“Haemorrhage” – that was the word the Consultant used when describing the back of my right eye.
A weighty word indeed. A heaviness clung to the word, misting the air between myself and the consultant. After 15 years of living with the big D (diaversary this month!) I had been told time and again to come to expect something of the sort but being sat down in an eye hospital after several weeks of no sleep; the news still winded me, rendering me completely silent.
“Growing up is awfuller than all the awful things that ever were”. – Peter Pan
The above quote from J. M. Barrie in Peter Pan summed up at that moment just how I felt. Growing up with Diabetes I had never considered the obvious difference between myself and my peers yet now it slapped me across the face and I cursed myself for all the past mistakes and aloofness I had through my teenage years. How did I truly expect to get away with it? A little melodramatic? Yes, seemingly so but at that moment that’s just how I felt – pained yet with no one else to blame but myself.
The outcome of this post isn’t an expected one but in fact has a hugely joyous twist in the tale. There is hope. Right now I don’t need hope just common sense and reality. Let me explain…
After the initial shock of the diagnosis I was asked to have another eye test where the Consultant peers into each eye with a magnifier and light. He “ummed” and “ahhhed” then sat back and asked for me to come closer and watch the computer screen. I obeyed, naturally. I looked at the computer watching the results of my earlier retinal screening pop up and the circle in the middle highlight my haemorrhage. “See that?” he asked, “No” I replied quietly, squinting away the lights from the test… “You won’t, I can barely see it!”. As it turned out my eyes are healthy but with me being so young and having Diabetes for so long they took extra precautions at the hint of any beginnings. A fact I am truly comforted by now. I do have a small haemorrhage but it is causing no pressure, no swelling and is of such a small size that the Consultant has advised it will “simply disappear” of its own accord given that I control three components tightly from this day forward.
1. My Diabetes
2. My Blood Pressure
3. My Cholesterol
Eye Eye Captain! (See what I did there?)
Controlling one without the other two is practically useless and a subject my Consultant was very passionate about. A valid point he made was that most health care professionals simply concentrate on BG levels but Blood Pressure and Cholesterol levels are of equal importance in maintaining eye health. “You have incredible vision and should keep that for many more years to come”, and with that I was discharged and referred back to my usual eye screenings. Never did I think I would be pleased to endure eye drops and dilation!
I am still elated from my good news, obviously, but I am also treating this ‘scare’ as a timely reminder that I need to look after myself and my Diabetes. I have never shunned my condition but I have also never gained total control of it despite trying. I will always be thankful for ‘getting away with it’ but now there are no excuses for lack of control especially with the help of my little pump ”Bully”!
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” – J. M. Barrie (Peter Pan).