This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
I had my regular every eight weeks eye appointment today. I have proliferative diabetic retinopathy in both eyes and have been on a journey full of eye appointments, surgeries, laser treatments, and injections for almost two years now. The point is to try to preserve what vision I have left.
The appointment went as usual, vision test, numbing drops, eye pressure, dilation, wait, eye scan, wait, more numbing drops, numbing gel, wait with eyes closed, then the doctor came in and she informed me that my right eye is swelling more. We aren’t too worried since my right eye is so far gone already that I can’t see more than light and movement anyway, but we do want to save that much, so she suggested I start to use steroid drops and we’ll see if that helps the swelling. And instead of Avastin injections every eight weeks in that eye, she suggested using a more aggressive steroid injection every four to six months.
I said why not.
As for my left eye, the only good one I have left, she was happy to report that it is holding steady but since I reported that the tiny blind spot began to show again as of yesterday, she suggested continuing to have the Avastin injections every eight weeks in that eye.
I said why not.
After a quick exam she made her final notes and OK’d the steroid prescription. Then she gave me my injections in each eye.
She said she was glad I still have good vision in my left eye and there is no reason I can’t do anything I want in life, except be a surgeon. I said I am thinking about eventually getting my driver license back and she said there is no reason I can’t drive. I replied that I’m just not comfortable because my depth perception and peripheral vision is so bad I run into walls and have trouble with stairs, etc. She said that will improve with time, it just takes time.
I really like this doctor because she is very kind but doesn’t hold back the truth. She doesn’t beat around the bush about letting me know my vision will only continue to deteriorate from here on out. The aggressive treatment is simply to slow it down as much as possible.
I’m not saying that everyone with retinopathy will end up blind eventually, I’m am only speaking about my individual case. I am so far gone that there is no stopping it and definitely no reversing anything.
I can still have good vision for many years to come. There is no reason to get depressed at this point, although I do get weary with all the eye exams and injections. But that is a small price to pay to preserve what I have for as long as possible.
And who knows, while I’m working to preserve a new and miraculous treatment (cure) might be found.