A man sitting on a living room couch with his hands folded and a smile on his face. His smiling dog rests his head on his owner's leg.

It's the Little Things We Can Still Do with Vision Loss

Last updated: July 2020

I’m a 71-year-old retired guy with dry AMD in the left eye and wet AMD in my right. I’ve had 60+ injections in the past 8 years. For now, anyway, I still drive (seldom at night), watch TV and read. (On devices, not paperbacks or traditional books.)

What is my new normal? What are the parameters I now operate in? How can I find joy while enduring a loss? These are questions I’m trying to come to terms with.

The Zen of just being

This past weekend I installed a pallet of grass sod, it weighed over 2,000 lbs. It took me two days to do it. Flopping down grass squares is the easy part. The hard part is what you do before this. You designate the area you want, till up the old grass, rake it all off for disposal, add sand and topsoil, add starter fertilizer and smooth it all out and blend it. Day one down here in the Gulf coast was nice, it was about 50 degrees and cloudy. Day two was colder, in the forties. It rained almost all day long, it was a slow light rain. I wore old clothes and worked all day in it.

What's my point you ask?

The point is that I was happy as a clam! I was in the zone. I was out of my headspace and in a physical mode. I didn’t have the angst, anger, fear or worry of diminishing eyesight. Also, I was doing a job that offered instant gratification upon completion. After I was done, I was sopping wet, cold, dirty and looked like I’d lost a wrestling match with a hog! But, I was happy.

I still don’t get your point?

I guess I’m just fed up with negative feelings about what is happening with me. It takes far more energy to “tilt at windmills” and harbor negative thoughts and fears. I’m choosing to find the things that I can feel good about. Things that I can still do, maybe not as well as a pro but still pretty darn good.

A cool quote:
He turned away from the past because he could only survive the future by concentrating on the present.

Another cool quote:
Solitary, centered people are in no rush, time doesn’t hold the same power over them as others.

Finding ways to be happy

All it really means to me is finding ways to be happy. Diverting myself from the negative and seeking joy.  It might mean something different to others. Like a hobby, a walk in nature, cuddling a pet, listening to music, going out to dinner. I just don’t want us to brood as much or stay locked into a resentful state. It’s counterproductive to my happiness if I brood too much.

Finding joy in simple things

It can be almost anything, it all depends on our attitude about it. I have a lap dog, she’s a  black and white panda colored Shih Tzu, she’s 8 years old, a little plump (too many treats from daddy) and goes on a 2-mile walk with me every day. Sometimes, I brush her teeth! Wow, what an ordeal! She must think I’m trying to kill her, I don’t know? It’s probably a lot like trying to herd crickets! Anyway, we get it done and after she calms down I get to see her beautiful smile and the love from her eyes.

So, I say it’s the small things, the things we can still do. The things we will always be able to do that give us pleasure and a sense of peace. Like that old song; Don’t worry, be happy. Everyting gonna be awwright!

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