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...and he informed me that I have mild retinopathy in my left eye. We are going to stay vigilant and move my next appointment up to the six month mark instead of waiting a full year. He said if it stays the same, we will have appointments every 6 months. If it grows, he will recommend a retinal surgeon for surgery.
I'm really surprised this happened so quickly as I thought it generally took a while for complications like this to happen. Also, I have pretty good control of my BG (not meaning to brag). I thought that was usually a good step in stalling these things. Oh well, now that I have the news at least we can move on and figure out where to go from here.
 

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...and he informed me that I have mild retinopathy in my left eye. We are going to stay vigilant and move my next appointment up to the six month mark instead of waiting a full year. He said if it stays the same, we will have appointments every 6 months. If it grows, he will recommend a retinal surgeon for surgery.
I'm really surprised this happened so quickly as I thought it generally took a while for complications like this to happen. Also, I have pretty good control of my BG (not meaning to brag). I thought that was usually a good step in stalling these things. Oh well, now that I have the news at least we can move on and figure out where to go from here.
Oh gosh, I know its scary when you start having issues with your eyes. The good thing is that it is caught early and you can stay on top of it before at gets worse! You do have excellent control of your blood sugar and that is going to help. *hug*
 

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Hey Shanny,
He is an optometrist. I was wondering, do you think waiting for the 6 month appointment to see another eye doctor is a bad thing to do? I honestly haven't done much research about this condition yet because I didn't think it would effect me this early.
 

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Well . . . I wish he were an ophthalmologist - those guys are trained as MDs before they specialize in opthalmology which focuses on the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.

Optometry is more about vision, refraction/etc., although they can no doubt spot trouble in some cases, as yours has. He's ready to jump straight to a retinal surgeon, but I would hope there's something in between. Retinal surgery is NOT a walk in the park! :( An ophthalmologist or a retinologist might have broader experience & a few more tricks up the sleeve before cutting.
 

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I agree on seeing a retinologist or opthamologist. It's a good idea, not only for us diabetics, but for eye health in general for non-diab

I have macular degeneration and was just at my retinologist today. Last saw him June 2010 and it was because he did not detect the diabetes that my endocrinologist thinks I haven't had it very long in spite of my high numbers. Fortunately, he saw no evidence today either, thankfully - macular degeneration is quite enough ...

I've never gone to an optometrist for glasses, always to an opthamologist, but then I didn't need glasses until my 40's. He's the one who 5 years ago spotted some drusen (very early macular) which an optometrist never would have seen.

Personally I would see a retinologist now, just because I would want a physican involved and I'm pretty freaky about my eyes. I've run to mine a couple more times than I needed to, but it was worth the reassurance. Insurance should cover it. Certainly I wouldn't see an optometrist on this again and am a little surprised he didn't suggest a retinologist for the future.

EDIT: I'm all wet. Google should've been my friend before thinking I knew jack about optometrists. I learned in the last 20 years (I'm such an old cuss) they are much more medically oriented and do dx eye diseases, etc.
 

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...and he informed me that I have mild retinopathy in my left eye. We are going to stay vigilant and move my next appointment up to the six month mark instead of waiting a full year. He said if it stays the same, we will have appointments every 6 months. If it grows, he will recommend a retinal surgeon for surgery.
I'm really surprised this happened so quickly as I thought it generally took a while for complications like this to happen. Also, I have pretty good control of my BG (not meaning to brag). I thought that was usually a good step in stalling these things. Oh well, now that I have the news at least we can move on and figure out where to go from here.
Josh, I am 51 and last spring I had cataract surgery in both eyes. I thought I was a little young for cataracts. I think everyone with diabetes needs to spend time with their eye doctor. Good luck with your eyes.
 
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I would be seeing a opthamologist too in that situation. I see one myself every 2 years for a check up. I also see an optometrist every 2 years too as I wear reading glasses. The interesting thing is I had one opthamologist tell me once that the back of my eyes needed monitoring... optic disc drusen. Although opthamologist checking me after that disagreed and they've continued to check me and they say I don't show any signs of diabetes affecting my eyes. My grandmother had optic disc drusen though and the guy that told me that I had this mentioned it was genetic. My grandmother was fine with her eyes when she was with us. My other grandmother went blind and I was told she did have diabetes (but I didn't really get to know her). Staying positive is all we can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for your replies. I am looking into visiting an opthamologist. I really want to stay on top of this thing!
 

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Good luck Josh. My daughter has eye issues and as a result our family only sees an opthamologist. Glad you are catching this early :)

- Jeremy
 

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Josh, an ophthalmologist is the doctor who can be trusted to correctly diagnose retinopathy. I was diagnosed with retinopathy several years ago even though my A1c had been below 6.0 for many years. Diabetes complications can occur even when the A1c is great, if the overall control is like a roller coaster, with too many lows and highs. Those lows and highs compensate for each other and give a good average and A1c, but the body trauma caused from going high to low to high to......so much of the time can easily lead to complications if this continues for an extended period of time. I started pumping and stopped having so many highs and lows in 2007. The more stable control resulted in my spots of retinopathy disappearing in a few months.

Your A1c's are great, but I don't know if you have frequent highs and lows. In case you do, I wanted you to know that can possibly be the problem. Many type 1 diabetics manage to keep stable control, without so many highs and lows, by using injections alone. I was not able to do that several years ago, and that is when my retinopathy appeared. My eyes have not had any problem since 2007.

Good luck with your ophthalmologist appointment.
 

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I have been going to an ophthalmologist. I feel that they understand more about diabetes and eye complications. At my last appointment they said I had cataracts and I am only 37. Don't second guess yourself, if you feel like you should go to an ophthalmologist now, just go. Trust your instincts.
 

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Sorry to hear your news.
I did fine for the first 25 years and then I drastically and quickly dropped my A1C after getting my pump. This seemed to have triggered the retinopathy. (love the pump though!)
I've read since then that a drastic drop can trigger multiple complications.
Maybe that's what happened in your case? I don't know why it would happen in such a short time otherwise, since your diagnosis.
Hopefully those bad blood vessels don'e continue to grow.
Good luck!
 

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I get very concened with issues with my eyes. My dad went blind 14 years ago from Temperal Arteritis an immune systme that affects the eyes. He was put on a daily dose of Prednisone and now is diabetic because of the steroid. My diabetes was actually picked up when I went for a routine eye test to change my glasses. When they dilated my eyes they could see very microscoptic spots. They sent me to an Opthamologis who gave me the dye test which showed the beginnings or retinopaty even though I wasn't diabetic yet. We did followup blood tests and I was definitely very diabetic. Now I watch my numbers like a hawk and try to keep them under 100 most of the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<begin rant>
Well, I used this experience as an excuse to try to get the insurance company to reverse their opinion about covering me for a pump since retinopathy is one of the reasons they list as approving pumps for Type 1s.
We went through 2 levels of appeals and finally yesterday they sent me the most recent and final rejection notice. Their reason? THEY SAY IT IS MORE LIKELY I'M TYPE 2 AS OPPOSED TO TYPE 1?!?! Who are these people?! They have never seen me! It aggravates me soo much! They honestly put that in my rejection letter. I couldn't believe it. Guess my PCP and endo are off the reservation when it came to the lab tests, complete lab tests mind you, that they have run every 3 months since I was diagnosed. I just want to scream on the phone!
$%#@#$#$%#@!#$%@#$%^@#%^[email protected]#$
<end of rant>
 

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Oh Josh, that is such a lame excuse and a lie given by your insurance provider. I have never seen anything like that before. It seems to me that an endo could write a letter of necessity and identify your being T1. My insurance company would not approve my pump without a letter from my endo, and results of tests including C-peptide.
 

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Oh Josh, that is such a lame excuse and a lie given by your insurance provider. I have never seen anything like that before. It seems to me that an endo could write a letter of necessity and identify your being T1. My insurance company would not approve my pump without a letter from my endo, and results of tests including C-peptide.
Richard, this denial came after the endo wrote a letter to the insurance company. This is so frustrating!
 

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Richard is so right, Josh . . . it's total fiction, besides being a direct slap-in-the-face to you & your medical team. Why in the world are they allowed to override medical decisions with such flimsy & phony excuses?

You say "aggravate" . . . I would be OUTRAGED & prob'ly WOULD scream into the phone. Does anyone ever win a suit against an insurance company? They sure deserve to be sued!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
They said it was because my C-Peptide was not low enough but I have reviewed those numbers myself. It has been consistently low for the enitre time since I have been diagnosed.
 
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