Stargardt's (Juvenile Macular Degeneration)

I know this is not a story about age related macular degeneration, but I thought I would share - hope you all don't mind.

Remedial reading classes

I am not about to be 70 years young in November. When I was in grade school, my grades started to decline. The nuns did not take that well, along with my mom. In my heart, I know she really did not mean it but it still hurt. The word "stupid" started getting used a lot. That sucks. It was decided that I would be sent to remedial reading classes.

After being there for a time, the teachers told my folks that my comprehension was fine and suggested that I might need glasses. I went to an eye doctor that did just that. Gave me glasses - glasses did not help. I went from "stupid", to "stupid and lazy", and continued remedial reading classes to which they said my comprehension was fine and that I needed better glasses and a better doctor.

A bombardment of tests

Doctor Glenn in the Highland Building in the East End of Pittsburgh, PA was recommended. So that is what we did. I went through a bombardment of tests - ouch - ya know? After this doctor told us that I have a problem in my retina, and sent me to a retina specialist. He also said that by the time I was 16 I would not see well enough to get my driver's license. He said that I would be legally blind.

The look on my dad's face is still stuck in my mind's eye. I was around 12-13 years old I think at the time. Well on to the specialist in downtown Pittsburgh, PA for another bombardment of tests even more intense than the first ones. Dr. Gattos' diagnosis was right.

Playing sports

At the age I was, it really did not sink in. I kept doing all the things that a young guy does with his friends. No baseball - tooooo fast. Lost the ball in mid-flight not wanting to tell anyone of the other guys. They just thought I was an awful baseball player.

So that was the end of that game for me. I did not really care. I liked the pick-up game of football we all used to play (I could see that football), haha! I could of on, but all you asked for is my story.

Stories of living with Stargardt's

In the fifty-plus years of living with Stargardt's (juvenile macular degeneration), I got some stories. Some funny, and some not so funny.

Oh yeah, I was drafted in 1970. I went there for my physical and I had a note from my eye doctor. I went through the whole routine. The eye test was near the end. Even with the note, they checked out my vision. No need to say that army did not want me.

If you read this, I hope this was not too boring.



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