I had planned to blog about it after the appointment...as I did after I saw Dr. Eyes last year...and as I did after my retinal screening with Dr. Ben last summer.
But instead I'd like to tell you what I feel before I go. Because there is no way to prepare. And because you may feel this way, too.
I'm typing this post with a blood sugar of 393. No, nothing's wrong with my diabetes management (she explains to her nonD-audience). Just a typical day. I know why my blood sugar is high today. I know that it's "my fault" because I ate a snack and forgot to bolus insulin for it because I'm still unpacking boxes and chasing my tiny minions around. My continuous monitoring sensor was weeks old, so I trashed it this morning after my shower and also forgot to apply a new one. My pre-lunch blood sugar was normal. Etc. Etc. D-bullshit and such. Just explaining that life is full of pre-occupations right now. This is not the most interesting paragraph of my life.
But it makes me think about how, even if I never slipped up, even if I never got it "wrong," I'd still have no idea whether or not eye complications were here or not. They're not visible to the person experiencing them and they happen to people with diabetes without discrimination. I'm not having any floaters, blurs, headaches, etc. No reason to be concerned except for the reality of almost 24 years with this disease.
My history with eye concerns is complicated. First, it looked like I had serious problems (with no symptoms) as a college kid, then my eyes looked perfect as a young adult, and then, in 2013, I saw the very first little needling of problems - pinhole sized hemorrhages in my retinas. And by saw, I mean that someone showed me. Because I see just fine.
Every six months, the old pinholes have reabsorbed, but new ones are nearby. The exam photos never look the same. Like a kaleidoscope slowly turning, each field slightly different from the last time you looked through it.
I have - quite literally - no idea what Dr. Eyes will see tomorrow when she stares into that scope. And that's the terrifying thing about going to the eye doctor as a person with diabetes.
We sit down at that roulette table, lean toward the equipment, and call our bets. Wait for the spinning, spinning to stop. Hear the call. Deal with the aftermath.
I've seen too many friends dealt such painful, painful losses at that table. I've read an equal number of jubilant status updates and tweets where they walked away with full pockets.
I will never forget the day I sat in my car outside an ophthalmologist's office 16 years ago and cried my eyes out, alone in my car. Never more alone. Or the dances I've done walking out with the words "no diabetes in your eyes" still ringing in my ears.
Tomorrow, I hope to bet against the House. And I hope the ball stops gently...wherever it happens to stop.
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold"
---The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats