The Other DME

I woke up and noticed something different today.

I rubbed my eyes, but to no avail. “Maybe I’m low?”, I thought, but a quick blood sugar check revealed a nice 82. “It must just be some icky funky eye gunk … my allergies have been all over the place lately.”┬áBut washing didn’t help it. Cover left eye, right eye is fine. Cover right eye….

NOT fine.

It was as if I was wearing a dirty, dried out contact over my left eye, but that still gave perfect peripheral vision.

I wanted to freak out. I told myself to stay calm. Maybe I just had pressure on my eye for a while and it’s adjusting back. Maybe it’s just I haven’t woken up good enough yet. Maybe this is just something that will pass in a few minutes.

Two hours later, no change. A phone call in to my Ophthalmologist, and I was told to be there by 11:30. That’s never good when they want to see you THAT day. I went on to work, but looking at a computer screen is… weird.

When we got there ( my husband took me just in case), they took me into the pre-exam room, and I looked at the letter chart. My vision was still good in my right eye (20/20), but my left? Had gone from 20/20 to 20/80 and STILL blurry… overnight. With my eyes now dilating, I waited to see the doctor.

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He came in and looked into both eyes. He stared in my left for a good while. As if I couldn’t already see because of the blur, now I couldn’t see because I was blinded by the magnified light. He sent me over to get a picture of my eyes, but had the nurse jot down notes that sounded like “superior and central CSR” (central serous retinopathy), which I had already Googled before going. He then looked and said that he didn’t think it was anything diabetes related but that there was a collection, or blister, of fluid in my eye and some swelling, but that he wanted to get pictures to confirm. “Okay”, I thought, “I’ve already looked this up this morning, this is sort of good news because it typically goes away in a few months, often as spontaneously as it appeared. No big deal.”

Pictures were taken. I saw the spot. It was huge…. on the screen, that is. If you’ve ever seen a picture of your eye, imagine a spot 2 to 2 1/2 times as big as your optic nerve circle, and an oval shape, with the tail extending over your macula.

We were sent back to the room and we could hear the doctor talking with someone. Little did I know, that was the eye doctor there that specialized in diabetic eye diseases. He came in and showed me the screen. He went over what was going on and what happened. Then he said the words I had dreaded I would hear :

This is diabetes related.

It’s Diabetic Macular Edema. Basically, the vessels are leaking fluid around my macula. What I don’t understand is that he didn’t see any blood, just fluid. Either way, I am to go back in a few weeks to meet up with the doctor that specializes in diabetic eye diseases and find out where to go from there.

Right now? I’m going through a whole mixed bag of emotions. Part of me is confused – I just went to the eye doctor near the end of February and they said everything looked fine, yet he said this was something I’ve had for a while now… how long is “a while”, exactly? A few weeks? Part of me is blaming myself – that I could have done better. That this is my fault for slacking off over the past few months. Part of me is angry because I know that I could have wonderful control and complications could still arise because that’s how diabetes is… it’s a evil, silent, slow destroyer. And another part of me is thinking, “You know, you’ve kicked diabetes’ ass for 25 years. Things happen and there’s nothing you can do about them.”

So, now, we wait. And pray.