Cross My heart and Hope

Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye... I can't seem to get that childhood saying from my mind lately.

Here's why, I was recently diagnosed with diabetic macular edema which is caused by small leaky blood vessels leaking into the retina and surrounding tissues. This leaking has caused a pocket of fluid and swelling which is seriously threatening my central vision since the macula is the center of one's vision.

The preferred treatment is a series of injections into the eye with laser treatment secondary if the injections do not work. Laser treatment, I'm told, is secondary treatment because it can damage the retina and with this being my central vision there is a lot to be lost.

My treatment plan consist of four injections with the drug Lucentis, one of which I have already undergone. The injection is not nearly as difficult as one might expect with the anxiety beforehand being the hardest part.

The prep work before the procedure is what I consider to be the worse part of the actual procedure. First my eye was dilated and examined one last time. It was propped opened with some kind of device which I did not see and a series of numbing and antiseptic drops were placed in my eye. A cotton swab was held over the injection point and continually soaked with numbing agent. The swab's purpose was to hold the medicine in place to allow maximum penetration into my eye for maximum numbness. This seem to have taken an eternity although I'm sure it was only a few minutes.

The actual injection was quick and easy. A slight pressure and a very small amount of pain and it was over in 5 seconds. The most interesting part was that I could see the medicine swirling in my eye as it was going in. I'm told that some people see the medicine but most don't.

A few minutes after the procedure the pressure in my eye was checked and compared to readings taken when I first arrived. This is done to insure that the added fluid of the injection had not increased the pressure to dangerous levels. After that I was out the door on my way home breathing a sigh of relief.

I have another injection scheduled a month from now, my anxiety level the next time will not be nearly as high but honestly I am not looking forward to it either.

I think they have had really good results with Lucentis. Best of luck to you!

Gary, I am so glad things work well. You know this is one of the great fears of Diabetics in general and me in particular. Thank you for being so open. It gives us some reassurance.

Thanks for writing about this. I agree with Rick, of all the complications my greatest fear is for my eyesight. And part of it is fearing the unknown. Reading about your experience really helps. Thanks.

Vision, one of the precious 5 senses we posses. I feel bad for you having to go through this. The extra complications we have does nothing for our feelings of self of well-being. I wish for counseling to be a part of anyone going through a lot because we are not always taught of how best to deal with life issues. Reach out to those who support you and seek extra support from clergy, mental counseling, etc... We all need a break from stress sometimes. I am sending prayers for you.

gary i'm with rick and brian. thanks

I had this done last week and yes, the worst part was the thought of someone sticking a needle in my eye. He did it so fast that I laid there thinking he wasn't finished yet but when he said he was I was a happy camper!

Thank you for being so open about this experience. Wishing you well.

Thanks so much for this post. It's a scary thought for all of us who could very well face this procedure. I'm so glad it went well for you. Thank you Thank you! And Blessings!.......Judith

Thanks for sharing this...I know how scary this must be, my vision has already been affected when I was in dka and it never recovered completely. I'm hoping this is going to help you a lot- the treatments they have now for various eye/sight problems are so much better now than in the past. I'm glad it went well and hopefully the next one will be a little less scary and stressful. I had a steroid injection into one eye when I had a severe allergic swelling- it caused more swelling at first but then my eye returned to normal a few hours later. I couldn't see anything so I think it wasn't in that area.

Gary--so sorry you have had to go through this scary thing, with more to come. Let us know how it goes. But thanks for bravely writing about it and helping others!