Good News From My Eye Doctor: No Diabetic Retinopathy


Last week after receiving a painful middle of the night poke in the eye from Adam, Jessica decided she needed to see the eye doctor and asked me if I wanted her to make an appointment for me too.

I did. I had been planning to go to my regular ophthalmologist ever since I went to have my eyes checked at the diabetes clinic a few months ago (August, actually). At the clinic a doctor, who looked nothing like a doctor (and not in a cool way) had checked my eyes with one of those machines that shines a light into your eyes and after he finished he said, “You have the start of diabetic retinopathy in your eyes.”

I was shocked and upset but decided I should definitely get a second opinion, even go to a retina specialist. But I didn’t. 

I told myself there wasn’t much point, I mean, all of my regular eye exams had been fine until this one. How could one doctor see damage and another not? I understand that you can miss something that exists but you can’t see something that doesn’t, right?

Well apparently I was wrong. When I went to my doctor I told him about my check up at the clinic.

“Why didn’t you come sooner?” he asked.  “Let’s take a look.”

I got on the chair and placed my head into the contraption. He shined a painful yellow light into my eyes.

“You’re clean,” he said. “Next time come to me.”

“But how did the other doctor see damage?” I asked.

My doctor said something I didn’t really understand, but I didn’t care. I was happy to hear I do not have diabetic retinopathy. 

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Jeff Nobles

Good news, Mike.  This is my 40th year with T1D and my eyes are also clean.  I hope that’s encouraging to younger T1Ds who might be reading.  A very good ophthalmologist (who was also a college friend) gave am a thorough exam in 1990 as part of a national study and told me I was lucky.  I have some background retinopathy (which I understand is unavoidable) but no signs of proliferative retionopathy, which is the bad complication.  1990 was before the DCCT trials showed the benefits of tight control, so I hope that many of us in this time will also be… Read more »

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