Hi all!

Please advise the panic-stricken diabetic!

After 10 years of "controlled" retinopathy, I went to an annual eye doctor appointment (the ONE doctor that I'd gotten to NOT feeling anxious about!) and found out that my vision in my "bad" eye (scar tissue down the middle from a detachment, but corrected vision of 20/60) is now 20/400! Further exploration showed that I have fluid accummulation behind the macula. Thank God it's in the "bad" eye - I can still see relatively well out of the other one!

The eye doctor said that it was not NEARLY the worst she had seen - and that a simple steroid injection to the eye would probably clear it up - and referred me to a retinal specialist that I'll see on Wednesday. Unfortunately, my experience has been that nothing is EVER simple for us diabetics, and vision issues tend to be huge, complex and scary to me. Research on the web, of course, simply made me MORE anxious...

Anyone have experience with this? Any words of wisdom - or even comfort?

I've worked with the blind - as a rehab counselor - and it's really weird... I'm not scared of going blind, exactly - I know what accommodations can be made, and while I dont' WANT to lose my vision, I KNOW it's not the end of the world... I think I"m panicking about the idea of the big scary "COMPLICATIONS" beginning. I've been diabetic for 23 years - and currently, my only complications are retinopathy and a little neuropathy (mainly carpal tunnel, which I might have even if I were NOT diabetic, due to the nature of the work I do).... I see my endo regularly, my last A1C was a 7.8 and it's improving (NOT GREAT, I know... but not the worst either!) My kidneys, liver, etc all check out fine. Cholesterol is slightly elevated and I take blood pressure meds to control blood pressure... But, I've been losing weight and it's helping.

I'm just tired of feeling older than most old people. I'm 38, but I feel older than most senior citizens I know seem to feel. I certainly worry over my health more. I have a 7 year old daughter, and I worry about the impact my health will have on her - whether I'll stay "healthy" or not...

Frustratingly, every time I start to get BETTER control of my blood sugars, it seems "complications" arise... Is that "normal?" It feels like being punished for doing the right thing.

Sorry for the downer post - I'm just having a really rough time right now and looking for some support.



Tags: anxiety, complications, macula, retinopathy

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What do you think the main obstacles have been to your achieving better control? Are you very insulin resistant?
So, 1. youll be fine. Theres tons of solutions that they will administer. It seems each time Im in the opthamologist there is something new. Im not sure what your condition is exactly, but Ive been going through it with a good and bad eye for close to the same amount of time. 20/40 & 20/15.

Im sitting at an H1c of 7.6 and have been for a year or more. Im in process of changing that to bring it down (a lot) lower. So, Ive been reading a lot and it seems to me that the body can have strange reactions with sharp turns in control be they good or bad. Thats just my observation mind you. so take it with a grain of salt.

I get really freaked out sometimes as well. The trick is were funtional and doing good. They (the docs) are not going to let that change and will do their best for us. Ive had to place my faith in my opthos hands. Thats not always easy, but I believe he wants and does whats best for me. Just keep in mind there is always light at the end of the tunnel. =^)
When first brining yourself into tight control, you can experience an uptick in diabetes complication manifestation. Typically, that settles down with continued control. I've been in tight control for some years now and I seem to be holding steady. I see the retina doctor every six month and he keeps reporting no changes. I was hypertensive for a while as well. I managed to lose about 30 pounds and had to stop the BP meds. It's going to get better. Your eyes will settle down. I was able to reverse some of the kidney damage and my eyes improved a bit. It's scary and panicky right now, but step back, take it one day at a time and you'll be okay. I freaked out everytime I had a bleed. I know what it's like. The frustration at doing everyting you can to be a model diabetic and it seeming to be getting worse is just annoying as hell.
Melissa, Cheer up! It's treatable. Retinopathy is largely reversible.
Yes complications come but you CAN get better control, plow through them, and maintain control. That better control will definitely help your eyesight.
Thank you all for the encouraging responses! I will post an update tomorrow... My DH is taking a day off work to go with me - it'll be nice to have him there for moral support!

I have a opthomologist appt tomorrow too. Im shooting for another 6-8 week stay. Good luck to you! =^)
Thank you! I'll say a prayer for good news for us both! As awful as it is to go through stuff like this - it's good to hae support - and I'm so thankful to have insurance, a little savings and to live in a country where I have quick access to specialists who can diagnose and treat the issues that arise!
I have "Age related Macular degeneration for some time." Your doctor likes to panic you! No, it is not fixable with a shot. Laser treatment likely but a cure, I don't think so. It goes very slowly. . I see my specialist every 2 months. I have glaucoma also. Can't worry about those things!

Thank you all for the wishes and prayers... It appears that the scar tissue I have from a retinal detachment back in 1996 has caused the fluid build up... He gave me a steroid injection - but the success rate for that is about 30% - Laser would be the next option, but that will destroy more central vision...

On a positive note, he saw no new bleeds in either eye and remarked that my left eye was surprisingly untouched by my diabetes - though my right eye has been through the ringer...

I feel better just knowing a bit more about what I'm dealing with - and I go back in two months for a recheck...

Oddly, my left eye tested at 20/70 today, rather than the 20/400 from last week.

My DH asked for a prognosis and the doctor said one of the smartest things I've ever heard a doc say... "Every diabetic is different - she's her own blank slate - I can't tell you, because I have no idea. Whatever comes, we'll do all we can as we go along." Hmm.. honesty! I think I like it!

He also advised me to NOT make any drastic changes to my diabetic control at this time - he said it would be better to move my A1C gradually. I've never heard a doctor say that - they usually seem to think "tighter control at any cost." I think I like this guy.

I KNOW I like YOU GUYS! Thank you for the support. Coming from others who've "been there" makes a world of difference.
Melissa, Im glad to hear it went well and will keep my fingers crossed for the steroid tp take effect. My appointment went well also. =^) another 6 week stay. Kudos to us!

Funny you should mention the gradual movement. In my reading here Ive started to think that a gradual reduction in H1c is the smarted and less costly way to go as well. So i asked the doc about it and his comment was "This is a chronic disease that requires a chronic management plan." So my 1+ year plan to reduce my A1c has been affirmed!

I agree with the clean slate comment as well. Ive been told more than once, they dont know who gets what, why sometimes. Some of us are susceptible to some things while others arent. Good control just gives us MUCH better odds.




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