Monday, December 31, 2007

Peace and harmony

Another week with no incidents. It's been so grande! A very stress free holiday for both of us. I have a cold, he just got over one, so we're taking lots of meds and getting in lots of naps. Feels great! His parents have called a few times, trying to guilt him/us into coming down, but he continues to hold firm that we are here this year. I'm just so grateful!

Quiet new years eve as we ordered pizza in and are watching TV tonight.

Hope the next month is as peaceful as the last couple of weeks have been! I think we start another round of doctor's visits about the 15th.


Sunday, December 23, 2007

All is well.

I just want to dance! Life is on even keel and everything is going quite well. He is still having morning lows, but I am getting food into him earlier in the day and that's getting better. We are eating smaller meals, more snacks thoughout the day and that seems to be helping. His feet are stable for the time being. He's off all week long but already been called in to a meeting tomorrow morning...but I'm hoping he can get some much needed rest this week. We really don't have much planned.

I'm letting him eat Brownies Tuesday and then on Wednesday, he has to start on the least 5 minutes every day and we will see if he can work up from that. I also hope he will do the bicycle. I'm going to schedule time each day for both of us to do a little bit of exercise and hopefully get him back on track with that.

We spent Thursday with his son, 2 granddaughters and their mom. It was the best "medicine" hubby could have had. I think he's starting to see that perhaps we should quit driving to see his parents and start spending more time with his kids and grandkids. I'm all for that!

Hope everyone else is having a peaceful week.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

How to get past depression

Hubby has been quite depressed this past week. I couldn't figure out if it was meds, the fact that he decided not to go "home" for the holidays, the holidays themselves, or what. So, this morning, I said to him, "get dressed, we are going to go play today!"

I thought for sure he would say no, but he got dressed and grudgingly went along with me. I had to take something back to a department store and while waiting at the checkout counter, he found holiday outfits for our 2 little chihuahuas. And I knew from the look in his eyes....we were on the right path!

We managed to get all of his holiday shopping done today (just in time that I can wrap them and send them out UPS), went to lunch at one of his favorite places and were home by 2 pm. I ran out and picked up a full body massage/heat mat and brought it home for him to lay on. By 6 pm, he decided he wanted to go out to dinner and I agreed. It was a place I have refused to go to for a whole year, but I decided to give in tonight! While there, I asked if he was feeling better and he said that he felt great. He thanked me over and over for making him go out today. And although he hurt like heck, he said it was a great day! He just seems really happy tonight.

So I think he is past his depression, and he has his holiday shopping all done. Yeah! I think he is finally in the holiday spirit and I hope he keeps it for the next couple of weeks!

A little bit of education, fun and maybe money......

I have absolutely, positively no idea what I'm doing, but someone sent me a link to Pay Per Post....and I decided to learn a little bit about writing html and editing that in a post. But why shouldn't all/any of us make a few pennies as we post our journeys here?


Friday, December 14, 2007

Today's nephrology visit

I think I'm exhausted and it was his appointment. His HMO does not have a nephrologist, so this was a referral outside the system. Of course, there is not a whole lot that she can do other than make observations. Sigh.

His A1c is normal. You wouldn't believe the look I got from her when I said that he is having a lot of lows and must be having highs to balance out the A1c. I immediately knew she did not like me, did not want me there, did not want to hear any of this.

And it's such a game with him. She asked if his doctor had talked to him about diet and limiting salt. He said yes and that we use "no salt" or salt substitutes. She said, "good, good". And then I said that yes, they had talked to him about that, but he loves to eat out and that he doesn't really follow any of the recommended diet plans. Again, I got "that look".

They had taken him off allopurinol and colchicine because his creatine levels had gone up. She put him back on 100mg /day of allopurinol and is giving him a 9 day burst of prednisone. I was a bit surprised with this as it works to raise blood sugars. And not once did she mention to him or ask him about daily glucose monitoring. Sigh.

Further, she told him to go back on the colchicine as needed for pain, up to 1 every other day. So, does this mean that his creatine levels will go back up?

He is on Novulin N 66 twice a day and R 30 twice a day. She asked him to cut back his salt and cut back his lasix. His weight is up to 246 pounds. A gain of 25 pounds this year. She did tell him that he is stage 3 CKD, his function is now at 32% and that yes, it can go up after being down....that the creatine levels were probably up due to too many drugs (which she is putting him back on).

She wants to see him every 6 months.

I asked her about a non-invasive glucose monitor/pump like MiniMed Paradigm Real-Time of CGMS system Gold. She said we need to see his endocrinologist for that. He does not have one. He only has a rheumatologist and a primary care physician.

I explained the peeks/valleys that I see with Novolin R& N and asked about Lantus/Novolog or novorapid and again, she said see the primary care or endocrinologist.

I inquired about remedies for depression, foot pain, headaches (suggested a pain management clinic).....and with each one...she said we needed to see the primary care.

So on the way home, I suggest that he make an appointment to see his primary care as soon as he could and to have his labs redone in 2 weeks to see the impact of prednisone and the other drugs on all his levels.

He's gone back to his HMO now to get his RX filled, but I could tell he was a bit depressed. I think it's more because I was there asking questions rather than any answer she was giving us. But I can also see that he is obviously not giving these doctors the full, complete picture.

I did also mention that he cannot exercise due to the pain in his feet, knees, hips and back. Again, she said there wasn't much she could do about it.

I'm wonder if a nephrologist really only comes into play when a patient gets to stage 4? Or perhaps look at the combination of drugs they are currently on? But she really couldn't make a change in the type of insulin he is getting which I found interesting, but probably has more to do with the fact that this was a referral outside his HMO.

I will just continue to make my observations here, keep this as my notes to refer back to, and wait for the next doctor's visit. In the meantime, until he wants to make changes in his diet, I don't see much else that can be done.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Miracle

Well, I am quite happy tonight, yet I cannot act as happy as I am! LOL!

For the past 10 years, every holiday, we have driven 15 hours (30 hours round trip) to visit the in-laws. My hubby has never missed a Christmas with his mother. But yesterday, he called me into his office and said that he did not want to make the drive this year.

I think I am still in shock. And I can't begin to describe the wave of relief that came over me. I have such problems with back pain and I was not looking forward to that drive at all.

We spent an hour discussing it. He rationalized all the reasons for not going. And I did nothing to talk him out of this decision! But it's true. His parents are early 70s and still work. We only see them for 2 hours a day. Except for the days that he goes to work with them and that is no fun for him. We are in the house with his 94 year old grandmother who yells at him all day long, so that's no fun either. His back hurt just from a 4 hour drive on Sunday and because of his incontinence problems...he is just concerned about the long drive.

But he is also depressed today about not going. He is putting off that phone call to his mom telling her that we won't be coming down. It will be quite strange...the first time we have been in our home for Christmas in 10 years. I'm hoping he can take the week and just rest. I'm hoping he will get over his depression quickly.

As a note, he goes to the doctor this Friday and I am going with him. I believe we will be seeing his neuropathy doc. I'm making a long list of questions to ask including

pain management
anti depression meds/treatment
long range plan for foot care

It will be interesting to see what the answers are.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Understanding adrenaline

Obviously this is in response to a comment that I rejected.


The main cause of diabetes is the western diet--based on refined carbohydrates that rush sugar into the bloodstream, trans fatty acids that interfere with insulin receptors in the cells, and difficult-to-digest foods like pasteurized milk and modern soy foods that put a strain on the pancreas--but another cause of chronic high blood sugar levels, one that is often overlooked, is stress. Under stress, the adrenal glands produce adrenaline, an important stimulus for the production of glucagon, which raises blood sugar levels and allows the body to react with a "fight or flight" response. Chronic stress--the stress on the adult in the workplace, the stress on the student under pressure to perform, the stress on the child expected to conform to rigid guidelines or who has been sexually or emotionally abused, even the stress of a spiritual or religious outlook that assumes a clockwork universe or a vengeful god--results in constant outpourings of adrenaline resulting in overstimulation of glucagon to keep blood sugar levels high. The body then responds with increased production of insulin to bring blood sugar levels down.

So, when hubby is having a low, a good fight with me does the same thing as the stress mentioned above. Sugar is released into his body. There is an increased production of insulin to bring the sugars down. It is nothing but a vicious cycle....but it is his body's way of fighting to bring him from a low to a high to a normal.

A good fight increases sugar, and increases insulin production, gets him from his low to a high and back to a normal.

I think I'd rather he hit his thumb good and hard with a hammer, in time he starts an argument and I realize it's a low...I think I'll just hand him a hammer! LOL!

Life is peaceful for now

Just updating my thoughts here. The surgery was worth the 4 weeks of recovery. Hubby is walking quite nicely now. Pain is gone. He's getting more active and even riding the stationary bike once or twice a week.

He has quit eating bags of sugar....since I'm still on my no dessert kick. No dessert for me of any kind since Mother's diet soda...and almost no red meat. I cannot believe I have managed to stay away from sweets this long. I'm praying I can make it through the holiday season without breaking down!

We have had a few morning lows between the usual 8:30 and 10:30 am where he gets quite testy and we have a few arguments. I have decided to just "fight" back because it brings up his sugar level quicker and he gets back to normal quicker. And I write them all off as just being "normal" in that he is going to have these lows and I know he doesn't really remember what he has said. Our last one was last Monday when I was leaving to go visit my mom for a couple of days. wasn't long before he called an apologized. I just told myself that he didn't really mean the hateful things he said..he's having a low. I wish he understood that, but I'm sure he doesn't and I doubt that he ever will.

And because for the most part, life is quite calm at the moment, I can write those few outbursts off. But I want to blog them to record the progression of this disease.

We spent this weekend at my sister's house and she commented that she just couldn't believe how much he has improved from just a few weeks ago when she didn't think he would be alive by the end of this year.

In a couple of weeks, we are heading south to visit his parents over the holiday. I'm praying for a good trip. He has agreed to break up the drive into 2 days rather than 15 hours straight thru, and to only stay 5 nights rather than the usual 14 nights. So positive changes all the way around.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving weekend

It was long. But for the most part, it went quite well. Thursday was at mom's. First year in a long time that not all of the siblings showed up, but we still had a great day. My sis#2 and her hubby followed us home. They gifted us a new utility room floor this weekend. They also brought their 2 grandsons ages 10 and 13 with them.

Hubby did not do so well on Friday. His feet hurt. I think it was too much food on Thursday. So he took codine and slept most of the day. But Saturday, he was actually able to help out a little with the floor and on Sunday he helped move the washer and dryer back in.

It's actually quite a comedy of errors as all of us are over 50 now. We still think we are 20. BIL is a contractor so he at least could direct us in what needed to be done. The grandkids were a huge help and it was nice to see them (my great nephews). The will soon be grown and gone and live far enough away that I probably will not see them often at all.

We find out tomorrow what hubby's travel schedules are for the rest of the year. And that will determine what we do for the holidays.

The only other change I've noticed is that the cpap machine doesn't seem to be working as well as when he first got it. He is starting to flop his leg again even when he has the machine on. And he is starting to snore through the mask. I think I may ask him to check with his doctor to see if the machine needs an adjustment of some kind.

Other than that, all is well for the moment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Home again

He's home and 10:30 am uproar, but I made sure I was out of the room and got him food! LOL! Pretty dang funny that I now have "visiting hours" with hubby!

His feet look marvelous. But then, he's been at sea level for a week. He's exhausted, but so far all is well.

Just my little update for today. I'm working on website design for my "other life". :o)


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My personal retreat

My sis is here and we have turned this house into a retreat! Using the jacuzzi, soaking my feet, using the hot wax foot bath...things like that! And designing in my studio, experimenting with new products, just having some girl time and some fun!

Talked to hubby tonight. This is a major proposal, a billion dollar deal, and he is working from 7 am til 11 pm. Well, that's when he quit tonight. He's also in a hotel and eating every meal out. Tonight was a business dinner...I'll bet money he had steak and dessert! I know his adrenaline is running full blast, which means his sugars are high. I know he will run like this all week long. He flies in Saturday....and then he will have a major crash that will last probably 3 days based on past experiences.

If I were smart...I would pack up and leave Sunday morning and go visit mom for 3 days! He is at sea level this week, so his feet are doing just great...of course. So, if he stays true to past practice, when he gets back here, to this altitude, his feet will get infected again and the increased pain will put him back in bed for 2 -3 weeks.

At least I now know what to expect and can sort of plan for it. I'll just have as much fun as I can this week and then revert to my role of caregiver next week. At least there is some balance to this at the moment. I have my creative outlet and this is my second week of playing. I should be good and ready come next week!


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Home alone!

Well, I know it was the title of a movie...but I'm back home and he's gone I have a whole week alone! We met at the airport this morning. He said his feet are just fine...but he wasn't able to meet me at my gate, the walk was too far

I'm just going to enjoy the week!

Monday, November 05, 2007


We are both traveling starting tomorrow. I'm off on an artist retreat and he has a business trip. I have a week of peace and fun....hate to confess how totally excited I am, but I am!!!

I probably need to do this a little more often. :o)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

and by the end of the day....

of course he apologized. Of course he has spent the day trying to make things right. He even went to the grocery store and managed to get about half of the list of stuff, brought them home and put them all away. That is a first in 9 years. He took me to a movie and out to dinner. So I assume all is well with his soul.

I've been doing some self-talk to me today. I want all to be well with my soul. But I'm having a difficult time as a woman. Men just want to fix everything. We don't let it rest. And I am trying to let this rest. I'm trying to cope with the realization that it's just his sugar levels. It's really not him. He doesn't mean anything that he says when he's having a low. He wouldn't say these things if he didn't have these lows.

So I'm back to being OK. But I swear, if he wakes up in the morning having a low, I'm going to start the fight...just to get it over with so he can apologize and I can get on with my day!

It's so strange being the spouse and looking at this from the outside. I realize that if he ever found my blog and read it, he would not believe it is him. He would not like the man he is when he is having lows. But he would just deny that this is who he is. Mainly because he isn't capable of knowing what he's doing when he's having a low.

On the other hand...this motivated me to at least take photos of stuff to list on ebay. I'm putting things in order, going to downsize this winter knowing that we will soon need to make a move to a one level house or condo. I'm upgrading my system software in a few minutes, so if it crashes, I will be offline for a few days.

It's good to have a goal and to have a plan. It keeps you focused when the rest of the world goes nuts around you.

I had forgotten

what it's like when he travels. He gets such a high, such a rush, from being on the road, being in front of others giving presentations. And when he comes home....there's the inevitable crash. It started at 7 am today when he got up and fixed himself something to eat. I can tell he's still low. About an hour ago I just wanted to say, "Let's have our post-trip blow out...just go ahead, yell at me, get it over with!" Well, I should have because it just happened.

By yelling at me, the adrenaline starts to pump into his system again and the low will start to turn around....and he will be just fine in another 2 hours.

I am eternally tired of this. So when he comes to apologize....when he's all fine and dandy and wants to know what's wrong with me....I just smile and move forward.

But a little piece of me dies every time this happens. And he has 2 more trips coming up.

I really wish I could explain this to him so that he could see what a repitious patern this is. But he doesn't want to see that, so he won't.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I can't reason with him

It's nearly 10 pm and I've not left for the airport to pick him up from this trip. He said his foot is just killing him and he sounds like he's in such an awful mood. Maybe I just won't go pick him up! LOL!

He said that he is flying out next Tuesday, home Thurs, then again on Sunday thru Saturday the next week.

I KNOW he is not well enough to this kind of rapid travel, to be on that foot that much.

But I swore to myself that I am going to support him and not bitch about it. So I AM going to vent here.

STUPID MAN!!! Have they written the "Idiot's guide to stupid men" yet? I NEED it! LOLOL!!!

OK...I still have my sense of humor about me tonight, but I truly think he is just being incredibly stupid. Maybe it's that he travels to please his employer....and I'm the one who has to listen to all the complaints? Maybe I should just write them all down and shove them in the complaint box at his work! :o)

Maybe I will just put earplugs in!

On the other hand...if he can do all this travel for work....maybe it's time we take that backpacking vacation across Europe!

OK...I need to quit...I'm laughing way too hard!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another worried wife

Worried Wife just added a comment to the 10/22 blog, and I thought it important to bring it forward. Feel free to post your advice to her. Anonymous posts may or may not be published.

"I too have a husband with diabetes. He was diagonsed over 4 years ago and is still in denial. His sugar ranges from 399(today) to 260, and my patience is running thin. I worry all the time, I can no longer nag or make him take his pills or insulin. He has no idea what he is doing to his family or kids. I pray he is around to see them get married and have kids themselfs.
I totally resent what he is doing to himself and our family. I feel he is being very selfish for not taking care of this serious problem.
I am tired of his mood swings and saying hurtful things to the family. I don't know what else to do.

Any help would be greatly appreciated."

My advice....well, I have none as I think I'm in the same place as you are. Just tired. I've quit worrying though and am taking care of paper work and getting prepared for the future. I'm looking at floor plans that allow wheelchairs, setting us up for home delivery of groceries for weeks that I'm out of town, taking care of things like that. I'm taking better care of myself (almost at 6 months with no sweets, no soda, no red meat!!!). I don't nag hubby any more. I try to keep our life together as calm, happy and peaceful....but there are still moments when I come into my studio and just sit here and cry. I pray all the time that he will change his eating habits. But I'm learning to live with the fact that he's probably not going to. (Note that little ounce of hope I can't let go of!) I try to joke as much as we can. And rest.

I think the biggest change in me is that I'm doing much better at taking care of me. That's made his disease a whole lot less stressful. Most days I feel like we are in a lull before the next storm....or we're weathering a current storm. I wonder if there's ever been a study done as to the number of spouses of diabetics who have ulcers! :o) OK...that's just sort of a little joke....but you know...I wonder...there must be an element of truth in there!


Friday, October 26, 2007

A week ago...

my sister was here and said she didn't think my hubby was going to live through the winter....he looked that bad. Well, it's been a week and I can't describe the change! His foot is healing. The infection is subsiding. He is walking. He is getting up, taking a shower, shaving, going downstairs, eating, talking. Amazing what a week has done!

He's still in pain if he's up more than 30 minutes....but at least he is doing the stairs and I can go back to a somewhat normal routine in my day. Yeah!

I'm so relieved. I know he is pleased. It's nice to have him "back"!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Visit with the surgeon

Well, my first time to go with him to the doctor's office. This was the second followup to foot surgery. And it just never ceases to amaze me. They sent in a PA. She didn't even know that he is diabetic. Has never seen him before. She did say I was doing a great job keeping the wound clean. Wants to extend the antibiotics for another 10 days. Wants him to wash it out and then let it air dry for up to 2 hours, twice a day. Agreed it is a gout infection.

I so wanted to say, "You know, this looks so much worse than before you guys cut into it"....but I managed to keep my mouth shut! I also wanted to say, "Can you tell him he can run up and down the stairs now?" But once again, I kept my mouth shut! LOLOL!!!

She wanted to know who drew the ink lines on his foot and why. I explained that a FNP friend came over to look at it because it was just so bad and that's where the infection had been. She gave me a look like I was completely there is no way it could have been that infected. And I just said, "it's amazing how much it's improved since Sunday."

She found a small sore growing between his little toe and the one next to it and asked me to start cleaning that and looking after.

And she wants to see him back in a week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

He's "on" to me!

His daughter called tonight and chatted with him. He hung up just smiling from ear to ear and said, "is there something in the air this weekend? Both my kids call me?"

I didn't say a word. I swear I had a complete poker face and he said, "Yeah, I think there was something in the air this weekend and I think it was you!"

And I just burst out laughing. I told him I'd sent them a little note saying I thought he could use some cheering up. He snarled, then started smiling again!

So....they didn't do it on their own, but at least they responded to my note. Good for them.

His foot is finally looking a little better...just in time for tomorrow's doctor's visit.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A visit from granddaughter can cure so much

His son called last night after he got the email from me. He brought their older daughter over today as the baby is quite sick and stayed home with his wife. But hubby was in heaven. He got up, got dressed, came downstairs early and just sat and waited. They arrived about 10 am. Such an energetic little 5 year old. His son brought video tape of both girls, so hubby and son were in the office dubbing it and I took his granddaughter down to my studio and she got tons of things to play with. We came back upstairs and sat at the kitchen table and she made 5 or 6 cards "for grandpa". About wore me out! LOLOL!

I didn't realize they were coming quite as early as they did and had just put a load in my kiln, so as soon as that was done, we went out to lunch. Hubby just sat and smiled the whole time while the granddaughter happily bounced from him to her dad to me.

We came back home and they left and hubby went upstairs to bed and he didn't surface again. I asked and he agreed that it just absolutely wore him out, but it's something he really wanted to do. So I didn't say a word. I just let him sleep the rest of the day. I let him and his son have quite a bit of time alone together and I haven't bothered to ask what they talked about. But hubby was completely pleased over the visit and his son promised to come back soon. I have plans to go on an artist retreat in about 3 weeks and suggested they come while I'm gone, so they are going to try and arrange that.

When I went to clean his wound tonight, I told him that the center of the open wound looks like orange jello. I've never seen anything like that at all. Did absolutely nothing for my queasy stomach. I'm glad he goes to the doctor in just 2 days. I have a feeling it's gout showing through the wound, but absolutely no idea if that's what it is or not.

Thanks for all your kind comments yesterday. I really do know his swelling in his face and eyes is related to kidney failure. For today, I'm deciding to take the path of trying to keep him happy and comfy. He was extremely happy today. :o)


Saturday, October 20, 2007

He is swelling up

Well, I "knew" that. But my sister and her hubby came today. They got here about 8 am and I hadn't finished drying my hair, so I ran back upstairs to do that and my sis came right behind me, shut the bedroom door and said, "Do you know how bad he looks?" and I jokingly said, "Do you know how bad I look?" LOLOL! Well, she wasn't kidding. She got so serious on me and said that his whole body is swollen up and his eyes are just little slants. And I said, "I know".

And I do know. He has put on 40 pounds in the last 3 months and it's because his kidneys are not flushing anything out of his system. With his enlarged prostate, he rarely urinates....and when he does, it comes on so sudden and he has no control over it.

So yes, I really do know. We had a dog that we loved about 6 years ago. He died of kidney failure. His whole body just swelled up and you could push in on his skin and it was like liquid. No idea why poor puppy's kidneys quit, but he was gone in less than 5 days. I'm hoping I have a bit longer than that.

I told her that I'm going to the doctor with him on Tuesday. This is just the foot doctor. I'm going to ask if there's any way we can get an earlier date with his kidney doc than December. Maybe there is nothing anyone can do for him at this point. She agreed it is heart breaking to watch him like this.

The gout infection has increased in his incision today. I have been cleaning it morning and night. He probably did too much walking on it yesterday, so today, I got the crutches out. Do you think he used them? NOT!

My sis and I had a good discussion today. Do I nag him to no end, make him eat right, make him use the crutches, try to at least stall what is going on in his body? Or do I just let him do whatever he wants to do as long as he has left in the world and try to laugh and make him as happy as possible? I'm so torn between the pros of both sides of that coin.

Our uncle recently died of throat and neck cancer. Mom (a retired FNP) advised him to NOT have the cancer removed, and to do as many things as he had dreamed of doing as fast as he could do them. He went on a cruise in the Mediterranean (sp?) and saw his grandkids every weekend. He was truly happy and satisfied when he died. Sometimes, I think mom is just beyond smart! And right now, I think I just want my husband to be as happy as he can be. And if that means he doesn't use crutches, or he eats burgers 3 times a day, maybe that's the path I should let him take. I'm just not real good at being a "policeman"....and I certainly don't need him snapping at me just because I'm trying to remind him what's best for him.

It's so incredibly hard when you love someone so much and you see their life ending right before your eyes. Yesterday, I think I grieved this all day long. I'm much better today, just taken aback that his condition has deterioriated so fast since they last saw him which was only 5 weeks ago. It's really hard to see when you live with someone every single day.

I have emailed his kids and asked them to come visit him. I think he would enjoy their company so much. But they are in their early 30s and I remember that time frame so well in my own youth....the last thing I wanted to do was go visit mom & dad! Fortunately...I've grown up just a bit since then! I'm pretty sure his son will call and come visit. Not so sure about his daughter. But I know he would dearly love to see his granddaughters.

And I'm taking steps to get paperwork in order. It's time. So I will be quite busy this next week taking care of things I've been putting off. Nothing like today to start!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

The FNP said

"it's really bad". And that's all she said when she looked at his foot today. She did mark the dark pink and light pink areas of infection with an ink pen and said if that grows past the line, we need to call his doctors immediately.

She also told me how to clense the wound....which is not exactly what his doctors told him to do, but I'm going to follow her insructions for the present.

He is now totally unable to walk. He is confined to the upstairs bedroom. Well, he can make it to the bathroom, but does not come downstairs. Yep, I am definitely getting my workout! Not exactly tye type I had in mind....but I can tell my legs, calves and ankles are definitely getting stronger.

I had my 3rd Thursday art group here today and it was just fantastic. Such a stress relief. Time for me to play. They got a total kick out of the fact that he calls me on my cell phone in my basement studio when he needs something. We took turns running the stairs today so I got some relief!

Ah! Good friends! Sure do help! I just need about 300 more of them! :o)


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A new day, a new insight

Feeling much better today. Back home, in my own bed with the heating pad on! I often wonder what like was like before heating pads were invented! LOL!

Hubby's foot is not doing well. I had to clean it for him tonight as he can't reach the incision. There is a gout infection there. The stitches have burst open in the shape of a "T". It is filled with puss and the surrounding areas are quite red. He is on antibiotics and has a new pain med which thankfully is giving him some relief. I have a FNP coming over tomorrow to look at the wound and show me how to clean it better.

I'm over the "I want to run away" feelings and on to "I want to be proactive about this" feeling. We had a fairly successful conversation at dinner tonight and if all goes will, I will be going with him to the doctor on Tuesday. That is such a huge step from a guy who said I had absolutely no reason to go with him to his doctor. So I'm pleased.

In addition, my sis called. Her hubby just survived a heart attack and he wants to come down and spend the weekend and talke with my hubby and tell him how important it is for him to make some changes in his life. I don't know why, but I'm totally hopeful that he will listen. Only time will tell.

Mom seems to be adjusting to her new place, I think we got all of her change of addresses done, so a bit of stress lifted there.

And yes, I am/was/will be suffering from caregiver burnout and am going to talk to his physicians abou that. As well as continue to search for a one level residence that we can move to.

So it was a good day for me...I'm doing much better.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I feel a huge depression coming on...

I'm off visiting mom. About 100 miles from home. I thought I could "get away" and get some rest....but no. He called. He went to the doctor's and there is a gout infection on top of where they just did the surgery to remove the gout and infection.

I tell is never going to heal.

He can't walk. They did give him a new pain med which does seem to be taking the edge off the pain and then told him to go to bed for 2 days.

He went to the Apple store.

I can't change him. Oh! How I wish I could. I wish he would just take care of him. I did ask if he wanted me to come home, but he told me to stay. Mom just moved into a new place and she hasn't driven in about a year, so I'm here taking her around to get all the mandatory change of addess forms, etc. So he understands that I need to be here to help her for a few days.

But I need to be home to help him.

Yet in some strange way, being here with mom is just a little better. Maybe it's just a change of scenery. At least she and I have had a few laughs.

Am I bad to not want to go home knowing that I have to go? Do you ever just want to run away? Like maybe to New York City and just lose yourself in the crowd of people there?

I'm feeling like I want to run away tonight. I don't want to face his future. Not at all.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Intolerable pain

I've always thought hubby had a high pain threshold. Well, at least much higher than mine. But today, he wanted to ride in the back seat of the car, laying down, with his leg propped up on the window....that's how much pain he is in. He has never wanted to do that in the past.

I did some research last night on his foot surgery. Come to find can be the worst type of pain...and it can last for more than 3 months. Yes, worse pain that what he was in that made him want the surgery done in the first place.

Oh sigh!

He does not want to drive anywhere, so that makes me the driver. I'm getting a bit tired of running him back and forth to the doctors. And of course, I am doing exactly what I said I would not do since he is bringing all of this on himself by being so non-compliant.

Why do we do the things we swear we won't do? I think it's because it's a comfort zone....nothing is forcing us to move on, to make a different choice, to change who we are. For as much as I love this man....he is slowly, but surely, wearing me out. Maybe I'm just tired today and need a nap! :o)


Friday, October 12, 2007

How long will he live on dialysis?

There's a new comment on the 9/30 blog from the widow of a non-compliant diabetic. In answer to your questions, yes, I've done the research:

75% of those who go on dialysis after the age of 50 live 5 years or less. 25% will live longer than 5 years, but the stats drop significantly. Most of them die from a heart attack.....from damage caused to the nerve endings in the heart.

So I do think I'm being quite realistic about all of this. I'm trying to enjoy the time we have left.

Your comment is quite timely as we had just been out to dinner tonight. I hope it was the lighting in the restaurant, but I looked at him and was just floored by how "old" and weak he looked. I know the foot surgery has zapped him of his energy, but I couldn't help wondering how long we have left.

At the same time, I cannot begin to think about the "what if's" his demise would bring. I don't know how you managed to get through it. I can't worry about that now..I have to worry about just getting through today with him.

His foot is giving him substantial pain and he is knocking back the pain pills at a rate greater than I am comfortable with. With his low kidney function, it just cannot be good. Fortunatley, he goes to see the surgeon on Monday.

Here's to all of us spouses of non-compliant diabetics. May you have a peaceful weekend. You deserve it!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Is it Thursday already?

LOLOL! Where does the time go? I swear, I bury myself in my studio...and have no sense of life around me! Well, until he calls my cell phone and I run upstairs to help him out.

He's doing a lot better today. Even talking about getting out a bit. He goes back to the doctor on Monday. And then he is waiting on a call back from the kidney specialist as he needs to see him. His moods have been a bit more mellow this week..or maybe it's just that I've been hiding from him. :o)

I'm enjoying the quiet this week. Still sleeping in the other bedroom until he gets the "boot" removed as he needs the extra space to spread out and prop his foot up on pillows.

I've also noticed that he has cut back on eating so much candy and cookies. Excellent step! Now..if we can just get rid of the potato steps!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A mood a moment

I'm so tired of mood swings. But I relate them more and more to sugar levels. And I'm handling them a little better...I think. Today, we were joking and laughing about lunch. He said he didn't want to drive, so I said I'd drive, but he had to decide where we go to eat. He named a restuarant and I jokingly said, "Oh gag me!"

And he got mad. And immediately I thought, "he must be low". So I just said to him, "what is your problem....we are just joking..I don't care where we go to lunch"..and I think the tone of my voice must have said it all because he got over his fit real quick. He ate lunch and he was pefectly fine after that.

But it's enough to make me want to run away from home.

Friday, October 05, 2007

On the road to recovery

Well, it's Friday and hubby is just now starting to get around on crutches. This has been a long, hard week. He has been in so much pain and then keeps getting sick form the pain meds. He finally made it down the stairs today, so I call that great progress.

Me...I've lost 10 pounds running up and down stairs all week long! LOL!

My sis and her hubby are coming tonight to spend 2 nights. I think it will be good. A diversion. Hubby is getting just a bit of cabin fever and quite bored with himself. My brother-in-law will be great entertainment and my sister and I are going shopping tomorrow. So good to have sisters who will help out!

I'm definitely gaining muscle in my calves and thighs! I also did 10 minutes on the stairstepper this morning (now why did I do that?) and 15 minutes on the stationary bike. Trying to increase my activitiy.

So looking forward to a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

143 days of my healthy ways!

I haven't posted this in awhile...but I'm still on track. This is 143 days of no sugar, no soda and no red meat for me.

Each day I prove to myself that he could do this...if he would only change how he eats. I am doing my part to set the example....he is just not following.

I am also trying to cut out white flour and potatoes....but that is a much slower transition. I have cut way, way back....but not 100% yet. It's a goal. And it's good to have goals!

I used to eat whole bags of tootsie rolls while designing in my studio. I used to eat dessert with every meal. I used to snack on hostess twinkies.

So if I can do this....completely and totally cut all sugar and sweets out of my life....then anyone can do it! And yeah....I'm not even eating things that are "legal" angel food cake! If it falls in the category of's gone! That includes sugar free pudding, sugar free candies..all of it!

I've also give up nutri sweet, splenda...all of those. I use stevia if I need anything. But I'm learning to live my life without anything sweet.

Anyone want to join me on this journey of setting an example for the diabetic in their life? And yes...I'm still losing weight! An added bonus!


Diabetics in Denial on Oprah.

Buried down on 9/24 is this comment:

Anonymous said...
this might be of interest...

Well, of course I checked out the link and I'm thrilled to see that she might be having a show on this topic, so I urge anyone who reads this blog to check out the link and submit.

Did I submit? Yes. With the condition that only my blog be referenced and that it be kept confidential. I can't fathom the retribution I would receive if hubby found out I'm writing about his personal life. But I can't fathom my blood pressure if I didn't get this out of my system by writing about it!

I believe that Oprah does a wonderful job of educating the American public on a wide variety of topics. But this one is too sensitive for me. I live in this world of denial 24/7. I can't go on a show and talk to the world about it and then come home and live with it. And having him go on the show is not going to get him out of his denial. That has to come from within can't be forced. And I have to continue to live with him.

My question today has been this, "Is his denial a form of abuse to me?" Oh dear....that's more than I can think of while we are recovering from foot I will ponder my thoughts on that another day.

Today has been difficult. He got so ill from the Vicadin and I have a total gag reaction to that. He did get the pain meds switched around...but I have run up and down the stairs, fetching things and doing things for him so much that I am truly starting to get irritated tonight. I just can't do this. And this is only day 2. I took his dinner up to him and had just returned to start mine when he yelled down and wanted me to come take his trash and the extra chicken breast that he did not eat. I simply asked, "can it wait until I finish eating?" I just had to wonder....does he think I don't need nourishment to run up and down the stairs? LOL!

I'm not young. I have lived enough years to be retired. I never dreamed I would spend my retirement as a caregiver. When you are just don't think about things like that.

I don't know how caregivers do this day in and day out. I just don't know. I noticed that I need to change the sheets on the bed and he has already called down for my next trip upstairs. I tried to go to my studio in the basement earlier...he called me on the cell phone. If I didn't think that was hilarious...I'd probably just sit down and cry!

Well, my doctor did tell me that she wanted me to increase my activity level....I think she will be happy! LOLOL!

Fortunately, my "other" life as an artist has had some excellent, wonderful, fabulous news in the past 48 hours. That is what sustains me through the dark side of my life....the light that comes from creating art that is getting seen around the world. Perhaps the darker this side grows, the more powerful my art is becoming. More thoughts for me to ponder another day when I have more energy to think!!


Planning for kidney failure

Can one plan for that? Well, I am starting to think so. Hubby has had a terrible reaction to the pain meds and been sick to his stomach since about 3 am. I can't begin to count the number of times I have been up and down stairs...getting things that he needs. And that got me to thinking about our future and what we are going to need in order for me to continue to care for him at home. Because I know that in the future, I won't be able to do this.

1. A one level house with at least 2 bedrooms. One for him and one for me. He took up the entire king size bed with his foot last night. No way we could share a bed when he is home from a surgery and since this is the 3rd time they've cut out gout...I can only imagine it's just the beginning.

2. Deep sink near the bedroom to rinse out pans and such. You just can't rinse stuff in a normal bathroom sink.

3. He needs his own bathroom. Today, we have meds spread out all over the bathroom sink counter, all over every available inch of dresser and nightstand top. I sort of feel like it's turned into a mini hospital room....and that's just not conducive to rest for me.

4. An extra wide garage so he can get in and out of the car. Or perhaps just one vehicle in a 2 car garage.

5. A residence that is close to carry-out or delivery, including a grocery store that delivers. He is just not able to go anywhere at the moment. As long as I'm here, I can run errands. But let's just say that I had a family emergency and had to leave...we need to have ammenities available nearby.

6. It hit me today that I need to find a courier service of some type for prescriptions. If I'm not here, someone needs to come get his insurance card, and then go get the RX and bring it back. The pain meds have made him so sick that he needs a new Rx.

7. A toilet located closer to the bed. Interestingly, in our bedroom, you walk down a hall, past 2 closets, past the shower and then you get to the toilet. Never gave that much thought until today.

8. Refrigerator and microwave inside the bedroom! LOL! Well....closer than down a flight of stairs and through 2 rooms. I need to research ADA houses next.

9. Trash can that slides out from under the bed with a remote control device. Seriously! This guy can't toss trass 2 feet!

10. A mini bar next to my bed because I'm going to start drinking if he doesn't get all well real soon! :o)

DW - trying desparately to find an ounce of humor today.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


I do love the nurses and doctors at our hospital! We had him laughing right up til the moment they wheeled him into surgery. Of course, they do not take photos I jokingly said that I would, whipped out my iphone...and have several of his foot.

Truthfully? I am shocked they are continuing on with the operation. His foot healed up this week at sea level...and there is nothing but a tiny little bump. It looks better than it ever has. Yet they are still going to operate. With the warning that it may not do a bit of good.

They were talking about his DNR. Neither one of us wants to end up on life support at any phase of our life. But we were informed that now adays, they suspend DNRs during surgery because levels can fall so low...but they can bring you back so quick. The DNR only becomes effective once the patient leaves post-op. Wow! I did not know that!!! 15 years ago, my dad went into surgery with a DNR that they did not honor. He had 2 heart attacks on the table....and when they brought him back...he remained on life support for the next 6 weeks until we were able to hire attorneys to force the DNR into effect. I just don't ever want to go through that again. Yet at the same time...I have learned the power of attorneys when it comes to a DNR.

I do love the thoroughness of this hospital. But I don't like the new numbering system. The patient is given a number. It goes up on an electronic board. I sit here and watch as his number changes colors as he goes through the phases of surgery. Right now, he is in the operating room and scheduled to come out to post op at 1:30 pm. Then he turns a different color (ok...the number on the board turns a different color...NOT him! LOL) My biggest problem...the numbers on the board are too small for my eyes to see! I have to squint my eyes and step backwards and forwards until I can get to where I can see what it says....readers just don't help for a digital screen about 12' up on the wall!

So, here I sit in the surgery waiting room. There must be 30 people in here. Not quiet...quite noisy in fact. I'm alone...except for my laptop that keeps me connected to the outside world. And I'm looking around me wondering just how many other relatives and friends are sitting here waiting because the patient is a person who will not take care of their own health.

The good thing in all of this is that I am more and more determined to take better and better care of me. I do not ever want to be at the point where I am having surgery for something that I could have prevented. It's just not worth it!

On the other hand..I'm sitthing here with his wallet...all of his credit cards...perhaps I should go shopping online! LOLOL!!!

DW - needs to find her own humor in all of this!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Would someone ask me what "I" need?

Kim posted on my 9/25 blog:

"I am so ready for someone to ask me about my needs.Instead I am making sure he has....." and my heart just skipped a beat. I think this must be the cry of just about every spouse of a non-compliant diabetic that I've met. We just want someone (anyone) to ask us what we need....while we spend our waking moments providing for the needs of our diabetic spouse.

That got me to thinking. The less my personal needs are met because I am spending so much time taking care of him...the more I am going to NEED to have my needs met in order to survive. It truly is a catch 22 situation...a no-win place that I really don't want to be.

Hubby joked this week that someone told him his "lifeline" on the palm of his hand is that he will live to be age 90. I quietly said, "you will be blessed to live to age 60". To which he replied "You can live a long time on machines!"

OK, so I KNOW that he was just joking....but there was an element in what he said that put the fear of I-don't-know what in my deepest soul! I can't fathom being his caregiver for years and years and years on end if he thinks he is going to survive that long on dialysis. I met someone just this week who knows someone else who has been on dialysis for 40 years. I'm telling myself right here and now...I will not live like that.

Imagine...3 hours....every other day....YES!!! I FEEL SORRY FOR THE PERSON HOOKED UP.....but WHO take care of their caregiver? I'm starting to think this has nothing to do with has to do with survival. And IF I determine that I cannot survive as his caregiver...then I will leave.

But what about a spouse who has young kids at home? Do you walk out? Once again, I'm referring only to a diabetic who intentionally and knowingly makes a choice to NOT take care of themselves.

Lets face it. My husband came on a 10 day trip and did NOT bring his testing kit. He doesn't know if he is high or low. He QUIT giving himself his 6 pm shot of insulin because he doesn't like taking 3 shots a day. He has probably had some type of beef at least once a day on this trip....when he knows his uric acid levels are sky high. He has made these decisions.....and then he thinks I'm going to stick around and be here for him when he can't walk? When they amputate his feet? When he has to go on dialysis?

If he did ever ask me "What do you need?" I would simply state, "A husband who loves me enough to take care of himself."

I doubt I have much to worry about...I doubt he will ever ask. But there is great comfort knowing there are other spouses out there who, like me, would just like him to ask, just once.

Thanks Kim! By the way, what do you need?


Friday, September 28, 2007

Creatine was 2.7, now 2.5

He is such a liar! The other day, he told me the test was at 2.4. Now, with the retest, he says it's at 2.5 today, but the last test was 2.7. I really don't know what to believe!

I ran the GFR on 2.7 and that puts his kidneys at a 26% function. Now THAT I believe!

I can't deal with any of this today...I'm off to teach workshops. And as long as I ignore this bit of news...I can have some fun...I hope!

I almost think I can handle the's all the lies that I CANNOT stand!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A lovely day!

Finally, I am on vacation!!! I took off this morning and went to visit the ocean...alone! Then I went to my favorite little dress shop on earth and although I didn't buy a thing, I had so much fun looking and trying things on! A few more sizes...perhaps the next trip here....and I WILL be making some purchases! But no sense buying when I plan to shrink out of it! :o)

From there I visited an old buddy at an antique shop....then had lunch with 2 gal pals that are artists...that I knew before any of us turned to art. After that, I visted yet another artist friend. Such a wonderful day seeing friends I haven't seen in nearly a year. I do need to come visit a bit more often. It's good for the soul!

Hubby did not get the results of the re-take of the kidney function test hopefully sometime tomorrow. We are sort of in limbo as we don't really know if he is still going to have foot surgery on Tuesday.

We did agree on a location if we decide to move here...but so far, his feet have shown no improvement on this trip. So perhaps there is no relationship to altitude and feet.....but I still much prefer the temperate climate....and the thought of no seasons is just fine with me. I do think I could live anywhere along a southern seashore....the Atlantic, Pacific or Gulf Coast. I love the ocean and I love the climate.

But a note to self....he has been sleeping more and more this week. Taking naps between work related calls during the day. I heard him snoring at 10 am this morning! He's snoring now. The doctor has taken him off the meds for his uric acid problem...because of the creatinine level reading....and I imagine that also has something to do with his feet not improving here.

It doesn't end, does it?

I've also been wondering this week.....for all the tell-tale signs that I can see on the outside of his body....the gnarls on his feet, the uric acid boils, the red inflamed joints in his wrists, and the open sores on his arms....what must be going on inside of him? It just makes you wonder.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

OIY! What a day!

There is a fine line (I think) between what is related to sugar lows and what is normal learned behavior. But when there are rapid changes in behavior....then I'm content to blame it on sugar lows. And this week....I'd have to say the problem is definitely memory/anger related.

I have noticed that when he is on business calls...he is just totally yelling at staff. He is so angry with everything that is going on at work right now I think he's going to have a heart attack. I mean the word "fuming" doesn't describe his anger. And he has been so calm for quite some time now. Can't help but wonder if this isn't sugar level related.

Yesterday was such a fiasco. After 2 hours of getting him his ID for here, then going to the labs, and him arguing that it wasn't the right labs....I said last night, "why don't we go do the labs as early as possible and then from there go down to .....and check out new housing developments going in?"

This morning, I'm still in my jammies, lounging around, sort of thinking "how nice....lazy day" and he comes out and says, "I'm ready to go!"

I'm totally stunned! I said, "go get the labs done? Are you done for the day?" Well, of course not! And after a bit of me explaining and asking questions, he says, "I really didn't hear you say anything about going to look at new developments". So I reminded him of his comments back to me yesterday and he did agree that we had discussed that, he just totally forgot.

Is that normal behavior or is he having a sugar low? Was he having a low yesterday when we were talking about our plans for today and he just really didn't remember? I want to believe him, but......

So I got dressed and drove him down to get the labs done. We stopped on our way back for some breakfast and as I'm driving, I decide that I'm not going to do any more househunting. It's just not worth it. Moving is NOT going to solve anyting. Moving to a one level condo is not going to make this problem any better. Oh, yes, it will solve the problem of crutches, but we can also just put a bed in the living room on the main floor of our house. I just think today (and maybe I will feel different in the morning) that rather than deciding where to move, I need to decide whether to move out or stay with him.

It hit me that wanting to move for the sake of getting him into a one level place is just an escape for me. It's running away from our current problems. And yes, maybe I need to run away....but I need to do it alone. I have now spent a second morning helping him out with diabetic related issues and I SWORE I would not do this. This happens to be "my" vacation as well....and I need to start it today!

So I've called an old friend, an older lady, and I'm going to go visit her this afternoon. Much more fun than looking for a place to live at sea level! :o)

And I made another decision. I am going to spend this fall/winter downsizing. I'm going to sell stuff and give stuff away, clean out things and get ME to a bare minimum position. Then next spring, I will make my decision as to whether I stay or leave. Baby steps. Just doing one thing at a time. It's all I can handle with everything else that's going on.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Creatinine level is 2.4

He looked it up online today and shared that with me at breakfast. So I simply started asking questions. What do you think that means? Do you think this is why your feet are so bad? Do you think they might delay the surgery? Do you think changing your insulin shots has any baring on this?

Normal conversation going on at breakfast. He said he was tired of taking 3 shots a day and was only going to take 2. So I quietly asked him why was he taking them at 6 am and 10 pm, not 6 am and 6 pm like he used to do and he said because it's what was easy to do.

Now, I know I was pushing and I still don't for one second think this is what his doctor has ordered him to do, but he claimed it was, so I said, "I sure wish I could just quit taking my pills because I think that's what would be easiest for me!" (He knows that I have a severe gag reaction and will often vomit just from taking a few vitamins.) And he says, "You have done that." And I said, "Only after discussing it with my doctor and getting their approval." And he said, "this is a STUPID argument...just drop it!"

Well, I did not think it was an argument at all.....but more confirmation that his doctors do not know he has changed his insulin. Because there's no other reason this suddenly became a "stupid argument" except I he knows he is not telling me the truth. It just makes no sense to me that they would make a change when all was going so smoothly....and here we are back to our daily arguments, confrontations, heated discussions.

And yes, I still chant in my brain "I have 2 choices....stay or leave". Well, today, I'm thinking more and more than I'll be packing my bags and moving on in a few weeks/months because I just am not going to put up with this change in his behaviour.

So anyway.....we got back after breakfast and I've been doing some research and found some interesting websites that I rather like.

This one talked about creatinine levels and using a GFR calculator:

This one provides a GFR calculator:

So here's where my hubby is:

Stage 4: Severe reduction in GFR (15 to 29). Continue following the treatment for complications of CKD and learn as much as you can about the treatments for kidney failure. Each treatment requires preparation. If you choose hemodialysis, you will need to have a procedure to make a vein in your arm larger and stronger for repeated needle insertions. For peritoneal dialysis, you will need to have a catheter placed in your abdomen. Or you may want to ask family or friends to consider donating a kidney for transplantation.

I don't think his health care will do anything until he gets a GFR of 15.

He did call his doctor's office when we got back here and they ordered new labs for him. Of course, I spent 2 hours on the phone making arrangements to have them done where we are since we are not at home and insurance has to be pre-notified for out-of-area services. (I'm totally thinking we are not going to move because it is just going to be more work that it's worth!!!)

Don't tell me this disease doesn't impact the spouse! That's TWO hours out of my life taking care of the administrative end of this for him. No, he couldn't do it, he's working "on the clock" today and doesn't have time to make all those calls.

We will go get the labs done this afternoon and then I think he should have the results by Thursday. Well, there is a chance the reading is a fluke, but I'm thinking with all the other symptoms/changes we have gone through lately, there is something major going on in his body at this time.

an interesting website stating that at stage 4, 45.7% will die within 5 years. 19.9% will be on RRT within 5 years. With an even higher chance of death from heart related problems.

And did I remember to note that he did NOT bring his glucose meter with him on this trip? We are gone for 10 days and no ability to test his blood sugars. I just think this is even more indication that he remains in denial as to how serious his kidney disease is.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Early morning anger

Well, today we were driving across some pretty baren land, no traffic at all, and things were quite lovely. But as we headed into the "big" city....traffic increased and his patience decreased. Right about 10:30 am (the time of his past lows) he just nearly blew up at the traffic around us. No one could do anything right. And he would go right up to the bumper of a semi before passing them when there was no reason he could not have merged left a long way back. Scared me to death!

So I told him I was ready to drive. He pulled into a gas station and totally blew up over a simple issue with the pump and his credit card. Just as angry as I have ever seen him in my life. I just hate it when he gets this way.

I would so much rather drive than listen to him swear at every other vehicle on the road. And he is not always like this. I think it's just when he is having a bit of a low. Today was quite bad.

As for the incontenence, we had 2 more incidences on this trip, but handled them by just immediately pulling over. Now, when there's no traffic around, that's quite ok. But when there's a ton of other cars going past you? I just wonder when it will be a cop that pulls up next to him while he is relieving himself along the freeway. Yes, he is going to have to see a doctor about that as soon as we get back home. The big question is....will he?


Kidney Failure and denial

Yesterday, we were at his parent's house and his dad asked him how his diabetes was. He said, "just fine".

His dad said, "why are you having surgery on your foot then?" and he replied, "I have a bone spur that they want to remove.

This morning, we are on the road to our final destination, he cell rings and it's his doctors office. Well, it is the surgeon's office. They are calling because they are concerned that his creatin level is way too high from the pre-op lab work and they want him to call his regular physician's office. He told them he would do that.

He hung up and I asked him what that meant? He said, "I'm going to die."

And I said, "No, seriously, does it mean dialysis?"

And he said, "well, it could".

It's now 6:42 pm and he did not call his doctor's office. So I gently asked if he was going to do that in the morning, and he said, "sure".

So I'm trying to get inside his head and figure this out. (OK, I KNOW that's not possible, so I'm just making notes to myself again).

He told his dad that his diabetes is just fine. Because he has said that diabetes is a disease of the pancreas, not of the kidneys.

Kidney failure has nothing to do with his diabetes. It is a result of the pancreas not producing insulin, and the kidneys wearing out. (Truly, I think this is how this man thinks).

I have yet to figure out why his doctor had him reduce the insulin shots from 3 per day to 2 per day, but there has been a direct increase in the number of morning screaming matches between us. (More on that one later and ok, not really screaming matches....but he is definitely irritated in the mornings!)

His foot surgery is to remove a bone spur. Well, I swear it's calcified gout....will be interesting to hear what the doctor tells me as I plan to be right there and will be asking a whole lot of questions.

I also plan to get another appointment with the diabetic nurse and the nutritionist as soon as we get back home as I really want to know why the changed his insulin. Everything was going pretty calm. And now it's not.

But my main concern is why this guy cannot see that ALL of this is related to diabetes. And that he could prevent so much of it if he would just take better care of himself.

I know I am not ready for him to be on dialysis. I just know it will be my hell on earth.


Helping Spouses

Albert sent me a link to this site:

And I read the article and here are my thoughts on it.

1. Yes, I do agree, a spouse can be the gentle snowfall. “Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it lingers in the mind.”

However, I have lived high in the mountains where a soft, gentle snow, that keeps coming down...and doesn't stop....can turn into a 5 foot drift and no one can plow through it for days on end! :o)

2. "they call this strategy “dropping the rope,” she says. The idea comes from training horses. When a horse in a corral is pulling back and resisting being led somewhere, you drop the rope and wait. Eventually the horse will start following you around."

I grew up on a 160 acre horse always said, "you can lead a horse to water...but you can't make him drink." And on ropes, he always said, "give a man enough rope, he will hang himself."

Touche for cute little sayings!

3. "Family partners are in fact so closely linked, Professor Fisher says, that if one of them has diabetes or is obese, the other is at an increased risk of getting the condition or the weight. If one of them eats too much fat or too many carbs, the other is likely to do the same"

OK, so this scares the crap out of me!!! And a huge reason why I changed my eating/exercise habits.

4. "The positive side of that equation is that when one partner loses weight, the other one will do better than before"

So NOT true! I have lost 25 pounds this summer, he has gained 40 pounds. I'd like that therapist to explain that! I think the more I work at eating healthy...the more he balks at eating anything but crap.

5. "The best strategy is to show, rather than tell, your partner with diabetes how to control it by eating sensibly, losing weight, and exercising" and "it’s in your power to lead him there."

OK, I would LOVE to meet a therapist who will for once in their limited perspective put their thinking caps on and step into the life of a spouse of a diabetic. It is NOT my job to "lead" him to better eating. It is NOT in my "power" do to anything to change this man! It does NOT MATTER what I do with my own life....he is going to do exactly what he wants to do with his life. I can expend hours and hours cooking healthy food, preparing him the best meals possible, stocking the refrigerator with only healthy food, filling the pantry with nothing but the best. This man will get in the car and drive 1/2 mile to Burger King 20 minutes after dinner and have a burger, fries and shake. He will go a mile to the store and get a bag of potato chips, come home, and eat them all in one setting. SEE # 4 ABOVE!!!

The concept is a good one, that as a spouse, you can set an example. But concepts are just that. And they do not work in the real world. You cannot lead someone to a healthy lifestyle if they do not want to go there. You cannot change another person. You cannot, cannot, cannot do that. Not if that person does not want to change.

And my personal opinion is that when another person is in denial, in grief, refuses to face the facts, refuses to admit what is wrong.....they will not even begin to see where you are trying to lead them.

Yep, I'm about ready to sit down and eat an entire cheesecake tonight! LOLOL!

Therapists and counselors "think" they know what the answers are...but until you walk a mile in my shoes......

oh, that was another one of dad's great sayings.


Friday, September 21, 2007


Well, he had his first incidence of this on the road today. I think it upset him quite a bit. I had already researched this when he said his prostate was enlarged, so it does not come as much of a surprise. We've already experienced a few bouts of bowel incontenence and now this. I'm just not sure I'm ready for it. I know he isn't.

What did surprise me was he said his doctor told him that he no longer needs his 6 pm insulin shot. He only takes them when he wakes up and goes to bed now. I wonder if this change is what has triggered our recent rounds of lows? I think I will go back to charting the time the outbursts occur. I wonder if the doctor ordered this change or if he just decided to make the change. I'm more apt to believe this is the case.

Other than that, today's leg of our road trip was uneventful (like that's not more than enough?)


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Road Trip tomorrow, no internet....

I have my journal packed and will be writing down my thoughts as we cross the mountains and travel to the Pacific Ocean. Oh! How I love to sit on the beach, dig my toes into the sand and listen to the gentle sound of waves tumbling over rocks and sand. I can hardly wait!

No idea if/when I will have internet access. I am totally looking forward to a few day of teaching workshops (art related) and a few days of rest and relaxation. I am so hopeful that his feet will heal once again at sea level. And we might even spend a day looking at places to live in the event we decide to move to a lower altitude.

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go! :o)


Adrenaline and insulin

From the internet:

"Any danger or stress triggers the release of adrenaline and other hormones into the blood stream and it is these hormones that enable the body to defend itself. Breathing and the heart rate increase and blood pressure rises pumping more blood to the muscles so that they are ready for action. This is when the blood sugars rise. If the stress is eliminated at this stage, then the body relaxes and goes back to normal."

To me, this indicates that regardless of the incitor, whenever there is a release of adrenaline in the body, blood sugars will rise.

A good solid fight with your spouse could trigger a release of adrenaline.

So, I think this must be why my hubby gets so angry with me over nothing so much of the time. Could it be his body's "natural" way of producing adrenaline? Just something to think about.

Last night, I was in bed with my headphones on watching a movie on my little DVD player. The movie ended about 1:30 am, I turned the player off and took the headphones off. He was snoring like a locamotive. I got up and started hunting for my earplugs (I think the puppies must have carried them off!) so I turned the bathroom light on to get another pair out of the drawer and he says, "what are you doing?" I said, "just looking for more earplugs" and he said, "I'm not snoring!". I said, "well, you were". He instantly yelled at me and said, "I'M NOT SNORING, I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN TO SLEEP. YOU MUST HAVE BEEN DREAMING. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR MIND!!!"

I was absolutely amazed at his comment and something in me just snapped and I looked at him and said, "It is 1:30 am, you have been asleep for over 2 hours and you were snoring as loud as I have ever heard you. You do NOT have the right to make any kind of comment that insinuates there is anything wrong with me."

Found my earplugs and got back into bed and I heard him mumble, "well, maybe I had been asleep, but I sure don't feel like it."

It got me to wondering.....was he having a sugar low and this anger was his body's reaction to bring it back up? In the episode earlier this week, it was about 10:30 am.....the time when he usually has a low according to the nutritionist who charted his daily tests.

I have decided I am going to put myself out there and start telling him that he does not have the right to raise his voice at me. I'm just so tired of all this and it HAS to stop!!! And yes, of course, this morning, he's his usual sweet nothing happened. While I am quite stand-offish....he is widening the chasm between us and I don't think he even has a clue.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Rambling thoughts.

Let me preface this by saying....I decided to edit my notes! LOL! Hubby made a comment the other day that hit me as so totally strange. He has type 2 diabetes. He was on pills for 30 years and then switched to insulin shots when I started blogging in early 2006.

He said that "his" diabetes is a disease of "his" pancreas, not of his kidneys. He said diabetes means you have an non-working pancreas, one that does not produce insulin.

When I did some online research, I find that Type 1 diabetes is where the pancreas does not produce insulin. Type 2 is where the pancreas produces insulin, but it's either not enough, or the body does not process the insulin correctly.

He has had this disease since he was in his twenties. I can't figure out why he made the comment that his diabetes (type 2) is caused because his pancreas does not produce insulin. That's my rambling thought tonight.

Regardless of that, his kidney function is at 30%. I know that people can live without a pancreas. I know that you can live without one of your kidneys, but if you lose both of them you need dialysis. I think what I'm trying to figure out here is why he would say this is all about the pancreas when it's the kidney function that he should be focusing on. OK, I still can't word that they way I want to word it. He thinks that his problem is with his pancreas, NOT his kidneys. I have to wonder if this is another way that he is denying the seriousness of his disease. As long as he tells himself it's his pancreas that's the problem, does that justify eating whole bags of potato chips every night?

I fully understand that he absolutely needs to change his diet and exercise....but he does not agree with me. He says that as long as he takes his meds, he can eat whatever he wants. He claims that is what his doctors have told him. Yet when he went with me to the diabetic nutritionist, she disagreed. But of course, she is not a doctor and he will not listen to her. I have to wonder if he does not understand that by continuing to eat the way he does, he will tax his kidneys and be on dialysis sooner than necessary.

This man is absolutely beyond belief brilliant when it comes to some aspects of life. But when it comes to nutrition, I just can't figure out where he is coming from. But one thing I am learning. The less he cares about himself, what goes into his body, and the physical problems he is having.....the more I am learning about nutrition, my own physical health, and the impact of what I eat. So there is positive growth in this for me. Yeah!

OK, I hope I've rewritten this just to clarify my thoughts.


For Better or For Worse.....

Obviously, this is not my first marriage. If it were, I might be more willing to just walk away. But I have learned that there are worse off people to be married to than someone with diabetes. Yet there are days when I wonder how much worse this could get?

A piece of me somewhere inside seems to die each time he yells at me. I blame it on a sugar low. But I am starting to wonder if it is learned behavior. He has a grandmother who is in her 90s, still living, who controls everyone in her life by yelling at them. So perhaps this has nothing to do with his diabetes. Today, I have been asking myself the it learned behavior, or is it drug-induced/medically related behavior?

I know that as an older woman, I have experienced hot flashes.....and that is just miserable. I didn't want to be around another living human being. I just wanted to "sweat it out" alone. My fantasy was always to run out in the back yard in the middle of the night and lie naked in wet grass! Although I never actually did that....I really had to talk myself out of it! So I know that what happens inside the body can have an affect on how we act around other human beings. But when he spews out such vile words as he did 2 days ago, is it a medically related condition....or is it just him?

He followed his usual routine. Did not speak to me for a whole day, woke up yesterday as though nothing ever happened. Kissed me good morning and was back to his usual self. It was a pleasant enough day, but something just wasn't there. Something in me was missing. It's like I don't have the energy to bounce back and forth any more. I don't have the strength to be a loving, devoted, faithful spouse one day and then be on the defensive the next day. Maybe it's just easier to blame the disease rather than blame the man.

Instead, I immerse myself in my art and can smile, laugh and giggle at some of the things I create. There is comfort for me in creating, in working with matter to design something new. I can step out of the world of diabetes and an angry spouse and lose myself in a world that is magic to me. Today, I am melting glass in my kiln trying to see if I can form a glass bracelet. If I fail....I will learn something new in the process. If I succeed, I will be estatic!

I think that's how my life with him is. If we have a normal day with no highs and no lows, no problems with this disease....then I feel so elated! And if we have a day that is filled with misery....I try my best to learn something from it. But every now and then, we have a day like Sunday.....and it just takes time to recover. I just keep reminding myself that there are "worse" things in this life than diabetes.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Another low that he won't remember.....

He just won't remember getting mad, yelling, hollering, making all kinds of accusations towards me. And in about 4 - 6 hours, he will wonder what's wrong with me. Do I tell him I'm just sad from this morning? Do I repeat what he said to me and let him deny it? Do I just go about my day and let him think all is well with the world?

The words hurt. No matter how much you tell yourself that they don't hurt....they continue to cut through you like a knife. And while I "know" that it is not is his sugar low....somewhere deep inside him, he must think these things about me or he would not say them during a low.

And then I have to ask the this really what he thinks of me? Does the truth surface when he is angry, in the middle of a low, and just frustrated with everything in life?

And if this is really what he thinks of me, then why am I here? How can I love him like I do? Why do I care?

Is it because I am denying this is the truth? Because I cover it up with the excuse of a diabetic low? Because he continues to claim these are words he never said? Yet he said them. And he must truly mean them on some level.

I am truly sad today. I want to cry. But what is the point? I still have 2 options. Stay with him or leave him. I tell myself it's just one morning in a week that has been pretty ok. So stay. But then I wonder....when will the next "one" hit? How long will it last, what will he say that will cut to my bones once much of this can I take?


Saturday, September 15, 2007

On driving (me nuts?) :o)

I've notice in the past 2 months that he asks me to drive everywhere we go. It's a slow transition and I didn't even notice until today when he wanted me to drive and I just didn't feel like it. But I did.

Perhaps he is realizing that there is a risk having him behind the wheel? But do I have the energy to play chauffer? Not today! But maybe tomorrow. We are driving to the ocean leaving Friday and I know that I cannot drive the whole distance. But how much should I let him drive? We are breaking the trip up into 3 days. Hotel on Friday night, his parents on Sat and Sun nite, the the ocean on Monday.

But due to my appointments and his surgery schedule, we will be in LA on Monday morning (10/1) and then 1200 miles home that night. YIKES! I'm sure we will be driving into the wee hours of the morning. I'm hoping I can snooze during surgery.

He will be on crutches afterwards and I wonder if I have the energy to be his go-fer girl?

Today, he is not moving about too much...lounging on the sofa, watching TV. His foot just causes him too much pain when he walks.

The doc gave him and Rx for othotics last months. Has he scheduled an appointment yet? No!

His CPap mask needs to be recalibrated (for 3 weeks now)...has e done that? No!

Can I fix him? No! LOLOL!!!

I'm spending the rest of my day in my studio creating, designing and playing! :o)

DW - journaling the journey of a spouse of a diabetic

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Foot Surgery on 10/2

Yep, it's official. Well, he said they are not going to amputate, just cut out a portion of the outside of his foot that has not healed in 2 years.

I think it's just the beginning. I don't think this will heal and they will need to carve out more.

But before surgery, we are leaving on 9/21 and going back to sea level for a week just to see if his feet heal. If they do, this would be the 3rd time at sea level that his feet heal and proof that we need to move.

It's going to be outpatient surgery, so I'm not preparing for it....but somehow think I rent a bed for the living room. We will see.

Today, we started on the South Beach diet together. So, here come the lies! My sis is here and I asked him just now if he was going to get on the stationery bike and he said he already rode today. Now, I was gone so I have no proof...but I'm 100% positie he did not set foot on it! LOL! He is just soooooo bad! I don't know why he can't just say, "I don't feel like riding tonight!"

But then I will confess here for my own journaling that when I was at my doctor's yesterday for my annual physical, I asked her to write and RX for me to go on a he would help me out. I love my doc! She wrote and RX for the South Beach Diet and I stopped and picked up a book on the way home, then told him I had to do it...would he help me. :o) Hopefully this will at least reduce the number of bags of potato chips that he devours in a week. And maybe get him on the bike at least 3 - 4 nights a week. Better than where we are now.

I know, you all want to email him and tell him what I've done! Well...I do need to eat better and it's my way of loving him....he can help me and think he's doing a good thing!

I'll let you know if it works. The first 2 weeks will be the hardest as we're leaving next week to go visit the ocean. (Sort of like a pet...we must go visit every so often!)


Life's little frustrations

Apple upgraded it's operating systems and there is a glitch for those who have intel based wireless systems...we can't access anything in blogger.

Then I woke up and realized I could get to it from my old laptop! LOL!

There are some days when my brain just does not function! My apologies to those of you who sent notes and they didn't get approved til tonight!


Friday, August 31, 2007

and more movies?

We ALWAYS go out on Friday nite. We call it "Friday nite, date nite". We almost always go to dinner and a movie.

So, this afternoon, I showered and got dressed to go out, brought the laptop downstairs and started asking him what movie he wanted to go see. I could instantly tell from his tone that something was wrong, so I just asked him. Come to find out that he doesn't want to go to movies anymore. He said it's too much trouble to change clothes, go stand in line to get tickets, and too much hassle dealing with people in the movie.

Personally, I think it's because he hurts and just doesn't feel like moving any more than he absolutely has to. He quit work about noon today and has been sleeping on the sofa ever since.

So date nite will now be to order pizza and wings in and watch another movie on TV.

I realize that pain makes a person miserable. But I'm the spouse. And I just don't want to live this miserable lifestyle. Not tonight. I'm not a recluse, I don't want to spend the rest of my days in this house. Don't tell me diabetes doesn't have an impact on the spouse. It sure as heck does! And yes, of course, I can go to dinner and the movies alone....but then what is the point of being married?

I am so pissed off at this %&*(@#$^$*(!#$&(* disease right now I could just scream.

We have a 3 day weekend and I'm going to predict that we sit here and watch TV the entire time. Well...he will. NOT ME!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sleepless nights

The past 2 nights have just been horrible. It could be due to my brother-in-law's heart attack (he is going to be just fine). But my hobby has had such a bad restless foot syndrome I don't know what to do. On Monday night, he went to sleep with his head at the other end of the bed (close to the TV) and his foot kept flopping right into my face....hard! I finally woke him up and asked him to turn around. He is not wearing his CPAP, so I asked him to please put that back on which he did last night. But he flopped all night long again.

The flops are so hard they literally bounce me in the bed. Very difficult to get any kind of sleep, yet he seems to sleep right through them. His foot will raise at least a foot up off the bed and then flop back down.

He had to get up at 5 am this morning for a business call and he got dressed as he was going to go into the office today. Of course, he sat on the edge of the bed and bounced as he put his shoes on. But I noticed his breathing. This is not the first time I've noticed this, it was very short, rapid and labored breathing. Almost like panting for pregnant women. I don't think he was aware of it at all and it has happened a few times. It's like the least bit of physical activity and he starts to pant.

My sis has gone back to the hospital and hubby has gone to work and I realized this is the FIRST time I've been totally alone in 2 weeks! And I'm so tired all I want to do is go to sleep. But if I sleep today, then I will be awake all night tonight. And I'm certain that he has no idea whatsoever that I haven't slept the past 2 nights. I told my sis this morning that I don't need separate bedrooms...I need a separate house! LOL! She got serious on me and told me that I need to start planning for the day when he has a heart attack. And that made me even more tired. I can't even think about it right now. Maybe tomorrow or the next day. How on earth does one plan for that? Something to ponder.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The body's amazing ability to heal

So, someone stepped on hubby's sore foot and he did not walk for 3 days. On day 4, he was back to normal. Thank goodness! I think he is learning how to manage his injuries a bit better, and what to do when he has an open sore. The pressure from the impact forced his wound open, so it was oozing puss once again, but it has healed closed which is record time for him. Which is a blessing.

He is also doing so much better with what he eats. Today for lunch, he opted for grilled chicken breast. I believe that my eating changes are catching up with him. He is drinking less and less soda, more water. I can tell by the number of bottles that we go through each month. It may not be long before I have to increase our order.

He is sleeping a little less throughout the day and having a little more energy. He is not being real faithful about his CPAP, but at least he is trying to use it.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the kidney's could heal themselves as well? For the moment, I'm grateful for the progress he is making.


Life changes in a single moment

My sis and her hubby were with us all last week in Vegas. We went out riding in the mountains on our ATVs yesterday and had a great time. We all went to the kennel this morning to pick up our pets and they left to go 2 1/2 miles through the mountains to their home. I knew that he was going back to work at noon today. At 2:30, I got a phone call from her telling me that he had had a heart attack and they were air lifting him to the "big" city.

And I just started crying. He is only 54 years old. Just a year younger than me. Way too young. And I know she is not ready for this at all.

There are a zillion things that flash through your mind. Like....I just saw him this morning. He was perfectly ok. He looked great. Are you sure he had a heart attack? Is this some kind of a joke?

She had just had my hubby help her place an order for a new computer online last night and wanted me to cancel the order. Amazing what you can do when you explain that someone has just had a major heart attack and you don't know if they will live or not. Amazing service. The order had shipped, but the guy was going to contact the carrier and have them return it.

Amazing what your priorities in life are when someone has a heart attack. My youngest sister's husband went to sleep about 3 years ago and never woke up. Had a heart attack while sleeping. I don't think my family has recovered from that loss yet. And now this.

I called her back and he is stable. We have another sis (mom was smart to have so many kids!) who lives next door and she is driving her halfway down and I will meet her and bring her into the hospital. I am so glad we live in the "big city" so she has family here and isn't stuck alone in a hotel at night. But things to think about when planning for our future.

Do you ever have enough insurance? Is there money set aside to pay for hotel rooms? Is there an empty credit card for emergencies? How long does it take to find the DNR? What do you do with the pets? And will there be a tomorrow?

My brother-in-law does not have diabetes. He works in construction and I've always thought him to be remarkably healthy. While in Vegas, he walked about 10 miles per day before the heat set in. I so admired him for his ability to get out and do that. Proof that life is not partial to those who are healthiest, or to those who are sickest. But the question is, how well do we plan for what might happen? Can we plan for it?

I do think that my hubby and I need to start now planning for the future. For what might happen. I know I keep a credit card that has a $10K limit empty. I used to joke and tell him that it was in case he died overseas while traveling for work. Now I'm thinking I need a couple of those in case I have to air lift either one of us somewhere and we need nursing home care, etc.

I have a couple of hours before I need to go meet her and be off to the hospital. Me, who hates (abhors) hospitals....but at least he is alive. Prayer is a powerful thing and I've already put out the call for more. I believe in it more than anything. But I also believe that Jehovah knows what is best for all of us.

Life changes in a single moment. In the blink of an eye. In one phone call. In one breath.

I need to do a better job of taking care of the life that I have, and in planning for my own future.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

We are in Las Vegas this week. Here with my sis and her hubby. My sis and I are attending an art convention. I can't begin to explain how wonderful this is. The creative juices are just flowing and I am having a blast. Hubby and my brother-in-law are exploring Vegas and the casino/hotel/convention center where we are staying.

We all went to Tony & Tina's wedding tonight. While in the buffet line, some idiot stepped on hubby's sore foot and totally crushed it. Hubby could barely stand the pain, made it through the rest of the show, hobbled home and is in such pain I just want to cry for him. There isn't much he can do except take some pain pills. His toe is swelling and bright red. I just wish other people were more considerate. I'm sure the other guy didn't mean to step on it....I'm sure it was an accident. But I also am sure the other guy has no idea what he is putting my poor hubby through.

Just makes you stop and think that you never know what reactions your actions will have on another human being.

I know this will keep hubby in bed the rest of the trip. Fortunately, we don't have anything else planned except for the 2 of us gals to attend the convention. Should be a fun weekend!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm worn out from the weekend....

and not because we did anything at all. I think it is exhausting to just sit around the house. And that's all he wanted to do this weekend.

His foot is all infected again. It hurts for him to walk. We are supposed to fly to a convention this week. Scheduled to leave Wednesday. I wonder if he will be able to travel. He commented today that he would rather just stay here and I go by myself.

Is that my future? I have to make a choice? Either I do these things alone.....or I just sit here all the time and do nothing at all?

Isn't the reason we got married to have someone to share life with? If I'm going to be off doing all these things alone, why be married? Good question, huh?

And yeah, I'm just talking to myself! I do it a lot! I think it's pretty good therapy!


If you wrote a contract to your diabetic spouse...

What would it include?

Cici wrote a comment that really got me to thinking:

I happen to think this is a brilliant idea, and wonder if it would work. But what all would it include? As women, we are caregivers. It's in our nature to "heal". Taking care of those we love is what we do best. So where do we draw the line?

I've always said that I will not drive him to dialysis. I will not push a wheelchair around with him in it. But I find I am doing most of the driving already, just because I don't want him causing a wreck when I'm in the car!

So I thought I'd start a list and see if anyone wants to add to it. I might just actually write a contract one of these days!

1. Will not pick up meds
2. Will not go to the doctor with him
3. Will not make doctors appointments
4. Will not ask him if he packed enough meds
5. Will not drive him to dialysis
6. Will not push his wheelchair around
7. Will not ask him if he remembered to take his meds
8. Will not set his meds out for him/count out his pills
9. Will not fetch things for him when his feet are so sore he can't walk
10. Will not do yardwork for him

and while we are at it, I think I will write up a contract for the dogs! OK....let me explain. He loves his 2 little dogs. I have never allowed pets inside the house. Mostly because my oldest son had severe asthma. But when I married this guy, he already had a dog. Then he got a second one because we were both working outside the house and he said that dog # 1 needed company during the day. He promised to take care of them. And now, he has me do all the dog related chores. I've sworn that when one of these dogs dies we are NOT going to replace it. But then the realization hit me that I am enabling him to have his pets. I'm the one doing all the maintenance for them. So here is my "dog contract"

1. I will not pick up pet poo
2. I will not feed/water the dogs
3. I will not shampoo the carpet or mop the floors to remove dog stains in the carpet
4. I will not run to the store to get pet food when we are out.
5. I will not brush the dogs
6. I will not bathe the dogs
7. I will not take the dogs outside for potty
8. I will not walk the dogs
9. When we travel, I will not pack up the dogs gear
10. When we travel, I will not put their leashes on and take them for potty walks.

Yeah, and if I don't do it, I know he won't and I will have to live with the messes, the stench, the dirt. OK, I guess some things just cannot be handles with contracts.

But isn't diabetes the same? If I don't drive the car and he has a wreck, I'll be dead. If I don't make sure he packs his meds, we will just turn around and come back home.

Where do you draw the line as a spouse as to what you can live with "not" doing?