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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

 

Mary Ann
photo

Name
Mary Ann Shoemaker

Born
New Year's Eve, 1930

Home
St. George, Utah for the past 12 years.

Diagnosis
Wet MD

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Hazel

Age at Diagnosis
63

Visual Acuity
Right 20/400, Left 20/60

Treatment
Proton Eye Beam Irradiation, left eye in 1999. PDT in right eye.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Left eye stable for over two years. Still working on right eye with three PDTs since September, 2001.

Family History
Suspect father had MD. All he knew was that he had a bleed and lost central vision in one eye. My mother was diagnosed much later in life with MD. Wish I could ask her now about it.

Impact on My Life
I miss sewing, reading, solving the daily crossword, driving. Loss of independence is truly hard. I have been an advid genealogist but have had to curtail much of my research. Fortunately, I have met several cousins on the Internet who have graciously shared information with me. Probably the thing I miss most is reading the scriptures. I do listen to the audio ones but you can't underline audio!

Positive Effects
I have learned to be more grateful for all things. I give thanks everyday for the sight I have and for the opportunity to be an example. I regularly get on my soapbox to get the word out about MD. I have found most people know little, if anything, about the disease.

Adaptations
I have enlarged everything that I can on my computer. Thankfully, I can still read pretty good with the light the computer generates. I am grateful that I can read newspapers online. I look up recipes and print them out in large print I have online banking. I am very thankful for this electronic marvel. I stay in touch with my children and grandchildren by e-mail and instant messenger. We have such a good time! I have placed several hand held magnifiers at various places throughout my home. I have one that I call my handy, dandy, lighted magnifier that I carry in my purse. This allows me to read the hymn book. I can read most restaurant menus if they are not too glossy. I have a wonderful new portable lamp that provides the light I need. I also have flashlights stationed throughout the house. I am trying to be more organized with lists and notes so that when someone takes me to shop, etc. I don't waste their time. My husband tries to be patient, however, he will never understand, so he says, how women shop. We have to remember that not only the patient but the family has to make adaptations.

More About Me
I am a second generation Californian. Most of our friends and neighbors were dumbfounded when we retired and moved to Utah. We love it here and we share these feelings with many other Californians who have moved here also. My husband, Ray, and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary March 8, 2002. We have a son and daughter. They each have two daughters. Our oldest granddaughter made us great grandparents last year. We enjoy traveling to Idaho and Colorado to visit our children and grandchildren.