A man looks up at his wife and hands her a can. She adjusts her glasses to read what the label says.

Activities I Need Help With

What kind of activities do I need my wife or close friends to help with? Do I find that they handle my vision loss gracefully?

I consider myself lucky to have a solid support network. The main helper that I count on is my wife, and she is nice about it. I'm a typical guy, you know, the kind that won't ask for directions when lost. I try to stand on my own two feet and not whine about my new lot in life. But let's face it, some days are better than others! Below, I'm going to evaluate things that have become challenging for me with my AMD and declining vision.

A list of current vision problems I'm having

  • Reading food labels, medicine bottle instructions, or any other fine print reading material. Sometimes I use a magnifying glass, or take a picture of it with my phone and blow it up. But I usually just ask my wife to read it for me.
  • Enjoying books. This was an easy fix, I just gave up my paperbacks and standard books and now read exclusively on my devices, like my iPad or Kindle Paperwhite. A future tactic may be exploring audiobooks. I'll never give it up, I love it too much.
  • Deciphering TV program descriptions. This is so aggravating! I usually lean way in or even get out of my chair and get closer to the set to read it. When we watch TV together, my wife will read it to me.
  • Depth perception. I'm taking extra care walking downstairs particularly. No fix for this, just remember the axiom; Slow is smooth and smooth is fast! I try not to rush so much these days.
  • Street signs as I'm driving! This one is a real problem, my solution is Google maps in voice mode, it tells me a 1/4 mile before I need to turn.

Driving and AMD

Time out to explain my driving!

My fellow AMD peeps will understand this. Others?...not so much! It is still safe for me to drive! Let me explain, it's all about small stuff and big stuff. We can see roads, curbs, stop signs and lights, it's all about context and familiarity. I don't drive at night unless I'm in my own known territory, I try not to drive at night at all. I will be the first one to relinquish my car keys when it's time. There is no way I want to hurt myself or anyone else and I won't!

What does my future hold?

If my eyes continue to decline, I will face some hard realities and have to give up some of the freedoms I enjoy and take for granted. There may come a day when I have to sell my beloved pick-up truck and submit to just being a passenger with my wife and friends doing the driving. Yes, that will be a sad day and I will grieve it. But, it is what it is and I think it's better to anticipate and plan rather than act surprised when it happens.

"For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." - African Proverb

Clinging to some known patterns of my disease

AMD is a ”slow mover” as a rule. It has taken me 8 years to get where I am and I'm still not blind! (Thanks to a great RS doc and 60+ injections.) I can still drive, read, watch TV, and enjoy life. About a month ago, I got my first Beovu injection and I am to get another one soon. It is the new anti-VEGF drug just approved last October. I've got big hopes for it and will let you guys know how it's going, good or bad, I will let you know.

I remain hopeful for the ongoing clinical trials and root for the doctors and scientists working on AMD. I'm wishing all of us well on our health journeys.

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