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
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.
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.