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Diabetes & Sight Loss – Tina’s Story

A headshot of Tina against a black background. Tina is smiling and wears glasses.“I’ve been living with diabetes for over 50 years and have been using an insulin pump for 12 years, as well as a continual glucose monitor (CGM) for the last year. I lost my sight when I went in for a cataract operation and my blood sugars went out of control and affected my eyes.  

After I lost my sight, I had to learn new techniques for everything. I have a magnifier which I can use to see information on my devices, and I have a talking CGM. Before I had the insulin pump it was very cumbersome and frustrating to manage my diabetes, but now I have the insulin pump my diabetic health is almost perfect. The pump has managed to improve my blood sugar range and the blood flow to my eyes, which has stabilized my sight even more because my sugars are in the right place.

The positives are that I have a wonderful diabetes clinic who I can phone up any time and get answers to my questions. The interactions I’ve had with my insulin pump manufacturer have also been positive. When I call them up, they are accommodating when I tell them that I have sight loss and they talk me through the steps I need to take. 

The frustration is the inaccessibility. When the alarm goes off in the night I have to get up and find my magnifying glass to see what it is saying. The technology already exists, as we have talking CGMs and talking watches. If manufacturers created an accessible insulin pump that would make a big difference in my life.” – Tina