Life with a Diabetic

Diann Messer By Diann Messer, 26th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3y__bvgd/
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Sharing a loved one with a progressive disease is never an easy thing. Fighting the battle together makes the job much easier for both of us.

Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and its Complications

My husband was diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 in 2001. He had the classic symptoms which included muscle weakness, weight loss and extreme thirst. One visit to his general practitioner and some blood work and he was soon diagnosed with Diabetes.

We both attended a class on how to count carbohydrates and the importance of maintaining both a healthy diet and a regular exercise program. I personally felt the full weight of his diet, since I was the one who prepared his food. I immediately began to read everything on diabetes and healthy eating habits. I spent many hours in the kitchen preparing healthy foods and he was able to maintain a near normal blood glucose level for several years.

Then out of the blue, the same diet that had proved to be successful just didn’t seem to be working as well anymore. He visited his doctor several more times as different medications were tried in order to better control this insidious disease.

We are now almost twelve years into the debilitating process of this disease. He now has progressed to early stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and heart problems. These complications of diabetes also have dietary issues. As blood and urine tests are routinely done, the diet must be adjusted according to highs and lows of potassium, sodium, protein and phosphorous. Because his kidneys no longer filter properly, it is vital for him to be closely monitored by his Nephrologist in order to catch quickly any increases which can build to dangerous levels in his body. We have been able to quickly lower potassium and protein levels in the past simply by correcting his diet, yet we are aware that like Diabetes, Chronic Kidney Disease is also a progressive disease process.

It is never easy to share a loved one with a progressive disease. There are frequent doctor visits and lab work as well as learning to deal quickly with sudden drops in glucose levels which can happen anytime, anywhere. When glucose levels drop too low, a diabetic can quickly become weak, sweaty, shaky and disoriented. It is important to always carry glucose tablets in pocket, purse or glove box. Our doctor also warned us not to over correct glucose levels at these times. The tendency sometimes is to reach for a glass of orange juice. We were told not to do that. She said it is far better to take 3-4 glucose tablets and wait fifteen minutes to see how well he recovers from the episode. If need be, he can take a few more tablets. To drink the glass of juice or to eat a candy bar causes a sudden spike in blood glucose levels and then another sudden drop is likely to occur. It is far better to attempt to maintain a steady blood glucose level at all times.

Recently, my husband began having much higher glucose levels. After some tests were performed, it was decided that he would benefit from an insulin pump. The idea behind the pump is to serve as a replacement for the weakened pancreas which no longer is able to do its job properly. The pump is worn on the body and insulin injections can be given with a push of a button on the device. My husband’s pump holds a three day supply of insulin which requires only one prick of the skin every three days. A simple push of the button and the proper amount of insulin is automatically dispensed prior to meals. This will enable my husband to better control his blood glucose levels and prevent so many of the highs and lows that most diabetics experience.

I am thankful for all the advances in the treatment and control of diabetes. My husband and I both work hard to maintain his health for as long as we possibly can do that. There are days when it becomes depressing for him and tiring for me. Yet we know that we are in this battle together and that is, perhaps, the most important thing and the best medicine for both of us.

Tags

Diabetes, Diabetes Complications, Diabetes Control, Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes Mellitus Type 2, Diabetes Treatment, Diabetic Patient

Meet the author

author avatar Diann Messer
Diann lives in Georgia with her husband of 43 years. She has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years, and is author of "Soul Song Hope and Healing for Survivors of Sexual Abuse". Amazon USA/UK

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
27th Sep 2012 (#)

My step daughter recently had to go for a minor blood test - just a finger prick, she was freaking out because she hates needles, she was amazed at how diabetics could deal with such a thing on a day to day basis. For sure it is better to try to avoid becoming one.

All the best to your husband thanks for sharing this part of your life.

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