Diabetic Macular Edema, Pt. 1

So, tomorrow I will be travelling to a neighbouring city to receive treatment for Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). This is a condition that is defined by an accumulation of fluid at the back of the macula, which is the part of the retina that helps to control our vision.

There are a number of causes for DME, but one that applies in my case is simply that I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for an extended period of time (thirty-six years, in fact).

The treatment includes injections into the eyes that help to dry up the fluid in the macula and alleviate the swelling it causes at the back of the eye. The eye is frozen by way of anesthesia drops. This allows for movement of the eye, but it prevents the pain associated with sticking it with a needle! Then, the ophthalmologist places a small needles into the white of the eye and injects a specialized medication into the vitreous body, which is the jelly-like substance that fills the inside of the eye.

Generally, the freezing drops wear off within twenty to thirty minutes and my head becomes a pulsing ball of pain. I can still see, although most of it is simply shapes and bright light, due to the dilated pupils required for the scans prior to the injections. A nap for an hour or two helps to take the edge off (plus, I get to have a nap!) and I can alleviate pain through more traditional methods throughout the evening.

By the next morning, besides the eyes being a little bit dry, I’m back to normal and can head home. It’s a nasty process that I have to repeat every eight weeks. In the beginning, I was receiving treatment every four weeks, but as better control and reduced swelling have been achieved, we’ve managed to taper it off to the eight weeks I’m currently sitting at.

Tomorrow, I will share photographs of the aftermath. Since it involves the eyeballs, it may be a bit much for some people, so be warned. The photographs will show the injection site and resulting irritation to the eyeball that it causes.

For more information on Diabetic macular Edema, you can visit the WebMD site at https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetic-macular-edema#1

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Published by

Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life.

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