Now that is taking the Veteran/Noob distinction to a new level. All us noobs using this new-fangled “insulin” stuff–what a buncha wimps!
Oh, and trying to control our blood sugar and all that… snicker… what a bunch of jaboneys!
I started with a urine test kit very similar to that one, in 1967. Back then, I went to a few meetings of the CanadianDiabetic Association, as it was known then. I found the veterans were very proud of the difficulties they had in the 30s and 40s. I also remember being told that well-trained diabetics didn’t need sugar free pop. Whenever they said “well trained” I wanted to balance a beach ball on my nose and go “Arf, arf!” like a circus trained seal.
Remember how hot that test tube would get when you used that stuff? Ouch!
LoL…yes the tube got very hot. Quite the chemical reaction. I’m still amazed I survived the couple years that I had to use that antiquated technology.
Jen you may be right ! I had extensive laser treatments in both eyes after having diabetes for about 20 years. I asked the doctor who on earth would have ‘discovered’ that laser treatments were a good thing or volunteered to be the first patient. Lasers were actually destroying parts of the eye, resulting in loss of peripheral vision to save central vision. He said they had ‘observed’ that people with other eye damage did not get the same degree of retinopathy as those with ‘healthy’ eyes before D. The laser treatments they do today are much improved, done earlier and not as damaging to peripheral vision.
Yep, another friend of mine suggested this, and it makes sense to me. I don’t have full peripheral vision because the blood vessels supplying my retina stopped growing before they reached the peripheral part of my retina, so that part hasn’t been destroyed but just never formed properly to begin with. My central vision is also severely impaired due to retinal dragging, scarring, and detachment (ironically, all this is caused by retinopathy, just a much rarer type that affects premature infants). Apparently something like 97% of people with Type 1 have at least some mild signs of retinopathy after 20 years, and I have no signs at all even after 25 years.
I think that is an old statistic, not representing those diagnosed more recently. I was told the same thing, that just around 20 years is when the first noticeable changes occur (in 1970s). The first time it was ‘reported’ to me was after 18 years. No treatment given, or mention that improved BG would be helpful to stop/slow down progressing. Just noted it on my chart. Wasn’t until it had been 21 years that laser was even recommended, and 1 year after that I had a vitrectomy. A1Cs not done back then, but assume I was in 10-15 range most of the time using one daily injection of lente.
In current scenario, even if minor changes are noticed today, they are treated much sooner, with many new options, that don’t destroy in order to save, along with much improved A1Cs to reduce/eliminate the damage in the first place.
From a study done from 1980 to 1982…
“An estimated 97% of insulin-taking and 80% of noninsulin-taking persons who have had diabetes for ≥15 persons who have had diabetes for ≥15 years have retinopathy;”
This data is obviously old, but interesting with respect to veterans vs. Noobs. I expect the numbers have gone down significantly since then with the advent of home glucose monitoring and basal bolus dosing.
It took me 29 years before any changes were seen in my eyes (my control is ok but not great like many people on this site). The retina doctor is not concerned at all (but I am… and looking at trying to eliminate any spikes).
FWIW, just had a very good Optometrist appt yesterday. It was a partial appt to do some 6-month followup scans (some really cool equipment that scans the layers of the retina and all sorts of other neat stuff)
Six months ago I had a minor hematoma developing in one spot. A small swelling, accumulation of fluid. After trying hard to improve my control (and having succeeded significantly), this issue had gotten much better – it had improved/healed. Some other “indicators” that were raising a few minor yellow flags all got better too.
So, there’s a sample size of n=1 where there’s real correlation between some eye health issues typical for diabetics, and improvement with better BG control. My optometrist sure thinks the connection is causative as well.
After 33 years I still have no signs of retinopathy. Always seems to surprise my ophthalmologist at Beetham, though I’ve been seeing her for long enough that she’s getting used to it now.
Definitely. Today, “signs of retinopathy” in no way imply that any extensive damage is done or will occur. Still, it seems (of the people I know in person, at least) I am the only one with longstanding Type 1 that has never had any degree of diabetic changes noted at all. Most people I know (in person) who have had Type 1 as long as me have had laser treatment. Worth noting, though, that none of them have serious vision loss.
I’m pretty sure that, since the DCCT and other studies have been run in the '90s, it’s a foregone conclusion that in many cases control is directly related to risk of microvascular complications like retinopathy. There are a few exceptions, since nothing is absolute, but my ophthalmologist certainly admonished me to get my A1c down when it rose to 8.5% several years ago, even though there were no signs of any diabetes damage.
Also worth noting that “mild non proliferation diabetic retinopathy” is frequently “diagnosed” by optometrists just so they can bill a higher rate for their exam. Which is as meaningless as it is outrageous. I had one tell me I already had retinopathy when I had only had diabetes about 6 months. Took both my endo and A real ophthalmologist to convince me that was absolutely ludicrous and to never give that guy my money again.
In support of what Sam19 said, ever since my daughter was diagnosed with T1D, she sees an ophthalmologist, not an optometrist. I don’t believe that optometrists have the necessary training and expertise to deal with eye issues related to D. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t trust the best optometrist in the world with my daughter’s eyes. She’d be better served by a “middle-of-the-road” ophthalmologist.