Saturday, April 30, 2011

An optimistic morning

Feeling much better today. Having success with eBay helps....but the excuse to get out of the house and go to the post office to mail packages is great! Drove through the park and decided that life is great and today will be glorious!!

Finished cleaning the house. I love a clean house! The younger dog puked and I had to clean it up....but managed to keep my cheerful mood.

Hubby is in a vile, foul mood for sure. But I am ignoring him as well. I've decided I deserve one whole day of happiness and today is it!!

Off to my studio to be artistic and creative and enjoy the day! Hope you can find reason to enjoy yours as well!


Friday, April 29, 2011

I cannot write today

I am too tired, depressed, sad, worn out, exhausted, weary

It's what diabetes and all of it's multitude of side effects have done to me.

I am so tired of dusting and cleaning around all the crap that he has accumulated, all the possessions that he needs to keep, all the things he buys when he is in a low and then never ever uses, but refuses to part with.

I am depressed over the quantity of things that he refuses to part with.  How could we ever move?  I couldn't even show the house. His office, our bedroom, the basement, garage....all stacked to the brim with crap.

I am so sad that it has come to this - that life crept up on us and neither of us have the physical strength to lift an item and get it to the curb for someone else to take away.

I am worn out just thinking about everything that has to get done to get us into a one level house.

I am so exhausted I just want to sit and cry.

I am weary. HIS disease has done this to me. Weary of how our life has turned out.  Weary of life itself.

But tomorrow is a new day and I will get up and put that smile back on my face. I will swallow all of this and head out into the day all loving and supportive.  My sister and her husband are coming for a visit, so I will clean the house and cook the meals and entertain as though life is wonderful.

But right now, at this moment....I am all of the above.

And I thought I was too tired to write. just never know!  :o)


Thursday, April 28, 2011

4:40 am

His bp is 154/90 and his heart rate is 134.  Throbbing headache.  He said, "I want to go back on the atenolol."

I said, "your cardiologist said she will put you on a different med, we just need to call her first thing when they open."

He said, "ok, just hear me out.  Every time they put me on a new drug, I have all kinds of problems.  We are getting ready to go on vacation. I just want to go back on the atenolol until we get back, then we can call her and tell her what's going on."

And I know he is right.  I know that with blood pressure meds there is always some kind of side affect.  So I said, "well, if you go back on, then just start with 1/2 pill now, and another 1/2 tomorrow."

He took the 1/2 pill and is snoring already!!!  Me? Wide awake for the duration of the day, I'm sure!

But the really great thing - he discussed it first.  And I honestly hate the idea of him self-medicating, yet I know what it's like to go through drug changes.

My youngest son has seizures.  At age 26, when he has one now, he ends up in the hospital.  This last time, when the seizure knocked him out and he passed out, he went down on his knees and broke a kneecap.  When he was 16 years old, he was in the hospital for SIX weeks as they brought him down off of his childhood meds and converted him to dilantin.  A horrible process.

My oldest son, age 32, has had asthma his entire life and that poor guy has tried every asthma medication in the world and I have sat with him time and time and time again when he could not get oxygen into his system.....because some drug they tried out jsut did not work.

And now - a diabetic husband who they want to take off atenolol because it processes through the kidneys.  Remember, when his kidneys shut dowon in the hospital, they took him off this same drug cold-turkey.  No wonder his heart rate was at 130 for 4 days in a row!  But did that doctor even mention to us that they had stopped this drug?

And why would his cardiologist ever even think that she could stop this drug?  The man has had high blood pressure forever.  Are they wanting him dead?  Or are they just wanting us to go through more grief here at home?

So, yes, while it is against my better judgement for him to go back on this drug, I completely understand his thinking.  What's 3 more weeks?  Go back on it and have one last (hopefully) pleasant vacation and then deal with everything when we get home.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Moving day is coming.....but no time soon.

Tom’s Wife wrote:  Oh gosh! this is probably the absolute wrong thing to say but does the VA help pay for someone to come in and help you? I know he would hate it but too bad if he is going to do stupid stuff like this? he needs someone who doesn't love him so much to watch over him hope that doesn't sound mean but its meant to sound supportive -- of you!

Sorry, but hubby is not a veteran.  We can get homecare through his insurance, but only when it is to keep him out of the hospital.  Everything else is self-pay.

Sar wrote:
OMG, that is the limit!!!! I think if I receive that call, I would have dialed 911 as I ran toward him. I would not have asked him if he wanted to go to RT. He would be going. No questions asked. I certainly am not trained or equiped to deal with this situation. Let the pros do it. By doing something like this, he would have waived his rights to call the shots. You should not have to clean up after him like this.

Well, Sar, our agreement is that we call hospice, not the hospital!  In the meantime, I do the work.  Just another reason I am wanting to move out of this place and get closer to my family as I can get breaks from him that way

Newtothis said: DW, What an awful day. Being a mom I can deal with a kid's vomit and what can come out of the other end, but another adult? For some reason that is completely different for me. How in the world did your's drink Caladrl? I get they are both pink but come on. One bottle is round and the other like a triangle. Just how much did he drink before he realized? A couple of months ago when my DH was given pain pills (Lortabs) I took a blue sharpie and marked the front of the bottle and the lid so my far-sighted DH wouldn't grab the wrong bottle and think it was his Metformin. The bottles are the exact same size and the pills are similar. I could see him taking the wrong pill in the morning and passing out at work. When he saw what I had done he laughed and told me, "Thank you." I pray tomorrow is a better day. S

I could never even deal with my own kid’s vomit!  I would gag and snort and vomit myself while cleaning it up. It was just horrible.  I think hubby was so sick he was just grabbing for anything.  He was looking for pink, not even thinking shape or size.  I think that’s a pretty common thing diabetics do when ill – not think.  He said he had taken a couple of gulps.  Hubby has had both corneas transplanted and wears hard lense over soft lenses to see.  So when he takes out his contacts, he couldn’t even see a blue marker on a bottle – he is completely blind.  So I guess I’m not surprised about him grabbing something pink. 

He is much better today.  I think it just scared the crap out of him.  He has thanked me over and over and I simply reply by telling him that the next time, he WILL call someone else to come take care of him.  Of course, we both know I will do it, but it sure feels good to tell him otherwise!

We have been talking about what to do with his anemia.  He has agreed to talk to a realtor.  So now, I need to get the house in good enough shape to have a realtor come by.  I’ve got a friend who’s hubby works in a box factory and I’m trying to get ahold of her to get some boxes to start packing things into.  I’m hoping to get our realtor friend over here within a week.  If nothing else, we will get a feeling for the market.  In the meantime, we have to sit tight and wait for his corporation to offer a retirement package.  They usually do it once a year, but we have no idea if/when it might be this year.  Things could happen almost overnight…..or it could take a couple of years.  But he has agreed we need to move into a one level house.  He’s having trouble getting his laundry downstairs.  I told him I’d find him a much smaller laundry basket and we’ll just do it more often. 

Tomorrow, I get the “thrill” of cleaning out his closet!  LOLOL!!!  The first of many steps to downsizing in order to get us moved.  I can’t wait! (said with tongue in cheek….if you could only see inside his closet!!!)


Monday, April 25, 2011

Leaving and staying

an email from a reader who made the choice to leave:

Ya know...I have been reading your columns for quite some time.  I have been married for 23 years to a non compliant diabetic. I have supported him and tried to get him on the right track for years.  It seems to be a dominos effect.  He is continually tired, crabby and I have too much to offer in life to stick with him any longer.  I am happy to say, I have asked for a divorce 2 weeks ago and haven't been happier.  I am in the process of getting my own place.  He is devastated and wants another chance. Too late for me...he has had many chances for 23 years.  I have not been happier about my decision.  Yes, I have 3 teenage children and altho they are not surpised, one is very angry at me.  I do realize it is a phase and it too will pass.  My happiness means more to me than living in misery and being mentally exhausted.  I was under the name Susie for awhile when posting. That is my update!! Happiness is everything is my motto!!! 

You know, I truly hate it when a marriage ends for any reason. But I completely admire this gal for sticking it out for 23 years with a non-compliant diabetic.  She emailed me subsquently and said the he begged her to stay, started counseling and quit.  If I had even one child at home, I probably wouldn't be here as I would never subject them to the rages of a diabetic low or high.  

Another reader that is staying wrote this:

My DH has coronary disease (had open heart surgery), hep C,fibromyalgiasleep apnea, hepatic encephalopathy (dementia), joint damage, leaky bowel syndrome with chronic inflammation, respiratory allergies, and complete denial of his diabetic needs. Last fall he was diagnosed with cirrhosis and told he shouldn't take anything for pain if he can help it, that he probably isn't a safe candidate for the hip replacement and rotator cuff surgery he needs, and that he is a poor risk for a liver transplant which he will likely need in 1-2 years.  It's not uncommon for him to range from 55 to 486 in a day. His dr is happy if he can just stay in the high 100s. But of course that won't happen when he cannot (will not?) eat sanely or push himself to exercise even a little. Yet I can't really blame him given how much pain he lives with.
It is so hard to know he is dying slowly and there's really nothing I can do except take the obvious steps in an acute situation like a Low, and (as you do) save myself. Despite the nasty mood swings and other unpleasantries of his illness, the guy adores me and I still love him - we will celebrate 28 years of marriage next month. He has been a faithful husband but for his love affair with Death. She keeps trying to steal him from me, and he won't stop flirting with her. One day she will win.
 It's hard not to sound like a sad country song sometimes! Lol - lately I've been humming a lyric that says: " I can't love you any more." I can love him always, but no more than I do or can, and eventually I'll be loving a memory of him. In some ways it is already like that, because his illnesses have changed him so much.  No amount of my love can fill the emptiness and pain he lives with. Accepting that, and letting go of my craving need to fight for him, is the biggest challenge I've ever faced.
Thanks so much for listening. I'm not in a cheery place often these days so your posts really help me. Maybe one day I will be able to rise above the sadness as you do. 

I remembered this writer as someone who used to email me awhile back. I was so happy to hear from her again, but agast at the list of complications her hubby has.  But she has one single strong statement in the middle of this.....

"it is so hard to know that he is dying slowly and there's really nothing I can do except takethe obvious steps in an acute situation like a low...."


"his love affair with Death. Shekeeps trying to steal him from me, and he won't stop flirting with her.  One day she will win."

I know this is the common bond that we all share.  We don't say it, but we know it.  She is an elloquent writer and should blog, but I also know how hard it is to write about this life on a daily/weekly basis.  It is not easy.  And I think it may be the very reason we make the choice to leave, or to stay.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just what is the "final straw?"

I'm sitting here wondering about this.  What is the "final straw"? When is too much enough?  How do you know when the moment has arrived that you just can't take it another moment?

I am truly so exhausted, tired, and completely, utterly worn out from being his caregiver.  Not just since January of this year when he had the spinal fusion surgeries.....this started in February 2009 when we first thought he might have had a heart attack.  I have been his caregiver ever since.

Today, I got a bit of a break.  I thought he was upstairs sleeping. I was downstairs watching a movie.  He called me on his cell phone and said he was really sick.  I quickly ran up the stairs.  He had been feeling like he was going to vomit and reached inside the medicine cabinet for what he thought was a bottle of pepto bismol (pink) and instead, mistakenly grabbed the bottle of caladryl lotion (pink) and gulped it down.

I called poison control.  It says to do that on the bottle.  I keep the lotion as it's the only thing that works on me when I get poison ivy.  So poison control says they don't think that he took enough to harm himself.  Then she asked me if he was a basically healthy person and when I got done with the list of all his problems and all his meds......she was singing her own tune!  She wanted him to eat and then vomit.

Which he has done non stop for the last hour and a half.

So much so that the toilet has plugged up and I've had to get him a bucket to vomit in, then take it down the hall to the other bathroom to dump.

I just want to give up.  Really, truly, completely, totally.  I want to run away as fast and as far as I can go.

Now, remember, his cardiologist (the new doc who hadn't seen him before) wants him to taper his atenolol.  He was supposed to cut it in half for 5 days and then go off. So I asked him about that.  He cut it in half Wed, Thurs and Fri nights, then nothing last night.  Could he be having atenolol withdrawal symptoms?

His fever is up to 101.3 - not a symptom of atenol withdrawal.  His BP is up to 147/83.  It's usually 110/70. His heart rate is 115 and it's usually 70.  He is vomiting. Rapid breating.  Miserable as a dog.

I asked him if he wants to go to the ER.  No
I asked if he wants to call his doctor  No

He hasn't had a thing to eat since 10 am this morning except for a few crackers this evening.  His glucose is 220, but he hasn't taken his evening insulin.

Not a whole lot I can do.  Except just keep breathing myself - one minute to the next.

Sandy, in answer to your comment from yesterday.  Hubby has never once adjusted his insulin for what he eats.  He takes 14 U in the morning (at whatever time he decides to take it) and another 12 U at night (again - whenever).  It's the Humulin R-U500 concentrated, and before surgery it was 32 in the am and 20 at night.  He has never adjusted for anything.  That's why I consider him to be non-compliant.  He refuses to learn about adjusting it.

DW - having another rough day on this roller coaster ride we call "life".