My Grandmother
A Macular Degeneration Story

by Paul
(Crown Point, IN, USA)

My grandmother suffers from Macular Degeneration. She's eighty-five years old now, and first began experiencing problems related to it about a decade ago.

I don't know enough about the disease to say what caused it, what she might have done differently to avoid it; I only know it developed as she got older.

Anyway, the effects of Macular Degeneration are, in my experience, incredibly severe. She's effectively blind.

She reports that she can see light, and can tell whether the room she's in is light or dark.

She says she's still got normal vision out of the corner of one (or both) of her eyes, and using this she's still able to very slowly read the morning paper with the aid of a magnifying glass.

I'll often find her with her nose pressed up against the digital read-out on the microwave, trying to make out what time it is. It takes her a few minutes of doing this to be able to find out.

She says she hasn't seen any faces since the onset of the disease, ten years ago, and so has no idea what anyone looks like anymore.

I tell her in the case of her own children, who are on the downhill side, this is a blessing, but it's obviously sad for her to be unable to watch her grandchildren blossom into adults, or to see the faces of her great-grandchildren.

It's been my experience that Macular Degeneration is a horrible disease; leaving people blind, it leaves them helpless.

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