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[IP] Complications to the eyes

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 13:52:40 EDT
From: email @ redacted
Subject: [IP] complications to the eyes
Gawd Sara, I am not mommy, but I may be able to offer some advice?  :)
I have been diabetic for 31 years  and at about age, .....umm, I think it was 25, I started getting severely out of control.  I had NEVER been IN control, but it was now worse than ever.  I started seeing the bleeds, etc., so made an appt. and went.  Dreadful day, I was in tears all day long.  I got set up for laser treatments the very next day, and let me tell you, I was scared s***less.   That is putting it mild!  But I went through about 12 treatments on left eye and 15 on right, of which my right eye was the worst. 
I ended up having 7 surgeries on my right eye all at the same time, I had a vitrectomy, among the others. ( I cannot remember the names of all, but I had a detached retina, pdr, etc etc.)  I regained my sight to a certain extent after the surgery, but being the rebellious 25 year old I was at the time, my mother and I went for a trip from Pa to Vermont to visit family, against my drs wishes. Well, I lost it then.  The sight went entirely.  So now I am blind in my right eye, and can truthfully say I don't miss it at all.  Doesn't that sound odd?  But I have made up for it with my left. I have what is called a schleral shell in my right eye, its to cover my real eye since it has sort of shrunk (?) or regressed over the years.  Also have a cataract in it, so its not real pretty, and being a business owner, it doesn't really create a pretty image! haha  My vision in my left is now 20/20 -1.  My opthal is flabbergasted that I regained so much sight back. 
If I had to do it all over again, I would.  There is always a chance that things will go wrong, but hey, this is life, nothing will EVER go the way we want it to, so we have to live with it the way it is and make the best of what hand God deals us.  He probably knows those of us who can make it, and you sure sound to me like one of those types!  So go eat another Oreo cookie and have one for me too, I ate a huge spaghetti dinner and am waiting for my 2 hrs.!! 
My respect  and luck,

John wrote:

> I have had eye complications for about 3 years.Have had a lot of laser
> surgery on both eyes. The eye doctor tells me the eyes will claer up, for
> the past 1.5 years.Any ideas?

I only had diabetes 16 years before I started showing "changes" in my
eyes...and I went from Stage 2 "condition" to Stage 3 "disease" with massive
bleeds in the period of months.  I had my first laser in May 1990, my first
bleed in December 1990 (in the eye that wasn't lasered).  I had 3.5 years of
laser in that eye, during which time I went on the pump (3/93).  When I went
on the pump, I was NOT told that stricter control sometimes led to a
WORSENING of retinopathy, which for some people it does...And for me, I went
from an A1C of over 8 to 5.9 in 3 months!!!  "They" say that after some time
of improved control, then the retinopathy improves...well, my first year on
the pump with super tight control and more lows led to a LOT more bleeds.  I
eventually had a vitrectomy in 1994, and had a year of no problems...I also
raised my target range from 80-120 to 100-150 in order to avoid bleed-causing

Then in 1995 my "good" eye started bleeding (this is the one that was lasered
first, back in 1990), and it is the one that is in need of a vitrectomy now...

HOWEVER...for the past few years, my doctors have been telling me that I DO
NOT HAVE ANY NEW GROWTH, thanks to my improved control...so yes, the
retinopathy is regressing...it is not going away, but no new growth is a GOOD
thing.  I am bleeding now, cuz my vitreous is pulling away from the retina,
kinda like when you pick at a scab and the wound begins to bleed again.  No
amount of perfect blood sugars can stop that.

So here is my dilemma...My right eye has not cleared since the last time it
bled in May.  This is the first time it has NOT cleared on its own, and it is
at this point in 1994 when I had the vitrectomy in my left eye.  The eye
doctor says it is my decision when to do it, and the last time I saw him, he
said if I was his sister, he'd say wait.  I ask my self is my quality of life
diminished to the point that I want to risk this surgery, that is not always
100% guaranteed?  I have almost been run over several times by cars that come
out of "nowhere," I bump into people who "sneak" up on my blind side, I have
walked into open doors and cabinets.  My left eye does all the seeing right
now, but due to the vitrectomy, and the ensuing cataract surgery, I can't
read the phone book and doing my needlework gives me a headache and I have
lost some blue/green color distinction, which  makes my needlework look
funny...and it is kinda double vision ...on top of that, the pupil is
permanently dilated and no longer round.  Because I can't see out of the
right eye, I have noticed a tendancy for my eyes to kind of cross when I am
concentrating or working out...It just kinda drifts off...must be REAL

I weigh all that and come up with.....I don't know what to do...

please tell me what to do...make my decision for me, call my doctor and make
the appointment, come stay with me while I have it done...dammit I need my

Lori Willey, President/CEO
First Express Inc.
email @ redacted
ICQ# 41956947