I Have GA

Last updated: September 2022

Doesn’t “geographical atrophy” sound like it means the world is getting smaller?

Well, in a way it does. GA is advanced MD. And I’ve given up night driving on my own. I used to drive almost 100 miles every week to chorus practice. Now I’ve found other organizations closer to home. And Zoom is a great invention.

Saving vision

I love to drive. It scares me that I may have to be totally dependent on someone else eventually. I’m an avid reader. Thanks to my right eye, which is “saving me” right now according to the doctor, I can still read even the smallest print. But when I do crossword puzzles, I’m often filling in a four-letter answer when it’s actually a six-letter answer.

Writing troubles

I can’t see what I have written while I’m writing it. Needless to say, this leads to some strange handwriting. Luckily, I’ve never had very nice handwriting anyway. When I watch television, I find that sometimes to see an entire face I must look to the side a little, rather than directly at it. The same way when I’m reading the eye charts. Looking straight on with my left eye, I’m not even sure of the “E”! But to look slightly to the right (which I believe is called eccentric vision) I can make out a couple of lines.

My right eye is getting worse

Although to do this, I’m reading the lines backward sometimes. My right eye, which is getting worse, still can read enough that I can drive legally. On the last visit to the specialist, he showed me how bad my vision was allowed to be before I can’t drive.

In a way, it was a relief. But I really don’t think I want to be out there putting myself and others in danger with vision that bad. Just the original diagnosis of AMD probably about ten years ago terrified me. The optometrist told me I’d be blind, and wouldn’t be able to drive, read, watch tv, or recognize faces!

Choose specialists wisely

This disease requires specialists and definitely someone with a little more tact! But he was right. To a point. I’m finding along the way that I have to make some adjustments. I’m used to all strait edges looking a little askew now.

But I’m still me. And I still enjoy my life, even though my “geography” has “atrophied."

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