Norma Hopkirk recently shared with Macular Degeneration NZ her inspirational story about living well with her deteriorating eyesight due to macular degeneration. She writes….
I noticed that there was something wrong with my eyesight about 16 years ago., My optometrist advised me to see an eye specialist, He took photos of the back of my eye, told me I had dry (or atrophic) macular degeneration and that nothing could be done about it although I wouldn’t go completely blind!!! Imagine my horror. I felt that my life had suddenly collapsed.
My optometrist suggested a second opinion. I made an appointment with not much hope of help – but instead of gloom I received information on the problem and advice about my diet, to include lots of green vegetables and fish and a combination of vitamins and minerals. While my vision has continued to deteriorate slowly over the past 13 years, I am still able to do so much more than I had originally believed would be the case!
I have had to make many modifications to my lifestyle. I can no longer read newspapers or books but I use a bright white light to help with essential reading, and amber sunglasses to reduce glare outside. I see crowds as a seething mass of colours and can’t distinguish faces but friends wave to me to join them in a crowd.
I had to give up driving many years ago but I make full use of the bus service. I try to catch buses from stops where I know it will be easy to know which bus to catch – it‘s embarrassing to hold your hand out for what you think is a bus only to find it is a concrete mixer truck!!
Once a week I go on outings with Outdoor Tours, guided day trips around the wider Auckland area from Hamilton to Whangarei. I enjoy the company of the other people and they happily tell me what goodies are in the cabinets at the various cafes we visit.
I have always enjoyed knitting, crocheting and embroidery. Now I crochet simple woollen squares which I join together into blankets to donate to the Salvation Army. So life is pretty good and I enjoy it despite all the mistakes I sometimes make. Family and friends are always willing to help out for shopping, appointments or transport. At almost 90 I can still live in my own house with my own things around me – including all my knitting yarn and crocheted rugs!!
For more information on Macular Degeneration contact Macular Degeneration NZ on 0800 622 852
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