Friday, February 17, 2012

Diabetic percentages - food for thought for me

John sent me a link and said,
Supports your blog, maybe doctors just dont want to tell diabetics how bad things will become. 

This really made me think about a few things going on with hubby.

He has been diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, BUT.....

1.  He is insulin dependent.  His pancreas no longer creates any insulin at all.  He takes Humulin R U500 which is insulin that is 5 times more concentrated than regular insulin.  He was in his early thirties when he was diagnosed.  But he did not even start pills until he was 45 years old.

2.  He does have a family history of diabetes with his father, grand-father and gr-grand-father all having/had diabetes

3.  It would appear that long-term complications are not sorted between type of diabetes.  He has cardio/micro/macro/vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, foot problems, hypertension.  He has had a heart attack, triple bypass and TMR.  His triglycerides are over 1450.

He has microalbuminuria and proteinuria.  Kidney function has been as low as 19, it is 30 at the last lab. He has been diagnosed at stage 3-4 kidney disease.

He is not blind, but he has cataracts, has had cornea transplants, has episodes of migraine headaches where he will go blind until he rests.

He has no feeling in his fingers or feet.  He cannot grasp a pen or pencil, cannot cut meat.  Horrible bouts of pain in different areas.  Has had 3 carpel tunnel surgeries in the last 10 years.  Obvious gastrointestinal disfunction.  ED for at least the last 3 years.  Because he has no feeling in his feet, he will not hesitate to walk around barefoot.

takes 4 different prescriptions to control his HBP.  He has no dental problems - never even had a filling.

So he crosses the line between a type 1 and a type 2 diabetic.  Which is interesting because that is exactly what his doctors have been saying.  The kidney guy even said once that his kidney failure is not related to his diabetes - which I do not see at all, they almost have to go hand in hand.  But the lab work indicates differently at times.  Lately, that doc has stopped saying they are not related, but about 7 years ago he made that comment.

Regardless of how my hubby presents, this is a good article.  Thanks for sharing it, John.  Whether the person is type 1 or type 2, this is probably a good indication of the direction they are headed with complications.

What we all need to keep in mind is that the medical profession is required/mandated to paint the rosiest picture possible.  They are no longer allowed to tell you that your foot might need to be amputated at some point.  They can only say positive things to you.  I have witnessed that over and over until I finally told hubby's GP that we all needed to talk a little more realistically.  And with that permission coming from hubby, he has started doing so.  Instead of saying "you are having stomach issues", he now says, "your stomach issues are probably a result of the high glucose attacking the nerves in your stomach and you will continue to have this problem".  So at least we have gotten to that arrangement.

I understand the requirements for doctors.  Insurance companies will loose patients if the docs are gloom and doom.  But if I'm sick, I want my own doc to be straight forward and to the point.  Whenever I think she is beating around the bush, I will say to her, "I know you can't tell me directly, but what do you think my chances are of....." and she gets my message and that's when the honest talk begins.  Otherwise, I get the standard eat healthy, exercise, go to PT" line.  So we have both learned that we have to be very specific and direct about the questions we ask and when they start to beat around the bush, we have to ask very, very pointed questions.  With most of hubby's physicians, we now have very honest relationships.  They know he is in denial.  They know he is depressed.  They know he is non-compliant. The problem is that even though they leave phone messages, send him emails, he does not respond to them unless he develops an intolerable issue.

Again, great article.  But again, the person who is diabetic can only help themselves.  Nondiabetics can provide support, healthy meals, do all the right thing.  It's up to the diabetic to follow suit.


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