Sunday, November 29, 2015

Holding our own

Well, we still haven't resolved the pharmacy issue with our insurance.  But I did go ahead and switch to high option for 2016.  I decided that I would rather be broke than risk losing the house to medical bills next year!  Such a choice, huh?

Things are on a pretty even keel around here.  We are going to head to his parents in a couple of weeks to finalize a few more things on the estate and close the house up.  I will get a few things of mine that I left down there.  Hoping to only be gone 10 days, but we are driving and it will all depend on what weather we run into.  It's about 1000 miles away.

We are bringing back a power lift chair and a jazzy wheelchair in the event they are needed in the future.  So I have been purging the house, deciding where to put the chair and cleaning out the front of the garage so the wheelchair can go out there.   This is a tiny little 1100 sf house, so there's not much room for even 1 more chair!

I will get a few things of mine that I left behind and bring them home.  And then there are no plans to return.  His brother will be there this trip to help with the estate issues.

There have been no highs or lows, no medical issues, and I almost feel like this is the calm before the storm.  Ever get that feeling?  I am enjoying the quiet.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving - there is so much to be grateful for right now.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

how do you pay for all those medical expenses???

First off....feel free to post any comments you want, good or bad.  However, do not post comments that link to your website wanting to sell a product or give some kind of advice.  Just leave the link out.  If the link is there, I will delete the comment and it won't get posted.  I'm not willing to be used as a vehicle to further your business.  :)

DW2 wrote in a recent comment:

once he fell and hit his head, requiring one or two stitches. Another time I found him lying flat on the floor with hs eyes shut on the kitchen floor between the counter and the refrigerator.

and it got me to do you continue to finance the increased costs associated with diabetes?  Not just the medications and office visits....but the emergencies.  We have excellent health insurance - due to my past employment.....not his!  I am so grateful for the decisions I made throughout my career that afforded me the ability to retire at age 50 with such excellent benefits.  But what if I weren't so fortunate?

It is open enrollment time and hubby is now on Medicare.  We are going from low option on my plan to high option - another $275 per month!  But I feel that we have to increase the coverage as the co-pays and deductibles on low option will eat us alive.  And because the premiums are taken out of my retirement checks, I've told him he has to write me a check each month.

I can already see what is going to happen.....there will be excuse after excuse as to why he won't write the check - so I will have to manage my expenses on $275 less per month.

Which simply put - aggravates me!  Why am I paying for his health insurance at all?  Because I'm a good wife.  LOL!  But there are moments when I have to ask.....why should I?  Remember, he does nothing to take care of his health.  Except take pills.  It is completely and totally frustrating. 

Last month, his pharmacy dinged his bank account $966 for his Humulin.  They held the month out 9 days.  Fortunately, he had the funds to cover it.  He called the day it happened and they claim they didn't "see" his supplemental insurance on my account.  What if he hadn't had the funds to cover that for the 9 days?  What if other checks had bounced because of this?  So I filed a grievance with the health insurance company in order to get them to change their policies to insure this doesn't happen to him or anyone else.  I am learning the grievance process now.  Nothing happens fast in a huge insurance company.  We drove 75 miles to attend 2 meetings that we could schedule on the same day. Everyone agreed it is their fault....everyone agrees what needs to happen - no one knows how to make it happen.  I get a phone call about every 3 days telling me they are "working on it."  

I feel certain that his next prescription will come due before they figure out what has to happen.

And I'm sure we are not alone in this journey.  I'm sure it happens all the time.  But when it happens to you and it's almost ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS that is taken out of your account tends to make you sit up wide awake!  LOL!!!

So lets do that math.  I'm going to be out ANOTHER THREE THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS in 2016 - that's the $275 increased insurance premiums times 12 months - because of this man who refuses to comply with his diabetes plan.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

What is your greatest fear?

I think that is such a brilliant question.  As the spouse of a non-compliant diabetic  - what is your greatest  fear?

Wow!  Not sure.  It could be the progression - not knowing what will happen next.  Will he have another heart attack, need more back surgery, have his kidneys fail completely - he's stage 4 ERSD and will refuse dialysis.

Is it the prospect of future hospitalizations, medical bills, and how do we pay for them without losing the house?

I don't fear death, or being left alone (been there for the last 3 years), or coma (been there with him on that as well)  

Do I fear that he will die on "my watch"?  Perhaps sometimes.  I think it is the old question of what to do when.  He has a DNR in place, but if I don't call 911 immediately - what are the ramifications of that decision?

Perhaps I fear the unknown - just not knowing what could happen at any moment.  No - once you have jumped on this roller coaster ride of highs and lows....I think you just learn how to be flexible and go with the flow of the ride.

What about crazy anger outbursts, sugar lows or highs, this emotional spikes and rages?  No - I have learned to live through them, sad as that sounds.

No, I really do not know what my greatest fear is.  What's yours?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Diabetes, dementia and alzheimers

We know for a fact that diabetes eats away at the nerve endings in the hands and feet.  Then that process progresses to other organs.  Including the brain.  We just don't know at what rate.

We know what the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers are.  But when it comes on quite slowly, over a long period of time, to we acknowledge the signs, or do we simply write them off to other aspects of life?

Last Friday, hubby went to the store and came home with 2 nice steaks and said he would grill them for us sometime that weekend.  I said, "I'm not going to be here!" and he exclaimed, "oh! that's right!"

Wouldn't have given that conversation a second thought - EXCEPT - it was the 5th time I had reminded him in a variety of other conversations over the past week that I would not be home that weekend!

We all forget.  But to have to remind/repeat 5 that normal?

This morning he asked me what I wanted to do for lunch as we were driving to a neighboring town to do a little shopping.  I said, "let's decide when we get there."  Not 5 miles down the road, he asked the very same question and I said, "I thought we were going to decide when we get there" to which he replied, "oh, that's right - I forgot."

It is now happening 2 - 3 times every day.  I try not to worry about it as it's just superficial questions.  But how long until he forgets where he is, who I am, whether he took his insulin or not.

I think the journey is about to get quite interesting!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What will I do if he goes into a diabetic coma?

He asked me that one day.  He said, you'll dump me in a nursing home!  To which I replied jokingly, "glad we have one just 2 blocks away!"

He did NOT see my humor!  LOLOL!!!

So I sat here and head a bit of a heart to heart with him.  I know his biggest fear is being left alone, being "dumped" somewhere.  But I also know he had never thought it out.

I confessed that if I find him in a coma, I will do everything I can to save him.  I know the "drill".  And I will call 911 which he absolutely, positively, without question does NOT want me to do.

But the more I told him my thoughts, the more he calmed down and came to realize the predicament I would be in.

He weighs about 280 lbs.

In a coma, he would be "dead weight".

Could I even roll him on his side??  I couldn't possibly lift him, get him up off the floor.  If he had slumped over in his chair, could I even get him on the ground?  There is the physical aspect that he had never even considered.

If he did not come out of the coma, how long do I wait to call 911?  And when they arrive even 30 minutes later, how do I explain to them the delay in calling?  And if he never comes out of the coma, how do I explain that delay to his children?  How do I explain that their dad told me to never call 911 and expect them to understand?

No, I will call.

And then from there the discussion went on - what do I do if he has a stroke?  Yes, I will keep him at home as long as I can with as much help as I can get, but there is only so much available.  Again, I cannot lift him to the toilet, I cannot physically roll him over if he cannot assist me - there are so many levels of questions that can't be put into a hypothetical situation.  

But he started to realize that if I put him in a nursing home, it would only be because I cannot physically care for him, not because I don't want to.  It was if lights went off in his head and since that day, he has never again accused me of wanting to "dump" him.

Sometimes talking is good!

I also realize that there was a time in my past that I was simply scared to death to leave him.  Afraid that if I did, I would come home and find him in a coma.  But I have finally realized that was a very unhealthy state that I was in!  If he goes into a coma, it's because he didn't do what he needed to do either through his medications, his diet - the bottom line - it has nothing to do with me.  And when I get home, I will do whatever I need to do at that point to take care of him.  But I cannot just sit here waiting for the "what ifs" to take place!  Maybe that's when I started getting my life back instead of living his life so much of the time!

I think my current question is more tied up with dementia and Alzheimer's.  But that will be another day's discussion!    Hope you have a great day - get out there and do something for yourself today!


Monday, November 09, 2015

update from wifeofadiabetic2

She has a new blog url -

So if you have lost track of her, go check it out - all is as good as can be expected.


In the past, I have written quite a bit about the importance of finding a passion in your life in order to deal with the diabetes in his life.  I think there are several aspects to this that I am just now discovering.  And perhaps he had to leave in order for me to step back and breathe in order to find multiple passions in my life.

It started with gardening.  I woke up one spring day in 2013, went outside, and just started digging up sod in the year.  It turned into my therapy.  Digging is great for anger.....take it out on the ground!  Something new sprouting up from the ground gives hope.  Each new bloom on a flower reminds us of the beauty that's out there....I could go on and on.  But when I started that morning, I just needed desperately to do something, anything!

So gardening has become my summertime passion and when hubby moved home this summer - in the middle of the summer - I couldn't stop.  I had to get up each morning, get outside before it got hot, and get done whatever it was that needed to get done.

And he had to take care of himself.

I wasn't available.

It's a new routine.  Quite different that where we had been 3 years ago.  And it took him awhile to adjust to it.  A number of "discussions".  But why should I change my life, my routine, my day just because he moved back home.

And why/when/how had I changed in the first place before he left?  Oh, we all know - it's a routine, gradual, not-really-paying-any-attention thing that just gradually evolves.  The more he needs help, the more I gave up the things I loved to do in order to stay and help him out.

In other words - I got suckered in!  LOL!!!

So, now that summer is over - what is my winter passion?  Not sure where that one ends!  I am an artist, so back at my creating.  But I am also researching a local history story that happened about 150 years ago.  A murder/mystery of all things.  And I'm a genealogist.  Have been doing genealogy since I was 16, so I am looking at the family histories of the families involved in the murder/mystery - about 20 different families, some interrelated, some not.  And there's an ethnicity to the story so I am studying that as well!

Gets me out of the house to the history center, the clerk and recorder's office, the assessors office as I want to know which house each family lived in, what were the connections between each family, between them and the murdered guy, the murderer.  What makes this story so interesting is that there are 3 possible murderers!!!  It truly is a wonderful story and I'm deep in the midst of research.

So that presents the question - can you be too busy?  Well, I suppose any human being can.  But one must find balance as with everything in life.  I've been asked to speak about my research in a meeting in a couple of months and I want to finish a couple research projects before I'm done.

Yet I know that I still have to clean the house, walk with my sister, grocery shop.....the mundane things of life.  And I need to find time to "force" him to socialize.  Whether that be with family visits, eating out, running errands - he does need to get out once in awhile and he wouldn't if I didn't "drag" him with me.

This all comes down to the final question this morning - do you have passion in your life?  Do you have personal goals, unrelated to your spouse's diabetes?  Or do you allow HIS disease to consume YOUR life 24/7?  If so, time to get up, get out, find something you absolutely love to do, and then do it!!!  All the while remembering what this blog is all about - it's about a completely, utterly, totally non-compliant spouse who refuses to do what he needs to do in order to handle his disease.  That is HIS job, not mine!  And I think we tend to forget that at times.  I know - there are those with diabetes who think I'm a complete bitch!  But I happen to think if you have a disease and you refuse or won't take care of yourself, then you can't blame me for what happens to you!

Which begs the question - what will I do if he goes into a diabetic coma?  We'll tackle that one in the morning!  For now, have a great day - go find your passion!


Monday, October 26, 2015

from DW in Texas

she wrote:

Dear Tom's Wife

I tried to post a comment on your blog and it wouldn't let me.  If you see this post, please let us know how you are doing.  It's been almost a year since you posted and things weren't going so well.  Keeping you in my prayers.