AMD. Emotions.

 

early signs md 2

We all suffer loss at some time in our lives.

The feeling of loss comes from losing something precious.

A loved one, a loved possession or perhaps moving from a beloved place.

It can be a loss of a limb, of our hearing and our independence perhaps.

In the case of Aged-related Macular Degeneration, it is a gradual loss, but there comes the point where you have to accept that it is never going to get better.

(Some people like to claim that it can get better because there are treatments available outside of the NHS in the United Kingdom, but I have looked into that, and it depends on what type of AMD you have.)

I want to share with you my journey with this problem because I can see that there is such a lack of information about what people are actually experience. I did not know about the darkness, distortion, light sensitivity and other problems. I just thought that it was a matter of losing central vision.

Now I want others to know what to expect or what their relatives or friends are experiencing. I do understand that there are no two cases alike. Each person’s  experience will be as different as each of the millions of others who have it.

Yesterday after suffering from dry AMD for two years, and then a further nine months with WET MD, I finally reached the point where I had to face up to the fact that it is never going to be better than it is now.

I am currently waiting for the point where my eyesight has degenerated to the NICE guidelines, so that I can start having injections to slightly improve the sight or at least arrest the deterioration. (Injections cost the NHS £1000 each.)

In the last two weeks, I have been experiencing distortion, and I thought that my eyes had reached the necessary point.  So I was surprised when the consultant said that there was no difference on the scan from four weeks ago.

When I asked why I have the distortion suddenly, he replied that he was surprised that I had not had it before.

He also explained that I only have it in my GOOD EYE!

It is weird how I have struggled seeing out of my bad eye, all of my life, but now the good eye is so bad that the bad one sees clearer!

He also explained that the injections might slightly improve the sight again, and they will most likely maintain the sight that I have. But it is worth repeating that the sight has to get worse before it gets better.

This is where the conundrum comes in. I suddenly realised that the sight I have now would never be any better because they will not give me the jabs until it gets worse. Therefore it is never going to be any better than it is now.

Does that make sense? My emotions went into a dip yesterday when I realised that deep down I was hoping that the injections were going to make things better.

I hope that this blog makes sense to you and you can understand what I am trying to say.

I am firing this off early in the morning before a busy, but enjoyable day out in Falmouth in Cornwall with some friends. I am so grateful for that.

A very kind liaison lady came to see me at the Eye Infirmary yesterday, and she gave me some anti-glare goggles to place over my glasses, for the light sensitivity. She was there for me and listened and reassured me that I would never completely lose my sight unless anything else goes wrong other than the MD.

So I have a lot to be grateful for. But I wanted to share this to my groups on Facebook, and others who may find it when looking up AMD on the internet. Just to help people understand this condition that bit better.

I am also grateful for the lovely people in my local MD group in Plymouth, for their company and understanding. When we eat out once a month, we can sit and laugh and feel somewhat normal, even with the enlarged print menus that the restaurants provide!

 

 

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Yeh But!

cherry blossom

Are you going to enjoy the cherry blossom this Spring? Not long now. 

Or are you going to say “Yeh but it doesn’t last long and look at the mess it makes.”

There is so much to be grateful for don’t you think? Yet there are many who are griping about the state of the world, or their life circumstances, or anything else that they can think of.

How wonderful that you had a day out with the kids?  YEH BUT… is the reply.

Isnt the weather lovely?   Yeh But………

You came through your surgery alright then?  Yeh But……..

I hear you have had promotion at work?  Yeh But………..

And on and on.

I have had conversations with homeless people. Others who are bankrupt. Still others who are elderly and infirm.

 People who are ill or grieving from loss perhaps.

In other words, people who really do have something to gripe about in the eyes of society. But somehow they still manage to see the bright side of things. They still inspire the good in others.

One homeless woman with whom I got into converstaion, was grateful that she had a lot of friends who were also homeless. They have good times together, not one negative word out of her. I came away feeling blessed and grateful.

I saw a post on Facebook this morning by someone who needed to attend A & E, but instead of complaining she said that she was grateful for the kind attention of the staff, even though they were rushed off their feet and she had to wait a long time.

Another good example is of an elderly lady whom I looked after, she only had one breast, one leg. one eye and was in a wheelchair. Yet we care assistants loved attending to her needs, because she always cheered us up. She used to say that when they bury her the cost will be half price!

If you are constantly looking for the dark side of everything, or dwelling on the past, then the chances are that you are not living consciously. The chances are also very strong that you will get what you are thinking about and be miserable no matter what you do.

Are YOU unsconcious of all the good things around you?

Do you want to be subjective to these thoughts? Or do you want to live in gratefulness?

It is possible to make the choice.

Are you living an abundant life? Do you know what that means?

Or are you living in a “Yeh But” world and only seeing what you do not have?

 

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Can I Prevent Age-related Macular Degeneration?

early signs md

 

early signs md 2early signs md 3

 

 

 

      These illustrations show the progress of how a person with AMD can experience the decline in vision.      

 AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is quite a common condition .

The macula is located at the back of the eye and is the most sensitive part of the retina. When it is damaged the centre of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted or dark.

I MUST EMPHASISE THAT IT IS THE CENTRAL VISION THAT IS AFFECTED AND PROVIDED THAT YOU HAVE NO OTHER EYE CONDITIONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO COMPLETELY BLIND.

Ageing itself can cause damage, and there are two types of AMD commonly known as Wet or Dry.

The dry type is slow advancing, and many people will have it for some time before they notice there is something amiss.

The first signs are that you may find yourself forever cleaning your glasses. Or you may simply put it down to needing new glasses or that you are putting poor sight down to part of the ageing process and ignore it. It is mostly picked up when you have an eye test. Generally speaking, it begins at the age of around 50, but since nothing happens at any certain age, that is not a given fact.

Dry MD can slowly develop and once diagnosed, it can be monitored and you can change your diet and lifestyle to help slow the process down.

However, 1 out of 10 cases develops into Wet MD and can have more serious implications. Although with wet MD there are injections to slow the process down, there is still no guarantee that it will work.

Let me tell you my story.

Nearly three years ago during a regular annual eye test, the Optician showed me the photos of the back of my eyes, and I could see white spots. (Drusen)  He explained that these are signs of Macular Degeneration.

I felt quite alarmed because my Mother has it and I have seen her struggling over many years. But this optician told me about a nutritional supplement that would help to slow up the development. We shall discuss that supplement in the group that I hope to start on Facebook.

I already knew of a Guild in Plymouth which helped people with vision and hearing difficulties, so I went along and found a lot of information about the condition and also what aids there were available.

They also told me about Plymouth University having a department where you could go and have regular examinations and also be a guinea pig for students learning Ophthalmology. Not only that but if there was a serious development, they could contact the Eye Infirmary direct and I would not have to go through my GP.

I rather liked that idea, so I went. And for the past two years I have enjoyed talking to the tutors and students and finding a lot of information. They also have a scanner there, and it was fun to see the back of my eye laid out for interpretation.

They have been impressed with my tenacity and resilience to the situation, and how I stay so positive. But I must admit to being quite alarmed at times when I notice more severe symptoms such as distortion, even to the extent of seeing people’s head’s shaped like ET.

I have a couple of other issues with my eyes, such as double vision which manifests when I am tired and with the added complication of the 6th nerve damage. So, eleven years ago it stopped me from driving. Although I had the problem all my life, as I got older I could not control it so well. But that is another story.

The 6th Nerve damage was caused by the forceps at birth. Resulting in what is commonly called a lazy eye. So I am mostly reliant on my left eye, I often describe it as “I can see all right, but it feels like the brain will not tell me what it is I am seeing.”

Because of the problems with my right eye, the Eye Infirmary are keeping up regular monthly checks. If I lose the vision in that eye, I will be in trouble.

Last July I went along to the University because although the regular eye test at the opticians resulted in new glasses, I was still struggling to see. They did a scan and found that it had developed into Wet MD.

Wet MD is where abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, and these vessels can leak fluid and blood, which can lead to swelling and damage of the macula.

The University fast-tracked an appointment for me at the Eye Infirmary (What a horrible name)

After numerous tests, the EI are monitoring me regularly because when it reaches a critical point, they can start with injections into the eye, which will slow up the progress.

The latest development is that peoples faces are distorted and have taken on a perculiar appearance. I have adjusted my own image here so that you can see what I am seeing. me-now-2016Distortion

 

 

 

You can read in a previous blog how this affects my everyday living.

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/experience-macular-degeneration/

Some people have claimed that there is a cure, but I have yet to come across any proven cures. The EI and the University certainly have not found any.

But I was asked the other day about whether MD can be prevented.

It is best to start as early as possible to make lifestyle changes. 

Although none of us can guarantee to prevent any disease in our lives, there are things that you can do to strengthen your chances of not getting it. Or giving your body a better chance to deal with any disease at all.

It is no surprise to me that the answer is the same as with many other diseases of the Western world, such as obesity, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and other modern diseases.

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish.

I do all of these things and also take a special supplement called Macushield.

I am considering starting the Facebook group for this condition, both in helping people to try and prevent it and how to deal with it.

Would you please comment either on this blog or in the comments on Social Media if you would like to join us.

There are plenty of MD Facebook groups in the US, but because our health care systems are different in the UK, I think that it will be of benefit to many.

Also, of course, the nature of the condition prevents people from reading on Facebook, and I suspect that many don’t get the opportunity or are not aware of the advantages of it.

But it may be that you have a relative or friend that you could help by belonging to the group.

Would you please share this, because I would like as many people as possible to benefit from a good Facebook group on AMD.

The picture below is the scene without any eye problems!

Meadow

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