Squiggly vessels strike again

I had my first appointment with a new eye doctor earlier this week. I generally don’t get nervous going to doctor’s appointments, but the eye doctor always gives me an extra bit of anxiety. It just seems like eye complications are so unpredictable. I do my best (don’t we all?!) to maintain the best diabetes management I can, but in the days and hours before an eye appointment, I worry that it may not be enough (oddly enough, Wil wrote a similar post yesterday).

Small non-endo gripe: He mentioned the fact that damage can be done anytime a BG is over 160. Because that NEVER happens to my BG!

my left eyeballThe doctor took a digital mapping of my eyes. He said this would give him a more complete picture than he could see with just the dilation.

I’ve been told by eye doctors in the past that I have squiggly vessels in my eyes. Basically vessels that might be straighter or more direct in other people instead twist and turn in my eye. There is one that does a complete loop as it approaches my optic nerve – so that’s fun. This isn’t a complication yet, but the problem is that squiggly vessels are more likely to experience bleeds.

The doctor zoomed in on different parts of my eye. He changed the contrast so he could see the vessels with more definition. He zooms in on a specific area, and then he zooms in some more. We were talking about how the black and white contrasted view helped him see things that were hidden in the full color version.

“For example,” he shared, “I would have missed this area right here.”

He zoomed in more on an area that looked different from the rest. Instead of clear lines on the edge of the vessel it had a more cloudy and fuzzy appearance.

The doctor rolled his chair back over towards me and looked into my eye again. He looked around for a while and then looked back over at the computer. He switched back to my eye again and looked quickly back to the computer again. When he finally found the right area, he looked for what seems like far too long in complete silence. It was right about then that I noticed I was holding my breath.

“Actually,” he said finally breaking the silence, “I think it’s just an anomaly. I don’t think it’s a bleed at all.”

The whole exchange probably didn’t take more than three or four minutes, but I am pretty sure those few minutes will rank near the top of my scariest moments with diabetes for a quite a while.

P.S. This is the best post I have ever read on the mental mess that often accompanies diabetes complications.


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