I need advice on how to convince a parent who is in denial to at the very least call the good ol’ doctor and request some labs. Yesterday when I got home from work my mother approached me and asked me to check her sugar which she does from time to time since I was diagnosed a little over a year ago. She said she had been extremely thirsty all day which concerned me a little bit, but at her last checkup they said she was dehydrated. Well I can honestly say I was shocked when I checked her sugar and it was almost 500. I quizzed her on what she had eaten all day and when she last ate. She didn’t want to hear anything about taking it easy on the carbs for dinner and proceeded to eat her dinner of rice and steak. We agreed that I will check her again in the morning to see what her fasting number would be - 197. I checked her again before dinner today and we had a number in the 300s. She said she doesn’t want to be on anymore meds than she already takes. So I can’t convince her to call the doc. I am concerned because she eats high carb, like all the time and is very sedentary. Without meds things can get sticky fast. Any advice on how to convince her it is better to be proactive would be appreciated.
Do you have any kind of prior contact//rapport with her docs? If so I would give them a call and discuss your concerns, and encourage them to reach out and get her tested.
If that does not work then might consider a walk in clinic when you know things are off. Sometimes it tales a third party to get the ball rolling.
Happy Birthday -
I know you're taking your mother's situation seriously but things are already sticky. When I was first diagnosed, I was sent to the ER by a nurse-CDE when I tested at 425. Running from 200-500 all the time is very dangerous and even eating low carb and exercising is not going to get those numbers down to a reasonable level. Insulin or an aggressive drug regime will probably be needed at least for a short period of time.
Can you pull the grandchildren card? Would she respond to warnings about heart attack, stroke or amputation? If she has been very high for a long period of time, she is probably exhausted and doesn't have the energy to take the initiative. On the plus side, she might not have the energy to resist if you really insist that she go to the ER or get help.
I’d stick her with insulin. After it took effect I’d ask her if she felt better. She’ll feel so much better and will want more.
This is called D'Nial. I think we have all suffered from it. She may struggle with D'Nial for a long time, but as your daughter you can't let her take this position through this crisis. I know it sounds harsh, but perhaps it is time for shock therapy. It is time to treat her as though her death is imminent, within a day or two. Bring in the lawyer and get her to update her will, ask her to sign a power of attorney and a living will so that you can make medical decisions for her tomorrow when she is so far gone she can't make them on her own. Walk around the house and put little stickies on things that you want when she is gone. And then start calling the family telling them that your mother is in her last days.
Even if you get her to the doctor she may well still work at the D'Nial, but once you have made the entire world around her aware of her condition it becomes very hard to hide.
None of this is true if she does something about her diabetes. But all of it will be true if she continues to D'Ni it.
A blood sugar of 500 is life threatening. If it was my mother, I would have put her in the car and taken her to the nearest emergency room.
She will not live very long with blood sugar levels this high. I do agree if she won't do anything better get her will updated, etc. Maybe your taking this sort of action will shock her into doing something.
Else pull the ER trick.
I tried to show her the connection to her extra symptoms and her high sugar but she swears that it’s due to her other health issues. Today will be found two of my nagging :-/
I tricked my aunt into the ER. I told her we were going to see her regular doctor and by the time she realized we were going to the ER it was too late. I got an earful but she later forgave me, particularly after the doctor told her she was within hours of leaving us. In my aunt's case I had power of attorney. Being very dehydrated or having DKA can leave you mentally unable to make competent decisions. Should this occur you absolutely will need to intervene.
I had d'nial for literally 5 hours. I thought naw it's just the crappy hospital ...but I woke up with a fasting of 152 mg/dL so lol nope.
But anyway, I'd be pretty forceful in this situation. If I tested my mom and she had a 500 mg/dL reading I'd be like NO, you have no options here, you are going to the ER! That is that. Get in the f-ing car and I'd drag her if I had to. She needs to realize that she has diabetes and needs treatment. Brian brings up a great point about DKA/HHS.
Brian, your advice is extreme, but exactly what's needed! I can't imagine anyone's denial standing in the face your suggested response. You are definitely right; the stakes here are life and death.
Alyssa - you are a very good daughter. Be tenacious!
I agree, a bg of 500 is an emergency- I would have taken her to the er or called 911. At that level she can go into a coma or into dka/hhs. I hope you can get her to start thinking clearly about what is going to happen soon if she keeps ignoring this. Bg that high is probably affecting her ability to think clearly. She needs to be assessed and put on insulin therapy imo. I'm wondering why her doctors haven't checked her bg? Is she diagnosed as having D?
Maybe you can show her this question as well as some information about what will happen with bg that high?
I'm not sure I could recommend injecting someone with insulin without doctors orders. I agree it might get her attention but it could do more harm than good.
With blood sugar in the 500s blood becomes more viscous (think syrup). There is also very high risk of stroke / blood clot etc.
Hope you were able to get her to the ER.
Let us know what happened. Hope she is still ok!
She is too stubborn to have a complication right now In fact she insists that she feels fine (which I know is crap because she has been off some of her pain meds the last few days).
I’m trying to wear down her resolve that it was just a fluke and she feels fine now. She claims to have an appointment with her PCP this week so I’m thinking about calling and asking if he would talk to her. She has never in my life listened to anything I said and occasionally even still held out even after I was proved right (case in point I told her I suspected I had D due to my symptoms and it wasn’t until she was talking to the doc about it and he handed her a script for me to get labs done that she would budge on the issue). My plan is to spend the weekend trying to get her to see the link between what she’s feeling and a possible D diagnosis and maybe try the whole “if you’re so sure it’s nothing then take the test and prove me wrong” approach. I’m also going to call in reinforcements. She only seems to respond to my brothers’ douchey/aggressive way of communicating.
Ayssa, do what you need to do. Your mother is probably leery of testing her blood glucose, and if it there is, as you say,a life-long relationship pattern of her not "listening" to your suggestions; she may not want submit to testing because:
1.It will prove you right, and you just cannot be "right."; even if it saves her life.
2. If the blood sugar result is higher than normal, then she will have to deal with diabetes and its reality and management. To some people that is terrifying.
Hope that you,your brother, and her PCP can get through to her. This is a serious matter and I am praying she will begin to look at it that way.
Denial. It’s the culprit. Why do we do it? We do still after diagnosed. I have this medical condition and need to be mindful if it. Sometimes I find diabetes a distraction from real life. Is that denial? What do you think? Is denial behind a sickness that can be controlled by not living a normal life?
A possible D diagnosis?? If her bg was really 500 there is no doubt she has D, the only question is when it will kill her, as long as she continues to deny it. I'm wondering why her doctors haven't checked bg levels?
Brian--your suggestion is brilliant.
Beyond that, I can think of nothing more than saying: "this is a medical emergency like a heart attack---it just has a time scale of hours or days not minutes. PLEASE call your doctor, or I'll call 911"
I myself am very resistant to 'interventions'. I insisted I 'felt fine' after I got a phone call about a 362 reading. I admit to being startled when I shared this with a coworker (whose wife does diabetes research) and he immediately suggested the ER. Just looking at Wikipedia that evening, though, made it pretty clear thst only possibility other than D was pancreatic cancer. It took about 24 hours to wrap my mind around the idea---longer than the 5 of sensorium159, but not much.
Your mother is definitely in denial, I suspect that she also has a case of powdered butt syndrome, that is where a parent does not want to listen to the advice of someone whose butt they once powdered.
Brian and others have offered good advice I also think its a good idea to solicit the help of your brother if its possible she will listen to him.