Hope

I got chocolate on my pink sweater. If I look straight at it, I can’t see it. Is that a positive aspect of geographic atrophy?

In real-time today is October 10, Columbus day, a holiday. For the past year I have had a new holiday tradition. Every holiday I email the researchers. Occasionally I become a little desperate and pick a weird holiday. ‘National Smile Day’ warranted a greeting this year!  In my own defense, there was a really long stretch between holidays around that time.

I try to keep myself in the running without being a nag. It is often better to work smarter not harder.

My first inclination is to scream and yell. I want this show on the road. Why is this happening to me? Then I remember I have a lot to be grateful for.

What, for example? First of all, I am not in pain. I know someone going through multiple surgeries and cancer treatments. Pain? Yes. Fatigue? Absolutely. I am a nice person but I am not a saint. There is no way I would trade places with her.

If I were in pain and fighting for my life I would be an extremely unhappy camper. Better a case of the blurs than that.

I also know someone who may be starting with dementia. We are talking brain here. I am partial to my brain. I remember the sixties because I have always been protective of my brain.

Who are you if you cannot remember the things that made you what you are? That is terrifying. Maybe I won’t be able to see very well but I will still have the pictures in my head.  Memories and the personal identity they create are worth something. This sinner would not trade places with her either.

My final reason for saying I am lucky? I have hope. When my father had macular degeneration he did not have researchers to nag. There was absolutely nothing being done in medical science that was going to be able to help him. [Lin/Linda here: same with my dad when he had AMD.]

I am a youngster when it comes to AMD. Some of you are even significantly younger than I am. The projection is ten years before they can successfully implant photoreceptors. Are they being optimistic? Maybe. Say 15 years.

Restoration of my vision in 15 years may still give me ten years to see! That hope is better than none.

So there I am. Considering the alternatives? I am lucky.

Next: Kung fu fighting

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