Stacey L
Lebanon, IN

Histoplasmosis Maculopathy

When I was a young mother, I was told that at one point in my life I had Histoplasmosis. When I had this, it scarred the retinas of my eyes. While doing so, I lost my center vision. As this happened, I didn’t want to bring harm to my children, so I gave up driving.

Growing up on a farm, I started driving a tractor when I was nine years old. Then as I got older I would drive the farm truck to feed that cattle, long before I was 16. Driving was a very important part of my life.

In my 30’s I started to see things that were not there, like more cars on the road then there actually were. The next day I went to the eye doctor and he immediately sent me to a specialist. There he diagnosed me with having had Histoplasmosis sometime in my lifetime. The Histoplasmosis had scarred the retina of my eyes. The scars had become weak, which in turn let the blood vessels grow up into the center of my eyes causing a disfiguration. After treatments, I was left with blind spots in my vision which in turn made me unable to drive.

It took seven years of treatments and waiting for my eyes to stabilize, before I was able to even consider driving again. I could not just go out and drive like I had when I was little. I had to have assistance. After months of practice, I became adjusted to wearing and operating my Bioptic glasses. I wore them at ball games, watching T.V., and even mowing the grass.

After I had built my confidence up, I felt like I could get my Bioptic  license. It wasn’t that easy. I had to start all over again because my license had expired. I took the test to get my learner’s permit and then 30 hours of driving with an instructor. When I passed my driving test I felt like I was 16 all over again!

I didn’t realize how much I had really missed driving. Taking the girls to practice/ games, going to the grocery store, shopping for great deals at the store on my own time was something that I missed very much and was happy to get back to. It was nice to be able to go and not be in a hurry because someone was waiting on me so they could take me home. It was one of the best things that could have happened.