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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

49 Ways to Make a Living in the Philippines

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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Doug Thompson
Guest

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
Guest

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
Guest

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

Bob Martin
Guest

Thanks, Mike.

Greg Schulze
Guest

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
Guest

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
Guest
David Michael Naylor

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
Guest

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
Guest

I know you can do it.

Wyatts Torch Farm
Guest

Hang in there Bob.

Doug Thompson
Guest

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
Guest

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

Bob Martin
Guest

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
Guest

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

Robert Burney
Guest

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
Guest

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

Steve Baker
Guest
Steve Baker

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
Guest

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
Guest
bigp

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.

Bruce Cinader
Guest

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
Guest

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
Guest

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

Bob Martin
Guest

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

Dennis Glass
Guest
Dennis Glass

Good luck Bob

MindanaoBob
Guest

Thank you Dennis.

Brent Finger
Guest

Wishing you the best Bob. Have you looked into possibly coming over to the states to look into this eye surgery? There are so many more options here for just your situation. Not sure if this is something that you have talked about with your family. Either way, just research the heck out of this so you may find things to help.

Bob Martin
Guest

Hi Brent, no, I have not thought of going to the US. We have excellent medical care here, and I have full confidence in it. When you say there are more options there, what options are you thinking of? As far as I know, everything in the USA is also availabl ehere as well.

Brent Finger
Guest

Was thinking more specialist like somewhere like stanford or uc davis. Places that all they do 24/7 is your type of eye issue. I understand the Philippines has lots of medical care but have you found the Dr’s that all they do is your medical issues with lots of operations . Maybe there is just don’t know first hand myself. Hopefully you can get to a point where it stables out and not get any worse .

Bob Martin
Guest

We have specialists of all kinds right here in Davao. We have eye specialists who were even trained at the kinds of places that you mention. Yes, I have had several doctors in the past month who do nothing but this. People who do dozens of eye surgeries each and every day. Do’t worry, we have great medical care here, and I am being treated by the hospital that has the most advanced equipment available. Just as important, I have my family here and close friends who support me and openly give their emotional support. I am getting excellent care,… Read more »

Brent Finger
Guest
Edgardo Blancaflor Dominguez
Guest

Bob Martin, my wife has a type 2 diabetes for over 15 years, she did pretty in the first years, die, walking and swimming but as years past, prolong standing work and fatigue as slows here down, she stopped the walking and swimming, medicine dosage Keeps going up and increase frequency which also makes her sick. But the last, 12 months, she made adjustments on her diet, fish, vegetable and BROWN RICE. Her doctor was surprised and lowered her dosage.

Bob Martin
Guest

Thank you for sharing. I am glad that your wife gas been able to make some good changed.

Paul Thompson
Member

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
Guest

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

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