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Very concerned about my Dad's high glucose readings...

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by tobytronic, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. tobytronic

    tobytronic · Member

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    Hello, I have just joined this forum and am worried sick about my dad (82) who has had type 2 diabetes for about eleven years.

    He had a fall in his his home on 9/11/12. He could not get back into his chair so my sister (she lives along way away, but was up here for her mother in law's funeral) and myself went round to help him up and into his chair. It was obvious that he was very ill and the excellent Paramedics (ordered by NHS Direct) took a blood glucose, which was 24 mmol/l. They said he needed to go to the A & E and on his arrival, he was assessed as having 'multiple health issues' and was admitted as an inpatient.

    Over the next few days, he was diagnosed as having dementia and also as possibly having hydroencephalis (excessive fluid around the brain) as diagnosed by a brain scan.

    They said that he would be going to another hospital and a spinal tap would be performed to draw of some of the excessive fluid and the results monitored to decide whether a shunt would help his symptoms of difficulty in walking, incontinence and dementia.

    To cut a long story short, he never went for the spinal tap...

    He has now been in hospital for three weeks.
    About a fortnight ago, I became concerned that his notes were showing that is glucose measurements were still consistently high (especially in the evenings).

    A week ago, I purchased a brand new monitor and started taking my own measurements each evening around 7:00 pm.

    The readings were: 24.2, 25.7, 27.4, 19.9, and today's was a sky-high 30.8.
    They at present, only doing the test once a day...

    I have mentioned this on each occasion to the hospital's care team. The first response was that he was late taking his medication, so a Glipizide tablet was given to him and the hospital's own meter was produced about fifteen minutes later. I think that they hoped that their equipment would show mine to be inaccurate. It only went down to 22.6 and they said that the diabetes nurse would see him in the morning.

    This did not happen.

    The third occasion they said that he shouldn't have all of the sugary foods and drinks that were on the top of his bedside cabinet. He hadn't touched any of them, other than drinking about half a litre cranberry juice over the period of three days.

    They are discharging him on Monday.

    We have already had a meeting regarding the standard of care given to him.

    Tonight's reading was reported to the staff, they just said "OK" and that was that.

    I haven't slept more than a couple of hours per night - if at all - and cannot believe that nobody seems to take the issue of getting his diabetes under control.

    Am not interested in blame, or getting anybody into trouble, just my for dad to have a fighting chance of getting better.
    Do I just accept that he will be discharged and have to sort his uncontrolled diabetes through his G.P. ?

    Am I worrying too much?

    Sorry about the epic post, but my dad was one a proud and highly intelligent man and to see him in this way is truly heartbreaking.

    Any suggestions on the course of action that I should take.
    There is a care plan in place for him when he comes home.
    In his notes, next to one of the reading was written "has been eating sugary foods & drinks" This is not true, and even if it was, why didn't someone say this weeks ago?
    He has the signs of advanced dementia so cannot be blamed for his eating habits whilst in hospital.
    I have asked his family why they brought in the snacks when they knew he was a diabetic: It does not really matter though, as he definitely hasn't been eating them other than mentioned earlier.

    I need to make my actions as effective as possible as I have severe mobility and health problems myself.

    We are not after pity, just advice, as there are people with far worse problems than ours.

    Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I never knew that it was possible to stay awake for so long up until now!

    Just looked at this post on the forum: what an idiot it's ridiculously long! Will edit it tomorrow night-night xx
    Thank you, Donald.
     
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  2. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Please don't apologise for a long post, you must be so worried.
    Has anyone checked your Dad for keytones since he is running levels far too high and that could prove dangerous.
    The medical staff in the hospital need re-educating to say the least as these figures should have been dealt with.
    Kick up a stick, stamp your feet, complain to PALS and do whatever it takes as this sort of treatment is unacceptable.

    Hope you manage to help your Dad and he starts to improve soonest.
    Regards
    Angie
     
  3. Fraddycat

    Fraddycat · Well-Known Member

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    When my grandmother was in hospital towards the end of her life the doctors and nurses took no action to reduce her very high blood sugars. The doctor explained to me that damage from high blood sugar happens over a long period of time so short term high sugars won't do her any harm. I do not agree, just about 2 weeks later she died from kidney failure.

    Trust your instincts, at least if he is coming home you can have more control over what he eats and hopefuly have more influence with his GP/Diabetes team.

    I have recently read that a low carbohydrate diet (which I would recommend anyway to help control his BGs) and coconut oil can help with the symptoms of dementia (which has also been called type 3 diabetes).

    If you can have any influence at all about what he eats I would definitely recommend a diet low in carbohydrates as detailed on the following site www.dietdoctor.com/lchf it has helped me get my HBA1c down from 8.9 at its highest to 6.3.

    Good luck, keep strong, Jane
     
  4. picklebean

    picklebean Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You should definitely complain, kick up a fuss, go above people's heads or whatever it takes.... The treatment of your father is outrageous! Simply unacceptable!

    Time and time again people report these kind of events. When will the NHS and those responsible for teaching & training doctors and nurses realise just how vital good control of blood sugars is, be it for type1s or type2s. This has made me so angry. It doesn't matter how old someone is or how near to the end if their life, high blood sugars make you feel awful, increase the risk of developing infections, slow down healing etc etc.... Why should your age make any difference?! What happened to medicine being a caring profession?

    I don't hold out much hope of change. But something need to be done to EDUCATE those in control of our health care and ultimately our lives!!

    I am so sorry for how poorly your father has been 'treated'. It's absolutely disgusting!
     
  5. tobytronic

    tobytronic · Member

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    Thanks a lot to the people who have responded. I will take your advice.

    Just as a quick update: The last reading that I took was 31.2 mmol/l. I showed the nurse on charge at the time.
    My brother saw him the following day.
    There were no records of any glucose tests being done on that day.
    The reason? There were no test strips available for their machine!
    My brother drove him home today and he is getting a 72 hour Crisis Team looking after him at home.
    I have now sprung into action and I will make sure that he gets the tests you have suggested.
    Thank you SO much.
    My dad and his family have always been very proud that our country has a National Health System.
    My grandfather campaigned for it to be implemented.
    Thanks!
     
  6. tobytronic

    tobytronic · Member

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    I have also looked at the diet website suggested above. He is a vegetarian, but it should still be quite easy to implement.
    I intend to write to the hospital regarding the above.
    I don't want to get anyone into trouble, just to help stop this from happening again. XX
     
  7. Pastell

    Pastell · Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what hospital?
     
  8. AMBrennan

    AMBrennan · Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, I'd take into account that the high BG is probably due to the diabetes regime not working. Once the hospital ruled out immediately life-threatening problems, I'd charitably assume being put on insulin whilst waiting for the procedures might not have been all that great either.
    Which, of course, does not excuse him not being seen by a diabetes specialist.

    So, you think you know more than the experts in the field? How come you wouldn't dream of doing your own plumbing, but think that the doctor's expertise is completely worthless? Because you can use Google?

    For any medical intervention, you have to consider the benefits and the risk/impact on the patients life. The older the patients get, the less they will benefit from the intervention - e.g there'd be no point in having a dangerous and invasive medical procedure if the patient wouldn't live to see the event you're trying to prevent.

    Pretending that this isn't the case is just naive.
     
  9. tobytronic

    tobytronic · Member

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    Dear AM Brennan,
    Last year we had a complete bathroom fitted. The day after it was finished, the toilet was leaking sewage water through the ceiling in the room below. I am not a plumber, but it was obvious there was a problem - you did not need any plumbing qualifications or experience to see that this was so.

    I believe that, in many cases, the same applies as to whether or not a relative is qualified to air their concerns when they feel that their loved one is not receiving the level of care and treatment that they deserve.

    Last Thursday, when I went to visit my dad, the floor was very dirty around most of the six beds in his ward. The next day, we had a meeting and on that day the floor was unbelievably dirty and there were used dressings on his bedside table...
    The same stains that were there on the afternoon before were still present on late Friday morning (no two stains look the same and yes, I am a professional cleaner).

    About six weeks ago I lost a very dear friend. He had a brain tumour, but it was 'MSRA' that finished him off and this was stated as the cause on his death certificate. He was obviously going to die, but the only pain medication that he was given was Paracetamol, which he could not swallow. When we pointed this out, he was on a Morphine pump within fifteen minutes. Should we have kept quiet because our knowledge on the science of pain relief is virtually nil ?

    When diagnosing diabetes and measuring blood glucose, I fully agree that it takes skill and experience to interpret them and then plan a course of action when needed.
    However, when my dad whose tests showed him as having consistently high blood sugar readings of over 20 mmol/l, then surely I have the right to express those concerns to the ward staff and to then question 'why' when there is nothing being done about it, and the things that were promised were also not being carried out?

    Should MP Ann Clywd keep quiet about her husband's health care because she is a politician and not a doctor?

    Sometimes it is obvious when things are not right. I also believe that in some areas, the NHS is broken.

    I am not in any way anti NHS. As an outpatient at our pain clinic; I get six-monthly denervation treatments for chronic back pain and three-monthly cortisone injections in my upper back. My consultant who performs them (Dr. De La Torre) is obviously a highly qualified and experienced practician. She can give me up to twelve injections, without hardly any pain: she is in my opinion a genius.

    Thanks.
     
  10. tobytronic

    tobytronic · Member

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    Not sure if I am allowed to say?
    We are not interested in blaming anybody or getting anyone into trouble.
    Thanks to ALL of you, Donald.
     
  11. barnfluff1

    barnfluff1 · Member

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    As a nurse myself I find the situation your father is in totally sickening. The hospital staff should at least get the diabetes team to assess your father's diabetes control (or uncontrolled as it is). Consistantly high glucose levels does have a dramatic effect on the microvascular and macrovascular systems in the body. Because he is elderly does not mean he should be left to get on with it himself....getting help from those who know what they are doing...ie diabetes team... may at least help him feel better in himself and allow him to have a bit more quality for the rest of his life. If he was my relative I would be asking questions.
    Hope you get some answers soon and your dad is more comfortable.
     
  12. Karl Fenn

    Karl Fenn · Member

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  13. Karl Fenn

    Karl Fenn · Member

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    I have just read your article about your father, I have had considerable dealings with diabetics on medications, and the figures
    you quote are in some cases what I have found on many I have come into contact with, but 30 is certainly a bit on the high side,
    I now a lot of diabetics on tablets who's reading are often in the mid 20's after a meal or in the evening, I think at the moment
    you should not worry yourself sick about this, but obviously he may have more serious issues that need attention, you do have the
    right to take your concerns to a higher level within the hospital, and I think from what you describe if it were one of my relatives
    I would voice my concerns both verbally and in writing, people have a right of second opinion you could request this, if readings
    are continually over 25 to 30 I would point this out to the nurses. Obviously where people are in bed or recovering from sugery
    the readings will be higher due to lack of exercise if they are eating regluar meals, I now mine were when I had an operation and
    was confined to my bed for several weeks, hope this has helped try not to panic and keep things in perspective.
     
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