Generally, I take good care of my diabetes. I stick to a healthy diet, exercise a lot, check my blood sugar all the time and take my insulin and other medication. I even make sure to get my quarterly blood tests. I do not, however, like going to the doctor.
I go to my family doctor on a regular basis to get my prescriptions because I have no choice. He usually takes advantage of my being there to see how I’m doing, and to make sure I’m on top of my diabetes. The last few times I went to see him he asked me if I’d had my eyes checked lately. I told him I had been meaning to go but hadn’t found the time. And then my doctor got really mad at me. He had good reason. It had been over two years since my last eye check up.
When I went to the diabetes clinic the doctor there asked me when I had had my eyes checked last. I told her it had been a while and that I was going to go to the eye doctor the next week. I didn’t have an appointment but I realized I had to do it, and that I should get it over with.
I’m not afraid of the doctors, but being scolded for not taking care of myself makes me feel juvenile.
So today I finally went to see the eye doctor. I went to someone new who Jessica had been to. When I got there I told him it had been two years since I’d had my eyes checked. He looked at me disapprovingly and asked me the usual questions about my diabetes: How long have you been a diabetic? How is your blood sugar control? Any complications? Then he asked me if I exercised (I always love it when doctors ask me that). I told him I run marathons. And unlike most doctors I’ve met who aren’t so happy when they hear about diabetes and extreme sports, he said “great, the best thing for type 1 diabetes is exercise and a lot of it”.
Then he shined a bright yellow light into my eyes. I suddenly became a little nervous. I didn’t want to hear words like complications and retinopathy. All I wanted to hear was that everything was okay and that I could leave and come back again in a year like a good diabetic. So I was very happy when the doctor started saying words like “great” and “perfect” while scanning my eyes. When he was done he told me my eyes where in great shape – no signs of diabetes-related damage.
What great news.