MYopia, My Journey: Part 1 MYopia

MYopia by Andrea Junge

At the mere age of 26, I was driving to work and thought, hmmm…

I was seeing what I didn’t know at the time was my very first blind spot. I was 8 weeks pregnant with my first child and assumed it was some kind of weird pregnancy symptom. It had to be, right? Unfortunately, it was the beginning of what I now know is myopic macular degeneration, probable central blindness, a different future than I had planned – much earlier than feels fair.

Myopic Macular Degeneration basically mimics AMD, only much sooner in life. It is a fairly new diagnosis with no cure.

I have always been extremely myopic. I got my first pair of coke bottle glasses at 5 and I was okay with it…until that first blind spot reared its ugly head and I learned the extent of my extreme myopia and what that really meant. Right away, I started grieving the future I had planned for myself and for my growing family. Everything I envisioned for my future turned into these scary mental images of me sitting in bed crying, in the dark, alone.

As time went on, there wasn’t any noticeable change to my eyes. For almost 8 years, I had so little change that I didn’t even think about it much anymore, and my miraculous brain had even hidden my blind spot! My family grew, life went on and then BOOM! In May of 2016, as I was reading to my students, I noticed my blind spot again and realized it was bigger. My heart sunk into my stomach. I knew this was not good.

My name is Andrea Junge, I am 34 years old, and am losing my vision. That’s not easy to admit. The last 7 months have been filled with specialist visits, surgeries, tests, research, education and a lot of worry and anxiety.

I am a very sentimental person. Every memory my family makes is documented with a picture so I can relive it all whenever I want. I am that mom who holds onto her young children for dear life because watching them grow up is amazing and hard all at the same time. I am a planner by nature, and this disease is not something I planned for. I am truly grateful for every day I wake up and can see, but I am so scared.

Losing your vision is frightening. There is so much unknown. I think about it all the time. I worry all the time.

written January 2017


Andrea Junge is 34 and has extreme myopia. She has struggled with vision her whole life, but was recently diagnosed with myopic macular degeneration. She and her husband, Chris, are raising two young boys who love to play soccer and video games, explore nature, snuggle with the family’s two dogs: a dachshund and a pitbull, and play board games as a family. Last summer, the Junge family moved to the small town where Andrea has taught third grade for 13 years. She is lucky enough to bring her sons to school with her every day, where they are taught by her supportive coworkers and friends. Andrea enjoys nothing more than being a mom and strives every day to be a loving wife and caring teacher, while learning how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in attempt to preserve her vision. Andrea is an early riser. She wakes well before everyone else in her family to get outside and exercise, all year long. Fresh air helps Andrea clear her head and start her day in a healthy, positive way.

Next: MYopia, My Journey: Part 2

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