|Intermediate AMD (Wikipedia link)|
The first thing they did in his office was take pictures of my eye, looking much like this one I snagged from Wikipedia. He told me that there was enough drusen that he would like to do a dye test to decide how to treat my AMD. It's called a Fluorescein Angiogram and is designed to detect the level of "soft" versus "hard" drusen. Apparently the soft stuff is worse, and the dye test was pretty painless, considering. It took about five minutes, but the nurse warned me that my urine will be fluorescent yellow for a day or two, and my other elimination (you know) will be bright green! It's perfectly normal, she said. The test wasn't bad, and I was bracing myself for the possibility of having injections in my eyeballs, but he said I don't need that... yet. Given the choice between going blind and having my eyeballs injected with medicine, I will take the latter.
However, he told me that my intermediate "dry" AMD might be kept at bay by taking a ton of antioxidant vitamins. So I went on Amazon and ordered several different formulations, to be delivered on a regular schedule, which is much cheaper than buying them from my local food cooperative.
I found a very informative website called webRN-maculardegeneration.com with information on all forms of this disease and who it affects most often, with links to studies that are trying to find ways to deal with this most common form of blindness in older people. My great-grandmother had gone blind, I remember, but nobody else in my family has ever lived long enough for me to know if I am susceptible genetically.
The doctor also told me that it is not inevitable that I will go blind, since the disease takes a different path in every person it affects. I am hoping that I can manage it until I'm ready to cash in my chips. Nothing seems more devastating to me that going blind. I learned a lot today, and now I'm ready to relax! How was YOUR day?