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[IP] Retinopathy - long

Eileen wrote, a long time ago...
> I was hoping some of you could help me...eye doctor told me I have 
> acute changes in both eyes..

I know you have already had answers, but I consider myself quite the 
unintended EXPERT in this area, so thought I'd put in my $15,000 worth...

You have had diabetes 28 years....I would expect any retina specialist will 
tell you that some "changes" are bound to be evidenced at this point...of 
course "some" people are fortunate and have teh right genes, and NEVER have 
changes, but for the most part, we will all at some point face "changes."

I am not sure what your doctor means by yellow spots, and you say you only 
"assume" that he meant retinopathy.  I have no idea what the yellow spots 
are, but I would say ASK him if he means retinopathy.  There are LOTs of 
other things that go wrong with your eyes...some of them merely age related, 
some due to other medical conditions...

> I am assuming he means retinopathy..but he said this was 
> quite rare for my age..32

hmmm.  I had my first laser 5/90 at age 27, after having diabetes for only 17 
years.  I went from having NO changes to background retinopathy in under a 
year...I was lasered cuz I had "suspicious" spots....NOT due to a specific 
bleed or anything.  I know SEVERAL people with retinopathy are or were about 
the same age....Since there ARE other eye problems that ARE rare in young 
people, maybe you ought to ask him for clarification. 

>  and this is my first major complication must admit I am terrified.  

CERTAINLY can understand, but please don't let fear keep you from following 
through and pushhing ahead.  I lived my basic carefree life for the first 17 
years and then was smacked with the possibility of a BAD thing...when i had 
my first actual bleed 12/90, it was in the eye that was NOT lasered...six 
months after the first laser....at the time of the laser, the doc said, i 
might think about lasering that eye in the next year or so...HA...i DID break 
my leg 2 weeks before my bleed and the doc said the stress of that, might 
have contributed...you know, lifting my body on crutches up and down stairs, 
not to mention the pain medicines and every other stress...

I went on the pump in 1993, after several lasers on my left eye.  Despite the 
amazing improvement in control, my left eye continued to bleed.  Finally, I 
learned that the improved control actually CONTRIBUTED to the bleeds.  Dammit 
- why didnt they tell me when i went on the freaking pump???  I was aiming 
for 80- 120, but when i learned it was the lows that was adding to the 
bleeds, i changed my target zone to the 100-150 range.  The docs said the 
retinopathy "usually" worsens after going to really tight control, and then 
eventually start to improve.  As I said...my control has improved over the 
last 7 years, and in fact have not have bleeds due to NEW GROWTH (called 
neo-vascularization) in 3 years.  I had a vitrectomy on that left eye in 
1994, 1 1/2 years after going on  pump as the eye was no longer clearing the 
blood on its on...Then my right eye started to bleed in 1995...5 years after 
it was originally lasered...god i wish he had lasered both of them back 

The eye that had the vitrectomy hasn't bled since (knock wood).  now it is my 
right eye that is giving me grief...(more on that some other time).

so, eileen...i know how you feel, but please make sure it is retinopathy you 
have before you get too upset...and just get the laser as soon as you can...

*-)=B xoxx~~~[507]
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