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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Rena

Name
Rena Wander

Born
8/22/46

Home
Venice, California

Diagnosis
Wet macular degeneration, both eyes

Eyes Affected
Both

Eye Color
Dark brown

Age at Diagnosis
57

Acuity
About 20/50 or 60.

Treatment
One Visudyne treatment with steroid injection. One Avastin injection with Visudyne, both in right eye.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Left eye is too scarred for treatment. Right eye stable at the moment.

Family History
My father had severe vision loss, but no diagnosis was ever made. This began in 1970.

Impact on My Life
It has been pretty devastating. I live alone, and have had to make many adjustments. The worst of these has been not driving at night or on freeways, or even very far from home. I have stopped doing art work, but still do crochet. I am really scared, but trying to take charge.

Positive Effects
Other than finding this group, so far there haven't been many. I am hoping that they will reveal themselves later as time goes by (I mean the positive effects). I guess that I am learning patience, as I have to wait for rides. Also learning humility having to ask for help.

Adaptations
I have greatly limited my driving, and this seems to have limited my life. Now that it's daylight savings time, I hope to use some taxies. I would like to take some art classes, yoga and possibly some others. I have some assistive devices including a reader, but so far I only use them sparingly, because they give me a headache.

More About Me

I am also hearing impaired. I use hearing aids. I can do fine one on one, but in groups I lose a lot. I used to use vision to help by watching faces.

I am also a breast cancer survivor. I have had breast cancer twice. The second time was 8/03. I had a mastectomy, reconstruction, and chemotherapy.

I live alone, but have a strong spiritual community for support. I get a great deal from my religious and spiritual practices that help me get through the rough times.

I don't have children, but have 2 wonderful nephews, although they don't live here. I do have a wonderful dog and a sweet cat. I am an animal lover. I am trying to find ways to use my animals in healing.

I work as a case manager for homebound elderly. I go into the homes of low income seniors to help them get services they need. This might be housekeeping or Meals on Wheels or transportation. I call them and visit them regularly. I try to provide moral support. I work for the city of Los Angeles. I am a licensed Marriage, Family Therapist. I also worked for Social Security for 27 years before I retired.