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Re: Subject: [IP] supporting spouse/husband's problems with lows-long, sorry

Oh Karen,
    Been there done that!! Hubby is the one with diabetes, but I'm the one
who'd always had to "pick up the pieces" when he went really low.  He'd lost
hypo awareness, and had some very dangerous encounters.  He would also get
very combative, so I learned to duck fast to not get a broken jaw.
    One time, he just would not cooperate (used to try to smear frosting on
his lips because natural instinct is to lick the lips, and I could never get
him to drink anything or get anything in his mouth when he was really low),
so I called paramedics for the first time.  Well, they wore blue uniforms
and when he saw them, he thought they were the police.  When one of them
told him to drink OJ with sugar, and eat some crackers, he said, "Yes, Sir,"
and did it.  Thereafter, sometimes I had some luck if I said to him, "Do you
want me to call the police?"  Do have some funny stories about hypos, too,
as you have to keep your sense of humor with this condition.
    We got to be really good friends with the emergency teams both where we
used to and where we now live.  IV glucose and a few ER trips were part of
life, BEFORE THE PUMP!!!  Now, he hasn't had any of those really horrible
lows (one time, years ago, he ended up in his car in an IBM parking lot,
disoriented, etc, and the employees first thought he was a former
disgruntled employee who came back for revenge.  Luckily they called their
security who called police, and the responding officer recognized the
problem-ID alert necklace confirmed his thoughts-and he called an ambulance
so to the ER).
    Since you have a child, he needs to think how his behaviors can have a
negative, life-long effect on the child.  He needs to learn that Daddy has a
responsibility to his offspring that far outweighs anything else.  Checking
of glucose level before meals, 2 hr after, at bedtime, and some random times
is a must when you have no hypo awareness.  Once, Hubby started doing that,
we caught lows before he'd get too combative, and only once did he really
bottom out in the middle of the night.  Still had to call paramedics a few
times when BS level just would not go up and stay there, but at least he was
more cooperative to the process.
    The pump is so great!!!!!  Though he only started pumping officially on
May 1st, he now runs from 70-130 usually, and if he sees a level headed
down, just a few glucose tabs fixes it.  Far cry from the old 500 to 25 in 3
hours (would bottom out at times).  He still checks his BS the same amount,
but the positive feedback of the good numbers has him beaming.  I feel as
though we both have a brand new life together.  Hubby can't believe that you
can have readings in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and not have to get ready to
treat an impending hypo.
    It can be rocky the first few weeks of pumping with lots of frustration
to learn how to do infusion sets, confirm basal rates, figure boluses based
on carb amounts, maybe doing even more BS testing, etc, and a few times he
may feel like throwing in the towel, may argue with you about "this GD
pump", but don't let him give it up.
    I made a deal with Hubby that he'd keep using the pump for 3 months
before he'd decide to go back to MDI therapy, and after just 6 weeks he told
me that he wanted to keep pumping.  I'm sure you'll be involved, and learn
about pumping, too.  There's a lot of support via the net, so just use it.
All the groups have been great about me being the "unofficial" member as
Hubby wants nothing to do with the computer.  All of your lives will be
better if he sticks with pumping, and learns to do what he has to (with your
help, too, I'm sure).  Just being able to modify mealtimes, amounts of food
has given freedom we'd forgotten about.
    I gather you're not on a pump.  Do you use insulin/pills/both??
    Feel free to E-mail me privately anytime you're really at your wits end.
I understand.

> Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 01:12:19 -0700
> From: Karen Arena <email @ redacted>
> Subject: [IP] supporting spouse/husband's problems with lows
> The biggest trouble we run into is my shortcoming.  I have little
> sympathy or patience for my husband's unique problem.  I never have a
> problem detecting when I am going low.  He has huge problems with it and
> has done stupid things such as driving, and then passing out at the
> wheel.  Often times I have to force sugar down him, with him fighting
> me, when his sugar is low.  He is in complete denial when he's like
> that, and is very combative> It really worries me now that we have a
child.  I'm afraid sometimes to
> leave him alone with him, or to let him drive with him alone.

> Does anyone have any advice on how I can better deal with this?  He is
> getting on the pump.  Do you think that will help matters?

> karen
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