Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Almost too long

Here's a rather lengthy post:

I just ran across your blog today and it was a relief to learn more about this disease. I am fairly new at this. I have only been married to my diabetic husband for 7 years and he has only been diagnosed for about 4 years. We should have seen it coming because his mom, dad, and maternal grandmother had diabetes. We do not check his sugar very often, but it is always very high. I have read that over time a diabetic that has high blood sugar will eventually start going from high to low and begin that cycle. I have always contributed his anger to his diabetes, but I see on your site that your husband's episodes are when his sugar is low. Can this happen if it is high? We use natural remedies for all of our illnesses and this is the biggest medical thing that has happened to us. He does not want to go on meds (I don't want him to either, because they cause more problems)but he hasn't been the best at doing the cinnamon, garlic, dandelion, and other herbs plus the vitamin supplements. His job keeps him from being able to exercise regularly and, being a former Marine, he misses that discipline. He drives a truck and has to be certified every so often and that's when he takes a prescription so he can get the signature and then he gets off the meds.

Being young and inexperienced with this condition, I am not as familiar with the many problems that your husband has. Of course I worry about our future and that is mostly because of our children. I am a homemaker and when we began our family we chose to homeschool. We sacrifice many luxuries so that we can afford to live on his income. We refuse to put our three children (and one on the way)in daycare or public school. The reason I can not call this "his disease" and not mine is that we are one. If he gets ill and can no longer work, then I would have to go to work and not be able to care for our children. If he dies I will have to find someone else to take us in and become a husband and father to us. I have reminded him of this often and at times I ask him who his choice for my future husband would be. This is my way of reminding him that he is our provider and that we need him to stay healthy.

I hope I can encourage you as much as you have educated me. Sometimes I sense a bitterness and a coldness in your attitude and at other times I can feel the love you have for your husband. I am married to a "command man" meaning that he is demanding, expects to be waited on, and determined not to be nagged or led by a woman. I don't expect to ever change him because that is how God made him and it is up to God to change him. I can not neg him into "compliance" any more than I can make the stars move in the sky. When I do try that approach it just makes things worse. It is hard on me at times, but I married him for better or worse. It is definitely worse when he is angry and blaming me for things that I have no control over. It would have been easier to marry a "steady man" but I did not know about these things then.

I do love my husband and for that reason I stand beside him. If he chooses to refuse treatment, if he becomes sick, if he get disabled because of this disease, I will treat him every day as if he were the man of my dreams. I will lift him up in prayer and pray for God to change him. I may even pray that God does "whatever it takes" to wakt him up and make him take charge of his disease. When he can't get a certificate to drive and loses his job I will pray for God's mercy and another job. When he dies I will mourn and then I will move on - for the sake of my children. He knows what he is doing and I will allow him to be a man. But I will not say to him that he is alone in his battle. I can not tell him that this is not my disease. He needs me to be his anchor and his support. I am his help meet (a helper suitable to him) and I will meet his needs. I will check his blood sugar whenever he wants it checked - he does not want to check his own. I will buy foods that are good for him and not buy sweets except for special occasions, even when he mentions every week that he wants me to bake a cake or pie. When he wants to pig out I will let him and not nag. But I will continue to tell his daughters to tell daddy, "We don't want you to die from diabetes." And I will occasionally say, "I wonder if so-and-so from high school has ever married?...."

I wish that you could bring yourself to feel this way. Perhaps he would be changed by your honor and respect and renewed concern. I can tell you are afraid to lose him, but I think you have built a wall that has allowed you not to feel that sometimes. It's easy to say "it's not my disease" when it doesn't affect you, but everything my husband does affects me.

I suppose you think I will grow older and wiser as a diabetic's wife and become bitter and hard-hearted over the years. I plan on fighting that attitude by becoming all that my husband needs me to be - until the end. I play on growing wiser in ways to help support and encourage my husband. I am not saying these things to disrespect you, but I just wish you could feel the joy involved in being such a helper to your husband. I am not saying that he deserves to get everything he wants, but you already know that it does no good to go against him. So why not let him destroy himself, endure a little disrespect, and enjoy the time you have left with your husband. I know you have needs - all wives do. But it is a glorious thing to put someone else's needs above your own. Although he may not say it he needs you now more than ever. Perhaps if you would act a little more vulnerable he would realize that you need him to stick around a little longer. You could do some research on natural remedies. It is proven (if you look in the right places) that drugs for diabetes cause heart problems. All man-made drugs lead to further complications and side effects. He is in a rut and can't get out. Maybe you can be his salvation.

There is a tea called "Dr. Cinnamon Tea" www.bulkherbstore.com) that is supposed to be good for diabetics. There is a great book on marriage call "Created To Be His Help Meet" that has shown me how to love and honor my husband-no matter how bad it gets. (www.nogreaterjoy.org) I can not control him, but I can control myself. I choose to be a blessing rather than a curse to my husband.

You may think I am trying to be mean and hurt your feelings. I really am not. I completely believe what you say you are going through and I can understand how it feels-to a smaller extent. I also think our husbands react a lot to our attitudes and that we can change a lot just by letting them lead. I guess I will stop now. I hope I didn't upset you. I truly do think you can change your husband's outlook.

I think you must be quite young and have much to learn about life and about living with this disease. Your husband has had diabetes for 4 years, mine has had it for 35 years. Huge difference in what the disease does to the body over time.

When my hubby goes high, he gets very nervous, like being on edge, maybe aggitated is a better word, so yes, he get's angry then as well. But it's a different kind of anger. Maybe "high" is an aggitated, nervous anger and "low" is a bad mood anger. I can't explain it, but it's different. Yet it can happen at both ends of the spectrum.

Do you understand that each of your children will have a good chance of inheriting this disease as well? Best thing you can do is start a family nutrition program now. And stick with it like a religion.

I understand what it means "that the 2 shall be 1". And of course, you will sense bitterness and coldness in my attitude - probably more often than not. After your husband has been incontinent for months and the mattress smells of urine....we'll see how your bitterness level is! :o) I think it comes with time. But yes, I do love him. Still.

I will have to disagree on "this is how God made him and it is up to God to change him". God did NOT make my husband like this....his non-compliance has made him like this! His refusal to exercise, monitor his blood levels, eat right...that's all that has made him like this. God created a perfectly healthy man, added diabetes and let the man decide how to handle it. I think "my man" failed misearably!

"I will pray to God to change him". Good luck!

Not sure it's such a good idea to have your daughter get in the middle of all this by having her tell her daddy she doesn't want him to die. I may be manipulative, but I don't think I'd ever do that! And I certainly never "threaten" my husband that I might marry someone else when he dies. He knows well that if I leave it will be because he refuses to take care of himself.

You may not ever get bitter and hard-hearted. I don't think I am that at all. I tend to think I'm realistic. I know he is not going to change, so I don't pray for that. I know that he is not going to take better care of himself. Part of that comes with age. If he hasn't made changes in the past 35 years.....it's not going to happen now. Maybe that's realizm and that wins out over optimism and hope over the years.

Hmmmm....and explain to me the joy in assisting him when I clean up soiled matresses? Nope...I just don't see that! It must be your youth! LOL!!!

As far as a wife that has needs, my dear, you need to understand that when the nerve endings die.....that includes those which make sexual relations possible. If the drugs don't put an end to that.....the neuropathy will. Not even viagra will help that after a few years. I fear you have much to learn. But I think it's really good that you are getting involved now so you will know what is going to happen and you can go forward with no surprises.

Youth and innocence are such bliss! Read though all the past blogs and comments. You will see that a diabetic who is non-compliant is not about to take natural remedies either. And I'm not sure natural remedies are going to help while he continues to consume bags of candy and potato chips.

I don't know why you think I'm a curse to my husband, but I find that funny! I doubt he would think that at all. I am his best friend and he is mine. When he is having normal sugar levels, he is complete fun to be around. You haven't upset me at all. I just see this as the total distance between youth, naivity hope.......and age, experience and knowledge.

Good luck at changing your husband through prayer, support, whatever it takes. Print this out and read it in about 35 years. It might be fun!!!


Anonymous said...

you are the best! tom's wife

Neil Curtis said...

In reality, the nerve damage can be mostly reversed through exercise and using short acting insulin like lispro. I know -- did. Many years ago I was in so much pain that I screamed myself to sleep and begged family members to just shoot me. I got better and brought three children into the world, which proves that sexuality can be returned with insulin. My blood sugar was once over 1000