Saturday, November 15, 2008

To the spouses of those with diabetes.....(ATTENTION doctors & therapists)

It is time that we speak out! I receive so many comments and emails from I wanted to start a thread where you can post. I plan to print this out and take it to the diabetic counselor. We need to get the word out to the professional field. So feel free to post your thoughts here!!!

1. It is NOT "his" disease. It has a direct impact on ME and the rest of his family. His parents, his siblings, his children. It has an impact on his co-workers. PLEASE stop ignoring what this disease and the drugs you give him do to the rest of us.
a. When he is low AND when he is high, he can get verbally abusive.
1) He will NOT remember this at all when he is back to normal.
b. When he is low, he simply cannot function. As this disease progresses, he becomes less aware of when he is in a low. He needs constant supervision. That is MY life.
c. When he is low or high, he is angry, irritated, agitated, can be physically abusive, but definitely verbally abusive.

2. I did not know this when I married him.
a. He hid it from me
b. He may not have known how bad it was.
c. He did not and does not take care of himself, although he probably tells you, the doctor, that he does.
d. He does not test his blood sugar levels
e. He does not take his insulin at the same time every day.
f. He does not follow your recommended diet/eating plan. He eats just about whatever he wants, whenever he wants.

3. I have learned that:
a. when he starts to go low....or to prevent a low, I need to create some kind of drama/crisis.
1) It needs to be critical enough to pump adreniline in him to release insulin to get him heading to normal again
2) It needs to be serious enough that the impact on him is immediate
3) I may not even know that I have developed a critical "condition" that can generate panic in him when I have an attack
b. a huge fight with him will snap him from a low to normal
c. a "crisis" in my life will level out his sugars
d. after time, this becomes subliminal behavior and I'm not even aware of the "dance" we do to get him normal

4. I know that his children
a. believe their father was an abusive man
b. do not understand that he has no memory of yelling at them when he was in a high/low
c. spent their entire childhood in an abusive home
d. will most likely pass that on to their children, not realizing it was health induced, not who their father is
3. are incapable of loving him because of this

5. I have figured out that
a. his father has diabetes and he was raised the same way
b. that when his father goes low, it causes him to panic which will bring him out of a low and back to normal
c. that when he goes into a low, his father will panic and that will bring his father out of a low
d. that his mother has developed a "chronic medical condition" that causes her severe pain at any moment
1) when she senses either of them might be going low, her condition kicks in, she starts to scream in pain, they both panic and their lows head back to normal
2) that she is completely unaware of the timing of her "attacks" - it truly has become subliminal
3) that this "dance" is amazing to watch now that I have figured it out
4) that I refuse to acquire any chronic medical problems as I refuse to do this dance

6. I have informed him that he does not have the right to yell at me or be mean to me even when he is in a low
a. The problem is that when he goes low, he can't even remember how to unzip a suitcase, let alone be nice to me.
b. I have moved to my own bedroom because the drugs make him restless at night
c. Even though I am retired, I still work so I can have reasons to leave the house when I need to "get away" from this.

7. I have considered leaving him, but I stay for the times when he is normal, when I get a glimpse of the man that I love.

8. Attention professionals:
a. Explain to this man exactly what is happening to his body.
b. Do not beat around the bush, sugarcoat, or try to be nice to him.
1). He eats 8 chocolate bars a day because you told him a carb is a carb.
2). He truly believes that he can do whatever he wants as long as he takes the pills you give him.
3). We understand HMOs tell you that you have to give a patient "hope". Stick to your hipocratic oath. Tell him the truth.
c. When he says he is eating healthy, do not believe him for one second.
d. When he says he is testing 4 times a day, ask to see the log.
1) why would you think the log is accurate? If he will lie to you, he will write down any number on the log
2) can't you see there are no pricks on his fingers/arms?
e. Why on earth do you assume that he is telling you the truth?
f. We understand patient confidentiality. But make an appointment to see his wife. SERIOUSLY. If you really want to know how your patient is doing, talk to the spouse, the children, someone who lives with him day in and day out.
g. STOP giving false hope. If this is a heriditary condition, then tell his children that they will most likely pass it on to their children. INFORM and EDUCATE - don't just medicate!!!
h. And about all those drugs - send him to an endocrinologist. Have one single SPECIALIST, not a FP, in charge of his overall care. Don't experiment on him. If you do, call the spouse first so she knows what to anticipate.
i. MOST IMPORTANT - and A1c is NOT a true indicator of overall blood sugar. If he is having lows at 10 am and highs at 8 pm, he can still have a normal A1c. You seriously need to be talking to someone who lives with him and ask the question, "do you tend to get into an argument the same time every day?"
j. NEVER EVER assume that a diabetic is being honest with you. Even when they tell you they are being compliant. Even when they show you logs and journals. A non-compliant diabetic is the best liar in the world.
k. STOP and THINK!!! You have a non-compliant diabetic sitting across from you who is now the world's best liar. His A1c is normal. He has given you false charts and logs showing he tests 4+ times a day and he eats healthy. LOOK at his medical record. LOOK at the number of times he has been to see you.....or how little he has been to see you. Get permission t speak to his spouse. If he will not grant that, KNOW there is a problem!!! (Can I say that any louder? Are you listening????)
1). My husband has probably said to you that he is single.
2). He probably removes his wedding ring before he comes into your office.
3). But I have spoken to the diabetic nurse, so ask her if his spouse has ever been in.
a) I have separate insurance thru the same HMO, so our records are separate.
4). Why would my husband want you to talk to me? He knows I will tell you the truth! Remember, he is a liar!!
l. He has neuropathy. He has had foot surgery. He will tell you he can no longer feel with his fingers. His feet are always ice cold. His nerve endings are dying off. refuse to tell him that all the other nerve endings in his body are dying off as well.
1). he has constant diarrhea, vomiting and I know it is the nerve endings in his stomach dying off. Why won't you tell him that? He won't believe me, but he might believe you!
2). he has constant backaches. Nerve ending damage?
3). His sciatic nerve was killing him last week. I looked it up, yep, nerves dying off. If he went to see you, would you tell him that? Do you KNOW that it is a common problem with diabetes? How could you - you think his diabetes is under control!
4). So his last doctor told him the lumps on his feet were his Scottish ancestry. You told him it was gout. But did you tell him gout is tied to diabetes? Did you ever explain to him that everything going on in his body could be a side effect of his diabetes? Do you tell him what to do for it or just give him another pill?
m. Have you ever spoken with me? NO!!! So, how do you presume to think you care for him? Yep, I got ya! Patient confidentiality. If you really care for this man, ask him to sign a release to speak to me. If I leave him, who will be here to call 911 the next time he slips into a coma? It is the WHOLE man you need to be treating and that WHOLE man includes his family.
n. And when you do talk to the spouse, or to him, and they are young, tell them to consider NOT having children. No one has the right to bring a child into an abusive home. And if he goes high/low - trust me, it IS an abusive home. And even if he doesn't go high/low, there is no guarantee that he won't at some future point and time.
1). But then here's the real quandry. If he doesn't remember what he says or does when he goes high/low, he will deny that he is abusive. If you don't talk to his spouse/children, how will you ever know?

OK, spouses, what have I left out?

Simply go to HIS health care provder's website, find the doctor's name, get and email address, copy and paste this into it and send it to his doctor. If enough doctor's and diabetes nurses read this, perhaps the lightbulb will go on somewhere out there and the world will start to see that his disease has a huge impact on everyone else. Diabetes abuse. I think it's way more widespread than anyone is willing to admit!

Inform & educate, don't just medicate......let's make that the slogan for spouses of diabetics everywhere!!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

when he's down -

he's down. And when it's over, he doesn't remember a thing about it and is happy as can be, wondering why I'm exhausted! LOLOL! I HAVE to laugh or I'd just sit here and cry. Today was 180 from 2 days ago. He's well, happy, back working, joking. And asking me why I'm so tired. He doesn't even remember that I did 30 flights of stairs running up and down getting things for him Nor does he remember that I made him go downstairs when he got hungry.

Nice that things are back to "normal" and I think I'll be recovered by tomorrow.


Sunday, November 09, 2008


He is sick today. In bed all day long. No fever, but had cold chills and hot sweats. Couldn't move. When he tried to get up, his head was pounding. Didn't eat a thing.

but he had no problem calling me on my cell phone asking me to come upstairs. I think I did the stairs 30 times today. The last time, he wanted a muffin. I told him, no, sorry, you need to come downstairs to get it, I'm not doing stairs again today.

So he is downstairs, flat on the sofa, asking me to get him this and that.

I finally told him, no more. I need to sit on the heating pad as my back is killing me.

I have told him a thousand times we need to sell this place and move into a ranch. He just ignores me. So as of today, no more stairs, I don't care how sick he is. My back just trumped his diabetes! LOL!

Yet another day that nothing got done, nothing got fixed around here. And I know it's not going to get any better or any easier.

And I also know I'm tired and grumpy and crabby tonight!

Tomorrow will be better. I know it will!