Diabetic Retinopathy

Hi everyone,


Since it is Diabetes Awareness month i am hoping my story will hit home or maybe make you think twice about letting your diabetes get out of control.

I was not a very good diabetic for about3 years, i was partying, ignoring it, not doing fingerpokes or my insulin. I was a mess. Last December I started to get a handle on my diabetes, got my AIC down from 14 to 8 in 3 months, doing all my fingerpokes, insulin, eating right and stopped drinking and doing drugs all together. I felt great! Then in about May of this year i suddenly had what looked like a spider leg, floating in my vision. I went to emergency to find out that I had gotten Diabetic Retinopathy and if not treated or if my diabetes was neglected again, I could eventually go blind.


The only reason that my body finally decided to show me that something was wrong, was because my diabetes was in better control. If i had not gotten a hold on my disease.. i may have found out when it was too late. I now have to go every month for either needles in my eyes or laser which is very painful. It is forever with me and i will always have to go see a specialist for the rest of my life on top of my diabetes.


I really want people to be aware that even if you think its not too late to get your diabetes in control it might be, so please please, think before you decide to eat horribly, ignore your finger pokes, or not do your insulin, because you never know what could potentially be happening in your body that you aren't aware of.

Sorry to hear about your complication.  Hope your eyes have stabilized and you are still doing okay.  I also have prolific on-disk retinopathy, and I have had 2 laser treatments to try to stop the new growth.  take care and good luck.

You may have had retinopathy before lowering you A1c, and then made it worse by lowering your A1c so much so fast.  It's a risk that some doctors fail to mention.  My doctor didn't tell me - I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of retinopathy, it scared me and I took my A1c from 10.4 to 6.5 in 3 months and then my retinopathy got about 20 times worse.  Afterwards I was told that retinopathy can get much much worse if there is a rapid increase in control.  Seems counter-intuitive, but somehow it happens.

Hopefully your eyes stabilize.  I've had dozens of laser treatments, and I did have to have invasive surgery on one eye as well.  One of my eyes is totally stabilized, the other still gets floaters occasionally but I can't get any more laser (I have too much scar tissue from past laser pulling on my retina).

I had a similar story. Except mine was worse an after 6 years of retinopathy I'm blind in one eye an halfway in the other

Kari- I had the surgery on my right eye this past Monday and i am LOVING the results. I will have to get my left eye done but my doctor says im in early stages and thats the best time to get the surgerys done. I actually have never had a problem with my left yet as of yet, so I think this year septembre I will get the surgery. I was getting lazer and eye injections of some sort of steroid. I was diagnosed with it last year in April so its been a year and i have never stopped treatments or stopped looking after myself so I am hoping that works in my favor. My surgeon said my right eye is looking great! That I wont go blind, may have a bit of complication down the road but nothing they cant fix.

|Mark- did you get the treatments done and watch your sugars? or ever get the surgery? Id like to hear your story more if you wouldnt mind inboxing me. Thanks :)

Diabetic Retinopathy treatment started for me as a teaanager. I first had treatments with no prep, back then it was called "The Block". Many treatments, thousands of laser burns in each eye. That all stopped by the time I was 26-27. The laser treatment with the "Block" was much easier than without. I could sit in the chair and receive hundreds of blasts with little, to no discomfort. The laser work done saved my sight, and today I am still able to drive a car, and remain pretty active. Peripheal vission was diminished quit a bit though. No lase treatments since 1988, and I see the opthamolgist annually.

Back in the 70's, the most comman scare tactic I was told, was that I could/would be blind one day if I failed to care for myself. At one point, I was convinced I would be blind before I turned 20. My opthamolgist calls me a miricle at every visit. I hear today, thet the office I had the laser work done at, and stilluse as my eye care expert, does not use the "Block" anymore :-(. Dr Tuxell saved my sight, and I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for me.

Today, I am preparing for some cataract surgery that my opthamologist has put off for a few years. I look at this as just another fact of life of growing older.

I just starting using this site a week ago, but I have been diabetic since 1965.  I just wanted to emphasize the importance of retinopathy exams.  It's critical to maintaining eyesight and I am so glad I have been regular (at least 3 per year) in getting checked.  I have had a few laser treatments and, recently have had injections of a drug called Avastin with good results.  I am fortunate that, after 47 years of diabetes, I still do not need to wear corrective lenses.  I am also fortunate that I have good insurance.