Reflecting on My First Year of Accepting My Macular Degeneration

I’m celebrating something that is very special to me! I'm celebrating YOU. It’s my one year anniversary with Health Union. I’ve been writing for Health Union’s MacularDegeneration.net site and moderating our Facebook page for a year now, and boy has it ever changed my life!

I couldn’t let this momentous occasion in my life pass by without a little acknowledgment about what I’ve learned from this gift that was given to me one year ago. I hope that in some way, I've been able to help some of you cope and learn about our eyes, nutrition, bodies, and minds.

Struggling to accept a vision loss diagnosis

I was diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration twelve years ago, but I didn’t really accept my diagnosis until I started working for Health Union. Honestly, before starting to work with our amazing community, I didn’t even want to acknowledge it out loud. You see, it was hard for me to admit that I very well could end up with total central blindness.

Accepting my diagnosis first

I wanted to help others through the difficulties of macular degeneration, vision loss, and the grief that accompanies losing the life you had envisioned for yourself...before ‘this’. I had the knowledge that could help others, I just didn’t yet have the right mindset. I have researched macular degeneration for years, but I wasn’t going to be able to truly help anyone else through their struggles without first surrendering to mine...and then finding my avenue.

How I surrendered

I realized that this diagnosis involved more than just my eye health, it involved my emotional health as well. I started therapy with a counselor to try to get a grasp on what was happening to me. My diagnosis of MMD didn’t just bring scotoma and retinal tears, it also brought on a lot of anxiety and worry. These things then snowballed into other problems like irritability and loss of sleep. Therapy has helped me to be able to see the bigger picture and to accept myself, love myself, and believe in myself...no matter what.

The gift of a lifetime

About a  year ago, I was sitting at home with all of this knowledge about a few specific aspects of AMD and nowhere to go with it. I don’t know all there is to know about macular degeneration, but I am extremely knowledgeable in the dietary, exercise, and mental health aspects of it.

I had been actively trying to help others on a different Facebook support group for macular degeneration when the opportunity to write and moderate for Health Union fell into my lap. I can’t explain how much of a blessing this has been for me, as I am now in a much better place (most days) and learning so much more than I ever thought possible from our wonderful community members...YOU.

I have been blessed to get an opportunity to share some of my knowledge and passion with those who may be in need. And I’m learning new things along the way.

The universe gives us what we need

I didn’t know how much I needed Health Union, MacularDegeneration.net, and my new 9,000 friends in our community...and now I don’t know how I’d ever live without it all. I am a firm believer that the universe brings us exactly what we need in our lives when we’re ready for it.

Thank you for being part of my healing, and Happy Birthday to our amazing community!

Andrea Junge

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.