Saturday, July 11, 2009

How a "high" might be a "low"

Jim wrote:

You said:
"Why is it that so often when they go low, they think they are high? I wonder with neuropahy and their lack of the sensations they have get mixed up?"

I'm only a Type 2 diabetic, but I've experienced many extreme lows and a few extreme highs. At either extreme, my thinking get so muddled that I don't know what's going on.

Thank you Jim for explaining that. It would explain why somone who is low might think they are high and vice versa.

thank you thank you thank you. you are now my haven. and yes, he was "just fine" today. when I asked him (he got up and went to work before I woke up) he wondered why I would ask. He goes through an episode like that and wakes up feeling terrific having had a wonderfully deep sleep. Its so unfair!

But now it is Friday, and I plan on sleeping as much this weekend as possible.

take care,
tom's wife

Well, I'm glad to here he is better. And I hope you get tons of rest this weekend!

I will be gone starting tomorrow until the second week of August. I will check in if/when possible. May each of you have a joyful, stressless summer!


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dear Tom's wife

For all of you who think I make this stuff up, read her post:

I'm so glad that works for you. As for me, I wrote to you earlier this week that my dh had two low sugar twice while driving with me during the last 7 days. Well, last night he had a MAJOR low. I got home about 9:30 pm and didn't realize at first that he was low, he chatted (a little more than usual - I should have figured it out based on that :|) But then I looked at his eyes and realized he was low and asked him to check his blood. He did and told me it was 135. I believed him (why am I so stupid?) As it got to 11 pm he just kept getting worse, saying weirder and weirder things.

So I tried to get him to test again, but he said his glucose monitor was broken and he wouldn't let me get close to his pump which has a testing device on it. I couldn't find a spare device either.

Frankly, he is just too strong for me and I can't fight him. But I don't need to test him to know he is low -- his behavior and the way he looks is enough for me. something is terribly wrong.

So, I told him if everything was broken I would take him to the hospital, they have working devices. No, that wasn't ok with him. so, I said I would call 911. No, that's not ok. So I gave him OJ. He threw it on the floor. Was I trying to kill him? too much sugar is the problem -- he thinks he is high.

well, I have seen him high and I've seen him low, and let me tell you. He was low -- very low.

Finally we got what MAYBE was a fairly accurate test and this was about 20 minutes after maybe 4 oz of OJ. His glucose was 53.

Then he decided it was 11 pm and time for bed. So he turned off all the lights and went to bed. Ignoring me completely. Frankly, I don't know how he made it up the stairs, I thought he was going to fall back down.

But I stayed calm, he kept asking me what time it was, what day it was, and even what year it was. Geez. by this time, I'm exhausted, my work is really stressful right now, my father is dying of cancer, and my mom is really depressed. why does he do this what always seems like the worst times to me?

So he went to sleep and was up all night making sure he was alive. I know I'm not supposed to do that. That if he chooses to do this to himself I can't change this. but, its just so hard.

thanks for letting me "talk" to someone who really understands. when I told my sister a shortened version all she said was, this is really old isn't it. I didn't hear much sympathy in her voice. Nor, as you reference, much humor.

thank you for giving me the forum to share.

You poor dear! Yes, it does get really really really old....but that doesn't mean it is going to go away or get better or get easier. And yes, you are not supposed to stay awake all night long to see if he is alive or dead. But when you love someone, how can you not stay awake and worry? It's like second nature. It's what we do.

You didn't mention how he was today. I hope better. Why is it that so often when they go low, they think they are high? I wonder with neuropahy and their lack of the sensations they have get mixed up? That would seem to make sense.

I really want to move to a ranch house. Stairs scare me to death. One low and he could go tumbling down and break his neck. Other's may laugh and pass it off...but I really do understand what it's like as you watch their every step, wondering if it will be their last.

The sad thing is that one of these days, it will be their last. Brought on quicker than necessary because they refuse to take care of themselves. My blessing at the moment is that I don't work. So if I'm up all night long, I can usually get in an afternoon nap. I don't know how you mangage to go to work every day. I'll keep you in my prayers!


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Maybe this is the answer......

I don't know, but I'm sitting here giggling. I have given my husband a HUGE project to do. I'm off to present at an international conference next week and I actually managed to put together a movie with 16 tutorials in it. So I asked him if he could produce it as a DVD with titles, chapters....just like a real DVD. And that I would put his name in the credits as "producer".

He has been so happy all week! He bought some new equipment that writes the title right on the cover of the DVD and of course, it was too long for a normal DVD so he ordered in some new dual layer DVDs. He has had setbacks...but he has kept at it and today managed to get 10 done and they are just perfect!

So maybe the answer is to load him up with tons and tons of things to do that he enjoys (he loves anything to do with animation and movies) and he won't have time to get "low". It seems to have worked for the past 4 days!

And I have to say that other than the intro segment where you can see me talking....the entire DVD is extremely professional! I'm tickled with the results and I think he's as pleased as can be. I will just keep the compliments coming in as it gets distributed at the conference next week.

I've already told him that when I get home in 3 weeks, I want to do a second DVD with more advanced technique he's out looking for better equipment to help him through the process!!!

Funny guy!


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Death by chocolate, beer and hamburgers

My pals tease that we are going to have to write a book and call it

"death by chocolate, beer and hamburgers"

I'll feed mine chocolate
The one who's husband is an alcoholic is going to pour beer down him
And another one who's husband has high cholesterol is going to stuff hamburgers down him.

Could be the perfect crime novel!!!

I think it's the laughter of good friends that get me through the bad times.

So my advice might be to surround yourself with women who can support you and be there for you when life falls apart.

I probably have not mentioned here the incredibly amazing network of female friends that I have where I live. They totally understand my situation and can often recognize a low before I do.

But more than anything, they bring laughter into my life.

And laughter heals so much!

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" 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. ( 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'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!!!

Diabetics Anonymous? Who would attend?

Another comment:

Hi--with HIPPA laws, I wonder what kind of effect this could have, but is there any way you could contact your husband's diabetes doctor (I can't remember if he sees an endocrinologist or not) and tell them that you would like the doctor to have your husband consider doing a trial of a continuous glucose monitor? I've done 2 day trials in the past, and the results can be really eye opening. You could print out the results and then show your husband exactly where he is going low and exactly how it coincides with his behavior. If the doctor pooh-poohs the idea, explain exactly why you think it is needed (the family history with his daughters, your own experiences, etc.).

Also, I don't know where you are based, but some of the larger medical centers have therapists on site who have backgrounds in diabetes. Would it be worth contacting one to get coping tips for living with a noncompliant diabetic?(Maybe they'd do phone sessions if you're not local). I know you say it's not your disease, but it's like how Al-Anon is for relatives of alcoholics--it'd be to learn how to better deal with someone who has a particular disease.

We have insurance through separate companies, so I can only talk to my own insurance providors. If you read back through my blogs, you will see that I have been to diabetic counselors, nurses and nutritionists - educating myself as much as I can and coming up with a wide variety of ways to deal with life as a spouse of a non-compliant diabetic.

He does not see an endocrinologist - and I have asked him to do so on a number of occassions.

He would never consent to even a trial of a continuous glucose monitor. I have asked him in the past. We have done the manual testing with a grid and a scale comparing lows to moods. Under a nurse's supervision. It made him etremely angry. He knows the problem exists. He simply chosed to ignore it.

Interesting comparing being a spouse of a non-compliant diabetic to being the spouse of an alcoholic. I think we'd have to put that as an alcoholic on his last legs! My brother-in-law is an alcoholic and I would take that any day of the year over this. I know you are trying to be kind - maybe we could start a diabetics anonymous. I just don't see anyone attending.

In Alcoholics anonymous, the alcoholic admits they are an alcoholic. The apologize to others for what they have done to them. They attempt to quit drinking.

My husband is in total denial as to what diabetes is doing to him. He has never apologized to me for what he puts me through. And he's not about to quit this inch-by-inch suicide mission he is on. He ate a box of girl scout cookies 10 minutes ago.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Edona wrote:

I feel for you. I thank you. My DH would never blog, let alone read a blog, but he would completely understand the shoes you walk in. I've been Type 1 diabetic for 37 years. My DH and I have been married for 15+ years. I always, always thank him for marrying me, because I know it was probably one of the hardest things he's ever done. But, he's stood by me. He's picked me up when I've fallen (on floors, through shower doors, etc..) with a low blood sugar. He's learned to tone me out when I'm ranting with a high and he can set his clock to the minute when I come down the hallway after a shower and a pump change and my sentence starts with "Guess what...?" He and our two kids all shout in unison... "you hate diabetes!". Sorry about the stalker. They're out there! And, there do seem to be a lot of angry ones.

Thank you!!! It is amazingly wonderful to read from someone who knows what they put their spouse through. Thank you from all of us!!!

Lyrehca said...
I know your husband would probably never consider anything like this, but there *is* a warning system that gives you an alarm when you're heading low (or high): the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor.

It would be interesting for your husband to do a trial run of one for a week to see exactly where his blood sugar is all the time.

You know it! He's nt going to ever do anything like this......but I would love it if he would. He probably is not a good candidate for any type of continuous monitor as he would never clean it. How sad is that?

You know, I do sometimes wonder if there is an element of the fact that we are talking about men -- you know the Y chromosome.

I never thought of my husband as the macho type but he is a caretaker and he really does need to be in charge and he likes to be the car-driver and (ok, I'll stop, you get the idea)

Now that I spent the weekend on the internet looking for on-line opportunities to "chat" and seeing your response - I get it. first, some people are SO defensive - they don't understand that we aren't really saying these things so much as a criticism of them but as a place to go to share our feelings and get validation for what we feel. Of course, we think they are wrong -- because so much of what they do, well is wrong. But that's not the point of this space -- its really to share.

I looked on one website (I won't name it you probably know) and they are all about being "kind" to each other. Well that's all well and good but it really doesn't help when you are desperate and scared and think you are the only woman in the world who thinks that she is the most horrible being because she can't handle one more time when her husband hits bottom.

and we do appreciate you filtering out the screaming "jims" who want to make us feel bad. we are not bad, we are burdened and loving and caring and we try so hard to do the right thing.

we know its difficult for them that's why its so difficult for us. otherwise it would be easy for us to leave when they abuse us so terribly. who else would put up with the type of emotional garbage we get?

Now I'll stop and leave you alone.

You are terrific I wish you a wonderful trip. Tom's wife

Dear Tom's Wife. It's just not online....the diabetics I meet in person are completely defensive. Some of my art pals are starting to open up and talk to me about it. A couple have even acknowledged their denial. Most of them are women who don't "have the time" to eat right or test. I find that a bit humorous as I think we all still have 24 hours in a day!!!

I tend to call a spade a spade and just don't go in for that touchy-feely stuff. Doesn't seem to help me one iota when he slides of the chair into a coma on the floor. And as you said, when you are scared to help in being kind and polite and politically correct at that moment either. I have often wondered what a non-compliant diabetic does when no one is around. And I know that is exactly why my hubby often comments that his worst fear in all of life is that he will die alone.

Thanks for your post. There really is comfort in knowing we are not a lone and in understanding the moment-by-moment battles we each face.


My inacurate picture?

I just love this! Again, from my "angry" follower......

Actually, I am not angry about the disease - well diabetes is actually an autoimmune disorder but let's not split hairs.
What I am upset about is the inaccurate picture you portray on your blog.
I know you get more negative comments than just my own because I have talked to other people who have posted them.
Do you know what you are doing to the diabetes online community? You say you are on here to seek support other people, but that is not what you do. You just vent YOUR anger. Who does that really help other than you?

First, you need to be very careful what you write to me. Look up the word "disease". It INCLUDES "autoimmune diseases" and that, my dear, includes autoimmune disorders!!! So, therefore, I will stick by my words.....diabetes IS a DISEASE!!! I'll split hairs with you any day! LOL!!!

Second. Yep, you have no idea how many negative comments I get from ANGRY diabetics. And I think I'll start posting and commenting on all of them if that's what it's going to take to prove my point. Which is.....

Third. This is MY blog. It is about MY life - living with a diabetic. It's not about being a diabetic. It's not about you. It's not about diabetes as a whole. It's about the finite life of one woman dealing with her own individual life and what goes on here. So of course, I vent my anger. That's why I started this blog. Duh!!! A Nurse Practitioner in the diabetic clinic actually told me to start writing down my feelings!!! I never set out to help anyone else. I chose an online blog because I just knew I was not alone in what I was going through. I now KNOW for a fact that there are numerous other spouses who deal with the very same thing that I deal with and I'm learning that many, many, many of them are much worse than me. But when I started this blog....I really thought I was the only person in the world dealing with this.

Fourth. Who does this blog help? Well, probably not the diabetic, that's for sure. But I imagine it does help other spouses. From the comments I've received, I believe that it does. There is comfort in finding out that you are not alone. There is peace in realizing that it is not you going is the diabetic having highs and lows, not remembering, that is the problem.

Fifth. I don't for one second believe I portray an inacurate picture. In fact, if you really read all the way through my past posts, I think if anything, some of them have been way too acurate! My husband's loss of bowel function for instance....brought on by neuropathy of the nerves in his intestines....couldn't get much more accurate than that!!!

Here's what I think. That the medical community wants to cover this up. After all, what kind of press would it be that a diabetic who has a normal A1c could possibly still be going high and low 24/7? Wow! Let that one leak out!!! And of course, they want their meds to cure it all, so the diabetic couldn't possibly be doing anything negative to the family, right?

And then you have the diabetic who can't remember what awful things they did to their family when they were "out of it". My adult step-chldren believe that they grew up with an abusive father. I have lived with him for 10 years. The only abuse I have seen out of him is when he is in a low. He was horrified when I read to him something his daughter had written about her memories of her childhood.....because he doesn't remember treating her that way at all.

So, all this leads me to believe that you (the writer of this comment,not the entire diabetic community) are in complete and total denial about what you do to those who surround you. I think most of the spouses would agree with me on that one. After all - when you drop into a low, you most often don't remember a thing you said or did while in that low, so how on earth would you know the impact you have on any of us?

It takes an incredibly strong spouse to stand up to a diabetic. The worry alone that you go through when he goes into a low is draining. The constant mopping....LOL!!! I could go on forever. I'm just not sure there is a diabetic out there who actually understands what a spouse goes through. I don't think it's possible because of the problem with memory loss during lows (and highs).

Denial is just a beautiful thing - as long as you are the person doing it. This blog is for those of us who continue to stay with our spouses, assist them, take care of them, love them.....while we watch them destroy their bodies and their lives one ounce at a time.

Go ahead, make another annonymous coumment for all the good it does - you seem to just be proving what I am writing about beyond a shadow of a doubt!!!

What I want the diabetic community to agree to is that this is YOUR disease, not mine. It is Your body, not mine.

I am here simply because I love my hubby. But in no way does that obligate me to put up with, endure, absorb, take in, deal with......anything related to HIS disease. I do it because I love him, not because some set of "rules" out there tells me that I have to. And once a spouse realizes that.....and realizes that they can change their mind at any moment and walk away from all this - that provides us with the freedom to continue on doing what we are doing.

This blog is also for anyone who has left a diabetic spouse. We undestand completely and totally - you did it to keep your sanity, you did it to survive.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I see my future in this post

Anonymous, I read your post with great sadness:
Geez, I don't know where to start... First of all, I do NOT ride in the car with my husband, I do all the driving. Diabetes effects the vision big time. When his numbers are off (all the time) his vision changes ... scary stuff. My husband eats whatever he wants, does take a ton of meds, is on dialysis. Kidney failure can happen almost overnight. As far as monitoring meds, you have to monitor meds, food, exercise and overall common sense. If you think it is bad now, what until dialysis. You can only have 32 oz. of liquids a day (includes all liquids)... It is a nightmare!!!!!!!!!! I clean my floor all the time. Pills that he doesn't see that he drops, just dropping things because he can't feel his hands. It is terrible. when you go on dialysis, dialysis only removes so much poison, it does not remove phosphorus, potassium or calcium, so you take so many extra pills. And of course, if you are "non-compliant" like my hubby, you end up with complications that are unbelievable. My hubby has been in a cast, "crow walkers" and now "special shoes" because both his feet and ankles have collapsed. So there is no party going on in my house... but he still eats chocolate, lunchmeat, and all kinds of sugared drinks. That's what I call non-compliance!!!!! If I can say anything to all that just think this disease will just "go away" ... it doesn't! Take your blood count, don't eat or drink what you are not supposed to have, exercise and just take care of yourself. It is a living hell for you family if you don't. We have 5 kids (including a child with special needs) and life has become so difficult. The sad thing is that it could be so much easier if only my hubby would leave the sugar and lunchmeat alone. Obviously, it has been a really challenging weekend at best. It does feel good to know that others can relate. I just wish that people with diabetes would wake up and understand what they are doing to the people who love them with all their hearts. When I look into my childrens eyes, the pain of what their father is doing to them is almost unbearable. Please look around at the ones that you love and stop and think ... Life is too precious ... Love us back as we love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for this post. I think it should be an eye opener to every spouse out there. And I guess perhaps mopping the floor every day is just going to be in my future.

With my hubby at 20% kidney function, I know it is just a matter of time before he goes on dialysis.....since he's not doing anything to prevent it. I honestly don't think he has a clue how bad it is going to be. I don't think I have a clue.

I truly feel so sorry for you. And sad for your children. I don't see how he can do what he is doing to himself, to you and to your family. But I think there are so many, many, many others in this same situation.

But here's a question I've been pondering for some time now. Your last sentence hit it hard. Can they love us back? If you don't love can you love anyone else. And certainly, they must not love themselves the way they treat themselves. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Here's wishing you the very best. My prayers are with you tonight.


My hilarious diabetic stalker

Some people are just way toooooooo angry about having this disease!

If you move it to a forum that you couldn't moderate then people would find out all the angry comments you get from people who HAVE walked a mile in your HUSBAND's shoes - something YOU have never done. From people who actually UNDERSTAND diabetes.

You can continue to moderate my comments just as I can continue to comment anyway.

You just have to feel sorry for someone like this. Don't know if it's a man or a woman, but apparently someone who has diabetes because they "have" walked a mile in my husband's shoes.

A. My blog is about spouses. NOT about diabetics.
B. This is about living with someone who has diabetes. NOT about living with diabetes.
C. This is about walking a mile in a spouse's shoes....NOT a diabetic's shoes.
D. This is about actually and literally understanding what people who have diabetes do to those around them.

So dear anonymous....I just pray that one day you can get past your anger and figure out what the heck it is I am writing about! I'm not writing about you, the diabetic, I'm writing about my life, about what I deal with, about how it is to be married to a diabetic.

Why on earth do I want to post "all the angry comments" I get from diabetics? I understand you are angry. That's what makes being a spouse so difficult - we have to live with all your anger.

So there, I have posted your comment. Perhaps one day you will understand that this blog is NOT for those who have walked a mile in my husband's shoes. It for those who have walked a mile in the shoes of someone married to a diabetic. :o)

Before you send me another snooty comment....think about that for a bit. If you have really walked a mile in my husband's you understand at all what I am going through? How could you? You need to be married to a diabetic before you can possilby understand what a diabetic puts their spouses through.

The fact that you still don't get that is what makes all this so hilarious.

Jim wrote:

Is there a little inconsistency here? On the one hand, you complain about non-compliance, but then you say:

"But for me, the worst thing is the 800+ pills that he takes 4 times a day. Ok, I am exaggerating, but you get the point! Each and every one of them puts a stain on his kidney function and is weakening what little he has left to use. And he just doesn't get that. Because they were prescribed by a doctor."

I have Type 2 diabetes, and my doctors call me noncompliant. I refuse to take any medications, because of severe side-effects that I have experienced. Instead, I am following a very rigorous (and unusual) diet, which seems to be working better than any medications.

I would distinguish between two types of non-compliance.

There is the non-compliance as the term is used by doctors, meaning that you don't follow their orders, given after a very brief exam. Those short exams followed by one-size-fits-all prescriptions are worthless at best, and life-threatening at worst.

Then there is the non-compliance when you don't do what you know to be right, based on your own knowledge of your body. I am very compliant with my own sense of what I need to do, which is very different from what the drug-pushing doctors say.

Well, then, there's another kind of non-compliant. He takes all his pills regularly. That is the reason why he can eat whatever he wants (in his mind) and the reason why he doesn't have to exercise or test his blood......all those pills take care of him. As long as he takes his meds....he just doesn't need to do anything else. He can eat anything he wants, including that bag of chocolate followed by a bag of potato chips! He can deny that he ever has a low or a high....because he is taking those pills!

What he doesn't seem to "get" is that with a kidney function of 20% - those pills are hard on him. He could do so much just by testing, eating healthy, exercising just a little....but he's not going to change.

For me, being compliant would mean that you do everything in your own personal power (diet, exercise, test) and then you take the meds that your doctor prescribes based on your compliant behavior.

But I think when meds are prescribed because you fail to take care of yourself, then you are non-compliant.


Another post:

geez, I just want to smack him. (not really that's just an expression) And while I understand, I hate that you go through that whole thing of thinking through why he is says what he says. I wish that you could just have the peace of mind to think, "oh well, his disease is causing this, I'd better get out of the way."

but of course, so much easier said than done. I still get in the car with mine -- and realize 10 minutes into the trip that his sugar is so low he shouldn't be behind the wheel. Last night was a perfect example. 7 pm, going into the city for dinner, having a nice conversation, I mentioned that turning at the next corner might help considering the way traffic looked ahead. He ignored me and then was confused about how to get to the restaurant. It took me several minutes to realize the issue. (I know you are thinking after all these years, I should know the signs by now, but stupidly I continue to trust him!)

Anyway, I get very calm and just try to have him pull over so I can drive. But its not easy because he likes to drive in the left lane so much. But once again we made it out safe. his glucose reading was 51. but since nothing bad happened, his assessment is that I'm overblowing the situation by being angry. or when he realized the futility of that he lied and said he tested before we left the house and his glucose read at 90 something.

there just is no winning these arguments.

and we go on......

Tom's wife

by the way, I have a question for you, have you considered moving this to a site where everyone can just chat with each other as they wish? or do you know of one? clearly there are lots of people who are responding to you on this topic. but I haven't found a site that offers such a chat. it seems like you bear a burden of having to be the keeper of all of these responses. would it be easier for you if there was a more open 'forum'. if that's the right word? I'm not a very good web person, just asking. thanks.

First, I laughed about the driving incident. It is amazing to me how fast blood sugars can drop. And how stupid I can be and not recognize it. I just wonder if anyone has ever timed it? Like can they be 90 and go to 40 in 2 minutes? I swear they can! But then, getting him to test would be impossible. Driving with a low is totally scarey. I am doing more and more of the driving...because if I'm not driving, I'm praying like heck! LOL!!!

I wish there was some early warning system - a bell that went off - something that would alert me to the fact that he is heading down. I'm paying more attention to mood vs eating - how long has it been since he last ate when he starts to get grumpy. But I swear, I don't even think about it half the time. Sigh.

As for another forum....someone started one once, but it just didn't get any response. I think the problem is that you get angry "compliants" who rant and rave. Notice, I don't allow their posts here. Oh yeah, they still send me nasty little emails and I just ignore them. My philosophy is that if you haven't walked a mile in my shoes....don't try to give me advice!!!

I had an artist pal here the other day and she is diabetic. She said my descriptions of life with my hubby were interesting and she agreed that she did not always know when she was going into a low....nor could she remember what she said while in a low. That was encouraging to me.....someone who has diabetes and is open enough to admit they don't remember what happened when they went low. For the most part, the diabetics who write to me deny having lows, and get angry because I use the word "diabetics". If you haven't noticed, I sort of call a spade a spade! :o)


My "rant" for the day. He's been home 3 days and I've mopped the floor 3 times because he spills stuff all the time. And you think that's not related to his diabetes? Of course it is!!! He has neuropathy in his hands so bad that he can't close his fingers any more than about 2" apart. He can't pick up a fork any more. And half of what he tries to pick up slips right through his fingers and onto the floor. So I mop. But it sure was nice to have 3 weeks off from the daily grind. I feel like I've re-entered "maid" up the mess. Don't even bother to suggest that he mop the floor after himself! Not going to happen in this lifetime!

One more week and I'm gone traveling and teaching art for 3 weeks. I can survive anything. :o)