Continued Improvement

It has been six months since the ophthalmologist first told me I had advanced aging macular degeneration (AMD). At the time he told me he was hopeful he could at least stop it from making me completely blind in one eye, but he had no hope of making it any better. He would try, he said, with monthly eye injections, but he warned me not to expect miracles. Well, I’m now on a first name basis with St. Lucy, patron saint of the blind, and Dr. Guerriero is truly the answer to a prayer. That first injection, directly into my eye, wasn’t really even bad, given the doctor’s calm manner, incredible background and experience, and my praying my way through it. The second one was even better, especially when he said my eye had shown a very slight improvement! By the third, I felt like an experienced pin cushion, and he talked about possibly changing the medicine he was injecting. But he didn’t. I changed my diet, forgoing red meats for more salmon, tuna and sardines, thrilled the variety of nuts I loved were really great for eyesight, and started taking AREDS 2, an OTC medication filled with Vitamin C and E, zinc and copper. Enjoying more fruits and green vegetables was easy to do, particularly armed with the new recipe book my daughter had gotten for me from the AMG society and all the root vegetables and fruits my son had shipped to me. In the meantime, I continued to use the candles on the altar at church every morning as my barometer. In November and December, the six tall candles really looked like twelve tall candles to me. And everyone of them was bent over as if they were blowing in the wind. By February, there were some days that one or two of them looked straighter than the others, but not my much. In March, when I got my fifth shot, the candles were still crooked and the doctor was telling he once again he saw slight improvement, something that delighted him, I think as much as me. Then in the last two weeks, I noticed that every day…every day…every one of those candles..only six now…were standing straight and tall! So I was happy going into Dr. Guerriero’s office, and happier still after he saw me. He reminded me he never thought he could improve my degeneration, but he wanted to try. He reminded me he was going to changed medication a few months back, but had decided against it because he had seen that success, so stuck with the original. Every month, he told me this week, every month, he’s seen improvement! So he’s continuing the injections until I reach a plateau where I don’t show any more improvement. I was so happy to hear that…imagine being happy to have somebody stick a needle in your eye?.....I never asked me what to expect when I reach that plateau and he stops giving me injections. That’s a question I can ask at another time. So I’ve found an ophthalmologist who has decades of experience and an honest, not prideful, confidence in his ability. I’ve found an ophthalmologist who went into the field because he felt he could help people from going blind and appreciates how important sight is to the average person. Am I happy? Of course! I’m not yet blind! But I do still wish every one of my friends over 50, especially those with blue eyes, would ask their own general practitioner more about AREDS and AREDS2. It has a reputation and research that shows it helps reduce the onset of AMD if taken early enough. (Blue-eyed people seem to be more susceptible to AMD) I don’t know if it would have helped, I’ll never know. But I’m glad I found Dr. Guerriero.


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