Eye eye

By | 6 April, 2009

Having diabetes (no, really) I have a morbid fear of complications. Well, not so much “morbid” just a general disquiet that things might go wrong in the future. After all, poor blood glucose management can lead to a plethora of problems, as we all know from the piles of leaflets we were given when we first diagnosed (and which have since remained under a copy of the IKEA catalogue hidden in a drawer somewhere).

The list of things that can wrong is pretty long – eyes, kidneys, fingers, heads, shoulders, knee and toes, knees and toes. So much so it’s almost easier to make a list of things that will definitely not go wrong and so for the interests of the Intermaweb community I have compiled a full and complete list here:

1.    Nape of neck
2.    Eyelashes

Although saying that, I’m always astounded that I have any eyelashes at all given the number I regularly shake out of my rather filthy keyboard (never go for a white keyboard like I did, it just shows up the dirt, darling).

Anyway, as a result of this morbid fear I get my eyes checked out twice a year. Once during  my regular MOT at the hospital, where they take photos of my eyes and send them over the Intermaweb to the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion where a poor sod spends all her or his days looking at pictures of eyes for burst or leaking blood vessels. It must be weird having all those eyes looking at you all day – I bet half of the operators have incurable paranoia.

The other biannual appointment is with Margaret, my friendly local optometrist who is a specialist in diabetes and does a far more thorough job than they do at hospital.

Eye tests for diabetics are free in Scotland (hurrah! Every cloud and all that) but it’s almost impossible to escape from Margaret’s grasp without spending money. It starts simply:

Now, while we wait for those drops to start working, let’s go over and have a look at the sunglasses.

Hmm, okay…

And twenty minutes later I leave with a full bill of health for my eyes but clutching a newly bought pair of Ray Ban sunglasses. The NHS may be free at the point of entry, but if Margaret has anything to do with it, it’s certainly not free at the point of exit.

They do look very cool though.

Category: check ups Tags: ,

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Abbott's Libre flash glucose monitor.

8 thoughts on “Eye eye

  1. Cecile

    Could you perhaps export Margaret to ZA? Leaving a checkup here sans sunglasses can be quite traumatic – our sun is brazenly exhibitionistic, and facing it with dilated pupils brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it…

  2. Annette A

    Scottish sun? (More like cloud smoothered than cloud bedecked.) Seems like almost every time I’ve been anywhere near the country, its rained. The only benefit being, that keeps down the midges. I seem to recall Billy Connolly saying that Scottish people were blue (due to lack of tanning rays).

  3. Cecile

    If Scots are blue and English people are red (because of their mad doggish habit of going out in the midday sun), what colours are the Welsh and the Northern Irish?

  4. Annette A

    I think perhaps the Welsh are greenish brown, so they can disappear into the background? ‘Cos North Wales, at least, seems to be solely populated with displaced Scousers…

  5. Cecile

    If those Scousers are disenchanted footie fans, shame on them; they should go to the Cape doves in my garden and become wise – daylong they’re still loyally cooing “Go, go, Liverpool!” (And with “Scottish sun”, I seem to have pried open a British tribal hornet’s nest…as far as colour goes, does the same go for all the different tribes’ diabetics, too? Because then I’m Scottish – thanks to my socks :D)

  6. Cecile

    And where’s Shoot Up’s own Scouser, @alison? We’re in need of a firm hand to deLiver us from this incongruous (&undiabetic) pool we’re paddling in…

  7. Tim Post author

    It’s actually been quite sunny lately in Edinburgh. When it gets really hot though you can hear the sizzling of cooking pasty Scottish skin from well over the border!


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