The Bright Side

"No one ever injured their eyesight by looking at the bright side of things.”

- The Celtic Sage Grey Wolf (UK)

Macular degeneration is a lot of things. It is a disease of the eyes, affecting some through the process of aging. Others, like myself, have myopic degeneration, which entails extreme nearsightedness. This brings the dreaded bleeds and damage that is found in this macular degeneration world of ours.

Visible effects of a sometimes invisible condition

Having AMD and MMD is also frustrating. The average patient living with these conditions may look “normal,” mostly like every other person on the street. It is only when these people try to navigate their world that the telltale signs may appear.

You might notice a lot of squinting. Or an almost unnatural approach to any subject just so it can be remotely seen. It is not rare to see this person closely peering at the subject, so close that it is a slight distance from their face.

Making lifestyle changes for MD

Many people with macular degeneration eventually relinquish night driving. What was once a fairly easy exercise in transportation becomes a dangerous endeavor as road signs and street lines become obscured. Glaring headlights become totally blinding, concealing any possible view you are striving to see. All of this leads to a surrendering of a rite of passage.

A day in the life of one dealing with macular degeneration revolves around seeing what can be seen, no matter the way to accomplish this. It can involve added LED lights, magnifiers, or E-readers on tablets, just to name a few handy tools to deal with. It can mean the opening of shades and blinds, flashlight assistance for more light. All and all, macular degeneration creates some very innovative maneuvers just to see what we want to see.

Life is too short for giving up

The truly challenging aspect I have found is how I live with this. It would be so easy to “throw in the towel” and give up. I could give up trying to do the things I want to do. My days could be spent lamenting the hardship and unfairness of it all. Basically wallow in my own self pity, complete with “Woe is Me.”

As I have gotten older, all of 63 years of age, it has become clear to me that life is too short. Too short for giving up, too short to stumble through this untimely, unwanted, and undesirable disease of macular degeneration. So, instead, I remember the words that my dad used to say years ago when dealing with a particularly trying endeavor. He would say this was just a “challenge and opportunity.”

Not exactly the opportunity or challenge that I would have asked for, but it is what it is. With that mentality, I like to think that even with this lousy vision and the awareness that it will never improve, I can prevail. Knowing that, “No one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side of things” is how I want to live my life. And so I will. How about you?

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

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