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Husband type 1, won't check sugars

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Harris182, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Type 2 · Expert

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    Sadly this is not a unique story, as the forum here is running similar drama's in parallel threads. i have been following one, where recently the DVLA has revoked the driving licence for medical reasons, but it does not seem to have been a wake up call. I pray that you will be able to find a way to resolve this difficulty in time to avoid a similar outcome.

    Edited by a mod to avoid ambiguity and concern
  2. RAPS_od

    RAPS_od Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't read all responses here, but I thought I'd share a little of my experiences.
    I'm a T1 diabetic since the age of 12. Around the age of 16 or so, I started to rebel against my diabetes. I felt my life had been restricted in so many ways by my disease. People blamed me for being diabetic (though I'd done nothing to contract the disease) and my school counselor told me I shouldn't tell people I was diabetic (because they'd think badly of me). People always shared some horror story with me when I told them what I had. ("My [mother, father, brother, sister, etc., fill in the blank] had diabetes and they didn't take care of themselves and they lost their [foot, eyesight, kidneys, life, etc., fill in the blank].")
    During that time, I decided that testing my blood did not control my diabetes - which is true. The actual test tells you your level, but in and of itself, it doesn't make your level go up or down. I got really good at telling when my blood sugar dropped below 80 (I'm in the US) and when it was WAY too high, but most other times, I just didn't know.
    I have some problems (neuropathy, retinopathy, Charcot foot) but I always thought these were just what happened to diabetics. I know now that I may have avoided some of this earlier on by taking control.
    The problem is that you really grieve for the loss of freedom in your life and tend to rebel against it. Experts have recently identified this as "diabetic grief cycle." The period of grief can last for months to years to decades depending on the patient, the help they get, and their own determination to stay alive. And this cycle is very natural; it follows the same stages as the Kübler-Ross grief cycle phases: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Accepting is when you stop trying to change the reality to make it fit your expectations, accept the change and begin taking care of it.
    As his wife, there may be little you can do to help him through this grief other than recognize that it is a natural process and support any positive step he makes towards care. Some suggest diabetic support groups - they didn't work for me. I instead was able to go to work at a summer camp specifically for people with diabetes (not diabetics - because we are so much more than our disease!) and that helped me find that I'm just like everyone else. You might have blue eyes; I have diabetes.
    I don't know if all this helps. You might try looking up the diabetic grief cycle and suggested treatments. If you have a friend with diabetes who has come to grips with their condition, you might want to introduce them to him. I know chances are slimmer with that. I feel it's vital to give him someone to understand what he's going through and to walk through the fire with him - even if it means changing YOUR diet and way of life, too.
    Good luck.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. type1sept2013

    type1sept2013 Type 1 · Newbie

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    I was diagnosed in Sept 2013 and always have taken it seriously but took my eye off the ball only for a couple of months and ended up in hospital with DKA just last week, that can potentially be a killer of left untreated, obviously this scared me and being surrounded by people with other horrid complications made me realise I need to take it seriously, I'm now testing 8 times a day and eating better, the smoking still has to go but that's the next step! But in all fairness it took this happening to make me realise so it may be your husband needs another scare not just diagnosis to accept and start taking his diabetes seriously ! I hope he decides to act before he gets dka its not a nice experience but at least more treatable than having your foot amputated!! Good luck!! = =
  4. lucynical

    lucynical Type 1 · Member

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    Hi there, I totally understand how hard it must be for you, seeing someone you love causing damage to themselves that you know how to fix!

    It took me a good 4 years and a DKA to fully wake up and take my diabetes seriously. Which may not fill you with hope to start with, but I got there. When I was first diagnosed (aged 24, now pushing 29, eek!), I thought I could just carry on as normal and blindly take a bit of medication without testing. That was combined with the fact that pre-diagnosis I'd dropped a lot of weight and was pleased about the fact so when I started treating my diabetes I naturally gained a bit. Combine that with a toxic relationship and I buried my head further / manipulated meds a bit to keep weight off. What I'm getting at is that it took me a long time to realise just how much of a shock it was to me to realise how all consuming this condition can be. And perhaps your husband just hasn't come to terms with it yet. I rather hope it doesn't take a DKA, 5 days in hospital and 2 weeks off work for him to realise like it did me. I doubt I'd have got that ill had I had someone around me that recognised what was going on sooner, but none of my friends and family have any experience of diabetes so they believed what I told them.

    Surely his diabetic care team must be telling him where he's going wrong? My doctor asks to see test results from my bg monitor, I only got away with not showing them for so long because I moved to various places around London and slipped through the net of regular appointments.

    I agree with the other commenters, you might need to give him a softly softly approach and see if he opens up. It sounds to me that he's just not faced up to having diabetes yet. It takes time, its hard but I think you have to just be patient for a bit longer.

    Not sure how helpful it is, just wanted to give you a bit of hope I guess! x
    • Like Like x 2
  5. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    As the renowned diabetologist Professor Heller said at the TalkT1 event at the weekend. No condition demands more of the individual than T1D. This is a truism at so many different levels.
    • Like Like x 3
  6. jrussell88

    jrussell88 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    AndBreathe's right, pushing won't work. Advice or 'help' will be rejected as interference. A psychologist might make more progress than a diabetologist...

    Managing diabetes is a numbers game, but mixing emotions with business interferes with both - try to separate them. That's why you may find it hard to influence his behaviour.

    What might make a difference is a clear look at the options in a non-judgemental atmosphere, and meeting other Type 1s. Would he consider taking a week out to attend a DAFNE course? It's the basic training for diabetes management but also an opportunity to engage with other diabetics - some of whom will have many more problems than your husband, and often a few regrets about their past behaviour.

    Their experiences are more likely to change his outlook than the best advice from healthcare professionals or family.
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  7. onthegow

    onthegow · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there. Harris182.
    Your husband sounds like me, I'm sad to say. I am 5 yrs diagnosed now t1. For a good 3 years I was in denial. Not as long as some but for me far too long. My wife sound much like you caring and wanted to help. It took for her to just stop and not ask for me to have a little space to think. The truth I almost lost her and still might because the head in the sand and not including her when I should have still comes up when I have low sugar days.
    My suggestion would be take a step back as upsetting as it may be. Men will see this and you might be surprised about the reaction. Hang in there because speaking from experience he will need you. It's a dark place denial with all those thoughts.
    Good luck. Your doing a good job
    • Like Like x 2
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