Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sugar lows

I wonder if he knows what he puts me through when he goes low?

10:00 pm last night:



wait 15 minutes



Peanut butter

wait 15 minutes



He's getting grouchier by the moment. Refuses to drink water. Won't take a glucose tablet or a smartie. Refused those from the beginning. Starting to get paler (is that possible?) Blood pressure is dropping. He says he's tired. Doesn't want anything at all to eat right now. Doesn't want to test his sugar again. Just wants to go to sleep.

Do I walk over and smack him?

Do I start a rip roaring argument?

Obviously, he's still getting too much insulin. Will he remember in the morning? Well, at least he can look at his meter and see that he went low. But how do I get him to test a 4th, 5th and 6th time if he goes low?

Do I just let him go to sleep and pray that whatever happens, it will be ok?

Particularily rough day and I am exhausted already. Literally no strength left to give him an ounce of support. I'm so exhausted from the last 3 weeks that I'm sick to my stomach. Ever been that worn out? Can only think of once in my lifetime, I was 21 and had mono. Took me 6 weeks to recover from that.

He promises to test one more time. I tried so hard to stay awake, but I wasn't successful. The next thing I remember it was 6 am and a woodpecker was pounding on the side of the house, waking me up. Woke him up, too.

He said he fell asleep the same time I did. We looked at his meter and he did not test again. So no idea where his glucose was...but we both made it through the night,

I can't allow myself to do all the "what ifs". There is nothing left in me to expend on wasted worries.

Today, his left leg is on fire. It's where they took the vein(s) from. He is in severe pain. He has it elevated and has heat on it. We will keep an eye on it. Glucose is up to 157 this morning. Need to get it back down. Will retest in half hour.

Need to come up for a better word than exhausted. Drained? Zapped? Way too old for this? Overwhelmed? Burdened? And I'm getting a good 8 hours of sleep every night!

Hopefully we will both get caught up on rest this weekend,


Friday, March 26, 2010


Finally. The first time he has actually seen an endocrinologist. What's it been? 5 years I think. Nurse after nurse, but never a doctor. It was interesting that she felt his heart condition was heriditary while the surgeon said it was caused by his diabetes. Proof that no one physician is responsible for the overall person. They just break it down by speciality. So we have decided that together, we are going to insure he gets all the care he needs.

Today was good. We now have permission to drop doses by 2 cc every day that he goes low. Of course, we can raise by 2 as well.

We have an email address - somewhere to actually send the numbers from his meter to show how often he's going low.

We have a telephone number and a fax number.

More than he has ever had in the past.

We have a plan. He has lost 20 pounds and wants to take off another 40. When he gets to his goal, then she will look at taking him off the Humulin and back on the regular insulan.

Our goal is to see how much of this we can reverse. With good diet, good control and exercise.

Of course, he is only 2 weeks post op. I pray that he will stick with this. But I'm wise enough to know that it's up to him to continue with these changes.

Morning dose was 30, tomorrow will be 22. Evening dose was 17, tonight was 11. So nearly a 1/3 drop already, post surgery.

Still had 2 lows this afternoon, but we did not reduce this mornings dose, so the proof will be when he takes his bedtime glucose....he should not below if her theory holds true.

A good day.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Humulin R U 500

Eli Lilly says that this product can increase your hypos.


Hubby had 4 lows 2 days ago and the reduced his dose.

He had 2 lows yesterday.

Went to his GP today who said he needs to be in daily contact with endocrinology while he is having lows. So we stopped by that department onour way out and there was no one available. Not even a nurse!

He has been with his HMO since 2006. He has never once in all this time seen a doctor in the department - just a nurse.

I got mad. We came home and I called his diabetes nurse. She in turn, forwarded my voice mail to a diabetes patient advocate Good for her! The advocate was amazing. I think she was a bit shocked he had not seen a physician. She asked if he had requested to see on and I told her he had on multiple occassions and all he ever got was an appointment with a nurse!!!

Well, we have an appointment with a physician in the endocrinology at the main facility tomorrow. It's a 26 mile drive, but we don't care.

She also told us that any time he has a low, it's safe to lower the Humulin by 10%. She instructed us the dose to give tonight and in the morning.

At 2:30 pm, he went low. Had OJ. At 4 pm, he was low again. MoreOJ. Company interrupted his routine. He hasn't learned yet that testing is more important than company, but that's ok. He retested at 6 and was still low. More OJ. At 6:30 he retested and had come up a little. I suggested that he reduce the insulin even more, but he didn't want to. So he took her recommended dose tonight. Ate a huge dinner, but has been low since 8:30. OJ and PB every 15 minutes with another test. Still low. Took a double dose of OJ and we'll see where he is in another 5 minutes.

I have to say that today's lows - he didn't get all angry and nasty. He was pretty calm. Somewhat aggitated. But calm.

I am praying that the physician we see tomorrow can give him some relief. I'm sure with his new diet and exercise plan, he is getting way too much insulin. Compounded by the fact that Humulin creates additional lows. And an endo department that has basically ignored him up til this point.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jason said,

See, I agree. It IS all about discipline. When I was Dx'ed, I turned around and laughed at the nurse who told me I needed carbs to live. I did my reading/research, and took control.

I will not rely on anyone to deal with this, I have to.

I commend you for your efforts. I hope to hell your hubby has smartened up! I do caution you though: I come from a long line of diabetics, but a LONG-lived line. Dealing with it, making the change is the key. Test! Test! And Test some more.

I have got my avg from 17 mmols to 6.8 in just three weeks. I am young, and I refuse to throw away my chances of healthy living later on. I know that there might be a chance that I develop those symptoms, but I am gonna try my HARDEST to prevent that.

Hang in there. You are a warrior, and the fight will be won.

Jason, I applaud you!!! Kudos on your attitude. I know my hubby needs to test, test, test. But it's sure easier to know what he needs to do that it is to get him to do it. :o) I wish he had your attitude, that this was up to him. That he didn't rely on anyone else to help him through this. I think today, he's relying too much on me and I'm backing off. I'm giving him a time out.

Please do keep up the good work. You are so right - you have a chance to have a wonderful life. And because you are young, there is hope that medicine can grow so much in the coming years and perhaps, this disease can even be stopped.

My sincerest best wishes for your continued success!


4 lows by 4 pm

I can't take it. Seriously. FOUR lows today. I know it's because he has changed his diet and he is exercising and they haven't reduced his insulin. But because he's on Humulin R U 500 - no one wants to mess with it. And his diabetic nurse is on vacation. He said he called and they wanted him to download his sugars. So he walked upstairs to get his meter cable. Remember, he just had open heart surgery and he is not supposed to do more than one set of stairs.

But he's in a low. So he doesn't have the ability to reason or remember. He's like a bull in a china shop.

He can't find the cable. He wants to know where it is, what I did with it. Of course, I haven't touched it and don't have a clue where he last had it - it was before surgery.

Hrumph. He said last night that he downloaded and sent his numbers to his nurse. Guess that was another lie. Are we back into our old patterns?

Oh, my mistake, he said he emailed her the numbers.

I seriously want to ask him for a copy of the email, but at that point - he would have gone ballistic. So I started looking through his drawers trying to find this cable. Note, he is a computer geek and there are at least 500 cables in his drawers/closte, etc. I don't find it. He's truly upset because I can't find it.

He says, "do we have any potatoes?"

I'm wondering why, thinking that he wants a baked potato and I say, "no, why do you want one?"

He looks at me like I'm an idiot and he says, "DO (pause) we (pause) have (pause) any (pause) potatoes?

I said, "we have raw potatoes in the pantry.

He said, can you bake me one?

I said, "Sweetie, we are having baked potatoes for dinner toinght."

He said, "that's 2 1/2 hours from now. I need one right now."

I said, "it will take an hour to bake it"

He said, "just put it in the microwave for 12 minutes".

So I did just that.

Then I asked him, "why do you want a potato? It's a fast acting carb."

He says, "no, it's long lasting carbs".

I said, "a potato is high glycemic, that means it's a fast acting carb."

He says, "look it up in the book - you don't know what you are talking about, you need to learn this stuff."

I go get the book, find the page, show him that it says "high".

He says, It's high in carbs and that's what I need right now, more carbs.

I said, "I think what you mean is that you need long acting carbs and a potato is a fast acting carb."

He said, "you don't have any idea what you are talking about!".

This is after he has had 2 things of smarties, a glass of orange juice, and 2 cookies.

(God help me. One of his employees sent him a gift basked filled to the brim with cookies and candies. Arrived at noon today. Must be an employee that wants him dead!)

I said to him, "I think you are a little confused right now."

He said, "get out. Just leave"

So I did. I walked upstairs and shut the door.

I can't help him when he's in a low. I can't do anything for him. But I did call the diabetic nurse and told her that I needed immediate help. I said I knew his nurse was on vacation but there has to be someone who can help me. I explained the whole scenario to her and she had me read the numbers to him from his machine. I did. She took it to the endocronologist and they called back in 10 minutes and are reducing his insulin starting today.

I am praying that tomorrow is a better day with less lows. How do other spouses handle the lows? I am already beyond exhausted from everything that we are doing as part of his cardiac rehab.....I can't take these lows and his argumentative moods. He has no idea how hurtful his words are. I can't take the blame. And I really do know what I'm talking about, but I know he's in a low and has no clue.

Want to know something funny? The baked potato is still in the microwave! :o)


Sunday, March 21, 2010


You know, when I was a kid, my parents spanked me. Hard! They made me clean out the pig stall in the barn when I was bad (oh, how I absolutely hated that!) With each incident, my punishment was worse. There was no mercy. It was called discipline! They instilled in me a good strong set of values, a good work ethic, a whole lot of logic, and the knowledge of right and wrong.

They did not beat around the bush. They did not sugar-coat much of anything in life. They were honest people. God-fearing Christians. They did not spare the rod. The child was not spoiled. I grew up in a house with no TV. Ever! We rode horses, played in the barn, learned about life by watching farm animals and product growing in the fields.

Today, we have become such a sympathetic society. We sugar coat everything. We never spank our children. We rarely raise our voices to them. We entertain them more that we educate them. We try our best to make everything sound nice. We don't talk much about what is going on in the whole world - most of us are limited to what's going on in our neighborhood, our own town, perhaps even our state. We don't have much of a global vison about anything.

And we stuff anything into our kids to hush them up. We reward them with sugar. Every holiday or event is a reason to serve up sugar. On the news tonight they said this is the first generation that will live a shorter lifespan than their parents. How sad is that?

I think diabetes is the same thing. Mom was a visiting nurse when I was a kid. I remember her going to homes of people with diabetes. She would say to them, "if you keep eating all that chocolate they are going to have to cut off your foot." She did not mince words. Ever. She didn't tell them when it would happen, she just told them that it would. At church, they would take food to the shut-ins. Mom would never allow them to take sweets to a diabetic. She was quite adamant about that. She wasn't nice when it came to someone else's disease. It wasn't just was anything. She took the time to teach people how to take care of themselves, what to eat, how to change dressings. She was a wonderful caregiver. But she had no patience with people who did not do what it took to manage whatever it was they had wrong with them.

Today, diabetic nutritionists will tell you it's perfectly ok to have something sweet once in awhile. And I hear mom say, "yes, go ahead, eat it....and they will cut off your foot!" Everyone seems to sugarcoat the seriousness of this disease. And I think that's what's allowed my husband to remain in denial for so long.

How often has he said to me, "the doctor said I can eat anything I want."How often has he eaten a whole bag of twix bars in one setting? He has not exercised in the last 3 years. And I think it's because no one said to him, "go ahead, do that.....and they will be cutting off your foot!!!"

If we don't teach our children to look before they cross a street, they are going to get hit by a car one day. If we don't discipline them when they dart out into a street, there's a good chance they will get hit by a car. If you don't remove all the sweets, sugars, fat, etc., from your house, you are allowing your spouse (family member) to walk out into the street. And if you see them eating a candy bar or french fries, make sure you say to them, "Go ahead! One day they are going to cut your chest open right down the middle, rip your ribcage wide open, and do some bypasses and punctures into your heart!"

We really have to get those with diabetes to start thinking about what they are doing to themselves. And what they are doing to their spouses and families. We need to be blunt. You know, yank the ice cream cone out of their hand and smash it to the ground! I still say a person can give up sugar completely and totally. Not just baked goods, but other items that have a high sugar content in them! I know because I've done it. My hubby never gets offered anything sweet. Nothing with white flour in it. No potatoes. He was a bit upset when I pointed out that clam chowder has potatoes in it!

We have done this together, in phases.

Phase 1 - cut out all sugar,all baked goods, started this on December 26
Phase 2 - cut out all white flour, white potatoes
Phase 3 - reduce sodium to under 2000 per day (this is our current phase)
Phase 4 - cut out all sodas (we've started this phase as well. I haven't had any soda since December 26 and he is down to 1 can a day.
Phase 5 - reduce calories.

We decided that if we are giving up certain foods, we should be able to eat what we want of what's left that we can have. That has helped. But in 2 weeks, we start counting calories, sodium, fat.....we are going to do this.

Do you think I hate it? Beyond words! But I love him and want him around and know that if I don't do this, he won't. I know that if I don't get up in the morning and get on the treadmill, he won't. So, as his spouse, I probably have had to have more discipline than he does. So sad that it took open heart surgery to get him to see the light. Beyond words sad.

So no nice words today. No sugar coating anything. No making you feel good about anything. Just go back and look at yesterdays numbers and look at the number you circled, then decide how much discipline you have. Take it upon yourself - don't put that burden on your spouse. Just do it.