Monday, April 20, 2020

Sportscasting My Diabetic Retinopathy in a Pandemic

These are strange, surreal times of the COVID-19 crisis. We're all in various forms of lockdown, everything we know is different and what once seemed "normal" is anything but these days.

Yes, I have a Spotify playlist dubbed "In Quarantine Pandemic Playlist." And while I've been a remote worker with a home office for most of the past decade, everything in 2020 is now quite different -- except a high-level, the fact that I still have type 1 diabetes and need to maintain everything as far as D-management, public health emergency or not.

Alcohol wipes and rarely-changed lancets have taken on new meanings these days, and the thought of having enough supplies and meds on hand while navigating my D-care via telehealth are certainly realities lately.

We are without live real-time sports. The baseball season's postponed and dramatically different, there was no March Madness college basketball and the professional hockey season's on hold. Many have turned to watching sportscasters doing play-by-plays on regular people doing normal tasks out in the world, to past events being re-run with current chatter about those historic events.

All of that leads me to my retinopathy and diabetes story, which... if you wait for it... is going to be a play-cast.

First, a refresher:


Back in those "normal" times of 2019, I had shared that my diabetic retinopathy had progressed to the point of needing laser treatment in my left eye. Remember, I've been living with retinopathy since getting first word of that diagnosis back in my early 20s over a decade ago. But it was never rising to the level of needing anything more than good blood sugar management. Until last year.

Of course, the anticipation of the laser treatment was much worse than the actual procedure itself. No different than looking into a bunch of rapid-flashing bright camera flash lights, and then an afternoon of recovery due to the dilating drops. And all seemed OK. In the months following, we kept tabs on the recovery and then in February 2020, my eye doc mentioned that all seemed and fully healed from that laser treatment.

"Hoskins was a strong player with a consistent record, but then he got rocked by injury in his left eye and that benched him for a bit. He rocked the recovery, and was ready to get back into the swing of the season."

WOOHOO, VICTORY!

Well, not so fast.

Turns out, my left eye that had the lasers had developed two micro-aneurysms since our last visit. This appeared unconnected to the laser treatment, but because they were a bit closer to the central stream of vision and my retina, Dr. Eye wanted me to see a specialist for a more in-depth analysis of what's needed. He believes an injection might be necessary and she'll be the one to take care of that.

We had scheduled an appt in early March, but everything was just starting to materialize into a public health emergency with routine doctor appts being cancelled and shifted to virtual telehealth. Out of an abudance of cautionm, we postponed my appointment a few weeks. And we did that again later in March, to a time TBD once all this starts transitioning back to "normal" in some ways...

And here we are.

"The team was on a winning stretch, overcoming injury and learning from losses. And there was hope, that a strong coaching staff and string of players who could carry the burden while the rest of the team recovers to full strength. And then, there'd be a promise of finding their way back to having a fighting chance of making it to the post-season."

"Suddenly the league collapsed and all the games were cancelled. Coaches couldn't coach, players couldn't practice or play. The season is on hold... Everyone is anxious, hoping the season can resume at some point and all will be OK."

Pandemic Mode Retinopathy

After a week of noticing my right eye vision was a bit cloudy, and I started noticing at times some dark shades and even dark hair-like floaters in my line of sight, I began getting nervous.

"Hoskins hesitated, seeing the base-runner was a bit too far off 1st and he wanted to keep tabs on him for a moment. But the umpire calls a BALK! Oh, what a blunder... he should've been more decisive there!"

Wow, what a stream of consciousness...

That's all for now.

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