Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The funny things people write to me

I find it humorous when someone writes to me and says that I can't understand this or that because I'm not diabetic.

I disagree.  I cannot understand your personal feelings, but I probably could pass for a ph.d on this topic.   I have never experienced any of the symptoms or side effects of this disease.  But having experienced a substantial amount of pain from a variety of issues in my lifetime - I do know what pain is.

Anyone understands events, illnesses, issues that sap energy out of you.  I'm thinking childbirth would be a really good example!  LOL!!!  How exhausting is it to be in labor for 24 hours, pop out a child, then start to hemorrhage so severe that you have to go into surgery?  Talk about pain that saps every single ounce of energy in your entire system?  I've been there, experienced that!

I really do understand that excess sugar damages veins.  As well as nerve endings, organs, etc.  I completely understand that it's not providing him with the energy he needs.  I know exactly where his lethargy comes from.

The difference is, he does not do what he is supposed to do.  He is a seriously non-compliant diabetic who eats whatever he wants, refuses to do any type of exercise, is in his chair or on his bed most of the day.

I do understand that diabetes is never behind you.  Trust me.  It is right here every single solitary day - right in my face - whether I want it or not - and I do not have this disease.  However, I have to live with the outcome of a diabetic who does not care to take care of himself.

When something goes "wrong" with my body, I will research the internet to see what I should do.  If it says to see a doctor - I go.  If there is a problem, I follow my physician's orders to the letter.  I don't play around with health.

Which is probably what makes it so incredibly difficult to live with someone who refuses to do what the doctor orders, who has basically given up on life and is just coasting until the next major crisis.  Personally, I think he is going blind.  He is having more and more of these optical migraines where he can't see.  He just goes to bed.  One of these days, his vision will not return and I have no idea what will happen then.

And I do understand the depression.  The fact that there is no hope.  The fact that you never really know (especially when you are noncompliant) when you will have a sugar crash, start acting like an idiot, drive off the side of the road.....I live on the other side of this 24/7.  I have to be the nurse, the person who is alert all the time.  I never get a break.  I do not get relief from the constant knowledge that he is constantly depressed.  That being said, I am really tired of being his cheerleader, making sure he eats a solid meal....all the things that go with living with a diabetic.

I am tired of watching the impact of what is happening to him because he doesn't take care of himself.

To another writer - if you've read my blog as you state, then you would know that I do not promote anyone else's products.  Comments are not the place to put your "ad".  And I find it comical that you would try.  Besides, we have extremely good insurance that covers everything you mentioned - so no need for us to look elsewhere.  :)

I did have a wonderful 6 day reprieve when I flew to give a presentation at a conference.  Being in the hotel, walking all over the city, exploring coffee houses and art venues - it was refreshing.  I even read a book!  Sort of makes you want to run away full time!  :)


Tuesday, August 02, 2016

August already!

I am posting this solely as reference notes.  I forget with day-to-day life that I still need to keep track of changes.

I have been studying post CABG (open heart surgery) cognitive dysfunction (aka pump head).  It is an interesting topic.  My dad had 5 bypasses done when he was 45 years old and I'm pretty sure he had this.  About 10 years after his surgery, he tore down a perfectly good house.  He lived 17 years after his surgery, which, at that time, was considered a pretty good track record.

Hubby is now 6 years post CABG.  I see signs of "stupid" decisions.  His brother wanted his parents house and he decided to keep his grandmother's apartment on the property.  It doesn't make good financial sense to me.  He can't sell it (the property has to be sold as a single unit).  Any money he puts into the place (and it needs a ton of investment) will be money down the drain as he can never sell the place to recover it.  Not good financial choices.

He just spent a month there - the hottest month of a year in a place where it's hot!  Why July?  Why not January?  It doesn't make sense.

He is dropping things and getting angry.  Why get angry?  Why not go to a doctor, physical therapist, occupational therapist - see what can be done?  I suppose it's easier to just get angry.

He told me that he would like to just be a recluse.  I told him I'm not ready to live with one.  We are at odds.

While he was gone, I found 4 bottles of nitroglycerin in his bedroom and bathroom.  I asked him if he was taking that again.  He said no.  There should be 25 pills in each bottle.  One had 2 pills, one had 4....I suppose he doesn't want me to know that he's taking it?  Why not?  I suppose he didn't think I'd literally count the pills. LOL!

Today was a particularly horrible day.  I had loaded up the truck with bits of lumber (I just replaced the crossboards on our privacy fence) and tree branches I've cut and yard trimmings to take to the dump.  Got the tarp and tiedowns on it.  He said he'd go with me.  It started raining on the way.  It let up, so I got out and started putting everything in the roll-off dumpster as we weren't allowed to go into the dump due to the mud.  Then it started to pour.  There I was in the pouring rain, moving stuff from the back to the truck to the dumpster while he sat inside the cab.  He didn't offer to help.  He didn't budge.  And I just wanted to cry.  But I didn't.  I finished the task and came home to a long hot bath.

Next week I'm flying 1300 miles to speak at a conference on a history topic I've been researching the past 10 years.  I am looking forward to being surrounded by like-minded souls, to making new friends, to socializing.  I went to dinner this past Sunday with out-of-state friends I have known for 40 years.  He didn't go.  He said he would have nothing to talk about.  I thought that was sad.  I talked and listened for 3 1/2 hours!

I would love to get a small travel trailer and travel while we still can.  He said today that he wouldn't go with me.  So I won't be doing that.  He probably thinks it would be too much work - but I'm not sure why that's an issue since I did all the work today while he sat inside the truck.  Somehow, he just doesn't see that.

I have been quite busy the last 2 months.  We have 180' of privacy fence and I am painting it inside and out, replacing crossboards and repairing pickets as I go.  I have had to clean out the flower beds along the inside and move boulders to get to the bottom of the pickets.  Still walking 3 miles every other day with my sister.  Getting plenty of exercise.

It makes me sad that he has chosen this path for his life.  That he has given up on living - that he finds no joy any more.  And it is a struggle for me to keep my head above water most days - but I am succeeding.  Building a niche for myself, building a circle of friends.  Keeping busy.  Started watercolor painting classes 4 weeks ago.  I am horrible at it!  But I am meeting some very interesting people in class and the conversations are wonderful!  I'm even looking for more classes to take.

While I am sad at his life and lifestyle, I am blessed with mine.  Staying busy, keeping active, finding new things to be interested in - that may be the key to surviving life with a non-compliant diabetic!


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Summer is just flying by!

Busier than ever!  Maybe it's good that there's just not time to worry about diabetes.  :)  Things are fairly stable and that's great!  My flower beds, sisters, art - all keep me busy.  Decided to take some classes this summer.  That might have been a mistake!  :)  

To Tom's wife - how was the surgery?  My youngest sister has developed what is called a "frozen shoulder".  She is doing PT and massages and everything in order to avoid surgery.  Her docs said it might take 3 years to "unlock".  She's pretty frustrated!    So glad to hear you made it to Israel - my favorite vacation spot.  Couldn't go this year as sis can't travel.  Maybe next year.

Hubby is declining slowly.  He has started having trouble walking.  His knees give out after a few steps.  So he walks, then sits, then walks.  He has had several sugar lows this spring.  Most of the time he recognizes them.  Tonight - not so much.  His activity level has come to a halt.  He continues to have optical migraines where he goes blind for 2 hours.  I am doing all of the driving these days.

I'm still walking 3 miles every day.  Between that and my gardens I think I'm pretty active.

Have a good friend her who's hubby is diabetic.  We compare notes a lot.  He had to have a pacemaker put in a couple of years ago and I think he's under age 60.  He has been on a pump for quite some time.  Oxygen is not getting to his brain and he has developed dementia/Alzheimer's.  He walked away from their home, caught a ride with complete strangers, ended up on the edge of town, but safe, so now she is looking for a home to put him in or hospice.  The doctors want to turn off his pacemaker.  So sad.  Just 3 years ago he was still working.  It can happen so fast! (She's self employed in retail and has to keep her business open to pay the bills).

It's going to be a hectic summer as I'm speaking at a conference in Seattle and have lots of prep for that.  I'll try to check back in from time to time.  We are doing ok.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Response to "Managing"

"Managing" wrote:

My husband does and it is almost unbearable to be around him because of all the stupid things he does and says. I worry that it will also make him be so forgetful that he will get himself into real trouble in the shop around tools and vehicles, etc. But he will not listen to my words of warning. 
The weird thing about our ongoing grief is that it is such a constant that I have trouble recognizing what "normal" would be. I am not sure to what degree this has affected my personality. Am I even able to make good decisions anymore? I love this man and am commited to helping him but as he loses his ability to think straight his requests of me become less and less "Do-able" or he'll forget and change them. I think that MJ makes his mental state much harder for me do deal with. But for some reason it is what they want. Maybe to run away from reality?  
All of this combined with his anger and hate for everything and everyone has pushed us further apart than ever before. Each consecutive step that separates us makes me feel guilty that this man who used to be my partner in crime - now sometimes straight up disgusts me. It makes me not like myself very much. I pray for him and now I pray for myself to find the love and kindness and patience to love him and forgive him his human flaws. 
Looking at your timeframe makes me so scared that I will not make it through this. It is so depressing already. And I do things that I need in my life and get out a couple times a week. I'm thinking that getting a place of my own for some of the time may be necessary to get away from it and refresh myself enough to come back at it with a kinder, more patient and loving attitude. Do you think that will help me to make it through the long haul?

If you have read past posts, you know that hubby left me for 3 years.  All I can say is that in retrospect, it was a gigantic blessing.  Not anything I had planned for.  But I certainly needed the respite and while I'm not sure it will help me through the long's gave me time to grieve my mom's death.

It also taught me that he was well enough to take care of his father ....and himself.  He's been back since last August and I do not take care of him.  I worry about them.  But if he was "well" enough to leave me to care for his father....he's well enough to take care of himself now.

And I did put my foot down in a couple areas.  If he ever threatens to leave me....he best be prepared to do so as I will be packing his stuff up that moment.  That used to happen on a weekly basis.  Not anymore!  If he gets mad and demands that I let him out of the car...I will...and I will not go back for him.  So that has changed a few things.

I keep telling myself that he picked his father over me.  For three years.  Thus, now, I have the absolute right to pick my life over him.  That was his choice.  This is mine.  And it does make things different!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Glucose inbalance once again

You'd think I'd be prepared.  But I never am.  Increase in sugar lows.  Too much insulin?  Too little food?  He almost passed out twice this week.

Skin tone is very gray.

Other problems going on.  Many nights of no sleep - awake vomiting.  So I don't sleep.

You'd think I'd be prepared.  After his heart attack, bypass surgery, spinal fusion'd think I'd be prepared for anything.

But I never am.  And I doubt I ever will be.

I was thinking about grief.  I know 10 people who have passed away so far this year.  No one really close - cousins, quasi-kin, etc.  Yet I watch the survivors grieve.  Each in very different ways.

A couple of close friends have spouses who have had heart attacks - I watch their panic set in.

Grief can make you do stupid, stupid things.  I've been there.  I've done them all.

Hubby said he doesn't want to travel any more.  I love to travel.  So I will grieve that "loss".  Is one loss bigger or smaller than another?  I'm not sure anymore.

I no longer know how to help those who are in "new" grief.  Perhaps because there has been so much in my life?  Words do not comfort.  You just get up and get on with life.  Or you don't.  It's about that simple!  I turn to my faith and I get up every single morning and start a new day with a song in my heart.  But I'm realizing that others do not understand that.  They think I should be lost in grief.  These days, I give it "10 minutes" - then get on with life.  Otherwise, I doubt I could function!

It's been a rough night.  But a new day starts in about 3 hours.  And I will get up, put on my happy face, and start the day in a positive mode.  It's only here, in this blog, that I share my sadness, my grief, my feelings of hopelessness.  That way, I can let go of them and get on with life.

Seems to be working pretty well.  :)


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Diabetes and marijuana

It doesn't really matter whether you live in a place where it's legal or not.....anyone can get it with very little trouble.  And hubby does.  Am I watching him turn into a pothead?  What impact does it have on his diabetes?  What does it do to lungs/body that are being eaten away by high blood sugars?

I don't have any answers.  I'm watching.  Sort of like watching a water...wondering when it's going to boil?  It does ease his pain.  He sleeps better.  He only uses it at night before going to bed.  But he doesn't get up til about 10 am.  His is lethargic.....mostly an "I don't care" attitude.

In some ways, I think it makes living with him easier.  The mood swings aren't as great.

But the "forgetfulness" is at an all time high.

Any drug that numbs the pain has to numb 100% of the sensors in the body and that includes memory, response time, thought processes, etc.

Most forgetfulness can be forgiven.  But forgetting to lock the door?  Not so much!  Forgetting what you said....problem causer.

Did he tell his physical that he is using MJ?  Of course not.  And I'm sure that would have an impact on his treatment plan.  I can't fix stupid - I hope I have at least learned that.  He's been using pretty heavily for the last 8 months.  I do see him becoming more mellow.  I am watching closely.  Not sure there's anything else that I can do.

If you've had experience with a non-compliant diabetic who uses I'd love to hear your experiences.


Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ulcers and other such nonsense

I am convinced that a non-compliant diabetic spouse can give you an ulcer!  And I am determined that it doesn't happen to me.  But I have my days, that's for sure.  Can't believe it's been a month since I last updated.

He went without any insulin for 5 days (last post) and he was a complete mess....not to mention my emotional status!  But we finally got his health insurance straightened out, and got the insulin.  You know, he has been on disability for 3 years now and a year ago, he went on Medicare.....and that was the beginning of a year long battle with our private insurance.  They couldn't handle technologically that I am the payor, I am not on Medicare, he is the spouse, on Medicare.  It took 5 people, 4 departments and 3 months of me calling or emailing each person every week to follow-up.  But finally, we are on the right track.  I even filed a grievance with the insurance company.

The end result is that his insurance is correct now, with the right co-pays and benefits.  However, he overpaid the entire past year and I do not have the energy to request a review of's paid for, I'm going to drop it.

Completely exhausting going to battle with a private insurance company.  But well worth it.  His $667 Humulin R-U500 now costs him $40 (2 month supply).  His former $50 office visits are down to $10.  The Medicare gap is gone.  And he would not have any of these benefits if he was not married to me.  Yeah, I sort of let him know that!  LOLOL!!!

So now that we are done with the whole insurance/Medicare issues....I'm ready to get back to my life.  Hubby spends most of his day in his room.  Playing a lot of computer games.  Watching reruns of sports.  I'm writing a history book, upcycling clothes, walking with my sister, doing Bible Study, creating art.....keeping as busy as I can, creating an active live (yes, even at this age) in order to have a life outside of diabetes.  I'd say it works 90% of the time.  And that is good.  I am setting goals, working to achieve them, trying to maintain as "normal" a routine as is possible.  And working on my weight again.  I am up 15 pounds since he moved home and starting the long journey of getting that back off.  For the most part, life is good for the moment, yet I realize that it can all change in a heartbeat!