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[IP] retinopathy

Hi Eileen and Janice,

I was diagnosed with retinopathy in 1980.  Yes, it is scary, esp. the
hemorhages (sp!).  But the key is to make sure you are with a
retinopathy specialist.  My doctor (Dr. Schockett, formerly of the
University of Maryland, now private) has treated me since that time, and
has done a fabulous job.  I had proliferative retinopathy in both eyes,
have had over 50 laser treatments, vitrectomy, sclerobuckle (Sp.) and
cryotherapy in three major operations in both eyes.  At times my doctor
thought that I might lose my sight completely.  But I haven't!  I have
no peripheral vision, and horrible night vision, but I can see!
Everything is in remission currently.

I have taught Old Testament and Hebrew for the past 23 years, so without
fairly good eyesight, things would be tough. I've recently had my second
cataract surgery (I'm only 47), but that was a piece of cake compared to
the other surgeries.  In 1980, when first diagnosed, I was 27.  My major
problems were from 1980-1986 (27-33 yrs old).  I say that to encourage
you that at 32 you are not alone!  Many diabetics with retinopathy have
far fewer problems than I did, and just require some preventative laser
treatments.  So, while yes it is scary, don't despair!  Most folks these
days who are diagnosed early enough with retinopathy have success
stories like mine or better.

Please feel free to email me with any problems or questions--I'd be
happy to help!


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