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)