Doctor of optometry sees patient through pregnancy and diabetes

November 15, 2021
Kelly Rosemann is a wife and mother of three who works in the eye care industry. Rosemann also is one of an estimated 34 million Americans with diabetes. Together Roseman and her doctor of optometry, David Prange, O.D., have been able to stay ahead of diabetes to make sure the disease never became sight-threatening.
Kelly Rosemann with her two daughters and David Prange, O.D.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARK KATZMAN

Kelly Rosemann is a wife and mother of three who works in the eye care industry. Rosemann also is one of an estimated 34 million Americans with diabetes, and she can tell you the exact date she was diagnosed.

“July 31, 1984,” says Rosemann, who later in life would see her diabetes become a factor in her pregnancy. “It was the day before my fifth birthday. I will never forget. I turned five on Aug. 1. I have been living with type 1 diabetes for 37 years.

“I don’t remember life without diabetes.” -Kelly Rosemann

Then, her family carried around a suitcase-sized glucometer system, not like the discreetly worn continuous glucose monitor and insulin pump she wears today. Technology, Rosemann says, has been a game-changer, giving her freedom she’d thought she’d lost. She is able to live life with diabetes, as opposed to diabetes ruling her life.

“Life is so different now than it was then,” observes Rosemann, whose diabetes was well under control. “It is truly like wearing a pancreas on the belt of my pants. I can almost live a normal life.”

Not to say there haven’t been complications. During both of her pregnancies, she developed some worrisome hemorrhaging and cotton wool spots in her eyes, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy, carefully monitored by David Prange, O.D.

Diabetes interferes with the body's ability to use and store sugar (glucose). The disease is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes. Over time, diabetes damages small blood vessels throughout the body, including the retina. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these tiny blood vessels leak blood and other fluids. This causes the retinal tissue to swell, resulting in cloudy or blurred vision. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely they will develop diabetic retinopathy and if left untreated, it can cause blindness.

“I didn’t notice anything with my vision,” says Rosemann, whose A1C was in the 5.0 range.

“We were able to keep on it and make sure it was never sight-threatening,” says Dr. Prange, who provided updates on her condition to her primary care physician and a retina specialist, and he urged Rosemann to keep her blood sugars low. "As part the care team for patients living with diabetes, optometrists are able to help provide care for the entire body."

"As part the care team for patients living with diabetes, optometrists are able to help provide care for the entire body." David Prange, O.D.

This was not uncommon as pregnant women face a higher risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Fortunately, early detection and treatment can limit the potential for significant vision loss from the condition.

“We were able to keep on it and make sure it was never sight-threatening,” says Dr. Prange, who provided updates on her condition to her primary care physician and a retina specialist, and he urged Rosemann to keep her blood sugars low. "As part the care team for patients living with diabetes, optometrists are able to help provide care for the entire body."

Shortly after each of her children, Violet and Iris, were born, the hemorrhages and spots went away. Her diabetes regimen continues.

David Prange, O.D.David Prange, O.D.

A graduate of the University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Optometry, David Prange, O.D., is a practicing doctor of optometry at Cherry Hill Family Eye Care in Wildwood, MO, with more than 22 years of experience in the medical field. He previously served in the military, where one of his many accomplishments was providing eye care for more than 120,000 beneficiaries at high volume hospital based optometry clinic while serving as Assistant Chief of Optometry at the Ireland Army Hospital in Ft. Knox, KY.

He is a member of the American Optometric Association, St. Louis Optometric Society and the Missouri Optometric Association, where he served as a past committee member for Clinical/Educational Affairs.

Dr. Prange lives with his wife Becky and their three children. He enjoys being involved with their children’s activities and hobbies in his spare time.

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