Community Views: Self Care

We recently asked the members of our Facebook community what self-care activities they use to help their macular degeneration, or that may help their attitudes around it. Which I think is just as necessary. Attitude makes such a difference in our quality of life, especially when it’s something that impacts, or may in the future, impact our daily lives.

We had over 40 responses, all great suggestions and all important in helping us deal with this.

Assistive technology

Many of the responses mentioned preparing for the future by learning to use the accessibly options before we need them. Or becoming familiar with assistive technology. This is something I try to stay on top of, knowing that learning something new gets more difficult with every passing year. Add in some loss of vision and we may find it almost too much to grasp. This preparation can give us a sense of control over something which we may not have much control over at all.

Voice and audio technology

One member said: “Putting all my electronic devices through bold text as well as having Siri enabled to read and send messages.”

Becoming very familiar with Siri and how much it can help is a big one. I think many of us have not yet discovered everything it can do. You can ask it to make a phone call for you.  If someone is not in your contact list, you can just say the phone number.

“I'm using Google with voice control sometimes, also making phone calls by voice control although I haven't yet worked out how to hang up by voice control.” was one comment. I’m also trying to use more voice control options, just in case, as we used to say. I caught a great sale on a Google Home device and am now trying to get it set up to do more than say good morning, then give me the weather and news.

Audiobooks, as well as audio descriptions on TV and at the movie theatre, are a way to maintain the ability to stay involved.

Exercise

More than a few mentioned walking; both for exercise and just taking in the fresh air. But lowered depth perception has become a major problem for most of us, myself included. Walking poles have made some feel more secure, allowing the continuation of a favourite activity.

Mindfulness and other self care practices

Those who have wet macular degeneration often have a way to take their minds off it on injection day. Some mentioned ice cream, others fried chicken, as things to look forward to after their injection. I usually treat myself with a shopping excursion, although lately with the pandemic it’s been more window shopping.

This was an important one: “Never missing taking my AREDS2. Checking my sight with the Amsler grid daily. Healthy eating, as much as possible.” Another was regular doctor’s visits.

Wearing sunglasses outside and eating an anti-inflammatory diet, regular visits/injections with my specialist“ is a good reminder for all of us.

Positive thinking, mantras, travel, have all been mentioned as ways to take care of ourselves. I’ll definitely be travelling as soon as it’s considered safe again. It’s my favourite way to treat myself. Do you have any favourite ones I’ve missed?

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