Saturday, January 28, 2012

And a letter from Paula to John

I am having a hard time keeping up with emails this week!!!  But I think each one is so important that they deserve their own blog.  Here's what Paula wrote:

Dear DW,
I'm at work and just kind of waiting for an assignment and came across your blog.  I don't know how these blogs work, but I'd love to comment briefly on the letter from John.
My husband has been diabetic for 50 years (he's 73 now) and we've been married for 41 years.  We've successfully raised two kids, meaning they are happy, healthy, well educated and employed.  Kind of a broad definition of "successful" but, I think if you asked them, they would say they are very close to their Dad. 
It's such a roller coaster being married to a diabetic.  The short answer is make sure you have a good family therapist on board.  That's what kept us going through all the ups and downs.  At one point, my husband was behaving really aggressively towards me and I insisted on a mental health exam and it turned out he was suffering from three different types of depression.
My best friend at this stage of the game is the glucagon kit.  I keep two on hand at all times, carry one in my purse if we are out and about.  My husband has lost two toes on his right foot and one toe on his left foot.  He's suffered two heart attacks, has five stents, four in the heart area and one in his left artery.  He had an arterial replacement on his right leg in 2005. 
I can only say that, when we married in 1971, being a diabetic was something "special."  Now it's not.  It's part of our culture and health care.  I treasure this "quiet" time starting in 2012 when we aren't battling blockages, necrotic toes, just normal aging stuff.  This is the bonus time when you can just kind of be two folks doing day to day stuff.  But, don't be shy about calling 911 when you need help and keep your glucagon kit on hand. 
Blessings to you and your family,

Now, while this is to John, I'm going to respond with a huge WOW!!!  I do not think I have ever met anyone who has had diabetes for 50 years.  That gives me some degree of hope.  He must be relatively compliant?  I don't see how he could have survived this long being completely non-compliant like my husband and John's wife is.

I agree with the part about a good family therapist.  It just can take quite some time to find a "good" one.  I have given up on trying to find a good one that understands diabetes.  I think that's too much to expect.

And while your best friend is the glucagon kit, I'm still refusing to carry one.  He can.  But that's where I do disagree with so many spouses.  I know it's what the professionals tell you to do. But this is not my disease, it's his.  It is not my job to take care of him.....when he does not take care of himself.  Now be sure to read that last sentence a hundred times!  LOL!!!  If my husband took care of himself, if he counted his carbs, laid off the sugar, exercised....I'd be the first person in line to do whatever I can to help him out.  But he doesn't.  So why should I carry anything in my purse (if I carried a purse which I don't) to assist him?  My cell is always in my pocket and I can call 911 from anywhere (I'm not the least bit shy about that!)  :o)

Your husband is very lucky to have you.  Everyone needs a wife like you.  But I'm a person who needs a hubby who is complaint, who follows the rules, who takes care of himself...and I didn't happen to get that lucky straw!  And perhaps therein is the difference.....if your hubby is non-compliant and has been for the last 50 years, I'd like to know his secret to staying alive!!!

I'm certain John will read this and if he replies, I'll post it in the comments below.  You have no idea how excited I am to know that someone has had diabetes for 50 years!  Your husband must be 1 in a million!!!


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