My “New" Normal
This will be an article about the current state of my eyes. Unlike past articles, where I try to stay upbeat and positive and offer hope for the future, this one will not be a particularly happy or inspiring one. To offer a little of my experience so far with AMD, I’ve been diagnosed with wet AMD in my right eye and dry in my left. I have had close to 70 injections of all four of the anti-VEGF medications (Avastin, Lucentis, Eylea and now Beovu). After staying pretty stable with AMD for almost 9 years, I’m now in decline.
My good, dry eye has progressed
Well, in a nutshell, my good eye has become my bad eye and vice versa. Let me explain that; for the past 8 years my dry AMD eye stayed about 20/30 corrected, and my wet AMD eye was usually 20/50 corrected. The dry 20/30 eye is now 20/80 and this change has happened in just the last 6 months! My eye doc, a really good RS, told me my dry eye now has the beginnings of geographic atrophy. To sprinkle in a tiny bit of better news, after 5 injections of Beovu, my wet eye has gone from 20/50 to 20/30! Yay!!! But overall, the decline in my dry eye has overshadowed much of the joy of a slight improvement for my wet eye.
Back to being a little scared again
These significant changes have all happened in just the last 6 months or at year 9 in my AMD journey. Whereas before the decline, I had almost “settled in” to what was going on with my eyes. Because my eyes had remained stable for the most part. I had advanced through the stages of grief and found a sense of acceptance on the state of my vision. Well, now I’m back to being a little scared again. I am not at all in a state of acceptance any longer. I am revisiting my old friends, the 5 stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression. I seem to have misplaced my acceptance, I can’t find it anywhere right now?
Struggling to find a plan
OK, so what’s the plan, Stan?
That’s what I’m trying to formulate right now and I’m struggling to find a workable plan:
- Get new glasses? (This strategy is premature as my eyes are in a true state of flux). Chasing better vision by buying $800 glasses in the midst of monthly injections is not recommended by my RS.
- Ratchet up my diet? (Go “full bore” Mediterranean type diet. (I'm kinda-sorta doing this already but this idea seems worthy to me.)
- Exercise like a fiend? (Hmm, maybe I need to do this, with this damn COVID-19 scare, I have not been to the gym and my exercise classes since February!). I just can’t seem to utilize video classes and “at home” exercise... I need the discipline and friendly peer pressure my classes provided.
- Clinical trials? My RS says he will be the first to recommend one if he sees one that fits my eye state and offers promise. No joy here yet on this one.
Sorry to have been a “buzzkill” and I hope I haven’t “harshed your mellow” too badly. But I think it’s important to be like Sgt Joe Friday on the old Dragnet series... "Just the facts ma’am, just state the facts.” (I loved that show, I told you I was old, didn’t I?)
Healing to belong to a group that can relate
In closing, this site and being allowed to write about our journey with AMD is a true blessing for me. It has been cathartic and healing and instilled the feeling of belonging to a group that can relate to our plight. I have learned and felt much from this wonderful group. I’m so glad we found our way here and wish us all well on our health journey.
Are you feeling scared about the current state of your eyes?
Do you find it easy to advocate for yourself?