Eye shaped puzzle with missing piece in the center

Puzzle Pieces

I am always changing. As a newborn, I was helpless and defenseless. Time moves on. I grow each year, gaining independence and confidence and becoming the person I was meant to be. Constantly changing, evolving along the journey.

Confronting change

As an adult now living with myopic macular degeneration, these changes are still in motion. Early on in the diagnosis, I observed subtle changes, wavy images, and smeary views in my vision... each alerting me to this new chapter in my book. Changes were unanticipated but quickly addressed. I made necessary changes of my own to try to stop or at least slow this process down.

Even as an adult, I find change difficult at times. There is a certain sense of peace in knowing things are moving along as they were, with no wild turns in the road ahead. Knowing that the world is as it was and that I am doing well in that world is enough for me.

Changes in one's health when getting older throws everything into a tailspin. The peace and contentment are gone, and the worries fill up more space in your brain; all underlined with the biggest worry of all: the unknown. If only there was a crystal ball that really worked to show the future. There would be no worries, right?

New challenges, new reality

But alas, the reality is there is no crystal ball, no method to know just exactly what lies ahead. The future’s unknown path is set out before us, whether we are ready or not.

These challenges with macular degeneration bring out a very different direction, one filled with questions about living with this diagnosis. How far will this vision loss go? Will it affect both eyes, and will there come a time when these injections no longer help? Will living independently still be an option? What will other people think? Will there be help in my day-to-day life?

This new reality is filled with a whole lot of unknown pieces to the puzzle of living with macular degeneration.

Accepting uncertainty with macular degeneration

In my own "puzzle of life," there came a moment of acceptance of sorts. In acknowledging this new direction, I have found the biggest piece of my puzzle. Living with macular degeneration sure was not something I had signed up for.

By accepting the diagnosis and placing this piece smack dab in the center of my life puzzle, I am able to build upon it. Each new piece that I add to this puzzle lays out my future direction, taking away some of the fear of the unknown.

A better understanding of my puzzle

Faithfully going to my retina specialist appointments every 6 to 8 weeks for continued monitoring ensures that any progression is addressed and handled with an injection if it is needed. Carefully protecting my eyes with sunglasses and/or hats to safeguard against any harmful UV rays is another piece in that puzzle. A good healthy diet and a bit of exercise adds to this picture of health in my puzzle of life.

While I cannot claim to predict the future, I can say that I have a better understanding of the direction I am going and the life that I will be living with myopic macular degeneration.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

Treatment results and side effects can vary from person to person. This treatment information is not meant to replace professional medical advice. Talk to your doctor about what to expect before starting and while taking any treatment.
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

Please read our rules before commenting.