For the past 12 years I have experienced sight loss through macular degeneration. When the pandemic hit last year, I found myself with time on my hands and decided to journal my journey with this life challenge in the form of a podcast called Insensitive. So I have been busying myself with the latest episode. Ahh ha, now I’ve got your attention haven’t I? A podcast!
When I was in my early 40s, I started having difficulty with my sight. I have had high myopia (severe near-sightedness that, if left untreated, can lead to degeneration of sight) since I was a young teenager, but it went undiagnosed and I didn’t really think much of it even though I had sought medical help. I also had a detached retina which, after surgery, left me visually impaired in one eye. Approximately eight years later, macular degeneration had gone to my other eye and – although I had the dreaded eye injections – the damage was done with scarring now over my central vision.
So, at age 53, I was legally blind. To me, this meant that suddenly my driving days were over, I could no longer read for pleasure or necessity, faces were no longer recognisable and my own safety was now a priority in the very mundane everyday situations.
Learning to live with late-in-life vision loss
What a life challenge this presented to me and my family! Not to be disheartened, we worked through it together to make the necessary adjustments.
I worked as a personal assistant for the president of a church denomination, so was able to continue my working life with a lot of technology and AI support. That was one of the biggest hurdles – having to learn a new way to work! I finished working last year, so with time on my hands that’s how the podcast came about.
I wasn’t frightened, but I was frustrated having to learn new slower ways of managing. I had so much support and feel very blessed for such help and my life now is as normal as it can be – but different! Although my sight loss is a serious matter, I do some incredibly stupid humorous things which I try to portray through the episodes.
Through my podcast, I hope to encourage others who are going through the challenges that sight loss brings and spread awareness of macular degeneration to those who may not be familiar with it. So I hope you’ll take the time to listen to Insensitive, my humorous and insightful journey with sight loss.