I visit my ophthalmologist every year, like clockwork, and for the first time yesterday, he told me that I have some bleeding associated with neovascularization in both of my eyes. He said it's not bad yet, and it's nowhere near my maculas, but I'm still trying very hard not to freak out. I know almost all diabetics experience some degree of retinopathy, and I know that after 17.5 years, it was about time for my number to be up, but...I'm not ready. This is the first complication I've experienced, and I'm really scared.
I'm not scared about the retinopathy in and of itself, per se, at least not yet. He referred me to a retinal specialist (going the day after tomorrow), but he said it was just as a precaution, he doesn't think I'll need laser treatments yet. So it's not so much this stage of the retinopathy that is bothering me. It's more that I know that this is just the first in a long list of problems that are going to start happening with my body. Even if it's 5 years, 10 years, before something else, this is the beginning, and that's a really sobering and disheartening thought. I'm only 25, I'm not ready for my body to start shutting down.
I always knew the diabetes would catch up with me, and I guess it's surprising that it took this long, but it's just a huge bummer. Please, someone, make me feel better. Tell me you've been experiencing retinopathy for 30 years with no problems. Tell me you've had complications and you're still alive, healthy, and happy. Please just tell me you understand. Because right now, despite my amazing support system (specifically my parents and my husband), I feel so alone.
Edited to add: Please no horror stories. I literally don't think I can handle hearing that right now.