First Blog Post AKA a Rant

I have been contemplating the idea of having a blog where I can get my 'diabetes frustrations' out. Writing in a journal has always been a good outlet for me so I figured why not give it a try. So here goes nothing...

Lately most of my 'diabetes frustrations' have been a direct result of communicating with my Grandmother. She is uneducated on many things, her own disease being one of them (Type 2). Her blood sugars are not in good control and she does suffer from some complications. I have tried on many occasions to explain things to her in a way that is easy to understand. No matter how many times I explain things, it goes in one ear & out the other. She does not have a desire to be educated. She wants to complain about everything. All the time. But yet does nothing about it (of course... because then what would she complain about). She always has to be the medical story center of attention. For years her illnesses have varied but it is always SOMETHING. Generally, when her & I speak she loves to bring up her Type 2 fiasco. She is constantly saying inappropriate, insensitive things to me.

The latest was that her doctor (we see the same doctor by the way) offered her insulin so now she is a Type 1, just like me. Ummm... excuse me... What?! I took a deep breathe and explained to her that the type of diabetes you have is not determined by what you use to treat it. There are Type 2s that take insulin to manage their blood sugars (Side note: I wish this were a more common first line of treatment for Type 2s). Some take insulin in addition to oral medications. The difference is that a Type 1 patient will always be on insulin. I even went so far as to explain the difference between Type 1 & 2 AGAIN. I assured her that you can not go from Type 2 to Type 1 or vice versa. I don't know why I bother. The whole time I was thinking... you are nothing like me. You have no idea what I go through to treat my Type 1. I work so hard at it. You do nothing to treat your diabetes and now are suffering complications. Then you have the never to ask why I don't have neuropathy in my feet?!

I spoke to her about things to consider when deciding to switch to insulin or stay on strictly oral medications. She said she wasn't concerned about needing multiple injections a day, that there is nothing worse than taking pills. She would rather "do a million needles" over taking 2 pills a day. There was one occasion that she told me she would rather "shoot herself in the head" than do what I have to do to take care of myself. Seriously? This is my Grandmother saying this.

I realized after this latest conversation that I can not talk to her about diabetes anymore. It's hard for me because diabetes is something that I am passionate about and I love to talk about it. I see now that she is simply the wrong person to talk to. Lesson learned.

I feel badly for you. :( I can imagine how frustrating and hurtful dealing with your grandmother must be.

My 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 a little over a year ago. Life has not been, and never will be, the same again. My husband (my daughter's father) takes no interest in learning about our daughter's Type 1 and is not involved in her care (he can't be bothered.) Yet he uses the fact that he is "pre-Type 2" as an excuse not to have a job, do next to no housework, and lie around all day (unless he is going out with friends to do something he cares about.) It infuriates both my daughter and myself when he whines and complains that he is "Not well because I have pre-diabetes" and yet can't be bothered to learn anything about Type 1 in order to help out with her diabetes management. I do 100% of the overnight checks/corrections while working 60 to 70 hours a week and keep in close contact with my daughter during the day via text in order to best manage her BGs (while her father sits around all day surfing the internet and eating bread.) Thank G_d for tudiabetes and the Parents of Children with Diabetes; without these forums I'd feel completely alone in this journey.

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time. I can kind of understand the struggle as my mother-in-law is a type 2 and also the type of person who uses her health issues to get attention and also to get out of responsibilities. The only difference between my mother-in-law and your grandmother is that my mother-in-law doesn't compete with my type 1 for "who's is more devastating". We support each other and understand each other's struggle. I can only imagine how you feel when she minimizes your struggle.

I have found that with many older people, they are just stuck in their way's. Even if they want to, or need to, change, they probably won't. You can educate them all you, or they, want and need, but in the end they will stay stuck in whatever habits and routine they've always been in.

It's great to write out your frustrations. That's exactly what I do, too! I ended up starting a blog; first on Blogger, and then on Wordpress. If you don't have one already it might be a good therapy tool for you. You can opt to post publicly or just keep it private.

@rgcainmd Thanks so much for your reply to my post. I know how hard it is to take of myself, as an adult so I can not imagine how hard it is as a parent to care for a T1 child. I am sorry to hear that your husband is not involved in the care of your daughter. That really is a shame. Your daughter is very lucky to have such an amazing supportive Mom to help her on this craxy journey.

@Tamra Thanks so much for your reply to my post. That's so nice that you and your Mother-in-law can offer support to one another. That's how I wish it was with my Grandmother. Thanks for the suggestions on blog sites. I just saw your note that this site is soon loosing it's blog feature. I'm going to check out your suggestions for an alternative.

You know, the younger brother of my best friend evidenced a variation on what you are dealing with. Like me,his T2 is a legacy from his father---my friend, who has been almost as round as she is tall her whole life, is healthy as a proverbial horse, and,in her early 70s, has apparently not picked up that piece of her gene pool...

Anyway...Her brother, in his 60s, was on metformin and insulin for years. But he barely ever tested, never bothered to moderate his carb intake and was always having some complication or other. We had to finally admit to ourselves that this was his sad way of getting attention and that it was unlikely to change.

A year or so ago he had to begin dialysis. Strangely poignant: he liked those tips to the dialysis facility. He liked being with the folks who had similar difficulties. We all know that complications can happen to even those of us who maintain good control--that is the diabolical whimsy of this scourge. But still, I was sorry that it took him down this path so far....Blessings on us all...Judith