Last February I was sucker punched by my worst fear – retinopathy. This dark cloud has hovered over me for 30 years and I knew it would inevitably make it’s way to the surface. Ryan was actually with me at the appointment and I think we were both a little shocked when Dr. Smith of Classic Vision noticed numerous hemorrhages in my right eye. After having time to process the bad news, I gathered the courage to write about it in, Diabetic Retinopathy Is Finally On The Radar. When it was clear three months later my eyes were not getting better, he referred me to a specialist. After a series of additional tests at the Dean McGee Eye Institute, I was given the green light to live life and return in 12 months for a follow-up. Hemorrhages had been detected, but they could have been caused by other factors like stress, blood pressure in addition to diabetes.
The day had come and it was time to schedule my follow-up exam. Was retinopathy still on the radar?
I’ve made it clear in my writing I don’t buy into the ignorance is bliss motto, so I made my appointment. I sweet talked my sister into helping me document the suspenseful event and as we waited for the results, she asked, “Are you scared?” I quickly responded – What is there to be scared of? I’ve already been given the bad news and the situation has either improved or worsen. In all honesty, I didn’t have any emotions other than wanting the results so I could move forward with whatever was necessary to ensure a long lived life with my eyesight.
In this video, Dr. Smith shares the results of the images taken that would reveal any hemorrhages.
WHEW! The hemorrhages have left the building, well except for that one lingering little bastard who has since received an eviction notice. I had to ask myself – has anything changed in my life that could have effected the outcome of my results? With zero scientific data, I created a list of a few changes in my life since my last appointment.
- I stepped down from an incredibly stressful career as an Executive Director.
- I began a regular meditation practice.
- I started an additional layer of spiritual healing. This might sound crazy, but it works for me. I honestly had to be taught to love myself.
- After two grueling years of chemo and radiation, my dad is finally cancer free. The burden of overseeing his company, seeing him deteriorate and helping my mom took quite the toll on my health.
At the end of the day, my diabetes regimen hadn’t changed, but my level of stress has. I’m not suggesting this would work for everyone, but it worked for me and I’m incredibly thankful. This fairly clean slate will be a reminder as to how important “taking it down a notch” can be for my overall health.