Saturday, November 07, 2009

Lisa wrote: Can't believe you mentioned your mother inlaw. Mine is finally gone, after she tortured me for many years. She would tell me that I was too shrict and mean about what my husband was eating, and then tell me I probably made him diabetic. Of course my husband would say to forget it, I was too sensitive! Its very difficult when that support is not there. I too physically feel the strain. Yoga seems to help. I also go to art classes. You have to concentrate on other things sometimes. Not easy. Lisa

I cannot believe she said you made him have diabetes! How stupid is she? I mean seriously......anyone who thinks diabetes can be caused by another human being is either stupid.....or an abusive bully. Take you pick! OK, maybe a little of both!!!

And for your husband to write it off as you being "too sensitive" simply shows how utterly insensitive he is.

It really is not easy to build a life for yourself.....but someone once told me that a human being has to get support from a source. Most of us get it from home. Or work. And if we don't get from there....then where? Being retired, my options are home (nope, not there), or through my art. And that is the life I am building for myself - my art. Not easy.....but necessary.

andmaree wrote:

I just came across your site tonight. It's relieving to know I'm not alone. I have a diabetic husband. We've been together for 18years. I unlike you, is on the brink of divorce. He refuses to even take his medication. He's also constantly in and out of the hospital and also nursing homes. We have no children and I feel like I have ruined my life by being married to this selfish person. I'm full of so much pain at this moment because I feel like I have been a complete fool. My own health has suffered through this horrible marriage.

I can truly empahsize with you. I was at a crossroads about getting a divorce almost 5 years ago.....and my husband was/is nowhere near the condition yours is in. But I know just where we are headed. I know how hard this must be for you. But it is women just like yourself who I would like to encourage to write about your experience. Why? Because I want to know where I am headed. I want to know the steps in the process. I want to know how you handled each step of the way. And while I know it is devastatingly hard to write about this one does.....and so many of us feel alone and are in the dark about what to expect.

My husband has not been into a nursing home yet. So I have to wonder when do I expect that? Are there signs/symptoms that I can look for?

And do not feel like you have been a complete fool. Love makes all of us do insane things. Including me. I am still in this relationship because I tell myself I love him. But I also have to ask (ok, each one of us has to ask) are we doing the right thing? Are we destroying our own health because the marriage is so horrible? Do we simply stay for the foolish hope that things will return to how they once were (yeah, I'm STILL that stupid!). Do we hang in because of some element of hope? Or is it because they make us feel so guilty we can't leave?

My husband is great at manipulating words to make me feel horribly guilty. He is a pro. But I tell myself that those ugly words only come out when he is in a sugar low - which I think is the truth. But is it? And if they come out in a "low" ....are the what he is thinking on a normal day and keeps to himself? Ya gotta wonder.

Right now....I'm having a wonderful 4 day break at my sister's house. I love coming here. While he does call and try to make me feel guilty about being gone.....I am gone, enjoying the friendship of my sisters (I have 2 that live in the same town) and loving the peace and quiet.

My younger sister pointed out to me yesterday that before my husband became ill, I used to come visit all the time. She said, "we used to have so much fun. I miss that." And I couldn't help but think that I just need to come here more often. They live about a 3 hour drive from me and it's not always possible to get here due to weather conditions. But I think I'm going to have to make a concerted effort to come a little more often.

And this is just so much more fun that being stuck at home with a guy who has a knee and foot infection and can't walk and I have to wait on him hand and foot. Hmmmm.....I guess he's managing life somehow, isn't he?



Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Tom's wife wrote:

DW, I am so sorry. your husband is only 55? It causes me to be more grateful to Tom. He is 57 and he still plays tennis several times a week - that actually drives me crazy because he isn't available when I "need" him. Don't tell him but I will be more supportive of that than ever.

And your brother is a real doll! But isn't it so often the case that the ones who are so giving just keep on giving? And when your family is there for you, its the best. I have a great family also - but not all families are like that.

Lisa's comments about women judging her about not taking care of her husband hit home with me. My family is mostly supportive but they sometimes waiver. But my husband's family -- well they are another story. the closest we ever really came to divorce was over this issue. Tom had a bad car accident while in a diabetic shock and my husband's mother called me at work to scold me for not doing all of the correct things to make sure it didn't happen. SO INAPPROPRIATE!

First I told Tom that if he didn't tell her she crossed a line then I was walking out. He spoke to her but she cried and, well, he weasled between us. Then when it came to the holidays that year he wanted me to stay at her house. Again, I had to lay it on the line. If I went I stayed in a hotel. Otherwise I didn't go with him. He clearly had a choice -- he chose me even though she gave both of us a piece of her mind for not staying at her house. I walked away from her and wouldn't let her near me. Not sure what Tom listened to from her, but know that she gave him a lot. Too bad. That was about 15 years ago, I have never really forgiven her -- Of course she never gives up but then neither do I. I think I have learned to not let it bother me, but truth is that criticism is always difficult when its about something that you want to be true. You wish you were able to keep him healthy and safe. But its simply not in your power. Just when you think you have given up that power grab, someone comes along and says, "why haven't you ..." I guess its human nature, but sometimes it just irritates.....

oh well, food for thought.

I wish all a good night's sleep; I will try not to wake up with Tom tonight when his meter beeps at 2 or 3 or 4 or whatever time it goes off......

tom's wife

I wonder if we have the same mother-in-law! LOL! I have not been to visit mine in over 2 years. Hubby has been to visit her, but I keep managing to get out of the trips. I figure it's good to stay as busy as I do, gives me an excuse/reason why I can't go visit!

We have had our share of "words" over the years. She thinks I should be her son's personal nurse and we know that's not going to happen. She is now needing a walker and I know she is putting pressure on him to care for her. But I have my own mother who is needing more and more help these days and I just refuse to spread myself any thinner than I am.

So, he has gone to bed with a migraine headache this afternoon. This is happening more and more often. I do worry that he will lose his job and yet am so grateful that he can work from home almost all the time and can rest when he needs to like this. I don't know how he could continue to work if he was required to go into an office every day.

I am starting to think that the stress of what is happening to him, his frustrations with his loss of body functions, are having an impact on my own personal health. Hadn't really given that much thought. But my own blood pressure is starting to be a little elevated. And I find I am getting more and more exhausted and the tired periods seem to be tied in with his highs and lows. Like it's wearing me out to try and be normal when he is ranting and raving. Interesting. Something I will have to pay a little more attention to.


Monday, November 02, 2009

From Tom's Wife:

Hi! Yes I'm here. Its just that I have been traveling for work and the renovations on my kitchen have started. it has been a VERY hectic three weeks.

Lisa, my heart goes out to you. when you love your guy you want to do everything you can to help. but at the end of the day (week, year) you simply will wear out. If he were your child wouldn't you want to teach him to be independent and take care of himself and not be so reliant on others? It is physically impossible for you to be with him (and awake) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It's REALLY difficult, but at some point, you will find out what DW and I and so many others have learned. these guys don't want to die. They do take care of themselves (even if they don't do a great job all the time). Take little steps. Start setting out his medications (by dose) and leave it for him to take, if he doesn't take it, let him face the consequences. Leave the house, talk on the phone, leave the room, do whatever you need to do so you don't have to witness the difficult stuff. We know how hard this is but try just one small thing, see how it goes and let us know......

Toms Wife

Glad to see you are still here. I am so tired tonight. Hubby has not been able to walk since Friday. I don't know what is more exhausting - the emotions and worry, or running errands. Or the time change. LOL! He is so young (only 55), but his body is simply giving out on him. I wish he would go see his doctor, but he won't.

Bless my brother - he offered to give my husband one of his kidneys. But I told him that he needs to keep it, he has very young children and they may need one down the line. But how incredibly nice for him to offer.

My brother is the youngest sibling and I often think when my husband passes, my brother will be my "crutch". But I also think my sisters are the ones who I will lean on most. At least I have a large family support system.

Lisa wrote:
Great to hear from someone who has been there. What I find interesting is how many people feel it is my responsiblity to make sure he does everything right. Especialy other women. If he is not eating correctly, it must be something I am doing wrong. I do have my own intersts, and do work, however when something happen with his health in the end it is my problem. It is a tough and frustrating disease, with many side effects. Many are very difficult for men to handle and women to live with. Great to be able to vent. Lisa

Interesting comment Lisa. My family does not feel that way. The completely understand that it is his disease and there is nothing I can do to help him - when he doesn't want to help himself. However, that is not how it is on his side of the family. His mother thinks I should set out his pills for him, count them out, nag him to take husband's father is also a diabetic and that's exactly what she does for him.

I think today I need to vent about the side affect of neuropathy. I wish I could photograph his feet - but he would want to know why. And we went out to lunch - he couldn't hold his fork. Dropped it on his plate and it banged so loud I jumped. I wasn't looking and just wasn't prepared for the sound of it. But I know he can't close his fingers and grasp things. When there's no feeling in the ends of the feet and really does have an impact on how one feeds themselves, gets dressed, drives.....and just so many other htings.

Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a better day with less infection.