Monday, 18 July 2011

Eye'm Scared.

Today I went for my annual sight check up.  I always get ridiculously apprehensive before seeing the optician, purely because I'm petrified that they'll tell me that all the blood vessels in my retinas have burst and I'm on the path towards blindness.  I blame diabetes for this fear of mine.

Badly controlled blood sugar levels can result in complications such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and glaucoma which all have the potential to lead to permanent blindness.  Other, non-sight related 'issues' that a diabetic may encounter include heart disease, kidney failure, gum disease, skin problems and limb amputations.  Not a happy thought, I know.

Although I wouldn't class my blood sugar levels as being 'badly controlled', I recognise that there have been times in the last 14 and a half years when they haven't been brilliant.  Recently I've been trying harder than ever before to ensure that I range between 4.5 and 9.0 mmol/l, but I realise I've still got a long way to go.

I was walking in town with my friend Hannah when a pigeon flew close to us.  Hannah screamed and said that there was nothing that she was more frightened of than pigeons.  She then asked me if there was anything that I was really scared of.

It wasn't until later that day, after thinking of things that people are usually scared of, that I realised that the things I fear most in the entire world are the possible complications of my type 1 diabetes.  In the past, I have even had nightmares of looking in the mirror to see that the white of one of my eyes has become red.

I'm 18 and for as long as I remember I have been afraid of going blind or losing my limbs.  Whilst others my age may dread seeing a spider or being at a great height, I have cried over possibilities that many will not be concerned about until they are elderly and that most will never even contemplate.  Although I don't hate my diabetes because it makes me who I am, I find it thoughtless and reckless for this reason.

I know it's stupid to worry about these things because they are preventable.  By continuing to look after my diabetes properly, I don't ever have to have my leg amputated or have laser treatment or be on dialysis.  I can be complication-free.  Like they say, most things that you worry about are things that will never happen.

Anyway, on a positive note, my optician said that my eyes were very healthy.  He said that my retinas were looking very good (what a compliment, huh!?) and although my prescription has changed slightly since last year, it's not drastic and there's nothing to worry about.

So it seems as though I'm doing just fine.  For now, I will just carry on as I am doing; looking after myself as well as I can do and being grateful for the fact that, right at this moment, I can see, I can walk and I can live, even with the bipolar monster of mine that is type 1 diabetes.

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with 'L'...


  1. beautiful post! blindness is probably my biggest complication fear too... and i have got background retinopathy (i found out two years ago).

    it's annoying that i have it, because i do keep really good care of my levels, and it makes me feel as though i'm doing a bad job. but anyway, it'll all work out alright in the end! and they do have a good system in place to treat it, so it's ok if the worst happens.

  2. Brilliant post Daisy! I too am so worried about my eyes, I had to have holes in my retina's lasered shut (and they weren't a complication of D, just lucky me I guess!) and I have high pressure in my eyes...another thing not related to D. I've been so worried about them finding something D related, while they keep finding other things wrong. My last appt. was good though, holes still sealed, no signs of D issues. :)

    The fears associated with D out rank all others I think. I'm so glad your appt turned out good, just keep trying your best, we are human and we can never be perfect at controlling D, we just do the best we can. Keep up the good work!!!! :)

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