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Group of ostriches being friendly with 1 ostrich off to side pulling his head out of the sand not sure what they are doing

Symptoms in Year 8 With My AMD

Remember the old story about the ostrich that buried his head in the sand when he was scared?

Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts. I’ve been guilty of being in denial about my waning vision due to my AMD. I’m not proud of it. But I’m not ashamed by it either. It’s a natural tendency to try and avoid a painful truth.

How did I get here?

My journey with AMD began 8 years ago. Wet in the right, dry in the left. Some 60+ injections later, I will try to explain what many of us may be experiencing now.

  • Year 1 through 4 were pretty benign, no real sight loss to speak of.
  • Year 4 through 6, I noticed distortion on the Amsler grid, wavy lines, etc.
  • Year 6 through present day. My right (wet) eye has a fuzziness in my central vision. It’s not blacked out, it’s like a smudge in the middle of your glasses.

What’s happening now?

These are some other subtle changes I’m noticing.

  • Reading a menu in a cozy restaurant is now a challenge. I use the flashlight function on my smartphone to read the menu in low light conditions. Another trick is to pull up the menu on my device before I go and decide on my entree before I enter the restaurant. If all else fails, I just ask my wife to read what I’m pointing at on the menu.
  • I struggle to read the program descriptions on the guide of my TV.  I lean in closer or even get out of my chair to get close enough to read it.
  • Reading street signs while I am driving is challenging. Google maps in voice mode is a savior here.
  • I’m often amazed to observe my wife reading in low light conditions. I’m the first one to turn on the house lights as dusk approaches.

Good eye days and bad eye days

There are a lot of subtle changes happening. I actually have good eye days and bad eye days. I love where I live now, it’s on the Gulf Coast near the Gulf of Mexico. I take my dog for a 2-mile walk every morning. We have a really nice sidewalk on the median between the street I live on. It’s scenic with grass and trees along the sidewalk path. The cars of my neighbors pass by while we are walking along this path. I’ve been told by friends and neighbors something like “We saw you and Sassy (my dog) walking and waved but you didn’t see us and you had a serious look on your face.” That’s another thing I have trouble with, the reflections off car windows and not being able to see who’s in the car as it passes by. I’m looking serious because I’m squinting! It’s funny in a way, but also a sign of my visual impairment…and that’s not so funny. But it is what it is and I’m a happy and friendly guy, when I see you that is!

Where am I going with all this?

I’m trying to accept my plight and understand what is happening to me. I want to define all the strategies that I should be doing for my health. It means educating myself with the help of my doctors and with you, my peers.

I’m thankful to find people that are on this health journey with me.

Building an online support system

I am so glad I found MacularDegeneration.net and other sites like it. We are connected and up on the latest news about our disease. We learn vicariously from each other’s experiences. Each of our paths are different but we can participate in each other’s lives by communicating.  I urge you to read, react with emoticons and especially to comment on posts from your peers. I’m not talking about my posts but about all the content on the site that moves you in any way. I urge you to check in with the group and let us know how you’re doing. Ask any questions, state any fears or whatever you may have and I know you will get a response and support. I’m glad we’re all here and that we don’t have our heads stuck in the sand.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MacularDegeneration.net 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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