Newly Diagnosed, My AMD Journey
What happens when you are first told you have AMD? Well, in a nutshell, it’s not going to be a good day! And that is an understatement!
Discovering you have macular degeneration
This is what happened to me, I simply went to my optometrist for a new pair of glasses. My optometrist discovered some concerns while doing my eye exams and referred me to a retina specialist (RS). It all went rapidly downhill from there!
What happened then? The RS told me I had wet AMD in my right eye and dry AMD in my left eye! Whoa!!! Personally, I did not know the first thing about AMD! I didn’t know if they were telling me I was going to go blind rapidly or slowly. My intuition was telling me that it was very bad news, but I clung to the hope that the eye doctors could cure me.
Learning about eye injections and vitamins
What then? The RS told me I was going to get injections in my wet eye. Oh, Lord! He was going to poke me in the eye with a needle, repeatedly, on a regularly scheduled basis, forever! Then, for the dry eye, he wanted me to take vitamins! Yep, vitamins!
What happened to the medicine (preferably in pill form) for my dry AMD? I sincerely thought these high powered “super doctors” that went to med school for a gazillion years had more tools in their tool bag than vitamins? Goodness! (Later, after we become AMD veterans, we learn about the strategies of exercise,diet and nutrition, vitamins, supplements, and maintaining a healthier BMI, etc. But sadly, as AMD rookies, we know none of this.)
The emotions of the newly diagnosed
So where does that leave us now? Well, we go through a lot of anguish, worry, and dread. It’s a natural progression for the newly diagnosed. Actually, we go through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and ultimately acceptance.
Gradually, step by step, inch by inch, we will adapt to our “new normal” and learn coping skills and find the ever-elusive state of acceptance. It’s a long road to get there, I tell ya! But get there, you will, you simply have to!
Veteran of eye injections
It’s not easy to wrap your head around this! Let's face it- AMD is no fun! A new diagnosis of AMD can make you scared of going legally blind! The mere mention of needing eye injections is mind-blowing!
I’ll just go ahead and admit, a part of me was very scared. But I'll tell you the truth, I've become tired of being scared! My mind can conjure up far worse scenarios than are actually happening to me. I guess you could say I'm past the ”rookie” stage of having AMD and I'm now a veteran at it.
Finding support for macular degeneration
Where do we go from here? The real question is how do we get there? It’s through the passage of time and educating ourselves, as best we can. Through time and belonging to a fantastic support group like we have here, reading, participating, and asking questions.
Does macular degeneration affect your mental health?