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Re: [IP] What is retinopathy like?

>Can anyone out there help me with a description of what
> they've experienced?

I got my first glasses in 94 when I was in high school and couldn't see the
chalkboard.  It was really fuzzy some days, a little fuzzy other days, and
no need at all for glasses on other days.  Blurry vision can fluctualte with
bgs and also with hormones.  My brother who is 18 now has spent the last 2
years trying to decide if he should get glasses, because some days his
vision is fine, other days it is blurry (and glasses aren't "cool").  His
eye doc says he has no signs of retinopathy.  I have only started seeing
signs of retinopathy recently, like within the last year.  My vision has not
changed at all.  Still some days bad some days fine.  I can need glasses in
the am and not after lunch!  I see an opthamologist who has experience with
diabetics.  He does an extensive exam- used to be every year, now it is
every 4 months to be sure nothing changes.  He said he saw a "thing"- that
is my word for it since I can't pronounce his word ;)  Basically the blood
vessel is swollen.  This is early stages of retinapathy.  He says I may not
notice any vision changes at all during this time.  That is why checkups are
important.  If he sees it getting worse he can do something before the blood
vessels break and leak all over my retina.  That is later stages of
retinopathy, and your vision will change for the worse.  I have not
experienced it, but read that you can see "floaters", like little blurry
spots like dust or something.  And basically as the blood vessels leak the
eye makes new ones but the new ones aren't as good as the original ones and
you have all this leakage and scar tissue etc.  Not good.  There is an
excellent autobiography about a woman who went through retinopathy and laser
surgery...I want to say "Sweet Invisible Body" by Lisa Roney??  But maybe
it's "Needles"?  Perhaps somebody in the group knows.  At any rate they are
both first class books.  I would recommend you and your daughter read them.
They are both funny and sad at the same time... nothing like reading someone
else's story and going "I did that!"  Anyway, convince your daughter to
listen to her doctors.  If he saw anything to worry about I am sure he would
have told her.  And don't forget to stress the importance of checkups with a
good expert.  Good luck!
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