A woman looks hesitant and lost at an airport.

Traveling With Macular Degeneration Using the '5-P Equation'

This unwanted experience with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has brought with it some unexpected surprises and insights. Opportunities abound to learn impactful lessons and sharpen skills as a result of this health journey.

During other life challenges, I originated the "5-P Equation" to help me navigate more easily. If this equation has helped me through other difficulties, why not apply it to macular degeneration?

Here’s my "5-P Equation":

P+P+P+P=P.

PAUSE + PONDER/PRAY + PATIENCE + PROMPT = PEACE.

Read on and see what you think! Maybe it can also help you.

Using the '5-P Equation' when traveling alone with AMD

What was once simple and effortless becomes far more demanding when macular degeneration is involved. Whether it’s driving or flying, it’s no longer the simple task it once was. Advanced planning is always necessary, and then the unexpected can still happen. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Driving with macular degeneration

When driving, there might be an unexpected detour, road construction, or an accident when you are rerouted. Suddenly, you’re no longer on a familiar road, one of the criteria you’ve established as your vision declines. Or perhaps it starts raining, and you got a late start returning home. Driving in the dark in the rain is a nightmare, especially for those with AMD. Let’s apply the "5-P Equation."

First, take a deep breath and PAUSE for a second before letting the panic set in. Then, quickly PONDER (or PRAY) for the best possible solution. Take it slow and easy — be gentle on yourself — and be PATIENT with yourself and others as you navigate the unexpected circumstances.

By waiting for the PROMPT, you leave yourself open to any solution presented and the PEACE of mind that follows. I have found following this equation eases the tension and restores my sanity! But what if you’re flying?

Flying with macular degeneration

First of all, I avoid flying alone as much as possible, and when I do fly alone, a direct flight is always preferred to avoid making connections in another airport. Airports are often not our friends, but traversing them can be easier if we use the "5-P Equation." Here’s a personal story.

Traveling alone, I had to connect with another smaller carrier in a far-away terminal, only accessible by train. Yikes! Of course, it was not labeled "train" in the airport, but rather some cute marketing term was used, which made it even more confusing. There I stood, at the bottom of the escalator, totally confused about where to catch this train while time was ticking away.

That PAUSE was crucial to the solution as I PONDERED my problem. As I stood there, I must have had a very forlorn, confused look on my face when an "angel" appeared out of nowhere and asked if she could help.

Absolutely! Not only did she help direct me to the right train, she rode with me even though it was far from her gate — but she had time, knew the airport well, and also had a mother my age! I PATIENTLY followed her advice and was escorted PROMPTLY to my gate just as they were boarding. Had I panicked and taken a wrong turn, I would have never connected with my flight.

That initial PAUSE was like a domino that set everything else into motion and gave me PEACE of mind for the remainder of the journey.

Could the '5-P Equation' work for you on your next trip?

The next time you’re traveling alone, experiment with the "5-P Equation" when challenged with macular degeneration and in all of life's experiences.

It’s working for me... I hope it works for you, too!

What travel tips have worked for you and your needs with macular degeneration? Share with us in the comments below, or check out our forums!

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