Hi Maarja, background retinopathy is more likely the longer you've had D, it's not easy to escape, but is NOT sight-threatening like Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. And the one does not necessarily lead to the other, especially if you keep as good control as poss. And usually it is completely symptomless, i.e. won't affect your vision, which is why the first you hear of it is when the medics pick it up in screening progs.
I totally understand your fear, been there myself, had over 10 years of background retinopathy along with baaaad control of BGs & so went on to get PDR & laser treatment. You going on the pump at this early stage is the best thing you can do.
I found a lot online about a herb called Pycnogenol which is licenced & prescribed for retinopathy in Germany, France, Japan, NZ....but virtually unheard of in USA & UK! I've been taking this since my PDR diagnosis & first laser treatments 7 years' ago. Also, this website (http://www.diabeticretinopathy.org.uk/) was invaluable to me for basic, clear info, tho' I think the best thing to do if poss is to go back and talk to your nurse or eye specialist.
Nothing gets you easily over that initial shock but it is very early stages and non sight-threatening, and with good control very unlikely to progress to PDR. I've been pumping 2 years and it's been a miracle how much my control has improved..it really should help prevent/delay any complications.