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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Helen


 

Name
Helen

Born
8/15/38

Home
Michigan

Diagnosis
Dry, now Wet AMD

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Light blue

Age at Diagnosis
67, suddenly

Acuity
20/40 right, 20/50 left

Treatment
Vitamins first, now vitamins and Lucentis injections

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Improving. I was 20/50 right, 20/30 left when diagnosed with Dry AMD. Lucentis brought right back to 20/40 after 11 injections to date and is on 3 month maintenance now - I hope. Right eye went to 20/60 when it went wet, and after 3 injections is 20/50. Prognosis is to continue injections when necessary.

Family History
No family history of eye disease on either side, and my grandmother was past 80 when she died.

Impact on My Life
Devastated at first, and I practically hid from the world, not wanting anyone to know. Now I try to stay very positive, and I am most of the time, even though I sometimes feel I am waiting for the other foot to fall. I am still a working artist and photographer and plan to continue. I see no reason right now that I can't, and my work is a joy and my passion. My goal is to continue to improve my work, see as much as possible of my family, and to help someone else who feels the loss and despair that I have felt.

Positive Effects
I have found inner resources I didn't know I had, faith that brings me around when I am so far down I think I can't get up, and a positive reality when I am in full blown denial. I have always appreciated and enjoyed faces; now I search for every detail in each one, especially those of my family. I am more peaceful and less concerned about the things that only God can fix - and I am learning to figure out what that is in every aspect of life.

Adaptations
Not too many needed at this point, but the monitors on my workstations are 30" Apple monitors to be sure of correct color, and I have added a small flashlight to my key chain for those dark restaurants. My professional cameras have auto-focus, thank God, but that's the only "auto" feature I use so far.

Employment
I still am the only artist and photographer at my residential studio and gallery, so I am the only one that can decide what I can and can't do. I teach seminars all over the country, and lecture often for professional photographers and artists. When the time comes that I stop doing the things I love to do, I will make that decision. It isn't now.

More About Me
We are a strong Christian family, and my husband and I belong to a wonderful, caring church. The Lord, my husband and my family are my support and strength. My favorite subjects are our four great kids, 12 amazing grandchildren, and now an adorable great-grandson.

I am very grateful to Dan Roberts, his MDList and this website for helping me grow in knowledge and getting me through the tough times of AMD.