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Barbara Andes

Aug 6 1952

The Woodlands, TX

Initially, Dry MD. Recently refined to "Giant Familial Drusen"

Eyes Affected

Eye Color
Very light blue to gray.

Age at Diagnosis
Approx. 41.

Visual Acuity
20/40 or 20/50.

Appointments every 6 months, lutein, lots of spinach, one glass of red wine each day.

Prognosis or Current State of Vision
Currently, I see pretty well, but am frustrated a lot. My color discernment isn't what it used to be, and some really fine things I just can't see, at least not on the fly the way I work in my job.

Family History
My Grandmother had cataract surgery when I was a little girl, my mother wore bifocals and died in her early 70s from cancer. I never heard of MD anywhere. My Dad's parents died when he was a kid. He's 85, no MD...go figure.

Impact on My Life
Like everyone that receives such a diagnosis, once I started having vision problems I felt fear, mostly from the uncertainty and the difficulty planning. The greiving part of this thing for me has come in that my whole life I have worked with my hands, sewing, knitting, weaving, doing pottery, spinning... I love every craft. I so looked forward to someday having days to devote to all those activities, which with reading, giving light and meaning to my days. The thought that none of them would be available to me when I could finally devote myself to them felt like a rather cruel trick.

Positive Effects
I savor everything, everyone, every color, every face, every shadow.

I wear glasses with a light plum tint which makes the world less sepia toned, colors appear a bit brighter again. I have a magnifying glass, don't use it much yet.

I work full time as an art teacher with fifth and sixth grade students.

More About Me
I have three young teenage children living at home, none of them drivers yet. Of course we are in the suburbs where no one but my husband and I believe in public transportation. I want to hold on long enough, still working and driving, etc., to get them through high school...then I want to move to a place where I won't be helpless and dependent on others to get around if I can no longer see to drive. My husband and I are trying to figure out where. I was also diagnosed with osteoporosis and fibromyalgia in the past 6 months. Guess I must be a real boomer because I felt way to young for all this stuff.

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