August 7, 1949
Midwest City, OKlahoma
Right eye in 1997, left eye in 2000. Have worn glasses since I was in the 5th grade.
Age at Diagnosis
With correction 20/400 in right eye and 20/40 in left eye.
Laser treatment in right eye in 1997. (I did not realize anything major was wrong until I went for a yearly eye exam and I could not see the big "E".
I just thought I needed a new perscription for glasses.) In June, 2000 I began seeing wavy lines. I had no treatment because of the location of the crack.
I have been very closely monitored by my retinal specialist and finally the leakage has dried up.
Prognosis or Current State of
My right eye has not improved at all; however things are getting somewhat better in the left eye. I am very careful to report any change to my doctor as things can change so rapidly.
Neither of my parents were myopic; however my only sister is nearsighted. Her vision has improved as she has grown older. I am also convinced my grandfather (Mother's dad) had macular degeneration, but he died in 1964.
Impact on My Life
Until June, 2000 I was coping very well as only one eye was affected. Then I felt my world caving in when I began to lose my central vision in my left eye. It happened so fast. It was very hard to admit to others that I was visually impaired, but time makes a lot of difference.
I am an educator of adults, so now I have new skills and understanding to work with individuals with special problems.
At work I have a 21" monitor as well as magnification software and also a magnifier connected to my computer monitor to use with printed text, etc. I am not allowed to drive "on the job" by my employer so another staff person (usually my secretary) has to drive me to my appointments and meetings. As a home economist I have learned many adaptations for various everyday skills.
I have been able to continue my work as a Cooperative Extension Service educator in family and consumer sciences since special accommodations have been provided by my employer. It has been difficult and sometimes definitely a discouraging struggle. It is very difficult for a teacher to realize the impact you are making with your students when you can't see them very well let alone see their facial expressions. Hopefully I will take a regular retirement this July after 33 years as an educator.
More About Me
I already have plans for my retirement. I want to write a cookbook for diabetics and I have a stash of collectible depression glass that keeps growing and needs to be marketed.