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  • Holly Shaltz
    Hi, all :) I m Holly Shaltz, a weaver and spinner since the mid 80s, and a long-term diabetic finally diagnosed August 08 (A1c 11.1). Unfortunately, in spite
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2010
      Hi, all :) I'm Holly Shaltz, a weaver and spinner
      since the mid 80s, and a long-term diabetic
      finally diagnosed August 08 (A1c 11.1).
      Unfortunately, in spite of getting my blood sugar
      under tight control (no A1c over 5.1 since January
      2009), my eyes and other parts of my body don't
      seem to understand the new rules :)

      To sum up, I've had Diabetic Macular Edema for
      about a year now, mostly in the left eye but the
      right appears to be going that way, too.
      Aggressive treatment, including laser surgery and
      injections of Avastin, have not helped. I finally
      had a vitrectomy on May 25th. Everything went
      very well, but about 10 days later (June 5th) I
      woke up with severe double vision and that has not

      The left eye just doesn't line up with the right
      anymore. Also, the vision from the vitrectomy
      remains quite impaired - like looking at things
      through a film of oil. Not to mention the
      cataracts I have in both eyes but can't get fixed
      until the retinopathy and DME is under control.

      I go back to my retinologist this morning for a
      full exam to see how things are going, and he told
      me by phone that if the DV hasn't cleared up by
      today, he will refer me to another specialist. I
      suspect I have cranial nerve damage, based on a
      book, _Diabetic Eye Disease_, by Dr Paul Chous,
      but won't know until I see the specialist, if
      then. If that's so, the condition may clear up
      spontaneously, but according to what I've read in
      the book and elsewhere, they typically wait 6
      months before trying any treatments.

      At the same time, just to let you know where I am,
      I have damage in my shoulder that causes a lot of
      pain. I had an MRI on Wednesday and haven't heard
      the results yet as to what sort of damage is
      there. Physical therapy made it much worse, and
      it was my therapist who suggested the MRI saying
      that when she sees my kind of response to the
      therapy she suspects a torn muscle. Very possibly
      surgery is in the near future.

      So I'm living in a frustrated world right now -
      can't do fine work because of the eyes, can't do
      gross-motor stuff because of the shoulder! :) And
      very much in limbo regarding treatment and
      prognosis. My gut feeling is my eyes are going
      downhill faster than treatment can manage, but
      partly that feeling is because if I prepare for
      the worst, sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised.

      On the weaving side, I have a website,
      <http://www.hjsstudio.com>, that shows my love,
      weaving with handspun yarns. I can't prepare and
      spin fibers well right now because of the shoulder
      - the eyes don't help, for that matter. I also
      weave a lot with commercial cottons, but don't
      have any pictures up of my work there. I have a
      45" 8 shaft Schacht floor loom, and I have the use
      of a 16 shaft 60" manual dobby AVL.

      The latter was reconditioned when purchased by a
      friend, who later asked me to store it for her
      when she needed the space for her mother-in-law,
      in exchange for using it. I'm not great friends
      with that loom (the dobby keeps picking up or
      dropping shafts unexpectedly - and even with my
      eyes fully functioning that was hard to see in
      time - but did do the 16-shaft napkin pattern (an
      original pattern based on an old linen napkin) in
      the May-June 2010 Handwoven as part of the
      exchange under the study group projects - Lake
      Charlevoix Area Weavers Guild.

      Which brings me to one more thing - sorry to be so
      wordy, but I *always* am! I live in NW lower
      Michigan, which is 4+ hours from major population
      centers and hospitals and services. I have only
      dial-up access to the net. I've not been able to
      find any sources of low-vision services in this
      area. Googling various keywords has, at best,
      resulted in commercial eye clinics way downstate.
      Does anyone know of any free services to people
      with temporary or permanent vision problems -
      teaching people how to manage with low vision?
      I'd like to be able to resume as much of my life
      as possible, but right now I keep seeing brick
      walls, no doors or windows.

      OK, sorry for the long intro! I look forward to
      meeting other weavers with similar issues, and
      learning whatever tips and tricks you can suggest
      for dealing with vision problems as a weaver -
      especially threading and seeing weaving errors in
      time to easily correct them. I really, really
      don't want to give up my weaving. It fills a need
      in me that I didn't know I had when I first picked
      up a shuttle.

      Now the arm is warning me to get off the computer! :)


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