Senior woman in her garden smelling flowers and bird watching

Breaking the Mold

Lessons learned along life’s journey have prepared me to deal better with the challenges that come with macular degeneration. No one wants to hear they may gradually lose their central vision and that there is no cure.

Many of us have family members who suffered from macular degeneration, which further frightens us about experiencing the same fate. Well-known English actress, Dame Judi Dench, fit into this same mold. For many, it feels like a “doomsday” scenario, but not for Judi!

Judi Dench cracks the mold and lives life fully

Think YOU can’t “crack the mold?” Read this and be inspired! Academy Award and Tony-winning actress, Judi Dench, makes AMD (age-related macular degeneration) sound like an afterthought! It has not slowed her down! Judi, 87 years old, hasn’t missed a beat since being diagnosed with AMD in 2012.

According to Judi, “I can’t read the paper now, I can’t do the crossword, I can’t read a book. I’ve had to find another way...” In 2017, she was forced to stop driving. She goes on to say, “You adjust to it. So I ignore it altogether."

She is still working! Her scripts are in a much larger font and she DOES get assistance from devices and asks others for help. She has found how to work around her AMD. I am impressed with how she has reinvented herself to overcome AMD’s obstacles!

We can reinvent ourselves

During my life, I have had several different careers, including grocery clerk, hairdresser, secretary, marketing officer, realtor, sales manager, healthy lifestyle facilitator plus now, a macular degeneration advocate. Never satisfied to stay in one place long, I’ve often described myself as a “hummingbird,” flitting from one flower to the next.

An associate who witnessed one of these transformations, exclaimed “You are constantly reinventing yourself!” – little did I know that this desire to change-adjust-transform would come in handy after I retired.

Breaking the mold

Although my mother and a cousin had AMD, I was hopeful about not getting AMD. After all, I never smoked, ate nutritious foods, and maintained a healthy weight. Despite doing everything right, I was diagnosed with AMD following cataract surgery at age 65.

Little did I know that my history of reinventing myself would ease the path I was about to travel. I needed to take a deep breath, keep going, and once again reinvent myself! 

7 Steps to overcoming obstacles with AMD

In hindsight, there were 7 steps I want to share that may make the way easier.

1. Acknowledge what your specific sight limitations are We are all unique and over time, our limitations do change. Where are you right now?

2. Find new ways to work around those limitations – there likely is a solution.

3. Discover and acknowledge your strengths, both inner strength and outer, physical strength.

4. Take action to utilize your unique talents and strengths. Make a plan. Get busy!

5. Be grateful for the gifts you still possess – there are many, including being here right now!

6. Share those gifts with others. Never underestimate how beneficial this is – to others AND yourself! In fact, you will probably benefit far more than anyone else. For me, it was advocating for Try different things. One will stick – SHARE IT!

7. Find peace and contentment, despite your physical challenges, and LIVE YOUR FULLEST LIFE!

Take back your control – Don’t let AMD control you. It’s a choice!

The positive attitude and enthusiasm for life demonstrated by Judi Dench amaze me! Let’s ALL be amazed and live our lives to the max – just like Judi.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

More on this topic

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.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.

Community Poll

Do you rely on food and nutrition to slow down the progression of MD?