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I can see clearly, just not with my eyes!

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If you read my article yesterday you know about my battle with Diabetic Retinopathy.  My vision became increasingly worse in 2015, and things got really bad just after the New Year in 2016.  I had to take action.

My good friend Lourdes

My good friend Lourdes

Visa Assistance

I got bad news at my recent follow up visit at the eye clinic, and I am not doing great. I mean, I do have a positive attitude, and I intend to do all I can to overcome the news that I got, but it would have been better/nicer to get good news instead of bad.

So, what was the bad news? Well, I went in for my follow up eye exam, and what I was told was not what I was expecting to hear. When the doctor examined my eyes using a microscope, I heard him saying things like “hmmm” “Oh” and such. I was not sure if that indicated good or bad, but I suspected bad, and I was right. After the exam he told me that he wanted to have another doctor take a look for a second opinion, but he felt that he was seeing that the retina in my left eye was partially detached, like it was peeling away from the interior of my eye. He said that the “peeling” stopped right where the laser marks started. The second doctor came in and looked. She confirmed that it was peeling away, becoming detached.

The two doctors disagreed, though, on the significance of this discovery. Doctor #1 felt that it was very serious. Doctor #2 feels that it is not good, but she also thinks that it won’t be a big problem. She feels that the Diabetic Retinopathy was caught early enough to halt further separation of the retina. Who is right? No way to know, except for time to pass and monitor the problem regularly. Both doctors agreed that I should have a thorough eye exam monthly to monitor if further peeling occurs.

At this point, I have the option of having surgery (not laser, knife surgery) on the eye and they can re-attach the retina. It is complicated surgery, though, and very expensive (for here). Right now, my vision in me left eye is terrible, nothing but a blur really, and the doctor told me that it is doubtful that glasses would be able to help me at all. What I am unsure of right now is whether my vision could be improved with the surgery, or even if it would make it where glasses would be effective. If the vision could not be improved, or improvable then I am uncertain that there is any real value in the surgery. But, I am unsure and have to weigh it all very carefully, and get advice from at least one more doctor before I decide what to do.

So, I have had a lot to think about for the past few days. The good thing is that for the past 2 years I have been doing a fairly good job in controlling my blood glucose (this condition is a diabetes related condition). In the past couple weeks I have been doing an excellent job in control. If I can keep up the kind of control that I have been doing recently, I can really put the eye issue aside, I think, and just move forward. If I slide, well, I will suffer the consequences. I hope to continue to be the master of my body and my health, and keep good control over those things. I can do it if I make it a priority, and I have the motivation to keep it a priority.

You know, the sad thing is that as far as my general health, I am really feeling great lately. My exercise program has been going well, I have been eating very well, and I just really feel good. My general practitioner doctor says that I am in good health, as long as I control my glucose. He said I can live another 30 years if I do keep control, and I feel that I can. But, I don’t want part of those years to be in the dark.

One thing the doctor told me at he follow up visit was that having had diabetes for 25 years, my eyes are in excellent condition. Most people would be blind after 25 years of diabetes, so I should be thankful for what I have, I suppose.

Basically, at this point, given the news that has been given to me, if I don’t take good care of myself, I will probably be blind in a relatively short period of time.  How long?  Depends on how I take care of myself.  Maybe as short as a few months for my left eye. My right eye is in much better condition, so I have no idea. But, if I don’t take good care of my health, it will certainly develop the same problems that I have in the left eye.

The good news is that since moving to the Philippines, I have lost a lot of weight.  I have started exercising regularly.  I have changed my diet.  I have to do these things even more consistently in the future, and keep it up.  If I don’t, I face a bleak future in terms of my vision.  Not being able to see would be devastating, and I want to do all I can to avoid that.  And, I will do all I can.  I just hope that what I can do is enough to avoid any problems, and even bring my eye health back to being better than it is now.  I don’t know if it is possible to do that, but I am going to try.

My good friend Lourdes

I have a few very special friends here in the Philippines that I count on a lot.  I have written in the past about each of them.  One of those people is Dra. Lourdes Lebosada.  Lourdes is my dentist, but most importantly, she is really my best friend.  I count on her a lot and she is like family to me.

When Lourdes found out about my eye problems, she really sprang into action.  Being a dentist, she has many friends who are doctors of different types. Lourdes contacted one of her doctor friends who happens to be an eye doctor.  It was through this contact that I got all of my care in terms of my eye surgeries and other treatments.  Lourdes even enlisted her sister-in-law to accompany Feyma and I on all of our visits to the hospital and help navigate our way through all of the admin type tasks.  Here name is Cherry, and she is a really great lady to know!  Very helpful, and she is also developing into one of my good friends as well.  Between Lourdes and Cherry, they made the eye treatments as easy as possible for me, and they ensured that I was getting the very best of care at each step.  I want to publicly thank both of them for the efforts that the put in and the true friendship that she showed me.

So, what do you mean?

You may look at the title of this article and wonder what I mean.  “I can see clearly, just not with my eyes”.  What I mean is that with the information that I have learned in recent days, I can clearly see that there is a problem, and what I can do to control that problem as much as possible.  I can’t see clearly with my eyes, but I can see, in my mind, very clearly what my future path is to protect my vision, and I can see where I will be heading if I don’t follow the right path.  It is now up to me to make sure I stay on the proper trail.

Thanks for your support.

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Bob Martin

Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur. Bob is an American who lived in Mindanao from 2000 until 2019. Bob has now relocated back to the USA.

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Robert Burney
5 years ago

Hey my new friend… thanks for sharing this news… I want you to know one thing…. Winners Win and you have been a winner all of your life… have been and always will be…
Robert Burney

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Robert Burney

Robert, thank you very much! I appreciate your kind thoughts and kind words!

Steve Baker
Steve Baker
5 years ago

Hi Bob – So sorry to learn about your eye issues. To a certain extent, I know how you feel, as about 35 years ago (in my 20s) I had the shingles virus attack the cornea in my left eye. It was perhaps the most painful thing I had gone through in my life, and I felt sure it would result in blindness in my left eye. I had to wear an eye patch, as even the slightest light (including the luminous dial of an alarm clock at night) would cause excruciating pain. In the end, a regimine of steriodal… Read more »

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve Baker

Hi Steve – Thank you so much for your encouragement, it is greatly appreciated.

My Dad suffered with shingles when he was a child, and he, as you said and did, had to watch out his entire life for any symptoms of a return. I don’t know much about the shingles, but it seems that it is a pretty bad sickness. Much like diabetes in that way, I guess.

If I have been helpful to you with questions about the Philippines, I am happy to hear that, and you are most welcome.

bigp
bigp
5 years ago
Reply to  Steve Baker

Steve if you haven’t had a shingles virus attack during the last year you can get vaccinated for it. The shot has a pretty high success rate.

Doug Thompson
5 years ago

What I hope comes from your article, and kudos to you for publishing it, is that being diabetic is NOT A JOKE. It can take YEARS (even decades) for the complications to set it, but they will. You will always pay the piper. Take care of your health…now.

Bob Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Doug Thompson

Thank you, Doug. For me, I never considered diabetes a joke, but it was always something that I could worry about or take care of later. Well, when later came, it was probably too late. Thankfully, I have been able to get it under good control, but the damage was already done, even though I did not know it until recently.

Mike Mull
5 years ago

Jesus, Bob…. Good luck with this. … Fight! fight! fight!

Bob Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike Mull

Thanks, Mike.

Greg Schulze
5 years ago

Bob, your post was very hard lesson for all to learn. Junneth and I will continue to hold you and your family in our prayers. God Bless you and watch over you.

Bob Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Greg Schulze

Thank you Greg. Hopefully the damage is still something I can live with, just an inconvenience. If my left eye is no longer available to me that is bad, but I have to be very careful to make sure my right eye stays healthy.

David Michael Naylor
David Michael Naylor
5 years ago
Reply to  Bob Martin

Hello Bob, like you I’m T2 diabetic for at least past 30 years. I’ve been told that I have cataracts which at the moment aren’t ready to be removed. Laser treatment is rare in Philippines so I have to work out my best option, which is A) have the treatment done by my optition here in Dipolog. B) go to Manila or Cebu to have it done or C) go back to UK. My optitions name is Lacaya and he is well liked here but it’s not laser treatment. The other thing I have to weigh up is I’m 76… Read more »

MindanaoBob
5 years ago

Hi David – Actualy laser treatment is very common in the Philippines, why not check into it again, I think you will be surprised.

Since you live in Dipolog, if you are going to travel for treatment, why not consider Davao? Davao can give you treatment equal to what you would find in Cebu or Manila, and is much closer to you.

Greg Schulze
5 years ago
Reply to  Greg Schulze

I know you can do it.

Wyatts Torch Farm
5 years ago

Hang in there Bob.

Doug Thompson
5 years ago

Yes…hang in there….like this is an article fight….this is not about anything more than health. Oh…do you care? No….I think you’re just looking for clicks…

Bob Martin
5 years ago

Wyatts Torch Farm – I’m doing my best, thanks.

Bob Martin
5 years ago

I don’t understand, Doug. The way I read your comment, you think that I am not serious about what I say int he article? Or Wyatts Torch Farm? I can assure you I am serious, and Wyatts Torch Farm has been a long time friend and supporter, so I am sure his comment is serious too.

Wyatts Torch Farm
5 years ago

Hmmm I am perplexed also. You know my heart Bob
Your right

Bruce Cinader
5 years ago

Bob, I hope you can keep the blood sugar at optimum levels. I though I heard of an implant that not only monitors the levels but also keeps it at the proper levels. One other thing I heard was something about a contact lens that somehow monitored the levels to keep things on track. Hopefully you get hooked up with the very latest technology and manage another 30 years, and with eye sight.

Bob Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Cinader

Thanks, Bruce. I have my blood glucose levels in good control for about the past 2 years or so, the damage was already done, though. I don’t worry (much) about keeping control of the disease, but I hope that I can do something about the damage that I did in earlier years.

Bruce Cinader
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Cinader

Bob Martin I wish you the best of luck and hope you find the best of care.

Bob Martin
5 years ago
Reply to  Bruce Cinader

Thank you, Bruce. The care that I am getting is second to none, that is not a concern at all.

Dennis Glass
Dennis Glass
5 years ago

Good luck Bob

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Dennis Glass

Thank you Dennis.

Paul Thompson
5 years ago

Bob;
I have no sage advice, or words of wisdom for you, except to parrot back to you what you said. “It is now up to YOU to make sure YOU stay on the proper trail towards improving your health!” All I can do is wish you good health and my hope for a positive outcome. Stay strong!!!

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Paul Thompson

Hi Paul – Thanks! I can’t believe you would quote such an unqualified idiot! 🙂 ha ha… 😉 Seriously, thanks.

Ron
Ron
5 years ago

Bob you should make a trip back to the U.S. to see some eye specialists. Like you I am a diabetic have been for over 25 years so I understand the disease. I know your first reaction is going to be medical care there is as advanced as any where but it is not. As your long time friend I was shocked when you said you had never heard of Retinopathy. That comment alone told me you have not been getting proper care for the disease. Do you have an Internal Medicine specialist seeing you quarterly? If so that will… Read more »

MindanaoBob
5 years ago
Reply to  Ron

Hi Ron – You are right, I have been pretty uninformed on this up until about 2 years ago. Why? Because I did not take care of myself or even go to doctors. About 2 years ago when I had that hospitalization from the spider bite, I got a doctor and got serious about health care and especially about diabetes. Yes, I have a doctor now, and I see him regularly, in fact, his office is near my house, and he lives in my neighborhood. I see him in the office, but I also see him around my neighborhood as… Read more »

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