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Wake Up Call Moments with MD

Have you had "wake-up call" moments that showed you your limitations with macular degeneration? (For example: driving at night feeling uncomfortable, a fall you've taken).

Share your experiences below to help others in the community feel seen and heard.

  1. my wake-up call was a number of years ago now, and it involved driving at night. I had driven the adult members of the family into the city for a family celebration. I was the designated driver (poor choice?) The drive in was ok, but after the reception it started to rain. Driving home over the Sydney Harbour Bridge with a car full of happy revellers wasn't fun. No-one except me was overly concerned about where we were going. The rain made distinguishing the lanes very difficult. All I could really see was glare and reflections. The lane markings blurred into each other. Despite this being my home town, I didn't really know which lane to choose at all and the signs were hard to read. I found it extremely stressful, and vowed never to drive at night again unless I was close to home. We made it home safely and were never in real danger, but I have stuck to my decision. Wendy, Advocate.

    1. Oh this sounds so stressful and scary!!! I'm so glad that you all made it home safely and didn't find yourself in a dangerous situation, but that definitely doesn't discredit the internal terror you were feeling while driving loved homes home, at night, in the rain. I'm curious to see if other community members have experienced night-driving moments like this, given that many have chosen to stop driving past sunset. Thank you for sharing this story with us - I'm glad you're okay and working within the limitations of your condition. Best, Abby (Team Member).

  2. Thanks for this post - This sounded very familiar to me! Last Spring I decided to stop driving at night. The event that brought on this decision: I was driving on a higher speed (50mph) 2 lane road near my home....in light rain. There were many bright lights coming towards me in the opposite direction and many cars in front of me with red rear lights on. It was hard to avoid the disorientation the oncoming headlights caused, and it was hard to tell how close the cars in front actually were. At one point I braked hard, thinking I was too close to the car in front of me....turns out, it was not as close as I thought. Whew! That was the incident that led me to my decision not to drive at night. I have, on occasion had to, and it's been OK. Now that it gets darker here around 4:30, I find this quite limiting to say the least.

    1. I know how scary seeing the bright lights and taillights all at once in the nighttime can be - especially when it's raining! Some members in the community do say that night vision glasses can help them with driving at night, but those of course can only take you so far. Finding your limitations within the condition is so important and I'm glad to hear that you've created boundaries for yourself to feel safe. Thank you for sharing your experience and continuing to be a part of this community. We're grateful to have you. Sending you warmth and love! Best, Abby (Team Member).

  3. Thanks, Abby! Besides my retinal specialist, I had been seeing an ophthalmologist for all the rest. However, recently I've started seeing an optometrist. After reading an article in the last month or so...I think on this site....it mentioned 'low-vision' optometrists who could help more with vision aids for patients, depending on what specific activities they still tried to enjoy. I asked about that in the Ophthalmology Dept of the medical center where I have all these visits. My current optometrist said that wasn't her specialty, but recommended an associate at the medical center who does do that. So I'm looking forward to getting an appt with her after the holidays😀

    1. I am glad to hear you are planning to see a low vision specialist. Other community members have mentioned how helpful they can be. I hope you will give us an update after your visit. Best wishes, Sharon Moore advocate

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