1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2022 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Mother diabetic - living alone? Please help me.

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by LadyMelodina, May 10, 2014.

  1. LadyMelodina

    LadyMelodina Family member · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thank you all. A lot of your really helpful suggestions are just not available in Egypt. No support groups, no family therapy. If you seek counselling in Egypt then you are often regarded as "crazy." Couldn't care less about how the society interprets it but this is why counselling is not easily accessible here (that is, if it even exists). My mother's own family made her ashamed of her diabetes. I agree that no eight year old should be put through this. But I was, it is a part of me and it has made me stronger. For years my grandparents forced my mother to hide her diabetes. I'm glad to have been the person to help her accept it and speak of it openly. But it shows you how the general culture is here about certain health-related issues.

    I do not think that there is any practical solution, unless I am able to find a trustworthy housekeeper to be with her, in the event I choose to go work on the field (which is something I really want to do). A part of me wants her to join me and my husband abroad, but I know there are a lot of complications that can arise from that.

    The political turmoil in Egypt has not helped much either. Crime is on the rise and the authorities have their hands full (with the wrong things if you ask me) to worry about that. Imagine if I hire a housekeeper who robs us or worse.

    I do want to know more though about others who are diabetic, type one and live alone. Surely it can't be too risky, right? Would switching to an insulin pump help at all?

    The culture doesn't help much here, either. the understanding of age and life in general is very pessimistic in the Egyptian culture. That's one upside if she chooses to join me if I go abroad - she would at least be away from this culture. I think it would do her good.
     
  2. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    8,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I am type one diabetic and I live alone. Every few years I have had a hypo that I couldn't handle by myself. It's never happened in the house. When it happens outside, I have taught myself to approach others, strangers, for help - usually people whose job it is to deal with the public like shop workers or security guards (who often have first aid training).

    Studies of pumps show that they reduce hypos. They don't (in studies) improve overall blood sugar, but they don't make it worse, and they improve hypo prevention and overall quality of life.

    The other technical fix would be a CGM, continuous glucose meter, if you can afford one. The ongoing cost is about £25-£50/week in the UK - possibly cheaper where you are. You could save money by only using the CGM at the times when your mother is alone.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  3. LadyMelodina

    LadyMelodina Family member · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Thanks, Spiker.

    I want my mother to consider using a pump. In my limited time in Egypt I have not come across anyone who uses it. I just Googled now and see that AccuChek has representation in Egypt for insulin pumps.

    Now to pitch the idea to her... deep breaths! Will keep you updated, as soon as I have the courage to bring it up with her.

    (Incidentally, Spiker, great avatar! Father Ted is hilarious)
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    4,134
    Trophy Points:
    178
    You know, there are other issues beside her diabetes you may need to deal with, like why she insists on burdening you with all this, instead of acting her age and take responsibility for her own condition. I think she is being very selfish and manipulative. I can see you are between a rock and a hard place and have no real advice for you. Only that if you cant change her you can always change yourself. How you respond to her emotionally and pratically.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. annelise

    annelise Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    464
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Totto, you voiced my thoughts, but I had not dared to express them for fear of sounding insensitive. - I too sense some possible manipulation going on here - wishing to keep her daughter close to her through playing on her daughter's strong feelings of responsibility and love for her mother.

    annelise
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. ljwilson

    ljwilson Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    21
    Trophy Points:
    58
    I too am a Mother and live on my own, with my dogs. I have been Type 1 since 1974 and woulds be absolutely horrified if my daughters were spending so much time and effort worrying about me! I am more thatn capable of looking after myself as I am sure your Mother this. There may come a day, god forbid, when I need depend on my children more but until then they must live their own lives without worrying about me!
     
    • Like Like x 7
  7. zand

    zand Type 2 · Master

    Messages:
    10,540
    Likes Received:
    16,399
    Trophy Points:
    298
    I have held back from replying until now because I wasn't sure how helpful this would be to you. I went through this sort of manipulation with my own mother, not as badly as you because my Mum didn't have a condition like diabetes. I did get married and leave home, but it was still difficult as my Mum and I were so close. She got ill with cancer in 1993 and I took over the cleaning, shopping, washing, ironing and general running of the house and also took her for all her appointments. I visited her at least 3-4 times a week and gave Interferon injections to her, all this whilst looking after my own home and husband and 2 young children. My home was 20 miles from hers. I chose this option, rather than making the break, because I thought it was easier. When, she died in 1996 (followed by my father a couple of weeks later) my whole world was turned upside down. Suddenly I wasn't a daughter or carer anymore. I had all the time to do the things I wanted to, yet was so bereft I couldn't do anything. Worst of all the person who had previously controlled me had died, and I struggled to do anything because she wasn't there anymore pulling the strings. Since then I have spent many years depressed, fatigued, ill and now I have diabetes because I am very fat because I comfort ate a lot and didn't have the will to do anything about it.

    I am not saying this will happen to you. I am not telling you what to do, I am just telling you my story so that you can maybe use it along with all the other advice here to help you make your own decision. If I had the chance to go back and change what I did, to make the break and save myself all those dreadful years after she had died, would I? No probably not, because I loved my Mum and we were so close. I hope you are braver than me if you need to be.
     
    • Like Like x 6
    #27 zand, May 12, 2014 at 5:11 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2014
  8. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    4,134
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I know it is a risk of sounding insensitive. On the other hand I am from dysfunctional family myself and recognise what is going on. When parents refuse to act grown up and burden the child with the adult responsibilities, regardless of that child's age but it to make it work you have to start early, then you have a dysfunctional family. But you don't have to accept it, you can change things.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  9. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,947
    Likes Received:
    5,501
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hello Lady Melodina,

    My heart goes out to you and your mother. You both seem to be facing a complex set of needs and desires and have become entwined in a situation in which neither of you is happy. It would be lovely if you could both find some independence.

    I've been Type One for forty- five years and have really benefitted from recent developments in the way that carbohydrate intake and insulin requirements are calculated. I don't expect that the courses on it offered here in the uk are available in the developing country where you live, but if they are then it would benefit your mother, too, to go on one. Here they go under the acronym
    Dafne or Katie. The method is also available online so maybe you could explore it together? A course would be best as your mother would meet other people who have Type One and find other ways of thinking about herself as a diabetes 'sufferer'. It seems that she's in dire need of companions, people to do things with, talk with, laugh with.

    You say she's just retired. Are there any voluntary positions she could take up or activities she could join where she lives? It's sounds as though she needs something that would, in the old cliche, take her out of herself.

    I lived in a developing country for three-and-a-half years when I was younger and yes, medical services were dire there. There were no others who had diabetes, apart from one other European, but many who had relatives who had died from it. There were words for diabetes in the local language but that was all. You've kept your mother going since you were eight, in difficult circumstances: you're amazing!

    But you need a break! Does your mother have enough money to seek professional advice, and maybe the Dafne course, abroad? And combine it with trips to a spa, theatre, real treats?

    I know I've been grasshoppering around a little in this post, it's a bit stream of consciousness, but I hope that there's something here that might help.

    Good luck.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  10. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    8,439
    Trophy Points:
    178
    There is the BDEC Online course provided by Bournemouth hospital which is very similar to DAFNE. It is free, and since it's online it doesn't matter what country you live in.

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Hi Lady Melodina,

    Reading your initial post and subsequent responses from others, I can pick up the weight of the problem for you being totally overwhelming. You have a great sense of responsibility for your mother and I am deeply touched by how much you care for her. This aside you cannot allow your mothers condition be the soul reason you do not live your own life at the age of 29. I agree with others when they say your mum needs to take more control over her condition and learn to manage it herself but of course with support from others not just you. I am not sure how old your mother is but I would like to make the suggestion that maybe she joins this forum herself as a source of support, information and guidance. Are there any support groups run by Diabetes UK in your local area? Your experience is exactly why I am working on creating a counselling service for people with diabetes incorporating family members also. Have you talked to your mother about how worried you feel and what's going on for you?
     
  12. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Apologies Melodina I have realised you do not live in the UK which makes my previous comments irrelevant for you. Counselling whether it be for you, your mum or the both of you feels like it would be helpful. There are lots of issues to work through and even if your mum doesn't want to receive counselling, you might benefit from some sessions exploring how you can cope and manage with the situation and explore empowerment.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. LadyMelodina

    LadyMelodina Family member · Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Totto, annelise, ljwilson - I agree with you and I do not find any thing you wrote to be insensitive. I understand what you are saying. Not because I saw it on my own, hard to assess the situation when you are in it. But, my husband says she uses this to get my attention. Of course it really backfires in the end. When I raise my concerns she sometimes twists my words around, saying that I am mocking her medical condition. So yes, there definitely is an unhealthy element of manipulation here. Again, it boils down to how she was raised and the culture here which seems to accept children looking after their parents in an invasive way (to say the least).

    Zand - that sounds very difficult. Ultimately I do not think I am brave enough to completely disengage from it all. But I think (I hope) I can find a middle ground for us both. Thank you for sharing your story with me, it really is a wake up call and a good indication of where one path leads.

    Fairygodmother - I think this is a major problem. She is careless and never calculates carb intake. She just goes for a standard amount, as an average. But of course it ends up being poorly managed and some horrible episodes. It's funny you should mention going abroad and enjoying some other activities. I thought of it myself as I read your post. I actually get more leave days than my husband so every year I end up with unused leave. It's a good opportunity to travel with my mother, watch some theatre and she can do a course.

    But I will also check out the online one you mentioned, Spiker. I'll also call AccuChek and see if I can meet their reps to see if my mother can switch to a pump.

    Jess - nothing to apologise about at all. I wish there were support groups here but there are none in Egypt. Yes, I have tried to speak to her countless times. Apparently my school did too but nothing. She just gets angry at me, saying I mock her condition and that I count the years she has put me through this. We had a huge argument over a month ago about it all and when she saw how bad it affects me, she kind of quieted down. She rarely shows me appreciation - on the contrary, she rants about how bad of a daughter I am! But I need my own life too... Don't get me wrong, she's a good person and a wonderful mother too (despite these issues), she is just misguided and going through a lot.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
    • Like Like x 6
  14. zand

    zand Type 2 · Master

    Messages:
    10,540
    Likes Received:
    16,399
    Trophy Points:
    298
    Yes, I well recognize all those tactics you mention above! With My Mum she was always 'dying' until the day she was diagnosed with a terminal illness. After that things got better between us, the manipulation happened a lot less because she actually did need help. She refused help from her nurse or from cancer nurses and wanted me to do everything, which I can now see wasn't right or fair. However, it was often a pleasure to help her and we talked lots. She was told she had 3 weeks to live, neither of us chose to believe that and when she did die 2 1/2 years later a lot of my wounds from the previous 38 years had healed. Right at the end when I sat by her hospital bed as she lay sleeping on that last day, she woke briefly opened her eyes and said 'Go home'. I misunderstood at first and thought she wanted to go home, but then I realised it was an instruction to me. What happened next was surreal, Gothic even. I started to drive the 30 miles home in a thunderstorm. A bolt of lightening hit the side of the road in front of me, the thunder was simultaneous. I felt as if I was a climber climbing a mountain with someone attached by rope. I felt the rope break and looked at the clock at 21.38, knowing she had just died. So right at the end, things turned the right way up again. She wanted me to be safely home before I found out that she had died, she didn't know I would 'feel it happen' anyway. So finally, right at the end she became the parent and I became the child again.

    I think you are right to try to find some kind of middle ground. Your mother needs to have other people she wants to call on for help, not just you. It's too much for one person, and you do need your own life too. I really hope you can find a good plan which works for you both because you are right, like my own Mum yours is a good person and a wonderful mother. I am glad I was so close to my Mum and sometimes I managed to find that middle ground, I just didn't always stick to it once I had found it.

    I really do wish you all the best in this.
     
    • Like Like x 8
  15. Jess33marsh

    Jess33marsh Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    62
    Trophy Points:
    58
    From what you are saying I am making some assumptions but it does seem like your mum resents having diabetes. As if it is something really dreadfully bad and isolating her. I can identify with this as a diabetic myself especially when I was first diagnosed because I really didn't want to have to accept this condition as part of my life that wouldn't go away. Diabetes impacts on all sorts of things including moods and behaviour.
    I strongly sense your mother would benefit from talking to someone about it other than family. The BACP British association of counselling and psychotherapy maybe able to recommend a counsellor who would hold sessions via Skype or online. This is an ever growing modality with in the counselling field. It maybe worth visiting their website for information. Empowering your mum to do other things and see herself as more than a mother with diabetes may help her build a more positive way of looking at things too so your ideas about using your holiday to do things with her is a great idea. Recognise your own limitations however, you have your own immediate family too and need to look after your own physical and mental well being. Balance is the answer here but finding that balance can take time. Good luck
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,831
    Likes Received:
    4,134
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Not because I saw it on my own, hard to assess the situation when you are in it. But, my husband says she uses this to get my attention. Of course it really backfires in the end. When I raise my concerns she sometimes twists my words around, saying that I am mocking her medical condition. So yes, there definitely is an unhealthy element of manipulation here.

    You need help to see what she is doing to you. My view is that the problem isn't her diabetes at all, although that complicates things, but that she uses her diabetes to manipulate you. So long as you allow her to do so nothing will change, so it is very much up to you to decide what you put up with or not.

    Remember, regardless of her upbringing and the possible stigmata of her disease she is an adult and thus capable of taking care of herself. She chooses to make you take care of her at a very large cost for you.
     
  17. greg39

    greg39 Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    43
    How wonderful of you Melodina and how selfish of your mother, mine is manipulative too. You do seem to be in an impossible situation.

    My advice is don't let her twist anything, people can argue anything and find any number of reasons to excuse their behaviour. Attack the cause and the opposite of the usual debating rules attack the messenger not the message other wise you will have no choice but to continue pampering her.

    Why would she bother with a dog or other help while she has you running after her, you may have to risk an ultimatum along with orders from you not asking. You have a lot of control over her and she obviously likes it so use it to empower yourself. If you get through she will find her own power and respect and maybe even thank you for it,

    You say she is a good mother but we're all good and bad but when this is deliberate it is not good. I'll bet 99% of us wouldn't tell our kids on holiday if we had a hypo so as not worry them. She appears to care more for herself then you and that's the way you have to see it. If she's somehow unaware of this fact she needs to know. Not to make her guilty but the opposite, it's been going on so long you have win this battle. As you know you're being emotionally blackmailed and completely stuck unless you take control of her to release yourself,

    She might feel bad over another pet dying but that's tough when her own daughter's welfare is more important than a 'want' Buy one for her and teach her how to train it, you can find the info online. Is she doesn't have a meter you can get SD Codefree meters cheaply online and strips. She needs to test everything to help get stable. If she hasn't a smartphone get her one and download a panic button app which rings a friend in emergency (not you)

    This is a horrible situation you've been put in and I wish you the best. If I can add anything positive to all of this at least you've been trained to care and that will bring it's own rewards through out your life, good luck.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook