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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Joe
(submitted by Marian)

In memorium
1928-2013


Name
Joe Havlik

Born
12/1/28

Home
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Diagnosis
Dominant drusen MD (inherited, not ARMD).

Eyes Affected
Both. Left is worse.

Eye Color
Brown

Age at Diagnosis
68

Visual Acuity
20/400 both eyes. (Mayo)

Treatment
None. Taking eye vitamins now; has both 4X & 6X glasses but seldom uses them because they don't really solve problem. Has been to low vision clinic several times, plus local workshops. Sees opthamalogist once a year to be sure he doesn't develop glaucoma and lose all of his vision (no glaucoma known in family). A family friend works with visually handicapped. She's been very helpful.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Poor but stable. Has peripheral vision, but can't see details (faces, read); can see scenery when traveling.

Family History
Strong heredity for dry MD on paternal side. Paternal grandfather got MD in his 40's-had to change jobs; 2 paternal aunts got MD about the same age, but none of the sons in family (including Joe's dad) had MD so he never though he'd get MD. His MD really blew up after bypass surgery, May 2001. Paternal female cousin and her daughter both got MD in their 40's (now 75 & 50).

Impact on My Life
Can't drive, read with great difficulty and only in sunlight, can barely see TV; great difficulty using microwave (Marian made me quit using stove); need dim lights at night. Can care for self (but have cut myself shaving. Don't really like electric razor.), do most of laundry & dishes. Marian now takes care of all money matters, plans trips, where to eat out (she orders for me; we eat out almost once a day just to get me out of house), etc.

Positive Effects
None that I can think of. I haven't learned to develop my sense of touch (unfortunately).

Adaptations
Use fancy nagnifier at public library (a volunteer takes me once a week); have talking books, CD's, tapes, National Geographic, & Discover magazines; "read" NY Times Science Section every Tuesday on phone (really enjoy that).

Working
Retired early from Federal Government.

More About Me
I used to read in as many as 6 books at once. My chief retirement pleasure was going to the library twice a day and shopping at different stores each day. Now I can do neither. When Marian's job takes her out of town for extended periods, I go on Mobile Meals and have volunteers take me to weekly church & doctor (for unrelated medical problems). Took part in recent MD study thru Harvard University (evaluated at Mayo, Rochester, Minnesota for that). Overall health is pretty good, but more tired recently after Cardiac Rehab three times a week (take Mini-Bus to and from hospital for that).

In addition to participation in study at Harvard (Nov 2002), my family is also participating in genetic study at Johns Hopkins (started April 2004).