Uncooperative husband, in denial.

By Jadedawn Latest Reply 2011-05-28 12:31:18 -0500
Started 2011-05-21 00:38:06 -0500

My husband has been a type 2 diabetic for years and seems to still be in denial about it. I don't think he has even been regulated, at least not in the 2 years we have been married and it scares me. I try to help by cooking healthy meals and suggesting low carb snacks but he gets so upset with me and the fact that he can't/shouldn't be eating the junk food he loves. He also has trouble with portion sizes, he feels he is not satisfied with a normal amount of food and continually eats more then he should. Does anyone else struggle with this? I need help, I'm at my wits end!

32 replies

PetiePal 2011-05-25 08:47:32 -0500 Report

He's not in denial so much as ignoring the facts and being irresponsible. Have you tried being completely honest with him and telling him what would happen if he were to die and leave you alone? Sometimes Diabetics don't realize that our disease (treated or not) can very much impact our loved ones.

You're doing your part by being supportive but perhaps he needs to hit a low point before he really realizes he can't just do what he wants. What kind of treatment is he on, oral meds or insulin?

Jadedawn 2011-05-25 22:19:49 -0500 Report

I have told him repeatedly how worried I am that he will leave me a widow and he seems to relize the impact it is having on me. He is on both oral metformin er and injected lantis and humalog.
I am hopeful that today was a low point for him as we sent all day in urgent care come to find out he has 2 fractures in his foot just from walking. The doctor said it is something that happens to diabetics because of poor blood circulation.
I just hope this is not the begining of the end. . .

jayabee52 2011-05-28 04:55:55 -0500 Report

The beginning of Charcot foot?

Jadedawn 2011-05-28 12:31:18 -0500 Report

I'm not sure, the first doctor we saw said it was some sort of fracture (I can't remember what he called it) but he said it was common to diabetics and told him to stay off the foot and refered us to an orthopedic surgeon who took different x-rays and said it was a stress fracture from the weight distrubution being off in his foot from having a toe removed 2 years ago and that it was ok to walk on it as long as he used his cane and medical boot for support. We are concerned the ortho doc didn't see the same thing the 1st dr did because he didn't take weight bearing x-rays like the 1st one. We go back to the refering Dr on tuesday so hopefully we will get more answeres then.

Jadedawn 2011-05-24 20:34:08 -0500 Report

he has seen multipule doctors and he knows the risks and complications. I think he is just in denial.

bionkasmomma2004 2011-05-24 19:31:13 -0500 Report

Mo mother is type 1 diabetic and has had her leg amputated…kidney disease..she is on dialysis now and she has lost a finger ALL due to diabetes!!!! This is a very serious disease…he needs to see a dr and get the info about it..in my prayers always

bionkasmomma2004 2011-05-24 19:29:26 -0500 Report

I have been that way for 18 years…I am just now starting to take care of myself and I am type 1. I hope and pray that he starts to take care of him self… It is very hard to give up the junk food..its almost like quitting smoking but it can be done. A diabetic can still snack on junk food just smaller amounts. If you have children or plan to he really needs to take care of himself. I was just told by my doctor that if i dont start right now i won't see my 6 yr old graduate from high school. I will be praying for both of you…God Bless

2011-05-23 00:26:36 -0500 Report

Jadedawn~~ I, too was like your husband. I was in complete denial. Until a friend of mine, (who happens to be an Endocrinologist) sat me down & told me what would happen to me, if I continued down the same path as your husband's. But even though I've changed my ways, it's a little too late. I'm losing my eyesight, I have a kidney that's failing. I don't wish this on anyone. Can your husband get to a diabetes class, or have his dr give him the "talk" ( I'm not talking birds & bees here.) He has to learn. Believe me when I say I would've rather had smaller portions, than a smaller field of vision. He's got to learn now before it's to late. He doesn't want to be on the same path that I'm on.

Jadedawn 2011-05-23 10:39:20 -0500 Report

Unfortinatly we have been to a diabeties educator and he has had several doctors tell him the dangers of his actions including telling him he is a walking time bomb that could very easily just drop dead from a heart attach and like I said befor he is already suffering some of the consequences, he has had several surgeries on his feet including removal of his big toe and part of the metetarsal bone and he lives with daily pain in his feet and constant ulcers. Honestly I thought the loss of his toe would have woke him up but it wasn't enough. He did better for a few months but even then his #'s were high.

2011donnaann 2011-05-23 12:31:00 -0500 Report

my uncle had to learn the hard lessons too. He lost a leg, they wont to take the other one but he said no. Its a painful thing to watch others suffer. Now that i'm the one not following the rules to a tee, I'm a little more conscience of what I eat. I spent an hour in the grocery store yesterday and all i spent was $60 and what I got wont last long :(

Jadedawn 2011-05-23 22:04:10 -0500 Report

I feel your pain in the grocery store. Everything has so much sugar and carbs in it it is rediculus! I am fortinate to have grown up with a lot of home cooking and since my current job is home based I am able to prepare 90% of our food from scratch to avoid all the junk that is in the packaged stuff but it is still a challenge trying to come up with meals that are acceptable (it doesn't help much that my husband is pickey either) I don't know where you are located but if there is a Sprouts near by that is where I do a good bit of my shopping. The produce is amazing (quality and price) and they have more of the organic, sugar free, gluten free products then other grocery stores.

2011-05-23 00:00:23 -0500 Report

Hey Jadedawn~~ when I was first diagnosed, I, too, was like your husband. I was in complete denial. Until a friend of mine (who just so happens to be an Endocrinologist) sat me down and explained it to me in terms I could understand. And even though I changed my ways, I'm still loosing my sight, and I have a kidney that's failing as well. So please, see if your husband will take a diabetes class. Or if his dr will have the "talk" (not talking about the birds & the bees here.) He's got to know that this disease shouldn't be taking lightly. It's a serious illness. He could lose a lot. More than he realizes. I would rather have smaller portions, then a smaller field of vision. Take it from me. I'm going blind, & I'm losing a kidney. All because I didn't refuse that second helping.

Leslie1963 2011-05-22 23:16:43 -0500 Report

Goodness…this hits close to home for me. I was just diagnosed with Type 2 three weeks ago. However, Diabetes has been part of my family for a very long time. My father was diagnosed with type 2 in his 30's. Back in the 1970's. He was somewhat able to control it with oral medication and exercise until 1984 when a horrible car accident caused internal damage to organs, threw the blood sugar off the charts, he went on insulin and life was never the same. Daddy was stubborn and was going to eat whatever he wanted, his health be damned. Our talks, our yelling did nothing. He controlled his home. His wife(my wonderful step-mom) loved him so much that she catered to his every "want". And then she administered the 4 daily insulin shots to him. Health got worse. Lost circulation in one leg, got infection in a toe. That led to amputation of said toe all the way to just below the knee. Congestive heart failure set in too. He kept eating whatever. He got bigger. She continued to take care of him. He could barely walk with his prosthetic leg around the house, let alone anywhere else. He suffered a mild stroke in 2005. This went on for years and in 2009 he developed blood clots in his groin, they did surgery to remove them. Blood thinners weren't going to resolve this. They came back. Circulation to the other leg was gone, that leg "died". They amputated it and removed blood clots again. Infection set in and nothing worked. He made the decision to stop all treatments. 2 weeks in hospice and he died on March 13, 2009 at 67 years old. Now, in my mind, he was being stubborn and selfish. He wasn't thinking about HIS big picture, his family. He was only thinking about how he loved all that good food and he was going to keep eating it. I can relate. That wonderful man taught me how to cook, good ole southern cooking. That's all we know. And we pay the consequences. I am looking HARD for my big picture so that I don't leave my family too soon. I have new grandbabies that I want to be around with for a very long time. Your husband has to see HIS big picture, and see that there is so much more to life than food. And yes, it's hard to see sometimes. I honestly don't know how to tell you to help him see that, he sounds very stubborn too. And I know how heart breaking it is to sit and watch someone you love do that to themselves.

Jadedawn 2011-05-23 10:45:14 -0500 Report

Thank you for sharing your story. That is what I fear will happen to him. I know some people feel I am catering to him but I am doing my best not to. I am going to share your post with him and hopefully it will help him see the bigger picture and what IS going to happen if he doesn't change his ways.

Leslie1963 2011-05-23 12:04:23 -0500 Report

You're welcome. I read the other posts, and your replies. So he's already lost a toe…he's very well aware of what's going on and what will happen if he does not face this. It's all downhill for him if he does not change. And at the end of the day, we ALONE are responsible for our actions, or lack of. No one else. It sounds like you are doing everything you can, short of threatening to leave him. But who knows if that would even jolt him into a reality check? My thoughts are with you dealing with this, with HIS choices. Remember that always…he's making these choices. And ultimately, he will pay the price for those choices, good or bad.

Jadedawn 2011-05-23 21:58:51 -0500 Report

I totally agree that they are his choices and he will have to pay the price for them but unfortinatly it is not only effecting him. Being his wife it effects me also, not only having to watch him fall apart (or be cut apart as the case may be) but I also have to deal with the financial side of it as well. We have so much medical debt because of all the treatments and surgeries. Which I wouldn't have a problem with if I thought it was helping but its just an endless cycle unless he changes something.
The good news is that I did email him your post and while he got very angry at first he is at least willing to talk about it and admit he needs to make changes. I just hope it will last this time. . .

whitetigress 2011-05-21 22:01:51 -0500 Report

I realize that type1Lou touched upon it, when I first read your concerns, the first thing that ran through my mind is "start planning his funeral". What type of music does he want, the casket… and so on … who does he want to invite? I know this sounds morbid but..

I had a client who was anorexic and instead of coddling her (like everyone else was doing) to try and get her to eat, I simply said, "Ok, let's sit down and talk about your funeral. There are so many things to plan." She did not like being forced to deal with her demise / funeral. She started eating. I couldn't believe it. She was 22 at the time and quite impressionable.

I sense that your husband is not like this at all. What I would do is leave the subject alone entirely and focus on the people who do want your attention. When he realizes that you aren't "pushing him", he might come around - reverse psychology. :) Some men have a hard time admitting that there is "something wrong" or that he is less than perfect.

Jadedawn 2011-05-22 00:51:24 -0500 Report

He is a lot like that, he feels like a failure and a looser. Unfortinatly when I do leave it a lone he is perfectly content to eat himself to death. I will take your advice to talk about funeral and such to see if that will wake him up but I think I need to just focus on buying and cooking healthy things and doing my best to provide him what he needs to make good choices but in the end it just boils down to him making those choices. Like type1lou said he is not a child and I am not his mother. He needs to make his own choices, at this point I just need to make sure that I will be taken care of when he kills himself. It is sad to say but that is the reality of the situation and hosetly after 3 years of dealing with this with him and seeing little to no progress (infact I think he is worse now then he was last year) I don't have much hope of it changing.

whitetigress 2011-05-22 12:51:15 -0500 Report

Not to pry too much (I was going to ask all kinds of personal questions like how many children do you have? How old are they? The reason that I am asking is, is it possible to leave him? This is a drastic solution, I realize.

Yes your approach of cooking meals that are healthy for him (believe me, the "diabetic diet" will not harm anyone) and your family, hiding the goodies and the food that will harm him.

There are people who feel that the diagnosis of diabetes is a death sentence and the complications are inevitable but that is not true. It does not have to be fatal and it can be reversed. Why not tell him that you are trying to keep him healthy and prevent these complications. I feel your frustration as some of my male clients are "diabetic" and they let their pride get in the way.

Jadedawn 2011-05-22 22:13:55 -0500 Report

We don't have any children, we have been trying but have had no success and I fear his uncontrolled diabeties has to do with that as well. And yes leaving him is a drastic solution but I would be lieing if I said I had not considered it but I don't see that as a solution at this point. Yes, I wouldn't have to deal with it anymore but the whole reasion I am soo concerned is because I do love him and want to have many years with him so leaving him would not solve anything.

Jadedawn 2011-05-21 21:47:28 -0500 Report

Thank you everyone for your support. I know there is no smoking gun to solve this issue but it helps to have support and to know that I am doing all I can. I know it is ultimatly his choice I just hope that with my prayers and support he will be encouraged to make the right choice. Again thank you all for the support, it has really helped.

realsis77 2011-05-21 12:56:41 -0500 Report

Hi. I'm a insulin dependant diabetic myself. Your husband really needs reminded of what could happen if he does not care for himself properly. Its very scarey because diabetes can cause blindness, lost of limbs, loss of kidney function ect. For me when I get tired of testing and doing what I'm supposed to do , I remind myself of what WILL happen if I don't care properly for myself. All you can do is remind him that his actions now will dictate how his future will be. If he still chooses to ignore his health, their is nothing you can do about it. It is up to him to be responsiable for his future. I understand how worried and frusterated you must be! I'm sorry but this he must do on his own. You can't do it for him eventhough you wish you could. I don't understand why sometimes people can be so stubbern. This is his future and only he can control the outcome. I wish I had better advice but I don't. I wish you the very best and pray your husband will see that its in his best intrest to care better for himself! God bless you!

Somoca 2011-05-21 12:46:50 -0500 Report

Jadedawn, it seems that you are told repeatedly what you need to do regarding your husband. The fact of the matter is that the only thing you can do is pray that his heart will be moved one day to fight for his health. Sometimes we can win battles without saying a word (sometimes). Continue making the healthy meals for him and yourself and leave it at that.

Eventually he will wise up from your silence or he will continue on the path he is determined to stay on and no amount of talking is going to change that. Rest in the knowledge that you have done your part in the matter.

Type1Lou 2011-05-21 12:32:13 -0500 Report

Dear Jadedawn,
Your husband is an adult and is responsible for his own behavior. He is making the choice to be in denial. You are not his parent nor his keeper and cannot make him take that responsibility he so desperately must. That doesn't make it any easier on you or your family.

I would make a point to sit down with him and review his life insurance and your will because, unless HE changes his behavior, he is looking at more diabetic complications and a shorter life-span…something he's already been told and experienced. I don't know if therapy is an option you've considered, preferably for both of you…for him to help him face his diabetes and for you to cope with his dealing/not dealing with it.

Make sure that you and your children are protected in the event of his death. Maybe looking at those ramifications might wake him up…you can only hope, otherwise, he'll continue to self-destruct and make your lives a living hell.

Jadedawn 2011-05-21 21:35:32 -0500 Report

Thank you for the advice, I have tried everything else I may as well try this. Hopefully lookiing at his will and life insurance will be a wake up call to him.

Jadedawn 2011-05-21 11:55:11 -0500 Report

Thank you everyone for your advice, unfortinatly I have talked to him several times about it and explained how worried I am about him. Infact we just had a fight about it last night which is why I am here seeking your advice. The talks used to help for a little while (a month at the most) but now I don't even get that. Now he just tells me it is my fault because I buy the food and should be bringing things into the house that he can't eat! But his biggest problem is portion control because even the things that I buy for the kids that aren't 100% diabetic friendly are still ok in moderation.
And as far a wake up call I do not know what it will take, he knows the problems high BG can cause. He has already had 3 surgeries on his feet and lost a toe from a bone infection from an ulcer and he has another ulcer on the other foot that he doesn't take care of, I have to do all the bandage changes as well. We have been strugling to heal it for months and it is now infected. I'm afraid he is going to loose that toe to (if not his foot or life first) but he refuses to go to the doctors because he knows they will lecture him. Last year they told him that he is a walking heart attach and it is not a matter of if but when he will have one and that it is very likely that he will just drop dead.
But dispite all that he doesn't seem to care. He eats whatever he wants whenever he wasn't (and yes he is gaining weight) he doesn't exercise (he claims he can't beacuse of the ulcer) and he doesn't take his meds unless I practcaly force him to. I have to portion out his pills in a am/pm dispencer AND bring them to him with water or he "forgets" to take them and he doesn't get his insulin unless I give it to him which means he only gets 2-4 out of the at least 5 injections he is supposed to be taking because I am not with him 24/7. And I have no clue where his BG is at this point because he refuses to test but I know it is out of this world high because of the amount of insulin I can give him without it effecting him at all.
I have also done my best to prepare him balanced meals but then he over eats or adds carb loaded snacks to it like the other night when I made a grilled chicken chefs salad for dinner he ate that then proceeded to eat some nachos and a giant bowl of cherrios which are only in the house because I babysit and need snacks for the little ones.
He is also addicted to soda pop and even though I refuse to buy him anything but the zero calorie/carb stuff he still drinks WAY to much of that and when he has money at work or the store he buys full sugar stuff. On top of that his Doctor told him he needed to quit smoking so he did but now he is addicted to nicotine gum which still has all the ill effects of nicotine in his system on top of causing insulin resistence.
Like I said I am at my wits end. I feel I have done everything I can and then some but it is just getting worse. I fear the day I will wake up next to a corpes or get that dredded phone call :'(

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-21 18:57:24 -0500 Report

My Mother-in- law treated her diabetes much like that. Unfortunately all others can do is help them. Each person has the right to self destruct. Unfortunately it can destroy us in the process along with them.

Gwen Morten
Gwen Morten 2011-05-21 18:55:41 -0500 Report

I'm sorry to hear that your husband has given up. You need to see that even with all your lecturing and forcing meds in him, you are still enabling him. Tell him you are going to put him in a nursing home where nurses and cnas can look after him. Take him on a tour of a nursing home and even bring home pamphlets with information on how he will soon be living if he don't make better than an effort to control his sugars. And follow through if he doesn't. I know, easier said than done but just the threat might work.

Trudie Ann
Trudie Ann 2011-05-21 14:34:23 -0500 Report

You sound like a very concerned and loveing wife. Unfortunately your husband has refused to accept his diabetes. The one thing that I can do is tell you that I think you are awesome, continue to do your best. Thats all you can do. And sweetheart I will be praying for you.

alanbossman 2011-05-21 08:18:33 -0500 Report

Hi, and welcome to DC family.You need to wake your husband up,you need to ask him if he likes to see, and walk if his sugars stay high he will lose his sight and if it gets worse if he injures his feet he could lose his foot. Also high sugars can and will destroy all organs in your body,heart,kidneys,liver. And higher blood sugars will but you in a coma and death. He needs to know this if he really loves you he will comply and get his diabetes in control before its to late.

jayabee52 2011-05-21 05:46:08 -0500 Report

Yes Jade, I had been that uncooperative husband in denial.

My ex told me that if I didn't start taking my meds and take better care of my body, that she would divorce me.
I complied and she stayed with me —- for a few yrs more. She then divorced me out of a 25 yr marriage over other issues.

(no it wasn't the lady in the picture)


cavie2 2011-05-21 03:17:04 -0500 Report

It does sound like he is in complete denial, but some people look on diabetes as a weakness what with all the medications, lancets, testing strips, watching carbs, cutting out certain foods, doctor visits, insulin, needles. I could go on and on. Maybe your husband feels he is less of a man because of this, something has come along and taken part of his masculinity away from him so the only way he can deal with that is to ignore it. Have you spoke to him and explained how worried you are about him, just being married 2 years you obviously love him and want him with you for many years to come and he could be putting on weight with the large food portions and that will make his diabetes worse. Communication is so important in a relationship don't allow anyone to tell you otherwise. Tell him you both need to sit down and talk about this ask him how he feels about his diabetes, is there anything you can do to make things easier for him other than ignore the situation like he obviously is doing. I'm sure there are a few others on this site who will give advice and probably better advice than mine so take everything on board but the situation will not be resolved unless you can get him to talk about how he feels. Take care and I sent prayers for you and your husband. lol

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