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Re: [IP] supporting spouse/husband's problems with lows


I can only advise from our family's experience with my husband's lows.  He
has been a diabetic for 30 years and on the pump for almost 12 months now.
We've been married for 28 1/2 years, so I have been involved in most of his
diabetic years.

Before the pump he would have lows that were hard to correct because of his
stubborn-ness.  Our kids all knew how to treat the lows.  Once a few months
before the pump start our then 13 year old drew up the glucagon and tried to
give it to my husband, but my husband wouldn't stay quiet long enough to let
him do it.  Our son called me at work and we both tried to think of who
could come to just hold him still long enough to give the glucagon.  This
was difficult, since we'd just moved about 2 mos before.  Eventually my
husband agreed to make himself some toast that day and then he began  to
behave more like normal (although his motto is Why Be Normal?).  It was
scary to leave him alone in any circumstance when he was so variable with
his blood sugars.  It was a normal year to have 2 -3 visits to the ER due to

Since he began the pump he has not needed help from anyone for lows.  He
sometimes now gets low in the 40s or 50s, but takes his bg often enough to
eat enough to read that and correct it easily with food- and since humalog
does work fast on him, we don't worry nearly as much about lows in the
middle of the might.  I realized when we got the pump for him that before
the pump I'd frequently slept with my hand on him in order to detect the
cool sweats when he'd have middle of the night lows-sometimes 2-3 times a
week!   I am a nurse who must work rotating shifts.  I really prayed hard
when I'd have to be gone in the night when my husband would have to take
care of our babies and toddlers- (now college and high school students!).  I
wish now that I had had the tools to check his blood sugar before leaving
for work in the late 1970s...  You have good reason to be fearful of his
lows when caring for your child!  But the pump should help a  LOT!

The pump has improved the everyday life of our family tremendously!!! My
husband has had NOT  ONE ER VISIT  since the pump.  Everyone's anxiety level
is lower in our house- and where he works!

I am very thankful, too, that we had no hassle from our insurance about pump
coverage or supply coverage.  Didn't realize how much problem that was for
other pumpers till reading messages on this list!  I believe family members
and friends MUST  be involved with DMs who tend to have lows they need help
with.  The safety of your loved ones (your husband and your child!) and
others in the community (other drivers!) is at stake!

Faith G.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2001 10:09 AM
Subject: Re: [IP] supporting spouse/husband's problems with lows

> Karen,
> Though I don't know your husband and can't be sure what is happening with
> him, I can tell you about my own experience.  I am diabetic (for 35 years)
> and over the past 15 years or so have had difficulty detecting lows.  I
> always had pretty tight control which can sometimes lead to having too
> lows.  I have been on a pump for almost two years and during that time, my
> ability to see lows coming has improved markedly.  But they still can
> up on me.  If I am only a little low and my wife (who is extremely
> perceptive about the level of my blood sugar) suggests that it might be
> to check my blood sugar, I do that and if need be, have something to eat
> bring it back up.  But if I am really low and having a serious reaction, I
> have a tendency to get a little combative like your husband and not drink
> the orange juice being offered.  Why I react that way is not clear to me.
> It isn't that I am in denial at that point, but because my brain is not
> quite working right, I do not do what I would if all my faculties were
> working properly.  What I think is happening is that my base instinct to
> avoid eating sugar is simply stronger than the threat of being comatose
> low blood sugar.  I know this doesn't make sense but it is the only
> reason that I can come up with.  After one of these sessions occurs, I am
> always sorry for not cooperating and gulping down the orange juice but no
> matter how much I try to reason with myself, I cannot get my brain to
> the way it makes me react in these low blood sugar circumstances.  It is
> very frustrating to my wife I can assure you, but it is also frustrating
> me.  I keep trying to pound it into my head to just 'take my medicine'
> my blood sugar is very low.
> Fortunate thing is that being on the pump has evened out things much
> for me so that the extreme lows are few and far between.  I don't know if
> this will happen for your husband or not but the potential for that is
> certainly there. The other thing that helps avoid these problems is
> blood sugars often.  I check mine 8-12 times a day and ALWAYS before
> driving.  There is little excuse not to.  I suggest some more discussion
> reasoning with your husband (if that is possible) might be appropriate but
> it may be difficult to change the way he reacts when blood sugar is really
> low.  In any case, good luck with it.
> Bob Goodman
> Northern California
> >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.  The last couple of times it has happened,
> >my toddler has watched, and I think he was traumatized.  He heard me
> >screaming at my husband, and fighting with him to get him to eat.  I get
> >so mad at him!  I realize he can't help how he acts when he's that low,
> >but it seems like he should be more cautious about checking himself
> >frequently, knowing that he can't detect the lows.
> >
> >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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