Let me first say I'm thrilled that, "Arden's retinal nerve looks good". I'm super happy in fact that this is the third year running that I've heard those words. However, it is difficult even in the face of such good news not to dwell for a moment on the bigger picture. Arden visits a pediatric ophthalmologist yearly because she has type I diabetes not because we are super careful parents with an unlimited insurance policy. She visits because her endo fears that her eyes may be beautiful little ticking time-bombs.
"Ten years" the doc says. "We don't usually see complications until ten years after diagnosis". Every year she says the same thing to me as if it's of some comfort. Each time she says those words I I think the same thing, "She'll only be twelve then". This year the doctor must have seen the sadness in my face when she spoke those words because she followed up with, "but they'll be all kinds of new stuff by then, treatments, procedures..." I hope she didn't think that felt in any way comforting to me.
It hit me hardest this year as we walked out of the exam room. Arden was rockin her temp shades and making the best of the day. She knows we visit this doctor because of her type I but that's really the extent of her grasp on the situation. She doesn't know that we come every year hoping to not hear that her vision has been compromised by diabetes but she'll figure that out soon enough. Thankfully, for now that's only our burden to shoulder.
For today, I'm just happy that Arden gets to treat this visit like a day off from school and a chance to try and overcome those ugly sunglasses with her good attitude and sense of style.
If you or your child has type I diabetes and aren't currently seeing an ophthalmologist as a regular part of your care... please start as soon as you can. Ignoring your future is far worse then existing for a few moments in an unpleasant present.