My Vision Is Impaired

MY VISION IS IMPAIRED; I CANNOT SEE!


One of the more surprising side effects of my diabetes diagnosis is the effect on my vision. Without the aid of reading glasses I am effectively blind. The effects are, thankfully, temporary, but in the mean time I have several months of blurred vision to look forward to.

See what I did there? And there?

A common complication from long term high blood glucose is diabetic retinopathy, which is where the retina is damaged by the excessive glucose. That would be a long term problem cause by a long term condition, but while it is something for me to worry about down the road, it isn’t what I have.

What the doctors and nurses think happened to me is that the lenses in my eyes shrivelled due to dehydration as my blood sugar climbed. This explains my gradual need for reading glasses at certain times in the day. The eyes – and the brain – can acclimatize to almost anything if the changes are slow enough. It wasn’t severe, however. Not until I received TREATMENT for my diabetes, ironically. Then the lenses began to “plump up”, which completely threw everything else in my eyes out of balance.

So, at the moment, I have incredible difficulty focusing on anything. Most people who wear glasses are either far sighted or near sighted. I am non-sighted.

I shouldn’t get a prescription until this passes, either, because I’ll only waste money on glasses I won’t need I a few months. Instead I am sporting off the shelf drug store specs for my day to day.

I know a lot of people who already wear glasses who will not be sympathetic, but having impaired vision is hard. It SUCKS. Until recently I have had 20/20 vision. For a while not long ago I thought I was going blind. This experience has taught me a little of what the visually impaired have to go through, and I’m simultaneously horrified and impressed.

The glasses I wear distort everything. I live now in a world without straight lines or flat planes. Everything bends, often in surprising ways. I used to rely heavily on peripheral vision. Now mine is unreliable. My eyes hurt constantly from the strain, but without the glasses I just can’t function.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. Yeah, it’s hard, but it’s interesting. As I learn about my condition and everything it entails I find I want to share more and more, especially since diabetes is an often misunderstood condition.

Don’t worry, though. The blog won’t turn into a medical journal. You’ll still get writer’s craft, book updates, and random sci-fi, fantasy, and video game stuff.

Ask me anything you like, about T1D or anything else!

– GB

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My Vision Is Impaired

MY VISION IS IMPAIRED; I CANNOT SEE!


One of the more surprising side effects of my diabetes diagnosis is the effect on my vision. Without the aid of reading glasses I am effectively blind. The effects are, thankfully, temporary, but in the mean time I have several months of blurred vision to look forward to.

See what I did there? And there?

A common complication from long term high blood glucose is diabetic retinopathy, which is where the retina is damaged by the excessive glucose. That would be a long term problem cause by a long term condition, but while it is something for me to worry about down the road, it isn’t what I have.

What the doctors and nurses think happened to me is that the lenses in my eyes shrivelled due to dehydration as my blood sugar climbed. This explains my gradual need for reading glasses at certain times in the day. The eyes – and the brain – can acclimatize to almost anything if the changes are slow enough. It wasn’t severe, however. Not until I received TREATMENT for my diabetes, ironically. Then the lenses began to “plump up”, which completely threw everything else in my eyes out of balance.

So, at the moment, I have incredible difficulty focusing on anything. Most people who wear glasses are either far sighted or near sighted. I am non-sighted.

I shouldn’t get a prescription until this passes, either, because I’ll only waste money on glasses I won’t need I a few months. Instead I am sporting off the shelf drug store specs for my day to day.

I know a lot of people who already wear glasses who will not be sympathetic, but having impaired vision is hard. It SUCKS. Until recently I have had 20/20 vision. For a while not long ago I thought I was going blind. This experience has taught me a little of what the visually impaired have to go through, and I’m simultaneously horrified and impressed.

The glasses I wear distort everything. I live now in a world without straight lines or flat planes. Everything bends, often in surprising ways. I used to rely heavily on peripheral vision. Now mine is unreliable. My eyes hurt constantly from the strain, but without the glasses I just can’t function.

I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining. Yeah, it’s hard, but it’s interesting. As I learn about my condition and everything it entails I find I want to share more and more, especially since diabetes is an often misunderstood condition.

Don’t worry, though. The blog won’t turn into a medical journal. You’ll still get writer’s craft, book updates, and random sci-fi, fantasy, and video game stuff.

Ask me anything you like, about T1D or anything else!

– GB

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T1D – My New Difficulty Setting

The difficulty setting for my life has been set to Hell. Can someone please change it back?

I have type 1 diabetes ( T1D .)

I saw my doctor for a routine physical. I complained about vision problems, pasty mouth, thirst, and weight loss. All these could be chalked up to medication side effects, weather, stress, or just getting older. However, the next day my doctor called and told my blood glucose was 33. I was diabetic. Suddenly my complaints made sense in a different light.

It took some doing, and several trips to the hospital, but we’re settling on type 1. That means multiple daily insulin injections, blood-glucose monitoring, and carb counting for the rest of my life. It is not something for which there is a cure, yet. If I stop taking care of myself, stop receiving insulin, I will die.

I mean, not to be overdramatic or anything. I am extremely grateful to be alive in a time when medical care for diabetics even exists. A hundred years ago the treatment was to make diabetics comfortable. Today there are a host of treatment innovations, and hope for a cure in a few decades.

As an extraordinary side note, my eldest son also has T1D. He was diagnosed 7 years ago. And no, it’s not genetic or environmental. We’re just THAT lucky.

I know I can do this. But it does seem like a cruel joke.

I am happy to answer any questions about diabetes, and diabetes care. If I don’t know the answer, I can certainly do my research!

– GB

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