WARNING VENTING POST: Dia-burn-out

I NEED TO VENT!

I am just burned out arguing with my own mother about her not taking care of her 'betes correctly.

She’s on this I REFUSE to test trip when she gets mad at me about something. I am like
" Well, you are only hurting yourself. You are only hurting your kidneys, liver, eyes, veins, heart etc"

And she’s like " Oh well, it’s my body"

I am like " You are the one that’s gonna pay for it in the end by dying early!"

And then… One night, just a couple nights ago, " I WENT THERE" I got so angry and frustrated at her for not wanting to test, I sort of “DIA-SHAMED” her…

I said… “It’s YOUR FAULT that you have gastroparesis and neuropathy! All those years you thought everything was fine after they took you off of the metformin and left you on the glimipride and you just quit testing and now look, YOU’VE GOT COMPLICATIONS!”

She says she’s waiting for her 90 day supply of strips from Tricare to get here, but that won’t be until the 26th. I was like
" You can’t go THAT LONG without testing! That is irresponsible!"

Last night she said that I was stupid for testing 5 times a day with me being under control.

I give up! I honestly don’t know what to do anymore…

How can you get someone who’s being stubborn to see that they’re hurting there self by not testing and knowing their numbers? I see it as she’s on a path to self destruction.

Any tips you can give me that I can tell her to persuade her to get back on track?

Thanks!

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I have been spared the frustration of watching a relative engage in self destructive behavior, but I have run up against the same stone wall with friends and co-workers.

I have learned to distance myself a bit from them, knowing the adage, you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink.”
For you this is much harder, because it’s the woman who bore you into this world and brought you up.

I am glad you have this place to vent. Maybe some of our sisters and brothers here can give you some good advice.

I do know that this kind of stress is not good for you. Please take care of yourself. When it gets too much for you, take a few deep breaths, concentrating on your breathing. It really does work to let it go.

There is a whole lot more, but all I have this morning.

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I am so sorry you have to watch a loved one just not care. It can be brutal for those watching from the side lines.
Also, very sorry to say, there is not a lot you can do. Your Mom needs to make that choice herself.
I will say, I have been in a number of mental health workshops, classes that had many who didn’t think diabetes was a big deal and later had some major complications. One had a heart transplant, one had major heart failure, one lost a foot, one lost her sight in one eye and the list goes on and on. And everyone one of them after that major complication realized it was on them to get a handle on it. And all of them realized what they did and what they had to do. It was not something I needed to kick start my treatment plan as I was already there.(I was told about all those horrible complications and that fear drove me to try my best. But fear is not the best option for most people). But those real life stories did help many in these classes/workshops come to realize a little better was better than not even trying.
So maybe just talk about one thing that might help. Just one thing. Maybe test once a day. Maybe it’s once every two days. Maybe it’s once a week. Anything to try and get a habit started. Or maybe just going out for a walk. Find a friend or neighbor who also needs to walk or loves walking, to talk to her about getting out. Maybe a quick walk to the coffee shop or down to a bench in the park where they can sit and chat. She doesn’t have to walk miles, just get out. When I was in a very depressive state, it was suggested to exercise and my answer was, I can’t get out of bed. So they plan was, get up, walk around the block and then if you must go back to bed. But after awhile, I wasn’t so interested in crawling back into bed. I think, just baby steps is key here. Just talk about one thing that might give her the biggest return on her investment to help keep her motivated.
I also recommend you looking up Dr Polonsky at Behavioral Diabetes Institute. He also has some great videos at TCOYD. They are currently doing their great conferences virtually so you can attend from anywhere. Good luck!

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You are in a tough position, @CWM030. People cannot fix anything in their lives until they accept and acknowledge that they did indeed have a problem and the bulk of the responsibility is on their shoulders. Nothing positive will happen until this person takes full ownership of their health situation.

I think at this point, rather than try to persuade your mother into acting in a more healthy way, you need to accept that you only can control yourself. I suggest that you seek counseling. Your situation parallels that of parent of a teenage diabetic who chooses to act recklessly and damage their long term health. It’s also similar to the plight of close family members of alcoholics who join groups such as Al-Anon to find practical ways of dealing with a difficult situation.

Human motivation and response to adversity is mysterious to me. Why do some people go through the steps of grieving a health loss and eventually accept their situation and take full responsibility? I wonder if your mother might willingly participate in a support group. Knowing others suffer from the same difficulties accepting management of a chronic health condition can sometimes change their destructive trajectory.

Until your mother addresses her incomplete grieving process with her loss of health, not much progress is possible. If you step in to start calling the shots then your mother will misidentify you as the source of her unhappiness. That situation never works

Good luck, get some professional help for yourself, and identify some peer group support for your mother. At this point in the pandemic, it may be only Zoom video format, but that is better than nothing. I wish you the best as you navigate a difficult circumstance.

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Diabetics who self-test and actively use the numbers to optimize doses, meals, exercise are by far the exception. And not all diabetics are doing this as aggressively as they could. If you’re posting to tudiabetes you have almost certainly self-selected to be in the “intensive self-monitoring and control” group.

Almost anywhere else in patient-doctor relationships, interpretations of test results and the treatment decisions are left to the doctor. The more passive patient might tend to be older but there are plenty of young patients who don’t know how to champion their own health aggressively.

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It is tough, but she is a competent adult and can make her own decision. Even if you do not agree. Many GP’s tell older adults to test less. The decisions are hers. Sorry. Nancy50

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It’s just like any other self harming or self destructive behavior.
You really can’t force her
Sometimes people start taking hold of their condition when people around them stop doing it.

So good for thought. It might not work but at least you can let go of it.

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Ditto what Terry4 said. I’ve had that sort of problem with a couple of friends/relatives, (not diabetics, but other issues) and it’s very frustrating.

One of the things my therapist (yes, I got one primarily to deal with this sort of thing) said that was so very helpful: I can ask God, higher power, or whatever you believe in to just give me AND my friends/relatives the strength to deal with whatever we have to deal with. Not to cure, not to press the point with them, but just for me to have the strength to love them despite their stubborness and for them to have the strength to come to terms with what they have to do. Then I leave it in his/hers/its hands, knowing that I cannot do anything else. It has taken a great deal of stress off my shoulders.

It’s almost like going to, say, Al-Anon when the one you love is an alcoholic…you don’t work on them, you work on yourself. And, please acknowledge that YOU are every bit as important as your mother, and you need to take care of yourself first.

I wish you strength to deal with it, and peace.

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I suggest taking a break from even mentioning diabetes to her. Talk about positive things. Talk about life as if it is worth living. There is not much positive going on in the world lately so you might have to work at. Bring positive people around. Plants, pets, kids – what ever might cheer her up. Invite her to go somewhere fun where you have to walk around that won’t seem like it’s for exercise.
Take care of your own health and let her see that but don’t talk about it. Treat her as you would if she were doing all the right things for her health or as if she was someone you just met and didn’t know her medical history.

She has heard you. She knows what you would like her to do and what she should do.

When she no longer has you to fight with, her wall of refusal might come down. Don’t play the game with her. When she has to play a solitaire game of diabetes, she will have to commit to her own strategy for winning.

One concern is her test strip orders. She can’t test if she doesn’t have strips. If she is saving some for emergencies, that might be an issue. You might have to contact her doctor’s office and ask them to help her make sure she has enough.

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@Jane23 I 100% agree with your post. It is SO hard for all of us to follow even the very best advice. Almost impossible to learn from our nearest and harder yet when a parent needs to learn from her offspring. Looking back from my 80th year, I regret so much the excellent advice I ignored or even reacted against in the past. My life would have gone better if I had behaved more sensibly. Equally, I see my daughter now adopting helpful behaviours on her own initiative or influenced by friends. I suggested identical healthy strategies to her years ago, but she rejected them with gusto! I have long learned to keep my mouth shut and accept that I am not an appropriate person to give her advice. Quietly setting a good example sometimes succeeds.
To summarise my advice: back off, shut up, pretend not even to be aware of her self-destructive behaviour. And as someone else suggested, if it gets too painful, seek counselling.

Hi,
I agree with the other person who posted. You need to take a break. You are not doing yourself and your mother any good. In fact, you could be driving a wedge between the both of you. Take it from someone who is nagged by her husband, it does not work. It has to come within her. If her actions are not good, which it seems, then there is nothing you can do. Just be there and support her. Sometimes as a diabetic we need a break. I have been there myself. Not doing what I needed to do, but all the nagging my husband does it not helping. It has to come within myself to take care of my future self.

You need to take care of yourself. Don’t worry about your mother. You need to take care of your future self. You can’t make someone else do what they don’t want, but you can control yourself. I feel for you and I am sorry, but look out for yourself first.

Hang in there.

Pattie

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I see you have been focused on the testing issue, which is apparently being viewed by her as a battle tool for who’s in control. That question can dominate all other concerns, as we know from society in general. While frequent testing is the benchmark of knowledge for making decisions, other aspects of her lifestyle with diabetes have the most direct impact on developing complications - diet, activity level, stress, other medical conditions, and mental health being foremost. These are certainly personal and should not be shared with a group, but perhaps with your doctor or diabetes educator for insights. It may be better to redirect for awhile your diabetes engagement to other aspects before getting worn out pushing this one rock uphill.