Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Friends For Life: Eyes.

I am still unsure of what I want to write here.

I attended the Friends For Life conference last week. It was incredible.

The feeling of being surrounded by green bracelets, and people who can say "I get it" is un-topable. I had a lot of people question why I came all the way from Canada, and I never had an answer for them. I usually explained that it was important to me.

I have a lot to unwrap about the conference and I intend to do so, but I  just want to get something off my chest that weighed me down a bit.

I had my eyes checked.

I always get my eyes checked, I go see a specialist every year to get my eyes checked. So I wasn't worried. In fact they pulled me in, in the hallway after I registered because there was nobody in their seat. I wasn't afraid and I let them know that it was truly unnecessary because I was Canadian and I had coverage and I wanted someone without as much privilege as me to have a seat. But they told me to have a seat and look at the dots and coloured crosses.

I did so.

And they printed out my results, and she looked at the results quizzically with a slight "hm" under her breath. The doctor looked over with her and said some things I don't understand and then he said "You need to go to the dark room just over the stairs so they can look a little closer. It might be totally normal, but it's good to check."

I further pushed back, explaining that I have my very own doctor, the one who smiles big every time I have a check up and says "No diabetes eyes for you!", in three months. It's fine. I am fine. I don't NEED to see a doctor. They insisted.

I was worried. It was a 45 minute wait to see Dr. Ben. I paced in the hallway picking at my new green bracelet. I read everything about the studies they were doing. I closed my eyelids one at a time and made sure there were no spots or blurry visions.

I was fine.

Except I wasn't. I went through around 10 more tests and squints and "yes I wear glasseses" before I spoke to Dr. Ben and what he saw. He saw two bleeds in my left eye. He explained they were very tiny, but they were close to the macula so it was important to follow up. He said they will probably fix themselves if I keep my blood sugar in range (ha!) and exercise like I have been. He told me to make sure I mention all of this to my doctor at home because he may not see them due to the special equipment he had.

I thanked him with a very shaky hand shake and didn't know where to go. I just kind of stood in the hallway leaning against the wall wondering what to do. I closed my eyes tight trying to feel or see anything different but it was just normal. My blood sugar was normal, my A1c is below-normal, my exercise is great, my blood pressure is fine, my diet is good...what can I do? Just wait.

I didn't do anything wrong but the overwhelming blanket of guilt just started to smother me, so I started to walk-quickly. I wanted to breathe some fresh air before I lost it in front of all of these strangers scurrying by me. I went outside and gathered myself before I met my friend and headed to Universal Orlando-where we had a good time.

For the record I now have a new appointment  next month with my specialist.

Unfortunately this weighed on me like a big secret. I didn't want to bring anyone down, especially myself. But now I regret not leaning on some of the people who would have understood the most.

I promise my other FFL posts will be more positive and informative, but I needed to unload that.


  1. I'm so glad you were there, and that I got to meet you. I wish I could have helped you through this in person, but I can understand why you didn't share it. Know that I'll be sending healing vibes way up yonder to you and your eyes every day.

  2. Girl! I had an eye appointment with Dr. Ben that I missed because my shuttle ran late, and then I never tried to reschedule it. I regret that so much, now. At least you KNOW what is up, and you are doing something proactive about it. Your eyeballs are beautiful. Hugs.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about this.
    this is one of those "things" y'know? a ..... complication. and IT ISN'T FAIR!!! we expect complications with people who don't take care of themselves and let their diabetes get out of control. we don't expect these results when we work SO DAMN hard. You have control I am jealous of and this just pisses me off.
    You are doing your best so just keep doing it!

  4. I'm sorry to hear this. I'm glad you have a good doctor who you can see quickly. All the hugs and new-friendship-best-wishes coming your way. Diabetes Sucks. You're doing great!

  5. So, so sorry you had to endure that during an otherwise fantastic week. But I completely understand why you kept it to yourself. Hope your upcoming visit reveals only greatness.

  6. Well, it's better to know than to not know; and when it comes to the eyes, I'd much rather they find something that turns out to be nothing than to find nothing to begin with. It tells me they're really looking hard. I've had some doctors who always find tiny nothings (that heal before the next visit), and others that never find anything.

    Here's hoping what Dr. Ben found turns out to be nothing.

  7. It's SO good you went ahead. I can say from experience though the wait is the hardest part. Hugs to you!

  8. Sending huge hugs and healing eye vibes to you.

  9. I'm so sorry that you had this to weigh you down with all the awesomeness that happens at FFL, and that you have to wait even more until next to find out anything from your own specialist. Hope things turn out OK. To echo what Scott mentioned above, it is better to know than to not to. I remember that crushing feeling many years ago of first hearing about eye complications, and it's one of th most dreaded experiences every year to get checked on whether anything more is going on. But, at least you are armed with the FFL testing... not to mention this whole community for support. Good luck, and hugs your way.