Well, I'm a diabetic, not with nearly the problems your husband has - yet. Although I don't delude myself and say I'm normal as long as I take meds, I know the disease will progress, just hopefully more slowly. About his hunger, let me just say that many of us diabetics live in a "prison of hunger". It doesn't matter what he eats, his insulin by definition does not get used by his body effectively. So there he is, his blood awash in unusable insulin and sugar that will not go into the cells, so he might as well be eating cardboard. That is why he is so hungry. The thing is, and I'm sure you know this and he knows this too, is that weed makes you hungry. So he is just compounding the problem by using it. Maybe he is just in such a state that he would just rather check out mentally than anything else. It is a disease of hopelessness, since there really is no cure, just decline, no matter what the diabetic does. So I can imagine that nobody who has been through it as a caregiver ever on What's next?Thanks for writing. Yes, I understand the mechanics of insulin and the whys of his hunger. Yes, I know the weed is giving him the munchies and making him hungry. It doesn't make it right. It doesn't make it easy to live with.
In some ways, I am lucky. He's been around way longer than I ever anticipated. :) In other ways, being a first hand witness to the slow decline this disease causes in the body is horrifying. The good thing is that it's making me want to be healthier!
My sis and I started a chair yoga class today. Boy! Did I feel it! I realized just how out of shape I am. You can walk every day and still not use the same muscles you use in yoga. We also did some of the machines at the gym. I'll probably be dead tomorrow. Should I just say "goodbye" now? ha ha!
So, I went to the grocery last Wednesday to stock up for Thanksgiving weekend. On the spur of the moment, I bought a large bag of plain potato chips and a large bag of BBQ chips. I thought with all the leftover turkey and ham - it would be good to have some chips to go with sandwiches. I went to look for them tonight and they are both gone. I asked him and yes, he had eaten them! ALL OF THEM!!!
There is no budgeting food in his mind. No eating in moderation. No "save it for tomorrow" - that's for sure. But the bigger problem is that when I look for chips to go with my sandwich.....there's nothing to be found. And that just pisses me off!
Do I actually have to hide the potato chips? LOL! I do have some empty storage bins in the garage. Perhaps they will have to go in there for now!
I have taken every ounce of sugar and sweet out of the house. I try to keep eggs in the refrigerator in case I need them for baking - that has become nearly impossible! (Remember the day he fixed 6 eggs for breakfast?)
I am going to start back in on Weight Watchers. I will be buying my own food, fixing my own meals. I am praying that he keeps his hands off of the WW items.....but I have a feeling that's not going to happen. It's funny because WW is rolling out a new plan next week and from what I've read, there will be more zero/free points food items. What amazes me is that no one believes that every item you put in your mouth has calories. Even if it's "free" - if you consume 3000 calories a day in "free" foods - you will gain weight!
I'm living with a guy who thinks everything is "free" food! And that he can eat an entire bag of potato chips in one setting. Or that he can continue to eat 3-4 drumsticks (ice cream) every single day. So I'm done.
But let's rethink this for a moment. He has the munchies. He is hungry all the time. Yet his stomach is not digesting the food. The doctor gave him some anti-nausea pills which are keeping him from vomiting. But the food is still sitting in his stomach undigested. This is called gastroparesis.
What are the complications?
Gastroparesis can make diabetes worse by making it more difficult to manage blood glucose. When food that has been delayed in the stomach finally enters the small intestine and is absorbed, blood glucose levels rise.
If food stays too long in the stomach, it can cause problems like bacterial overgrowth because the food has fermented. Also, the food can harden into solid masses called bezoars that may cause nausea, vomiting, and obstruction in the stomach. Bezoars can be dangerous if they block the passage of food into the small intestine.
Well isn't that great news??? His glucose is going to get even more out of control. And the bezoars? Heaven help him!
How to fix it?
And the chances of that happening? Ok, we already know that's not going to happen.
For me, it's an ongoing education to try to stay one step ahead of his symptoms, what's causing them, whether there's anything I can do to help him and if I should mention it to him. But it doesn't consume my life. An hour or 2 of research a week. The rest of my days are spend living what I hope is a fairly normal life. And now adding in the gym and a weight watchers diet with meal planning - I might just be so busy I forget all about his diabetes. Until I hear him being sick.
To all the caregivers out there, whether it is diabetes of something else, my heart really does go out to you. I truly know what you are going through. I know there are tears and I know there can be great moments of joy with the one you love. There are moments when you want to walk away and times when you feel guilty for having those very thoughts. Periods of great anxiety and the same for being annoyed at the disease. It's not easy. Just take it one day at a time and when you can't do that, just take it one moment at a time. Do things for yourself. Take breaks. Read a book, watch a movie, go for a walk, eat your own ice cream while sitting in the car at the park (yep, I've done that a couple of times!) And pray. Ask the Lord to bless you. Don't wait for someone else to pray for you. Just pray for yourself. It does help!
Here's hoping that as your year winds to an end that there is peace in your life, joy in your heart and faith in yourself!
And to calvinnme, I will pray that your diabetes never gets as bad as what we're living with!