MD Conference 2017 Report.

 

MD conference 2017

 

On Saturday September 16th 2017, I attended the Macular Society conference in London with my daughter.

Right from the time we stepped outside the Tube station, I was astonished at how well they were organised. As we stopped to look at our maps of the location of the conference, we spotted two people in yellow teeshirts with Macular Society on them. Every hundred yards all the way to the hotel, on every corner, there were more yellow teeshirted people many with flags to attract our attention.

We were greeted at the Hotel by warm friendly volunteers and shown where everything was. Including coffee and pastries.

The exhibitions were many and helpful and as we entered the main conference room, my daughter remarked that she was impressed by the 600 people who were proactive and not just sitting back and being visually impaired.

At 11 am the conference began with a welcome speech. Followed by three speakers. The first gave a simple illustration of the mechanics of AMD, using a packet of biscuits as an example. When the lowest biscuit in a packet is stale, it crumbles and disintegrates. This is what happens in our eyes, and the cleaning cells wear out and crumble. (Not absolutely accurate, but that is the gist of the talk.)

The next speaker was a consultant from Moorfields who was more scientific. And due to restrictions in time he had to speak very fast. But he gave examples of the many experiences of how AMD can progress, both from the patients point of view and the consultants. He also said that while we question why there are so many cases now, we need to bear in mind that we have an increasingly ageing population. Our bodies are not meant to last that long! Which you can agree with or not.

The third speaker gave a talk on Charles Bonnet syndrome. People with AMD can hallucinate. Some hallucinations can be dangerous, for example one may see a brick wall in front of them that is not there. But there could be the day when there really is a brick wall!  There can be clouds of butterflies or people with odd clothes or shapes. They reckon that it is the brain compensating for the loss in sight. There is research going on about this, but no answers yet. However, at question time a woman in the audience said that, she had had hallucinations for some time, but since she had developed another age related disease they had faded away, and she wondered whether there was a connection and the brain was now concentrating on the more serious disorder.  The Speaker was very interested to hear about this and was going to talk to her more afterwards.

At 1pm, we broke for a delicious lunch of rolls, sandwiches, wraps and fruit. Coffee was in full flow all day long.

After lunch we went to the workshops of our choice. We went to the one on supplements and nutrition. Very interesting. The best thing that you can do with supplements is to study the AREDS reports. I will do a seperate blog about supplement and AREDS in a couple of days.

As far as food was concerned, eat the rainbow, which is what I have said in other blogs before. Include lots of veg, the darker the better, and fruit also darker the better. Red meat, (not processed) is good, especially liver.

It was emphasised that once we have MD all we can do through food and supplements is to slow down the process. But that if we take on a healthy lifestyle early in life AMD along with a lot of other diseases can be delayed if not eradicated. I will add that I believe that even if we do go on to have any disease, if our bodies are healthy in the first place, we stand a better chance of recovery or at least we help our bodies to fight it.

It was also emphasised, how much smoking can damage the eyes.

So for those reading this that don’t have AMD, bear in mind that it is another reason to live healthily.

We then went back to the main conference room and heard another speaker on the latest research. They are now in a position where they can announce success with two people who have received stem cell surgery.  Their eye sight was quite bad but they have now said there is an improvement. There are now another five waiting for surgery. It will be about five years though before they will be putting this treatment out for the public. Even then, at the moment it will only be available for the most suitable criteria.

I could not help but wonder what will happen when NICE get hold of it!!

But, my daughter who stands a big chance genetically of getting AMD was encouraged by the day and learnt a lot about how to lessen the chances of it happening. Especially the amount of time and money that is going into research and finding a cure.

There was an awards ceremony for the best team within Eye hospitals, kindest and most helpful Opthamologist, and the various volunteers within and out of the MD Society.

All in all a wonderful day, and all for less than £25 I must add.

I for one am going to become a paid up member of this marvellous society. You will see their leaflets and booklets with loads of information, in yellow and black enlarged print in the Eye departments of your hospitals. I have come accross their literature in my capacity as a volunteer for my local Guild, Improving Lives. I also belong to one of their loca groups who meet monthly.

There is a helpline for those who are worried and want to talk to someone. And there were also the numerous volunteers who guided us to the hotel, were around with their smart black clothing and scarves or ties with the logo on them, to help and support in many ways in the conference and hotel, many of whom have MD themselves, and prove that life does not end with this condition. We can still contribute to society in a way that will encourage those who are badly affected, and prove that.

So, watch this space for lots more to come as I learn more, and experience myself what can happen in our everyday lives with AMD. Everyone experiences it differently, but it is useful to find out from others how they overcome it.

There are groups on Facebook and here are the links.

First the UK MD group for the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589067591220411/

Secondly for the USA

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amdcommunity/

I belong to both.

The Macualr Society Website is;

www.macularsociety.org/

 

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Dogma.

Its never too late for new beginning

I write about several subjects. When I am asked to put any given subject into a category, there is not always one to suit. Dogma is one of them.

One can be dogmatic about anything. Religion, health, nutrition, dieting, money, politics and lately I am beginning to notice some dogma creeping into Spirituality. Not good!

A loose definition of Spirituality is that; we find a truth that we know is coming from our soul and not from some outer authority.

Which in turn sets us free from fear. But there is a journey and it although it is not easy, it is exciting.

Millions of us are living in a world where we can be subjected to dogma.

One example is until recently I belonged to a club for a certain diet. Not your usual calorie counting one I may add. It worked for me, but only after experimenting to find what suits me, using the suggestions as a guide. However, after a while, the diet became dogma, not from the author, but from people joining and using the original book as dogma. Thou shalt not eat this and never eat that! The author of the original book often has difficulty getting across to people that she never meant for this to happen.

Vegetarians can become very dogmatic. Nutritionists, Dietary Advisors and it goes without saying that politicians certainly can.

Another example is The Law of Attraction. I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?

(I write about The Law of Attraction in a series of blogs for ageing, from 2015, which you can find here.) http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/ageing-the-law-of-action/

I am beginning to notice people saying that if something does not go your way it is because you are not following the rules. What rules?

The dogma that has affected my life is the one of Religion. And there are millions of people in this world who are the same. Many of them stay within that dogma for the whole of their lives. But there is an increasing awareness that we do not have to spend our lives obeying someone else’s rules because it suits them. The more I study and research, the more I am finding out that we need to find out for ourselves what the truth is for our individual soul.

I have just written a book about how I did it, which is a simple narrative of my life as a child in the 1940’s and 1950’s, a young Mother in the 1960’s and 1970’s and how the teachings of a Pentecostal dogma or fundamentalism had dire effects on my choices in life. The added factor was that the Pentecostals claim that they are not religious. But a loose definition of religion can be that we follow someone elses set of rules. And there were a lot of rules in my life that came from the Pentecostal teachings and in many other evangelical movements.

From the early 1980’s life began to change, in a very dramatic and traumatic way. With the loss of everything, marriage, business, possessions and the roof over my head, during the next thirty years, I found the way to my soul. Thirty years may seem a long time, but it has all been a gradual dawning and an exciting, although at times painful journey. I found the truth and that truth has made me free.

That is the title of my book “The Truth Has Made Me Free.” It is still being prepared for publishing at this point, September 2017, but keep a look out for it.

I recognise that there are many others who have suffered because of fundamental teaching about anything. Especially other religions, but I also know of a few who have suffered because of other dogma, not just religion.

I also want to start a group on Facebook for people who have been affected by fundamentalism or dogma, in any way. Either from your own experience, or someone you know, and how it has affected you in any way. And of course, if you too have managed to be free from it all.

Would you comment below if you would like to join such a group?

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Regular Eye Checks; Why?

Eye blue side

How often do you get your eyes checked?

 

 

  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green ones?
  • Do you know how many people are blind in the UK?
  • Do you have parents or grandparents who have AMD?
  • Do you know what your risk is of getting AMD or any other visual impairment?

 

AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration.) is becoming more common in the 21st Century because people are living longer.

Macular Degeneration as it is commonly known is the breaking down of the macula which is the part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides sharp central vision.

People with this condition can suffer increasingly blurred vision which leads to problems with reading printed or written text, colour, (particularly contrast) and difficulty recognising people’s faces. If you only have AMD and nothing else wrong with your eyes, you will not go completely blind. But you will lose your central vision.

There are other conditions with the eyes such as cataracts, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy. I recently heard a story about a chap who went for an eye test, and this was how he found out that he had Type 2 Diabetes. For an optometrist, our eyes are like reading a book. But as a friend of mine pointed out to me just today, you do need to be assertive and make sure that you ask the right questions, and what you can do about any conditions that they come across.

Also only today I heard of someone who had been scared by what the optometrist had said. That there is no cure for AMD and he was in the very early stages of the condition.

It did frighten me when the optometrist told me that I was in the early stages, but I put that fear into action by finding out what was available to help me. So don’t be put off by what they tell you, especially when they say there is no cure and there is nothing that can be done. They may be right that there is no cure, at least at the moment, but there is plenty that can be done to make life easier. I am afraid that many consultants and eye specialists have a habit of doing that, but they fail to point out that there is support available.

If you do find out that you have the early stages of AMD, you can take sensible precautions to take care of your eyes and help to slow up the process.

By wearing glasses or goggles and a hat to keep the sunlight out of your eyes. By learning what aids are available so that you stand a good chance of managing the condition.

So, the earlier you find out, the better. You may not notice anything wrong in your day to day life, except perhaps you may find that reading is blurred even with your reading glasses on. I found out from a regular eye check.

And don’t think that it is an old person condition, some people develop AMD in their twenties or thirties. I know someone who had junior onset AMD at the age of eight.

As a matter of interest here are some interesting facts for the UK. (You can google statistics or facts for your part of the world if you are not in the UK)

  • In the UK around 600,000 people currently have vision impairment caused by AMD, and around 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. (nearly 200 per day)
  • Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.
  • Total sight loss in one eye is not counted against the legality of driving.
  • People with sight loss in one eye are not considered partially sighted.
  • Total sight loss is rare, only about 4% of people with vision impairment are totally blind.
  • Sight loss, in general, affects people of all ages but especially older people. 1 in 5 aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90. (This is in degrees of sight loss, from mild to being registered blind or partially sighted.
  • In the UK there are only 5000 guide dogs.
  • Every day more than 75 new people are formally registered blind or partially sighted.
  • 75% of blind and partially sighted people of working age are registered unemployed.

There are plenty more statistics that you can find, and some of them are quite revealing. Many people, including myself for many years before I had this condition, get confused when observing people with vision loss. They cannot understand why the person can see some things and not others.

I cannot go into the details here, but I have written some of what I experience as an example here;

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/category/amd/

As far as the legality of driving is concerned, it is a minefield. The law may say that you are safe to drive with a vision impairment, in fact, some people with an impairment may be able to see the required reading of the number plate. But the insurance company’s may have something else to say about it.

For example, I was told twelve years ago that I could drive under the law. I have other things wrong with my eyes as well, and one of them is double vision when my eyes are tired. I was issued by the Eye Infirmary with a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out (don’t ask about the technicalities please!) and told that I could drive while wearing them. If I were in an accident, I would be covered by the insurance as long as I was wearing them. If I were not wearing them, then I would be liable.

No-one seemed to take into account that wearing them was a hazard for me because I could not see properly with them on. So I had to make a choice not to drive at all. Driving for me, just as it is for millions of people, was freedom and giving it up was painful. But not as much as if I had taken the risk and failed to drive safely.

The main purpose of this article is to point out how important it is to look after your eyes. The main cause of AMD is not known. But the contributing factors are genetic, diet and smoking.

It is a myth that we can get AMD from bad light or too much exposure to computers, etc. But UV light is a factor and another reason for protecting your eyes in the sunlight. The jury is still out on whether computer and smartphones can cause AMD, but there is evidence surfacing that you can suffer what is known as Digital Eye Strain. Eye strain, however, is not a contributing factor to AMD.

https://www.ft.com/content/435eef82-654e-11e6-8310-ecf0bddad227

Looking at my earlier reference to contributing factors, let’s look at the genetic factor more closely. The genetic factor is only an increased risk. It is not a guarantee that you will get it. But, if you have someone in your family, particularly your parents, with MD, then you need to be extra vigilant with eye care. CauliflowerGet plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants stored in the macula.

See more about this here:

http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/nutrition-101/foods-for-eyes/spinach-kale-leafy-greens

As for the other two, diet and smoking; just give up smoking, and eat clean as well as including the green vegetables.

And last but certainly not least. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. At least every two years. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.

One of the most difficult things for me as well as the other 600,000 people in the UK to come to terms with, is that except a miracle, my eyes are not going to get better than they are now, and they are going to get worse over time.

At the moment, because I have developed wet AMD, I am waiting for my eyes to get worse before I can begin to have injections to make them better. Don’t ask!

The only things that I can do are; to make sure that I get the nutrients I need; to shield my eyes from the sun; to eat clean and to take the supplements that I take, to try and slow up the progress.

It is important to stay positive and just let AMD be part of my life and not rule it! But that will take another article, and again let me refer you to the link for my other blogs on AMD.

http://www.patriciacherrylifecoach.com/category/amd/

The other important issue for people with AMD is to get support. You can get it with the Macular Society. Tel 01264 350 551

https://www.macularsociety.org/?gclid=CL-fk6m66tQCFdYYGwodMnQCgA

I belong to the Macular Society, and there are groups that meet up all over the country in the UK.

And in the UK there is a support group to be found on Facebook here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/589067591220411/

And in the US:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/amdcommunity/

There are other support groups on Facebook.

banner-790x90

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

For our American Friends. Hunter Gatherer/Baby Boomer extract.

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BUGTBE8

A brief Description;

Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?

Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?

In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.

 

Hi There. This is a post especially for the USA (Amazon.com)  with an extract from this book with regards to some of your history of food.

Taken from Chapter 6. The 50’s; Things improve.

Things looked a little different on the other side of the Atlantic at that time, though.

In a list from an article called “What were Americans cooking in the 1950s?” appetizers are mentioned. This was unheard of in the UK except among the better off. People would not have needed their appetite stimulated; they were hungry enough.

Among them, I found such items as fruit cup, Melon Ball Cocktail, Seafood cocktail, Pastry snails, silver dollar hamburgers, bacon wraparounds. Followed by about 30 more choices.

Another 30 or more different soups and salads, including for the soups, tomato, chicken and corn, onion, oxtail, cream of celery. And for the salads, stuffed tomato, three- bean, orange and Bermuda onion, coleslaw and cold potato salad.

Main courses consisted of grilled kabobs, scalloped chicken supreme, beef and corn casserole, American lasagne, fluffy meat loaf and baked ham with glaze. Salmon steak, chicken-a-la-king, spaghetti with sauce and ham and vegetable casserole.

Vegetables were often served with butter, cream sauce, sour cream sauce, canned soup, and topped with breadcrumbs or dried onion flakes.

Desserts consisted of such items as chiffon pie, coconut cake, peppermint candy, cake, banana chiffon cake, apricot soufflé and banana chocolate cake.

http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html

Those were the days of the first barbecues in America, too. While the Brits were still tucking into their fish and chips wrapped in newspaper or baking potatoes at the camp fire, the Americans were setting up their barbecues and cooking steaks, chicken wings, and barbecued ribs. Certainly worlds apart from the UK.

In the UK children were often given a penny to go to the fish and chip shop for a bag of “scraps.” These were the bits that came off the fish while being cooked in the deep fat fryers and came to the surface when they were being cleaned.

The 1950s brought about changes in the way that we cooked. It became a chore and something that just had to be done in the quickest and shortest way possible.

In the 50s dieting was seen as something to make you more attractive and to obtain a lovely figure. Women were happier to be a bigger size than in the later years. An icon of the fifties, Marilyn Monroe, was a size 14 (or American size 12.) She was known for her hourglass figure and her beauty.

The 50’s were an era when lower fat foods started appearing on the market, but the emphasis was on naturally lower fat foods and not specially made.

The word “fitness” was not used for many years yet, and exercise was something you did as a pastime. Exercises were known as procedures rather than routines.

I remember a dieting product called AYDS which involved eating a sort of toffee before you had your meal, which was supposed to fill you up and take away your appetite!

Did it work? What do you think?

I have mentioned what the American were eating many times in the book. Including a history of what the South Americans were eating before the Agricultural Era.

Enjoy!

 

Here is the link again. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BUGTBE8

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Extract from Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer.

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Hunter+Gatherer+to+Baby+Boomer

(I will post the link for Amazon.com tomorrow when it will be 0.99c)

This book is available today Sunday, June 11th, especially between noon and 5 pm on Amazon UK. Special promotion to get the sales up on this intriguing and unusual take on our food crisis.

I thought that you may like to see an extract from chapter 5 about the way we ate in the 1940’s and 1950’s when Baby Boomers were in their infancy;

So let’s take a look at a list of foods and the amounts that people ate during the forties and up until the early 50s.

A list of the weekly (not daily) rations looked like this;

  • Bacon & Ham 4 oz. (113 grammes)
  • Meat ½ lb (226 grammes)
  • Butter 2 oz (50grams)
  • Cheese 2 oz
  • Margarine 4 oz
  • Cooking fat (lard) 4 oz
  • Milk 3 pints. (Around 1 and ½ litres)
  • Sugar 8 oz
  • Preserves 1 lb a month.
  • Tea 2 oz
  • Eggs 1 a week.
  • Sweets/Candy 12oz every four weeks

Imagine that you can only have one piece of cheese the size of a match box a week; The size of one piece of cheese to have with your biscuits for your dessert these days!

When my mother got married in 1943, the neighbours all collected their rations of dried fruit, sugar, butter and flour and pooled them and gave them to her mother to make the wedding cake!

White flour was in short supply, and brown wholemeal flour used instead. Vegetables and local fruits were in a reasonable supply because people were making an effort to grow their own.

In a PDF called European food and nutrition policies in action. Page 19. (Euro. who. Link below) the WHO said this:

“To everybody’s astonishment, when stillbirth rates or children’s weights and heights were monitored and when the disease patterns of adults were checked, it became clear that the people of Europe were often better fed during than before the Second World War.”  From this report, I think that it is remarkable how much the government was taking an interest in people’s nutritional needs.

However, things were not as rosy as they seemed. Some children born in this era were suffering from malnourishment. I will discuss this in the next chapter about the 50s.

Recently, people are taking an interest in how people ate during this time because obesity was a rarity. Even doctors lost interest in the subject and people were a lot smaller in stature and girth.

For research purposes, there are not even any obesity statistics around for comparison.

Then, in the 1950s after fourteen years of this way of eating, things began to change. There was more food around, and as a result, people were getting bigger in stature as well as girth.

It may be worth noting that the so-called Baby Boomers generation, those born between 1948 and 1960 are the ones who have seen the biggest changes in history with diet. They have witnessed eating nothing but real food to eating the Frankenstein foods now being produced. And now in the 2010s, we see a vast change in health and well-being. But it is never too late to change your lifestyle, and if you are among this generation, there is still time to do something about it.

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

2nd Edition Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer.

HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Hunter+Gatherer+to+Baby+Boomer

I am writing this to ask you to help me with a small favour.

Some time ago I wrote a book called “Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer; How Food Evolved.” It has been on Amazon, but has now been re-published as a 2nd re-published, re-formatted and updated edition.

I wrote it because in my lifetime since the 1940’s I have been intrigued watching how food has changed out of all recognition.

The book begins with the Hunter Gatherers, but I have concentrated particularly on the last 100 years, decade by decade, right up until the developments in the 21st century.

I found some amazing facts about how people have always been aware of the shape of their bodies. Watching weight and worrying about self-image is nothing new apparently, and I found some amazing ways that people have done it.

Who is it for?

Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?

Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?

In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.

You will also learn about the obesity epidemic which has gripped the western world and where it has its roots, as well as how food has rapidly developed and changed as the 20th century progressed and our eating habits changed.

There can be little doubt that we are less healthy now than ever and this is in large part because of the food we consume. With ever increasing amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives going into our daily intake, it’s no wonder our bodies are changing in shape.

Now you can see why this has happened and make informed choices about the sort of food you consume.

Get your copy at the times below for just £0.99 and see how the food we eat today has changed beyond all recognition.

I would love it if you bought a copy to help me to get a high ranking on Amazon which puts it onto their bestseller promotions (usually featured on the right-hand side of the page) and therefore creates high visibility for this most interesting book, unique in its subject matter.

When to buy it.

To ensure that happens I have reduced the price from £3.44 to the special price of 99p. (Cheaper in USD)  It will be available for this price from 2pm-9pm on Saturday 10th June and between 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 11th June.

Please buy at the times suggested because Amazon calculates its bestseller rankings between these times.

Can you leave a review?

Then I’d love you to go onto Amazon and leave a review. The more reviews I get for this book the better its profile worldwide.

It only needs something like;

Really enjoyed Patricia Cherry’s book. I had not thought about the history of how food came to be where it is now in the 21st century. I was fascinated with how long some foods have been in existence and also with how and why we now depend on so much processed food. … Or something like that.

Don’t have kindle – still buy it.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download the Kindle player for free on all computers, tablets and phones.

I’d love it if I could reach as many readers possible world-wide.

Many, many thanks. I will let you know how it goes.

Patricia.

Here is the link again.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Hunter+Gatherer+to+Baby+Boomer

Please buy it from 2pm-9pm on Saturday 11th June and between 12 noon and 5 pm on Sunday 11th June.HunterGatherer_Patricia_Cherry_health_fiverr_weight_loss

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Experiencing Macular Degeneration.

berries-1024x300

 

I thought I would write about Macular Degeneration from the point of view (pardon the pun) of someone who is experiencing it.

This is a condition where the Macula at the back of the eye, degenerates with ageing. People who have the condition lose their central vision.

This results in loss of visual acuity and/or losing the ability to use contrast.

Because the problem is with the central vision, people may not be able to see other people’s features.

People who have this condition can fall into various categories, they may be extremely challenged and have very poor sight, or they may be just struggling to see what people without the condition can see and take for granted.

People, in general, do not understand this condition; I used to be one of them, and wonder why the sufferer (I hate that word but cannot think of a better one to use) can see some things, but not others.

Let me give you an example. I was in a store the other day looking for a warm cardigan. The cardigan I wanted was hung fairly high, and I could not see the sizes. So I asked the assistant for some help because I have a vision problem.

She asked what size I wanted, passed it down and walked away. I managed to find what I wanted eventually. But I had to keep lifting the various cardigans down because I could not see the sizes. This is to do with contrast. The sizes on the labels were in such small print that I could not see them. The sizes on the hangers were yellow against brown. NO CONTRAST.

When I went to the counter to pay, the unhelpful assistant was standing watching. The assistant behind the till asked if I wanted a bag, and when I looked down there was a five pence piece on the floor so I joked that I would have a bag as the five pence for it had just been supplied, and I picked it up.

The other Assistant, remarked, “Your sight can’t be that bad then if you can see that!”

I don’t know about you, but I hate having to be defensive. So I tried very patiently to explain that there are some things that I can see and others I can’t, and the reason why I could see the silver five pence piece was that it contrasted well with the dark carpet on the floor.

This event is what prompted me to write this. In the group that I attend for MD we are very aware of people’s ignorance about this condition, and because people are living longer now and it is a degenerative condition, there are many more of us cropping who have the condition.

You may see people, like me, who walk around using a symbol cane. There are three types of canes for sight and vision problems.

Most of you will know about the regular white cane or walking stick, which has been in use for generations.

Then there is a cane with black and red stripes, which is for people with sight and hearing problems.

The cane that I use and is coming into popular use is a Symbol cane, or Identity cane.symbol-canesymbol-cane-folded It is to alert the public that I have a vision problem and to be patient if I seem to be slow or getting in the way, or I am asking for help.

This simple little device brings me more understanding and patience from people. Once they can see that there is a problem, because of my symbol cane, most people are kind.

But there are many people who are confused, which I have already mentioned.

The problem caused by lack of contrast manifests itself in a few ways. There is one example above. in my story about the cardigan hunt.

I can see letters as long as they are in good background and lettering colours.

I can see, black against white or yellow or pale colours.

But I cannot see lettering on two similar colours, for example; white on blue or green or pale colours, or black on red, brown on yellow, and horror of horrors two shades of the same colour.

A menu in a Restaurant I visited recently was in lilac lettering on a beige card. I could not see a thing! Even though compared to many I have good sight.

Contrast is also important for steps, bus and transport platforms, and edges of pavements. We already use contrast in our everyday lives for these things because of health and safety for everybody.

For people with MD, good contrast can be essential.

It may be worth while to consider that when you are designing an app or a website for example.

A report by the BBC from 2011 says that there are over 60,000 people in Britain with the condition and the numbers are predicted to rise.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12736988

The condition is not curable, but there are things that you can do to help avoid it while you are younger. Also there are supplements that you can take to help control the speed that it takes control of your sight.

Once again good nutrition is vital http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd-prevention.htm  and supplements which contain Meso-Zeaxanthin as well as Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc and copper.

You can obtain supplements claiming to be for your eyes, but the best ones contain the extra Meso-Zeaxanthin.

Eat plenty of green vegetables which contain Lutein.

I recently heard an eye consultant claim once again that it is a waste of money taking supplements for MD, because if you eat a good diet, that should be enough.

But the nutritionists among us will agree with me, that the question is “How many people bother with a good diet?” Secondly, by the time food reaches us, how many nutrients have seeped out, if they were there in the first place with the depleted soils of the twenty first century?

Other contributing factors, as well as the genetic one, are the same as for other conditions, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise. My contributing factors were smoking for thirty years, and the genetic one.

I tried to think of a better word than sufferer earlier, because I don’t see myself as a “Sufferer” but as someone who is experiencing the condition. However, it would sound crazy to go around saying “I’m experiencing the condition of Macular Degeneration!”

So please don’t misunderstand and think that I am asking for sympathy, I am simply letting you all know what MD is and what people “Experience” with it.

So, if you see people with a white symbol stick, yet you are wondering why they seem to be able to see, I hope that this information will help you to understand a bit more and shed light on the confusion.

Comments are welcome.

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Vision and Purpose as we Age.

 

vision board 2016

Many may say that at the age of 72, all you need to worry about is looking after yourself. Your health, your wealth and your welfare.

Yes, folks that is so true.

Taking care of ageing bodies is vital for your health, by *eating sensibly, keeping active and taking good care of the financial situation. Care of your appearance is also important, and hygiene with your personal care and surroundings is essential for general well-being.

Keeping active in the sense of exercise, such as walking, swimming or weight supporting activities, is also something to keep those bones and the cardiovascular system healthy.

And what about your Spiritual and mental wellbeing?

Meditation* is fast becoming one of the ways that people are getting in touch with something more than the outer body and world.

Spirituality, awareness and consciousness is a great purpose as we age.

Yesterday I went to a casual meeting of Damsels, (A national movement called Damsels in Success for women) in which we made up our vision boards for what we want.

Contrary to many older people’s beliefs, there is nothing wrong with wanting things, as long as we are not taking them away from others.

But we were all reminded that our wants are not just about things.

We thought about our purpose too.

We need to think about what we want in the way of why we are here, our legacies to the world in the way of wisdom, service to the planet as a whole and spreading love and peace. How we want to be in our interactions with people, and how we want the world to remember us.

Younger people tend to think about purpose as being what their careers may be or how they can serve the world and make a living doing what they love. That is the natural course of life.

But as we age, it is a good idea to look at our purpose in the last what could be thirty or forty years of our lives.

We had a lot of fun yesterday, and there were some children there too. Adult children and young children alike were absorbed in finding pictures in magazines. Cutting and gluing and arranging the pictures.

Now my vision board is sitting on the wall in my office, and it is going to be interesting to see how it develops.

I did a vision board about two years ago, and three quarters of it came to fruition. So this idea works. It is mainly to help to focus on what you really want in life.

I have published my vision board above for you to see. Some of it is not very clear, but I hope that you will get the gist.

There are holidays that I want to go on and clothes that I want.

On the right-hand side, you can see a picture of an audience. That is a vision I have for speaking to larger audiences. So far they have been quite small.

There is a picture of a choir, well actually I already belong to one.

The picture of Helen Merrin contains the words “Gold not Old”. I am aware that I cannot change my older looks, and the wrinkles, but I want people to see past the wrinkles and see the gold of kindness and support to others.

On the left is a beautiful garden in which I can visualise myself sitting. We only have a small garden where I am living, and gardening is not my forte. But year after year and with some patience, I am gradually building up something like the illustration. But you never know, one day something or someone may turn up to help me make a better job.

There are several little sentences that I found such as “Home is where the heart is”  “See the beauty in everything”  “Why be dull?”

There is also a sentence at the bottom that clinches it all. “Signed Sealed and Delivered”

That means that I believe that it will happen. The Universe always has our best welfare in mind. I never cease to be amazed at the synchronicities that happen every day for me.

I am not saying that life is golden, and things are not tough for me at times, but when they are I am aware of the fact that the Universe does indeed have my welfare in mind because it has everyone’s welfare in mind. We are all part of that whether we are aware of it or not.

What is your vision and purpose for the rest of your life?

*There are blogs on these subjects on my Website, patriciacherrylifecoach.com
happycherry_cover

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Live well until you die!!!

cherry blossom

 

A Fresh Look at Funerals.

And ageing and healthy eating!

There is something about that title that is backwards eh?

All will be revealed. Read on.

I am sorry if I seemed to disappear off the horizon for a while, this is for several reasons.

I am not making excuses here because I do not feel the need to do that. In fact, I have been very busy working on several things, as well as the challenge of keeping an eye on my Mother, who is now nearly 95 years old.

Also I have been completing my Diploma for being a Funeral Celebrant.

The Ageing with Vitality is still very much there. Especially with my own experience of how to do that, even with some health challenges such as failing Eyesight, skin and kidney problems.happycherry_cover

Being Vital in older age does not guarantee being free from disease, but it does help you to remain positive and loving, instead of bitter and twisted.

There are some exciting new horizons coming up with my interests in Ageing, Death and all that those life events encompass.

Firstly, I have been tweaking my Website with different pages. They are now clearer, and you can find information on Ageing, healthy eating and funerals.

Hopefully, the healthy eating will delay the ageing process and make the funeral a bit later in life.

The aim is to live well until you die!!

Then when you die, to have a good send off in the form of a celebration instead of a mournful and bleak funeral.

Secondly, I have withdrawn the FREE 4k word report and am selling it in the form of a booklet, once I get it printed, or a PDF online. The price is £5 at the moment, but will increase shortly. This would be deducted from the price of a Ceremony Will.

Thirdly. I have now decided to call my Funeral Celebrancy business, the new Free Report and the Ceremony Wills, “A Fresh Look at Funerals.”

The new FREE report is simply a way for people to discover that there is another way for funerals in general. And give you the oppurtunity to find out what a Ceremony Will is, or a way for you to organise a funeral for a loved one.

You can obtain the FREE report by sending me your email address, and I will download the PDF to you.  It explains how funerals can be a positive experience.

Or you can purchase the longer report for £5, remember that this price is only temporary, which will be counted towards the Ceremony Will if you wish to proceed.

Contact me by email which is trishcherry734@gmail.com

banner-790x90

 

FacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail