Full Version: wife of diabetic with questions

From: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#1]
 26 Mar 2009
To: ALL

Hello. I too have just found this site and am looking for support. My husband has type 1 and is a brittle diabetic. He has not been good as of lately; seems all he does is sleep and has not been interested in eating. I have tried it all ; bitch moan and complain and nothing is working. In the later stages of diabetes is this common to sleep alot? Is depression a major factor? (which he takes pills for). Does anyone else know someone like this? HELP!! :'-( His blood sugars are out of control as well as his A1C levels...would more protien in his diet help?

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From: Sue (SUEFIRST50) [#2]
 26 Mar 2009
To: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#1] 27 Mar 2009

I can somewhat relate to what you are saying. My husband and I are both type 2 diabetics. He is not depressed but he seems to take a lot of naps when he is home. His job is not that demanding so he isn't tired from work. He had a physical recently and all his blood work was good except for his sugar being high. He takes oral meds and watches what he eats to some extent but his eating isn't as good as I'd like it to be. He has lost weight over the last two years and is not overweight. I really don't know why he sleeps so much. I guess it could be related to his sugar being too high.

We can tell our husbands what to eat and what to do but it is still ultimately up to them what they put into their bodies and how they want to take care of themselves.

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From: Mark_in_MO [#3]
 27 Mar 2009
To: ALL

Sue & Tiny,

You might want to ask your Primary Care Physician to review your husband's symptoms for consideration if they might have sleep apnea. Apnea is most frequently found in males, overweight, smokers, snorers, and according to a recent study is more common in diabetics.

When you have sleep apnea, you never get past the intital stages of sleep, thus you never get any real rest - no REM, no dreams, no real sleep that makes you feel rested when you wake up. In fact, with sleep apnea you will sleep a lot, frequently a lot of short naps during the day and a long un-restful period at night. Apnea leaves you feeling tired all the time which can cause depression or reinforce existing depression.

Apnea can be managed with the use of a CPAP (constant positive air pressure) machine. This may not be your spouse's issue but I thought you might want to consider discussing with a doctor. Good luck!

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From: Sue (SUEFIRST50) [#4]
 27 Mar 2009
To: Mark_in_MO [#3] 27 Mar 2009

For years I've been trying to convince my husband to be tested for sleep apnea but he won't do it. He is very stubborn about many things but mostly I think he won't do this because if he has sleep apnea he won't want to wear the mask. He has pretty much said as much. I've thought of going behind his back and talking to the doctor about this but I think he should make that decision on his own.

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From: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#5]
 27 Mar 2009
To: ALL

Thanks Mark and Sue. I am sure he has apnea but he is also one of those people who can't stand things on his face. He also is a vietnam vet so I know the nightmares wake him too. He was given sleep aides,tried them once and woke up so low it scares him to take those any more. I am just worried because he is a very small man has never been overweight and when he sleeps for days he doesn't eat much. I guess I have to take care of myself and quit worrying about what he does. Thanks for hearing my venting!! Truly gets frustrating. >.<

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From: Diabetes_Doc [#6]
 27 Mar 2009
To: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#5] 27 Mar 2009

Another thought: make sure that his doc has checked him for hypothyroidism - see
http://www.diabetesmonitor.com/b210.htm

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From: Sue (SUEFIRST50) [#7]
 27 Mar 2009
To: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#5] 27 Mar 2009

Maybe if your husband got some exercise it would give him more of an appetite. Regular long walks at a good pace is a good thing to do and the fresh air might wake him. Also maybe some vitamins would help give him more energy. He seems to have the opposite problem of diabetics since most of us feel hungry and want to eat rather than not having an appetite.

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From: Mark_in_MO [#8]
 27 Mar 2009
To: Sue (SUEFIRST50) [#4] 27 Mar 2009

Sue,

There is an alternative to the mask.. You can use "nasal pillows" which are basically small silicone cushions that fit against the nose. The hose that attaches to the nasal pillows then goes over the head with a headband to hold it in place. I use this option because I have a beard and the mask does not fit snugly enough to seal properly, thus the mask does not work right for me - cannot get proper pressure.

Just an option to consider.

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From: Sue (SUEFIRST50) [#9]
 27 Mar 2009
To: Mark_in_MO [#8] 28 Mar 2009

That option certainly sounds reasonable but when you deal with a person who isn't very reasonable and is stubborn just be be stubborn sometimes I don't think how the CPAP machine is used is going to make any difference but I will mention it to him.
Thanks.

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From: Jan (JANICE) [#10]
 28 Mar 2009
To: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#5] 28 Mar 2009

Tiny:

You are correct - the only person you can take care of is you.

It sounds like you have tired to help him and he doesn't want help. I am sure that is very upsetting but we can only control ourselves. There is no point in you getting sick over his problems.

He needs therapy as much as medical help but he if refuses to go and talk to someone there is not much more you can do.

I can relate to what you are going through as I had some past husband's who had additctions and you can't cure them.

Take care of yourself.

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From: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#11]
 28 Mar 2009
To: Jan (JANICE) [#10] 29 Mar 2009

Thanks Jan,
I know logically that that is what I need to do, To take care of myself is the best thing I can do for the relationship. It is his choice as to how he takes care of himself but it is so hard at times not knowing if I will wake up and find him dead on the couch!! I have been doing things for so long by myself that I have to tell myself not to feel guilty. I am a "care give" in every since of the word to the point of giving all myself and I know that that is not healthy. I am planning a trip with grandkids in the summer and going to make myself enjoy me!! Thanks for the support; we sometimes fall backwards and need a kick to push us forward again.

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From: Jan (JANICE) [#12]
 29 Mar 2009
To: tiny (TJIDAHO2009) [#11] 29 Mar 2009

Tiny:

You might want to see if you have CODA meetings in your area, co-dependent annoymous.

It is a 12 step program aimed at people who always put others before themselves and helps you to understand why you do it and break the habit.

If you don't have meetings you can go online and order books about it.

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From: Dawna [#13]
 3 Apr 2009
To: ALL

I am so glad I found this site.

My husband was dx 8 years ago with type ll.

I as the wife do all his meals, including packing his lunch. I often think he is sneaking sweets at work. He works in a warehouse. 8 hour day and 1 hour commute each way.

After a year I finally got him to do his labs. His A1c is 9.1. We got the paper in the mail today. He has never been that high before. The doctor's office called and wants to see him and change the meds, but he says because of the treat of layoff's he can not take time off these next few weeks.

We have Kaiser. but need real help and ideas. They offer classes, but we have 5 children and I can't make the classes. When I have called and ask questions they read from a script which never answers my question other than to tell me more fiber, lose weight ect.

I just learned from this site, some one wrote, that there is an actual recommended amount of carbs per meal, per day. I always wondered.

My husband's job is pretty demanding. I keep telling him he need 6 small meals a day, but he says he can't do that at work.

Can anyone tell me a sample lunch(s) that a guy would want to eat and the portions?

My husband is on Glipizide among other things. I keep telling him the bottle says to take 15 minutes before meals. He takes this and the other meds with the meal or after. How important is it he takes it 15 minutes before?

I feel so overwhelmed.

Thanks.

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From: Jan (JANICE) [#14]
 4 Apr 2009
To: ALL

Dawana:

Sorry, you are not going to like what I am about to say - this is his problem, his responsiblity - not yours. You can not do this for him and you are going to make yourself crazy for trying.

He can get all kinds of bars, like Fiber One, South Beach Diet, etc to eat as inbetween meals.

He has to want to take control of this and if he won't even take his meds correctly I don't know what you or anyone else can do.

I have seen first hand the results of diabetics not taking care of themselves as I am a volunteer EMT. I went a call a few years ago to a summer camp where a 46 year old man had a fatal heart attack in the middle of the night and his mother found him in the morning. he was too far gone to help and the poor woman kept crying over and over again that he was a diabetic who would not take his meds or eat the right foods. So yes, your husband is a going to have a heart attack or a stroke if he doesn't start doing the right things. Is that what he wants for you and his 5 children?

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From: toneylee in VA (TONEYLEE) [#15]
 4 Apr 2009
To: Dawna [#13] 4 Apr 2009

Dawna: Jan is right, difficult as that may be. Diabetes is such a complicated disease and varies so much among individuals that the person has to decide to take control of his or her health. And it's not just diet. Things like exercise, stress, illnesses, sleep, and even how much water you get can affect blood glucose levels.

And with foods, it's not just controlling carbohydrates and sugar, it also includes the kinds of carbs. Avoiding simple carbs (like white bread, white noodles, processed foods) and opting for whole grains when possible, for example, is important. Balancing proteins and fats with carbs matters. Learning how many meals per day are best for your situation is necessary. Nobody can learn all this stuff overnight. You have to take it step by step and try for one small change at a time.

Since you are the cook, maybe you would be interested in this discussion of the glycemic index (kinds of carbs and how they raise BGs) from David Mendosa: http://www.mendosa.com/gidigest.htm.

David's site is huge, so look around and see what else interests you, too.

Learning some low glycemic index foods is a start, though. Click the links in the above article about "free foods" and the "glycemic index lists" to learn more. Don't be upset if you don't understand it all the first read through or if nothing makes sense at first. Just try for ideas for one change or a couple new foods to try cooking or serving. And remember: We all should be eating in this healthy way, not just people with diabetes. Even your kids will benefit from nutritional changes that mean eating whole grains, lean meats and fish, and limiting processed foods, sugars, and, well, "white foods".

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From: Dawna [#16]
 4 Apr 2009
To: ALL

Hi,

Thanks you both for replying.

I will check out the index. I am familiar with it. About 5 years ago I looked into the glycemic stuff, but them I got busy with the kids stuff and I did not keep up with it.

Yes, it is true, this is his responsibility. I talked to him this morning about sneaking sweets at work (candy machine) and he said he has not in many months. He knows his biggest problem in portion control at dinner. He is starving by the time he gets home from work and he just plain likes food.

I told him I read on hear someone else mentioned that the metformin seems to loose effect and has to be upped to a higher dose. He said he believes that.

He also has soda at lunch at work and again at dinner. I got him to drink diet soda for a few months, but he did not like. He already drinks a ton of water, probably due to his diabetes not being under control. I don't know what else he can drink other than juice. That will be a good thing to look up on the index.

He said he would start testing his blood again.

He eats a peanut butter and jelly sand. and a glass of milk for breakfast. I buy the refrig peanut butter and he eats regular jelly,but it is on 100% whole wheat. These are the trade offs I made to get him to eat the whole wheat bread and the good peanut butter. This is at 7:00am and he can not eat again till 12:30P. He eats the lunch I pack and has his banana at 4:00p. He gets through the door at 7:20pm. Some mornings I don't make his lunch and he has a sand. from Togo's or Subway.

I stopped nagging and trying to tell him how to do this after the first year- 8 years ago. I do put his pills in a 7 day pill box once a week.

Exercise would be great, and since the weather has been nice he is taking off on Sat. and doing stuff with the kids. It is not great, but at least it is something.

Tnaks again.

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From: Jan (JANICE) [#17]
 5 Apr 2009
To: Dawna [#16] 5 Apr 2009

Dawa:

The long periods of time without eating is a major problem. If you bought some Fiber One bars or South Beach diet bars, both have good stuff in them, and gave them to him would he eat those mid morning?

Eating something every 3 hours is so important for us. It helps to keep the blood sugar levels in control.

I read someplace that one can or bottle of soda has something like 16 teaspoons of sugar. You can't control what he eats outside the house but if you do all the shopping then at least you can control what's in the house.

When I'm on an ambulance run and it's lunch or dinner time we always stop at a Subway and I have the 6 inch whole wheat and now they have a 9 grain whole bread, with 3 slices of turkey and lots of veggies.

I know I was a little rough on you in my last post but I do not want you to feel badly if he gets worse cause it is not your fault if he doesn't do what he should for himself. As mother's and wife's we often fall into the caretaker roles and think we have to make everyone ok.

Keep posting, we are here for you too.

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From: Dawna [#18]
 5 Apr 2009
To: Jan (JANICE) [#17] 5 Apr 2009

Hi Jan,

I did not think you were rough on me at all.

I will talk to him about the bars. I was also thinking of making him some sort of muffin for every other day. Something high in fiber, but tasted good.

Thanks for writing again.

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From: Geri in Co:Victoza(3-10) (GERI) [#19]
 5 Apr 2009
To: Dawna [#16] 5 Apr 2009

I just wanted to suggest seeing if your husband will eat an apple on his way home from work to help curb some of his dinner appetite. I know if I don't eat my snacks I too get too hungry and eat more than I should. Between Jan's suggestion of some fiber bars and maybe an apple he may be able to not eat as much at dinner. Adding some peanut butter would be the best thing to do but driving and eating an apple/peanut butter(the protein will help prevent his numbers from spiking too high) might be a bit hard to do so just an apple on the way home.

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From: Dawna [#20]
 5 Apr 2009
To: ALL

Hello,

That is a good idea. I will let him know.

I keep running into the other room and telling him everything everyone has said :- }

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