Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's in his ballpark

I know that many people do not go back and read prior post's comments and that's why I like to bring them forward - to make sure the world understands that this is a very common thing for spouses of non-compliant diabetics. Here's a post from yesterday:

I too, have a diabetic husband (type 1). He's been diagnosed since he was 19, and is now 62. His overall health is neuropathy, eye, or kidney problems. He watches closely what he eats, and tests several times a day. I am thankful for this, however despite all he does, he still has insulin reactions several times a week that leave me drained and anxious. He hates my suggestions, and interventions. Like many of you say, he doesn't remember how he behaves during a reaction. When I suggest looking into an insulin pump or going to a "real" diabetes Dr., he gets angry, and this usually ends up as an argument, where I am the bad wife, and all is on my shoulders. I had no idea I was not alone in this battle! Whining doesn't help, but knowing that there are other spouses out there that might be able to help each other with solutions, moral support, and just an "I know what you're going through" is wonderful! It is very hard to feel as though you sometimes hold your mates life in your hands. I have decided dto explore every avenue I can to help him, then, when I've done that...I'll try my best to let go, and it's in his ball park.

Trust me, you are NOT alone!!! I should have kept a log of all the comments over the years just to this blog alone! We are "alone" only in the fact that the medical world does not acknowledge that this disease has a HUGE impact on the entire family. It affects how children are raised. It affects divorce rates. (I have to wonder how many spouses simply walk away quietly - my husband's ex did).

And I honestly, really do know what you are going through. No, whining won't help. Being argumentative doesn't help. OK, not really much of anything "helps". LOL! But it is sure nice to know we are not alone. It's nice to hear how other's cope and survive. It's heart breaking to hear when the spouse dies. Or becomes abusive.

My wish in all this is that the medical world would wake up, start to listen, and somehow offer help. I think I had my best period when the doctor/nurse asked my husband to track and write down his blood levels 8 times a day and then she actually took the time to chart out his highs and lows. He was conscious of the impact on his mood as I was tracking them at the same time.

And I wish someone in the medical arena would actually start to acknowledge the memory loss that occurs as blood sugar levels drop or go sky high.

All that being said, If my husband was not going to a "real" diabetes doctor, I would be beyond livid. There is simply no excuse for that. So are we back to the question he in denial? Because if he is not seeking proper medical attention, then he must be in denial on some level. And if he is, then all we can do is acknowledge that is where he is and understand that yes, it really is in his ballpark.

Letting go is impossible to do because as women, we want to nurture and heal. As men, I think the general concensus is that we want to fix and make it all well. Same thing. We all love our spouses and want them to be well, or at least be on a smooth level of care with no highs and lows. Research and information do help. But bottom line, it's their disease.....not's their ballpark, their ballgame. We can pitch the ball.....but they have to decide whether to hit a home run, bat out, bat it foul....or just drop the ball altoghere. Not much any of us can do about that!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A comment I received:

I too am in denial about the suffering we are all subject too when an angry, out-of-control diabetic person is at the center of the drama (and needs to be). I keep telling myself that he is not really like this - it is the disease that makes him this way, but after a while...what's the difference? Your thoughts and actions come to define you. I am now finding that I have to develop a shell and become and uncaring to cope. And that makes me hard on my children and myself. So here we are. If I am to apply the same idea, well them I have become just as difficult to live with as a result. Sad and incompetent is how I feel. Thank you for sharing your experience. It does help.

This is just my opinion, but I think denial can last forever. I think it is a coping mechanism. But it's not just the spouse/family of a non-compliant or out-of-control diabetic - it's everyone around them.

Think about it. Their doctor has to be in denial. They don't make them chart their sugar 8 times a day. They don't ask to see the "log". They don't tell them they have put on way too much weight since the last visit. All they seem to want to do is get the patient out of the office as fast as they can.

Their boss must be in denial. I'm sure the same ranting and raving goes on at work that goes on here. He's never been disciplined. It's just called "his mood".

The sad fact is that he is exactly like this. Whether brought on by sugar levels, or his own personality - it is who he is. Yes, the disease started it. Maybe the disease continues it. But it is who they are. "the center of the drama" - oh my, what a perfect description! LOL!!!

They do like to make everyone around them feel totally inept and incompetent, huh? Haven't quite figured that one out.

Put on a shell? Well, that's one way to put it. I prefer to say that every time he tries to put his monkey on my back, I fling it right back to him. LOL! This is his disease. This is his problem. I've said this before and I'll put it here again.....I have learned to simply tell him that he does not have permission to yell at me. He does not have permission to blame me. And when his mood gets really bad, then I run to Walmart, or the grocery or somewhere....just leave for a couple of hours. Because usually when I come home - he's past that mood.

Of course I'm copinq quite well right now because he's gone! LOL! Just read my past blogs and see how many, many times I have not coped. That's when I come here to vent.

I guess I need to write one more thing here. For the past 2 months, he has been making joking comments that he is going to quit his job and go live under a bridge. He will say that he has picked out his spot, that he's found one that has a power outlet. I want to think that he is joking, so I simply tell him he can go whenever he wants, but don't think I'll be there with you! But I wonder what is going through his mind that he has started this line of joking. He is now morbidly obese, his kidneys are at 20%.....I just wonder how long he has left and if in his mind this is his way of coping.

Yep, denial. It really is a safe place to be when things get bad.

I also know that there are 5 stages of grief and we, as spouses, need to grieve the loss of our normal life, the normalness of our spouses, etc. And I also know that we can get to step 4, fall back to 1, progress to 3, fall back to 2.....that it can take years to process the grief of loss. And that's what we are doing, so denial is a natural part of that process. We just need to work to get ourselves out of denial and on to the next step.


she wrote, "I can't go on like this".....

on a comment on my last post and I will write, "yes you can!" We all stay in a diabetic relationship for some reason or other. And as long as we continue to make the choice to stay....then we have to go on like this. There isn't another option because you can't change another person - you can't change him, you can't fix him, you can't make it can only change yourself.

So I have learned that until I make the decision to walk away from this, I can go on....even when I think I can't. How? We do it by finding something to occupy our time - a job, a hobby, volunteer somewhere. We do it by surrounding ourselves with a family of friends and a support system. For some of us, we blog - we write down the things that upset us, we vent, we rant, we throw a temper tantrum via the keyboard. For each of us, we simply do it one step at a time.

But I would never ever think bad of anyone who made the choice to leave. Being with a non-compliant diabetic is just about the most difficult thing on the face of the earth. My hubby is still gone, so I am getting a reprieve and this is what we do - he goes to his family, I go teach art - we give each other a break from the every day life of diabetes.

It has been 12 days since his grandmother died and she is still in the morgue. No creamation or burial yet. I am just not sure what is going on but think that probably no one can make a decision. His mother was in a car wreck today. She is 76 and probably has no need to be behind the wheel of a car. His work is laying off more people. So I am sure the stress he is enduring at the moment is the "adrenaline" that is keeping him pumped up. Which means that if he is in a constant high the whole time he is gone, he will have major crashes when he gets back home.

I will be leaving in 3 weeks for a 3 week teaching trip - so I know I can survive whatever happens when he gets home - I have an "out"!

A few good things to report: I have purged this house of anything sweet, chips, crackers, etc. All the soda is gone. It's been a very good 2 weeks here!!!