I’m writing this as a bit of a warning.
I have been married for 38 years to the same person. About 2 years after we were married, I noticed he was losing weight and drinking gallons and getting up several times in the night to use the loo. I was a Biology teacher and knew what it meant. I got him to the doctor and he ordered a GTT. That meant a hospital appointment. In the interim, using just scientific knowledge and logic( no internet, or BG meters in those days) I cut the carbs in our diet and he improved a bit. The GTT confirmed diabetes and the diabetician at the hospital said it was T1 and that insulin was essential. Husband was admitted for 4 days and taught to inject. first on an orange. He was told how much insulin to use and told to eat loads of carbohydrates. He was to avoid hypos at all costs.( they still happenedand some were catastrophic) Over the years, annual tests resulted in increased doses of insulin and eventually in MDI and finally basal and bolus. At no time was he given any useful dietary advice. His weight crept up untill getting clothes big enough got difficult. He’s tall too, so that made it worse and this is Britain, where large sizes are sold only by specialist shops. Some years ago, he developed Charcot feet and was wearing a “Boot” for months. Both feet have gone. His eyes have been lasered several times and his kidneys are in stage 3 chronic kidney disease… Then there’s the frequent vomiting from Gastroparesis. The National Health service provides himwith 2 pairs of shoes a year, because his feet are too distorted for normal ones and he suffers constant ulcers where the bones project. He can’t feel them of course. So I spend a considerable amount of time driving him to and from the hospital for appointments which always keep us hanging around for hours. This week, I have taken him there for a vitrectomy, which didn’t go quite accordingg to plan and it took them an extra hour to re-fix the retina after it tore. I’ve waited 3 hours in the eye clinic for the post-op check up, because the appointments were messed up ( by them not us) I’ve taken him to podiatry for ulcer treatment and II’m putting drops in his eye every few hours.Ironically, I developed T2 about 6 years ago myself and I’m fanatical about my low carb diet. I have now made husband see that eating what you like and covering with insulin isn’t a good plan and that more frequent testing is helpful. The diabetician says twice a day is what he should be doing. I have ZERO faith in that doctor, but it’s not really possible to go to another one. this is Britain with the NHS!
I,and my husband, know that he’d be dead by now without my support . He’s had any number of hospital stays over the years and they are getting more frequent. the most recent was the result of a svere night time hypo, which got him so confused, he went out of the house in his bare feet and pyjamas and injured a foot which became infected. He cannot feel it of course.
I am a carer and that’s not what i thought I was committing to when i said my marriage vows.
I get very stressed sometimes, but over the years, I’ve worked full time as a teacher, but now retired and brought up a daughter, who is now married and a mother herself. Whilst tring to keep husband as well as possible.
Although I do my job willingly, if not exactly gladly, I have had most of my choices taken away by circumstances.
I have studied diabetes now and wish I’d known to do it 30 years ago. Those of you who read my stuff know that I’m a fervent believer in reduced carb diet and low dose medication. I have reduced husbands doses by about half and got some weight off him. I have also got him to stop taking at face value what the diabetician says and to think things through.
I have the good fortune to have a 150 IQ. And a certain facility with language.
What people in my circumstances without those assets can do I dread to think.
I’m writing this as a bit of a warning.
Hana, thanks for sharing your story. I can only imagine how difficult all these struggles have been. Your husband is very fortunate to have such a caring wife!
Goes without saying that you’re a treasure beyond rubies, but I’ll say it anyway. I fervently hope that my husband does not have to go through with me with what you’ve been through. If he does, I hope he’s as smart & caring as you are. I think he will be because he’s an incredible man. Hasn’t been easy for him so far, though not because of any medical complications. His stress, understandably, is from worry & fear of something he can’t do anything about. His his choices have also been taken away because of me. I know it’s not my fault, but the guilt gnaws at me.
Am saddened & angered no end by the stories of our fellow members who don’t have the resources & blindly accept whatever they’re told by doctors, dieticians & the like, including very poor diet choices.