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The Way I See It: Limited Vision and My World

Even after being retired for the past 10 years, I still look forward to summer. A time for fun in the sun, a break from the regular everyday life. Myopic macular degeneration is always a part of it all. Always present.

Upon leaving for vacation, MMD reared its annoying head

Last summer started off with an added bonus: an opportunity to visit sunny California. This visit would bring my 86-year-old mother and older sister together to visit our baby sister and her family. Plane tickets were secured, and before I knew it, we were on our way, flying from the Midwest to the sunny west coast for a week of relaxing and family time.

Our departure day started early, 4:30 AM early. This ensured that we had ample time before boarding our plane at 6:30. It was in these predawn hours that my myopic macular degeneration reared its annoying little head.

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With this early arrival time, we had plenty of time to grab our breakfast before boarding the plane. Getting Mom settled at our gate, my sister and I proceeded to search for a quick bite to eat. This is when MMD waved a cheery hello. I had to step back, sigh a bit, and ask for help.

Encountering inaccessible food menus in the airport

You see, each kiosk in the airport has their own separate menus. These menus are situated high above the cooking station, convenient for those that can read them — not so convenient for those who cannot read them.

I quickly checked for paper menus to no avail, then turned to my sister and asked if she could please tell me what they offered. She gladly did so, but it still gave me pause. Something so simple as ordering a breakfast sandwich and coffee turned into a moment of remembering. A feeling of helplessness over such a small thing can set you back. Certainly not big world problems, but in my world, the reality of limited vision can give you a sense of being unable to care for yourself.

I did not let it get me down — just pushed that feeling down and made the best of it.

Time with family is so special

We arrived in sunny California in no time at all, and thus began our adventure. Family time is so special, especially after the pandemic limited it.

Days were filled with poolside breakfast klatches, afternoon brunches, shopping, cocktails by the poolside, and late-night hot tub fun. Through it all, time with family is and was so special.

Managing sun exposure in a sunny world

Living in this sunny world has its advantages, outdoor living an everyday thing. Bright and beautiful, temperatures never really cold... truly quite a treat for this Midwest girl.

Not to negate this lifestyle or visit, but there was one annoying aspect that I had not anticipated: the sun. I was often pushed to a darkened world as the sunbeams poured through the windows of any place we were, obscuring anyone and anything in its path. I constantly would pivot or shield my eyes from those rays in an attempt to see what I needed to see.

Again, not the end of the world; just a reminder that life with macular myopic degeneration is here to stay, showing me once again the way I see it.

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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