Life After an AMD Diagnosis

People know your name, NOT your story. They’ve heard what you’ve done, but NOT what you’ve been through. So take their opinions with a grain of salt. In the end, it’s NOT what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts.

What is our daily life like as a VIP (visually impaired person)? Well, I don’t know what your daily life is like, I just know about mine. In this article, I will try and give you a look into my daily life.

My background with AMD

My journey with AMD began 8 years ago. I have wet in one eye and dry in the other. I’ve had over 60 injections in the wet eye. I can still drive, watch TV and read on electronic devices. My vision has gone from 20/20 corrected to 20/30 in one eye and 20/30 to 20/40 in the other eye. This is with my glasses and varies slightly depending on who knows what? I’ll take that as a win!

Rattled by a vision loss diagnosis

When first diagnosed at age 62, I was like many of us, I think. I was just plain scared! And had no idea what AMD would mean to me. Did it mean that I would go blind rapidly? Was I going to lose my freedom and independence?  I was a few years away from retirement and feared I would be unable to do my job for another few years. Well, I made it to 65 and retired, Yay! What a blessing that was!

My daily life after retirement

My wife and I moved away from the big metropolis we’d lived in and I bought a house on a golf course in the gulf coast area. What a lovely change of pace this was. Retirement really agreed with me. Boredom never became an issue and we both enjoyed our leisure lifestyle and made many new friends. Heck! Even my dog liked it.

Finding a new retina specialist

We were very fortunate to meet a wonderful retired couple that lived 2 houses down from us. Coincidently, Judy (our new neighbor) had a serious vision impairment. She is basically legally blind and is a total inspiration to me. Judy will be the subject of a future story and she is Helen Keller-esque, if you catch my meaning. Anyway, she referred me to a wonderful doctor. He is an RS or retina specialist. My RS is truly caring and compassionate to those of us suffering with this disease. I’m so glad I got hooked up with him.

Adopting a macular degeneration lifestyle

After much procrastination and being in denial about my AMD, I am finally taking steps that I should have been taking long ago. What are they, you ask?

  • Exercise: I’m losing weight and gaining muscle and doing cardio. I joined a gym and enrolled in several group classes. These classes are suited to seniors, yep, at 71, I guess that means me. These classes enhance strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Were they easy?  No! They weren’t easy but they weren’t killing me either. A group class is a wonderful way to segue into fitness. There is gentle peer pressure to stay up with the group. There’s also a social aspect, you make new friends.
  • Diet: This was a big one for me! I was kind of a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal meat and potatoes guy. And I loved sweets! We are now healthy eaters and are learning and trying to practice the Mediterranean diet. I’ve lost more than 50 pounds from what my weight was at retirement (and kept it off)!

I am trying to remain constant and steadfast to the principles of good health. I learned about these tools from doctors, friends, and websites like this one. It’s not what others think that matters, it’s what YOU think about yourself. I hope you’ll give yourself the respect you deserve. Onward and upward! I wish us all better health and happiness.

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