NO! Why NOW?

I am in a state of shock and depression that goes even deeper than what is normal for me. Long story short, after having this @#@%^#%% of a disease for most of my life, having relatively few problems or complications, the $@^%@#$%#@ thing has come up and bitten me in the butt in what could be the last straw.

I haven’t had any problems with my vision (other than wearing glasses) my entire life,but over this past week that all went to hell. I’ve all of a sudden (or so it seems, haha, %^#$#$^@ disease) got proliferative diabetic retinopathy in my left eye. Out of NOWHERE. The major kick in the butt is that I am still trying to get my driver’s license, and now who knows if I can still get it. Another boot to the gluteus maximus is that I’ve dealt with major depression for quite awhile. I’ve been out of high school since 2000, and within the past few years have decided to “live” again by getting an A.S. degree (general studies mostly) and transferring to a 4 year college to get a degree in biochemistry or cell/molecular biology (or something similar). With this little bit of happy information those plans have just deflated into the ground, crashed, burned, imploded, and were buried. I am crushed.

Some people have been saying that it’s just some eye surgery, get over it. It’s NOT just eye surgery, it’s the beginning of a potential END. I’m really depressed about it, and terrified and anxious about the procedure itself (panretinal photocoagulation…anybody ever had it?). I know I’m going to have a panic attack that will send me into the stratosphere, which will cause even more criticism to be heaved down on me.

Why this? Why now? I’m 29 years old, shouldn’t I have had at least another ten, fifteen, twenty before I had to worry about going blind? Unfortunately no, because diabetes SUCKS. Ah yes, then there are those who are telling me that at least diabetes can be treated, at least I don’t have cancer. Well, not to take cancer lightly, I don’t want cancer by any means and I admire and respect and love any cancer survivor, but cancer can go away. Diabetes has no remission. It’s always THERE.

I’m sorry for this half mad rant. I’m lost and alone and depressed and half a dozen other things that I probably can’t even identify. I want to cry but I can’t because if someone saw me they’d ask what was wrong and I wouldn’t be able to tell them in words they’d understand. I wish I didn’t exist right now, I’m so tired of this. Anyway, thanks for reading, somebody, anybody.

Yes, diabetes does suck. You’re right.

I don’t know about that procedure, but if it wasn’t going to help things, they wouldn’t be doing it. Something good must come out of it. So I’m hoping you can still drive and enjoy your life. Take care of yourself – the usual stuff, blood sugar, A1c, etc --, and you should be able to stop (or slow) your vision from getting worse.

Best of luck!

Yes diabetes SUCKS dirty socks!!! I can’t be much of a help here. Alls I can say is HANG IN THERE!! YOU CAN DO IT! I know that it seems bad right now but (for me anyway) the waiting for surgeries to happen and stressing myself out b/f has always been worse than the end result.

Oh hon, that’s awful news to get! I’m so sorry. Yup, no remission sure does suck! I’m same age as you and have also dealt with diabetes and depression. Not fun. Adding this to the mix is just not fair. Please talk to someone IRL about it, a doctor or counsellor. Stressing out I find is easy to do, but solves nothing and makes me unable to think clearly (and not just cos the bgs go all mad). But doing something practical, like problem solving and goal setting does help me, I find. May help you too. Life ain’t predictable, that’s for sure. Best wishes, you will get through this tough time.

Sorry to hear about your problems but with your A1C in the 9’s (average BG >210) you should expect them to happen. I don’t know your A1C history but even on the assumption that your A1C has been at 9 over the past 5-10 years 20-70% absolute risk of developing retinopathy. So to assume that you had another 10-20 years before you started to lose your sight is absolutely incorrect. No diabetes doesn’t go away but having uncontrolled diabetes and the ensuing health problems doesn’t make it any less destructive than cancer.

What SuFu said. It’s not a mystery or anything. If your depression is keeping you from tending to your BG properly then start there with some serious attention to your moods and motivation. But you know where the path that you are on leads to.

I have and I am still receiving the laser treatments (Pan-retinal Photocoagulation). I know that is sucks…Diabetes. But, this procedure will save my eyesight. My Mom went blind in one eye because she was NOT able to have this done, and when her eye hemorrhaged, it was too late. I feel grateful that I can get treatment. Happy about it? NO!! Hard to swallow? YES Angry and scared to death? YES. I want to see…I have too, so I will endure whatever I have to. I know how you feel…please try and look at it differently. Do your best and take a good long look at the blue sky, flowers, trees, colors and beautiful things…fight to keep that gift. It will be alright.

I had it done when I was a few years older than you, over 20 years ago. I see the retina specialist once a year. I just went a few months ago, and he said he doesn’t foresee me having any problems with hemorrages, as long as I keep doing my best with my control. I can still drive, read, sew, etc. It is certainly not any fun getting it done, but like Robyn said, you have to do it if you want to save your sight. Ask them if you can take something before they do it for anxiety. I’m so glad you came to us with this. You can do this, Cara. Please let us know when you are going to have it done.

Hi Cara. I have read (I can’t give you chapter and verse) that while you need to bring your A1c down, you need to do it at a slow and careful rate to avoid making your retinopathy problem worse… I would suggest that you talk to your own doctor about a careful plan to bring down that A1C in a controlled manner to prevent further problems. Perhaps some of our medical folks can weigh in on this. You need better control, in a very controlled manner. Best luck. If you put your mind to it, you’ll be fine.

I know it feels that way right now, but having retinopathy is not the beginning of the end. I had a ton of laser surgery back in 1995 and 1996 – it has been 15 years and my vision is about 20/40 in each eye. I use OTC reading glasses to read. Like someone mentioned, be careful about bringing your BS down too fast – that will only cause more problems. Eggs are good for your retinas so I would suggest trying to eat those every day.

Cara, I don’t know if this may make you feel better, but, I was in an extremely bad car wreck, had ongoing issues with diabetes after that, also had dble vision that I had to get corrected, I don’t know if you are near Philadelphia, but, Dr. Calhoun was my doctor, I had 4th nerve palsy, or something like that?
He works at The Philadelphia Eye Institute. I heard fish oil helps also I think?

I am sorry you are at the bottom emotionally right now…Its hard and very overwhelming, we all get it…I am glad you were able to vent with us. I know we dont really know eachother but know we all support you!!! And the one true I have learned in life from the all mighty Oprah of course, lol, that if you need to cry just let it out! Just let that ugly cry out that get your shirt all wet and makes your eyes hurt…thats some good stuff! If you dont let it out it just festers. If you dont want to answer questions just dont, they will be ok…

Thanks for the comments and support. It’s late/early, or I’d comment back to everyone individually (I’ll do it later, just wanted to say thanks right away). My surgery is Tuesday, June 14th starting at 2:30 with the prep and everything. I’ve SO wanted to just cancel the stupid thing and run away, but I know I can’t. Watching my silly 20 month old niece and my sweet 3 month old nephew is something I can’t risk not having. I’ve been experiencing some wicked flashbacks though of a really stressful fine needle aspiration that I had to have done a few years ago. Not sure why this is triggering it (maybe because I need to have a needle full of anesthetic jabbed into my EYE) but it’s almost pushing me over the edge. I don’t know what to do…this is so messed up. And now you guys are saying that I shouldn’t lower my A1C too quickly? What the hell??? I can’t do this anymore, but I have to, but I can’t, but I have to…GAH! I’m torn…and so sick of this. Sorry, I don’t mean to be a downer and keep complaining. Thanks again for listening/reading.

LOL A1C , what’s that? I know what it is, but could really care less about it that much, being that I am alllllll… over the place at times, was like in the 400s a couple of weeks ago, one day, and don’t even mention lows:) That happens a lot, but I just see it as, time to munch on some sweet stuff!

Vision complications is one of the scary things to me because I already have a really strong prescription and love to read and knit and watch movies and I work with documents all day,
The depression needs to be tackled- I’ve had problems with depression and anxiety my whole life and when the depression is bad, I can’t get out of my own way, let alone be disciplined about lifestyle choices. I know it seems like pharmaceutical roulette and that you wind up being pushed pills being marketed by whatever drug rep last took your doctor to lunch but if one doesn’t work for you, another might.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help- I hope things get better.I hope your surgery went well and I wish you all the best.