Archive for September, 2010

Episode 118. In which I play a blinder.

Posted in diabetes, general health on September 6, 2010 by diabetses

I had my annual diabetic hospital check-up today, which I always dread. I have to have blood taken a couple of weeks in advance so that when I show up they’ve got all their ammunition at the ready, and I always think they’re going to tell me I’m doing it wrong. Diabetes, I mean.

A few months ago I had an eye test, another annual thing, for diabetic retinopathy. If you’re diabetic then sooner or later your eyes are going to start to go, I think it’s something to do with the blood vessels in your retina weakening, you get little haemorrhages and over a period of time new blood vessels form and scar tissue builds up and your eyesight starts to deteriorate.  Anyway, it starts showing up after you’ve had diabetes for 4 or 5 years apparently, so when I had my last appointment and they saw a couple of little haemorrhages I freaked out, until it was explained to me that it’s not something that’s avoidable. Although you can make it worse by not keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure under control and smoking and things, you can’t really stop it happening at all. It seems that there’s not much to worry about, though, if it’s noticed early and you do all you can to lessen it.

That is to say, there’s not much to worry about as long as the effects, when they start to show, aren’t in this one specific area of your retina.

So guess where I went and got my stupid little haemorrhages.

After my checkup I got a letter I didn’t really understand, something about the hospital, and something about early signs of retinopathy.  The guy that took the retina pictures had showed them to me as soon as they uploaded to his laptop, so I knew this, and thought “well that’s shitty” but thought nothing more of it.

When I went to my check-up today (everything’s great, thanks for asking) the doctor asked how the eye appointment had gone. After a little to-ing and fro-ing it turned out that I’ve been referred to the Eye Hospital. For some reason the hospital keeps using my old address – they have our new address but it’s as if they got a load of labels printed up before we moved and they want to use them all up. The Eye Hospital has been sending me letters and I’ve been missing appointments, and I never even knew there was anything for me to be worrying about.

Luckily the Eye Hospital is two doors down from the Diabetes Clinic so I popped in and asked when I was expected, so I now know I’m to turn up at the end of the month for whatever happens next.

I’ve done a little research and it seems that some of these effects can be fixed by laser treatment, which feels weird. I’ve got almost perfect vision so it’s never crossed my mind that I’d ever get laser eye treatment, and the idea freaks me out. All the way out.

And there we go. I didn’t do anything to bring this on, I didn’t even get the usual lecture on how I’d need to plan in advance when (ahem) I want to get pregnant because everything’s so under control already. It seems to be sheer bad luck that the teeny tiny little symptoms happened to turn up right in the bit of my eye that decides whether or not I can see things at all.

I hope that when I start seriously losing my sight, if that should happen before I’m at an age to be expecting it anyway, I’m able to handle it like I handled the diabetes diagnosis in the first place. I’d hate to ruin it all by turning into a whiny scared little twat.

So that was my day.


Diabetic moment of the day

Have you been paying attention? Seriously though, that was it, my diabetic moment was more like a diabetic hour and a half.  Sooner or later it’ll turn into the diabetic rest of my life. But hey, I’m awesome at this diabetes lark.