AMD Constant adjustment.

 

As many of you know, I have the condition known as AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

I won’t go into the details of the condition; you can google it for that, or look at previous blogs that I have written.

I like to write about my experience, for people to understand it, both in the carer’s capacity and the sufferer.

As soon as people are diagnosed with this condition, life becomes a challenge.

Firstly the acceptance of it. Sad to say, many consultants or ophthalmologists, don’t understand that when they use the words, “There is no cure, and nothing that can be done I’m afraid” (which many people who have the condition have experienced,) it frightens people badly. They panic, they despair, they wonder what is going to happen and I have had people say that they could not stop crying for days afterwards.

Secondly, life takes on new challenges.

For this blog, I will take just these two, as there are much more in our everyday lives.

The first one, scary as the consultant’s words are, they are not as final as they may sound. Yes, there is no cure at present for AMD, but there could be in the future. But there is so much help, and support that in reality, the consultant’s words should be something like “There is no known cure at present, but as long as you don’t have any other conditions, you will not go blind. And there is plenty of help and support out there for people like you. Let me introduce you to a way to start.”

You could then be led down several routes.

(The information in this blog may not be suitable for other countries, but I hope that it will lead you to see that there is support, and you will find out from the US group.)

So now to the second point from above. Life takes on new challenges.

Yes, it does indeed. Firstly there is the challenge of acceptance. I am not saying that there is never any hope of a cure, but at the time of writing there is not. I have had some people sending me links about treatments that they have had, and it may have worked for them, but scientifically there is no cure.

I have also had suggestions to me that it is emotional and maybe there is something that I am not seeing in my life that needs to be sorted. Someone even suggested that all illness is emotional. I am not dismissing that idea, and yes, I can go along with that, but AMD is a mechanical breakdown, and it needs to be managed until there is a better way. Much the same as managing any other breakdown in our body.

If the emotional side of it grabs you, then, by all means, look at it. If it works for some, I would dearly love to hear about it. Not theory or hearsay, but testimonials of your own experience.

But I am talking to people who don’t think that way, and just want support for their condition. To know how to learn to live with it, and make the most of their new lives, with AMD and hear about how others manage.

So, back to the challenges that AMD can present themselves in our everyday lives. Well, there are many;

  • Learning how to manage gadgets, books etc., by adjusting the font sizes.
  • There are plenty of hearing tools, such as audio books, and your local library will help.
  • Having some visual identification such as a white symbol symbol-canecane, so that people will understand if you are taking a long time in the supermarket queue or getting on and off the bus.
  • Finding ways of continuing your hobbies. With suitable lighting and magnifying tools.

Those are just some of the aids that help. You will find out more as you go along.

Then, as the condition progresses, you may have to make more adjustments.

Up to now I have managed to continue my hand sewing and have been making some quite intricate items. But in the last two weeks, I have realised that I need to find an alternative. I can no longer manage it. I am currently struggling to make my last cushions after doing them for a few years. That is an adjustment. A challenging one, but by being tenacious, I realise that I can make crochet items instead because crocheting is a more tactile activity.

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That is just one example. Other examples may be, changing your room around so that you have plenty of lighting or shadow where it’s needed. For example, you may find the TV is better in another part of the room or your chair.

I am finding that my life is enhanced by having this condition. I am starting to work in a local group who do courses for people with visual limitations, and from this, I am making many new friends. I also belong to the local Macular Society group, and sometimes I almost ache with laughter at seeing the funny side of everything.

I have great pleasure writing about the condition because not many people who have it can do that for one reason or another. That way I feel that life still has a meaning and purpose.

We can all adjust to anything in our lives. Most times it is fear that prevents us from seeing that. Whether it is illness, disability, job loss, losing a partner or someone special in our lives and many other life events.

I am not saying that it is easy, I know from personal experience what it is like to be depressed after or during a life-changing event. But what I want to share is that in the end with a positive mindset, and being grateful in our everyday lives for the things we take for granted; it can be done.

I hope that reading this will encourage many people not to despair when diagnosed with AMD. There is much to hope for, and all is well. Just keep making those adjustments and enjoying life. It is possible.

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What Do You Fear About Ageing?

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What is it about ageing that frightens people most do you think?

What do YOU fear most in old age?

I would love to hear from you about your fears and what you think could be done about it.

People blame the Government, their relatives, their offspring or their parents just for starters. It is their perception that;

The Government, don’t do enough to help.

Their relatives don’t care.

Their offspring is too busy.

Their parents; because of the legacy of beliefs, and the way they were brought up.

Have you ever considered that you can change all that?

Have you ever considered that actually the ball is in YOUR court and that actually if you change the way you think, it could change the outcome?

If you are already in a situation where you seem to be at the hands of all the people and situations I have mentioned, then could you make it your desire to help those who are coming behind to learn by your mistakes?

If you are coming up to retirement or consider yourself a YOUNG older person, i.e., Baby Boomer, could you still change the way that you think and make your older years vital and creative? You too could help people to realise that one doesn’t have to be a victim in your older years.

I have just been reading the book “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill again. Alongside that I have been listening to an audio of Wayne Dyers, “Wishes Fulfilled”. Both books teach you how you can change your thinking.

Although these books were written for entrepreneurs, and indeed “Think and Grow Rich” is, there is a lot in them that would help you to change your thinking and enrich your lives in all areas, not just money.

Certainly in your approach to your older years. Whether you are rich or poor, you do have choices in how you think. Thinking is energy and energy is the stuff of which the Universe is made.

Think about it!

We all make choices in life. We all think.

What can you change about the way that you think?

In the next blog, I will give you some examples of how changing the way that you think, can change your health, your outlook on life and can bring you joy, peace and happiness, right where you are now no matter what your circumstances.

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The Ageing Adventure.

happycherry_coverI thought today that I would give you some idea of where I have been and where I am going, and why I believe that I can support people in their own ageing adventure.

I started working with older people forty years ago as a care assistant in residential homes, having realised that I had a vocation for that.

Through that, I learnt what makes people in general tick and observed the different ways that people age. Some strong and cheerful even through great adversity, and others bitter and twisted and very difficult to care for.

This implanted in me a desire to make sure that I would not go into my own ageing with unforgiveness and lack of a loving attitude towards my fellow humans.

I opened my own care home after a lot of hard work, passing social services inspections, having converted and painted and decorated, and furnishing a house from scratch, while still working on a night shift. Getting about four hours of sleep a day, over many weeks.

I left the caring profession after a very difficult personal experience with divorce and loss and then meeting and marrying my second husband. But still found myself caring and supporting Elderly neighbours

I also gained experience of the middle age population and enjoyed observing them, by becoming involved with the WI as president of my local meeting, and also did two years on the Cornwall Executive commitee.

At the age of 67, I was introduced to Life Coaching, which in turn led me to realise how much I loved learning. I had not had much oppurtunity at school and left at the age of 15, then married at 19, and went on to having three children and was “just a Naval Housewife”.

I had been led into Life coaching by a friend who was impressed with how healthy I was, and had kept my weight under control. She was convinced that weight management would be a good way for me to go, under the auspice of Life coaching. So I went to University, part time, at the age of 67. 

Because of my backgroud of bingeing and dieting for over forty years, I felt right about this. I then went onto writing books about the subject and designing a website.

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com

Then someone spotted that I was a good ambassador for ageing well. At the age of 70 I joined Damsels in Success, which is a personal development group for business women.

So I turned my interest to Ageing with Vitality.  

And here I am. Long story-short.

So what now then?

I have recognised that people who are ageing are often operating from a place of fear. Fear of ageing and fear of dying.

So the next few blogs will be about these subjects and to explain my next steps in the adventure of supporting people in these areas.

Watch this space.

Namaste

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