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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Bette


Name
Bette J. Countryman

Born
January 11, 1945

Home
Birmingham, Iowa

Diagnosis
Wet MD right eye and vitreous hemmorage, Retinal Pigmental Epithelial Detachment in left, Fuchs' Cornea Dystrophy in both, worse in right.

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Brown

Age at Diagnosis
RPED in left eye at about 52

Visual Acuity
20/nothing I guess in right eye, 20/40 with some variation.

Treatment
After second bleed in right eye, had a gas bubble injected with blood thinners to try to clear the blood away from the retina. Immediately after the bubble left, I had the vitreous hemorrhage.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Doesn't look very promising, I think the right eye is gone. Thank God the left is holding. The cornea think is an added worry.

Family History
Mother, legally blind from MD, but late in life, Mid-70's at least, died at age 93. Father, diabetic, had visually impairment from retinal bleeding. Brother, 74, has an eye written up in ophthalmic journal, has dry MD, had experimental laser surgery, and is doing well. Brother, 66, has had both corneas transplanted from the Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy.

Impact on My Life
Can't believe how much. I have accepted, but it still seems unreal. I am undergoing so many life things at one time.

Positive Effects
Much soul-searching, much appreciation for the little joys of life. Learning to live for the minute. Gaining new knowledge. I have a lot of work to do on this.

Adaptations
Trying different types of lighting. I need bright sometimes and darker sometimes. It is confusing to me and to my family. Corning lenses for night and bright light. Helps some sometimes. Magnifier for reading. Large print books. Curtailed driving.

Working
I have just lost my job of 10 years as a Furniture Sales Associate at Heilig-Meyers Furniture. I am also losing my insurance in another year. I am trying to figure out what I can do with my eyesight and my (talents?).

More About Me
I have been married to my high-school sweetheart for 39 years. We live on a 3rd generation family farm. We have both worked off the farm in recent years, full time and kept the farm going. I have two grown daughters, beautiful people I love. My hobbies are/were in the process of changing somewhat, grandparenting, reading, gardening, sewing,cooking, and volunteering. Since becoming unemployed, I am trying to renew and nourish my ties with good friends.