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What Should I Do?

I am almost 64 and about 1 1/2 years ago I realized that I had a blind spot in my left eye. I knew I had floaters, so I didn’t know I had a problem. I had annual check-ups with a retina specialist due to type 2 diabetes. The retina specialist had told me that I did not have signs of diabetic retinopathy but I was at risk of a detached retina.

The damage to my left eye is pretty bad

My last check-up with the retina specialist was in April, and it was February when I noticed the blind spot. I made an appointment with my optometrist. After his examination, the optometrist referred me to the retina specialist and made an appointment for me for the next day. It wasn’t until the appointments with the optometrist and the retina specialist that I realized I could not even see the big E on the chart with my left eye. The retina specialist tried to reverse the damage using injections, to no avail. He has told me that the damage to my left eye is pretty bad. I have appointments every 3 months to monitor the right eye.

Social security decisions

In the meantime, I am trying to decide if I should take social security now or wait until full retirement age. I retired 10 years ago from my career job and now work in a non-sales call center where I have developed friendships with some amazing young people. I am also surprisingly good at my job and they work with me if I need time off. I have been thinking about starting social security and maybe working part-time. My immediate supervisor would like for me to work full time. The positives to this scenario are working with people I really like, and if something happens I have disability insurance. On the other hand, I feel the need to get my house in order. I need to go thru paperwork and possessions and eliminate what I can and organize everything else so if the other eye develops a problem I will be prepared.

I value my independence

I go back and forth, at this point I would lose several hundred dollars a month by retiring now. But if I wait and something happens before I get my house in order someone else will have to help me. I have family members who want me to move next door so they can help, but, to be honest, I am not ready to move at this time. I really value my independence. I have tried to not let this define my life, but it does. I am extremely involved with my church, I am a lay minister, every Sunday I pray that I will not have to give up my work there.

Possibly losing my sight is defining my life

Today I finally realized that I need to consult a therapist. I thought this problem was not defining my life, but it does. One of my young friends told me that she did not want to see me angry any more. I thought I was angry at my job. But it does not have to do with the job. It has to do with my feelings about possibly losing part of my sight. I am so fortunate to have these friends at my time of life. My plan right now is to speak with a therapist to help me sort out what to do.

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.


  • Andrea Junge moderator
    4 months ago

    @tsquare, you certainly have a lot going on. I think recognizing that a change is needed is half the battle. I too started therapy a year ago to help me with my anxieties about my pending vision loss. I am only 37 years old, but my myopic macular degeneration causes a lot of the same worries you have written about. I made up my mind that I absolutely will not allow this disease to steal my joy and ever since then have been researching my hiney off trying to make sure I’m doing everything I can to slow the progression of the disease and keep my life as normal as I can for as long as I can. I changed my lifestyle, eating much healthier foods and exercising, taking supplements I’ve researched and know are best for my unique situation, purchased disability insurance, and see a therapist. I still have good days and bad days, but I feel like I’m doing all I can. It’s all we can do! Wishing you the best, please know you are not along and we are here for you if you ever need anything. -Andrea, Team Member

  • tsquare author
    4 months ago

    Thank You for your support. In my job I have had occasion to speak with people who have macular degeneration. Some sound like they have given up on everything because of it. Others have given me great tips on how to continue living to my full potential. I know I am worried and upset but I am choosing to continue doing the things that make me happy, I may just have to do them a different way. And I will need support from friends, family, professionals, and people like you. Thank You.

  • Andrea Junge moderator
    4 months ago

    It’s all about perspective. We can’t always change what’s happening to us, but we can control how we respond to it. It’s so important to remember that we have all probably felt that ‘I give up this is too much’ phase and somehow were lucky enough for someone to encourage us to be more positive. It’s important to be that positivity to others who are struggling. Keep up the good work and thank you for your thoughts. -Andrea, Team Member

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