Friday, December 24, 2010

New "wife of diabetic" blogger!

Lynn wrote:

Hope that all goes well with your husband and surgery. My husband is also in a lot of pain with spinal stenosis. However, because of his slow healing, he cannot find anyone who will even consider doing surgery. He has been told surgery may make things even worse because of all his other health problems. I finally "took the leap" and started my own blog today. Not sure how to let other people know, as I have been reading the other blogs you are following. I am still new to this! Here is my link: Yes, my husband is a Type 1, but so many of your challenges are so similar to mine. Again, thanks for having the courage to tell it like it is in your blog. You have truly helped, just by letting me know I am not alone in this craziness.

I've added Lynn's blog link over on the right. Lynn, welcome to this tiny group of women who are writing the day-to-day life of what goes on. We are slowly growing. I think it's so healthful to me to simply write what I'm feeling at the moment. It's a great outlet of stress. But more than anything - I'm documenting his progres (or lack of it). Doesn't matter if it's type 1 or 2, we are in this together.

Lynn, it sounds like your hubby is about a year or so behind the process of where my hubby was. He's been through PT and done the cortisone injections. Nothing worked. Here's my thoughts...the nerve endings are dying off. They do not heal. High sugar causes blood vessels to constrict and die off, why wouldn't it also cause the spinal column to constrict? And because this is caused by diabetis, not injury, then it can't be "fixed" without surgery. Just my opinon. Good luck!

Oh, and I have no idea how to market a blog like this. Mine seems to get picked up by the wierdest feeds!

Now, to Tom's wife: Thank you for blogging! I was truly worried. I used to have a mantra when I worked. I would sit at my desk and repeat over and's just a's just a job. Got me through many days!

Hubby's back is so bad he decided we couldn't go to the in-laws this year. I got lucky for once! Horrible people. If they ever read this blog, they deserve to know just how bad they are! I don't envy you at all. Your in-laws sound exactly like mine! Are you sure we're not related???

I have decided that the best gift anyone can give me is bubble bath! Think about it. If I use it, it forces me to spend time soaking in a tub. Which means that I'm not doing something else. I'm resting. Maybe we should all send each other bubble bath. OK - let's save on postage...everyone go out and buy their own bubble bath! LOL!

Hubby has been off work for 2 weeks and we have been resting and relaxing. We turned down every single holiday invite except for 1. It's been a very stress free month. I just don't think he could have handled anything this year. We spent today with his kids and grandkids. Bittersweet. The new grandson (8 months old now) has been diagnosed with epilepsy. Up to 100 mini seizures per day. On new meds and seizures. The parents (hubby's son and wife) look beat - completely drained. So heart wrenching for me as my youngest son, now age 26, has had seizures his entire life. Sometimes diabetes seems like nothing.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Peace, oh! sweet peace!

But I know it's the calm before the storm! He is off work til the end of the year and there is nothing on our calendar. We don't celebrate Christmas much. We will spend the 24th with his kids and grandkids, but it will be a quiet day.

He finally quit gorting on everything in site and is now back to eating salads and fairly healthy foods.

He has agreed to consider water exercise. I'm going to check out local classes.

He said that starting next week, we will do minor exercises to help build up his strength pre-op.

We went to wound care today and the incision on his ankle from his open heart surgery last March is finally starting to close up.

Our first pre-op visit is 12/27. We have 2-3 appointment every week for the next 5 weeks.


As a side note - I am worried about Wife of a Diabetic 2.....I sure hope everything is ok and that you are just too busy to post.


Lynn wrote:

Welll we found out his back is messed up bad...will learn more Monday... no wonder he has been in such pain AND limited.
also he was set up with HEALTH BUDDIES via the VA and will be posting his blood readings daily and in communication often so we hope this gets him in a better daily routine for keeping on top of things...hangin' in, girlfriend?

I truly hope his back isn't as bad as what my hubby is facing. We are almost at 2 years of no mobility now. It is no fun, that's for sure. My hubby has an extremely high pain threshold. I think what he's going through would kill me. I'm really hoping this surgery will help. I know we have 8 months of recovery before we will really know anything and I'm going to have to keep him motivated for those 8 months so that he stays on track and heals. Ah! The fun we have! LOL!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

What a day!

Some days he just scares me to death!

He wanted to go to Wild Buffalo Wings for lunch

Then to Costoc

He came home and at 3 pm, he ate a whole bag of potato chips

At 4 pm, he ate my leftovers from WBW

At 6 pm, he fixed himself THREE chicken salad sandwiches

HOW can he consume so much? He's going to weigh 400 pounds before surgery and the doctor told he he has to lose 50 pounds.

I'm stuffed just watching him eat.

Wait...maybe this is a good thing? LOL!

Seriously - it scares me how much food he eats.

And a bag of peanut M&Ms in the last 2 days as well.

He's been in a horrible mood since noon today. Just horrible. I'm exhausted. My sis is here, so I do have my sanity!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

On again, odd again, on again....

LOL!!! Not sure where we last left off, but we are now back to having back surgery and not going away for the holidays. I should write down the decision of the day, huh? And this today after a new cortisone injection just yesterday. He actually called the surgeons office this afternoon. The or room has been booked and everything is on schedule. I wouldn't do it myself, but then I'm not in pain.

I worry about it being too soon after his heart surgery

I worry that his kidneys will fail with 2 surgeries 2 days apart

I worry that he may be worse off than he is now

It has been 6 full months since he last had any labs done.

He said he will get them done in January.

I am praying for a quiet remainder of the year

My sis is here for. Couple of weeks so he is on his best behavior

And she is giving me much needed reprieve from our daily life

It's all good-- like the quiet before the storm


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Diabetes and back pain

Lynn, this is sort of for you based on your last comment.

And it's just my opinion, nothing professional.

We know that nerve endings die off in the feet and fingers first in a diabetic

But it makes sense to me that nerve endings are dying off well as outside.

Intestines - causing diahrrea, other complications

Kidneys - kidney failure

lungs - respiratory problems

and what else is dying off? Probably not just nerve endings. Is oxygen getting to all the parts of the body? Feet? Hands, etc.

We know that blood vessels die off due to high glucose. And if he's going low all the time, there's a matching "high" that's doing damage.

If vertebrae collapse, the spine curves.

And spinal column narrowing....has to be the same thing as blood veins narrowing...

When nerve endings die off, there's pain for 2 years.

The sciatia nerve...dying off? Does it? Can it? I'm sure it can.

Horrible, terrifying disease.

But life does go on. No matter what. Hubby's grandma died this week, one of my best friends from gradeschool died...and life goes on.

Hubby's cortisone injection wore off. In the blink of an eye. One day he was doing fine, the next day taking 2 dilaudid at a time.

One day he wasn't going to have back surgery, next day he's thinking about it.

One day, we were going to go away for the holidays, next day we aren't.

Next cortisone injection is Dec 8.

I think everything will change again - once he feels a little better.

But I have to survive between now and then!


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Life doesn't stop

just because your husband has diabetes. But there are days when I wish I could just put it on pause!

Hubby's 91 year old grandma died Thanksgiving morning. She lives 1000 miles away.
His dad went into the hospital on Monday with HPB and glucose at 400 - he was passing out all the time.
He went home Thursday pm on new meds.
Tuesday, hubby went to his oldest granddaughter's school for grandparent's day. I had a meeting so couldn't go with him. In attendance was his ex wife, her husband, his son, his daugher-in-law, and his DILs parents.
The DILs mother made the "arrangements" and "forgot" to reserve a spot for my husband...he had to sit in the back of the auditorium.
In the classroom, granddaughter had made cards for everyone but him.

Yes, he has absolutely horrible children who have absolutely no respect for him. What are they teaching their own children?
Bottom line is that he came home and cried. He NEVER cries. This hurt him beyond belief.

Being this upset, with this much going on in such a short time is not good for a diabetic. A roller coaster of emotions.

So my family came to the rescue! 2 of my sisters came with their husbands, drove 2 hours each to get here, and we took him out to lunch yesterday. Everyone doted over him and told him how much they appreciated him and his help with all their computers It was a true thanksgiving. And he really loved every moment of it.

I think we may have to adopt different grandchildren. I doubt he ever goes back to the school. We'll see what he does for the holiday. This is the year he had open heart surgery and they have come to visit him 3 times....they live less than an hour away. It's just a good thing they are not my own kids. LOL!!! Actually, my son treats him much better than his own kids do

Needless to say, it's been one of those weeks. We need a break! Hopefully next week will be calm!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Busy bee here!

Lynn wrote:
My hubby's readings are 179 AND is seldom under 200...but he is really watching the eating and cut way down on the chewing tobacco so he is making an effort...don't know what to make of your hubby's behavior but it sounds like he is wanting to make good choices but doesn't know what to do at this point.

What's his A1c? My hubby's A1c is 8.2 which is way too high. And, of course, he doesn't watch what he eats at all. Fried chicken wings tonight doused with Peanut M&Ms. He doesn't smoke or chew....about the only "good" habit he has! OK, he doesn't drink either. I know that he really wants to make good choices, but he gives in to what he'd rather do every single day. I've simply given up with him!

I was gone to a meeting almost all day long. He went to bed at 7 pm. I can tell the cortisone has almost completley worn off. He's either sitting on the sofa (recliner on the end) or in bed (adjustable bed). He is getting absolutely no exercise and it's because of his pain - he can barely function.

Between my art and genealogy projects, I am busier than I've ever been. Made the decision that life goes on. Have another genealogy meeting tomorrow, then an art day on Tuesday, a day off on Wednesday, and then driving a couple hours to see mom on Thanksgiving. Major powerpoint presentation due 12/5, so must find the time to put together a video for it...lots of fun things going on right now.

Life isgood.

But in the back of my mind...there's always that non-stop worry about him.



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Prevent diabetes poster child

One of my art pals was here this week. She hadn't seen hubby in quite some time. And in that interim, she has been tested as "pre" diabetic. She said, "You husband is my poster child for what I don't want to be."

I thought that was amazing. At least he is doing some good by being so bad. She has watched him deteriorate over the last 4 years. I was so impressed with her eating. Low to no carbs. No sugar. No white flour. No soda. She is taking all the right steps to keep from becoming diabetic. I congratulated her and I really think she will beat this.

But who knew I was married to a poster child...of sorts?


Something's going on....and I can't figure out what

He is running a low grade temp

The wound on his ankle is slowly healing. 8 new meaning to the word "slow".

His eyelids are extremely swollen and he has an overall puffiness to him

He doesn't eat anything for 2 or 3 days and then he eats every 2 hours for 2 or 3 days

He isn't sleeping at nights. He is staying in bed most of the day.

If I ask him if he's ok, he says "yes"

He decided not to have the back surgery. Now he's thinking he will have it. It's scheduled for 1/31 and 2/2.

The cortisone shot is starting to wear off. Next one is scheduled for 12/8

He doesn't want to make even the simplest what to have for dinner

He was going to go visit his parents for the last 2 weeks of December, now he's not going. (I was going to go with him)

His sugars are running high again...179 fasting.

He is refusing to go to the doctor or get new labs done. He has not had any labs done since June and that was only a partial set, did not include A1c.

I feel like I'm back on that merry-go-round-roller-coaster.

Sorta want to throw up!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Puffing up again

One of my friends came to visit yesterday. She hadn't seen hubby in 3 months. She said, "he's really puffing up, isn't he?"

Interesting because I had told him just the day before that he looked really swollen.

Kidney failure again? Well, we won't know until he starts vomiting again. Such a game of wait and see.

In the meantime, life is good. We are doing less and less, going out less, entertaining less, socializing less.

but I'm ok with that. It's winter. Time to hibernate. LOL!

He added netflix to every TV in the house. We can watch movies from anywhere. At least he is easily entertained!

No sugar lows to speak of. Things are very quiet....very normal. I love it!

A lull in the merry-go-round-roller-coaster.

I couldn't ask for anything better.


Saturday, November 06, 2010

When he starts yelling at traffic

I've started asking if he needs to eat. I think he's going low. Why? Because we have plenty of times when we go out and he drives and he can handle the traffic, it's not problem. But other trips, when I think traffic is normal, he starts making cracks and comments about the idiot drivers.

So I've been trying to track this. And if we stop and get a quick bite, or just a cold diet soda...he seems to do much better. If we stop and go in somewhere, sit down and eat a bite, even if it's small....suddenly the traffic is no problem.....all those idiot drivers just disappeared!

Something to think about. The lower the sugar, the more idiots are on the road? Pretty funny! But there's a definite pattern with hubby.


Friday, November 05, 2010

No dialysis

We had an interesting conversation at lunch today. Hubby informed me that he will refuse dialysis when the time comes. He considers it "life support". He has a DNR. So I can sort of understand where he is coming from.

He was quite depressed. Says he is not going to have the back surgery. Is going to just live with the pain. I have been doing a lot of research and if he doesn't do the surgery, I think he will soon be a hunched over man. I suppose it can't hurt a lot to wait a few months, but I do worry about what will happen in the interim. I think it's the cortisone injection doing the talking right now. He had the injection 2 weeks ago and this one took, so he's getting a lot of relief from his pain. When it wears of, it may be a different story.

But I can also understand him not wanting to go through a major surgery just 8 months after open heart surgery. He is still trying to get the incision on his leg to heal. We went to wound care again today and they are not happy with the lack of progress, so have changed the protocal a 3rd time and we return in 2 weeks.

Hubby made the comment that he wished all his money wasn't going for medical care and I have to agree. Co-pay for office visits runs about $500 per month, prescriptions are running around $250 per month. That doesn't count larger co-pays for non-formulary items. I'm ever so grateful that we have the money now, but I wonder how long. And can he ever retire with these amounts of medical expenses? Probably not.

The idea of not doing dialysis scares me to death as I will then have to watch him die slowly.

And I wonder if by then the medical profession will have the power to force him to do something he doesn't want to do.

Such a horrible disease.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Lynn wrote:
Thanks for enlightening me about why a diabetic rants...and how they probably can't control it. It is so great lately for us but I do think the less stressful retired lifestyle along with the antidepressants have brought about this change, because the years of being in a pressure cooker lifestyle, with kids in the house and his teaching and coaching,and then being an administrator, then even after retiring from that taking on co-running a diner...all the pressure of stress through the years created these moments of ranting and like you said, it didn't matter who got in his path, they heard it and saw it. Thanks for clarifying this...I sometimes got tired of making excuses for him, but this makes more sense. WOW! THIS IS HUGE! My hubby readings are always high, but perhaps he does dip down and that is when he blows up. thanks...this blogging about living with diabetes is a sanity saver. HUGS AND LOVE!

I think it's important to realize that highs can be the same as lows. There's an imbalance in the glucose levels. When my hubby goes high, he is very irritated and edgy. Everything annoys him. He doesn't seem to rant and rave like he does in a low, but he simply can't tolerate anything.

The other important thing is to understand how highs and lows work together to form an A1c. My hubby's A1C runs around 6.2. Yet we know that he has one low after another. In order for the A1c to be that high, he HAS to have a lot of highs to average out to be 6.2, when he has so many lows. Think of it as a ball. If a ball hits the floor and bounces 6' high, the middle is 3'. In order to keep the ball at 3', right at the middle, then every time it hits the floor (zero) it has to bounce to 6' high (the high). If it bounces to zero, then 2', then zero, then 2', then zero, then 2', the middle would only be 1 foot.

Diabetes is the very same thing. If the average is 6.2 and he has 10 lows....he had to have 10 highs in order to maintain that average.

We have done enough recordings that we're pretty certain hubby has his highs while he is sleeping. And that's probably just as bad. Well, while I don't haveto put up with his moods, highs are busy eating up his veins and nerve endings...high sugar does a lot of damage.

Again, I'm not a medical professional, I just write my own personal experiences. And close observation, notes, charts, tracking glucose levels has led us and his physicians to some rather good conculsions. I have to say that he has been pretty level since his open heart surgery. But we are also regulating his eating, exercise, activities more than he ever did in the past. He's much more regular about when he takes his meds. Is he compliant? Probably not by any medical standards. But much more than he ever was in the past.

But also, I have learned how to recognize the lows and know to make him take a glucose tablet. I know when he needs to eat. I know when to proclaim that I'm starving and I have to eat immediately! If I eat, he does, and then his sugar will come back up.

And I will say that life is much more pleasant when glucose is regulated. Don't get me wrong, we still have numerous outbursts. But I'm more prepared for them, know better how to handle them, and know that I can simply get in the car and drive away when I need to. :o)


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

reene wrote

DW - I so feel your pain! I have so many thoughts going through my mind - I don't know where to begin! Let's see what I get down here and, if any of it makes sense. Let's start with current behavior / situation. I recently went on an east to west coast road-trip with my sister, in her move to the west coast. We had a great time driving ~4500 miles total - checking out many natural wonders of the US. In the meantime, my husband refused to take my calls back home. He kept his cell off and, wouldn't answer the home phone. Kept in touch with our adult children, who had to deal with a couple of low blood sugars during my week away (he's usually good when I'm away). Needless to say, our children had to pick me up from the airport. We really haven't spoken much since I returned which, is not much different from his recent behavior. Although, I have to say his lack of communication isn't that foreign to us - it just seems to have reached at new level. He was probably mad that I went with my sister. He's never been happy with my outside activities - not being supportive of much that I do, including continued education for career growth. But, I can't let him bring me down - make me a prisoner. If I think I'm frustrated now, I'd really be frustrated. The additional activities include: a lot of volunteering at church and working with youth when our children were still in the school system. He's currently treating for Parkinson's, after a couple of years of symptoms. A good year ago, the doc didn't feel it was Parkinson's but, upon husband's recent doc appt (after over a year not seeing a doc), the doc has decided it is Parkinson's. Multiple med's have been prescribed - they may be making a positive difference - I sure hope they are. Just did a little online research to see if there is a correlation with frequent low blood sugars (yes, probably at least a thousand of them here, too) and Parkinson's, finding that frequent severe low blood sugars can lead to brain damage. 
Do we have a match? Well, I'm no MD but.... Brings me back to a doc appt I accompanied my husband to several years ago (10+, at least). I asked the doc if frequent low blood sugars could harm a person. His reply: no more than taking a sh1t or having sex. Thank you oh educated I sit with yet another challenge, possibly a side effect of diabetes. I thought years ago of leaving my husband - actually kicking him out. But, our children (preschool and early elementary at the time) started acting up. It made me question: was it fair to disrupt his or their lives because I wasn't happy with how he wasn't taken care of himself? Everyone needs someone - is my purpose in life to take care of him? Have to say - not much enamored with this purpose. Don't like the anger; the frequent low blood sugars and all that comes with them; trying to function on little to no sleep the next day (most of his lows are at night - resulting in me not getting back to sleep for hours or, just in time for the alarm to go off). Additionally, our children are very frustrated with him. My daughter is very verbal thus, take her comments with a grain of salt. Our son, however, is an extremely fair, level-headed young man. When he starts expressing frustration, then I know it's not fabrication on my part. Our son asked me a few months back if my husband / his father ever said he was sorry or thank you - after I help him with a low. He has not. In fact, lately, he has begun arguing that he wasn't even low (like he did when our children were really young). The tell-tail signs were there, as were the blood sugar results I see when taking a peak at his glucose monitor. Our children have started helping me with the lows. Does this bother their father - thinking that his children are stepping in to help when he can't help himself? Did I make the right decision in sticking with him? All I know is I hate to see our children and myself be treated like the city dump.... OK, enough of my ramblings...thank you for "listening"... It's not an easy life for anyone involved, especially the diabetic.

Monday, November 01, 2010

some days are just funny

So, he says to me that he's not going to have the back operation.  Me, I aks him questions.  Why not? You said you don't want to end up living like your grandma did.  What will you do?

He says he will just live with the pain.

I remind him that we haven't been anywhere together in over 2 years.  It hurts him to travel.  He doesn't even go to the grocery store.

He says he will just suck it up and deal with it.

So, I tell him, tomorrow, you can go get groceries.

I want to see you dancing a jig every morning

I want you walking 3 miles a day.

This morning, he gets up and comes downstairs and dances a jig.

I crack up laughing.

But I know from the look in his eyes that just about killed him!

Told him to think about things for a couple of weeks.  No need to make a decision one way or another today.

But today, he is starting on Weight Watchers.  at least 50 pounds to lose.

Pray for him.

It will be a miracle if he can stick with it more than 10 days.  That's usually his outter limit for a diet of any kind.

A dieting diabetic dancing jigger.  Not sure it could get much funnier!

Hope you find something to smile about today!


Friday, October 29, 2010

back home

I had a wonderful trip with my youngest sister.  A much needed break from life for both of us as she takes care of our elderly mom.  I must say that hubby did perfect while we were gone.  No crisis or emergencies.  He took the next step towards back surgery.  Looks like it will be a 2 day process.  6 hours of surgery on a Friday with an incision through his stomach, they put the intestines aside and reach the back from the front, then another 6 hour surgery on Monday where they go in from the back to finish up the process.

That way, he is not under anesthesia too long, less chance of risk.  He will be in the hospital for a week, being fed via an IV.  If he doesn't resume regular food within 8 days, he will be transferred to a nursing home.

I'm thinking with all the complications from diabetes....what are the risks that he will be in a nursing home for an extended period of time?  It took about 8 days after his heart surgery for his systems to fire back up normally.  Now they want to do 2 operations, back to back?  More than I can wrap my brain around at the moment!  I will give it a week or so to sink in, but he did quite well - he recorded the doctor's visit for me and took photos of the models.

They want to fuse 4 discs, insert rods, bolts and a cage.  He keeps asking me what he should do and I can't answer him.  I don't see how he can continue with his current level of pain.  He's basically immobile, so he can't even exercise. He's probably put on 40-50 pounds since his open heart surgery which is not helping a thing, but since he can't even walk more than a few steps, he's bound to gain even more weight.

The earliest they can do the surgery is going to be the end of January.  He could easily gain another 50 pounds by then.    And it's so sad because eating is the only thing left that he truly enjoys that he's physically able to do.

I talked to him a little about just giving up and getting a wheel chair.  He's not willing to do that.  I'm not sure I'm ready to go through such an intensive surgery and what appears to be an extremely long recovery period - maybe 9 months or longer.  I told him to go ahead and contact the surgeon and get surgery scheduled.  We can always decide not to do it.  I need more information as I'm still not certain what type of research to do.

So while I had a nice break for the last 2 weeks, I certainly got myself tossed right back into the middle of everything in less than 2 seconds!  LOL!!!

Choices and's part of what diabetes is all about.


Saturday, October 09, 2010


Leaving Tuesday. Gone till 10/28.

Venous ulcer has shrunk another 1cm. The rightndirection. We don't go back tom that dr. For 4 weeks.

He has an appt with the neurosurgeon on the 18th while I am gone. I really hope they want to do surgery.

I found a jar of icing in the back of the fridge tonight! Didn't say a word. Think it's really funny that he's hiding the sweet stuff. If it was me and I was going ton hide something sweet, it sure wouldn't be icing!! LOL!!

Sorry for the typos. I'm trying to blog from my new is a learning curve but I love it!

Packing is done. Moff to relax and watch a movie. Indulged and had my hair professionally trimmed and colored yesterday. It feels great!!

Hopeneveryone has a great few weeks. I will be keeping notes from my phone calls with hubby and post when I return.


Sunday, October 03, 2010

Be happy! Eat what you want!

I'm getting ready to go on a trip overseas with my sister.  So I won't be around much for the next month.  It's the trip of a lifetime and I'm beyond excited about it.

I also won't be around to take care of him.

And he decided today that he needs to be able to eat easy-to-fix food while I'm gone.

He stocked up on soft pretzels, cookies, pizza, taquitos.....get the idea?

And I didn't say a word.

Yesterday, he said that the only thing he has left that he enjoys doing is eating.

So I am giving in and giving up for the next month.

He can eat whatever he wants.

Just be happy.

I am letting go. Truly.  Letting go.  He can simply do what he wants - eating and otherwise.

I'm going to be on the other side of the globe.  I can't help him.  He might as well enjoy the time I'm away!

1 pound of peanut M&Ms

Costco sized boxes of cookies

Hamburger helper

His dietitian would have a heart attack.

I tell myself not to think about it.  So I'll write it down here in the event we need to know later.

I'm excited to be going.  Scared to death to be leaving him.  Worried about what might happen.

Telling myself I'm not going to worry.  Nothing I can do about it from there.

But we all know you can't not worry.  :o)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mary wrote:
Hi DW, I deal with similar issues at my home too. One of my friends mentioned early onset of Alzheimer's disease. I am wondering if diabetic symptoms mimic Alzheimer's symptoms. My husband exhibits nearly all of these symptoms (plus the diabetic symptoms) and he is 48 years old! MaryM *** Here are the symptoms of Alzheimer's from Memory loss Everyone has occasional lapses in memory. It's normal to forget where you put your car keys or to blank on the names of people whom you rarely see. But the memory problems associated with Alzheimer's disease persist and worsen. People with Alzheimer's may: * Repeat things * Often forget conversations or appointments * Routinely misplace things, often putting them in illogical locations * Eventually forget the names of family members and everyday objects Problems with abstract thinking People with Alzheimer's may initially have trouble balancing their checkbook, a problem that progresses to trouble recognizing and dealing with numbers. Difficulty finding the right word It may be a challenge for those with Alzheimer's to find the right words to express thoughts or even follow conversations. Eventually, reading and writing also are affected. Disorientation People with Alzheimer's disease often lose their sense of time and dates, and may find themselves lost in familiar surroundings. Loss of judgment Solving everyday problems, such as knowing what to do if food on the stove is burning, becomes increasingly difficult, eventually impossible. Alzheimer's is characterized by greater difficulty in doing things that require planning, decision making and judgment. Difficulty performing familiar tasks Once-routine tasks that require sequential steps, such as cooking, become a struggle as the disease progresses. Eventually, people with advanced Alzheimer's may forget how to do even the most basic things. Personality changes People with Alzheimer's may exhibit: * Mood swings * Distrust in others * Increased stubbornness * Social withdrawal * Depression * Anxiety * Aggressiveness ****

Mary - I am no medical expert. are my thoughts on this.  A person who has diabetes for a long time is a person who is in the normal aging process.  But that process might get speeded up because of the damage diabetes can do.  We know that neuropathy is the loss of feeling in the extremities.  We know that the nerve endings start to die off in the feet, toes, fingers, hands.  And we also know that nerve endings start to die off in other parts of the body, such as the intestines.  Diabetics can go blind.  They seem to lose all types of normal body functions as the disease progresses.

So it would make sense to me that as the nerve endings start to die off in the extremities, there is damage being done to the nerve endings in the brain.  Why would diabetes be selective to what/which nerve endings it attacks?  I think it's such an extremely slow process that we don't notice it. And because it's tied into aging, we often think - oh, he's just getting older - at a much younger rate.

People are so eager to discredit what this disease does to the body.  And yes, if you are compliant, follow the doctor's orders, you can slow it down.  You can even get it into remission.  But if you are simply speed up the process and the progression of the disease.

So, is it Alzheimer's , or is it just the progression of the disease?  Does one aggrivate the other?  Does one assist and aggitate the other?  I can only guess that it does.  Makes sense to me.

I grew up with a family that went to a Church of Christ - did not believe in any type of medicine.  The father became diabetic.  Did not do anything.  It wasn't many years and the saying was "he blew up".  His kidneys stopped functioning, he retained everything that went in, and he puffed up like a whale and died.  So I know first hand that medication can dramatically slow down the prognosis of this disease.  I also know what it does....and will the long run....because this is what diabetes is.  High sugar eats away and the veins and arteries, and every inch of the body.

Hope that makes sense!

Today was my birthday.  The "real" reason he gave me the ipad.  :o)  It was a very good day for both of us.  We sort of took the day off and just enjoyed each other.  Even did a little bit of talking about the future and the need to downsize and get rid of stuff.   It's so nice to have a good day every now and then.  Reminds you how much you love them and how hopeful you are for even more good days like this!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I must be feeling chatty tonight.  2 blogs in one day?  That means I can go a week without posting again!  ha ha!

A very wise person once told me this:

You need a source of support.  It can come from your spouse and/or family.  It can come from your work.  Or it can come from your church.  But one of those 3 places has to provide you support.  And if you don't have that or can't find it, you will probably fall apart.

I have thought about that often over the years.  There have been times in my life when work was just pathetic....but my family life was wonderful.  I can think of times when my marital relationship was in the tubes, but I was on a high at the office.

And I remember once, in 1992, when I had nothing.  I had been laid off from a job, was going through a divorce, had moved 1000 miles away from family, church, friends - and I do think I had a breakdown that year.

So, in looking back, I think I have to agree with that very wise person - we absolutely have to find support from one of those sources in our life.

Right now, I have such an amazing network of friends.  They insure that we go out at least twice a week - often it's more than that.  I don't work, but my art is my therapy and I get wonderful support from those who see it and appreciate it.   I am surrounded by family who really lift me up on a daily basis.  And because I have all that, I have the strength to help hubby and care for him and be alert to changes in him.

I also spend an hour each morning in Bible study and prayer.  And I am clinging more and more to the strength of my spiritual support as I try to ready myself for our future.

As I think back over my life, I have always had spiritual support.  Even in 1992.  But I will confess it was probably at an all time low that year as well.

If you are the wife of a diabetic and you are not getting support from work, family, religion or have a difficult rope to tow.  Trying to take care of a diabetic almost demands that you find support somewhere else, as I just don't see it coming from the diabetic.  Maybe I should put that differently.  We have to be strong for them.  Support them.  Care for them.  So we have to find our own support from somewhere else.

Years ago, I didn't know how to find support.  But I have learned.  It comes from setting goals in our own life, volunteering to help others, giving back to others, joining a new group and meeting new people, writing our thoughts in a journal, praying, praying for others, and taking time out just for you.

I didn't start this blog to find support.  But in the process of writing about my life, I have made so many friends, and have gained so much support.  It's truly nice to know that we are not alone.  But I have also found support in my family, my art, and my faith.  Hope you all will find it, too.


and another low

I should have recognized it

All the symptoms

Anxious.  Needy.  Demanding.

He needed a certain, specific power adapter.

First said my brother had it.  I quietly said I had already asked him and he didn't have it

Then said I had to find it.

Mind you, it's for something of his....that I never use.

I looked in all the usual places - where we keep extra power adapters.  Nothing fit.

Then I got out all the travel converters thinking something might work.

Went to the garage and went through 2 huge bins of electrical wires and stuff.

(Wondering why any one man needs to keep all this stuff?)

He came out to the garage.  Stood right in front of me.  So close, I couldn't move.  So I asked him politely to move aside so I could get to the bins.  He snorted.  Sighed.  Harumphed. You know how they do.

Went to the basement and went through 4 boxes of electrical stuff.  In the process I found about 30 different power adapters.  Brought them all inside and/or upstairs.

Nothing worked.

By now, he is so agitated, I realize it's a sugar low.  Why this isn't my first reaction I will never know.  I think I am ever optimistic!

Found a bag of candy and opened it up and offered him some.

In 10 minutes, he was a perfect gentleman once again.

I think I just realized why my in-laws pantry looks like a candy store.  My MIL got smart years ago!  ha ha!

I'm still trying to do the healthy route....but I may give up and just feed him chocolate.

He sure is nicer!

He cut 2 different adapters apart and wired them together and got what he needed working to work.

It's 10:55 pm.  I have just spent the last hour and a half of my life looking for something that he probably would have found himself if he ever just put things back where they belong.  Not this guy.  He's an electrical nightmare!  :o)

But I do think the problem is ME.  I think I will never learn to think diabetes first.  I will never learn to suspect diabetes until we are half way through an ordeal.  And don't bother ask why I even started to help him tonight. I'm just a complete idiot!  Maybe one of these days I'll learn to say "NO" to him!  But I doubt it.

So where's the line between love - and we do it because we love them, and waking up and realizing their stupid behavior is due to a sugar imbalance?  Something I probably will never know.


PS, I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and filling the pantry with chocolate.

(just kidding!)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

24 hours later

he was his usual apologetic self.  It always happens. And then I remembered...just before his outburst, he had come downstairs and walked into the kitchen and gotten something to eat.  So I thought back.  He had fixed himself one of those soft pretzels about 4 pm.  So he wasn't hungry for dinner and didn't eat.  But then came down and got a bag of potato chips.  So I'm pretty sure he was in the middle of another sugar low.  And that was the basis for his outburst.

I printed out some information about depression and anger and left it on his desk.  He never made a comment about it the next morning.

He went to the apple store and bought me an ipad.

He almost always buys something when he wants to apologize.

Is it worth staying for?


And I told him that while I appreciated it so much, it didn't make up for his outburst.

Will it stop him from doing it again?

Probably not.

No matter how much I want to leave, I probably won't.  I love him for all the good moments.  I love him for the man I know is there, somewhere....that shows himself every now and then....the guy I fell in love with.

Diabetes. Has to be the world's worst disease.


Friday, September 24, 2010

The wound is better!

Ahhhh....the roller coaster ride - again.

The wound is better.  It appears to be healing.  While it still looks horrible, I can see it closing.  I can also tell it will be a lengthy process.

He did the extra 5 sets of xrays on his back.

The neurosurgeon is out on vacation for 2 we wait.

Always a rollercoaster.

2 days ago he said he wanted to go to the movies on Saturday night.  We even picked out the time/movie to go see. I remember saying, "I thought we weren't going out to the movies anymore."  He replied, "It's your birthday, I thought we'd do something nice".  (birthday is not for another week, but I was happy he wanted to go out)

I went to lunch with a pal today and when I came home, I asked what time we were going to leave to go out.

He looked at me like I was crazy and he said, "go out where?"

I said that I thought we were going to the movies

He said he never said that.

I reminded him of the movie he had said he wanted to go see and the time.

He said, "I asked you IF we went to the movies, what would we go see."

I told him that his implication was that we were going to the movies on Friday night.

He got mad and started yelling at me that he had the right to change his mind.

I simply said that he should tell me when he changes his mind so I know what ot plan for

Then he really got mad and started accusing me of changing my mind all the time and never telling him.  Of course, I change my mind....but I do tell him.  I told him it just didn't matter any more.  I went to bed and took a 2 hour nap.  No, it didn't help.  But he is absolutely exhausting.  The word games he plays, his ability to turn everything on me - make every tiny detail my fault.  If I could just get a job, I would leave him.  But no luck on the job front, that's for sure.

So I stay.  In a place I truly do not want to be.  Never planned this.  Never asked for this.  Never agreed to this.  I know he hurts.  I know he is depressed.  I know he is exhausted.  But it is 100% his problem, not mine and I am tired of being his scape goat - his excuse, I am tired of being blamed for everything wrong with his life.

Maybe I just need a 4 hour nap!  LOL!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

wound is worse

Tuesday, we went to the wound care center for the venous ulcer on his leg.  They presribed a treatment plan.  2 days later the ulcer is noticeably worse. He is supposed to call the doctor if it gets worse.  He did not call.

I want to throw up.

For a million reasons.

Because he refuses to do what they tell him to do.

Because of how bad the wound looks.

Because the "what-if" of it all makes me a nervous wreck.

I somehow think if I throw up, I will feel better.

Now, how stupid is that????!!!


Monday, September 13, 2010

good or bad?

We had the consult with the ortho surgeon on Friday.  They said if we didn't hear from our HMO by today to call them.  So he did.  Turns out the surgeon took hubby's files home with him over the weeekend, so the request to do more xrays didn't get submitted.  Surgeon will be back tomorrow.

So the question is - is it good or bad?  Good that the surgeon was concerned enough to take the medical record home to review over the weekend?  Bad that the condition warrants the surgeon to take it home and study?

I simply told hubby that I thought this was a very good surgeon - someone who cared enough to look more closely at the medical record, and thus we should listen to his final recommendation and take it to heart.  He agreed.

In the meantime, hubby has started having nightmares.  Really bad ones.  Bizzare ones.  Scary ones.  He wakes up and cannot go back to sleep because he is afraid the dream will come back.

I wonder if it's a side affect of one of his medications.

I suggested he call his physician.

He didn't.

In direct contrast, I have been sleeping like a log, getting excellent rest, no dreams and getting my rest.  Hopefully that will continue and I can stay one step ahead of everything else.

He is back in his depression.  He did not leave the house all weekend long.  Did not want to go to the movies or out to eat.  Absolutely nothing.  Just watched movies all weekend long.

I had plenty of things going on and stayed quite busy, yet still concerned about his level of depression.  He continues to refuse to see anyone about it.

The anger outbursts are increasing, but still manageable.  I can understand a lot of it.  Worrying about his back, dealing with the pain.  I think he's pretty much sitting on the edge.  But nothing I can do other than listen and be here for him.  So life goes on.  Overall, it was a quiet weekend.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Surgeon visit

Went to meet with the orthopedic surgeon yesterday afternoon.  I liked the guy.  He did a very thorough exam.  I think he knows what he wants to do, but he ordered  5 more sets of xrays.  I think he wants to make sure before he tells us what he thinks the next steps are.

Of concern was the fact that our HMO did an MRI - hubby was laying down, and this does not show what happens to the back when he stands up.  So we need standing xrays to compare to the MRIs.

It was interesting to see how you can view cross sections of the vertebra and see them lined up at the same time.  Hubby has substantial narrowing of the spinal colum, degeneration of numerous vertebra, curvature of the spine.

The most interesting finding is that he has lost a full inch in height in the last year.  Wow!! That was a shocker to both of us!

I have never doubted his back pain.  But now I wonder how he even manages to walk after seeing everything that is wrong with it.

So, we wait.  The HMO has to approve, then schedule the new xrays.  We are supposed to ask to have the films, then hand carry them back to the surgeon and will have a second consult with him.

After that, hubby has to make the decision whether he wants to have back surgery or not.  I simply want to know what the recovery time is and how surgery will impact his dibetes.

More wait and see.


Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Brain fog

Mary wrote:

I got scared this morning. DH is a Type 2 and he tested high this morning. He ate his usual breakfast of sugary cereal even though I offered to cook eggs for him. He was trying to type on the computer keyboard and I watched him trying to distinguish the numbers from the letters. He would type something and then realize that is wasn't right and then try again. All the time he was doing this he was asking me the same question over and over (What is his email address? What is his password? Lucky for him that I have a good memory). I told him that he was not acting right. I asked him if he was feeling okay and if he was having a problem with confusion. His response was silence. He would not or could not articulate what he was going through. I asked him if he wanted to go to the ER. No response. He just kept on trying to figure out his keyboard typing. He is very computer literate and never had any problems until today. I helped him get into his email account so he could read his messages.

And I have to say "I so understand!" Today was not good here.  I went out to the garage to get something and noticed a huge pile of something that did not look good at all on a wood shelf that I use as sort of a workbench.  I have drills and a grinder and a bin for screws on it.  I called hubby to have him come take a look at it.  He said, "oh, I spilled some battery acid there."

So, the battery acid was eating into the wood and was festering up.  I was so upset.  I got a paint scraper out and scraped as much as I could into the trash.  That's when I saw the acid was eating the wood away.  $100 shelves.  I absolutely could not believe that he just left it there, didn't even try to clean it up.  I put baking soda on it, made a paste, took the shelves apart, got the wood outside and hosed it down.  Of course, I ran out of baking soda and had to run to the store for more.  The acid had eaten almost half way through the shelf, but I think I got it all off the wood.  I flipped the board over and put the shelves back together and then put everything back on the shelf.

I called my sister and vented.  If I had a job, I would leave him today.  It took me 2 hours out of what was already a really busy day to clean up a mess that he made.  I know, I know - his back hurt.  He would do it when he felt better.  The problem is that he is never going to feel better and if I didn't clean it up - it would have eaten all the way through the board.  So, no big deal - cut a new board!  But why me. Why do I have to do it all?  Why do I have to clean up all of his messes just because he doesn't feel up to it?  I just wanted to scream.

And I know he doesn't feel good.  But to just walk away and leave BATTERY ACID?????  He could have told me when it happened.  No, I'm sure he was in a sugar low or high and just not thinking.  It happens so much.  Most of the time I just ignore it.  But battery acid????

I wonder what will be next?  What will he forget?  What will he get confused about?  What will he overlook?

So Mary, I am right there with you.  I understand completely.  I don't know what we can do - other than keep an ever watchful eye, try to find the spills before they eat the wood up, try to stay one step ahead of everything, and try to NOT get worn out.

Tonight....I'm worn out!

Lynn wrote:

I am scared for you. It sounds like he is giving up and just doing whatever he wants to do, barring consequences...don't his doctors give him hope? Just wondering. Is the work too much? too much stress to work and take care of himself...just a there a way he can get disability? just another thought...what about depression meds...if he isn't on them would he consider it? these are just thoughts that have popped into my head as I feel concerned for my cyber sister...I am scared for you two. HUGS and LOVE.
In a nutshell:
He won't quit work
He won't take depression meds
He won't go to counseling
His doctors are actually quite optimistic.  He isn't.
He could qualify for disability.....but I sort of think work might be better for him at the moment.  At least it gives him something to do and keeps his mind busy.

I'm pretty sure he's given up.  I do my best to stay happy and optimistic around him (when I'm not seething mad about battery acid!)  When I do get mad, I find a project to work on - today was cleaning in the basement.  I have a goal.  Get everything up out of the basement while I can still do stairs myself!  It's a good goal.  Forcing me to sort through things.  Keeps me away from him!

I've been doing tons of research on depression, mood swings, impacts of various drugs.  He has his moments when he still seems perfectly ok.  But lately, we've been experiencing more and more forgetful moments.  Missed appointments.  Getting times and dates of appointments mixed up.  Missing meetings.  I try to keep a calendar and when I remind him of something - he actually argues that it's not on that date.  Then when he misses it, he apologizes.  We've had a huge increase in stuff like that going on.  I try to remind him.  But he can be pretty stubborn on most days!

I still try to find humor in it all.  Some days it takes more effort than others.  The good thing about the battery acid is that I got that shelf cleaned off!  LOL!!!  One more thing I can cross off my "to do" list.  Maybe he should pour some battery acid on the window sills as I need to repaint most of them!  :o)


Friday, September 03, 2010

Today, I'm scared

We all have our moments. They come and they go. Today - I'm scared.

He is depressed. I know this is common for post open heart surgery. I know he needs counseling. He won't go. I can't help him.

He said all he wants to do for the next 5 days is sleep.

Part of this has to be because he is back eating all the crap he wants. Not exercising. Loading up on sweets.

With increased medical bills due to the surgery, back, all the specialists, office visits and prescriptions.....we have had to cut way back in other areas and this is contributing to his depression.

He is gaining weight and quite puffy looking. His eyes look especially swollen to me. I am noticing that sweet uric smell in our bedroom once again. He says he doesn't smell it, but I sure do. There was a TV series out here while back with a grim reeper.....and I feel like this smell is his grim reeper. It's almost a warning that kidney failure is around the corner once again.

It is so sad to see him in such a state. But I know I can't do anything except be here for him. I am doing my best to keep busy and active, fill my day with projects and outings. But in the background - he is overshadowing everything.

He went to bed at 1 pm, it's now 3 pm. He was supposed to be off work today, but got called into major meetings starting at 6 am this morning.

I'm scared that the infection in the venous ulcer in his ankle is spreading.

I'm scared that he is reverting back to kidney failure.

I'm scared that something else is going on with his heart and he is not getting sufficient oxygen to the brain. (He's acting much like he did before he had bypass surgery).

I'm just scared.

And I realize that it's ok to be scared. As long as I don't allow the fear to consume me. As long as I don't allow the emotions to overcome me to the point that I can't function. Or to stop living my own life.

Too hot to do yardwork, so I'm going to read a good book this afternoon. Have already had a visit from an art pal today and went to a warehouse sale.

But in between all that....I just wanted to note that I'm scared. And that I don't think he's doing well at all.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

venous ulcer

As expected, it'snot healing. So his physician referred him to the wound care center last Wednesday. When he went to make the appointment, they told him they couldn't get him in until 9/14.

So for the next 2 weeks, we simply wait and hope that the infection doesn't spread. It is just amazing to me that our healthcare system is so completely stupid!

His back pain has increased. Probably because he is favoring his leg.

The neurosurgeon is referring him to an orthopedic surgeon who is supposed to schedule a consult appt by the end of this week.

We talked a little bit today about back surgery. 50% chance it won't help at all. Chance he might be paralyzed. I told him all we can do is see what the new surgeon has to say.

He is sleeping more and more. Always tired. I think the pain is wearing him out.

My sister surprised us with an overnight visit last night. Always fun!

He is taking 5 days off over Labor Day weekend and just wants to stay home.

The blessing in all this is that he can still work.


Monday, August 23, 2010

The dicotomy of being away

I love being alone
but I worry about him being alone

I don't have to do anything for him
but I worry about him having to do everything for himself

I can eat whatever I want
but I worry about what he's eating

I sleep so well
but wonder if he is sleeping at all

I don't have to see the ulcer on his leg
but I wonder if he is doing what he needs to do to take care of it

When I call him and he doesn't answer the phone
I wonder if he's in a sugar coma

the list could go on

if you are the wife of a diabetic, I think you know.


Friday, August 20, 2010

update on venus ulcer and more

Lilly wrote:

Just wondering: If he has been eating whatever he wants, his blood sugar is probably way too high at times. I know that my husband (Type 1, not Type 2) can get extremely verbally abusive at both extremes: too high, or too low, and I'm not always sure which it is, until he passes out (or just keeps ranting). Sadly, when he decides to sleep all day and I am at home, I enjoy the peace and quiet. And he wonders why I don't try to wake him! I am also avoiding being in the same room with him more and more, to keep from being yelled at or criticized for senseless things. (He also tells me he's not yelling; I'm yelling at him!) Simply being on survival mode is NOT the way I want things to be all the time, but this is my reality right now. I don't want to leave a chronically ill husband, but some days . . . !

He has to be going high because he's still at 6.2 overall and having lows. But he's not testing any more. Probably hasn't tested in 2 months now.

I have escaped to my sisters (2 hours away) for 5 days. I have 2 sisters who live in the same town, so the 3 of us have a weekend planned of chick flicks, shopping and resting. It's the best therapy on earth. And I'm close enough that if I absolutely need to go home, I can, but far enough away to get a break.

Went with him to the doctor's yesterday and they took off the unna boot. Doc thinks there may be new cell growth, so they wrapped it back up and we wait another week. If there was new cells, then we should see major progress in another week. If it wasn't, then he will go to the wound care center. His leg was totally shriveled up from being wrapped so tight. I thought it looked even more infected, but the doctor thought it was new cell growth. So we wait another week.

Hope you all have a great weekend!


I think between fighting that, the irritation of the unna boot, eating crap again, sugars going high and low, I needed to get away.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So today, he couldn't.....

plug in an extension cord on one side of the garage and run it to the other. Literally! He waited until I got home from the store, then started yellng at me because I had moved something in the garage. The GFI popped 3 times and he had to go to the basement each time to reset it. I asked him why he didn't run an extension cord from another outlet and he just started screaming at me. I said, "you don't need to get mad and yell!" to which he replied that I was yelling at him....and I hadn't even raised my voice - just asked a question.

So as he stormed into the house and slammed the door, I said, "oh, go eat some sugar!" LOL! No, I don't think he heard me. But I'm sure he's in a low. Just a quick post as I'm out the door to go run some more errands. I am NOT going to sit in this house with him in this mood. I don't need it and I don't deserve it.

Guess I should also note that the incision in his ankle where they took the vein out has now turned into a venous ulcer. I had been telling him that he needed to go to the doctor and he refused. Finally this week, when it started oozing, he made an appointment. They put an unna boot on it - for 2 weeks. If it doesn't improve, then he has to go to the wound care center. You know, he doesn't even consider stuff like what might happen if the infection goes to his bone. He just ignores it until he can't. So I'm sure he's upset about that as well. He is supposed to elevate his leg 4 times a day for 30 minutes each....and if he had been doing this since surgery....well, ok....

I'm off to run errands and simply escape from his wrath for a little bit today!


Monday, August 09, 2010

the job hunt

I think I need to go back to work. Not for the money. But to get out of the house every single day. To get away from his constant depression. To associate with something outside of the realm of diabetes.


But I have decided this is what I need to do.

So I applied for my first job today.

My goal is to apply for one job a day, 5 days a week.

Do I care what I do?

Not really.

As long as it is "doing" something!

He is very non-communicative again today.

I want to go back to vacationland and escape this!

Maybe I will start sleeping days and be awake all night.

Just so we don't run into each other! LOL!

Broke a tooth off last week and have to go to the dentist next.

Hope all the DWs out there have a peaceful day!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Did it work?

Yes and no! The pain on one side of his back/hip is better. The pain on the other side is much worse. After 3 weeks - it just doesn't seem to have helped him that much. I had a mini weekend getaway with another artist pal and came home to an utter bear of a guy. Ugh! I mean every little word is a pain to him. He's completely and totally intolerable. I'm just positive he ate whatever he wanted while I was gone and now it's back to veggi burgers, no potato chips, no chocolate....and he's just plain mad at me!

He said my brother was here and they went out to eat and a local sports bar where they serve nothing but deep fried comfort food! Just what both guys needed. ha ha!

But you know what, there is absolutely nothing I can do to help him. He is in miserable pain because he STILL refuses to take care of himself.

He had the TV on this evening so loud it was shaking the house. I asked him to turn it down just a notch. You can't begin to imagine how angry he got with me. He finally put on his headsets. Now, I assume this means he is going deaf and will just yell at me even more because he can't hear what I'm saying.

I did have a wonderful weekend away and am so appreciative of my friends who keep me sane!


Thursday, July 15, 2010


This afternoon, he gets his first cortisone injection in his back! Took them long enough, huh? But we are both excited and hoping that he has a peaceful weekend. I'm just not sure I'll know what to do with a guy that's not in pain! LOL!

His heart seems to be working just great. Diabetes is as under control as it has ever been. Glucose is still too high. He's back to eating whatever he wants - out of control, so I'm going to try to reign that in this weekend with a round of grilled seafood and healthy cooking. Now, if I can just get him to cooperate!

Will try to post the results of the injection as soon as we know. Just praying that he at least gets 24 hours of relief. A couple months would be wonderful!


Friday, June 25, 2010


How much pain can one person take? Poor hubby. I worry about him day and night. He simply can't do the physical therapy they want him to do for his back. He is in somuch pain that he vomits. How sad is that?

And yes, that much pain has an impact on his glucose levels. Even with as many lows as he had after his heart surgery, his A1c is still at 6.9. Sigh. That means that for all those's going really high at other times. Sigh.

But pain management is the number one priority at the moment. He is not functioning at all. Sleeping way too much. Probably not eating enough. Not eating in a timely manner. Not sleeping because of the pain.

I want to cry for him, but I know it won't do any good. His daughter was here for father's day last weekend, and he really couldn't enjoy her company because he was in so much pain.

When will it end? Well, we are hoping they will try cortisone injections about mid July. But that's almost another month of waiting. Of intense pain. Of being sick to the stomach.

I can tell that the pain is wearing him thin. He doesn't have any humor left. He has no patience. He is getting more and more depressed.

How much pain can he take? I simply hope he can last another month.


Saturday, June 19, 2010


Lab results came back the same, so that is good. While labs aren't "good" by normal standards, it is good that they haven't changed/gotten worse. He is attempting to do the physical therapy for his back, but the exercises are so painful, he gets nauseated. Then he doesn't eat. Then his glucose drops. I'm not sure it's worth doing them over. He contacted the neurosurgeon's office and they told him to keep doing them, regardless of the pain. So rather than every day, was do them together, then wait 2 days and do them again. Takes that long for the pain to subside.

So, with all this pain, he is getting rather depressed and cranky. He's less and less interested in doing anything. Wants to eat what he wants. And I feel so sorry for him because I know if I were in so much pain I got sick to my stomach - I'd give up on everything else.

But beyond that, we are maintaining. It seems like we are growing closer to each other through all this. He seems to (for the first time) be caring about what my emotions and needs are. I think we both have agreed that we don't know what to do about his back and the pain.

His daughter came down for Father's Day weekend and he is enjoying her company. Good diversion for him.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is life good, or am I just numb?

LOL! I think I'm just numb. But I do get tired of posting the same thing over and over. His heart is mending. He is not exercising. He's quit testing his sugar 8 times a day. He's back to eating the same old crap.

And I'm back to being numb about it all. I just don't care. Surgery drained me. I need more time to recover. My therapy - gardening. I hate it....but it's something to occupy my time and since it's summer - it's good. Plus, it gets me out of the house 3 hours a day and away from all this.

Just tired of it

He has done the PT for his back 1 time in the last 2 weeks and says it causes him too much pain to do it. But he won't call the doctor and tell him that the PT is increasing his back pain.

Yet as long as he doesn't yell at me over stupid stuff, as long as I don't see the result of sugar lows....I'm good. I can live like this I know, I know - he could drop dead any second...but then we all can. I wish he would change. I pray every day that he will change. But he hasn't and he won't. Not even a triple bypass with a TMR woke this guy up for good....just for a few weeks.

Life goes on and overall, it's all good at the moment.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Baby steps

Lynn wrote:

This is incredible...I MUST be Hellen Keller because I even took a swig of what I thought was a can of soda but it was a spit bottle and almost threw up so I tolerate a lot...but then again, I do get the addiction thingie as well, since I am a sugar addict when I get started...can pound a half bag of Tootsie Rolls and have, a pound of chocolate a day, and have...but when I grew a stone the size of a mini football in my kidney and had to have it lithotripsied it was my wake up call...I don't know...hubby and I joke about "don't judge me" and I hope he quits again, but he took it up after we had a car accident in April and he suffered a subdural hematoma and has been chewing again since. When I shared the info. I expected him to quit right then, but he was already off the Diet soda and trying to make other dietary changes/habits so he said, I will when I am ready...but I do get it because I would drop the 50 pounds I need to drop already if I really worked at it...oh, frustrating as hell because YES, love is blind. But I would rather have the love than not.
Speaking of love...I LOVE that I have met you and the other wife of a diabetic 2. HUGS

I know what you are saying....but in all of that, I got "car accidentin April" and immediately wondered if you hubby was behind the wheel? I rarely let mine drive if I'm in the car. Anyone who has sugar lows as often as he does has no business driving. Judgment is clouded during a hypo. Decisions/reactions are not as quick as they should be. Mental confusion prevails. And since you just don't know when a low is going to hit and he can't seem to forecast them these days, it scares the crap out of me to let him even think about driving.

Interestingly enough, I think he is a little afraid himself. He doesn't seem to have much of a problem with me doing all the driving. Now, part of that could be due to his back pain, but I just think he's more comfortable with me driving.

PT on his back starts Tuesday. We've had a hectic couple of weeks and today we are getting back on our serious nutrition plan. Yes, I know, if we stopped eating chocolate, we could drop that 50 pounds. So here's what is proving to be successful for us. Together, we are down 50 pounds right now. And maintaining. We simply count sodium. Under 2000 mg per day. It is nearly impossible to do. You can't eat out and keep that goal. You can't eat any processed foods. It's mostly fresh fruit and veggies. And it's amazing how good I feel - just keeping my sodium at that level. Granted, we go over a lot. And we do keep an eye on calories, carbs, fat, sugar, etc. But if you keep the sodium down, everything else will stay down.

As hubby says, it doesn't matter how bad we are right's still so much better than before his surgery. I've lost 20 pounds and would like to take another 20 off. But I will confess, it is really hard to keep that sodium under 2000 mg per day! Extremely bland diet.

And, we have kicked up the exercise. Age is working hard against us, as is arthritis. But again, it doesn't matter how "bad" we are at exercise - we are still way ahead of where we were!

I keep thinking baby steps. We just do a little every day- it's more than what we were doing.


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Smoking with diabetes

Lynn wrote:

I googled "living with a diabetic" and ultimately I came to your blog. I am so glad I did. I too have lived with my hubby for 38 years, and much of it has been since he was diagnosed as being diabetic and I didn't realize how much of a stress it has put on me being married to his condition. I am looking for support and think I have found it here...We love them, we are trying to help them, but we are human and need another person with our situation to vent, share, and understand with.
Thank you for this blog. HUGS

and then another comment:

Hubby chews tobacco and until the other day I didn't realize that nicotine messes with insulin...I googled the information and sat down with him to share it...he is hooked, has been for years, has quit a few times but goes back to it...has always been asked if he smokes and he truthfully says he does not but I didn't realize it wasn't the act of smoking they were getting at but the nicotine...I have been nagging and he seems to take it okay, but he keeps pointing out that he will quit again when he is ready to...frustrating as hell to see him dip into the can of chew when now I know it isn't helping him at all...denial is a #@$#!@$#~
Thanks for letting me vent. It helps.

Which got me to thinking. Hubby always so proudly tells his doctors that he has never smoked. Never picked up a cigarette in his life. I just cringe when he says that. I just think he is so incredibly stupid....and so are his doctors.

I have come to learn that you have to ask very specific questions, very detailed questions - you have to think like his brain and ok - that's impossible to do!

When you ask him if he has ever smoked, he assumes you mean cigarettes. And he always answers "I have never smoked a cigarette in my life".

But what they do not ask him is, "have you ever smoked a joint? Have you ever smoked marijuana? Have you ever eaten marijuana in a brownie or other food?"

I just wonder if he would tell the truth then.

He thinks marijuana is medicinal. Now, quite honestly, he hasn't smoked any in about the last 9 months. But before that, every weekend, and before that....all the time, whenever he had any pain at all.

I know the impact it has on his diabetes. He denies it all.

How can the doctors possibly help him when he refuses to be honest with them? You would think slashing him open, ripping his ribcage apart, hooking him up to a heart/lung machine.....that he would get the hint?

Not this guy! He still answers the question that he has never smoked in his life.

And ya wonder why I get stressed? LOLOL!

As for chewing - I would leave him for certain! Dated a guy about 35 years ago who would spit the chew in the back yard and I stepped in it once - barefoot! That ended that relationship! Funny how when I was so young, I wouldn't put up with anything like that.....and now I tolerate so much. It really is true that love is blind.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

and the journey continues

He will start physical therapy on his back in 2 weeks. Well, that's the consult visit with that department. He meets with them and they tell him what's next. He was pretty upset last night talking about it. Said he had spend $300 on co-pays for PT for his heart just to go walk on a treadmill and ride a bike. And I said, "but you aren't doing it now....and you did it there."

I'm not sure he got my point. He has not walked in the week and a half since cardiac PT released him. Do I treat him like a child and remind him every day that he needs to go walk? When I do mention it, he says, "I know" and that's it. I can't physically make him do it. It's just so frustrating to stand by and watch him slowy revert back to his old ways. I think I was a little over-optimistic that he would figure this out and change. Now, I'm not so sure.

And he refused to test himself last night, but I'm sure he had a low. We hav a basket to put fish in on the grill and he couldn't get it to open. I didn't think much of that, but then he couldn't get a sealed package of fish to open using a pair of scissors. I knew he was low when that happened. He started yelling at me and I simply left the room.

I can't help him. I can't save him. Just so sad.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Getting my life back

Today, I taught an art class. We made dichroic glass pendants. One of my favorite things to do. It's the first class I've been able to schedule/teach this year. And it feels wonderful!

Hubby celebrated by going to a local bakery and buying a chocolate carmel cake for the students. Of course, they loved him to pieces! And he didn't eat any at all. So I thought that was huge progess. He can have sweets in the house, and won't eat them. Yeah for him!!!

While his back is still causing him incredible pain, we are both trying hard to get back into the routine of life. Yet that routine has been altered. Daily walks, eating healthy, treadmill and recumbant bike, exercises, healthy snacks. I think we are past fighting it all and have accepted it as a way of life. He is still testing numerous times a day, taking his insulin on a very strict schedule, eating snacks when he starts to go low....and it has made a huge difference in everything else in life.

And while we both know that this could end any time because his kidney function is so low and dialysis is looming just around the corner, I think both of us are enjoying this phase.

Art is a release for me. A place that I can escape to, play, have fun, create something, share what I know with someone else, teach them how to do something that they love. I have really missed it this year and am so happy to be back. It's been a really great day.

May you each have a great day. We all need them every once in awhile - just to remind us what life is really like!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Catching up

I know - been awhile! So, post cardiac physical therapy is completed and he has a call in to neurology so he can start PT for his back. While I feel pretty certain that his heart is back in gear, it's really hard to tell because of the back pain. He is walking every other day, and really trying hard to eat right. But the pain overwhelms him most days. He's so grumpy. And yes, I know, if I were in that much pain, I'd be just a completly miserable person all the time - just like he is. But I think he tends to forget that I'm here. That I have needs. That this is a partnership. Not just a one-sided story.

But then, because of his pain, how can he even consider me?

So I try to understand, be patient, carve out a life of my own. It's sad. It's hard. It's lonely.

He is sill under a weight lifting restriction and it is taking it's toll on me. But I am resting when I need to, sitting on the heating pad, eating healthy and doing all the things I need to do to take care of me.

Mostly, I wake up, and take each day just one step at a time. I don't think much about the future or the past. I just try to do what needs to be done to get through today. And I make lists. That eventually get thrown away because I realize they will never get done, and that's ok.

Finding pleasure in little things has become important. But I feel like I'm old before my time. There is so much we have changed this year and so much we still continue to change. So much activity that we have had to give up. And I sit here and know that the only reason we give it up is because of his health. Sort of sad the things you do in the name of love.

Trying to find joy in the things you can still do is often times quite hard. Especially when that list has dwindled down to so few things. Limitations - not a word I have ever accepted. But when he says "no" - then it's either go it alone, or give it up. And some things are just no fun when done alone!

Aside from that, life is ok. He is here. He is functioning. We went out the other night and a man wheeled his wife in. She was younger than me and had had an obvious stroke. Was paralized for the most part. He sat there and fed her and talked to her and laughed with her. It was interesting to watch them. Made me so grateful that hubby is where he is.

That's the lesson in life I'm learning over and over every single day. That there is always someone else much worse off than we are and we just need to be grateful for what we have left - even if it isn't what we had yesterday.