A man looks up toward the sky, which is full of flying seagulls.

What Do We Do Now?

Recently, I wrote a story (My “New” Normal) detailing the fact that I’ve had AMD for almost 9 years now but one of my eyes seems to be in a rather rapid decline. A fellow member of our site remarked, “I’m at this stage right now and not sure what to do?” Man... can I relate to that! So, that’s what I’ll try to make this story about.

My history with AMD

First, a little of my history with AMD is in order.

About 9 years ago, I simply visited my local neighborhood optometrist for a new pair of glasses, and that’s where the trouble started. (That’s Trouble with a capital T, y’all.) Long story short, my optometrist discovered some shadows (drusen) during my eye exam and sent me to an RS (retina specialist). The RS confirmed that I had wet AMD in one eye and dry AMD in the other. Bummer! Big bummer!

So, OK, what happened, you ask?

My vision was quite stable for 9 years

Well, a lot of scary stuff and wasted “fear” energy on my part, that’s what. But a funny thing happened along the way... I kind of got used to my predicament. My rosy optimist side kicked in and I took the injections for the wet in stride and for the better part of 9 years, my vision was quite stable. This allowed me to morph into a state of acceptance about the whole thing. You guys know what happens when we get too comfortable and cocky, don’t you? (Spooky music playing...) Yep! The hammer comes down...WHAM!!!

My dry eye progressed

All this time, I’d been worried about my wet eye and, you guessed it... my dry eye is “going south”!

Just in the last 6 months, my dry eye has gone from 20/30 corrected to 20/100! (And I think the nice tech lady in the RS office is being generous giving me the 20/100.) So that’s my current dilemma or the pickle I’m in. All of a sudden my sense of acceptance about my vision got up and went! To where, I’m not sure, but it vamoosed, big time!

I’m not sure what to do?

We are back to the title of this story, the one I share with many of you... what do I do now? Seeing as how I really do not know the answer, let’s make a list! (Chorus sings Ta-Dah!)

Stuff I already know, won’t work:

  • gnashing of teeth and wringing hands, worrying excessively
  • denial
  • bargaining
  • depression

I know that stuff won’t work, believe me, I’ve tried it! But, what should I do now?

Stuff that might work, or at least help. Or as Hippocrates, the immortal Greek physician, in about 400 B.C. said:

  • Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
  • Life is short, the art long.
  • Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm.

Making my plan with the help of Hippocrates

It’s truly amazing that Hippocrates lived almost 2,500 years ago but his wisdom and insight are still an inspiration. So I will try to use his above 3 quotes to make my plan.

Mediterranean diet

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

I will use this as a motivation to really try and stay on the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet has been strongly recommended for people like us.

Nature and the outdoors

"Life is short, the art long."

Reminds me to appreciate and enjoy the beauty around me. For me, it is nature and the outdoors. Art can be found on walks with my dog, observing nature all around. Or for me, just a 1-mile hike or ride to Mobile Bay near the Gulf of Mexico, where I can enjoy the seagull air show, with their incessant screeching and swooping about. Watching pelicans dive-bomb onto baitfish is like art when you think about it.

Helping and striving to do no harm

"Make a habit of two things: to help; or at least to do no harm."

I’m going to try not to repeat the items from the above list of “stuff I know won’t work.” Also, if I can help anyone, I’ll do it gladly, all the while, striving to do no harm.

That's what I'm going to do

It’s a tough road we’ve been given to walk, we need to improvise and adapt... but don’t ever lose the happiness and joy part. It’s out there, we just have to remember to see it, hear it and feel it. So, that’s what I’m going to do now, I hope you will too.

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