A pair of blinking eyes are in the middle of a circle, which contains question marks that are wiggling around.

What If

I still feel as though I am navigating the early stages of this diagnosis of myopic macular degeneration. It has “only” been about a year and a half have since this whole journey began. Thankfully it's only in one eye and I am not seriously hindered by any impairment, yet. The fact that it is a chronic situation is the biggest, continuous thought I have running through my mind.

The mind can be dangerous

I am not sure about most people but for myself, the mind can be a dangerous, menacing part of what makes me, me. It is very easy to take an ordinary occurrence and totally overthink it. A simple daily task can suddenly bring me up short thinking, what if? What if things get so bad with my vision and I can no longer do this on my own?

So many 'what ifs' in my mind

Could starting the tea kettle to make my morning tea potentially be a challenge? The measuring of water and adding the tea, a simple step for me now, that may become too complex to do on my own in the future. What if reading the morning paper is not an option, even with the E-version that I subscribe to? A trip to the grocery store can find me pondering the potential loss of the independence of driving down the road. The act of grocery shopping, trying to read labels even now shows signs of being beyond what was once “normal.

The fear of progression

As I watch television in the evening, I play the “close one eye and see what I can see game”, doesn’t everyone? Thus, bringing up the underlying fear, what happens if the good eye goes bad? Even the simple activity of watching television could be greatly affected. Playing mindless games on my phone or Ipad and I begin to wonder just how long will this be as easy as it is?

Seeing my grandbabies' faces

Visiting with our grandbabies is probably the highlight of our growing family and as I love on their sweet little faces, again, I look into the hypothetical crystal ball. Will this become a faded picture, where I can not really see them as clearly? The thought of not being able to read a story to them, or even play silly board games with them with confidence, really breaks my heart.

Turning off the brain and moving forward

It is usually after I have run these thoughts through the gerbil-wheel of my brain for too long when I just have to stop. I have to talk over my fears of all these “what ifs” and move forward. Even if things get worse and I am forced to alter the things I do on a daily basis, I am pretty sure I can do it.

Support to move through the challenges ahead

Of course, having a supportive husband and family makes all of this possible. Thankfully modern technology is available and most daily activities can and will be made possible because of it. Driving, I know will eventually be even more limited, I avoid night driving as it is. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft have come far, allowing so many to get so far, allowing so many to get so far without transportation of their own. So no matter “what if’, I am trying hard to turn off that part of my brain and move through the challenges ahead.

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