An Invisible Disease

by Donna
(Beacon Falls, Connecticut)

At the age of 37, I was diagnosed with wet macular degeneration in my right eye. After consulting with many doctors in Connecticut, I was told nothing could be done because surgery was too risky. After researching for 6 months, I found Dr. Lawrence Yannuzzi in New York. He immediately did laser surgery to stop the bleeding and prevent any further loss of vision. This procedure is no longer performed. It was the best option in 1984.


I taught 20 more years ,drove a car, was very independent and led a normal life with my "Invisible Disease".

In 2012 at age 65 my vision seemed really off one day. I called my retina specialist and she claimed it was scar tissue in my right eye. I consulted another retina specialist to find out, I had myopic wet macular degeneration in both eyes. I had been born with stretched retinas. ( News to me-was never told that before.)

Thank God I got another opinion. I received my first Lucentis shot that day. Shots were given for 3 consecutive months. I see my doctor every 4-6 weeks. After 8 months, I had one additional shot. I wear gas permeable contacts and I am doing fairly well after not being able to drive.

Most people have no idea that I have macular degeneration. that is why I call it the "Invisible Disease". My husband always said , "What will ever happen if I can't drive?"

Low and Behold, he had a stroke on Jan.2 which attacked his eyes only. It is a "Visual Deficit Stroke". Now we are facing many new challenges , both with "Invisible Diseases". Few people realize either of us has a problem. Life is definitely becoming more difficult.

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Apr 25, 2014
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I am glad I am not the only one
by: SAM

I am sad that you were diagnosed with such a thing but I am glad I am not the only person who isn't elderly with this condition.

I won't lie I am scared and upset right now but I know that eventually I will adjust but I am so relieved that I am not alone. Thank you for sharing.

Apr 04, 2014
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Thank you for Sharing
by: Anonymous

Hi,

Thank you so much for sharing your story. My husband is 52 and just got diagnosed with wet AMD and we are so confused and worried about the future. It really helps to hear other stories to know your not alone. I hope the best for you and your husband.

Kind regards,

Tracy

Jan 26, 2014
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Thanks for Sharing
by: prudy

Thank you for sharing your story. Very informative and so many people are not truly aware of this disease. We never know what people are struggling with as so many things are not seen by the naked eye and some people are too quick to judge the "handicap."

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