Podcaster Marci Neal, wearing round, red eyeglasses, smiles for the camera

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.

About the Author

Marci Neal, originally from New Zealand, has lived in England for the past 35 years. To keep up with her adventures, listen to her podcast, Insensitive, or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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