Taking care of business: dotting the eyes
When it comes to diabetes, I’m generally resistant to change. I’ve been using the same insulin, Novolog, for years. I’ve tested with One Touch Ultras since they were introduced as the least-blood-required strip on the market. It took six years of coaxing by doctors to get me to try a pump, and since then, I’ve never used anything but MiniMed pump with a Silhouette infusion set. I even stick the same finger, with the same lancet, over and over for weeks. (OK, that last one is a slight exaggeration. A slight one).
When it comes to my eyes, though, I am a horrible procrastinator and I have no loyalty. My last four dilated eye exams have been by different ophthalmologists in different practices at intervals much longer than the advisable twelve months. It’s a part of diabetes treatment that I really hate. The scheduling of appointments around times when I can get a ride to and from the office. The burning drops, the boring waiting rooms, the blinding light, the blurry afternoons. The prognosis that there are a few micro-aneurysms but, not to worry, because it’s common in people with diabetes. I loathe going to the ophthalmologist (almost as much as I loathe trying to spell it!).
But, you know what I also don’t like? This conversation, which I have far too often.
Endo: So, when was your last dilated eye exam?
Me: Umm….. I think it was in November.
Endo: This past November?
Me: Uh, no. I think it was the November before that.
Endo: You really need to get that checked.
Me: Yeah, I know.
So – finally – I just made an appointment, for March 28th. It’s with a doctor I haven’t seen before (surprise!), but she’s on my insurance plan and her office is only a mile from my house, so I should be able to walk there. I admit, though, that it’s a walk is along a busy, narrow, winding road that isn’t really friendly to pedestrians – especially those with blurred vision. Hey, sometimes we’ve gotta do what we know isn’t particularly safe or right, or we’d never get anything done, right? (I should write a blog post about that someday). I’ve driven after these exams before (the doctors said I’d be fine with sunglasses), and was terrified doing so. Never again.
While I’m dreading the 28th, I recognize it’s a necessary evil that will get me out of that tired old conversation with my endocrinologist again. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even go back to her again next year!