Thursday, December 28, 2006

The eyes have it

An update on my mother-in-law: She's been in and out of doctor's appointments for most of the day, and is scheduled for treatment tomorrow. She has what's known as AMD, or Age-related Macular Degeneration. There was inflammation and bleeding behind the retina, some of which has leaked through and done some damage to the retina itself. She is suffering from headaches, and her vision in her right eye has degraded over the course of today. As a note of providence, the machine needed to make the correct diagnosis was installed in the doctor's office... yesterday.

I'll post more updates as I know them.

1 comment:

Jonadab said...

That runs in my mom's family.

All of grandma's siblings went blind eventually, although grandma herself had a stroke and died before she developed it. (It's *possible* that she wouldn't have, i.e., that she wasn't a carrier. But it's also entirely possible that it just hadn't hit her yet, as she was only in her mid eighties, and several of her sisters went blind from it in their nineties.) We won't know whether my mom's got it for at least a couple of decades, so I don't have a good estimate of my own chances. Unless there's an early test we don't know about.

I guess that for myself I'm more worried about what I might inherit from my other grandmother's branch of the family: various cardiovascular and endocrine-related issues, and diabetes. Those things could easily kill me (or for that matter could take my eyesight away) before I'm old enough to worry about the macular degeneration.

The thing that sometimes bothers people about this condition is the inevitability. Apparently, so far as medical science has determined, if you've got it and you live long enough, you *will* lose your sight. Personally I'd find something uncertain more worrisome, especially if your behavior might or might not be able to influence it (as e.g. with some thyroid disorders), but I guess some people are more bothered by not being able to do anything about it. It makes them feel helpless, or something. Not everyone can just let go and say, "Whee!" about such things.