Soon after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2006, Jacqueline Miller was referred by her primary care physician to ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Freedman of Eye Care Specialists.
“At first, I thought I just needed glasses because my vision was so blurry. But then, once I was diagnosed, and I started insulin and cutting my carbohydrate intake, my vision got better.”
Freedman notes, “Ms. Miller is fortunate that she had a doctor who realized the value of getting a baseline eye examination upon diagnosis of diabetes.
That way, we have been able to carefully monitor her condition to protect and preserve her vision.”
Retired from working for 36 years as a Programmer Analyst for the City of Milwaukee, Miller is out from behind a desk and busy with her next project.
“I have to get this body back into shape!” she exclaims.
To do so, Miller has joined a fitness club with her cousin where they enjoy water aerobics and working with a trainer. “We’re on the buddy system,” she chuckles.
She is proud to report that, through diet and exercise, she has been able to reduce both her insulin intake and A1C level (a blood test that reflects blood sugar levels over a period of 2-3 months).
Another part of healthy living for Miller includes regular visits to Freedman.
As part of her care, Miller has had 15 Avastin medication injections since 2011 to inhibit progression of diabetes-related damage to her retina.
She admits that she was initially apprehensive about the procedure, but is now comfortable with it.
In fact, during her last office visit, she found herself answering questions and reassuring a fellow patient who was about to have his first procedure.
Miller also likes to share her new healthy insights with her family.
“When I see younger family members eating too much sugar or carbohydrates, I tell them to watch what they eat.
I tell them about everything I’m going through.”
Miller is also cooking with a careful eye on labels.
“I love to cook! I’m always trying to find good low-carb recipes.” “Ms. Miller has the right idea!” says Freedman. “Patients like her who take steps to get healthy make my job a lot easier.”
A little astonished by the fact that she was chosen to help educate the public about diabetic eye disease, Miller says, “I don’t know why you picked me, but if it’s going to help someone, then I have no problem with it.
This (diabetic eye disease) is something serious, and people need to take it serious.”