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HELP! need advice about my father and at a loss

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by johnross87, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. johnross87

    johnross87 · Newbie

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    My father was diagnosed with Type 2 about 2 years ago now. Unfortunately I do not live anywhere near home anymore and only get to come back once or twice a year. However this time after coming home, I spoke to my father and he told me that he has had some dramatic weight loss and he knows thats this only happens when something is wrong. I asked if he had gone to see the doctors about it and he told me 'Ignorance is bliss'. He then continued to tell me that at the age of 50....50!, it was a good run and if he passes away due to anything, then it's ok.....

    I spoke to my mother about it and she told me he hasn't been taking his medication for some time now. He continues to eat all the cakes, sweets and whatever else he really shouldn't be on a daily basis. My mother, bless her, is a timid soul and already lost one husband in her life so she finds it hard to face him and just allows it to happen. None of my family are helpful at all either and just give him a hard time or completely ignore it and just let him be. It seems like I'm the only one that cares!

    I'm really worried for him. Clearly he is very scared about it all.... but I also think he is depressed. He speaks about death as though its just a normal thing. He just doesn't want to do anything now, he works, comes home and eats **** and passes out. He looks like death, sunken face and a tired body. He doesn't check is Sugar levels at all either. I'm totally at a loss on what to do. I don't know how to help him, to convince him. I'm just reaching out to anyone who may have gone through this with someone and has advice???? The last thing i want is a phone call saying the worst. I was thinking possibly trying to call a GP and getting a doctor to come to the house? Or even buying him the glucose machine to check his sugar levels? ahhhh I don't know :( help.
     
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  2. SkinnyAussie2

    SkinnyAussie2 · Member

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    @johnross87

    That’s a tough situation. If you think he will agree to testing then buying a testing meter and testing strips might be a good starting point. You’ll find information on this site about when to test.

    At least that way you can get an idea about what his BSLs are and whether his diabetes is the problem or something else.

    Best wishes
     
  3. JAT1

    JAT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hopefully your father is more scared than depressed. Then he may do something about it. He has to be the one to want to change. Your mother could remove all sweets, potatoes and grains from the house, but if he just goes and buys them himself, it's not much use. She could make all sorts of delicious, tempting low-carb meals but if he won't change his eating habits, it won't work either. You need help too because dealing with someone on the road to self-destruction is worse and worse the more you love them.
     
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  4. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi @johnross87 ,

    I would be inclined to get a doctor involved.
    If your father is running high BGs? This could affect his mood & mental wellbeing causing a cycle on the med omition & diatary choice..
    What meds was your father prescribed?

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Fenn

    Fenn Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, this is tough, I dont want to say this but my dad died (67) from diabetes way before I was diagnosed, I listened to him when he told me he was fine etc, he still ate cakes and drank alcohol, I knew no better and dearly wished I had done what you are doing now because maybe you will find the answer, well done you for reaching out.

    I am also a father and have been thinking about putting myself in his position, what would affect me? All ive got is, take him for a coffee, just the two of you and explain to him how you feel and how worried you are, how devastating it would be to lose him, you can teach yourself all about diabetes and any methods to help him control it here but I see no point going down that road until you have convinced him to want to.

    My only motivation for controlling my diabetes was my children, I was given 5 years at 40 years old and couldnt face leaving young children and a lovely wife to face life without my protection (for what its worth) so that would be my route for you to try.

    If he is not worried about dieing, you have to try a different angle.

    You could try showing him the nasty complications etc, diabetes related stuff, really isnt a very nice exit but smokers still smoke when they see the cigarette packets so dont think you can threaten people in denial with the thing they are denying.

    Im sorry if im talking rubbish, I hope you find a way, all the best.
     
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  6. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @johnross87, I feel for you, particularly as others in the family appears to be either too scared or complacent about your father's health to do anything.
    From my own experiences but not as professional advice or opinion: and appreciating that I reside in Australia so am unaware of all the UK terms and laws which may be involved. Some thoughts.
    1) You say your father is still working.
    Does he drive to work and /or use vehicles, machinery of ant sort at work? If so:
    The question you might legitimately put to his GP is whether your father is safe to drive or operate machinery?

    The reasons for doing this could be, not that he is at risk of low blood sugars, but that his eyesight might be affected by high BSLs and in general if he is losing weight and appears sad or depressed (no one is expecting you to diagnose this, just have a concern) then could this affect his ability to drive safely.
    As much as this above might appear to be an 'excuse' to bring in the GP (which could be a criticism levelled at you for such action by family members) all of us have a legal responsibility to report driving safety concerns because there is not only a possible risk to your father but also to others on the road.
    2) You fear that he might be depressed (and as a male sufferer of depression I know that depression can appear also as displays of frustration and anger)- again none of us untrained and unregistered can diagnose this but it does raise the question: Is your father depressed to the point where he is no longer able to make the best decisions for his own well-being? Only a doctor well versed in assessing your father can work out whether your father has requisite decision-making capacity - that is, the ability to understand fully the consequences of not taking his medication, of not getting his weight loss and mood fully investigated and sorted etc. This possibility might be another legitimate way to involve his GP. And if your father is depressed, treatment may make him well enough to be able to make decisions about his health.
    If someone is deemed unable to make decisions about their health a substitute decision-maker etc is appointed. Your mother may know whether she and your father have made advanced care directives (living wills) which include who is the substitute decision-maker etc. But such documents would have to have been made at the time that the person e.g. your father was fit to make such decisions.
    3) With perhaps less justification you could let the GP know that your father does not appear to be filling his scripts. This could prompt the GP to check your father's file. There may be other prescribed medication apart from that associated with his diabetes treatment which cessation of could have other dire effects. The prompt could be enough for the doctor to seek further information.
    Of course your father could downright refuse to see his doctor but the queries in 1) and 2) in particular could give the GP a legitimate reason to assess your father even when your father refuses.
    As always, kind acts are not always appreciated by those we love, and threats to their ability to drive, work and make one's own decisions carry risks.
    But that is why you are seeking to hand over responsibility of your father's care to his GP.
    Weight loss, possible depression and cessation of medication are what my GP calls 'red flags' about a patient - things not to be ignored - if his GP appears blase about them, another GP may need to be alerted.
    Your father is too important for worrying if one GP's toes are trodden on in the process!!
    My best wishes go with you, your family and your father.
     
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    #6 kitedoc, Dec 21, 2018 at 8:56 AM
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
  7. JoKalsbeek

    JoKalsbeek Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    There's only so much you can do, he'll have to want to put up a fight himself.... But you could try to motivate him. Tell him how this makes you feel, that you love him and aren't ready to lose him just yet. People in the middle of a severe depression can't see that they still mean a lot to others, if they don't care about themselves anymore. Get a couple of copies of Dr. Jason Fung's Diabetes Code. Read it together maybe, (or your mum?) discuss it over the phone, maybe give him some insight in the condition? High bloodsugars affect mood and can make a depression worse, magnify a sense of hopelessness, what have you.... If he knows this, maybe there's some light at the end of the tunnel: he doesn't HAVE to feel this way, he can fix it just by taking his meds, changing the way he eats. Get the GP involved, because obviously, someone has to call in a professional... And yeah, getting him a meter would be a good idea too. You can't make him use it, but it might make him curious to see where he's at with his bloodsugars. One thing could lead to another

    Just keep in mind, he is responsible for his own life. I was left behind once (suicide), and what goes on in someone's mind, well... It's hard to change anything in there when people wrestle with the Black Dog. Do what you can. But don't feel responsible if something goes wrong. You're trying, that's all you can do.
     
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  8. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there John. If it is depression, no amount of nagging in the world will change anything. He is 50 and presumably in full charge of his senses, out doing his job, coming home and eating what HE wants to eat. It sounds like he has 'decided' to ignore his health and for all anybody knows maybe his diagnosis is what has assisted in making him depressed. You say your family have ignored things but I would say don't be too harsh on them, maybe they have become overwhelmed with it all for the last 2 years, there is a world of difference between seeing him twice a year and then trying to interpret what has been going on the rest of the year. You sound like a very concerned son and that is to your credit.

    It's a hard situation to deal with but things like your Mum not buying him sweets etc (in my view) is pointless, he is 50 not 90 and your Mum is not his carer, she is his wife (who cares!). I think you should try and get him to see his GP or maybe a DN who sometimes has more time to chat (has he attended any appointments for his tests, etc?). If he refuses, is it possible you could persuade him to pay for an A1c test, at least that way he could see exactly how his diabetes is affecting him (sometimes an individual becomes scared at seeing a Dr when they know their results will be bad).

    It's a hard situation, could all the family come together for a conference?, your Mum probably needs help too. In the end it's down to your Dad but until his 'depression' is addressed I really don't think the rest can be.
     
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  9. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    @johnross87 - My take on it is you need to have a talk with him, and tell him about the changes you have observed in him. This could be his appearance, behaviour, mental attitides to life, and ask him if he knows what it's all about.

    Clearly exactly how it goes after that would depend on how he answered, but you've had some suggestions already and you'll know how accepting or otherwise he would be of any of those.

    I'd try to find out what was said to him when his diagnosis was delivered. That does vary, and how folks accept the diagnosis also varies greatly.

    It was explained to me that diabetes was a life-long, progressive condition, so it was a case of getting used to it and getting the hang of it. My response was along the lines of "life-long and progressive? Not on my watch.", although I did have moments of "Well, if this is as good as it gets (bearing in mind the life-long, progressive diagnosis), maybe I should be getting on with all the things I like to do, all the places I want to go and eat all the things I like to eat - whilst I can.

    In reality, I have found that progressive, for me, was a two-way street. I got better, not worse, over time and I continue to be well.

    If he had similar messages to mine (and it is common), then he may be just hanging onto that, and be living what he feels is life as well as he can whilst he's here, unlike my reaction being that diabetes could just get lost, as I had waaaaaay too much still to do in this life.

    It really is a tricky one, and one you have to play by ear, but listen very, very hard to what he is saying. He has the answers. He has to find the strength to change and develop the desire to live a lot more and a lot better.

    50? He should be looking forward to decades more fun.

    As things move on, you may need someone to talk to yourself, so please don't ignore that these situations are rarely solo sports. Friends and family can easily be collatoral damage.

    Good luck with it all.
     
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  10. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    That is really sad to read - my family are mostly long lived, and live to their late 80s or into the 90s so at 67 I am hoping for at least another 20 years - and diabetes is not going to stop me from living it well.
    I went back to work last year.
    I was diagnosed with type 2 two years ago, but do not have depression, but the difference between your father's and my own situation at present is quite thought provoking.
     
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  11. johnross87

    johnross87 · Newbie

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    Thank you all for your kind and lovely responses. I tried talking to him, telling him how I feel and I just wanted to listen to what he has to say, but he just got really moody with me and told me its none of my business, he is a grown man and can do what he wants. My mother tried to plead with him also and she got the same response.
    He won't tell us who is GP is so I'm just going to resolve to going to my practise and asking my own GP for advice, as I'm totally at a loss. You are all right and it can only come from him, it just hurts to know when I leave, all I will know is what I get told on the end of a telephone.
    I'll continue to try whilst I am here. Thanks again everyone for your sound advice and words, really does mean a lot!
     
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  12. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    The crushingly sad reality is you can only do what you can do, no matter how much you (and we wish for you) it was different.

    You know, I had a situation like this a while ago, where I know I wasn't getting the whole story, but short of bamboo shoots up into the nail beds (I don't recommend it. I probably just watched too many old films, with the odd torture scene in them!), there's nothing you can do.

    Listening to someone giving you an update over the phone and when the call ends, knowing you know no more than you started with, is the pits, but all you can do is keep making the calls and pick the best out of it. At least, having seen this, you can be there for your Mum, and if you keep talking to your Dad, he'll know you'll be there should a crisis arise.

    It's really a really rubbishm time, obviously.
     
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  13. zauberflote

    zauberflote Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    @johnross87 my heart goes out to you! You’ve had some really beautiful answers here, and I don’t have any bright ideas myself. I am in a similar situation with one of my adult kids, autistic and with depression. His meds and the depression itself packed almost 150 lbs onto him, and his birth family has diabetes in it. I’m his mom, my words are but random noise to an immature 28 yr old! I suspect him of harboring a very large yeast colony in his gut (autism is partly a gut thing in some), which DEMANDS to be fed its sugar. So I feel with you. At least your dad has the capability to know his own mortality, as a teenage mind (regardless of its body’s age) does not usually. I think your love will get you through whatever path you take!
     
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  14. Alison54321

    Alison54321 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    People can get depressed in their fifties. Maybe getting diabetes has added to that.

    Just a thought, maybe it's worth trying to talk about all the positive things he can do, as he gets older.

    As a society we often talk as if getting older is the end of everything, and some people are just more susceptible to this sort of negative nonsense than others. Also there is a lot of negative stuff about diabetes, so the two combined may make him feel depressed.

    Here's an article about older men feeling sad, it's about the US, but quite a lot of it is relevant to the UK.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-do-life/201503/older-sad-man-syndrome

    I think it's important to talk to him about his diabetes, but I think he needs a why, and though his family should be a good enough why, if he feels very down, that just may not feel like enough, or he may feel a burden.

    Good luck.
     
  15. johnross87

    johnross87 · Newbie

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    Hey,

    just found out he is prescribed 'Gliclazide' - no idea about these tablets etc, but he hasn't been taking them at all.
     
  16. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    Gliclazide encourages insulin production and can result in hypos, so if your father was taking the tablets he would need to test his blood - particularly before driving as it would be a requirement for driving legally to know that he was above a certain level, as decreed for such things. It does seem to have unpleasant side effects.
     
  17. Birdwoman

    Birdwoman Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi

    I was worried about a relation a few years ago, so I made the excuse that the "doctor had phoned me" and asked to go to the doctor with this relation. She did not query how the doctor would have got my phone number but went with me and it was the start of getting her sorted out. Just an idea.

    Hope you can get this sorted soon. Best wishes to you and your family.
     
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  18. Birdwoman

    Birdwoman Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi again
    I wonder if reading him some of the success stories of people reversing their diabetes, as listed on this site further down, would help him see that he can change things and give him hope to try?
     
  19. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    I use Gliclazide myself, and my hypos only occurred when i went low carb, and they were mild and easy to deal with because I am T2D amd not injecting insulin. Apart from that I found it to be a very friendly med, with no other side effects that I can detect. I was on 320 mg a day, but now I am only using 40 mg a day as a maintenance dose.
     
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