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I Can See Clearly Now

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Nov 3, 2010 10:59
  • 1 Comment.
  • I Can See Clearly Now

    I saw my ophthalmologist a few weeks ago (I go every 6 months), where things were as usual "perfect" with my eyes as far as diabetes damage, e.g. retinopathy.  She always says “Your eyes are like a babies!”.  I always leave feeling so good, especially when about 15 years ago, another ophthalmologist had diagnosed me with retinopathy that he felt was not reversible.  To lose my eyesight is something I think as diabetics we all cringe at – I mean – listening to Glee is fine – but to not visually see it?– bummer city (where is the noose to put around my neck if I can’t see??).  I know when I was told the news by the previous ophthalmologist, I think it made me decide to take control of my diabetes and I started with MDI (multiple dosage injections) and more frequent blood sugar testing.

    The funny thing a diabetic friend of mine, Doris J Dickson, after hearing about my latest visit to the eye doctor, sent me a recent article that states that having good blood sugars isn’t really what stops you from getting retinopathy.  There is a certain molecule called SHP-1 that is actually what predicts if you will have this eye disease.  The higher the level of SHP-1 the more prone you are to developing retinopathy.  You can read more about this at medpageTODAY.

    This week I went to see the optician (I do this every 2 years as my husbands medical coverage covers the cost of the exam) also I’ve been having eye aches and my eyesight seemed abit blurry in my right eye.  I figured it was again due to my lenses being too strong in my glasses since I’ve had this problem before (one time my eyesight changed in 6 months – expensive lense change for two of my Elton John frames – I wasn’t pleased about that – but I didn’t enjoy  “headache city”).  Believe it or not with age my eyesight is actually improving, and this isn’t an uncommon thing she told me.  Once again, I now have a weaker prescription for my glasses and I will soon be singing the song of “I can see clearly now" (I have to always throw something musical into my blogs don't I?).  I’m very lucky though that I only need glasses really for driving or when I go bar hopping. 

    When she was going through the different lenses to find out which one I saw more clearly with (you know the routine as they flick through the lenses over one eye – “One or two?” – “Which one is clearer?”).  She told me that one of the reasons for my weak eyesight in my right eye … I have a cataract developing.  I was SHOCKED!  The optician said that this was nothing to be alarmed about at my age, it's to be expected, but I have to admit that I thought it was something that happened to someone much older then me!  She said that diabetes does play a small role in this happening, but she says it's nothing to be too overly concerned about.  Eventually if it causes problems with my seeing clearly, a simple procedure of replacing the lense cap will be performed, and vision will be restored.  I did tell her that my Mum has been diagnosed with glaucoma a few years ago, and that is another hereditary disease that I may get from my Mum’s side of the family (my Great-grandmother was diagnosed as having diabetes in her 80’s).  The optician admitted that of the two, cataracts is the less serious of eye diseases.  Does it make me feel better her saying this? Sort of, but still it scares me abit.

    What is freaking me out abit is why my ophthalmologist hadn’t mentioned it to me before, as her office uses more advanced machines in detecting eye problems!  I guess you know what my burning question will be for her when I see her next April.  I’m even thinking of maybe switching to a new ophthalmologist because of this, incase she’s perhaps missed other problems in my eyes.  Would you feel the same way as I do or am I just being silly?

    Vision Test

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  • By: Kelly59: Nov, 05, 2010 13:22 PM

    Anna, that article about the SHP-1 was posted on another board.  One of the things I found interesting was that even for people that did have retinopathy, after about 17 years with no more problems, chances are slim they will have problems again.  I had laser surgery for retinopathy about 13 years ago so I will hopefully hit that 17 year mark without further problems!

    That is strange that you saw the ophthalmologist only a few weeks before seeing the optometrist and the ophthalmologist did not notice the cataracts.  Although I had cataracts, mine went undiagnosed in the beginning because that was when I went thru my foot mess.  Did you mention to the optometrist that the ophthalmologist did not say anything and you had just been there?  But yeah, I would very concerned about that!  

    Although I was starting to have some vision problems from the cataracts, they got really bad when I did HBO for my foot.  Although HBO does not cause cataracts, it can cause them to get worse if you already have them.  My vision never improved and kept getting worse.  By the time I made it to the ophthalmologist, my vision in my good eye was 20/400 (you only need to be 20/200 to be considered blind).  I was limited to hand motions in the right eye and they did not even assign a number to it.  Our eye charts here have a big E instead of a big O and even that was blurry with my good eye.  My doctor was not very optimistic about my eyes improving much with the surgery because I had extensive surgery with the retinopathy but I only wear over-the-counter reading glasses now.  It was like night & day!

    As far as the cataract surgery itself, everyone kept telling me that it is a piece of cake.  I couldn’t see how surgery on your eyes can be a piece of cake and I was terrified.  So I know my saying this will be of little comfort to you until after you have your surgery, but it really is a piece of cake!  They did not put a patch over my eye and by that evening, I was seeing stuff that I could not see before. 

    glaucoma (1) control (1) blood sugar (1) SHP-1 (1) optician (1) eyes (1) ophthalmologist (1) Cataracts (1) Retinopathy (1)

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