVRF). In this interview, she said, “No problem in life is ever solved with negative thinking. Stop thinking, ‘I can’t!’ and start thinking, ‘How can I?’” That interview was in 2011 and she said she had AMD for the last 15 years. She describes going through the stages of grief and denial and then deciding that she was going to go on and live her life the best that she could. In the process, she helped people on their journeys.2

Her videos cover topics such as sewing and quilting, using the computer, using the telephone and more. You can check them out here.

Other examples

Over the years I have read and shared many stories of people with AMD and other types of vision loss who are artists, photographers, teachers, writers, crafters, actors, filmmakers, bloggers, vloggers (video bloggers) and more! One thing you can do is an Internet search using the words, ‘macular degeneration celebrities.’ You may be surprised at what you find.

Remember the words of Mary Betty Roeder, “Stop thinking, ‘I can’t!’ and start thinking, ‘How can I?’”

Next: Expect, Plan and Prepare: Plan for the Worst

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