Have you ever had a diabetic family member who just didn't give a damn anymore?

Hey everyone,

I have a father-in-law who has several health issues including diabetes. He is in his mid 70’s and just decided he is going to eat what he damn well chooses and doesn’t want to fight it anymore. You are not going to reason with him as he won’t hear of it. It will be the death of him. Any of you have that problem or situation?

I’ve had two aunts succumb to complications related to diabetes. Both died in their 40s. One had multiple amputations.

I’ve found that the sad fact is that no matter how much everyone else in the family cares about someone’s diabetes, if they don’t care there’s not much you can do. They are grown adults and fully capable of making decisions that affect the quality – and quantity – of their life.

I’m sorry that you find yourself in that situation and that I don’t have more hopeful advice for you. I hope your father-in-law changes his mind, but if he doesn’t then you may have to prepare yourselves to lose him sooner rather than later.

Not diabetic, but my grandmother hated the nursing home. After several years there she couldn’t take it anymore and quit eating. She died after a month or so. I think there comes a time when the pain isn’t worth it.

Did he find out about an illness like cancer recently? I am wondering if he thinks he only has a short time left anyway. I also hope he realizes the pain he is putting everyone who loves him through. I love my grandmother and cry when I think about how miserable she had to be. She had always been the giver/provider of love and caring. She wouldn’t have done what she did lightly. I hope he has thought about what his loved ones will see and feel as this gets bad.

I’m sorry this is happening!

Unfortunatly my Mom was like that. She would only occaisionaly watch her Diabetes. Most the time she ate and drank what she wanted to. Never excersised. She passed away when she was only 62. Unlike me she was a T1 which was all the more reason to watch herself. Before her dealth she was in the hospital for 2 months. No one should put thier kids through that. I’m sorry that you are going through this. My prayers are with you.

Hi Steve and I am very sorry to hear what is going on. Although this has never happened to anyone this close to me the same principles apply for a number of behaviours. There are four “magic” questions that we ALL need to ask ourselves (and sometimes others) occasionally and they are as follows.

What are you doing?
Why are you doing it?
How does it affect you?
How does it affect others?

It would appear that your father in law is at a point where he is tired of fighting and perhaps does not value himself enough to continue doing so. My concerns also include how others are affected as well. Perhaps you could throw a “diabetic party” in the form of the MOST USER FRIENDLY INTERVENTION POSSIBLE, but don’t call it that, stick to the “party” theme.

Let him know that although you have to be diabetic to truly understand how tough it is, everyone involved loves him more than he will ever know and will support him on every level possible, without enabling any negative behaviour. Someone should accompany him to all of his doctors appointments (people/diabetics have been known to say things that are false) and see where his A1c is, and anything else that is important regarding all of the above.

Get him a computer if you have to and have him join tudiabetes. Help him understand that there are MANY OTHERS that have the same ebb and flow to thier lives as well and above all have AS MUCH COMPASSION FOR HIM AS POSSIBLE, even though you disagree. He is hurting in a very big way.

THIS JOB IS NOT EASY NOT AT ALL!!! and all anger must be tempered with greater amounts of love and compassion. I hope this helps and please keep us posted.

Love Always
The Anonymous diabetic

Hey everyone,

Thanks for your responses.

Anonymous, we have a BIG problem. He lives in Montana and we live in Florida. He does not understand computers and refuses to ever learn. He grew up and lived his life as a very rugged person up to now. He lived every year to go elk hunting in the fall and winter and fishing in the summers. He was a blue collar man who loved the outdoors. He also has Emphysema and is on oxygen, he has heart problems, and now diabetes and has had cataracts on his eyes. You are not going to convince that old man of anything. Plus even if we could go up there and achieve anything, the my wife’s sister would not participate as she is somewhat estranged from him. He is divorced as well. The last time we were up there a year ago, he complained that several of his friend had passed away in the last few years. Honestly…as I think about it, he almost wants to die I think. I guess I might feel the same way if I could not do the things I wanted to do or enjoyed doing and my friends were all dying around me. Oh well…The Rolling Stones had a line in the song, “Mothers Little Helper”, …“what a drag it is growing old.” I guess that could be his theme song…OH well.

Hi Steve and the sad reality is you may be right, he may want to give up entirely. There seem to be two camps here and they would be your father in law complete with his thoughts,feelings AND rights all of which are very valid, and the same is true for those who care.

Even if it means calling him constantly (without bugging him of course) if that is the best that can be done so be it HOWEVER time has shown us that if we give people the right kind, and level of motivation people will change. Adverstisers love this. I know it is not easy and you will have to work together as a team to try and find out what “makes him tick”.

The other side of the coin of course is once again as a unit, all of you MUST take turns supporting each other as everyone does, whatever it is that they do. It is my sincere hope that all of you can at very least keep the most positive dialougue going with him as possible without giving up. It would appear that you are the one who reached out, and that is for many reasons wonderful. You may at times find yourself alone however hang in and hang on, and do your very best because that is all you can do. Hopefully we are all going to get old some day and need to be treated with as much patience, dignity and compassion as possible.

At very least make sure that everyone shares the same objective which is to love and support ALL parties involved, no matter what happens. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Love Always
The Anonymous Diabetic.

I don’t know your f-i-l and I don’t know you, but it sounds to me like he wants to give it up.

If you don’t think talking him out of it will work, then don’t get your hopes up. But don’t leave him alone. He may be ready to die, but he doesn’t have to do it alone. He may just be looking for someone to give him a reason to go on. Give him one. Even if he doesn’t take it.


My dad isn’t diabetic officially yet. He has pre-diabetes, and instead of trying to prevent that and turn his situation around, he keeps going about doing all of the things that caused him to be this way. (Side note: I know that not all people can help their situation, so I’m not judging anyone.) I’m type 1, so I know what I can do to help him, but he’s resisting those efforts. It’s like a teenager rebelling against their parents haha. So yes, I understand a family member not caring. It’s so sad and frustrating!