Tales from the Wet Side: Part 1 Too Young

“You’re too young for this!” By Jennifer Poole (see her biography at the end of the page)

This is what I hear nearly every time I go to my retinal doctor’s office on injection day. At 46 years old, it’s comforting in a way to feel like a youngster in the room. That hardly happens anymore! I can think of twice when I saw someone younger than me and my heart breaks wondering what their future holds. I wonder what my future holds.

I used to joke that once you hit 40, it’s all downhill. In my 40th year, I was diagnosed with fibroids, had an infected tooth removed and was told I had Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Age-Related?? At 40? I felt better than I had in years though, and so I kept up my semiannual checkups with my overbooked Retinal Specialist (RS), and didn’t feel too bad about it. Each appointment he would say there was no change, take your vitamins, monitor the Amsler Grid, see you next time. I made some minor lifestyle changes, more leafy greens, wearing my sunglasses and hats, trying to exercise more.

When I was 45, I attended an artist’s retreat in Pennsylvania and near the end of the week, I woke up seeing double. Deep down, I knew what it was, but I didn’t say anything. A little bit of denial going on I think. I needed to see my RS, as soon as I possibly could. Knowing what I know now, I think I would have gone into the emergency room as soon as I got back to Canada. But I waited to see my RS, and had my first Lucentis injection approximately 2.5 weeks after it happened. It was Choroidal Neovascularization, or wet MD. It meant that new, weak blood vessels beneath my retina were leaking fluid and causing a ripple in my retina, which showed up as double vision. A few weeks after the first injection, my double vision finally came together. By the third injection, my colour blindness was gone and the grey spots were transparent again.

It has now been 18 months, I continue to receive injections and my vision is pretty good. I have 20/20 acuity with glasses and a very slight wobble to a few lines on the Amsler Grid. Many months ago, I found this website and corresponding Facebook group and I’m grateful every day for Sue and Linda who open my eyes and mind to so many things regarding these macular diseases. The group members are a wonderful supportive community too, and I’m pleased to share some of my story with you.


Jennifer Poole was diagnosed at the age of 40 with Dry Macular Degeneration. Five years later, it had turned to Wet MD and she began treatment to retain her vision. She is now working to maintain and improve her eye health while trying to keep life as “normal” as possible. Jennifer lives with her husband, a teenaged son and preteen daughter, as well as a dog and two cats in Southern Ontario, Canada. She works as a chemist and volunteers for the organizations her kids are involved in. In her spare time, she enjoys creating art, cycling, cooking and gardening. Her backyard is her oasis, complete with corny lawn ornaments and bird feeders, and she can often be found there, putzing around all seasons of the year.

Next: Tales from the Wet Side: PART 2 Making a Living

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