Faster than a speeding bullet and I can handle my own sugars.

Thomas Shulin
By Thomas Shulin Latest Reply 2012-05-30 11:34:57 -0500
Started 2012-05-27 15:17:53 -0500

First off I hope everyone is having/had a great Memorial Day weekend and being able to spend these few and special times with their families. This past work week I had many patients who are just not too concerned about testing. Either only testing once or twice a day, or even the “I know my body better than that stupid old meter. I know when my sugars are high.” I really want to help these folks but I don’t know how to stress that testing is so important. They tell me they are just fine and not worried about losing their vision or part of a limb. I’m interested to hear if anybody has any special phrases to shake people up or even stories of some one that thought they were Superman. I am really at a lost since I am just as stubborn as the next one when it comes to health too. Please help with any info.

20 replies

old biker
old biker 2012-05-30 11:34:57 -0500 Report

That is really such a shame..But some people despite all warnings have to hit bottom before they can climb up. I can only imagine how frustrating that must be at times..Maybe ron white was right when he say's "you can't fix stupid"

suziesgirl 2012-05-28 19:18:43 -0500 Report

Sounds like you are dealing with people who are so set in their ways and will cross the next bridge when they get to it. Until someone is threatened with the reality of losing a limb, eyesight or one of the many other health threats of diabetes, it sounds kind of like beating a dead dog. My mother has had diabetes for about 25 years. She admits she was warned early to watch her food intake but chose not to. She takes Metformin, Januvia, and insulin now. When she moved next door to me 6 years ago, I tried to help her get her diabetes under control, however it was her choice not to. Maybe because of her age and the reassurance from her doctor that she was doing good, lead her into a false sens of security that she was invinceable. I see her deteriorating daily, mind and body, but it is too late to change anything she does. At almost eighty years old, she does not see the need to have any big changes in her life. She thinks nothing of making brownies, and cookies. I just don't bother anymore to say much, I only get attacked and thats gets very old. If you can talk to people who want to save themselves from the painful side affects of this disease you will feel less discouraged. People who really want help will jump at the chance to hear good information regarding their disease. Hope you find the magic words, you just may, I cannot think of any.

GabbyPA 2012-05-28 10:37:33 -0500 Report

Every Superman has his cryptonite. Unfortunately, as diabetics, we have several. I am encouraged by the fact that you are asking your patients to test more than once or twice. I tested 4-10 times a day when I was first diagnosed, before I had a doctor. When I finally go one, my doctor told me to only test 1-2 times a day. WHAT!?

So maybe find out why they aren't testing. Sometimes it is not because they don't want to be compliant, but they cannot afford to be. The excuse might be that they know their body, but it could be that they cannot afford to test more.

If they are just being stubborn, then maybe give them a challenge to see who is right? That they should write down the number they think will show on the meter and see how close the are by testing. Make it a game of sorts. If they are right on, then there is nothing you can do to change their minds, but maybe they will see how wrong they are and how often and it might encourage testing more? Just a thought.

Nick1962 2012-05-29 10:16:47 -0500 Report

That's exactly how I approached it. Letting the meter prove me right. In the beginning though I was only about 30% successful, now however I'm usually within 10 points most of the time, but then through testing I know what happens when I eat what.

GabbyPA 2012-05-29 18:44:25 -0500 Report

But do you still test now?

Nick1962 2012-05-29 19:02:00 -0500 Report

Even though doc said I don't have to, I still do. Not every day, but after I've eaten something off the diet to make sure I'm back in line. The last two weeks every morning because I noticed a pattern of really low numbers. I'm not naive enough to believe it'd go away, and I also want to know if it's getting worse.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-05-28 09:59:29 -0500 Report

Honestly, sometimes when I think I know my body and more or less my BG reading, I am usually wrong 50% of the time.

My nephew is a T1 and is like your patients, his Endo actually took him around with him to see patients which have already been impacted with complications from D, this graphic visuals have helped him to see a clear picture of what can and will happen to him if he doesn't start taking D more serious.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-05-27 22:04:02 -0500 Report

I don't really think you can say anything to make a person test the way they should? I think they have to want to do it by being more responsible for their own health. Sadly, it might take loosing their vision or a body bart to get their head straight. It's confusing how it is one of the easiest things to do, but also one of the things ignored by too many.:(

Caroltoo 2012-05-27 21:59:32 -0500 Report

Perhaps they would be more inclined to test if they felt that they could do something about the results. Teach them how to lower their BGs, if they are high; or raise them, if they are too low. Too many diabetics feel helpless, like there is no productive way to use the knowledge, so why test!

Teaching about good food choices, effects of exercise, as ways of making the "numbers" change might encourage them. It is disheartening to have no control over ones own life except to give a shot or take a pill. If they could see testing as a way to IMPROVE health, not just to "check" it, it might give them hope. With hope comes a future.

pixsidust 2012-05-27 21:41:52 -0500 Report

I truly can say. I love you and do not want to ever lose you. Please care, please try and do what you must to live. I don't want to ever lose you…

Controlled 2012-05-27 18:31:03 -0500 Report

Unfortunately, I do not have a "special phrase." My only experience is that I had a very close friend for ten years. He was diabetic and gave himself insulin each night without testing. He did not test before or after eating and became complacent with his own health.

I would have lunch with him and was amazed at the choices that he made. You can't stop a college educated, veteran and full-grown man from neglecting himself despite the best of efforts.

He died six months ago. At this point I can't tell if he had suicidal tendencies and intentionally neglected his care or was merely complacent or negligent. He was an intelligent person and there is no way that he simply did not know of the dangers of his action, or failure to act.

He left a wife and two children behind. It is a very sad tale. It's easy to be dismissive of statistics and discount the consequences of our actions.

The lesson for me wasn't about my own healthcare, I continue to maintain BG and A1C's at totally controlled levels without medication. It was confounding behavior to witness and I hope that others won't be lulled into complacency and assume they know more about their chemistry than their meter does.

Thomas Shulin
Thomas Shulin 2012-05-28 22:17:31 -0500 Report

I didn't think I would see such a large group of friends responding. So far yours has really touch me the deepest. I was looking for a phrase or keyword, but in the end it is friends and family that count and the stories they leave behind. I bet it was hard for you to re-live the pain of losing them. So thank you dearly. I know if I can explain to my patients what they are doing not only affects them but everyone around them will shine some brighter light.

jayabee52 2012-05-27 18:28:19 -0500 Report

Howdy Thomas, WELCOME to DiabeticConnect!

I was a "superman" and did not pay enough attention to my diabetes mellitus (DM) until I had developed peripheral neropathy in my extermeties.

I have tingling neuropathy in my arms from elbows down to fingertips and burning neuropathy from my knees down to my toes! It hurts to walk and my stamina is shot. I am 60 and sometimes feel like I am 80 y/o.

What is more, I have chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and am very close to dialysis again. The reason I have the kidney issues is due to my DM, and High Blood Pressure, which I also did not take seriously. In my first bout with Dialysis (for 10 months beginning Nov 2006) I ended up on my bedroom floor for 5 days/nights in a semi-comatose state. My son found me and took me to the ER. I could have just as easily died at that time.

Take a look at my list of "interests" on my profile page. I suffer with all of those "medical challenges" listed, the great majority are in some way related to my DM Dx. (while you are on my profile, please follow me back)

So I tell them the complications with which I suffer. If they don't listen to that, then I am sorry for them because they'll suffer much the same fate as I have, and I would prefer they would not.

That is part of the reason I am so active here on DC. I want to help others not make the same mistakes as I have made. However if they are determined to do it, I can't force them. the saying is true: "you can lead a horse to water — but you can't make him drink" (even if you salt his oats)

Blessings to you and yours

James Baker

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