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/

 

 

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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?

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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.

red cushions  (2)

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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The Truth Has Made Me Free.

My design Keep your eye.

Hi my lovely fellow Silver Tenters. After the discussion yesterday, as promised, here is a Precis of the Introduction to my forthcoming book. At this stage I will not be sharing this with Facebook in general. But people would be able to find it on my Website.

Please bear in mind that it has to be professionally edited, so please excuse any grammar, typos or toehr errors.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8;32.

 

Introduction.

When he kissed me, something deep down inside was torn out of me. I wanted to scream, cry and yet dance with ecstasy. What on earth or heavens was happening to me? It was torture and ecstasy all at the same time.

I was forty-six years old and had not realised that I had been almost dead before this event. It was to lead on to not only one, but two disastrous affairs. It was my sexual awakening and the beginning of the rest of my life. Now in my forties, I wanted to live with abandonment and a feeling of invincibility, the girl inside had been let loose at last.

The light inside had been hidden under a bushel for too long. From that moment on I was on a brand new track, which was to prove painful. It included major loss, heartbreak and loss of confidence.

But the uphill climb was to be worth it for the view. I reached higher pinnacles than I could ever have visualised in my later life.

And life after that led me to learn at last that I was good enough and that I was able to be a shining beacon in my own right, without the approval of anyone else.

Most of all I have managed to break a chain that has been handed down through at least three generations of narcissism. I could never tell my Mother anything without it coming back to it being all about her and her needs.

It also opens the eyes of the reader and listener of how Narcissistic churches and movements, can hurt and abuse the mind, body and soul. Time after time when I was among them or needed support I was told that my issues were something that I needed to sort out and it was probably connected with my faith issues anyway.

When you read this, I will have most certainly moved on yet again. This is what now makes my life so exciting. It is not static, and I am ageing with the vital force still alive within me. I am still vital and will be until the day I die. Then I hope that my spirit will still be around to inspire and give hope, grace and love to those I leave behind.

 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves; “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. Marianne Williamson.

 

This quote from Marianne Williamson’s Book “A Return to Love” sums up what my book is about. It is a true story of a woman whose life was lived in the shadow of fear, ignoring her greatness and light.

I lived in fear of not doing the right thing because of dire consequences. The threat of going to Hell if I did not behave in ways that pleased others. Unfortunately, the others around me were also living in fear, and many readers will identify with that.

Unless you have been able to find your way back to the light within you, you will live in fear. No matter what you were brought up to believe. Whatever our culture, religion, race or creed, the moment we leave the womb, we begin to lose that light.

As children, we are closer to it, but as we learn that certain behaviours are not acceptable, we gradually go into a state of fear.

I decided that I would like to tell my story of how I came back into the light after the first two-thirds of my life living in fear. Coming back into that light started at the age of around 38 years. As I write this, I am in my 73rd year. I am still on my journey towards that light, but it is certainly much brighter now.

I want you to understand that I am writing this in the spirit of forgiveness and enlightenment. During my later years in life, I was able to see that everyone involved in my life was there for a purpose. For their journey as well as mine.

All of us in this life, are part of Gods experience on earth and in the Universe. We live, love and learn through these experiences and we need to forgive one another simply in love. That does not mean that we condone what someone else has done, but to understand that they are coming from a place in their experience in life.

My experience and many others as children and when we are older is that sin is something we do that others close to us or in authority over us, do not approve of.  For whatever reason, whether it is their beliefs, religion or even their own insecurities.

Religious Authorities can be fear mongering. In former times, they had a very strong hold on people’s lives. But in these days of instant information, we do not need to be in a place where we blindly follow what they say without questioning it.

My story is coming from a dark place of Narcissistic teaching, which bred a few generations of people like myself who mistakenly believed that they were the only ones who would get it right, and if you did not do as they said, then you went to Hell.

My Lovely Mum has spent the whole of her life living in fear of her and her loved ones never being good enough. We needed to accept Jesus as our personal Saviour. Heaven was where you went if you did that.

You must not wear trousers if you were female, you must not smoke, drink alcohol, swear, wear makeup or go to the cinema. You must not have sex before marriage. You must not go anywhere that you could not take Jesus with you. You must go to church three times on a Sunday, go to Sunday School, not play out on a Sunday. My life as a child was controlled by these beliefs.

In my older years and as I learn about the real meaning of love and grace, I am coming from a place where I have forgiven the people who taught the doctrines and beliefs included in my life because I now understand that they did not know any different. I thank God that I am living in the age of the internet and many books that I have been able to study and find out my truth for myself.

In my early thirties I was also to encounter another church which re-enforced these beliefs.

My truth may not be other peoples’ truth, but I know the truth for me because I have a knowing deep down inside that almost hurts in a physical way. There is a difference between believing something and knowing it. Especially when something resonates with me and sends me back to the places, people, and environments that I describe.

In turn, the churches that still practice these older beliefs, call the enlightenment that is happening in the world through the teachings of people such as Caroline Myss, Wayne Dyer, Neale Donald Walsh, The Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson and others, “New Age Stuff” which they believe is of the devil.

I still get days when I am depressed and weary, but this is part of the human experience isn’t it?

I want people, especially my children and their children’s children, to know how the genetic inheritance of those disempowering beliefs, affected me and countless others, especially women. Not only the teachings of the Pentecostal movement but the charismatic movement of the seventies and house churches.

I want this book to show how the damage to my Psyche and my soul and spirit, affected my choices and outlook in life, but also how I have at last healed from it, and continuing on the journey of life staying healed and free.

A lot is written about narcissistic parents, partners and spouses, but not about the thousands of people brought up and taught by many churches; that they are worthless without being “Saved.”

Among the hundreds of books that I have read, I found these; “Will I ever be good enough?” “Why is it always about me?” and “God is not a Christian, nor a Jew” by Carlton Pearson.

When I read the words of Carlton, my heart leapt with joy that at last, I had come across someone who understands what I have been thinking all of my life. Carlton was brought up in the Pentecostal church and became a Bishop. It is amusing to hear him describe his everyday life, thoughts, and feelings as a child, growing up in this environment and having the beliefs of fundamental Christianity thrust onto him.

In his book “The Gospel of Inclusion” also by Carlton Pearson, I feel so connected to his experience and his vision and he uses the Christmas song;

 

You better not shout, You better not cry,

You better watch out I’m telling you why;

Santa Claus is coming to town.

 

Likening Santa to the judgment day.

My Grandmother believed that for every sinner she saved, there would be an added diamond in her crown of glory when she gets to heaven. How sad is that? I don’t know where it says that this happens in the Bible.

My life as a child was just like that. I was never good enough in any way. I continued living this pattern right through my first marriage up until around the age of forty.

For the last thirty years, there has been a gradual dawning that I am good enough, and I did not need all those trappings from those crappy teachings.

We are all born with the light in our lives, and we need to recognise that it is already there. We are Valuable just as we are. I was brought up to believe that I needed an outside force to “make me good”  and it was all about the life to come, not the one that we have on earth.

We do need to be Christ-like however. That is what Jesus was; a Christ-like man. His teachings are inspirational and true, and He said that He was the light. We all have that light within us as Marianne said in the quote above.

I also want to show that narcissism can be inherited, not only from parents and grandparents but from these awful teachings. My mother, bless her, internalised the message that she was not good enough, after her mother before her, and her mother before her again. Then handed down to our generation, having dire effects on my brother and myself. And we both know others that experienced that.

The main aim in life for my grandmother’s family and then Mum was to convert people to what they thought was the only way that was right.

There was a lot of damage done, but I hope that I can show you the way that I have been able to overcome and heal from it. The outcome is that in my older years, I can enjoy what is left of my life, knowing that the chain of narcissism is broken.

I can remember saying during the last days of being involved with any church that I believed that the teachings of the church, limited God. I knew without being told or reading about it, that God is the Universe. He is all around us, in us, through us and that we are part of Him so therefore we too are God.

I realise now that those thoughts were authentic and came from somewhere deep inside me. I knew the truth then, but it was not until many years later that I was to realise that they were the first stirrings of my soul wanting to go on this great adventure.

We often hear about how we attract things to us; we are living the life we are living because of choices. We all make choices, and we have to live with them. And that is true, but how many of us make choices as an informed decision? Many of our decisions or choices are based on previous experience, beliefs, or fears.

How many of us are in touch with our inner selves, or God, or Source? How many of us are aware that we need to make choices from our heart or intuition?

I made bad choices and good ones. But we need to be aware of the reasons why we make certain choices, and if they are based on our beliefs, past experiences, and fear of what may happen if we do or don’t, they can often be a choice that brings pain and grief.

I made many choices in my life, out of low self-esteem, my fear, and my past.

I want this book to open the eyes of the reader and many of those who have been hurt or damaged by narcissistic influences, from not only parents and ancestors but the false teachings of the type of churches that influenced me and many others.

My book is a historical document as well as a legacy, and following generations may be interested to see what these times were like from an “ordinary” persons’ point of view. But the question is, “Am I ordinary?”  Well, that is for you to find out as you read this!

I want people to know what I learned from these stages in my life too. My feelings at the time, and looking back with hindsight, the lessons, beliefs, and customs that I built from them.

My aim is to tell people who have been hurt, or are even now still caught in the trap of these narcissistic teachings, that “Knowing the Truth will make you free.”

There is healing, forgiveness, love and grace and it is there waiting for you to receive them. And they are all unconditional.

 

 

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Who are They?

025The Elderly are not they.

Children are not they.

People with different colored skin are not they.

People from other countries are not they.

The rich are not they.

The poor are not they.

Disabled people are not they.

Beautiful people are not they.

Ugly people are not they.

I could go on with many categories that seem to seperate us all. But the point to remember is that they are us!

We are part of the whole. Part of the Universe.

Each of us has been placed in our corner of the world. Some may move around, others may stay in one place.

Some may be in the limelight. Others may go about their lives in a quiet way and only known and recognised by a few.

When we talk about people, or refer to them as “they,” remember that we are all one body. All one piece of a massive energy.Galaxy

We were all once babies. If we survive illnesses or remain healthy we will be old one day. We could become disabled.

Our perception is the only difference in how we notice the colour of our skin or whether we are beautiful or not. We may consider ourself rich or we may consider ourself poor.

 Everything is relative, everything is part of a whole.

We were all born and we are all going to die.

None of us knows what tomorrow, or even today will bring. Anyone of us could suddenly become “they” and things can change in an instant.

Or if we don’t become they, we could grow close to someone and be a huge part their lives and no longer feel seperate.

Therefore we need to love one another as we love ourselves. Not judge others, but put yourself in their place and try and understand what it would be like to be in their shoes.

You may be in them tomorrow!

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Support for AMD

My design Keep your eye.Support for Visual Impairment (AMD)

There are many people who when told that they have a problem with a vision impairment, are panicking and distressed.  Especially when they hear the words, “There is nothing we can do for you!” 

But those words are not true as far as getting on with your life with a vision impairment is concerned. I am talking here about AMD. (Age Related Macular Degeneration) ,

You may not be able to find a cure, but you can find plenty of help to make your life rich, full and abundant. I will tell you about some of what is available and have put up links to help you find out more below.

Personally, I have found help in abundance since being diagnosed with AMD.  I feel astonished at times when I see how much support there is out there. And most of it is Free.

Just as an aside here; note that I am still active even with a vision problem. Life does not come to a halt with AMD. I have met some amazing people who are active even with very poor sight. That is what support is all about.

I am currently attending, The Macular Society group meetings once a month and also a monthly lunch meeting with the new friends I have made in the group.

I have just completed four days, spread over four weeks, at the local Guild in Plymouth called Sensory Solutions. The course is called Improving Lives. I have found a niche in that guild now as a host to help out with the course.

I am going to attend the monthly meeting for graduates of the course at the Plymouth Library once a month, and am also hosting them. 

Hosting means that I will be making the drinks, serving food, helping people in and out of the taxis, preparing the rooms and generally supporting people with any concerns that they may have. I have made new friends by doing this too.

There was also an opportunity for my husband to come along to Sensory Solutions to learn more about the condition and meet other people who either live with visually impaired people or who support them in other ways. I have found that he understands more about what I experience because of that.

Sensory Solutions have also shown me how to use my settings on my lap top and also my iPad to make them easier to use.

Large Print.keyboard

Not many people are aware that their local eye hospital has a Liason Officer. These people are there to help you find your way through the maize of support and help available. They will also give you a low vision assessment. If the Consultant does not tell you that, just ask at reception.

On Facebook there are several groups, I belong to two. One in the USA and one in the UK. When I feel alarmed at something that I hear or something that is happening to my sight, I can just go into one of these groups and will very soon feel supported and get answers.

So, the moral of this story is; don’t panic, don’t be afraid, don’t be isolated.

I have found these groups to be upbeat, yet understanding, both the physical ones and the Social Media ones. I feel supported and useful. Life does go on even with a Vision Impairment, and just the other day I found myself saying that I actually get a kick out of it!

Here are the links.

The Macular Society.  You can google the society to find out more, but this link will put you through to the many groups all over the UK. https://www.macularsociety.org/groups

There is the well known RNIB (Royal National Institute for the Blind. You will be amazed at what is available. http://www.rnib.org.uk/benefits-and-support

For your local area in the UK go to http://www.visionaware.org/info/emotional-support/coping-with-vision-loss/peer-support-groups/125

On Facebook, the links I mentioned are; The UK Macular Degeneration Friendship Group.

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

And in the USA, which is run by two eye consultants.

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

There are other groups for MD, one which I started myself, but I have let that one run down because I have found the ones above to be so helpful.

The reason why I haven’t gone into support for other visual problems is that I mainly write for those people who have AMD. But I am sure that if you look, you will find support for whatever condition you or your friend or loved one may have.

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Help! I’m over 65 and Ageing.

 

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Have you noticed that on any forms you fill out, they have a box for 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-65 (or similar)

When it comes to age 65, we are counted as +

What does that mean to you?

What it means to me is that society, in general, dismisses the over 65’s as a number when everything becomes indefinite.

Over 65’s, in general,  have become indefinite, written off, uncertain about the future, invisible.

But I am working on making certain that any of that will not apply to me.

Over 65 is an important passage in life, and in these modern days, we could still live another thirty or more years. That is a lot of years to dismiss eh?

What about you?

Is it time to change all that?

After all, if the Government want us to work until we are 70 or even more, why put 65+ on forms, some of which are important to our welfare, such as insurance.

What can you do as an individual? Could you be a spark to the fire that helps to change that thinking?

We will show them that there is no such thing as 65+

We are still an important number.

Many people in my circle are still coming up with visions and new enterprises for the future at age 65 +!

There are some Facebook groups that you could join, to help start the ball rolling. Ageing with Vitality and The Silver Tent are just two of them. There is also one called Humorous Ageing if laughing about it takes your fancy. Here are the links.

The Silver Tent for women over fifty.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1755706121345418/

Ageing with Vitality

https://www.facebook.com/groups/113172222365276/

Humorous Ageing

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1485161444859745/

Come on Baby Boomers, do your stuff, work your magic.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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I Intend to be Wise with “The Silver Tent.”

cherry blossomDSC_0157

Are you reaching the age of 50 and feeling uncertain and scared about what the future holds? 

Or you maybe among women who are in denial, and saying that they refuse to think about themselves as ageing.

You may be holding back the grey, having surgery, dressing young, using expensive anti-wrinkle cream and so on.

But guess what? There is nothing wrong with you whatever you do!

I belong to a worldwide group called “The Silver Tent.” The purpose and vision of its founder Francesca Cassini are to have over a million women in this group.

At the moment “The Silver Tent” is being launched, and today 23rd April 2017, is day two of the Launch Summit.

I have just listened to the fourth speaker, Lynn McTaggart, author of “The Field” and “The Intention Experiment”, being interviewed by Francesca. Lynns experiments and writing are about how Intentions work. Or how our thoughts are strong enough to bring about intentions. Whether with negative or positive thinking.

We also heard about the power of collective intentions.

Francesca and Lynn and one of the speakers yesterday spoke about how “The Siver Tent” can be a power for change throughout the world by joining up into one big group throughout, on the internet, or it could be called the innernet, and in local physical groups wherever you are.

This group and many others, for young and older women are showing how the Dalai Lamas words spoken nearly twenty years ago now, are coming into fruition.

“The world will be saved by the Western Women”

We are built up by women who want to see a change in the world. The over fifties in general have done their bit with children and no longer have to be bogged under with running the household. Many of them are looking for a challenge or a change.

Many of them are starting in business, or becoming writers, or even enjoying taking care of Grandchildren. Some of them have gained diplomas or degrees. In this group, you will learn that it is not too late whatever your intentions are.

You will also learn the way to remain vital, healthy and vivacious in mind, body and spirit.

You will learn the joy of knowing that because you are mature you are also wiser.

And you will learn that it is no cause for worry or upset when your body starts to show signs of ageing. If you are beginning to be limited in energy, movement or physical vitality, there is no cause for alarm.

You do not have to compare yourself to other older women that you see on the internet who are still able to sit in a difficult yoga position or can dance the night away, or can still do a hundred and one push-ups.

Fine if you can, and fine if you can’t. Most of them have been doing it all their lives.

Just as a little footnote I didn’t begin doing Kundalini Yoga until the beginning of this year. I also know someone the same age as me who started last year and it supported her in coming off anit-depressents. Now she has a new lease of life.

I love this community of women, all coming together under “The Silver Tent.” and I am blogging this because I feel so compassionate about the vision and purpose of it.

We are there for each other. Some discussions are funny and others are more serious. It’s fun to ask what others do in any given situation, and expect honest and open answers.

If you want to view the summit here is the link.

https://thesilvertent.com/launch-summit/

Listen to it and be presently surprised at what you find. They are a bunch of women with intention.

Are you?

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Staying Vital as You Age?

Pair of red wet cherry fruit on stem with green leaf isolated on whitecherry blossom

The blossoms are the essential part of the progession to the fruit; and the fruit is just as vital.

Have you noticed when you are filling in a form, they put the age brackets into such an order that when you reach 65, it just becomes 65+?

Society spends a lot of time, worrying, fretting and resisting the very idea of ageing.

But as we evolve as humans in the 21st Century, isn’t it time for us to embrace the idea? Especially as many of us are living for another thirty to forty years after retirement.

We still matter! Because as long as we have breath, we are still vital.

Illness and disease can occur at any age, so why do we think that old age has the monopoly on it?

Yes; our bodies do wear out and become weaker and frailer, and the chances of succumbing to degenerative disorders are stronger.

But being Vital in our older years is still as much a part of life as when we are younger. There are many younger people who don’t realise how vital they are to society, so why do we insist on giving old age the honour?

The word vitality is being used too loosely these days. It is used to promote products, and ironically anti-ageing foods and creams. Consequently, we think of vitality as something that is easily lost and associates that loss with ageing.

Some of the synonyms for the word vitality are; Liveliness, energy, animation, spirit, passion, sparkle and vibrancy; the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things; Vital force or energy.

If you study those words and bear in mind that we are all made up of Mind, body and spirit, you may realise that you can retain them.

Liveliness can remain in the mind and spirit, along with vibrancy and passion.

Every one of us, from birth to death, have something to contribute to the world. No matter where you are, where you live, the state of your mind or health, the state of your finances, whatever your intellect or culture you have a VITAL role to play. At any age.

You may not ever become rich, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a celebrity or earn lots of money. You may even be thinking at this moment that you are not successful because you haven’t reached a goal that you had in mind. You may have just been diagnosed with an illness or condition that you perceive as a road to failure.

You may even be thinking that you are already a failure, let alone when you get older.

You may have just retired or are coming up to retirement, and you see the future as bleak and that you will no longer be a vital part of society.

On the other hand, you may be looking forward to a bit of peace.

Do you have the thought at the back of your mind that it is downhill all the way after the age of 65? Do you think that you must do the things on your bucket list before it’s too late?

Too late for what? Perhaps too late to be able to travel freely, too late for certain activities, yes. But have you thought about what else it may be too late for? Are you seeing the time to come, the “too late” as a time when you are sitting like the proverbial cabbage?

The truth is that; As long as you have breath, you are still vital!

But how can I remain vital when I am too weak or helpless to do anything?

All of us have energy running through us as long as we are alive.

Most of the time we are unaware of it and only when we are active in some way, we become aware. But it is there; how else would your heart keep beating, your eyes seeing and all the other organs in your body stay working?

Collective energy is what you feel in a crowd at a football stadium or when the whole world stood still when we were witnessing 9/11.

We are part of the Universal energy, and what is more, it is Vital to every one of us, it is what keeps us alive. You are part of that collective energy.

Even people in a coma, or under anaesthetic have an energy running throughout their body. And they are still vital to the planet and in turn to society.

And even the person in a state of weakness, infirmity and very old age, have that energy and vitality.

People become “old” at any age. The physical process starts at age 27. But in many peoples minds, they begin to feel old as soon as they see the first grey hair.

We put people into categories or brackets. We have expectations of what we can do at any given age. We use the expression “I’m too old for that.”

The perception is different in all of us. Some may still be playing football or running at age ninety; others may need to stop being physically active at a much earlier age due to injury.

When we run upstairs and forget what we came up there for, we fear that it’s the ageing process setting in. Forgetting that most of us at any age do that. What about the schoolchild forgetting his sports kit, or losing his jacket? Do we ask if he or she is getting old?

We think of the darkest fear that we have with the process of old age as a line of events.

  • We retire; we travel or join things; take up mew hobbies.
  • Next; we expect we will start to suffer from disease which disables us from doing all the things that we like to do.
  • We then expect that it’s downhill all the way to becoming useless, a burden on society, and want just to die.

But guess what? That vital energy is still there.

Remember that the Universe does not centre around you, but that You are simply a vital part of it.

So as you become weaker and frailer, you can have either a positive effect on others or a negative.

Prepare for your older years with the thought in mind that you are vital to those around you at this time, and you are on the road to FEELING vital until the day you die.

Another synonym for vitality is spark or sparkle. Are you going to be the spark that lights people’s fire, even when you simply smile at people around you?

Don’t tell me that you can’t do that when you are old and frail. I know many who do. 

Having the spark that lights people’s fire starts at any age. Think of the effect that even the youngest baby has when they smile for the first time.

Are your family and friends going to be drawn to see you? You can do this by staying energised while you can by listening, learning, reading, writing and creating new things.

If your niche is gardening or craft do it, while you can.

Stay informed, be active, eat well.

Research drugs before you take them. You do not have to just go along with what the doctor says and jump on the roundabout of taking one drug after another that dulls your brain and mind.

Make younger friends, don’t just join the local senior citizens club and talk about the weather or your latest illness.

You have a lot to offer younger people coming along. Only three days ago, I was lunching in the centre of London with a young student from Singapore. How did I get there? I was at a Seminar on making choices with people of all ages.

The turning point for me was when at the age of sixty, a friend of the same age commented that she hated this business of getting old.

I thought “I’m outta here!” No way was I going to join that bandwagon.

Yes, I am ageing, yes time is running away with me, but I changed my thinking to one of “My older years are going to be a time of learning, wisdom and supporting others to do the same.”

I for one will remain vital until the day I die.

How about you?

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