Eyes. Diabetes can have multiple side effects, whether well controlled or not, but more likely if not well controlled. And one major issue is eyes. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness and a whole host of other problems. Needless to say, when my eyes ceased functioning normally for over 30 minutes while I was working yesterday, my only thought was, “I’ve got to get to a doctor.”
I was just going along normally, taking phone calls, working on the computer, when all of a sudden I couldn’t see. Things weren’t dark, but everything was bright. I could fight it and squint and see the computer out of my right eye only, so I faked my way though the rest of the call (it was a long one, 30 minutes) and informed a supervisor that I was leaving to go to the doctor. There was no question here. Diabetic eyes are not something to be messed with.
By the time I was heading out the door, I could see again, mostly. I was still a little disoriented but didn’t feel bad other than freaking out due to not being able to see for 30 minutes. I decided I would drive myself to the doctor since it was just down the street from my work. It turned out to be a horrible idea. The sight problems returned when I was just a few blocks from the clinic.
I went inside and registered, and just as I suspected the doctor decided that she didn’t have the tools to evaluate me and sent me to the ER. I was NOT a fan of this idea, and it turned out to be the huge ordeal that I thought it would be. After waiting almost five hours in the waiting area, I finally was sent back to a bed. at this point it was very much midnight.
One cute male nurse (who was my age and swore he knew me!!), nice doctor, and CT scan later, I declined to have my spine stabbed to test for brain pressure, and without further eye incident was diagnosed with ocular migraines (at this point my head was KILLING me). It sucks to have another medical issue to deal with, but it is also a VERY good thing that it wasn’t a sight issue – just a brain issue. (That’s all, right?).
Point: I’ve been putting diabetes on the back burner for a while, dealing with the “other D” of depression, and lately focusing on weight watchers, but something came along to kick me in the rear and remind me that taking care of my diabetes needs to be part of who I am. I get overwhelmed easily and focusing on one thing at a time is usually all I can handle. When I was thinking about the last few months and how my blood glucose levels have been and how I had a perfect eye exam in March and how these things tend to come out of the blue, I realized that I can’t wait any longer to take care of myself – in all ways. There’s no excuse to be eating healthier and ignoring diabetes, because those things go hand in hand.
I hope and pray that my readers with diabetes don’t wait for a swift kick in the eyeballs or kidneys or circulatory system in order to get themselves back on track. It’s not a fun thing to deal with complications, and it just adds to the massive amounts of guilt we feel as persons with diabetes – in some cases, feeling like having this disease is our fault, or that imperfect numbers are also completely under our control. All we can do is all we can do. I know I’m not doing all I can do. But it’s time to step back up, rejoin the community, and do everything I possibly can to make sure I have a long, happy life and have a good impact on those around me.
That’s what this is all about, right?
I got my first ocular migraine about two years after T2 diagnosis, so yeah, it was freaky even though completely unrelated! (Glad that’s all it was…as crappy as those are…now get them every few months.)
Thanks, Rachel! And yes, it is definitely not fun to deal with them, but glad it does not mean I am going blind!
Wow, that’s scary, but as you note, depression is a complex issue that impacts everything else. My hope is that whomever a person sees for diabetes care, whether that is an endocrinologist or general practitioner, will be able to help patients with diabetes with depression, or know enough to get them to a doctor who can help them quickly. It’s not something that can be delayed. Anyway, I’m happy if you are recovered now and that the experience was something that helped you in a strange way.
Yikes! Scary stuff!