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Re: [IP] Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Hi Donna:

I first saw my ophthalmologist over twenty years ago when I was showing
signs of retinopathy. I was in my late twenties at the time. I initially had
just certain areas of the retina treated because of a small bleed. Within a
few years, the ophthalmologist did a complete treatment of both eyes
(although I did fly to Boston to get a second opinion first...). Like you,
back then, I was extremely worried about what the future of my eyesight was.

Currently, I just passed 40 years with diabetes, I still see the same
ophthalmologist, my retinopathy is quiet, and my eyesight is still 20/20.
Over the years, I've been reasonably stable, although I have had maybe a
half dozen small bleeds (which looked big to me when they occurred but
actually were relatively minor compared to what others have experienced).
I've also had some additional laser treatment from time to time. While there
are some "artifacts" which I see from time to time, they don't hamper vision
and I've gotten used to them. Additionally, both my peripheral vision and
night vision are still good.

One thing to be careful about is blood pressure - I have a tendency towards
high blood pressure which contributed to my retinal bleeding. I also have
been told to avoid lifting more than twenty pounds or so because even
temporary blood pressure surges can cause a bleed.

Good luck,

Peter Helmers
Rochester, NY  Diabetic 40 yrs, pumper 5 1/2 years, MM508

----- Original Message -----
From: <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2001 11:44 PM
Subject: [IP] Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

> Hello Fellow Pumpers!
> I had my quarterly eye exam today and after being diabetic for nearly 22
> years, I am showing new vessel growth in my right retina, called
> Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR).  About a year and a half ago I
> treated, by laser for Macular Edema in the same eye.
> He told me that PDR is also treated by laser, but involves many more
> with the laser beam.  He said most of his patients complain of some loss
> their peripheral vision and some patients say they don't notice a vision
> at all.
> I am 39 years old, happily married and  have a beautiful 10 year old
> and I am so frightened of losing my vision.  The doctor said that after
> diabetic for so long, that the eyes eventually succumb in one way or
> to diabetes.
> If anyone has this diagnosis of PDR I'd appreciate you sharing with me how
> your surgery went, how much of your vision was lost and your age when the
> surgery was performed.  If you would also tell me about your prognosis,
> be so grateful.
> I don't mean to be feeling sorry for myself, but I think that my feelings
> loss are probably common and one of the first steps to go through when
> grieving.
> Thank you.
> Donna
> Tulsa  OK  MM pumper since 11/2000
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