Rookie in Training: Part 1

by Joann Davis

Because my mother and grandmother both had AMD and my son found out he had AMD genes when he did 23andMe DNA testing several years ago, I have been waiting for my diagnosis for years. I was involved in a Jules Stein Eye Institute GARM II study for people under the age of 65 with parents with AMD but no diagnosis yet. I was so pleased to find Sue’s blog and the Facebook Group and was an early ‘joiner’. I hated the play “Waiting for Godot” and hated “Waiting for AMD”. [Lin/Linda: just checked & Joann has been a follower of our website/blog for 1 year and 5 months…wow, she was one of the first!]

I wish I had taken a more active role in my mother’s eye health. She had cataracts removed at an early age (56) and always ate healthy because she knew that was the best way to stave off AMD. I remember the ‘Swiss Chard’ year when she was eating a lot of Swiss Chard. My dad had a big garden, so she had access to lots of fruits and vegetables. She always said “My mother got AMD when she was in her 80’s and I didn’t get it until I was in my 90’s”. (Makes me feel like a failure to be diagnosed at 70.) I bet she really had dry AMD earlier than her diagnosis. She also had Glaucoma. She had one or two shots in her ‘good’ wet eye, and thought it made it worse, so didn’t get any more shots.

Because of her age, she was having other health problems which made adaptive technology a challenge. Again, I wish I had been more proactive. She was using hearing aids and having small strokes, had serious gall bladder and colon issues, high blood pressure, and arthritis. Because she used a walker, she didn’t get the exercise she was used to. She was on a restrictive diet so she couldn’t eat the healthy fruits and vegetables anymore. She never completely lost her sight, but I know she was depressed as her world kept shrinking. She lived to 95 1/2, and passed away in 2012.

Next: Rookie in Training: Part 2

 


About Joann

Joann Davis is 70 and has recently been diagnosed with mild dry AMD in both eyes. Her mother and grandmother both had AMD and her son has the genes. Joann also has cataracts, floaters and dry eyes. With glasses, her vision is 20/40. Joann spends most of the year in northern Illinois and the winters in Ft. Myers, Florida. Joann is retired but very busy with numerous board memberships. Joann exercises every day, beginning with yoga, crunches, planks, ‘boy’s pushups’, weights, and then a long walk. Joann wants to do as much travelling as she can while she can still see and is heading to Italy soon and plans to go to South Africa next year. Joann’s career was in technology and cyber security sales, and she still belongs to cyber security organizations where she gets to hang out with the FBI and Secret Service.

 

 

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Rookie in Training: Part 1
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