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RE: [IP] What is retinopathy like?

I used to worry every time my vision changed too. I've been wearing
glasses since grade 4 and I think they changed every year until my last
year in high school, which is probably when I stopped growing. My
eyesight is not very good (-6.50 in both eyes). I have my eyes dilated
and checked thoroughly at the Univeristy of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada
every year. I've had type 1 diabetes for 18 years and have no signs of
retinopathy. I have had floaters in my eyes for years and have been told
they are harmless. Your daughter sounds like me and is just concerned
with developing complication. Maybe you could suggest she ask lots of
questions when she sees her opthomolagist next? Maybe that will help
ease her worries. 

Type 1 since age 11, 18 years and counting! Pumping for 3 years and
loving it!

-----Original Message-----
From: email @ redacted
[mailto:email @ redacted] On Behalf Of
email @ redacted
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2002 2:54 PM
To: email @ redacted
Subject: [IP] What is retinopathy like?

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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
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
(at about her age) that I needed new Rx's fairly frequently at the
. . . 

ANYWAYS, yesterday she asks me:  "Mom, how do I know that it's not
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
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
the one complication that she worries about is  retinopathy (and "ending
blind") -- and that one way I can help her with this is to be able to
her a description of how someone with retinopathy can tell they have 
retinopathy (i.e. how your eyesight changes).  I already told her that
if she were to start developing retinopathy that getting her eyes
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
like for someone who has retinopathy to the point that it has begun to
their vision . . . Can anyone out there help me with a description of
they've experienced?

Pumpmama to Katie
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