Sunday, December 24, 2006

Holiday Stress

1. Wednesday am it started snowing. We were supposed to leave Thursday for a 15 hour drive to spend Christmas with his parents. By Thursday noon, we had 29" of snow and were busy blowing the stuff out of our driveway and most of our neighbors.

2. Friday morning, we decided to leave to beat the next front that was coming through. Hubby brought his bags downstairs and said, "I feel light headed and I can't get my breath." So I ordered him to just sit in the chair for a bit. About an hour later, he said he was fine and we took off. I argued that we didn't have to leave right then. We could wait til he felt better. We could wait at least a day until the snow had melted off the roads a bit more. Nope...there was another front coming through and we had to leave right then!

3. About 3 hours down the road, he asked me if I could drive. I said sure. Little did I know that he was terribly sick and I would end up driving almost the entire 12 additional hours. We drove til 8 pm and pulled over and got a hotel. We had been stopping almost every hour for him to go to the restroom. Severe diahrrea again. By the time we got to the hotel, he was running a fever, probably 102 - 103. Skin on fire. Not eating or drinking. Up all night long.

4. Next morning, same conditions for him. I have my laptop and start researching online and think it's a reaction to the colchicine and/or allopurinol they started him on about 2 1/2 weeks ago. In the back of my mind I seemed to remember reading about possible severe diahrrea, stomach cramps, burning sensations.....

5. I end up driving the entire 5 more hours to our destination while he sleeps almost the entire way, still stopping about once an hour for the restrooms.

6. We get to his parents house and he nearly collapses. I run to the store for some Peptol Bismol and a few things that he wants. Come back, he is no better. Find his mom's thermometer and his temp is at 102. Start him on tylenol. He has now not eaten in about 2 days and I'm certain we are heading for a major sugar crash, so I start talking to him about that. What can he eat? How is he going to prevent a sugar crash if he takes his insulin and doesn't eat? He assures me he will take care of it! I run back to the store for fruit and juice bars....the only thing he wants.

7. 10 pm...major sugar crash. good thing I had picked up a hershey's bar while at the store. Good news, his fever broke, and is back down to normal. Not nearly as many trips to the bathroom during the night.

8. His feet are looking worse than ever. He says it's because the swelling has started to go down, so all the nodules are more pronounced. I think it's because his kidneys are failing even more and the uric acid is going more and more into his body. He could barely walk at times during the potty breaks on the trip down. He couldn't even go to the grocery store to get what he needed. Seriously...TWO trips out on the night before the night before Chrismas? WHO in their right mind wants to fight all those shoppers? :o)

9. Wondering if some of the lumps and bumps on his feet are from gout...and some are from cholesterol deposits? How can you tell the difference? There are huge mounds that are yellow, and then small boils with yellow tips. totally red and inflamed looking around both. And then the sheer-skinned boils on his toe and now one on the side of his other foot. Just not good, no matter how you look at it.

So, my question. What is it in this man (or any person for that matter) that makes them feel an obligation to be with their mom and dad on Christmas Day when they are so ill themselves that they can barely function? He certainly will not enjoy the holiday and has only increased their stress as they know how sick he is. And it's not as though he is a child and about to receive a zillion presents...the man buys anything that he wants anyway! It's not for the holiday spirit as we are just going to have sandwiches for lunch for Christmas day. They are in their late 70s. His grandmother is in her 90s and lives with them. No one wants or needs a huge holiday meal. We could literally have waited a month and come down and perhaps had a better time and enjoyed each other's company even more. When (if ever) will he come to understand that his health is more critical and more important than the celebration of a holiday on a specific day? That you can celebrate life any day of the long as you are alive?

And maybe my biggest question. He has severe diahrrea, a temp of 102, hasn't eaten in a couple of days....and STILL will not call his doctors.

From what I have read (and jump in here and help me out anytime!) his kidney function is so low that his kidneys can no longer process waste, so he is basically peeing inside himself...thus the build up of uric acid crystals? I think it's time for me to go research ESRD. How do you know if/when you are there?

I feel like I am slowly watching death take over this man. And I feel helpless as I cannot even get him to call the doctor when he is so obviously ill.

And what if they amputate his toe? If his toe can't can the stitches heal? And now the sore on the other foot...will they be carving out that part of that foot as well? The very thought of it really does make me feel nauseated. I read somewhere that he would have to wear a boot for 6 months and not be able to drive?

Well, yes, I guess I'm feeling a bit frustrated this morning, so I'm here blogging to get it out of my system!

I truly hope that your holiday is going better than mine! From my heart to yours, may you be blessed with a wonderful spirit-filled day!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

5 Days on, 1 Day off!

Well, we are making progress. He stuck to his low purine diet for 5 days, but sort of blew it tonight having shrimp, which is shellfish....and he didn't even think about it! But we will get back on tomorrow. I'm pretty proud of him for sticking to it for 5 days without a single trespass!

When I suggested that we just become vegetarians...I think he nearly lost it! So, we will just label ourselves as "low purine" people and see if we can stick to it for the next 5 days.

And so far, the only adverse reaction to his new drugs are the sleepiness. He just needs more and more naps throughout the day.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Uric Acid and toe amputation

Well, he went to another doctor this week who told him his uric acid should be below 6 and it's over 11. If he doesn't get it down within the next 3 weeks, his toe will need to be amputated.

This doctor started him on 2 new drugs which are supposed to create even more diahrrea. Oh dear. And make him sleepy. The doctor told him even if he gets the uric acid to start to come down, it will take 10 years to get his feel straigtened out. So I suggested that 10 more years WITH his feet is better than having part amputated in 3 weeks. We will just have to survive the diahrrea and drowsiness somehow.

Enough to put the damper on even the brightest holiday season.

We have started the low purine diet. Any suggestions for great entrees that do not include meat, beans, sugar, cheese, eggs (need to get his cholesterol down as well). I think we will live on peanut butter for awhile!

Here's hoping your loved ones count 10 toes this holiday season.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My rights as a spouse of a diabetic

Do I have any? This is going to be tough for me to put into diplomatic words! LOL! I want to be serious...but this tiny little voice in my head just keeps repeating...."you have no have no rights...." And yep, the annonymous poster who said I did not have the right to toss hubby's viagra got me to thinking....what are my rights?

I think I should have the right to live day by day without anyone screaming and hollering at me. I think I should be able to make it from sun up to sunset without my spouse getting completely and totally pissed off...just because he is in a low. I think I should have the right to have a normal conversation with discuss my feelings and emotions....and not have to worry about the time of day it is, if he is having a low or a high, if he has eaten recently. And mostly (read my past blogs) I think I should have the right to sleep in my own bed without someone else having an accident, waking me up in the middle of the night and asking me to change the sheets.

You can see where I am headed with this post. There are a lot of things that a healthy couple just take for granted. There are a lot of things that you would think would not even need to be thought of as "rights". But when you make the decision to stick with a spouse who has this disease....and ride the roller coaster of uncontrolled blood actually give up all rights that you might ever have had.

The poster said that tossing out his viagra was a violation of trust. Trust has absolutely nothing to do with "trust" and everything to do with survival. Viagra is not a necessary medical drug. And I stand by my thought that it should never be prescribed to someone who has such uncontrolled blood sugars. But when I think about it...what doctor (most being men) would have the guts to tell another guy he's not going to prescribe him viagra until he gets his BS under control? We all know you can get it online. I must get 400 emails a day offering it to me!!!

Which is more in a marriage...or survival of a marriage? Excellent question and I suppose the answer would depend on your ultimate goal. For me, in the past, there have been so many times when just mere survival was the highest goal.

Does my husband go around and take things of mine and destroy them? Oh....well, once again....I "should" have the right to have personal property that is mine...that is left alone....that is not picked up and thrown against the wall and shattered into a hundred pieces when he is having a low. Once, I do not have that "right". I pretty much have sold or given away anything that is breakable.

When a diabetic is in a true low...they do not know at all what they are doing. And they will not remember what they did. It's like you need a video camera, yet when you show them the film they will accuse you of having an actor do the piece. You just cannot win.

Why do I stay? Why am I willing to forego any rights that a normal wife might have? Why am I still here? Why do I put up with this? Trust me....I ask myself that a hundred times some days! And it does not help when my family and friends all tell me to give up and leave. My own mom said to me just recently, "I do not know how you do it...I couldn't."

I think part of it is the nurturing that comes naturally for women. We just want to take care of him, solve the problems, make him all better. Admitting that I cannot do that is part of my battle with this disease. And once you admit that....then what is the real reason you stay? I sure don't believe "love will overcome" this!

In so many ways, diabetes presents itself as an abusive marriage. If not physically abusive during lows and highs, then at least verbally and mentally abusive. Yet can you blame the person with the disease? Not when they do not remember what they say or do.

So let me refresh that comment...."I should have the right to a normal conversation/dinner/evening with my spouse". If anyone gives my husband a drug that will cause his blood sugars to elevate or drop....then surely I have the right to toss out that long as it is not mandatory for his health.

Really....who for one second thinks that the spouse of a diabetic has any rights? Well...maybe the right to walk out and never look back. Problem is...I still love him.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Low Purine Diet

I have finally found a website that shows photos that look similar to hubby's feet. The huge lump on the right photo....well, my hubby has multiple lumps like this on both feet. wonder how he walks at all. Well...not well. He mostly just limps. I do know that he has a very high pain threshold and I wonder if that isn't from years of dealing with this problem...being told that there was nothing that could be was his Scottish DNA!

Upon further reading, I have found where these are quite dangerous for diabetics because sores can start from the inside and work their way outward.

In addition to these, he has all the little boils on his feet. The look like this:

But I believe they are caused by uric acid build up. I'm still doing my research on these.

Thinking today is the day to share some of my research....this site is very informative, yet rather scary....about memory loss in uncontrolled sugar levels.

And then I found this site, which particularily helped me to understand all the nerves that can be damaged by uncontrolled diabetes. I had really only heard about feet and eyes. This explains a lot of the I'm sure the nerves in his stomach and intestines have been affected at this point.

What scares me is the damage that you cannot see. I see his feet every day. I do not see what's going on in his heart. We know that his kidneys are down to 30% function. What else has been damaged?

Tomorrow we are going to start the low purine diet. I pray that he can stick with it for 6 weeks at least. He said that he would like to lose 10 pounds. He probably needs to lose 40-50 pounds if not more. OK...I'm just saying that he needs to lose that much within the next year...and then we can go from there.

Problem is that he literally can't walk....due to his dieting without exercise has to be to get healthy so that he can exercise to diet to lose weight. What a cycle!!!

I am not really looking forward to this holiday season because I know he will indulge in sugar....but perhaps if he will stick to this eating plan...he will see the benefits...and start to understand that diet and nutrition can have an impact on diabetes. Remember...he's the guy who's doctors tell him a carb is a carb is a carb....and he'd much rather get his carbs all from cookies, cake and donuts!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Viagra and Diabetes of my husband's STUPID doctors prescribed Viagra for him because yes, he was having problems.

Now...I am NOT a doctor..but I'm NOT stupid either! Let's do the math here.

Increased exercise, increased excitement....release of glucose into the blood......

and the cycle continues

in a man who does NOT have his blood sugars under control at all (see previous blogs).

WHAT IS THE POINT of prescribing this to a man who goes up and down and is in that cycle where his "ups" cause his "downs"???

Sorry...but this is just one of those situations that left me laughing.

I threw the Viagra in the trash! I do NOT NEED MORE lows....where he screams and yells at me...then completely forgets what he's done!

No sex is THAT good! LOLOL!

We need to get his blood sugars under control FIRST. THEN we can work on restoring other functions!!!

Thanksgiving day update

I know I have not posted here in ages...I just have not felt like it. Interesting. Sometimes writing can be such great other times it can be the hardest, most difficult thing to do. Probably because writing forces me to face truth....head on.

A few days ago I walked into this house, was walking up the stairs and thought, "I smell death". It was a total awakening. It shook me to my bones. So it is time for me to write here. But first, thanks to those of you who have posted worrying about us.

Hubby has severe chronic tophasus (sp?) gout on his 2nd toe. I had never seen anything so horrible in my entire life and when I saw it....I made him call the doctor. They put him on an antibiotic and it is improving, slowly....but my goodness! I do not understand how he could ever let it get to that point. It just happened overnight. I had been traveling for work for about 3 weeks...home 3 days a week, gone 4 days a week....and had not had a moment to look at his feet. Ok...I will not let that happen again! But my never ending question....why does he not take care of himself?

On a side note, I have been working on my certification in Art Clay Silver....following the therapist's recommendation that I get a life of my own! ACS is clay that you shape and fire in a kiln. The clay burns off and the remainder is .999 fine silver. I went for my senior certification...3 fun filled days up in a cabin in the mountains, with my sister....and one of the items I created was a pendant with a backwards question mark made of hammered, heated brass in the center of it. The instructor informed me that my question mark was in backwards and I needed to start over. I said, "No, I want it that way." And when she asked me why, I replied, "because the question cannot be answered!"

And yes, I was thinking of the question that never ends for me....why does he not take better care of himself?

I have 2 thoughts on this and please, feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

One...he has decided that he is going to die and he just wants to live the rest of his life the way he wants. He has accepted his course, is not going to try to improve or prevent deterioration, and is just going to do what he wants from here on out. As evidenced by the cheesecake, pumpkin pie, chocolate muffins and who knows what else that I did not see him put in his mouth today. I often wonder if I had this disease, might I make a similar decision? It is WORK to eat healthy, force an aching body to exercise, deal with pain....and it's often easier to just not work at getting well. So you give up and just do the best you can with what you have.

Two...he is still in denial. I wonder about that. We had a discussion just yesterday where he is blaming his HMO for the deterioration in his condition the past 2 years. He said, "3 years ago we did the ......marathon and I was in the best shape ever. I have just gone so far downhill since then. It's all their fault because they switched all my meds." (and that's about when he switched to his current HMO). But I said to him, "No, sweetie, your kidney function was down to 30% when you switched HMOs. They HAD to take you off the meds and put your on insulin as your kidneys could no longer handle the pills. Your health was deteriorating with the old HMO....and they never let you know."

Dead silence. He KNEW I was factual.

That sort of told me that this guy is still totally in denial...trying to put blame on someone, anyone, and not dealing with what is happening to his body.

Sexual dysfunction? Oh...we are so there already. And it just doesn't seem to bother him. We constantly say that we "should" make love....but every time either one of us initiates it, he is too sore, too tired, sick....the list is endless. I have come to accept it as part of what this disease does to a person. I've done the research.

I've also learned that the huge lumps on his feet that 2 different doctors at 2 different HMOs told him were due to his gnarly Scottish ancestry are in fact related to the gout. And that the white pussy boils on his feet are probably uric crystals due to kidney failure. But you know...who am I? Just the wife....not the I'm not listened too at all!

In my research, I read that he should be on a low purin I have started that in a very subliminal way....fixing pasta without meat....stuff like that. Purged the kitchen of a lot of stuff! Oh...we wives...we can be so devious! :o)

Part of me is torn between me finding a life of my own and me wanting to help him get well. But slowly, I am coming to realize that the decision has to be his alone and I can't have much (if any) input into it. I know he is probably on a path of self destruction. I know he will most likely be dead in 5 - 10 years. I honestly think in many ways I have started to grieve the loss of him in my life. I know I grieve the loss of our activities together as there are so many things that we cannot do. At the same time, I am seeking out things that we can do together.

We purchased a new ATV in August and did manage a few weekend rides. Something he can do and he enjoys, even though he got tired quite often. Changing his shots to 3 per day (6 am, 6 pm and 10 pm) has helped some of the really "lows" that he was having. And I know I am getting better at identifying the lows when they start to hit him and offer him a snack.

There are many nights when I get up and go sleep on the sofa as he thrashes quite the point that I cannot sleep. I lay there and just cry. Again...part of my own personal grieving. I love this man dearly. And watching death is not easy, nor anything that I welcome in my life. Longing to do the things that I love, but unable to do them with's my greatest heartache.

Today, we drove 3 hours to have Thanksgiving with my family. I am so glad that we went and everyone got to see him. I am so thankful that he is here with me this year and that we can still do things like drive 3 hours to visit family. Even if he wore socks and sandals.....and we kept all the little kids away from his has come down to enjoying the simple things in life with long as I have him.

Note to self...reread this the next time he totally pisses you off!!!

I think with the daily business of diabetis, as his wife, and a person who does not have this awful disease, I do forget to be thankful that he is still here with me. In the middle of a sugar low, when he is ugly and yelling....I'm not really thankful for much of anything!

For anyone reading this who does have this disease, I hope you will read this and know that I am just one spouse....there are probably millions of us out there that have to deal with this disease on a daily basis. It is not easy. There are days when I think I can't stay with him another second. But then, there is Thanksgiving, when we pause for a moment, and even in the midst of all that we do not have, I can be thankful for what we do have.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Our joint visit to a diabetic nutritionist

I had pre-typed up most of my questions for today's visit. Here are the answers:

Q. My husband had one doctor who told him the lumps on his feet were due to his Scottish heritage. Yet I have read online that they are due to uncontrolled diabetes.

A. Dr. took one look at his feet and said she was not comfortable with them at all. She is going to call his doctor and get an RX for infection ordered for him.

Q. Is the infection in his hand related to gout? I have read that it is.

A. It is most likely related to uncontrolled sugar. The antibiotic should help this as well.

Q. He has had the blister/boil on his toe for weeks now. How long can his body tolerate this before the toe “dies”?

A. A sore like this can be there for quite a long time without the tissue going dead.

Q. When you test your blood sugar, how accurate is the reading? Is there a lag time to events that impact blood sugar? We have a tunnel on I-70, just east of Idaho Springs, and every time you come through it east-bound, everyone slams on their brakes. Sometimes it starts 50 miles west of the tunnel. You never see what made the first car slam on their brakes. But you know that a normal driver would not slam on their brakes to go through a 2 lane tunnel in the middle of the day! Is it possible that a person could be in the process of crashing but their blood sugar levels read normal because that hasn’t caught up with what is already going on inside the body?

A. There is no lag time. As long as your meter is accurate, it is accurate at that moment. But you would need to take it every moment…to know what is going on all the time.

Q. If you only test 3 – 4 times a day, what about all the other moments in the day? I understand that testing gives you a gauge, a measurement, but can you test and be normal and then 30 minutes later be crashing? Is it possible even if it’s not common?

A. You only get a reading for the specific moment that you test. It is possible to crash 30 minutes after a normal reading, depending on what’s going on.

Q. What is the impact that adrenaline has on blood sugar?

A. It goes up.

Q. If you smash your thumb really hard and adrenaline rushes in your body….doesn’t that have an impact on insulin/blood levels?

A. Yes, it goes up.

Q. I’m going to assume it would be a much more acute impact than and event that occurs that has a slower change in release of adrenaline in the system, like an argument with a co-worker or a fight with your spouse?

A. Your blood sugar will go up when adrenaline goes up.

Q. If there are tiny little events that occur all day long that release adrenaline into your system, does the “build up” of these events have an impact on insulin/blood sugar levels?

A. Yes, it goes up.

Q. How fast does the body react to this type of adrenaline build up?

A. No real answer given to this question.

Q. Does weather have an impact on insulin/blood sugar levels? For instance, if it is over 100 degrees, and you go outside for a bit, will there be a change? And if so, is the inverse true that when you go back inside into air conditioning there is a change? I’m simply asking because there is no AC at his parents house and he seems to need more sleep when he is there.

A. She did not know of this, but thought that secondary issues could cause blood sugar to change. For instance, if it is really hot, and you don’t drink enough water, and you become dehydrated, there would be a change in blood sugar. It is often the secondary conditions that cause changes in the blood levels, not the specific event that we are looking at.

Q. Does an illness have an impact on insulin production and blood sugar levels?

A. Yes

Q. Diabetes is a serious of losses. It starts with the addition of medicine and the loss of freedom to live without it. It progresses at various stages. You lose the freedom to eat what you want, then you start loosing body functions. Each loss has to be grieved. The grief process in itself must have some impact on the body’s insulin production and thus the sugar levels?

A. Yes, it does.

Q. If additional grief is added to the equation (loss at work, loss of a family member, etc.) does this impact as well? It seems to me that it would/could.

A. Yes.

Q. Neuropathy is the loss of sensation at the end of nerves?

A. Yes

Q. It happens in the feet, usually first? But it can progress to other areas of the body such as the finger tips, legs, hands arms?

A. Yes.

Q. It can extend to your intestines and cause diabetic diarrhea?

A. Yes

Q. It can affect the nerves that serve the heart?

A. Yes

Q. It can cause low blood sugar unawareness where you do not recognize the signs of hypoglycemia?

A. Yes

Q. And it can cause pain in the thighs, hips, and/or buttocks and lead to weakness in the legs?

A. Yes

Q. It can affect the eyes as well?

A. Yes

Q. When does diabetes have an impact on memory loss? The brain’s fuel is glucose. Extended periods of elevated glucose or low glucose contribute to memory loss?

A. Yes.

Q. High blood sugar causes permanent brain damage?

A. Yes

Q. Low blood sugar alters the brains function and temporarily impairs memory. It’s usually short-term memory. Thus, when blood sugars are low, the diabetic may not remember what was said in a normal conversation?

A. Yes.

Q. High blood sugar causes the nerve endings to be sensitized. The diabetic can be quite agitated and become angry?

A. Yes.

Q. Low blood sugar can cause “hypoglycemic rage”. Is this the body’s normal reaction to low blood sugar? You get angry, adrenaline kicks in, insulin is produced, blood sugar levels rise? Anger drives up blood sugar levels. Yet, due to the impaired memory function of low blood sugar, the diabetic may not remember that they were angry?

A. Yes.

Q. If the body reacts to low blood sugar by overcompensating, which results in high blood sugar (the Somogyi effect) and this is going on inside the body in a non-stop fashion, could actual blood sugar readings appear normal when in fact, they are not?

A. Yes. The liver stores sugar and when blood sugars drop, the liver will release a gush of glucose into the system. This happens regardless of anything else going on. What we want to do in this case is to shut down the liver. Even if blood sugars go high for a few days. You do this by decreasing the amount of insulin. Shut down the liver until we can stop the lows, which will level out the blood sugars.

You can actually have a low, the liver releases glucose and you go past “normal” into a high. You then take insulin, which puts you back to the low…and this cycle is known as the Somogyi effect. Again, the way to treat this is to shut down the liver, stop the lows, go for high for a short period of time, then bring the “highs” back down.

Q. I have been told that this is not my disease. I understand the premise of that concept. However, the impacts of this disease are in my life 24/7. I need to know how I can live day-to-day without living with the impacts of this disease. It is in my life 24/7. So, although this is not MY disease, this is MY life, and the disease is a huge part of my life. How do I live with the insane decisions that are made? The decisions that are made with no discussion with me? The decisions that do have an impact on my life that I have no input into? How do I live with the angry outbursts that are pointed directly at me? Words do hurt. Even when your brain tells you they were spoken during a low blood sugar outburst.

A. I understand your frustration and I do agree that although this is not your disease, you do have to live with this disease all the time. What the 2 of you have to do is to come to some kind of agreement as to what to do about decision making. When a diabetic is in a low, it is not the time to make any kind of decisions.

Q. OK, but if he continues to make decisions when he is in a low…and I have to continue to live with the outcomes of those decisions….what do I do next?

A. You have to make the choice to live with it, or to move on.

Q. Let’s say that he makes a decision to continue as he has. It is his life and he wants to live it like he wants. What choices do I have? What are my options?

A. It is obvious that the 2 of you have a lot of issues to work out. But as for the diabetes. It is his life. It is his decision. You cannot make the choice for him. If he chooses to not take care of himself, then you will have to decide what to do with that choice. Can you continue to live with him knowing that he is not going to take care of himself? It is a difficult decision.

We had a lengthy discussion after that about his current blood levels. When she wrote them on a grid, it went something like this:

Morning Noon Dinner Bedtime
159 90 90 110
125 152 145 130
115 100 159 128
90 98 120 115

And his A1c is 6.3. Which he has always said to me is in good, normal range. But she explained it a bit differently. She said that in order to get an A1c of 6.3, your blood sugars would range between 90 and 120. So for every time in the grid above that he has gone above 120, he has also gone below 90. So the 6.3 is NOT a good reading because he is having too many lows.

She asked him how many lows he had per week and he said 2. She said from looking at just the past 4 days, he must be having more than 2 per week and not being aware that they were occurring. She added that this desensitization to levels is normal in someone with as much kidney failure as he has.

She recommended that he change his diet and eat at least 60 grams of carbs per meal, 3 times per day. She wants him to keep his AM insulin the same, but split out the evening. Leave the R the same at 6 pm and drop the N to 40 at 10 pm. He was not happy about adding a 3rd shot per day, but agreed to try this starting tonight for the next 5 days. He agreed that if his sugar goes over 200 he will continue, but if it goes over 300, he will stop. He is to call her in a week for an update.

I feel a little better…that at least all the questions I had written down, for the most part, received the same answers as what I had found online. And I am relieved that when she looked at his feet, she was as concerned as I have been.

I felt when we walked out of her office that he was a time bomb waiting to go off. I’m sure this will come back to haunt me….and that is why I am writing up these notes…to remind him of our conversation with her.

My next step…seeking marriage counseling from a regular counselor. My hope is that if his blood sugars can get regulated, then we can move on to working together to resolve the other problems….which may well go away if/when the blood sugars can be regulated.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I guess I got divorced....and didn't even know it!

You need to go back and read "part b, the aging parents" to understand a bit more about everything on my platter at the moment. I received an email from hubby's brother's wife last night that just blew me away. She thought hubby and I had been divorced since the first of the year!!!

Seems she and her hubby (my hubby's brother) went to visit the in-laws sometime in February and March. Mom-in-law said to her, "I hope our money problems don't cause you guys to get divorced like it did .......and....." and she put our names in the blanks.

So, my sister-in-law...who lives another thousand miles away....did not hear from me and assumed that I was no longer in the family. OK, partially my fault because I rarely email family members. Lesson learned. Send out monthly updates! LOL! But how horrid are my in-laws to let her think we have been divorced all this time? I promptly sent her a return email and told her that although we have our share of problems, we are not divorced. And if we did get divorced, it would have absolutely nothing to do with our mother-in-law.

What kind of evil woman tells anyone else that her son is divorced when she knows without a doubt that he is not divorced.

So I read the email to my hubby. His comment? "sis must have misunderstood mom". I re-read him the exact quote from his mom and said, "how can that be misinterpreted?" and he agreed, it probably could not be.

I'm just wondering how many other people she has told that we are divorced?

Sis has promised that if she ever hears anything like this again, she will contact me immediately. And I promised to email her more than once every 5 months!

Note to self....remember promises made to sis-in-law!!!

Was it lust or sorrow?

I was in the grocery store the other day, standing line, looking down....and my eyes gazed on the feet of the man in front of me. He was wearing sandals and I thought, "what sexy feet!" Which led my eyes up his body to his face. He was about my age and my eyes went immediately back down to his feet. And my next thought was, "oh shut up! You are married to a wonderful man!" And I didn't give the guy's feet a second thought until tonight.

I've been surfing the net tonight, trying to find a photo of what my husband's feet look like. I've seen some horrible photos. And my mind wandered back to the feet of the man in the grocery store. They were not "sexy". They were healthy. And in being healthy....they did appear sexy to me. They are the kind of feet I wish my husband had....but most likely will never have again. And my great sorrow.

What horrid feet he has.

He's hobbling today. Because his feet hurt. Oh, I wish I could sneak a photo of them. It would probably break my camera. Literally. I do not know how the man walks at all. It must nearly kill him. He has big gnarls on his feet. Look like quarter sized mounded pimples. They have heads on them. Probably at least 50 on each foot. Some have puss in them. Some don't look quite that bad. And then on 2 toes, he has blister looking like things that are a good 1/2" raised up from the skin. The skin is stretched so thin you can see right through it. Looks like it is going to ooze any moment.

Last night, I noticed tiny little matching pimple looking mounds on the top of the tips of his fingers. Anyone know what that is? I'm sure it's all related to his diabetes. Yep, he ate 4 chocolate donuts last night. He is not doing a thing to prevent this. If his feet ooze on my carpet......LOLOL! (OK...I have to laugh to keep from cringing at this point!)

I know what it is when his feet swell up and turn sort of purple looking...they do that often. But these gigantic pimple/boils have only happened a few times.

What is his sugar levels? Normal according to him. Sigh.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I HATE being his maid!

But I've had 10 days of relative peace, so I won't complain too much just yet! I have a theory. I scheduled our appt with a counselor....and he is trying to prove that we do not need counseling. He is literally being a saint. He's said several times that he wants the marriage to work. The counselor has rescheduled the appt and is now 2 weeks from tomorrow. I'm not sure he can maintain this for another 2 weeks. Why?

Well, one look at his feet and I KNOW he is not doing well. Huge boils. Oozing mounds on his toes. He ate 2 apple pies from McDonald's at lunch yesterday and a bag of potato chips along with some Chips Ahoy cookies. That and the quarter pounder and french fries at lunch and a TV dinner last night. Shall I comment any more?

I see little tell-tale signs. He starts to blow up and stops himself. That's good. But how much longer can he "stop"? In the past 2 days, he has received 3 boxes in the mail. He opens them up, and leaves the boxes on the kitchen counter. I asked him last night if he was going to break them down? He said, "I will get to it when I get to it". They are still sitting there. I know the "you are my maid" syndrome is just around the corner and about to kick in. As I look around the family/kitchen area, I see 6 empty water bottles, 3 glasses, 2 diet coke cans, and an opened box of cookies...all right where he left them. Is he too tired to put a can in the trash? A glass in the sink? Or is it just a mood? Or the beginning of another huge, massive swing in emotions? Oh...I've seen this pattern before. He shuts down. Lets everything just set where he left it....stuff piles up...and I can't see through the mess.

We have 2 little chihuahuas. They are HIS dogs as I never had pets and do not really appreciate indoor pets....although I have come to absolutely adore these dogs. They are just too cute! He has never house-broke them. He puts down potty pads. Lately, he has been forgetting to change them...or he just ignores them. The dogs won't go on dirty pads, so yep, they have started having accidents. Sigh. Hubby was doing pretty good at cleaning up after then, then he went to visit his parents, left the dogs here for me to take care of and it's like the moment he got home...he made some unspoken decision that it's now my job to take care of them. I did it for 5 days....I can do it the rest of my life!

Unfortunately, I HAVE to clean it all up today as we have guests arriving tomorrow. I may be the one who can't make it 2 more weeks before we see the counselor! I really hate being his maid.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Just for me!!!

Well, I said I'd been busy while hubby was at his parent's this week. I am having the best time! I purchased new suction hooks for the shower walls and hung all kinds of new lufa and scrub brushes up. Took the parafen foot bath and the foot spa into the bathroom and ran extension cords along the floor so I can sit on the corner of the tub and do my feet (ok...I'll probably electrocute myself, but I think I have it so I'll be ok! LOL!)

I decided to turn our master bathroom into a spa. How fun is that? I need to find a small padded chair to put in there and then I will be all set! I'm thinking one of those folding director's chairs that I can fold up and put out of the way.

Now, mind you, I'm doing this compeltely and totally for myself. But who knows....maybe he will decide to take better care of his feet if I start pampering myself?

I used to be so bored on Sunday nights. You know, when you were a kid, you saved all your homework for Sunday night and did it then because there was never anything going on. So as a young adult, I started a ritual of "Sunday night Spa night" and I would burn candles and soak in bubble bath and primp all night long.

Somewhere in the past 25 years, I quit doing that. I think it's time to start it up again. I think tonight will be the first of many "Spa nites".

Again...just doing something totally just for me!!! :o)

Crashing all day long?

Well, I finally got us in to a diabetic a couple of weeks! But she sure made an interesting observation when she was talking on the phone. She said it sounds like hubby is crashing all day long. Well, I sure had not thought of that. But what if....his sugar is low, so his body's normal reaction is to get angry, in order to produce adrenaline, in increase the sugar to get it back up....and he's exhausted, so he takes a nap and when he wakes up, he is low....and he's in this vicious, constant, never-ending cycle.

Pretty much his pattern most days. When he's awake, he's mad and yelling...and then he sleeps! He is needing more and more naps throughout the day, and most every day of the week.

She asked me to have him test his sugar level before each meal and before bed for the next 2 weeks. Well, he is out of town at the moment, but I did call and ask if he would do that.

So my next question. How do I/we know that he is writing down an honest test reading? Oh! You think he wouldn't lie about that? Why not? This is the man who is still in denial that he has a disease that is not going to go away. This is the man who went 5 months without putting on a pair of shoes. This is a man who will do anything to prove he is right, so yes, of course, he will write down any number that he thinks is good.

I'm sure that whatever the log shows, it will be near perfect. Problem is, it doesn't help at all because the counselor will not have accurate readings and she will be trying to figure out why he is having all these problems when his blood sugar is normal.

On the up side...I've had a wonderful week! I feel so rested! I've been getting 8-10 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. No foot flopping on the bed. No sudden jerks and jumps from the other side of the bed! Getting so much done around the house. All my month end assignments are done and in the mail. Even visited with my sister for a couple of days. But how sad that hubby has to go away for me to feel this much relief. I can almost completely forget that our lives are so controlled by this disease when he is gone.

Oh....I had pizza rolls and chocolate brownies this week! How fun!!! But it will all be gone by tomorrow when he flies home! I have to go back to being "good"! LOLOL!

How many other spouses out there are just like me? The spouse with diabetes leaves and you RUN for sugar? LOLOL!!!!

And how many of you have separate bedrooms just so you can get a good nights sleep? I'm thinking I may be spending more and more time in the guest bedroom!

Ok, back to my chocolate! :o)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Part C: The wife, the sandwich and the spread

I've been doing research on what is called the "Sandwich Generation". That's us baby-boomers who feel we need to take care of our aging parents while we allow our adult children to move back home and we "take care" of them as well.

The definitions totally leave my husband out:

Traditional: aging parents and children of their own
Club sandwich: 50-60 with aging parents, adult children and grandchildren
or 30-40 with young children, aging parents and grandparents
Open faced: anyone else involved in elder care.

So, my husband is 50-60 with 75 year old aging parents, 90 - 93 year old aging grandparents, 31 -32 year old adult children and a 4 year old grandchild with another in the oven!!!

I don't think you can spread the man any thinner than that!

One website calls it "the cluttered nest". LOLOL! All I want in my life is my empty nest!!!

My view is just a tad different from my husband's. My grown children will not move in with us as they need to know that they have to live with the outcomes of the decisions that they make in their lives. My mom is living with my youngest sister right now and one thing for sure, I will never lie to my husband about what I do to help her out.

So my husband does not have my support in how he is dealing with his family. Partly because I think they are all using him. Partly because I think he is enabling each of them in some type of negative manner. But mostly because I know that the stress he is putting himself through, at his own choice, is not doing anything to improve his diabetes. Being a hero to everyone else does not make you a hero to yourself. He really needs to be a hero to himself and get his diabetes under control.

I asked him tonight who would be here to take care of everyone when he is gone. He did not answer me. Who will his daughter move in with? Who will buy his son an airplane ticket to go see mommy? Who will fly and drive his mom to the doctor? Who will take his grandmother wherever she wants to go?

Why is it I see the answer so clearly? Each of those individuals is going to have to come up with some means to take care of themselves when he is gone. Why can't they do it now? Why does he continue to enable them? Why does he put himself through all this stress (and yes, he admits it is extremely stressful). And where am I in all this? Spread completely out of the picture? Off the page? Nowhere in sight? Smothered in the layers of the cluttered nest?

Yes, I will call the counselor again tomorrow as they have not called back to schedule an appointment. In the meantime I'm wondering if I should just spread myself out of this sandwich as it may be to cluttered, too thick, too suffocating for me to survive.

On the other hand, he is flying out in the morning and will be gone for 6 days. While he is gone, his daughter will be moving into our basement. Maybe I will have a couple of days of sheer silence and can do a little bit of mending of my own spirit!!!

Here's to all of you caught in the middle of the sandwich that is one layer diabetes and another layer family! :o)

Part B, the aging parents

My husband's parents are in their late 70s and live a 15 hour drive from us. The live with his 90 something year old grand mother. "Mom" has been a very bad girl and has racked up about $70K worth of credit card bills. And she calls my husband crying, wanting money. In the past year, he has refinanced our home and given her several thousand dollars. All in secrecy. We are not allowed to tell "Dad" as he will have a stroke if he finds out about this. We are not allowed to tell "Grandma" as she is another source of income for "Mom" and if she finds out, she will cut "mom" off.

So, in this whole tangled web of deceipt and lies, "Mom" came down with the shingles. Now, at her age, shingles are most commonly caused by stress. They lasted for 3 weeks and I have no doubt that she was miserable. They developed into trigeminal neuralaga in her face (which incidentally, is brought on by stress). My theory is that the woman will not get well as long as she is caught up in this web of deceipt and lies. My goodness....if I were $70K in credit card debt I'd be a bundle of nerves and stress myself!!!

The pain in "mom's" face will not go away. So, hubby flew down to take her to the doctor to have an injection done. That's the story I got. He flew 1 1/2 hours, rented a car, drove 1 1/2 hours, picked her up, drove 1 1/2 hours back to town to the doctor. Then drove her 1 1/2 hours home, drove 1 1/2 hours back to the airport for his 1 1/2 hour flight home.

Two weeks later he tells me he needs to make the flight/drive again to take her to the doctor for the injection. At that point I flipped out! Come to find out, truth be told, the first trip was just for a consultation. Hmmmm. Why could he not tell me that? Because he thought I would get mad at him spending the money just to drive his mom for a consultation. Duh!!!

Now, 6 weeks later, he is making the trip again. The daughter who up and quit her job said she would go with him, so he bought her a RT ticket. Of course, she got the new job at the cosmetics counter, so he is out that ticket. He is flying down early tomorrow morning. On our way back from his son's house tonight, his dad called to confirm that he is still coming down tomorrow. He said that he was, but that his daughter was not going to make the trip. "Dad" was quite upset and said that his mother-in-law who lives 3 hours from them had wanted to come up for a visit and to see my husband's daughter. My husband said to his dad, "I can drive down and get her". When he hung up the phone he sighed heavily and said, "family".

I said, "you do have the option of saying "no". He said, "no I don't." I said, "of course you do". He said, "you and I were raise differently, we have different feelings about our families, I do not have the option of saying no". I said, "it is just a word, and all of us always have the option of saying the word no".

I just wanted to smack him. Is this the HERO thing again? He is going to save his parents? From what? From themselves? Their debt? Their old age?

And I really wanted to scream at him that this has absolutely nothing to do with how either of us was raised. My goodness! I was raised a Baptist and went out on the street corners and handed out religious pamphlets every Saturday morning. I sure don't do that now! I was raised that it was a sin to drink, dance, gamble......and I sure don't believe that these days. I grew up going to church on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (lots of teen meetings and such). I don't do that today. I was raised eating meet and potatoes, everything smothered in gravy and all my veggies were in cream. I sure don't eat like that today. As an over age 50 adult, I believe that what I believe today is in part to how I was raised, but in a greater part to the decision that I have made to be what/who I am today.

And he thinks I'm going to "buy" into the concept that he has to tell his family "yes" because he was raised that way?

Should I call him a schmuck?

I suppose it is no sweat off my back if he wants to add another 3 hour drive to pick up his other grandmother. OK, make that 6 hours as it's 3 hours each way. But why? His parents will only complain....and who will take her back home?

The "sweat off my back" comes from the wear and tear on my husband that his parents are putting on him. If he had "terminal cancer" no one would be asking him to do the things they are asking. The wouldn't dare. I know they have absolutely no idea how incredibly sick this man is. He can barely move today because his back is in such bad shape. Yet he is going to get on that flight tomorrow morning and go be a hero to his parents and his grandparents.

So, could part C be any worse?

Part A, the adult children......When the "hero" dies, what happens to those he is busy rescuing?

My poor husband wants to be the hero so bad! He wants to fix everything for everyone....except himself. And it is he who needs to be fixed the most.

Why is that? I've read all the Mars/Venus books and understand that men want to fix all the problems so they will go away. But why can't they fix their own (diabetes) problems. And why do they think they have to be the "hero" for everyone else? I think I'd best break this blog down into 3 parts.

A. The adult children
B. The aging parents
C. The wife, the sandwich and the spread!

So, this is part A. Let's discuss what's going on with his grown children...just this week alone!

1. His 31 year old daughter up and quit her $50K per year job and took a job at a cosmetic's counter. So she calls daddy and says that she needs to move in with us until she gets back on her feet. He makes the announcement to me and of course.....well, I won't continue that sentence! I ask if he is just "telling" me, or if we are going to discuss this. We have a disucssion and agree we need to sit down with her and let her know the rules of the house. That happened last night. It went well. She is only going to move in for one month and will reside in our unfinished basement. She has a list of rules (mostly relating to keeping the house clean, no guests and no smoking). Simple things in my book. Suddenly, I have been assigned the task of "enforcing" the rules as dad knows he won't tell her what's wrong. No problem! I will be happy to help her follow the rules...most of which is that she move out by August 31.

Question? Is he enabling her by allowing her to move in even for 30 days? She has to move a bed and a dresser to the basement as it is totally empty at the moment (nice basement, house is only 10 years old). She quit on her own accord without any preparation for her future, other than she knows she can fall back on daddy.

Question? Is this fair to our marriage to allow a 31 year old adult daughter to move in even for a month?

Does he think she will love him more if he does things like this for her? Does he think he will be her hero?

Does he think this will make him better? physically? improve his diabetes? his stress?

2. His 32 year old son who has a PHD (and should have some brains) confessed this week to having had an affair. We went to visit the son tonight. We sat outside their home for 30 minutes. The pregnant daughter-in-law and granddaughter were inside, upstairs. She did not want to see us. I don't blame her, I know she is mortified. She is a wonderful young woman and I am sure this has devastated her. I adore this young woman and have so much respect for her!! I asked my husband if I could slap his son up the side of his head, call him a schmuck and ram my knee into his balls. Husband said, "no, you cannot do that". I said, "well, at least you know what I would like to do to your son at the moment!"

In case you didn't read that right, I am so ANGRY with my husband's son. What a stupid idiot! WHAT was he thinking? And WHY is this young man acting so upset? He is the guilty party in all this. No one else. But if he can't hold his marriage together through all this, my poor husband will suffer as he adores his granddaughter and is so excited about the baby on it's way.

Son takes dad aside and asks dad to buy him an airline ticket to go see his mother (my husband's ex wife) who lives several hundred miles away.

WHAT???????? This grown man wants daddy to buy him a ticket to go see mommy because he was a bad boy and had an affair and wants mommy to give him a hug and tell him he is ok??? Has he lost all of his marbles? Does he not understand that his dad is DIVORCED from his mom???

Why doesn't he just talk to his dad? And WHY did dad (my husband) agree to buy the ticket? Because his son asked for his help and once again he is in the role of being a hero to the kid?

Why does my husband not "get" this? Why does he not see that his son is just using him? And why does he not see that he is literally rewarding his son for having had an affair by buying him a ticket to go visit his mom?

Does anyone else read this the way I read this? Totally disfunctional parent/child relationship going on here? Oh....wait for part 2 and just gets better!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Moment by moment changes in blood sugar

OK, I am NOT a pro at this disease...I live with my husband who has it. But I seem to be able to track it way better than he can!!! Yesterday, he nearly "bit my head off" and it really was funny, although he did not see the humor in it at all. We had been to Subway for lunch and he had got "3 cookies for $1.00" and ate 2 of them. We stopped and got groceries and came home just in time for my sister, her husband, and their 2 grandsons to arrive. Nice time together. We had had a really late lunch, about 2:30 pm, so I thought 7 pm for dinner would be just fine. About 6:45, my husband asks me where the cookie is. I said, I set it right in the pantry. Continued chatting with my sister out on the back deck. He comes back out and yells at me in a horribly angry voice, "WHERE DID YOU PUT THE COOKIE?" Still not realizing he is crashing, I said, "it's right inside the pantry" and he screams at me, "IT'S NOT THERE, WHY CAN'T YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT THINGS?"

So I get up, go inside the house, walk to the pantry and pull the cookie right off the shelf, right at eye level, right in front of him and all he says is, "oh".

Really. Honesly. Seriously. It was on the shelf, right at his eye level, the first thing any normal, sane, sugar-balanced person would see when they looked inside the pantry. But not him! He was crashing big time and could not function to save his soul. So, I immediately started dinner and in 2 hours, he was just fine. To his credit, he did apologize to me later on in the privacy of our bedroom, but he never apologized to my family who were visiting.

Which brings me to tonight's topic. Moment by moment changes in blood sugar. It's a theory that I have. And if you have experiences with this, please post!

There's this term called "fight or flight". Has nothing to do with diabetes. When something happens that scares us, or shocks us, or frightens us, or upsets us, our natural first instinct is either to fight it, or run from it. A bear attacks your tent while you are camping, you are either going to grab a gun and shoot it (fight) or run and jump inside the truck (flight). OK, a bit of an extreme example, huh? But I think you get the point. If you smash your thumb with a hammer, you scream, you jump up and down, you shout out in pain....and the adrenaline in your system rockets up. In an earthquake...or a car wreck, your body goes on automatic pilot and your adrenaline increases. That has an impact on insulin. I know it does, I've read the research. But those are huge increases in adrenaline.

I think, (again, my personal theory) is that when little tiny things happen, there are changes in adrenaline, and changes in insulin, all day long. Your boss yells at you. Your kids don't call. Your wife is mad at you, the dog pees on the carpet. All the tiny little insignificant things that normal people can handle, can and sometimes do cause shifts in the adrenaline/insulin/body sugar levels of a diabetic. The more tiny little insignificant things that happen at the same time, the more the shift in the blood sugar, and the more it all "piles up".

I also think there must be some kind of "lag time" in events and in insulin production or lack of it. Sort of like the traffic that ques up, you slam on the breaks, you speed up again, but you never come upon the event that actually made that first car slam on the breaks! We have a tunnel on our freeway and I can guaraantee you that every time you approach it, everyone slams on their brakes. But there is never any indication why....and I don't think normal people slam on their brakes just to go through a tunnel on a 4-lane highway! My husband takes his blood sugar and it's within normal levels.....but I KNOW it's really not because of the way he is acting!!!

My personal opinion is that adrenaline has a huge impact on the body's blood sugar levels. The calmer I can keep my husband, the less outbursts we seem to have. But every day life tends to prevent calmness around here! He doesn't handle company all that well, let alone 2 little boys aged 9 and 11 who wanted nothing more than to play with our little puppies. So, 2 bouncing, yipping puppies, 2 little boys, 2 adult relatives...yep, that fight or flight instinct probably was in full gear!! After all, I couldn't seem to put the cookie in the right place!!! :o)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Counseling for partners

My whole blog first started because I'm in counseling because my husband has diabetes.

My counselor told me that I needed to get a "life of my own" and I posted about that. I guess I assumed that when someone posted a comment to a single blog, they had read all my previous blogs. Not so, I guess! LOL! So, today, I'm going to respond to a comment that was made to my last blog. Just because it brought up some good issues to think about.

I'm going to assume that the poster is someone who has type 1 diabetes. My husband has type 2, but has progressed to where he needs 2 shots in the morning and 2 shots in the evening. Oh, and don't forget, I have a complete, total needle phobia! :o)

I am over 50 years old and have had a very full life. I've also had a lot of grief and have received counseling over the years in how to deal with it. I know that each time there is a loss in our life, you must go through each step of the grief process. If we become stuck in any one step of the process....that is when the problems set in and your life cannot move forward.

What I do not understand is why some diabetics do not understand that this disease presents a serious of "losses" to them. They lose the ability to do certain things, to have control over what they eat, they need to take insulin, they need to regulate their lives. Each step of the disease, each progression, is a loss that needs to be dealt with.

If anger is a natural step in the grief process (and we know it is) then it is only normal to go through a phase of anger at each loss brought on by this disease. It is natural to go through a period of denial. A period of confusion. A period of tyring to put it all back together again. And then it is natural to go through acceptance...and the goal is to get to where you can help others who are suffering with this disease.

If you do not get past denial and get stuck in that phase....or any phase of the grief process....that's where the problems set in.

My husband is obviously still stuck in denial....and on so many levels...with so many areas of loss in his life.

Diabetics and counselors do not seem to fully understand that each time my partner has a loss in bodily function, the ability to do a shared activity that we used to enjoy, the non-diabetic partner (me/you) has to go through the grief process as well. And they have to go through each step of that process. So it's perfectly normal that I should have my own anger, my own resentment, my own denial. Over each and every loss. And when either of us get's stuck in any single phase....on any single loss, let's face it, we are going to have problems.

Now what loss could I possibly have since this is not my disease? eating and cooking habits have been forced to change against my will simply because my partner will not eat properly if I don't. We sold our Wave Runner and have not been back to the lake. We used to go almost every weekend. We don't go now because a) the temperature there is 107 degrees and has an impact on insulin, 2) his hands can no longer grip the clutches on the waverunner, 3) he doesn't "feel" like going any more and 4) he is in too much pain to go. This was an activity that I/we used to absolutely love to do together and looked forward to doing all summer long. Just one of scores of things that have changed in our lives as this disease has progressed. And yes, probably because he does not have any desire to control the progression of his disease.

The counselor said that "you need to create a life of your own". Well, trust me, I do have a life of my own. I travel quite a bit and although I am a freelance person, I still have deadlines with more projects than I will get done this summer! But I would argue that "this" is my life. "HE" is my life. Now, I do understand that I cannot make him make the correct decisions. And I do have activities of my own and things that I do without him. I'm not sitting home, in fact, I'm rarely home! Note my 3 month absence from blogging....just not here.

Another example. I'm pretty sure he is suffering right now from diabetic diahrrea. I'm home. He wants me to do the laundry for him. I suggested that he strip the bed this morning. He pulled the top sheet up and is laying on top of the bedspread. Has he stripped the bed yet? No....he doesn't feel like it. Is he waiting for me to go do it? Of course! Am I going to do it? Not likely. This is HIS disease, not mine....and the last thing I want to do is this type of laundry!!! But will he do it? I doubt it. He will lay there working from his laptop all day long and he will sleep on top of the bedspread tonight tossing a throw over himself.

Will he call the doctor? no. Will he do anything other than take imodium for the diarhhea? I doubt it. Yes, this is his disease, it is not mine. HOWEVER.....the consequences of "his" disease have a severe impact on my life! If you didn't get a graphic enough picture with the diahrrea example...just consider the smell!

A comment was made that this disease presents the same issues as cancer. I totally disagree. The word "cancer" and the word "diabetes" do NOT get the same reaction when spoken to someone else. Although, sadly, they should, they just do not. My husband's own children do not understand that their father is going to die from this disease as he is not taking care of himself. They serve him birthday cake. They serve him fried hamburgers and french fries. They do not have a clue. If he had cancer....I think they would be treating him a whole lot differently.

Counseling for a partner is a very good, necessary thing. The "concept" behind moving ahead with your life is a good one. But counselors need to grasp that this is MY life and I am married to HIM! So we are still a partnership and each of us must grieve our losses that are brought on by this disease. Neither one of us can move forward together or separately if we do not do this. Because I so clearly understand the grief process....I can do this....on a good day....when I'm thinking clearly.....and he is not yelling and screaming at me!!!

If I could say just one single thing to a diabetic out there, it would be that this is not just YOUR disease. Every single aspect of it has a profound impact on your partner!!! I did not ask for this disease. I do not have this disease. But it has changed my life more than anything else. I hate it more than anything else. And my husband, the diabetic, just does not get that.

oh, and do your own sheets! :o)

We did have a good weekend. He laid in bed most of the time or sat in his chair watching movies. I rearranged furniture and did a bit of organizing, something I enjoy doing. We went to a show, out to dinner and got groceries. He started getting sick about noon yesterday and it's pretty much been downhill since then. He has an infection in his right wrist and the area the size of a baseball is swollen and beet red. He can barely move it. The diarrhea started about 6 pm last night and kept him awake most of the night. He can barely move this morning. I asked him if he would please call his doctor and he said no.'s his disease, not mine....and I'm the one in counseling!

There is a bit of humor in that after all!!! :o)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday nite.

Well, we used to do that. Not much anymore. But we should! Here we are sitting in the living searching family trees online and him...sitting in his recliner, watching TV. The story of my life!

He is not type1, but type2 who is now taking 2 shots per day. He developed type 2 over 30 years ago. And he is STILL in denial.

From the comments made on my last blog. Yes, we do need marital counseling. But you see, the problem with a diabetic who is in denial over their also in denial over any type of marital problems.

Unfortunately for my husband, he has had some very bad doctors....and probably currently as well. They tell him things like....

1. You can eat anything you like, the meds will control your insulin.
2. As long as your A1c is within a normal range, you are doing great.
3. As long as your A1c is within a normal range, you are not having any problems.
4. There is no daily fluxuations in your sugar levels
5. Your sugar goes up after you wake up....even after you take your morning shot
6. Your anger is not related to your diabetes
7. You just have gnarly feet...due to your Scottish ancestry

and on and on the list goes.

Of course, he thinks his doctors are gods because they tell him what he wants to hear.

He seriously does not believe that there is anything wrong with him, with our marriage...and that if there is, it has nothing to do with his diabetes.

And he will deny to his death that he is depressed.

So, short of tying him up and dragging (kidnapping) this 6', 250 pound man....not sure I can get him to thearpy. But he did agree to go and I have put the call in, so I will push like I've never pushed for anything in my life!

About his daughter. She was supposed to come over tonight for dinner. I wrote out 3 pages of terms and conditions for her to agree to in order to stay here for the next 90 days. She called at 4:45 pm and said she had a job interview tonight. I almost had to burst out laughing. I have been a manager for a number of years and I cannot imagine anyone conducting an interview at 4:45 pm on Friday night! Well...unless the "job" is for something other than what I'd want to do for a living! LOL! I'm positive she has a date tonight. NOT a job interview! But what do you do? Tell this over 30 year old woman that she HAS to come discuss her request to move in? She said she would try to make it over here on Sunday. That's fine. I plan to hand the letter to my husband and have him read it before she arrives. I have more than enough on my hands without adding his unemployed daughter to the mix!

Finding friends. Well, I sort of have the opinion that we all have our own issues. Mine are my husband's diabetes. But another woman might have a serious weight problem. Another woman might have a child who is difficult or causing problesm. Another might have a spouse who beats her or verbally abuses her. I guess I don't think that the other person has to have lived with a diabetic to really understand what I'm going through. I do believe that you can transfer issues and become great friends and support each other through your troubles. The friends that I called in my last blog live several states away from me. Do I believe that you can form friendships even over the internet, call each other on the phone, and be there to support each other.

The other half of that is just explaining what you are going through. My sisters have never understood my problems with diabetes....until I sat down and literally walked them through a day in my life. OK, so I picked a really bad day. But after doing that a few times, they started to understand. After calling them and telling them that once again, he blew up and told me to get out....they actually started creating rooms in their case I really do need to leave. One of my sisters has actually told me that I should leave him...but I am not ready to do that.

I love him with all my heart. When he is normal. We have the best time together. And we are happy.

I do not like who he becomes when his sugar is out of whack. But I think I am starting to learn to recognize the difference between the 2 men. I hope I am. I do not like him at all at that time. But as long as I can recognize the "other" him....and realize it is not who he really is....I hope and pray I can handle all of this.

Should I let him read my blog? Not yet. Maybe never. I need a place that is "safe" where I can totally dump and get this all off my chest. Some of what I write would hurt him terribly. He is such a sensitive man at times. Yes, he may "need" to read this, but I "need" to know that it is just for me....even more right now. I hope that makes sense.

We used to get all gussied up on Friday night and go out to dinner. Sometimes we would go to the theater or to a dinner theater, take in a local play. It was so much fun. But now he just hurts too much. I asked him if he wanted to at least go to a movie tonight after his daughter called and said she wasn't coming over. He said no. He just wants to sit here.

Which leads me to my next question. We are both over 50. I consider myself to be right in the middle of my life. I plan to live at least another good 50 years. I certainly do not want to "sit here" for the next 50 years!!! And I'm starting to wonder if he can do much else other than just "sit here" until he dies. When do you make the decision to leave your spouse's side and let him just "sit here" and go off and do the things that you want to do, but do them alone? I know that I understand that he is dieing and I am not....but I do love him and would love to do things with him, but he does not feel like doing anything....or he is in too much pain...or too tired....there is always an excuse. I know that I can get up and go to the movie alone...but that is not why I am married! I am in this relationship to have a partner, someone to go places with, someone to share life with.

And perhaps I'm just rambling in a circle of thoughts tonight....but by putting them down on "paper" via this blog, perhaps some sense will come of this.

Thank you for your comments. It really is nice to know that I am not alone in this world of diabetes. I have done so much research and looked for support for spouses....there really isn't much out there. I did read that the divorce rate for this disease is 67% and to be quite honest...I was suprised it was that low!!!

In my next blog, I want to talk about the lack of communication from diabetics. Does it exist?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A network of friends...a life line

There are moments when I think life cannot get any worse...and then it does! My husband's 32 year old daughter quit her $50K a year job because she didn't like her boss. Geez! And tonight he announced that she was moving in with us the end of the month.

At first I thought I would scream. I quietly got up and took a walk around the lake, calling my sister, and then my 2 best friends. Just talking and listening. Wondering what I would do. Absolutely certain that if I told him she couldn't move in, he would go ballistic on me.

Background. She lived with us a few years ago and life was horrible then. She is a primadonna spoiled drama queen, to say the least. I do like her as a person, but I do not like her living habits. You know, wet laundry in the washing machine for 4 days, dirty laundry all over the guest bathroom floor....blobs of hair color on the carpet that we still have not replaced.

So I walked and talked to my friends for an hour. Talked out all the options. Came back to the house and asked him if we could talk. Completely and totally ready for him to blow up and start screaming at me again.

But he didn't. He actually turned off the TV and sat and listened to me. And I do think I was more desparately open than I have ever been with him. After I got out everything, he said, "well, let's call her and have her come over and we will sit down and tell her all this".


My conditions will be that she move into the basement for a maximum of 90 days and that she must work 40 hours a week looking for a job and that on weekends and evenings, she helps cook, clean, and do yardwork. She will not be a guest, she will be an adult member of this household and pull her own weight around here. I just can't imagine that she will agree to any of this and think she will come up with an alternative living arrangement. Which is fine.

He also agreed to go to marriage counseling. I'm calling first thing tomorrow to set up an appointment! I'm going to start with the diabetes nutritionist that I've been seeing.

I am so grateful for my friends, that they listen to me and that even though they do not live with diabetes or fully understand it, they are here for me at all times!!!

If you live with a diabetic....find yourself a a network of friends. And then call them when you need them!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's 2 o'clock in the morning....

and who is there to listen to me? The house is not quiet as I can hear the roar of his snoring. I know he is in terrible pain tonight as I woke up to him flopping his feet on the bed. I'm fully aware that he is clueless as he is sound asleep. But how can I sleep with the bed literally jumping every few seconds? He will lift a foot and flop it back down on the bed. It must be some natural instinct to find a comfortable position?

So I get up and come downstairs thinking I will sleep on the sofa, but I can't sleep. I did look at his feet last night and they are worse than ever. Huge orange gnarles on them that have white tips. Carbunkles the size of an egg coming off his heels. Lumps and bumps everywhere. I really do not know how he walks.

He is going to die. And I think I have finally realized that. The problem is that I am not going to die. Well, at least not from diabetes. He even said to me this weekend, "If I am going to die, I am going to live the way I want". And in two days, he ate a bag of potato chips, a bag of chocolate chip cookies, and a chocolate ice cream sundae. Does he know from his feet that he is going to die? Is that what is going on? I feel like I'm sitting here just waiting for "it" to happen. That my own life cannot progress until his ends.

Yep, it's 2:00 am and I must be rambling...I'm so tired, so exhausted....and I can't sleep because I can't be in my own bed with him due to all the flopping about!

Maybe I will sleep tomorrow! :o)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tme heals nothing

It's been about 3 months since I posted here. Mostly because my laptop crashed and I lost the link. But also because I've been traveling and he's been gone as well. Life has been good. Then I returned from San Deigo to a house smelling of dog urine and all "hell" broke loose!

So, I understand that he doesn't feel well. I understand that he has the flu. I don't understand not changing the pads for the dogs. I don't understand not letting them go outside. I feel certain that he just sat in his chair watching TV the whole time I was gone.

And I had no plans of saying a word. Just going to clean up all the messes. But he wanted to know what was wrong. THREE times I told him nothing. Then after he kept asking, I said, "do you really want to know?" and he said "Yes".

My mistake. I should have known that he was out of balance. Completely, totally, insanely out of whack! And the end result was a tirade of accusations towards me, another screaming match, him yelling at me to move out, just get out, just leave!!! The verbal abuse that flowed from his mouth is something I've not heard to date, so I know he is getting worse. I sat on the corner of the bed and did not cry this time. I listened and listened and then told him that he is the only person who can make himself happy, that I do not have any control over what he is feeling.

Yes...duh! That only made him angrier. I've written down everything he said in a word document because it's just too personal to put here. But I see a pattern. He is getting sicker. He is not taking care of himself. He is having major bouts of pain. And he is doing nothing to manage any of it.

As I was driving home from my last trip, it hit me, in the middle of the road, that he IS dieing. And I am NOT. That is the difference between us. With his kidney function down to 30%, and his complete denial (he still thinks insulin shots alone will cure him) he has done nothing to change the path he is on. I cannot change it for him. So he is dieing. And I am not. And that is the division between the 2 of us. Oh, I do realize that I could die long before he does! LOL! But my body is taking the normal aging route where his is expedited due to this disease and he unwillingness to manage it.

The rest of the weekend was spent with him sitting in front of his TV, watching movies because he is literally unable to do anything else. I walked 3 miles each day. Did a bit of yard work. Have decided to quit all soda (yeah!) quit all sugar (yeah!) and eat healthy (Weight Watchers for me.) At least in doing something I consider positive, I hope to put his latest outburst behind me and move forward.

I do believe that with this disease, if the person who has it is not willing to work to heal themselves, time does nothing but make it worse. My question is, how many more times will I have to endure his outbursts? I survive by knowing it is the disease, not the loving man I once married, that is being so verbally abusive towards me. I am just the vehicle that his anger gets dumped into. But how long this vehicle remains I cannot say. After all, I am human, too.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

How do you quit reacting...

to what he says, to what he does? When do you learn to recognize that it's not "him", it's what the disease is doing to him? Tonight he asked me if there was something wrong and I said, "I'm just tired from cleaning". He said, "well, then, don't clean". I said, "I have too, I really don't want to live in a pig stye".

And that completely set him off! He took it to mean that he was creating a pigstye for me to live in. Now, any sane woman knows that if you don't clean your house, it doesn't take much for it to get filthy....and it doesn't mean that anyone else is forcing it to be dirty, it just happens.

So, he commenced to yell and scream at me and told me to get out of the house if it was such a horrible, filthy place to live!

I probably should have started to laugh, but then I think he might have killed me. So instead, I sat there and cried. Some of his comments were just like a 10 year old who doesn't get his way. I should have known his blood sugar was dropping. And I think maybe I did, but I didn't want to say anything because it would just make him angrier.

Is it possible that when the sugar starts to drop, that if the diabetic allows himself to get angry, the adreneline pumps up and insulin is created so the blood sugar rises again? Is anger at low sugar the body's natural way of creating more sugar?

It's like when we get scared, or physically hurt...there is a rush that comes over us and we have a sudden burst of energy. Is the same thing going on with him and that his why he gets so off-the-charts pissed off?

He said to me tonight that I am a changed person. That I am never happy. I wonder if he is stating to me what he feels in himself? Because I don't think I have changed a bit and I really think that when I'm not around him in his dark mood, I'm pretty happy. At least I feel like I am! So I'm sitting here tonight wondering why he thinks I've changed and when/why did I change? I tried to explain to him that I am just being exceptionally quiet around him because I don't want to do or say anything that might upset him.

He did tell me that he wants me to tell him to take his blood sugar when he gets so angry with me. I just sat there and bawled. He asked what was wrong? I said, well, if you had any idea how many times I have asked you to go take your blood sugar and you absolutely refuse to do so....and then you don't even remember that I asked you to take it. But every time I ask, you get so mad at me and tell me it's just normal and you refuse to take it.

So I guess that's my quandry. I know when he is normal, he has a good heart and he wants to do the right thing. But when it's not normal, he just gets so mad, and refused to do anything I suggest, no matter how I suggest it.

This is going to be a long, slow process. He has said so many things to me that just cut me to the quick. Four times in the past 4 weeks, he has told me to leave. Each time I know it's not "him", but each time, I think he takes away a little something from who I am, from how I love him. I even wonder if he is trying to force me to leave him so then he won't have to face the day-to-day dealings of this disease. If I'm not here, who will care if he can't wear shoes???

Diabetes is just a horrible awful disease. I cannot imagine the pain he must be in. I can't begin to fathom the highs and lows and the impact it has on his ability to function. And the mere thought that his kidney function is down to somewhere between 30 & I understand his denial, I understand his grief....I am sharing it with him. But we are sharing all this in separate worlds at the moment. I would like to bring our worlds back together again. I believe it can happen. I know it will take a long time.

Unfortunately, I do still love him to pieces. Even more unfortunate, he does not realize that.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Well, that's what I'm screaming in my head! I took a class yesterday and when I got home, there were "low sugar" brownies and chocolate angel food cake on the counter. I could see the brownies were sugar coated so I picked up the box and started to read the nutrition label. 28 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of sugar. When I quietly asked him if he was supposed to have that much carbs/sugars, he said it was for the entire container. I did a double-take and the label says it's for 4 pieces! There must be 100 pieces in the box!

The nutrition content for the chocolate angel food cake is the same. So, I asked him about that and once again, he said it was for the entire cake. I re-read the is for 1/8 of the cake.

When I explained that to him, all he said was "oh!"

I know! I know! This IS HIS DISEASE! I guess I need to find the label on him and read it!

He said, I said

We were at the paint store, waiting for paint to be mixed. I was looking at stencils. He says, "why are you looking at those?" I said, "because I'm going to paint words on the walls". He said, "no, you're not. I do not want words painted on the walls". I said, "but I told you that's what I want to do after I paint the walls. I want to put words on them and put a painting on the wall in my work area". He said, "you may have said that to all of your friends and to the entire world, but you never said that to me." I looked right at him and I said, "I told you that last Sunday when we were talking about all this". He said, "well, I really do not want words on the walls. It looks like a child's room". I said, "Can't you just trust me? It will look professional". He said, "Does it matter? You will do what you want anyway."

And then we went to the grocery store on our way home and he didn't want a thing. I asked what he wanted to eat all week and he said, "I will figure it out".

And that's all that he has said in the past 90 minutes.

I'm going to change clothes and start painting.

In defense of him, it must be so frustrating to have periods of sugar highs and lows, To not remember an entire conversation with someone else. To be so angry at the world you cannot function.

In defense of me, I did tell him I wanted to paint words on the walls. But I'm sure it was like a thousand other conversations with him....I talk, he is in a sugar low, doesn't respond and doesn't remember.

So, how do I know when he is in a sugar low and not going to remember? I think the nutritionist would say "that's not your job!"


Saturday, March 25, 2006

The difference a week makes.....

or is it just my new attitude? DH came home from his trip and he was so quiet and I stayed quiet, thinking we were in for another hellacious weekend around here. But the tables turned. He decided we would go to a movie. Our usual...he goes to se some horror flick and I see a chick flick When we met after the movies, I asked how his was and he said it was awful. I said "you should have gone with me" and just started in telling him all about it. Actually, one of the funniest movies I've seen in ages "Failure to Launch". The critics panned it, but as a mom with a 27 and 22 year old sons who always are asking if they can move back home....I got it! We went to dinner where I continued to babble on about the movie and actually had DH laughing.

This morning has been rather nice around here. We seem to be back to civil conversation. I signed up for a class this afteroon, it's an hour away. His son called and wanted to meet us for dinner tonight and I told him I had a class. Hmmm....all of a sudden there is something going on? I'm not available for everyone? I sort of like this! :o) I assured them they could all go out without me, but they opted to call back next week. Shall I just sign up for a class every Saturday? LOL!

On the other hand....I know in the past we have had these incredibly wondeful moments and then it all goes down the tube so dang fast. I know it's why I stay with the man, it's for these moments. It's for the half hour when the sugar is normal and life is good. It's for the single sentence that is positive, rather than something angry and cutting. It is for the pure joy of seeing him the way I know he is, when his body is normal.

And it's usually in the morning before there's been a meal. But maybe, just maybe, this spark of hope has a little something to do with my visit to the nutritionist this week! Ah! There is always hope....there is always a week in the life of a diabetic....there is always hope that this can be the week there is a difference!

Now, don't you go burst my bubble just yet! :o)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A life of my own

One of the things that the counselor said to me is that I need to get a life of my own. She said that I should go to work (I'm retired), volunteer, get out of the house when he is home, do something that creates a life of my own. How does one go about doing that at my age? In 6 months I will turn 55. Now, that should put me into my own depression! LOL! But at this age, what do I do?

I often think that if I were to live another 40 years...and that's not outside the realm of possibility...what do I want to do with my life? Do I go back to school? I already have a graduate degree. Do I start my own business? Not sure I want to work 20 hours a day for the next 5 years just to get a business up and running! Do I volunteer? Perhaps...but doing what? Is it my time to give back to my community?

One of the things I want to do is paint my house!'s not going to be red! :o) I want to paint color in the inside of my house. It's a fairly new house and all the walls are white or cream. DH has always said that he only wants white walls. No wallpaper. No color. No antiques. Just a sterile look! And that's not me! So I have decided to paint color on the walls. Now, some of our rooms have 22' tall ceilings and I'm terrified of heights. Oh! Won't this be interesting? Me...up on a my age...with a bucket and a paintbrush? I'm sure we will have to put in all new floors as well!

There are sayings and quotes that I want to paint on my colored walls. Things that motivate me. Words that inspire me. Thoughts that give me hope. Do I think this will help me survive the daily pain of living with a spouse who has diabetes? Maybe. The mere fact of painting all of this space will be a full time job for about 2 years. I'm not all that fast! Can I emerse myself in painting and still have him in the house, yet have a life of my own up on the ladder? Perhaps! Can I hope that he will develop and interest and join me in my persuit of color? Oh! I can pray and dream!!!

We live in a 2 story house with a full basement and I know the day is fast approaching when he will not be able to climb the stairs. We will need to sell and move to a one level place. My luck...I will get the place painted and looking exactly like I want and we will put it on the market! We also have over 2/3 acre here and the burden of yardwork has fallen on me the past 4 years. There is still more that I want to do, maybe this spring I will get a good start on finishing up the landscaping. Major things like moving paths, creating new gardens. So will painting and gardening become "a life of my own"? I think my counselor might agree! At least it will give me goals to work towards while I live with this disease.

And then again, maybe I will take a class and learn to paint on paper! :o)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Life without shoes - diabetes

Life without shoes. Yes...for FIVE months last summer, DH could not wear shoes. He wore sandals. Loose ones. His feet had horrible sores on them. He sat in his chair and watched movies all the time. Loud, booming, vibrating loud that the walls in the house shook! Denial? I'm sure! It was about the time he was moving from pills to shots and his sugar levels were up way over 300 most days. I think one day they were at 510.

His feet are so gnarly anyway, and then there are little white mounds that pop up, almost look like a staff infection...and if he pops them...they just drain endlessley. He says it's not from diabetes. One of his doctors told him it was his "Scottish ancestry" and that he was just a gnarly old man.


I told him he probably needed to find a new doctor! OK...that went over like a lead balloon! I had visions that he would never walk again...that I'd be pushing behind the wheelchair wherever we went. But perhaps my greates pity party was the realization that we could not take another backpack trip through Europe. That the days of our "youth" were totally gone. That my ability to explore the world with him had come to a halt.

Life without shoes. Just not the easiest thing on earth! He works for a huge corporation and tried to hide wearing sandals with socks by wearing really long trousers! Now...that just doesn't work! And seeing him in a business suit with sandals....that doesn't work either!

The whole thing is that when your feet hurt so bad you can't stand on them, of course, you can't exercise. You can't do anything but sit in your chair and watch TV. And what kind of life is that for anyone around you?

Of course the whole thing of booming, blaring, trumpeting that another form of denial? Is that a way to immerse oneself deep into the movie to block out anything in real life?

I have grown to absolutely hate TV in the past few months.

This week....I started sleeping on the sofa downstairs. When he asked why, I told him the volume had started to give me headaches. Yes....that made him mad. But 2 nights later, he offered to start wearing headsets. Ah! I have slept in my own bed in peace and quiet for the first time in years! I love headsets! Wireless ones at that!

Sleep. Yes...I know I am sleep deprived. I have huge black circles under my eyes to prove it. I'm hoping in a few months they will go away!

Life without shoes....trickeled down to me getting black circles under my eyes from lack of sleep due to the volume of the TV because there was nothing else he could do. Is this the circle of life in a diabetic family? Today....I want out of that circle!

Memory Loss in diabetes

Memory Loss.

Have you ever seen the movie "gaslight"? I think that's the title. It's an old one. The husband tries to make the wife think she's lost her mind. Well....that's about where I am with all of this!

My DH does not remember anything I tell him when his sugar is low. Yes, it has gone so low that he has passed out. He has also had moments where he knows he's going to pass out. Scares the crap out of me...the very thought of me being a passenger in the car he is driving!

Problem is, he doesn't remember anything I say when he is getting "near low". So, later on, when I remind him of something that he agreed to do, he says that I never told him that. Lately, he has turned this on me and now declares that I never told him, I can't remember what I did tell him, and therefore, I am suffering from memory loss!

So I just wanted to remind myself to post here all those things that I have forgotten so that I will know it's not MY memory's his sugar lows that have gotten us to this point in our relationship! LOLOL!

How on earth does anyone out there stay married to someone with diabetes? I know that I love the man dearly...but is love enough to get you through all of this?

Thank goodness the diabetes counselor confirmed that I do not have any memory loss....but that this is standard protocol when his sugar is low. And it's his survival blame me, to say that I'm the one with a memory loss....rather than face what is happening to him!


Living with diabetes

Well, I've done it! I've started a blog about living with this horrible disease! I just feel like I need a place to write down all my thoughts, especially the things I forget because I do tend to block all the bad stuff from my thoughts. I suppose that is a survival just happens to be one I'm a pro at.

My husband is a diabetic. And it is out of control. Yesterday, I met with a diabetic nutritionist. She honestly thought I was there to talk about my diabetes! Surprise! No...I went to ask for help in dealing with his. I did like this gal. She was bright, energetic, fun....what I would like to be. But we have a journey to get there, that's for sure!

DH has had type 2 diabetis for at least 25 years. It was always "controlled" with pills. However, his doctor told him that he could eat whatever he wanted as long as he took his pills. Then his company forced him to switch insurance companies. The new health care plan forced him to undergo a battery of tests and told him his kidney function was down to 40% and that he had to start with insulin shots.

Well...that's the first problem. Why didn't anyone tell him his kidney function was at 90%, or 80% or 50%? Or did they tell him and he just never bothered to share that information with me?

We have been through denial....and progressed to anger which is where he is stuck. I know that I cannot change him. I cannot help him move forward. I have gutted the house of any "bad" food. I refuse to buy anything other than what he should eat. I refuse to be his enabler. So, of course, he is always angry that there is "nothing to eat" around here. He travels almost every week and eats out every meal...4 or 5 days a week. I cannot control what he does on the road. I know that. But when he comes home, weekends are pure hell around here. He is mad at me, mad at the dogs, mad at the pavement in the driveway...just angry at the entire world.

He will sit in front of his TV the entire weekend. The only time he moves is to find something to eat (ok, a Snicker's bar!) and because it's not here...he gets mad.

Last weekend, we had a 6 hour discussion. Tears everywhere. The only good that came from it was my statement to him that I did not want to hear another angry word out of him. To which he replied, "ok, then I will only speak to you in a monotone voice". I nearly laughed outloud at his 10 year old childish comments...but I took him to task and the very next time he was angry, I looked right at him and said, "quite the lovely monotone in your voice there" and he backed off immediately.

The diabetes counselor suggested that I try to get him in for joint counseling. He is gone til Friday night and my plans are to ask him to join me and I'll call for an appointment.

I know that his sugar levels are out of whack. He says he needs a snickers bar at 8:30 am because his sugar is "low". At noon he wants another one. If I remind him of the one he had in the morning, he denies that he had one. If I show him the empty wrapper, he says that I ate it. So I know that he does not remember what he does/says when his sugar is low. And when his sugar is high, he is just plain pissed off at the world!

The more highs and lows that he goes through in a day, the more anger I see. And the more exhausted and tired he the extent that he will let the dogs pee in the house rather than get up and let them outside when I am not here. I just spent 5 hours shampooing carpets last can imagine my anger! LOL!

I think writing is good. It will allow me to vent my frustration, knowing that no one out there needs to read any of this. And it's a place for me to re-read my thoughts and my notes.

Maybe one day soon there will be a cure for this disease. Oh that MY denial??? :o)