Advanced Macular Degeneration (AMD) prevents me from seeing like I could twenty years ago. It’s like looking at the world through smudged up glasses. The big picture — what things are and where they are located, for example — is still clear, but the smudge obscures anything I focus on.
Bellyachin’ won’t help me see better or win me any friends. Even AMD has a silver lining. Here’s the upside of my visual impairment.
No more subtitles. Having to read most of a movie has never appealed to me. If nobody is around to read the subtitles for me, I miss anything important. AMD is legitimate excuse for passing on foreign films.
I’m never the designated driver. Nobody wants me to drive them anywhere. If I’m out after dark, somebody has picked me up and will take me home.
I read labels more. Nutrition is important to me, but I’m more concerned about missing something important on the label. God forbid I get home with something gluten-free, fat-free, sugar-free, low-fat, or with bizarre ingredients.
Keeping the house clean is easier. I pick up after myself and tidy up as I go along. If something looks dirty, I’ll clean it. Dirt I can’t see doesn’t bother me.
My garden is more enjoyable. When I could see better, a critical eye kept me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. All I saw was weeds to pull, dead flowers to remove, and other chores to be done. I see the big picture now, and it’s lovely.
People look better. Seeing faces is a challenge. Again, I get the big picture, but can’t see wrinkles, zits, hairy growths, or other blemishes. Nobody ages either. Everyone I know still looks like they did the last time I could see their face.
I’m not happy about my deteriorating vision, but the truth is, there are far worse things than going blind. Macular degeneration doesn’t hurt and is unlikely to kill me. More than anything else, it’s an inconvenience, and for that I am truly grateful.