Sunday, January 30, 2011

Extremely high sugars

Got together with friends yesterday, where there were all kinds of goodies to eat.  Wasn't really paying attention to what my husband was eating, as I've decided it really is HIS responsibility to monitor this.  At some point, he started loudly talking nonsense, and everybody is looking at him like: what the heck?  A little later I quietly asked him if he had checked his blood sugar recently.  He did (wow, without an argument this time), and then announced to me that it was 585!  He didn't seem all that concerned about it, and he said his insulin pump was indicating not to take any more insulin, as he still had enough to "cover" what he had just eaten.  How can this be?  I honestly can't understand how or why he would let it get this out of control.

What really makes me crazy is that this is not an isolated occurrence.  Almost every holiday and every get-together, this happens.  If I say anything to him about it, it always backfires in anger towards me, so I choose not to most of the time.  Yesterday, I felt lucky that the temper didn't escalate, as it so often does when his sugar is so high.  I hate to think of all the damage he is doing to his organs every time his sugar skyrockets like this.

So far, today has been an all-day "sleep-a-thon" for him, as really high blood sugars always knock him out the next day.  Oh well, at least it's quiet!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

As a living kidney donor, how much do I need to worry about complications down the road?

Please see:

Have included a link here for living kidney donors.  The website tells about possible complications from only having one kidney.  Some of it is pretty scary stuff, and I am wondering how much of it I really need to worry about.  When I asked about later problems for donors before I donated my kidney to my husband who had been on dialysis for many months, I was told only: "Sometimes, donors are prone to high blood pressure later."  That was it, end of story!  As a person who has always had low blood pressure, I figured I would be fine.

Oh . . . there was also something said by an "advocate" about some donors who had temporary partial numbness in their arm, but that was made light of by the surgeon later when I asked about it.  After waking up with a totally paralyzed arm from a brachial plexus/nerve injury because of the way I was positioned during the laparoscopic surgery, months of painful therapy and many months of painful recuperation, I would tell anyone who is thinking of doing this: Do lots of research, and then when you think you know it all, do more!  If I had it to do over again, I would go for an "open" surgery instead of the laparoscopic procedure.  What's a big scar on your midsection compared to not being able to use one of your arms/hands?  When I asked her, the advocate had told me that was the way she would go, and then her opinion was dismissed by the surgeon when I asked him about it.  Had I only known!  What a scary experience, as it was not known at first if I would regain use of my hand and arm or not.

Thank God, I regained most of the use and feeling back in my arm and hand, but it will never be at 100% again.  Yes, my kidney saved my husband's life, as he was ready to quit dialysis, rather than live with being hooked to a machine for 4 to 5 hours, every other day . . . but we also did not fully appreciate all the side effects that all the medicines he now has to take would have on him.  That is, not until later.

What really angers me is that the hospitals and doctors who do the transplants have no protocols or follow-ups for the donors after they harvest the kidney.  When I told one of them later that I thought this was crazy, they had little to say on the matter!  In the meantime, I found a personal doctor/physician's assistant who appreciates my concerns and does a yearly work-up for me, also including anything that might show problems with my remaining kidney.  So far, so good. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience . . . anyone out there?

Monday, January 24, 2011

What the . . . ?

Hubby came home from a doctor visit today, and informed me he has been taking twice the amount of antidepressants that he had been prescribed.  He only discovered this when he went to get it refilled, and they told him he should still have a lot left.  His comment to me was: "No wonder I've been so calm."  It seemed like news to him when I told him he had been anything but . . . when he hasn't been sleeping, that is!  He then told me how the psychiatrist had told him to take the pills, which wasn't what he'd been told at all, as I was at that appointment when the meds got increased.  When I told him that, he then countered with: "Well, I didn't read the directions.  It's not my fault."  WHAT?  How is it not his fault, if he didn't bother to read the dosage directions?   Gee, guess I should know better than try to reason with him!  Will be interesting to see what kind of emotional roller coaster he will be on when he suddenly halves the dosage he's been taking . . . I can hardly wait!  God help us both.

This angers and scares me on so many levels.  Makes me wonder if he's messing up his other medications.  Am I now going to have to monitor this?  

Time for creating

Spent some time this weekend crafting.  Always makes me feel better!  Have several friends with birthdays coming up, so am creating some gifts for them.  Having fun trying out some new techniques, which is a good way to get my mind off other things.  Thinking I need to find the time to do this more often, as I am not "just" the wife of a diabetic husband . . .

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thank you for the encouragement!

It is hard to think rationally when you are dealing with an irrational person...your out of control sugarwise spouse...keep doing the girl outing things and reevaluate what you want from the relationship that is obviously causing you so much confusion. Sounds like a dose of reality but I have been there and until my hubby was put on antidepressants and retired and started working on getting the diabetes and all the other health problems under control I was wondering what the heck just happened all the time too. HUGS and LOVE. You are rational, he is not. It is NOT you! LOVE YA. 

Thank you for the encouragement.  I really wish it was that "simple" sometimes.  As it is, my husband is already on antidepressants.  They seemed to work like a magic bullet for awhile, and then didn't work anymore.  His doctor increased the dosage, and now he seems to be worse!  Will be going to see the person who prescribed these before too long.  Hopefully, she has a better answer.

As for retirement, he has been retired for the past several years because of health complications.  This probably does not help his depression, as he was forced into retirement at a young age, and most of his friends are still working.

What do I want out of this relationship called marriage?  At least some occasional shared joy with the man I married . . . I often wonder where he went.  Never thought that I could be this lonely while married.  I would like him back.  Am I asking for too much?

However, thanks for the "rational" comment!  Sometimes, I really need to hear that! :-)  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fighting my own depression

Realized I haven't posted for awhile.  Have just been very down.  There have been a couple social events that hubby and I have gone to, and things have not gone well.  I am so tired of the sudden "turns" in his demeanor when he is too high or too low (or maybe sometimes it's just his personality?), and the ensuing arguments about stupid, meaningless stuff.  Later, he acts as if nothing has happened, and there is never an apology.  His denial just makes me more angry!

Got away for a few hours after work with a girlfriend to go clothes shopping and get dinner afterwards last week.  It felt so good to do this, as there was no drama involved with hubby.  She and I agreed we need to do this more often, as it is good for both of us. 

But of course, I always have to go back home, and there is always another argument about something that makes no sense.  Sometimes, I don't know who's being mean to who, as it just makes me so exhausted, and I want it to end.  I often end up holing up in my bedroom or in my "woman cave" in the basement.   No, this is not the way I envisioned my life!

To my "sisters" out there: forgive my negative vibes, but hopefully you understand.

 To Diabetes Wife:  May everything go well with your husband's surgery today!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doctors, diabetes, and spinal stenosis

Diabeteswife commented in part:

"Doctors do not understand diabetes at all. I am positive my husbands spinal stenosis is from high blood sugars. They think it's genetic. Give me a break! They said the narrowing of his heart arteries was genetic. I'll bet my own life that it is due to high sugars. I would love to meet just ONE doctor who really understood the entire process of diabetes, age, and neuropathy and how much impact it has on the internal organs as well as the external organs. But in all the multitude of specialists he has been to, I haven't met that person yet!"

You are right: most doctors do not understand!  High blood sugars cause organ damage, so why wouldn't they cause damage throughout the body?  I even had an endocrinologist (who specialized in diabetes) tell me that out of whack sugars have no lasting effect on the brain, which I really can't believe.  As for the spinal stenosis,  I know of several people who have it, and ALL are diabetic!  Can't tell me that's all genetic. 

My big question is this: with all the people/patients who are now diabetic, why is not more taught in medical and nursing school about this disease?  Especially since it is becoming more and more common!  When hubby is hospitalized, it is always a nightmare, as no one seems to know what to do to maintain his blood sugars.  So then we have crazy blood sugars to deal with on top of whatever illness he is in the hospital for to begin with.  This only makes him sicker.  It is my hope that now that he is on a pump, he might be "allowed" to monitor himself with any future hospitalizations, as he does a better job than anyone (doctor or nurse) who is supposed to know what they are doing.  Thanks for your input and support; every little bit helps!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Not the man I married . . .

Tom's Wife recently made the comment that our husbands are no longer the men we married.  It also sounds as if some of us who are blogging about our diabetic husbands are in their 50's, which is also the age range of hubby and me.  Sadly, the "not the man I married" comment is so true!  Where do I start?

As his physical limitations have gotten worse, so has the depression and the sleeping for long periods of time.  When he is up, the conversation so often revolves around his physical problems, and how he is "sorry" he didn't get anything done (again) today.  Sex has gone by the wayside.  He likes to think that the meds he has been given to "fix" this problem help, but they don't.  Going anywhere is a crap shoot, as he can't walk very far, and I also I never know when he will have a "melt down" because his blood sugar is too high or too low.  We started the New Year with him literally screaming  in the car at me on the way home, because I told him (once again) he had embarrassed me in front of friends with inappropriate, angry comments.  He didn't want to hear that, so had to tell me everything "wrong" I have ever done . . . happy freaking New Year!  I gave up and quit talking, as it was going nowhere fast.  This is NOT the way I want to start 2010, but trying to reason with him (even when his sugar is within normal limits) has gotten very difficult.  There seems to be so much he just doesn't "get" anymore.

I am becoming more and more convinced that his brain has become damaged from all the high (and also maybe low?) blood sugars.  I also wonder about vascular dementia, but I have yet to get any of his doctors to do an expensive MRI to look for this.  I do know that he forgets much of what I tell him, and will angrily insist later that I never told him information that comes up later in conversation.  He also constantly disagrees with me about something I just said, and then will tell his version of it in different words, but it means the same as what I just told him!   I honestly don't know if he comprehends what he hears me say, or just doesn't listen to me anymore.  Dealing with the constant opposition is so exhausting.

I really have tried over the years to understand what it must be like to be in his shoes: to have a disease which is hard to control, and to always feel like you have to monitor.  Having your kidneys fail and having a transplant, then having to take all the heavy-duty meds in order not to go into rejection.  It must be terrifying for him.  At the same time, I want him to try to understand my concerns as well.  I feel very much isolated in that regard, as it always seems to be all about him.  His problems are always bigger than mine, if I am sick he is always sicker; I could go on and on . . .  

In the meantime, I have my own bedroom, which has become a haven of peace for me, with plenty of good books to read when I can't sleep.  With so much going on, sometimes sleep eludes me even though I am the only one in the bed.  Now, if I could just turn my mind off at night, I'd be all set.

Thank you, Tom's Wife, for reading and responding.  It really does help.