First sign of complications & I'm absolutely terrified!

Hello there, I’m 21 years old & I was first diagnosed with T1D In 2009.
I’ve been doing my best ever since to control my BS but It wasn’t easy
I’m a very anxious person. I’m nervous & worried all the time and my diagnosis hasn’t helped at all it only added to the things I’m worried about.
I’m also a med student so I’m under a lot of pressure and I’m In school/Hospital basically all day so It’s harder to check and control my BS as often as I would like.
A few days ago I was having my annual fundus examination when the doctor told me I’ve mild NPDR and It terrified me.
I don’t know why it shocked me this much I knew this was going to happen one day I just haven’t expected it so soon.
Right now I’m so lost and I don’t know what to do. I’ve no one who understands what I’m going through that’s why I started looking for T1D support groups & I found myself here!
I just need someone to tell me that It’s not too late and that I still can have a somewhat normal healthy life.
Did anyone else experience anything similar?

Hi Hams @Hams77, first, let me offer you a Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation!! - and I hope that you will receive some support from folks on here like you, who are going through and have experienced what you are feeling.

Yes, diabetes does bring much concern, every day, and a certain amount of worry is very understandable. About 50 years ago, 10+ years after my diabetes diagnosis, I told myself to live life to its fullest and to never let diabetes rule me - adopting as positive outlook as possible was my first step. That isn’t to say that I “lost concern” for my health but rather just the opposite - I adopted diabetes as a science personal project and volunteered my body and skills [at Joslin Diabetes Center] in the development of new treatments. A couple of examples: in the early 1970’s development of glycosylated hemoglobin testing and scales and in the latter 70’s MDI treatment which was the basis for the famed DCCT trials.

NPDR - Non-Prolific Diabetic Retinopathy can arrive relatively early; I was diagnosed in 1966 when the only known outcome was “total blindness within 2 years”, or removal of pituitary gland to possibly delay blindness. I was fortunate to be introduced to Lloyd M. Aiello, MD, an ophthalmologist [he later began the Beetham Eye Institute where his son is now Director] who had a theory about harnessing a LASER to perform photocoagulation of new and leaking blood vessels on the retina. After a couple weeks research, I volunteered as his guinea pig and in 1967 I had my first treatments with a modified weapons-grade Ruby LASER - the rest is history and I still am seeing. Now there are some much improver treatments and more coming ‘every day’ and much improvement in different LASERS - I’ve had treatments with four different type beams.

Congratulations on your medical training, I have the feeling you will do really good. I understand your long hours and very busy schedule from watching our daughter - she has 30 years experience in medicine as trauma medic and ER work and has changed from MD training to Doctor of Medical Research - after having made some interesting discoveries while teaching chemistry to future MDs .

You will do well and within a few years you may shed your fears - I was spared some of the fears when my family decided to not tell me the reason my diabetes was defined as “Juvenile”.

It’s good that at least you know. I’ve had T1D for about 35 years. The last 10 or so years I’ve been fighting various eye problems, including NPDR. The problems have degraded my vision, but I can still drive, ride a bike, kayak, hike, etc. There are many treatments that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Yes, it’s scary, Yes, you need to work hard to stay as healthy as possible, but in all likelihood you are going to live a long and healthy life.

Thank you @Dennis so much for your words, They’re very much appreciated!
Im trying my best to NOT worry about all of this, Hopefully I’ll get there soon enough.
Your diabetic journey seems really impressive, Thank you for sharing. It all feels a lot less foreign now that somebody else actually went through it.
Your daughter sounds like someone I’d look up to! Congratulations, you must be a proud father. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the response @mikefarley, I appreciate it!

Hi there! There is a doctor who has Tupe 1 himself and through experimenting on himself he arrived at a low carb high protein diet and was able to achieve normal blood sugars and reverse complications. He’s still going strong in his 80s as a practicing endocrinologist! I highly recommend reading his book, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution. My daughter maintains an A1c under 5.8 and under and she’s a teen!

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Hi, I am Linda and I have had Type I DM for 67 years. I worked as the Diabetes Nurse Specialist for 15 years at the University of Florida and we were doing a lot of research to cure and treat Diabetes. There is a lot of research. I know that there is research on complications of the eyes. I too was in pre med for 2 years, then my father passed away and financially switched to nursing. I was diagnosed in 1951 and was told that I would only live to age of 25. That didn’t happen. I had 3 children and none have diabetes. I even have a new great Granddaughter. Yes I did take good control of my diabetes with lots of challenges. I was on call for 24 hours a day for 3 years. That was a real challenge. Patients would call at all hours of the night and/or I would have to go into hospital to take care of a patient day and night. I always carry glucose with me and I always carried peanut butter crackers so I can have a meal at any time. It is normal to be concerned about your diabetes, but with time it will get easier. I have had lazer on my eyes 13 years ago and still have good vision. My retina so far has no swelling. I know there is an injection that has been developed (some of the research that we did) that lowers the growth hormone and takes the swelling down. I only have a twin brother and no other siblings. I am retired because I have 10 Grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. I don’t know how I have time for anything else. My husband and I travel all over the world. We have been to China, Spain, Portugal, France, Czeck Republic, Hungary, and Italy. We leave in 2 weeks to go to Isreal. I think that if you try to keep your A1 c just below 7, that you should do ok and don’t have to worry so much.

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Yes, I have it too. It is not uncommon for people with T1D. Take care of yourself and keep your BG/BS under control as much as possible. I doctor told me if you had to have DR, this is the most mild form, just keep an check on it and get your eyes check each year by an eye doctor.

Thank you @JThaxton that sounds promising I’ll definitely check It out