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THE MACULAR
DEGENERATION COMMUNITY

Uncle Wally
photo

Name: Walt Boswell

Born: September 6, 1937 in Montgomery, AL

Home: 6008 Bolingbrook Drive, Montgomery, AL 36117

Diagnosis: Wet Macula Degeneration

Eyes Affected: Both

Eye Color: Light Blue

Age at Diagnosis: 48 (for the left); 53-54 (for the right).

Visual Acuity: Legally Blind (less than 20/200?)

Treatment: Laser surgery in both eyes.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision: Legally Blind.

Family History: The disease runs in the family—mother, brother, two uncles, three aunts, several cousins, etc.—all have it.

Impact on My Life: Quite devastating at first. I lost my job and my bearings. A younger brother and my sixteeen year old Poodle—Moliere—died the same week I found out about the disease. I was also diagnosed with emphysema at the same time. I guess Prozac and my wife Bobbie—not Mighty Mouse—saved the day.

Positive Effects: I learned to use a computer, which turned out to be a great deal more beneficial to me than the way I had worked before I lost my eyesight. Writing and rewriting is a lot easier. I can't say, however, that the disease has made any difference in me philosophically. I still hate children, Democrats, and liver—not necessarily in that order.

Adaptations:

Working: I don't have a real job. Mostly, I sit at home and try to figure out why people do the things they do. And then I try to tell about it.

More About Me: I used to be an English teacher—B.A., M.A., Ph.D., S.O.B. You name it. I've got it. I taught primarily in predominantly Black universities and colleges. I was involved in a peripheral (!!!!) sort of way in the Montgomery Civil Rights Movement of the late fifties. And I have big ears. (In fact, the wife says I look like the frontal view of a Volkswagen with both doors open.) It's a family trait. All Boswells in my line have big ears, blue eyes, and sweet dispositions. I should know. I'm also an amateur genealogist.