Friday, April 10, 2009


Join me there by searching:


Dw Smith (Diabetes Wife Smith) - it wouldn't let me enter myself as just Diabetes I'll be DW Smith over there. :o)

No idea how often I will log in over there...but I have set it up to have this blog feed there as well. We can have a more interactive chats and conversations over there. Hope it works!


Dear wife of a diabetic....

In this post, I am writing as the wife of a diabetic to all of the other wives of diabetics.

Life is short. My mom had a stroke about 10 days ago. She is doing just fine....but it was a true wakeup call for me. I am spending a week with her, helping her with her therapy, making sure she can continue to live alone. And I wanted to share a few things with you.

1. She lives in a tiny apartment in a retirement center. She does not want to go live with any of her children. She wants to remain independent. She lost 100% of the use of her right hand with this stroke. She has PT & OT coming in twice a day. She sits in her chair and exercises her hand and arm almost non-stop. She repeats every exercise they give her. She does typing exercises on the computer. 10 days now and she has regained 99% of the use of her hand. She is determined to make herself healthier than she was before the stroke. Diabetics take CAN repair what your body has lost! Wives take note....if the diabetic really wants to make a change, to get better, to get well, they will.

2. Mom is not doing this alone. PT & OT and her daughters, her neighbors, her friends. We are all doing everything we can to help her make changes in her eating, her diet, her her daily life. We are here supporting her 100%. And she is allowing us to assist her.

3. Mom could have taken the route of self-pity, of depression, or sorrow. Nope, she is a true role model. And she is so patient with everyone. She listens carefully. She repeats her tasks. She doesn't hesitate to rest, but the moment she is rested, she is back at it again. She just doesn't stop.

I sit here and look at her and watch her example and am stunned that this woman who is almost 80 years old has more energy than my diabetic spouse. She is more willing to take on new exercises, new ways of eating, new ways of doing things than he will ever be. She has a will to live. Or perhaps I should say, she has a will to live the best life that she possibly can as long as she can.

The brain is an amazing thing. It can remap nerves. It can rewire internal systems. I have just witnessed it. From a right hand that would not move to a hand that is back to painting, typing, fixing meals and more. She has made an incredible recovery. Proof to me that if a diabetic wants to regain what they have lost...they can...if they are willing to make the necesssary changes!!!

FRAN!!! I am thrilled to have you back and so happy you posted a comment. I have been thinking about joining facebook and wondering if anyone would care to go there as we could all post with each other....not just me making comments on my blog. I will look into that next and post here if I can set something up.

Diabetes is so difficult for the spouse because it constantly pounds down our self-esteem. We get sucked into the negativeness of it all. Fran, I hope you will see that. You need to do what is best for you.

And to anonymous.....I have learned that we do what we can with what we have. So no regrets about staying with him. Don't do the "what-if's" about how you raised your kids. Yes, perhaps it would have been better had we left....but we absolutely can only do what we can with what we have at the moment.....and it is a true waste of our time, energy and strength to look back and wonder "what if". What we have to do is look at the present moment and determine if we are doing the best thing for us right now.

Is it best for me to stay with him? Is it best for me to leave him? This is not about him at all. It is about us. It is about me. Now, I don't advocate jumping ship right now. I firmly believe that any time you make a decision, you need to mull it over for a couple of weeks to make sure it's not a knee-jerk reaction to an event. But truly.....if I thought for a moment that I should leave him, I would. And I would not look back for a nano second!!!! I am worth that much to me. I deserve self-respect. I deserve to be treated like a woman. I deserve validity in my life.

If you have been with me during this journey, you will remember a few months back I was pondering whether I should leave my husband. But I am glad for now that I stayed. The doctor's have done amazing things with drugs and he is in a much better place. He has also come to realize that he cannot treat me like a rag, he cannot blame me for whatever, he cannot yell at me and while I still have to remind him of MY rules....he is doing ever so much better and we are in a better place in our relationship.

So, what are my rules?

These are the rules for the wife of a NONCOMPLIANT diabetic who has no desire to become complaint:

1. You cannot abuse me. Physical or verbal.

2. You cannot blame me for something I did not do. I will not listen to it. I will walk out of this house every time you start to blame me for something.

3. I will not allow you to try to convince me that I was wrong. If I was, you simply have to live with it. But you may not tell me that I was wrong....or that I am not right.

4. I have a right to my own opinons, my own beliefs, my own thoughts and you may not say anything negative about them. If you want to start that line of conversation, I will go shopping. I will be gone for a minimum of 2 hours. And when I come home, I expect that conversation to be over.

5. If I am going to share a bed with you, that bed will be quiet. There will be no snoring or bouncing, no restless leg syndrome. If you cannot work with our physicians to ensure me that I will have a solid nights sleep, then I will be in my own bed and you will not join me there.

6. I will not remind you when to take your meds. I will not assist you in taking your meds.

7. This is your disease. It is not mine.

8. If I tell you that you need to eat something, you will. If you refuse to eat, I will walk out for a couple of hours. I will only do this when I feel you are dropping into a low. If you go into a coma while I am gone (because you refused to eat) I will not be responsible for what happens after that.

9. You will not raise your voice in anger against me at any time. We can discuss anything you like in a rational, calm voice, but I will not listen to you get angry with me.

10. I am not your mother. She lives in another state. Do not expect to treat me or talk to me like you do your mother. I am your wife. If you want to stay married to me, these are my rules. I will be happy to call 911 whenever you pass out. I will not give you juice or put something under your tongue. This is your disease and you need to stay in close contact with your physicians. You need to tell them about the changes in your behavior, your eating patterns, your activity levels. You need to monitor your own blood sugar at least 8 times a day and chart what you eat. I will be here thru thick and thin....but this is not my disease and since you really don't seem to want to take care of yourself, I'm not going to do it either.