Rena was diagnosed in her forties after a routine visit to her local optometrist. Although surprised by the glaucoma diagnosis, it had little impact on her life. Initially, her ophthalmologist prescribed a single, gentle drop that stabilised her glaucoma, and over time the eye drops have increased to manage the progression of the disease successfully.
Rena has always lived an active life playing sports to a high level (hence her knees are sore now) and thrived on her equally busy family life and passion for art. As a young classroom teacher with no formal art training, she saw an opportunity to teach art to intermediate-age children. Her ‘go for it’ approach to life secured her the role and, in the process, ignited a passion for further developing herself as an artist.
At 60, she enrolled in a four-year art degree and said she truly lived and enjoyed the whole student experience. She was determined not to allow her life experience or age to interfere with being a new student of art alongside her younger cohort.
Later in her 60s, Rena began to lose sight in her left eye due not to glaucoma but cataracts. It was very concerning at the time. It caused her to become unbalanced, was uncomfortable, and affected her when she was painting. She had to hold the art close, move it away, and continually recheck the colours. Following successful cataract surgeries in both eyes, she is back to enjoying her passions – her family, watching sports, watching her grandchildren play sports, and art.
Rena isn’t concerned about her eye health as she has confidence in her specialist and their relationship over the decades they’ve been together. It also may have something to do with her positive mindset and statement, “I don’t live with worry.”