How One Woman Learned to Live With Wet AMD
Wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects your central vision and makes it harder to see details clearly. It can also cause blind spots or distortions in your visual field.
But wet AMD doesn’t have to stop you from living your life fully. In this article, you’ll hear from Jill Adelman, a 66-year old nurse who was diagnosed with wet AMD in 2014. She shares her story of acceptance, adaptation, and resilience in the face of vision loss.
She also offers some tips and advice for anyone who is living with wet AMD or knows someone who is. Read on to learn more about how Jill copes with her condition and how you can too. 😊
Coming to Terms With Wet AMD
Jill was working as a registered nurse in a high-volume trauma center when she found out she had wet AMD. She was 57 years old at the time.
“I was in a state of shock, not knowing what the future was going to hold,” she says. “I realized that my career would end earlier than I expected. That wasn’t easy.”
Jill admits that she felt devastated by her diagnosis and that the feeling has never really changed. But she also believes that there’s a reason for everything and that this has given her the strength to work through the daily changes of her life.
“I feel as though there’s a reason for everything, and this has given me the strength to work through the daily changes of my life.”
Managing New Challenges
For a long time, Jill’s vision was mostly stable. But recently, it’s been changing. Now she finds it more difficult to accomplish tasks that were easier a year ago.
For example, makeup has become almost impossible for her. General computer work has become more frustrating. She can always make the font larger, which is a big help, but sometimes it’s hard to balance contrast and glare.
Navigating her environment has also become more difficult, especially when it’s dark out. She sets her watch for sunrise and sunset so she knows when it’s best to stay indoors. She’s no longer comfortable being in the car at night.
“Fortunately, the changes to my vision have been slow. But I’m always on the lookout for a shift in how well I see. Every morning when I get up, I look around to see if anything has changed.”
Living With Uncertainty
Dealing with vision loss has been a struggle for Jill. It hasn’t been easy to accept the changes that wet AMD has led to.
Another challenge is uncertainty. She doesn’t know what the future may hold, and that’s difficult. But she’s learned how to adjust to each obstacle and make it easier to live with wet AMD.
“I’ve learned how to adjust to each obstacle and make it easier to live with wet AMD.”
She’s made lots of changes in her home and in her daily life. She has special lighting throughout her house. For example, she has motion-sensor lights in every closet and on the staircase. So as soon as she opens a door, a light goes on.
She always carries multiple devices to help her see better, like magnifying glasses and flashlights. She sets all of her electronic devices, like her desktop computer and her iPad, to display large font with high contrast.
Since she doesn’t see well at night, she rarely goes out in the evening without her husband. He makes sure she’s safe and helps her in low-light situations.
The Power of People
Fortunately, Jill has a very strong family support system. Her children, including her children-in-law, don’t treat her any differently since her diagnosis, but they’re always there no matter what she needs.
“I never hesitate to ask any of them to take me somewhere, get something for me, or help me at any time. If we’re going somewhere and there’s a curve or a ramp, one of my older grandchildren is at my side to assist. They instinctively come and take my hand.”
Jill also has a great relationship with her eye doctor, who monitors her condition regularly and provides her with the best treatment options available. She receives injections in her eyes every 6 weeks to slow down the progression of wet AMD.
“My eye doctor is wonderful. He’s very compassionate and understanding. He always explains everything to me and answers all of my questions.”
Staying Positive and Hopeful
Jill says that despite the challenges of living with wet AMD, she tries to stay positive and hopeful. She focuses on the things that she can still do and enjoy, like reading, listening to music, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.
“I try to stay positive and hopeful. I focus on the things that I can still do and enjoy.”
She also keeps herself informed about the latest research and developments in wet AMD treatment. She says that she’s hopeful that one day there will be a cure or a better way to manage her condition.
“I’m hopeful that one day there will be a cure or a better way to manage my condition.”
Tips and Advice for Others With Wet AMD
Jill has some tips and advice for others who are living with wet AMD or know someone who is. Here are some of them:
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are people who care about you and want to support you.
- Find a good eye doctor who you trust and who listens to you. Follow their recommendations and don’t miss your appointments.
- Use assistive devices and tools that can make your life easier. There are many options available, such as magnifiers, large-print books, audio books, voice-activated devices, and apps.
- Make your home safer and more comfortable by adding more lighting, contrast, color, and labels. You can also rearrange your furniture and remove any clutter or hazards.
- Stay active and engaged in your hobbies and interests. Find ways to adapt them to your vision level or try new ones that you can enjoy.
- Connect with other people who have wet AMD or vision loss. You can join a support group, an online community, or a local organization. You can share your experiences, learn from others, and find emotional support.
- Take care of your overall health and well-being. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, manage your stress, get enough sleep, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Be kind to yourself and don’t lose hope. Wet AMD is not your fault and it doesn’t define you. You are still the same person you were before your diagnosis.
The Bottom Line
Wet AMD is a challenging condition that can affect your vision and your quality of life. But it doesn’t have to stop you from living your life fully.
Jill Adelman is an example of someone who has learned to live with wet AMD with acceptance, adaptation, and resilience. She has made changes in her home and in her daily life to cope with her vision loss. She has also relied on her family, friends, eye doctor, and other resources for support.
Jill says that she tries to stay positive and hopeful about the future. She focuses on the things that she can still do and enjoy, and keeps herself informed about the latest research and developments in wet AMD treatment.
If you have wet AMD or know someone who does, you can learn from Jill’s story and follow her tips and advice. You can also find more information and resources on wet AMD on the WebMD website or other reputable websites.
Remember, you are not alone in your journey with wet AMD. There are people who care about you and want to help you. You can also help yourself by taking charge of your condition and making the best of your situation.
You can still live a fulfilling and meaningful life with wet AMD. Just like Jill, you can find acceptance, adaptation, and resilience in the face of vision loss. 😊
- WebMD: Coming to Terms With AMD Vision Loss
- WebMD: Macular Degeneration Resource Center
- Verywell Health: Macular Degeneration Breakthroughs