Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Life goes on

A week after my last post, hubby's dad passed away.  We left the next day to go back.  Hubby had just finished his last doctor's appointment that day.

So things just went downhill from there.  In retrospect....was it grief?  was it a diabetic low?  was it just stress?  I will never know, but the fights were horrendous and just seemed to grow.  Hubby started making terrible decisions faster than I could absorb them.  I tried to be supportive.  His brother was there and pushing so hard as he needed to get things done before he went home.

Eventually, I broke down.  Walked out - climbed up into the hills, found a rock and had a good cry.  Hubby called asking me to come back.  Well, where was I going?  LOL!  After I finished my cry, I went back and things were a little better.  Both guys decided to back off on making changes.  Things slowed down.  But there were more huge fights.  

I think the worst one was a sugar related one.  It's been so long since I've been around him I really had to give it time to sink in.  And oh, my goodness....the memories just came flooding back.  

So I am back home now.  He and his brother are going to keep their parent's place.  I am not going back.  Hubby can decide to stay or come back here - I just do not care.  I have made my "rules" pretty clear - if he comes back here, he is going to keep the place clean, smell free, no fights, and deal with his problems.    But I need a few weeks alone here.  It has been intense.  But death always is.  

I am most mad at myself as I had lost 35 pounds and I have now put 20 back on.  So back on the diet tomorrow and I am not going to do this again. I can't!  I'm just too old.  ha ha!  I know it was all stress eating and I do have to get that under control.

So, how does your diabetic spouse deal with grief and sugar highs and lows.  A new, rather interesting situation for me.

If he does move back, I will be back to posting more often.  In the meantime, I have loads of gardening to get to as I have been gone more than I've been home this year.  

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Since my last post in February, I have come home, gone on a month long vacation with my sisters, gone back and spent 3 weeks with hubby and now we are both home for 3 weeks as he needs a break from taking care of his dad.  Until yesterday, things had gone great.  The plans are to spend a couple more weeks here, then go back to his dad's where I will spend a couple of weeks, then I'll head home for the summer.

What happened yesterday.  For the past few days, there have been horrible smells coming from his room whenever he opens the door.  I assumed it was our aging dog.  So I started on a mission with the black light to find where she had peed on the carpet.  I set out a can of freshener stuff, sprayed other products on the carpet....things I have done forever in the past.  In the back of my mind I kept thinking that this was not the smell of dog urine, but something I had experienced before and I was truly puzzled.

Last night, the smell was so bad I wanted to vomit.  So I asked hubby if he knew what it could be.  I told him it was making me sick and that today I would get a rug doctor and clean the carpets.  Me- still thinking it was our dog.

A couple of hours later, he comes into my bedroom and says, "the smells are all me.  I will pack up and drive back to dad's tomorrow and figure out how to get your car back to you."  I said, "what do you mean the smells are all you?"  (I was truly shocked by his statement as that thought had never crossed my mind!)  He said, I ate cheese and it is not agreeing with me.  You said that I am making you sick, so I will leave.

I almost wanted to burst out laughing.....or scream my head off.  Nowhere had I EVER said (or even thought) that "he" was making me sick.  I thought it was the dog!  And then is martyrdom....oh my goodness....that he is going to pack up, drive back to his dad's, leave me here without a vehicle....

I said, "stop being such a martyr!"  To which he stomped off to his room!  OK, isn't martyr the right term?  I found this definition online:  someone who is making a big deal out of their own work or suffering.

Again, I thought it was the dog!

And then my brain kicks in.  Remember - he's been gone for almost 3 years and I haven't had to deal with anything diabetic.....ketoacidosis.  That's the smell.  He had it horrible after his back surgery when his kidneys failed and he was on dialysis, and it's the very same smell.  Kidney failure.  And with all the neuropathy, he probably doesn't smell it at all.  If you haven't experienced it - it's a sweet acidic type smell and when it gets bad, it's nauseating.  

He's still in bed and I'm sure when he does wake up, he will be all apologetic and tell me how sorry he is and then he will do things to eliminate the odor.  It's always the pattern.  If it's anything different, I will post again.  But my memory recall is flooding back and I realize what an amazing gift I've had to be free of these "temper tantrums" - ok, highs and lows - for the last 3 years.  That being said, I also am fully aware of how exhausted he is from taking care of his father who is also a diabetic.

I may be a horrible person, but I'm going to say it again - this is NOT my disease.  Yet a diabetic produces all these side effects that a spouse must deal with.  ESRD is not pretty.  It is not pleasant.  I don't care how much you love a person, ketoacidosis is rank and can make you puke!  Well, at least make you dry heave which is also not pleasant!  The fact that he can't smell it is shocking.

Going to relax a bit before the "day" begins!

Friday, February 13, 2015

keeping your privacy

Had a comment from someone who couldn't figure out how to keep their identity private.  Well, I simply set up a fake email account with yahoo.  Then I used that "valid" email name to set up an account with google and thus this blog.  If I have an address....it's pretty much fake.  Keeps my location private that way as well.

I only have about 3 days left of this visit with hubby.  We had an interesting day today - a true Friday the 13th, so I'm pretty much writing it off.  But I dropped him off to get his haircut while I ran an errand.  Got back quickly and pulled into the handicapped parking spot.  He came out about 10 minutes later, looked at me, looked the other way, then pulled out his cell phone and I knew he was calling to find out where I was.  I rolled down the window and yelled to him before he made the call.  He said he didn't see me.  Sort of makes you wonder what's going on.  But again...it IS Friday the 13th!

Have been doing more cleaning on this trip, but I have also been in repair and restore mode.  Fixing things up, painting, patching.  Creating a small space of my own in a spare bedroom.  Found a group on FB to join so I can meet other women in the area.  I'm going overseas the month of March, then I'll be back here in April.  Going to be quite the busy year, that's for sure!  At least I can still travel and I'm so grateful for that!  He will be at my place in May and get his labs done then so I'll try to post an update with those.

DW

Friday, January 16, 2015

Things continue to improve

Hubby has been gone 2 years, 5 months.  After his November visit, I let him fly me to visit him in December.  3 weeks.  I was so anxious.  But it went really well and I'm going back the end of this month for another 3 weeks.  He now calls numerous times a day telling me how much he misses me, that he loves me....

WHAT HAPPENED?  What changed?  and w-h-a-t-t-h-e-h-e-c-k?????  LOL!!!

Thinking back.  In Jan, 2013, I was ready to divorce him.  It got worse in Sept that year.  But in Nov, that visit went ok.  Just ok.  Not great, but not horrible.  Jan 2014, that was an ok visit.  But in Nov and Dec, we actually had a great time together.

Is is just the length of the separation?  Has he forgotten what our life had become?  Has he erased everything?  Or does it boil down to finances?  He needs my health insurance and my benefits.  Because of my employment, he does not have the so-called "Medicare Gap" and found out that I am saving him about $7500 in Oct, Nov, and Dec.

So yeah, he "should" love me!  :o)

I have decided to take a wait and see attitude about all of this.  I'm not going to rock the boat.  Just going to enjoy this.  We are still legally separated and I plan to keep it that way.  But if he wants to fly me to where he is, take me shopping and out to dinner - hey!  I'm up for that.

He will be here in May and will get his labs done then.  Will be interesting to see if his A1c is still at 10.2.

The really great thing for me is that I am literally and completely diabetic living free.....and that is a huge difference.  In fact, I could not have explained this to myself or anyone else, I think I had to experience it.  Living with a diabetic partner takes a huge toll out of one's self, both physically, emotionally AND financially.  I think when I was living it - I was in denial.  But I am in better physical shape today than I have been at any point in the last 15 years.  That constant, daily, roller-coaster ride simply depletes a person.  Zaps the life-blood out of you!  The never knowing when the other person is going to be happy, sane, mad, screaming, raging......life without that is certainly healthier!  And again, remember, I was with a non-compliant diabetic.  I pray it's different if the diabetes is under control.  Something I never experienced as evidenced by that high A1c.

Taking it slow and steady with the hopes of keeping healthy and happy.  Hope you are, too!

Sunday, November 09, 2014

November update

He was here for a week this month.  First time since January.  Things actually went just fine between the 2 of us so perhaps caring for his father and being gone for over 2 years has been good.  He has to come back to get labs and see his doc in order to continue to get his prescriptions.

A1C was at 10.2.  Not good at all.  But looking back at the grid I used to keep, he has been at 8 and 9 most of the time since Feb 2010, which is when he had his heart attack.

His cataracts are growing, but they prescribed new contacts.  He had cornea transplants 30 years ago and they don't want to do cataract surgery until they have to.

He went on Medicare with his disability.  Thought he was part of the "donut" where he would have to pay very high Rx for the last 3 months of the year.  However, he's on my HMO which protects him from that donut and he won't be paying $2500 per month for his insulin (Humulin RU 500 concentrated) - not on anyone's formulary.  So he needs to stay "married" to me.  I suggested that he needs to "keep me happy".  LOL!

I spent the summer gardening and decided to lose some weight.  Down 32 pounds and still working on it.  Walking at least 18 miles a week.  Feels great!  I am learning how to not eat for comfort.  I have given up all soda and sweets, red meat and most flour.  Throwing myself into raising flowers was so therapeutic this summer - I loved it!  Already making plans and lists for my gardens next summer.  And some major projects this year.  I put in 1500 pounds of flagstone making a patio and path.  And I hung new "used" kitchen cabinets in the garage along with putting up slat wall to give me more storage.  I also put in all new closet systems in 4 closets in the house and added 2 in the garage.  Wow!  I think I did some work this year!

I walk with one sister every day and see the other sister 3-4 times a week.  I've been making jewelry and just recently returned to leather crafting.  It's been a really great year and I'm looking forward to the next few months.  I'm getting close to my weight loss goal, getting healthier both physically and mentally.  Enjoying my reprieve from caregiving.  Been a great year!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer's over!

And I'm just getting back to this blog.  I received this comment:

Your blog has helped more than anything else I have read. Just knowing that this can go on for years and years gives me the courage to know that I MUST protect my own life. I still can't help wondering about the future and how I will make it, but at least I won't let it take me down with him. Thank you! I am very curious if after their spouse's passing, anyone out there who has gone through the long years of decline has been successful in forgetting those horrible things and remembering just the wonderful spouse they used to have before Diabetes changed them. Or do the long years of horrible weird dying things just stay in your memory of that person as the main part?


I think it must be like childbirth.  36 years later...I barely remember what happened.  I don't remember the pain even though I know I had 23 hours of it!  Hubby has been with his dad for almost 2 years now and I know I'm glazing over the diabetes issues (until I sit and read what I've written about it!)  I no longer have to deal with it so I just don't think about it.

That being said.  Hubby still calls every day.  He is coming for a couple of weeks in October.  He hasn't been here since January and needs to visit all his doctors to get his meds refilled.  His dad, another non-compliant diabetic, had a sugar crash not too long ago.  Hubby called me in a panic saying he thought his dad was going to die.  The hospice nurse came and informed him it was a sugar crash.  

So think about it....a diabetic really would not know how to recognize the symptoms of a sugar crash because they do not see what happens to them when they are having one.  Interesting, huh?

I waited a couple of days to make sure his dad was ok and then asked hubby if he remembered the sheer panic he had been in.  He did.  So then I asked him if he realized that is exactly what I feel every time he went low.  He said no.  So I think this is a good experience for him as he is getting to feel everything I have been through for the 5 years before he left.  He might understand a little better what others have to deal with when he crashes.  I think he's also getting a good feel for what it's like to care for someone with diabetes.

He still says that he's moving back here when his father passes away.  I still say, "we'll see."  His dad is just now 80 and while he does have hospice care, he could live for a couple more years.  Or he could go tonight.  

In the meantime, I've had a wonderful summer of gardening, growing luscious flowers, creating paths, making hidden gardens.   Have decided it's good to be outside as much as you can!  Went for my physical and my doc said I need to lose weight so I'm down 22 pounds and it feels wonderful.  Going to work on firming up my muscles next but I've been walking 3 miles 4 times a week and loving it.  Have a sister that walks with me so that makes it more enjoyable.   

Think it's going to be a great September!!!

DW

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

From Wife of a Diabetic 2

Here's a note from Tom's Wife:

Hi DW, I had a major computer problem and in the recovery process, I lost access to my blog. Google tells me it is not recoverable -- no one can access it at all any more! :( So I am requesting that you post this the next time you are on line (its a good thing that's not very often anymore because your life has changed for the better!) I don't know if I am going to create a new blog now. Tom's health is good, mine is getting better and the blog is not as important to me as it once was. (I am guessing the same for you) Do you find it interesting that there are more options for people today than when you started? I am ever grateful for your blog. it helped me understand that I was not alone. I wish you all the best and will check in with you from time to time in the future if you even look at this. Take care, Tom's Wife


Dear Tom's Wife,

Have you checked your blog today because I can see it and read it just fine.  I think sometimes Google has a "glitch" and in a few days things get back to normal - if google has a "normal".  LOL!!!

My life has changed for the better.  I am having a busy summer gardening.  The flowers are gorgeous and digging in dirt if very therapeutic.   The rain comes and the weeds grow even faster.  I have figured out "tune radio" and carry music in my pocket all day long.      Hubby is still living with his father.  I am no longer sure who is taking care of who in that situation. 

 In September, hubby will have been on disability for 2 years and he will go on Medicare.  He called the other day asking if his Social Security was going to end in September.  He was very concerned.  And confused.  I simply couldn't comprehend why he was asking me this question and then I realized that he must be in a sugar low.  It's pretty hard to recognize them via phone.

He spends most of his days lying in bed watching TV.  He does take his father to his medical appointments and they continue to try to port his dad for dialysis - which his father is refusing.  He is sort of the opposite kind of diabetic, very tiny man, all skin and bones.  I am simply grateful that I am not there having to live with 2 generations of diabetes.

I agree, there are many more options these days.  There are many more resources.  There are numerous support groups.  However, some of the same antiquated thoughts still exist.....that the healthy spouse should take care of the non-compliant spouse to the extent that we "manage" their disease.  The "guilt" that a non-compliant diabetic tries to impose on their spouse.  The "denial" people have about calling this a "disease".....the list is endless.  Some things never change.  

Yet no matter how much "support" one can receive, I still believe writing your personal story, sharing your personal experience, putting your thoughts down into words....that's what heals a healthy spouse.  :o)



DW