Small spot of retinopathy in the center of my vision :(


(semcb07) #1

Hi!  New to this forum and hoping to find a little reassurance from people who "get it."

I was having some vision issues in one of my eyes last week - it largely resolved itself in a few days but I went to my eye doctor to check it out and was told I have a "very small" spot of retinopathy in one of my eyes - unfortunately, in the center of my vision.  He said the treatment was laser surgery but was hesitant to do it b/c it could affect my vision (b/c it's in the center of my eye).  This evening, it seems to be worse again.  I'll probably call again tomorrow and see if I have to go back in but I'm pretty scared.  I've been a diabetic for over 21 years now and haven't had any issues until now.  I've been on the pump for almost 10 years and my A1Cs have pretty much been below or around 7 the entire time.  I'm really down about this and worried that my body is falling apart.  I'm wondering what else may be going on that I just don't know about - yet.  I'm hoping someone can give me a little reassurance that this is pretty normal for someone with diabetes for so long and that I'm not going to fall apart too soon.  I'm only 31 :(.  My dr is out of town and the nurse practitioner just wasn't much help . . .


(Nads) #2

Hi semcb07,

First of all, if the reason you first came here to Juvenation is looking for support, let me tell you that you most definitely came to the right place.  Bottom line, that's why most of us "Juvenators" keep coming back.  Dealing with Type 1 diabetes is a reason to need as much support as one can find.  I hope you can find some comfort here.

Now, regarding your eyes.  I am sorry to hear about your circumstances.  A bit of history about myself:  I was diagnosed back in 1973 when I was 4 years old.  As a young child, my parents made sure that they took care of me and my diabetes as well as they could.  Once I got into teenage and young adult years and had to take control myself, well, let's just say that I didn't take the reigns the way I should have and my diabetes care suffered.  So, skip forward to 2001, 27 years after I was diagnosed and I am at that time 32 years old.  I started seeing "floaters" (black spots) in my eyes.  To make a long story very short, it turned out that I had an advanced case of retinopathy in both eyes.  They tried the laser surgery, but unsuccessfully.  So, over the course of about the next two years, I had full-blown invasive surgery in each eye, not only once but twice because they both ended up with hemorraging afterwards.

Right now, I look back on it and it seems like it was so long ago.  BUT, I do very vividly remember the fear involved.  Not the fear of the hospital or of the surgeries - hey, we diabetics are used to hospitals and doctors!  But, like you, I wondered "Okay, is this just the start?  I've mistreated my body so badly for so many years...  Is this the payback?"

Luckily, I got through those couple of years, blind at some points, but now I have pretty good vision - not 20/20, but let's just say that I still have a Driver's Licence.  Since then, I have also not developed any other major complications.  As of a couple months ago, I do see a kidney specialist because my endocrinologist saw a test result that was just slightly off.  As much as sometimes I find it a hassle to see him, I figure "Hey, just in case...!"

My family has a strong history of cancer, with my mother being a breast cancer survivor herself.  Often I wonder which will take me in the end:  diabetes and its complications or some form of cancer (mind you, so far so good...)

I guess in the end all I can say is take the best care of yourself that you can.  That's all you owe to yourself - but that is entirely what you owe to yourself!

Good luck!

Nads 


(Brittany) #3

My vision has definatly gotten worse since I was diagnosed. I am now seeing a "floater" and I can barely see to read. I can't see good far away either. Luckily my mom set up and appointment at my eye dtr. I hope everything is ok. Good Luck! Oh and BTW Nads is right you came to the right site!


(Nads) #4

Brittany, make sure that you bring up these problems when you go to your appointment, especially the floaters.  If you're only going to an optometrist, he/she might want to refer you to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).  Good luck!


(Brittany) #5

I'll be sure and let them know. My old eye doctor said that if I hadn't told he I was diabetic she wouldn't have even known by my eyes. But I bet you could tell now. I'll probably have to get reading glasses. I don't really care though just as long as I can see.


(semcb07) #6

Thanks for the replies.  Nads - it is great to hear you got through your eye issues!

My care also suffered for the teenage years.  It was impossible for me to have any sort of control and out of frustration, went through a period of not trying.  But, for the past 10+, I've been doing quite well.  I've never let diabetes get me down or hold me back, I've always considered myself really healthy, and I've been particularly proud at my efforts with my diabetes.  Now I'm just scared and I think it is sinking in that I have something that can cause problems.  The last 3 years of my life have been unbelievably stressful and though I've been under great control, I wonder if it has catalyzed some issues.  My doctor once told me it was very rare for a diabetic to make it 20 years with absolutely no issues, so I guess I was lucky that I had made it that far.  (Had you heard this before?)  Doesn't it seem like problems can at least slow down with very tight control?

The eye seems to be much better again today.  It is pretty strange.  I'm going to see another retina specialist tomorrow morning for a 2nd opinion and am going to stop by my clinic.  If for no other reason, I think I really need someone to say that I'm not on the fast track to serious problems!


(Brittany) #7

Well I went to the eye doctor today and found out the damage. My eye's show no sign of diabetes in them but I had to get glasses! I love them because I can see so much better! It's like I'm free!