It has been a long cold winter and I am surprised just how much I am affected by the weather now that I don’t drive. If they had a Mastermind category on daytime property TV programmes, I would stand a good chance of winning it.
On a more serious note, in some ways the time has been well spent in adjusting to the limitations imposed by Wet Macular Degeneration. At times the frustration of being able to see almost everything but not being able to focus is exhausting and infuriating.
Late last year, I realised that I could no longer read normal sized print, let alone the small print essential to my work as a volunteer Citizens Advice Bureau Advisor. After 20 years it was a wrench to have to leave. Filling in the gap is taking a lot of imagination and energy.
So far, I haven’t got the balance right. I still belong to a great book group which meets monthly. With the help of expanding print on the iPad and talking books I am keeping up with the reading. Slow, though.
I finally joined the local University of the Third Age. In this area there are plenty of group topics to choose from and I have enrolled in a Current Affairs group. U3A is run by its members and so far I have found it interesting even though I am somewhat out of my depth. It’s good to meet new people and widen one’s interests. There is plenty of choice for someone with low vision. As U3A has branches all over the UK, I can really recommend it for older people. They also have general meetings once a month, but I haven’t found those so interesting.
As a Low Vision yellow card holder, I can take an enabler with me to cinema, concerts and theatre free of charge so that they can interpret any actions I can’t see. Any volunteers?!
On the volunteer front, I am now a befriender for the Macular Society. They provide training and support. I am in regular telephone contact with a befriender who became isolated when her husband died. She is delightful and we chat once a week. Befrienders are just that. We chat and exchange information, but the MS make it clear that no counselling or professional advice is involved. My befriender is 84 and loves vampire books so we are not short of something to talk about. The service is telephone only and we don’t meet.
Friends and family give amazingly generous support on practical and emotional levels. Thank you seems inadequate but it is really heartfelt.
Those links again: