I just read a blog from a fellow type one and found that although I have been far from blessed I do not have the terrible effects that some other diabetics have had. Mine are simple but none the less tend to cramp my style.
Retinopathy? Yes I have it the left eye. Had it in the left eye. I would describe the procedure but having people faint and be terrified of getting it fixed later would not be good. It was done in three waves so as to not over load the eye with trauma. Basically they used a laser to burn any small, unwanted, weak blood vessels and I ended up with a one way ticket to a pan retinal photo coagulation. Quite the mouthful. The entire retina except the macula (this is where something like 80% of your acute vision come from) above the optic nerve was lasered. They deaden the eye which can give you some awesome play time later. You can’t move the eye, you can see anything with it, and you need to keep it protected because of this. The laser was so bright and in close enough proximity to the right eye that it actually hurt to keep that eye open, not bad but like staring at the sun. They say to keep the patch on for at least 3-4 hours and be mindful of the double vision. They aren’t kidding. I watched TV for almost an hour right in front of me and then about 5 feet to the left. Yes five feet. The second time I took the patch off in the bathroom so I could see what was going on. Sweet! Shaking my head side to side my left eye ball would continue in that direction since it was still paralyzed. Well of course it was repeated the third time, are you kidding? This was the coolest thing to watch. Ha, ha, ha.
Peripheral nerve pain? I have to say no to this. In fact I have to say that I feel my feeling in my hands and feet is as good if not better than a “normal” person’s. At the YMCA, when I could still afford to go, I could feel the sand on the bottom of the whirlpool (they had sand filters). I am always getting scrapes, scratches, and other boo boos. Most I feel but there are some of those that are mystery wounds. I do have an extremely high pain tolerance. I dislocated my shoulder but worked for 3 and half years before it was really figured out and fixed. No, no, no it slid out and back in that day. 3 times mind you but I was not walking around with misplaced shoulder all those years. And as a testament to not being a slow healer, they said I would be at least 3 months before returning to work, maybe as long as 6. Very proud to say it was only 2 1/2 months before they released me back onto my employer. I just talked about how sensitive my feet are but I have stepped on a nail that impaled it bottom to top. I just limped into the house pulled the shoe off and mom made me go get a tetanus shot. That hurt worse than the nail in the metatarsals.
Memory? I think my memory is good, I didn’t say perfect. I can remember things pretty well day to day and decade to decade. What was I just talking about? Oh yeah.
List Franc Fracture? Here’s one to look up when your bored. I never heard of it before the doctor told me it was what he thought I had. There was one catch to this diagnosis. He says it is a common thing for diabetics to get. I can not find anything on line about it being a diabetic complication. Here’s the low down on this one. This is when the bones high up in the foot are pulled apart and dislocated. Yes like the shoulder. It is also called a dislocation fracture although no bones are actually broken. They ran every test they could. X-ray, CAT scan, and an MRI all to no avail as there was nothing but arthritis showing on any of them. Hey I was 45 when this happened, not just over the hill but half way back under it again.
As far as anything else, I have never let the fact that I am a diabetic stop me from doing anything a “normal” person would do. Body piercing, eating all kinds of foods not diabetic related, just not pigeon holing myself into a stereo type. I had at one time used a pump but found it too cumbersome and problematic for me. Now if I go to the beach I can jump in the water without worrying about getting an infection at the infusion site (done that one already just not with water) or getting the infusion port ripped off and being left with no insulin until I get home (again been there done this). The pump is wonderful don’t get me wrong but it is not for everyone and I am that everyone.
Prone to infections? Well my doctor will give you quick and hearty “YES!” I am not so quick in my answer. If he only knew how many times I have been opened up and who knows what germs have gotten in there with no complications. I do have to say on the other hand I know why he is so, ahhhhhhh, judgmental here. I have almost died from two massive systemic infections. One he told me years later he had not expected to see me again after sending me straight to the hospital. Remember that piercing I was talking about. Yeah, it did not go well the first time around. I love the TV show NCIS: New Orleans with Agent King’s famous words “Go learn things.” Whenever I have made a mistake, I learn from it. I found later I had been using the wrong soap. Antibacterial hand soap is not good enough. You need to use surgical soap. So I did it again months later after the original hole has healed and this one was a success. The other infection was after getting bit at work. No not the neighbors dog, a human bite. One of the most infectious bites you can get. It ranks right up there with a Kamodo Dragon bite. I was bit on the forearm Saturday afternoon and ended up in the hospital Monday night after work. I was not going to leave them short handed. Fever and all I stuck it out. I saw the redness in a maybe 4 inch circle around the bite and was very surprised and little scared as the doctor drew a marker line up just a few inches from my shoulder. Holy infections Batman! It took some really good antibiotics (two of them) to get rid of this one. The one wasn’t so bad the other one made it feel like I ants UNDER the skin all over my upper body. Well two days later I was released back again onto my employer, poor people.
These are about all I can think of for complications or usual diabetic complications. After reading about other who have had a much worse time with more and more devastating issues, folks my hat is off to you.