An Author-Illustrator Faces Blindness

by Sylvia
(California)

I began to think there was something wrong with my glasses, but a new prescription didn't help. Eventually, I went from a good optometrist who sent me on to a good retinologist where I was diagnosed with dry macular degeneration.


I'm an author-illustrator. I like the work I do and wanted to continue it as long as possible.

However, I tumbled first into denial. But it is hard to deny that one can't find an object in a cluttered background. My family noticed, and families disrupt denial. Forced to face up to my vision problems, I was overcome by an obsessive need to finish any project I'd started - before I couldn't see to do my work at all.

Finally I came to realize that I was no worse off than anyone else my age. The body does wear out. It just happens to be the eyes for me. It is balanced by the fact that my hair is still brown while friends my age are having to color theirs.

I've had no major health problems, and friends are facing life threatening illness. I shouldn't complain.

And so, I began to research online and talk to everyone I knew who had vision problems.

A big screen computer lets me magnify my work. I read WebRN-MacularDegeneration.com daily, take recommended vision supplements, wear blue blocker sunglasses when outdoors, and carefully regulate interior light. I'm doing okay.

In the two years since my diagnosis, I have stopped driving at night, not wanting to endanger anyone else and am careful never to drive in high traffic areas. This is an inconvenience, and I have to plan my schedule. Eventually, I won't drive at all.

But, this past year, I have designed covers for three books and finished a novel.

Life is good. When I can't work with my eyes, I'll take up guitar. Sylvia

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Jul 22, 2013
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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thank you. I'm in the same boat as an artist and I appreciate you writing about your attitude. I was just diagnose today and freaking out about not being able to do what I love. I will keep your words in mind as I wrap my mind around this.

Oct 29, 2011
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How about this?
by: Anonymous

I am an artist, too, and when I read your story I thought what would I do?

The first thing that I thought of was sculpture.
With all your experience you would be great at it!

Dorothy

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Librarians Need to Read Well, Too.

by Janet
(Indiana)


I lost my left eye to melanoma when I was 35. I learned rather quickly what I could and could not do in spite of my loss. When my doctor saw signs of macular degeneration, I started taking Preservision vitamins, and tried to add more dark vegetables and fruits to my diet.

I've also found a couple of Ott lights that have been an enormous help in my reading at work and at home.

Thank you for your suggestions.

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A CPA with Wet Macular Degeneration

by James
(Austin, Texas)

I am a Certified Public Accountant, and while serving on the Board of Directors of a publicly owned commercial bank, discovered I had dry macular degeneration. This did not affect my vision significantly.

Then in approximately 18 months my right eye developed into wet macular degeneration .

After a short period of feeling sorry for myself, I began to find the many helpful ways to cope with this handicap. I began receiving injections in my retina which eliminates or minimizes the blood clots. By using eyeglasses I could work on my computer. I discovered the Apple iPad and could continue reading. Now, macular degeneration is a part of my every day life.

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