BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation. I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any terms which might be ambiguous, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me. Lastly, you'll find typos here, although I do my best to correct them. There are reasons for this, which you'll discover as you read.

Saturday, 14 October 2017


A couple of weeks ago I had a fluoroscopy test at my local eye clinic. The way they left it, they said that the images would be analysed the next day: if further treatment was required then they would contact me that day; otherwise, they wouldn't contact me. I thought at the time that this was a pretty poor way of doing things, but this is today's NHS - always the lowest common denominator in terms of quality. It must be really frustrating for its employees to work so hard in delivering such a poor service.

There was no phone call either the next day or subsequently, so I dared to think that the test may have been OK. Then, yesterday, I got this letter with an outpatient appointment to receive some treatment.

I might be quite laid back about such treatment. The problem, as I understand it, is that some blood is leaking into my eyeball (although I cannot notice it). Their default solution is to stop the blood flowing by cautorizing the leaky blood vessels. They do this with a laser. The only problem with this is that as well as cautorizing leaky cells, the laser also zaps any good cells that it happens to hit. Also, I have been told that no other solution exists.

The reason I know about laser treatment is because I've had it before. It didn't work, and I ended up having to have injections (which *did* work). But whilst the process is painless enough, my perception is that the laser worsened my vision. So, my wariness about lasers is borne out of experience.

It seems that the NHS wants me to have laser treatment again. I did say that I had been through the laser process, unsuccessfully, before, but it would appear that the doctor wasn't listening, or wasn't prepared to take my view on board. Hence my quandry. I'm 80/20 right now on skipping the appointment altogether. After all, I'm really not prepared to give my consent for this treatment without further thought, so there's little point in wasting this guy's time.

This disease - diabetes - really is awful. It is gradually robbing me of my health and my sight, and will eventually rob me of my life.

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