The Other Shoe, My Journey: Part 4 by Cathy Meggs

I have enough shoes.

I now have advanced dry in both eyes, with some distortion. I’m officially at 20/50, but I have to struggle to see that line. I drive during the day, but read street signs? Heck no! I have a magnifying app on my phone (Galaxy Note 5 with a good size screen, extra-large font and bright back-light). I have a flashlight app. I have motion sensitive LED lights in all the closets, and my bedroom & bathroom. I have a magnifying mirror mounted in my bathroom so that I can see my face better. I try to look at restaurant menus online first so I can magnify the screen and read the entrée choices and not struggle in the dimly lit restaurants to see the menu. I sit with my back to the windows so my eyes & brain don’t struggle trying to adjust to light, dark, light, dark. I cut my toenails and pray I don’t clip my skin in the process. I read on a Kindle, or my computer. My kids are 17 and 19 now. My choice to stop driving at night coincided with my daughter getting her driver’s license. Ever had the stress of being with a new driver while also not being able to see very well at night? Not fun! But, it was actually very good timing – she could take me places at night, and I didn’t feel like a nuisance because she needed the supervised driving hours.

My vision is distorted as I look at the grid, or at my computer screen but not so much when I look out at the world in general. I just bought a 43-inch television to use as a computer monitor in my office. My work is very much connected to the Internet and computer, so I spend many hours a day looking at the screen. I have blue light filters on everything I can think of. I have a strong support system with my husband, sister, and children. I have many people in my community that I call friends, and can depend on to help me with rides at night if I need them. I belong to many organizations in town, and I run the local monthly newsletter. I have deadlines, appointments, and meetings to go to. My son is away at college, my husband is on a temporary job assignment in Korea (1 year left to go), and my daughter is an independent young lady.

Sometimes, the frustration of no night-driving gets to me. Sometimes, the feeling of impending doom of vision loss is hard to bear. “Waiting for the other shoe to drop” is a phrase I feel in my soul. (I actually looked up how that phrase came to be – pretty interesting!) I am blessed beyond belief. I still don’t have time to go blind, and I have finally been forced to admit that macular degeneration is a big deal. As for the future, I guess I really don’t like to think about it. Whatever happens, I will handle it and adjust.

And frankly, I have enough shoes – “so whoever is in charge can just keep that ‘other shoe’”.

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The Other Shoe, My Journey: Part 4 by Cathy Meggs
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