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[IP] What is retinopathy like?

I need some help providing some concrete reassurance for my daughter . . . 
She got glasses in January (her father & I both wear glasses, as do all of 
our parents and siblings so I always just assumed she'd need them 
eventually).  She's having trouble seeing the board at school again and so we 
need to get her in for another eye exam.  I remember when I first got glasses 
(at about her age) that I needed new Rx's fairly frequently at the beginning 
. . . 

ANYWAYS, yesterday she asks me:  "Mom, how do I know that it's not because 
I'm getting that thing with my eyes (meaning retinopathy)?" . . . I've 
already run through all the reassurances I can think of:  she hasn't had 
diabetes long enough (not quite 2 years), the opthalologist already checked 
her retinas in January and pronounced them healthy and normal, her control is 
very good (a1c's in the sixes) . . . 

Now, of course I'm going to be getting her into the eye docs as soon as 
possible for a new Rx, but after talking with her it's clear that right now 
the one complication that she worries about is  retinopathy (and "ending up 
blind") -- and that one way I can help her with this is to be able to give 
her a description of how someone with retinopathy can tell they have 
retinopathy (i.e. how your eyesight changes).  I already told her that even 
if she were to start developing retinopathy that getting her eyes checked 
regularly means that it would be caught long before she could notice any 
difference in her vision, but she insists that she wants to know what it's 
like for someone who has retinopathy to the point that it has begun to affect 
their vision . . . Can anyone out there help me with a description of what 
they've experienced?

Pumpmama to Katie
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