God has been good to me

The image below, known as an Amsler grid, is a test for macular degeneration. Look at the dot in the centre of the grid with one eye and then the other. The lines should all be straight. If they are not, you should make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible.

For me, the left eye sees the grid as it should be, but with my right eye there is a grey area in the centre and the lines close to that grey area are crooked. I started receiving treatments for macular degeneration fifteen years ago and without those treatments I would probably be legally blind in both eyes.

I count myself blessed as the medicines I have been getting did not exist until about two years before I noticed that the lines on the highway were crooked. I made an appointment with an optometrist and he referred me to Doctor Kevin Colleaux at Saskatoon Retina Consultants. He told me the problem was macular degeneration and explained the treatment options. It took about a week from the time I phoned the optometrist’s office until I received the first treatment.

The treatment consists of injecting a few drops of the drug directly into the eyeball. It’s not the most pleasant experience, but it has saved my eyesight so that I can still read, use the computer and drive. I have lost count, but I may have had two dozen injections in each eye. There have been lengthy breaks when the eyes remained stable and needed no treatments. Right now I am seeing Doctor Colleaux every six months and it has been almost three years since my last treatment.

I saw him again today and he told me that ten years ago he didn’t think my vision would still be this good by this time in my life. I could wish that my vision was better. Two of the effects of macular degeneration are that it becomes difficult to recognize faces at a distance or to read fine print. But I am thankful for the vision I have and for Doctor Colleaux and the scientists who developed the drugs. And above all to God that my eyes still help me to live a fulfilling and useful life.

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