Have you noticed that on any forms you fill out, they have a box for 20-30; 30-40; 40-50; 50-65 (or similar)
When it comes to age 65, we are counted as +
What does that mean to you?
What it means to me is that society, in general, dismisses the over 65’s as a number when everything becomes indefinite.
Over 65’s, in general, have become indefinite, written off, uncertain about the future, invisible.
But I am working on making certain that any of that will not apply to me.
Over 65 is an important passage in life, and in these modern days, we could still live another thirty or more years. That is a lot of years to dismiss eh?
What about you?
Is it time to change all that?
After all, if the Government want us to work until we are 70 or even more, why put 65+ on forms, some of which are important to our welfare, such as insurance.
What can you do as an individual? Could you be a spark to the fire that helps to change that thinking?
We will show them that there is no such thing as 65+
We are still an important number.
Many people in my circle are still coming up with visions and new enterprises for the future at age 65 +!
There are some Facebook groups that you could join, to help start the ball rolling. Ageing with Vitality and The Silver Tent are just two of them. There is also one called Humorous Ageing if laughing about it takes your fancy. Here are the links.
Do you eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green ones?
Do you know how many people are blind in the UK?
Do you have parents or grandparents who have AMD?
Do you know what your risk is of getting AMD or any other visual impairment?
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration.) is becoming more common in the 21st Century because people are living longer.
Macular Degeneration as it is commonly known is the breaking down of the macula which is the part of the retina at the back of the eye that provides sharp central vision.
People with this condition can suffer increasingly blurred vision which leads to problems with reading printed or written text, colour, (particularly contrast) and difficulty recognising people’s faces. If you only have AMD and nothing else wrong with your eyes, you will not go completely blind. But you will lose your central vision.
There are other conditions with the eyes such as cataracts, glaucoma and Diabetic retinopathy. I recently heard a story about a chap who went for an eye test, and this was how he found out that he had Type 2 Diabetes. For an optometrist, our eyes are like reading a book. But as a friend of mine pointed out to me just today, you do need to be assertive and make sure that you ask the right questions, and what you can do about any conditions that they come across.
Also only today I heard of someone who had been scared by what the optometrist had said. That there is no cure for AMD and he was in the very early stages of the condition.
It did frighten me when the optometrist told me that I was in the early stages, but I put that fear into action by finding out what was available to help me. So don’t be put off by what they tell you, especially when they say there is no cure and there is nothing that can be done. They may be right that there is no cure, at least at the moment, but there is plenty that can be done to make life easier. I am afraid that many consultants and eye specialists have a habit of doing that, but they fail to point out that there is support available.
If you do find out that you have the early stages of AMD, you can take sensible precautions to take care of your eyes and help to slow up the process.
By wearing glasses or goggles and a hat to keep the sunlight out of your eyes. By learning what aids are available so that you stand a good chance of managing the condition.
So, the earlier you find out, the better. You may not notice anything wrong in your day to day life, except perhaps you may find that reading is blurred even with your reading glasses on. I found out from a regular eye check.
And don’t think that it is an old person condition, some people develop AMD in their twenties or thirties. I know someone who had junior onset AMD at the age of eight.
As a matter of interest here are some interesting facts for the UK. (You can google statistics or facts for your part of the world if you are not in the UK)
In the UK around 600,000 people currently have vision impairment caused by AMD, and around 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. (nearly 200 per day)
Over two million people in the UK live with sight loss.
Total sight loss in one eye is not counted against the legality of driving.
People with sight loss in one eye are not considered partially sighted.
Total sight loss is rare, only about 4% of people with vision impairment are totally blind.
Sight loss, in general, affects people of all ages but especially older people. 1 in 5 aged 75 and 1 in 2 aged 90. (This is in degrees of sight loss, from mild to being registered blind or partially sighted.
In the UK there are only 5000 guide dogs.
Every day more than 75 new people are formally registered blind or partially sighted.
75% of blind and partially sighted people of working age are registered unemployed.
There are plenty more statistics that you can find, and some of them are quite revealing. Many people, including myself for many years before I had this condition, get confused when observing people with vision loss. They cannot understand why the person can see some things and not others.
I cannot go into the details here, but I have written some of what I experience as an example here;
As far as the legality of driving is concerned, it is a minefield. The law may say that you are safe to drive with a vision impairment, in fact, some people with an impairment may be able to see the required reading of the number plate. But the insurance company’s may have something else to say about it.
For example, I was told twelve years ago that I could drive under the law. I have other things wrong with my eyes as well, and one of them is double vision when my eyes are tired. I was issued by the Eye Infirmary with a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out (don’t ask about the technicalities please!) and told that I could drive while wearing them. If I were in an accident, I would be covered by the insurance as long as I was wearing them. If I were not wearing them, then I would be liable.
No-one seemed to take into account that wearing them was a hazard for me because I could not see properly with them on. So I had to make a choice not to drive at all. Driving for me, just as it is for millions of people, was freedom and giving it up was painful. But not as much as if I had taken the risk and failed to drive safely.
The main purpose of this article is to point out how important it is to look after your eyes. The main cause of AMD is not known. But the contributing factors are genetic, diet and smoking.
It is a myth that we can get AMD from bad light or too much exposure to computers, etc. But UV light is a factor and another reason for protecting your eyes in the sunlight. The jury is still out on whether computer and smartphones can cause AMD, but there is evidence surfacing that you can suffer what is known as Digital Eye Strain. Eye strain, however, is not a contributing factor to AMD.
Looking at my earlier reference to contributing factors, let’s look at the genetic factor more closely. The genetic factor is only an increased risk. It is not a guarantee that you will get it. But, if you have someone in your family, particularly your parents, with MD, then you need to be extra vigilant with eye care. Get plenty of green leafy vegetables which contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two antioxidants stored in the macula.
As for the other two, diet and smoking; just give up smoking, and eat clean as well as including the green vegetables.
And last but certainly not least. GET YOUR EYES CHECKED REGULARLY. At least every two years. Don’t take your eyesight for granted.
One of the most difficult things for me as well as the other 600,000 people in the UK to come to terms with, is that except a miracle, my eyes are not going to get better than they are now, and they are going to get worse over time.
At the moment, because I have developed wet AMD, I am waiting for my eyes to get worse before I can begin to have injections to make them better. Don’t ask!
The only things that I can do are; to make sure that I get the nutrients I need; to shield my eyes from the sun; to eat clean and to take the supplements that I take, to try and slow up the progress.
It is important to stay positive and just let AMD be part of my life and not rule it! But that will take another article, and again let me refer you to the link for my other blogs on AMD.
I have just been through a vital transition in life.
Through the last six months, I encountered “The Dark Night of the Soul.” A time when I was brought low and was forced to look at my life; where I was going, what I was doing. What was working and what was not.
There are times in our lives when we need to go through these dark nights. It is as if the Universe is saying “You are not listening to me, and you need to.”
I do not believe that the Universe, or God or this higher power, whatever you may like to call it, makes us ill, or depressed because I believe that we bring it on to ourselves. We think that we know best. So we will go on working, doing and striving, and wearing ourselves into the ground, or bed or onto pills, simply because we are not listening to that still small voice.
And that applies to anyone of any age.
Even those who say that they are living their purpose and carrying out what they know they are here on this Earth for, can be so busy doing, that they forget to be still, forget to listen, forget to notice things synchronising or not, and go ahead thinking that we know best.
I came to a place where I was forced to listen to that still small voice, and during that time I became quite ill, physically and mentally, but thank God that I still held on to my Spiritual life.
I realised that I had not been listening, I had been striving and worrying and pushing ahead, doing things that I thought I was meant to do.
I had a family problem to deal with, and although it was settled in a way that we thought was not possible at first, at the end of it, I had a meltdown. Not because I doubted, not because I was weak in any way shape or form, but because I had failed to notice that I needed to go through a transformation in my life. A passage of life that has taken me into my fourth age.
I run a group on Facebook for Ageing with Vitality. I blog about ageing. I talk about how we are still vital, but I had not taken into consideration that the physical body does age, whether we like it or not.
I was proud that I had reached the age of 72 and am still active, vital and healthy, but was finding the lower energy and the ability to multi-task, difficult to come to terms with. Along with a visual impairment that I now have.
We hear so much about staying active; keep exercising, keep walking, keep doing things, keep your brain active and on and on. But we can sometimes, be, so hell bent on doing those things that we ignore this important passage of life. Which is transforming into an older person, but one who can still have a good quality of life.
It may happen at different ages while growing into that fourth age. Some are ready to relax at sixty, while others will still be working at age 70, 80 or even more. But the important thing is that we do need to recognise that there will come a time for transition. It may not be an obvious one, but we need to be mindful of subtle changes.
I don’t mean that we wake up one morning and find that we are suddenly old, although for some who are taken ill this may happen of course. But I am talking about looking at why we are feeling more tired than we used to.
Is what you are doing working for you and the other key people in your life?
And I certainly do not mean that we have to “give in”. What I mean is that like a teenager who has to make the decision whether to go to Uni or the twenty-year-old who decides that life is going to change, they have left their teenage life behind and now have to settle down to life. Or the person going through a midlife crisis and decides that they want to change careers. We need to look at what our purpose is for the rest of the time that we are here.
For me, my transition has shown me that my purpose does not look like what I have been striving after for the last six or seven years. Even though in that time I have been more aware and conscious than ever before.
But I am at peace, and simply want to serve.
Nowadays, when I have a decision to make I ask myself what purpose it will serve?
I am so grateful that I do not have to work for a living now. I am grateful that I have accepted a simpler lifestyle and do not strive after belongings. My income is modest, and I love having no responsibilities.
I am healthy and do eat a healthy diet; I love walking and make sure that I walk at least an hour most days. I stay active; I love the Internet, Facebook and the groups that I belong to on there. I love the women’s group “Damsels in Success”.
I belong to a Women’s over fifty group “The Silver Tent,” whose purpose is to raise the consciousness of the world.
I love going to the Macular Society meetings with others who have sight problems. We have a laugh and obtain lots of important information.
I love eating out with friends and my beloved husband. I love writing and reading. Most of all I love my times with God, in quietude and meditation. Listening to the music of Taize, Snatam Kaur and other inspirational music.
My life is full and rich again after spending the last few months in transformation and healing. The transition into being a Wise Elderwoman.
Look out for regular blogs again now, about Ageing with Wisdom and Vitality, Death and all that it encompasses, (I am a Funeral Celebrant) and the eye disease Macular Degeneration and what it can be like to live with it. I will also still dabble in eating healthily and supporting people with issues around food and their eating patterns.
It is good to be back again renewed and with a fresh vision.
How about you? Are you listening to that still small voice that may be telling you it’s time for that transition?
Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?
Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?
In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.
Hi There. This is a post especially for the USA (Amazon.com) with an extract from this book with regards to some of your history of food.
Taken from Chapter 6. The 50’s; Things improve.
Things looked a little different on the other side of the Atlantic at that time, though.
In a list from an article called “What were Americans cooking in the 1950s?”appetizers are mentioned. This was unheard of in the UK except among the better off. People would not have needed their appetite stimulated; they were hungry enough.
Among them, I found such items as fruit cup, Melon Ball Cocktail, Seafood cocktail, Pastry snails, silver dollar hamburgers, bacon wraparounds. Followed by about 30 more choices.
Another 30 or more different soups and salads, including for the soups, tomato, chicken and corn, onion, oxtail, cream of celery. And for the salads, stuffed tomato, three- bean, orange and Bermuda onion, coleslaw and cold potato salad.
Main courses consisted of grilled kabobs, scalloped chicken supreme, beef and corn casserole, American lasagne, fluffy meat loaf and baked ham with glaze. Salmon steak, chicken-a-la-king, spaghetti with sauce and ham and vegetable casserole.
Vegetables were often served with butter, cream sauce, sour cream sauce, canned soup, and topped with breadcrumbs or dried onion flakes.
Desserts consisted of such items as chiffon pie, coconut cake, peppermint candy, cake, banana chiffon cake, apricot soufflé and banana chocolate cake.
Those were the days of the first barbecues in America, too. While the Brits were still tucking into their fish and chips wrapped in newspaper or baking potatoes at the camp fire, the Americans were setting up their barbecues and cooking steaks, chicken wings, and barbecued ribs. Certainly worlds apart from the UK.
In the UK children were often given a penny to go to the fish and chip shop for a bag of “scraps.” These were the bits that came off the fish while being cooked in the deep fat fryers and came to the surface when they were being cleaned.
The 1950s brought about changes in the way that we cooked. It became a chore and something that just had to be done in the quickest and shortest way possible.
In the 50s dieting was seen as something to make you more attractive and to obtain a lovely figure. Women were happier to be a bigger size than in the later years. An icon of the fifties, Marilyn Monroe, was a size 14 (or American size 12.) She was known for her hourglass figure and her beauty.
The 50’s were an era when lower fat foods started appearing on the market, but the emphasis was on naturally lower fat foods and not specially made.
The word “fitness” was not used for many years yet, and exercise was something you did as a pastime. Exercises were known as procedures rather than routines.
I remember a dieting product called AYDS which involved eating a sort of toffee before you had your meal, which was supposed to fill you up and take away your appetite!
Did it work? What do you think?
I have mentioned what the American were eating many times in the book. Including a history of what the South Americans were eating before the Agricultural Era.
I am writing this to ask you to help me with a small favour.
Some time ago I wrote a book called “Hunter Gatherer to Baby Boomer; How Food Evolved.” It has been on Amazon, but has now been re-published as a 2nd re-published, re-formatted and updated edition.
I wrote it because in my lifetime since the 1940’s I have been intrigued watching how food has changed out of all recognition.
The book begins with the Hunter Gatherers, but I have concentrated particularly on the last 100 years, decade by decade, right up until the developments in the 21st century.
I found some amazing facts about how people have always been aware of the shape of their bodies. Watching weight and worrying about self-image is nothing new apparently, and I found some amazing ways that people have done it.
Who is it for?
Have you ever considered how the food we eat has evolved?
Have you ever wondered why our food today is laden with sugar, salt and other preservatives?
In this new book, you will discover how our hunter-gatherer ancestors existed and what they ate, before the advent of farming, domesticating animals and mass production of food.
You will also learn about the obesity epidemic which has gripped the western world and where it has its roots, as well as how food has rapidly developed and changed as the 20th century progressed and our eating habits changed.
There can be little doubt that we are less healthy now than ever and this is in large part because of the food we consume. With ever increasing amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives going into our daily intake, it’s no wonder our bodies are changing in shape.
Now you can see why this has happened and make informed choices about the sort of food you consume.
Get your copy at the times below for just £0.99 and see how the food we eat today has changed beyond all recognition.
I would love it if you bought a copy to help me to get a high ranking on Amazon which puts it onto their bestseller promotions (usually featured on the right-hand side of the page) and therefore creates high visibility for this most interesting book, unique in its subject matter.
When to buy it.
To ensure that happens I have reduced the price from £3.44 to the special price of 99p. (Cheaper in USD) It will be available for this price from 2pm-9pm on Saturday 10th June and between 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 11th June.
Please buy at the times suggested because Amazon calculates its bestseller rankings between these times.
Can you leave a review?
Then I’d love you to go onto Amazon and leave a review. The more reviews I get for this book the better its profile worldwide.
It only needs something like;
Really enjoyed Patricia Cherry’s book. I had not thought about the history of how food came to be where it is now in the 21st century. I was fascinated with how long some foods have been in existence and also with how and why we now depend on so much processed food. … Or something like that.
Don’t have kindle – still buy it.
If you don’t have a Kindle, you can still download the Kindle player for free on all computers, tablets and phones.
I’d love it if I could reach as many readers possible world-wide.
Many, many thanks. I will let you know how it goes.
Are you reaching the age of 50 and feeling uncertain and scared about what the future holds?
Or you maybe among women who are in denial, and saying that they refuse to think about themselves as ageing.
You may be holding back the grey, having surgery, dressing young, using expensive anti-wrinkle cream and so on.
But guess what? There is nothing wrong with you whatever you do!
I belong to a worldwide group called “The Silver Tent.” The purpose and vision of its founder Francesca Cassini are to have over a million women in this group.
At the moment “The Silver Tent” is being launched, and today 23rd April 2017, is day two of the Launch Summit.
I have just listened to the fourth speaker, Lynn McTaggart, author of “The Field” and “The Intention Experiment”, being interviewed by Francesca. Lynns experiments and writing are about how Intentions work. Or how our thoughts are strong enough to bring about intentions. Whether with negative or positive thinking.
We also heard about the power of collective intentions.
Francesca and Lynn and one of the speakers yesterday spoke about how “The Siver Tent” can be a power for change throughout the worldby joining up into one big group throughout, on the internet, or it could be called the innernet, and in local physical groups wherever you are.
This group and many others, for young and older women are showing how the Dalai Lamas words spoken nearly twenty years ago now, are coming into fruition.
“The world will be saved by the Western Women”
We are built up by women who want to see a change in the world. The over fifties in general have done their bit with children and no longer have to be bogged under with running the household. Many of them are looking for a challenge or a change.
Many of them are starting in business, or becoming writers, or even enjoying taking care of Grandchildren. Some of them have gained diplomas or degrees. In this group, you will learn that it is not too late whatever your intentions are.
You will also learn the way to remain vital, healthy and vivacious in mind, body and spirit.
You will learn the joy of knowing that because you are mature you are also wiser.
And you will learn that it is no cause for worry or upset when your body starts to show signs of ageing. If you are beginning to be limited in energy, movement or physical vitality, there is no cause for alarm.
You do not have to compare yourself to other older women that you see on the internet who are still able to sit in a difficult yoga position or can dance the night away, or can still do a hundred and one push-ups.
Fine if you can, and fine if you can’t. Most of them have been doing it all their lives.
Just as a little footnote I didn’t begin doing Kundalini Yoga until the beginning of this year. I also know someone the same age as me who started last year and it supported her in coming off anit-depressents. Now she has a new lease of life.
I love this community of women, all coming together under “The Silver Tent.” and I am blogging this because I feel so compassionate about the vision and purpose of it.
We are there for each other. Some discussions are funny and others are more serious. It’s fun to ask what others do in any given situation, and expect honest and open answers.
The blossoms are the essential part of the progession to the fruit; and the fruit is just as vital.
Have you noticed when you are filling in a form, they put the age brackets into such an order that when you reach 65, it just becomes 65+?
Society spends a lot of time, worrying, fretting and resisting the very idea of ageing.
But as we evolve as humans in the 21st Century, isn’t it time for us to embrace the idea? Especially as many of us are living for another thirty to forty years after retirement.
We still matter! Because as long as we have breath, we are still vital.
Illness and disease can occur at any age, so why do we think that old age has the monopoly on it?
Yes; our bodies do wear out and become weaker and frailer, and the chances of succumbing to degenerative disorders are stronger.
But being Vital in our older years is still as much a part of life as when we are younger. There are many younger people who don’t realise how vital they are to society, so why do we insist on giving old age the honour?
The word vitality is being used too loosely these days. It is used to promote products, and ironically anti-ageing foods and creams. Consequently, we think of vitality as something that is easily lost and associates that loss with ageing.
Some of the synonyms for the word vitality are; Liveliness, energy, animation, spirit, passion, sparkle and vibrancy; the power giving continuance of life, present in all living things; Vital force or energy.
If you study those words and bear in mind that we are all made up of Mind, body and spirit, you may realise that you can retain them.
Liveliness can remain in the mind and spirit, along with vibrancy and passion.
Every one of us, from birth to death, have something to contribute to the world. No matter where you are, where you live, the state of your mind or health, the state of your finances, whatever your intellect or culture you have a VITAL role to play. At any age.
You may not ever become rich, a writer, an artist, a teacher, a celebrity or earn lots of money. You may even be thinking at this moment that you are not successful because you haven’t reached a goal that you had in mind. You may have just been diagnosed with an illness or condition that you perceive as a road to failure.
You may even be thinking that you are already a failure, let alone when you get older.
You may have just retired or are coming up to retirement, and you see the future as bleak and that you will no longer be a vital part of society.
On the other hand, you may be looking forward to a bit of peace.
Do you have the thought at the back of your mind that it is downhill all the way after the age of 65? Do you think that you must do the things on your bucket list before it’s too late?
Too late for what? Perhaps too late to be able to travel freely, too late for certain activities, yes. But have you thought about what else it may be too late for? Are you seeing the time to come, the “too late” as a time when you are sitting like the proverbial cabbage?
The truth is that; As long as you have breath, you are still vital!
But how can I remain vital when I am too weak or helpless to do anything?
All of us have energy running through us as long as we are alive.
Most of the time we are unaware of it and only when we are active in some way, we become aware. But it is there; how else would your heart keep beating, your eyes seeing and all the other organs in your body stay working?
Collective energy is what you feel in a crowd at a football stadium or when the whole world stood still when we were witnessing 9/11.
We are part of the Universal energy, and what is more, it is Vital to every one of us, it is what keeps us alive. You are part of that collective energy.
Even people in a coma, or under anaesthetic have an energy running throughout their body. And they are still vital to the planet and in turn to society.
And even the person in a state of weakness, infirmity and very old age, have that energy and vitality.
People become “old” at any age. The physical process starts at age 27. But in many peoples minds, they begin to feel old as soon as they see the first grey hair.
We put people into categories or brackets. We have expectations of what we can do at any given age. We use the expression “I’m too old for that.”
The perception is different in all of us. Some may still be playing football or running at age ninety; others may need to stop being physically active at a much earlier age due to injury.
When we run upstairs and forget what we came up there for, we fear that it’s the ageing process setting in. Forgetting that most of us at any age do that. What about the schoolchild forgetting his sports kit, or losing his jacket? Do we ask if he or she is getting old?
We think of the darkest fear that we have with the process of old age as a line of events.
We retire; we travel or join things; take up mew hobbies.
Next; we expect we will start to suffer from disease which disables us from doing all the things that we like to do.
We then expect that it’s downhill all the way to becoming useless, a burden on society, and want just to die.
But guess what? That vital energy is still there.
Remember that the Universe does not centre around you, but that You are simply a vital part of it.
So as you become weaker and frailer, you can have either a positive effect on others or a negative.
Prepare for your older years with the thought in mind that you are vital to those around you at this time, and you are on the road to FEELING vital until the day you die.
Another synonym for vitality is spark or sparkle. Are you going to be the spark that lights people’s fire, even when you simply smile at people around you?
Don’t tell me that you can’t do that when you are old and frail. I know many who do.
Having the spark that lights people’s fire starts at any age. Think of the effect that even the youngest baby has when they smile for the first time.
Are your family and friends going to be drawn to see you? You can do this by staying energised while you can by listening, learning, reading, writing and creating new things.
If your niche is gardening or craft do it, while you can.
Stay informed, be active, eat well.
Research drugs before you take them. You do not have to just go along with what the doctor says and jump on the roundabout of taking one drug after another that dulls your brain and mind.
Make younger friends, don’t just join the local senior citizens club and talk about the weather or your latest illness.
You have a lot to offer younger people coming along. Only three days ago, I was lunching in the centre of London with a young student from Singapore. How did I get there? I was at a Seminar on making choices with people of all ages.
The turning point for me was when at the age of sixty, a friend of the same age commented that she hated this business of getting old.
I thought “I’m outta here!” No way was I going to join that bandwagon.
Yes, I am ageing, yes time is running away with me, but I changed my thinking to one of “My older years are going to be a time of learning, wisdom and supporting others to do the same.”
The feeling of loss comes from losing something precious.
A loved one, a loved possession or perhaps moving from a beloved place.
It can be a loss of a limb, of our hearing and our independence perhaps.
In the case of Aged-related Macular Degeneration, it is a gradual loss, but there comes the point where you have to accept that it is never going to get better.
(Some people like to claim that it can get better because there are treatments available outside of the NHS in the United Kingdom, but I have looked into that, and it depends on what type of AMD you have.)
I want to share with you my journey with this problem because I can see that there is such a lack of information about what people are actually experience. I did not know about the darkness, distortion, light sensitivity and other problems. I just thought that it was a matter of losing central vision.
Now I want others to know what to expect or what their relatives or friends are experiencing. I do understand that there are no two cases alike. Each person’s experience will be as different as each of the millions of others who have it.
Yesterday after suffering from dry AMD for two years, and then a further nine months with WET MD, I finally reached the point where I had to face up to the fact that it is never going to be better than it is now.
I am currently waiting for the point where my eyesight has degenerated to the NICE guidelines, so that I can start having injections to slightly improve the sight or at least arrest the deterioration. (Injections cost the NHS £1000 each.)
In the last two weeks, I have been experiencing distortion, and I thought that my eyes had reached the necessary point. So I was surprised when the consultant said that there was no difference on the scan from four weeks ago.
When I asked why I have the distortion suddenly, he replied that he was surprised that I had not had it before.
He also explained that I only have it in my GOOD EYE!
It is weird how I have struggled seeing out of my bad eye, all of my life, but now the good eye is so bad that the bad one sees clearer!
He also explained that the injections might slightly improve the sight again, and they will most likely maintain the sight that I have. But it is worth repeating that the sight has to get worse before it gets better.
This is where the conundrum comes in. I suddenly realised that the sight I have now would never be any better because they will not give me the jabs until it gets worse. Therefore it is never going to be any better than it is now.
Does that make sense? My emotions went into a dip yesterday when I realised that deep down I was hoping that the injections were going to make things better.
I hope that this blog makes sense to you and you can understand what I am trying to say.
I am firing this off early in the morning before a busy, but enjoyable day out in Falmouth in Cornwall with some friends. I am so grateful for that.
A very kind liaison lady came to see me at the Eye Infirmary yesterday, and she gave me some anti-glare goggles to place over my glasses, for the light sensitivity. She was there for me and listened and reassured me that I would never completely lose my sight unless anything else goes wrong other than the MD.
So I have a lot to be grateful for. But I wanted to share this to my groups on Facebook, and others who may find it when looking up AMD on the internet. Just to help people understand this condition that bit better.
I am also grateful for the lovely people in my local MD group in Plymouth, for their company and understanding. When we eat out once a month, we can sit and laugh and feel somewhat normal, even with the enlarged print menus that the restaurants provide!
Are you going to enjoy the cherry blossom this Spring? Not long now.
Or are you going to say “Yeh but it doesn’t last long and look at the mess it makes.”
There is so much to be grateful for don’t you think? Yet there are many who are griping about the state of the world, or their life circumstances, or anything else that they can think of.
How wonderful that you had a day out with the kids? YEH BUT… is the reply.
Isnt the weather lovely? Yeh But………
You came through your surgery alright then? Yeh But……..
I hear you have had promotion at work? Yeh But………..
And on and on.
I have had conversations with homeless people. Others who are bankrupt. Still others who are elderly and infirm.
People who are ill or grieving from loss perhaps.
In other words, people who really do have something to gripe about in the eyes of society. But somehow they still manage to see the bright side of things. They still inspire the good in others.
One homeless woman with whom I got into converstaion, was grateful that she had a lot of friends who were also homeless. They have good times together, not one negative word out of her. I came away feeling blessed and grateful.
I saw a post on Facebook this morning by someone who needed to attend A & E, but instead of complaining she said that she was grateful for the kind attention of the staff, even though they were rushed off their feet and she had to wait a long time.
Another good example is of an elderly lady whom I looked after, she only had one breast, one leg. one eye and was in a wheelchair. Yet we care assistants loved attending to her needs, because she always cheered us up. She used to say that when they bury her the cost will be half price!
If you are constantly looking for the dark side of everything, or dwelling on the past, then the chances are that you are not living consciously. The chances are also very strong that you will get what you are thinking about and be miserable no matter what you do.
Are YOU unsconcious of all the good things around you?
Do you want to be subjective to these thoughts? Or do you want to live in gratefulness?
It is possible to make the choice.
Are you living an abundant life? Do you know what that means?
Or are you living in a “Yeh But” world and only seeing what you do not have?
These illustrations show the progress of how a person with AMD can experience the decline in vision.
AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration) is quite a common condition .
The macula is located at the back of the eye and is the most sensitive part of the retina. When it is damaged the centre of your field of view may appear blurry, distorted or dark.
I MUST EMPHASISE THAT IT IS THE CENTRAL VISION THAT IS AFFECTED AND PROVIDED THAT YOU HAVE NO OTHER EYE CONDITIONS YOU SHOULD NOT GO COMPLETELY BLIND.
Ageing itself can cause damage, and there are two types of AMD commonly known as Wet or Dry.
The dry type is slow advancing, and many people will have it for some time before they notice there is something amiss.
The first signs are that you may find yourself forever cleaning your glasses. Or you may simply put it down to needing new glasses or that you are putting poor sight down to part of the ageing process and ignore it. It is mostly picked up when you have an eye test. Generally speaking, it begins at the age of around 50, but since nothing happens at any certain age, that is not a given fact.
Dry MD can slowly develop and once diagnosed, it can be monitored and you can change your diet and lifestyle to help slow the process down.
However, 1 out of 10 cases develops into Wet MD and can have more serious implications. Although with wet MD there are injections to slow the process down, there is still no guarantee that it will work.
Let me tell you my story.
Nearly three years ago during a regular annual eye test, the Optician showed me the photos of the back of my eyes, and I could see white spots. (Drusen) He explained that these are signs of Macular Degeneration.
I felt quite alarmed because my Mother has it and I have seen her struggling over many years. But this optician told me about a nutritional supplement that would help to slow up the development. We shall discuss that supplement in the group that I hope to start on Facebook.
I already knew of a Guild in Plymouth which helped people with vision and hearing difficulties, so I went along and found a lot of information about the condition and also what aids there were available.
They also told me about Plymouth University having a department where you could go and have regular examinations and also be a guinea pig for students learning Ophthalmology. Not only that but if there was a serious development, they could contact the Eye Infirmary direct and I would not have to go through my GP.
I rather liked that idea, so I went. And for the past two years I have enjoyed talking to the tutors and students and finding a lot of information. They also have a scanner there, and it was fun to see the back of my eye laid out for interpretation.
They have been impressed with my tenacity and resilience to the situation, and how I stay so positive. But I must admit to being quite alarmed at times when I notice more severe symptoms such as distortion, even to the extent of seeing people’s head’s shaped like ET.
I have a couple of other issues with my eyes, such as double vision which manifests when I am tired and with the added complication of the 6th nerve damage. So, eleven years ago it stopped me from driving. Although I had the problem all my life, as I got older I could not control it so well. But that is another story.
The 6th Nerve damage was caused by the forceps at birth. Resulting in what is commonly called a lazy eye. So I am mostly reliant on my left eye, I often describe it as “I can see all right, but it feels like the brain will not tell me what it is I am seeing.”
Because of the problems with my right eye, the Eye Infirmary are keeping up regular monthly checks. If I lose the vision in that eye, I will be in trouble.
Last July I went along to the University because although the regular eye test at the opticians resulted in new glasses, I was still struggling to see. They did a scan and found that it had developed into Wet MD.
Wet MD is where abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina, and these vessels can leak fluid and blood, which can lead to swelling and damage of the macula.
The University fast-tracked an appointment for me at the Eye Infirmary (What a horrible name)
After numerous tests, the EI are monitoring me regularly because when it reaches a critical point, they can start with injections into the eye, which will slow up the progress.
The latest development is that peoples faces are distorted and have taken on a perculiar appearance. I have adjusted my own image here so that you can see what I am seeing.
You can read in a previous blog how this affects my everyday living.
Some people have claimed that there is a cure, but I have yet to come across any proven cures. The EI and the University certainly have not found any.
But I was asked the other day about whether MD can be prevented.
It is best to start as early as possible to make lifestyle changes.
Although none of us can guarantee to prevent any disease in our lives, there are things that you can do to strengthen your chances of not getting it. Or giving your body a better chance to deal with any disease at all.
It is no surprise to me that the answer is the same as with many other diseases of the Western world, such as obesity, cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and other modern diseases.
Eat a healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish.
I do all of these things and also take a special supplement called Macushield.
I am considering starting the Facebook group for this condition, both in helping people to try and prevent it and how to deal with it.
Would you please comment either on this blog or in the comments on Social Media if you would like to join us.
There are plenty of MD Facebook groups in the US, but because our health care systems are different in the UK, I think that it will be of benefit to many.
Also, of course, the nature of the condition prevents people from reading on Facebook, and I suspect that many don’t get the opportunity or are not aware of the advantages of it.
But it may be that you have a relative or friend that you could help by belonging to the group.
Would you please share this, because I would like as many people as possible to benefit from a good Facebook group on AMD.
The picture below is the scene without any eye problems!
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