Husband's Blood Sugars are scaring me!

By EricanMike817 Latest Reply 2014-01-20 18:05:57 -0600
Started 2014-01-17 10:56:07 -0600

My husband was diagnosed with Diabetes in August 2013. It was the first time he had been on health insurance since he was a kid, and he hadn't been to the doctor since he was a young child. The doctor handed us a start up kit, called in some metformin, and sent us on our way. We had no idea what to do, then a month later he came back for a check up, metformin did not work to keep his BS down, so they added the Lantus pen. So, now he is on both, but neither of them help. His BS are ALWAYS over 300, and this morning he wakes up and we test his BS, the meter just says over 600. IDK what to do for him, I made an appt with an endocrinologist for 01/23/2014. My husband is in complete denial that this BS is an issue. He thinks because he has had diabetes for who knows how long, and he feels "fine", that there is nothing wrong with him. I've tried explaining how much damage is being done internally, but he just doesn't get it. Any advice??

22 replies

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-01-20 18:05:57 -0600 Report

Hi Erica,

Nice to hear from you. And I am glad you checked in. I can't tell you how often I talk with the husbands or wives of newly-diagnosed diabetics who are feeling like you are. Watching your spouse not taking care of himself is just one of the hardest things in life. Talk about feeling helpless!

I see that you got some great support and advice from the real experts, other members who are walking this road along beside you. But I did want to echo some of the advice you received.

I really encourage you to go to the endocrinologist appoint along with your husband. This is a time to really team up. Hearing the same information, and offering your support, could go along way toward helping your husband recognize the importance of taking care of himself, and helping him feel that he is not alone. And as others have said, eating the same diet is an important step to helping him be compliant with his self-care.

He needs some patience and some reassurance as he adjusts to his diagnosis and makes this a part of his life. It sounds like you have been right there with him, trying to help him anyway you can.

He is going to need to take responsibility for his diabetic self-care. Nobody can do all the work for him. But support along the way can help him to move in a positive direction.

Now, back to you. I hope you are also getting support. Hopefully, you have friends or family members you can talk to who can be good listeners, and not try to tell you what to do or judge you. You might also consider reaching out to a counselor if you need a sounding board and some additional perspective.

I hope you will stay in touch with us. As you can see from all the great support here, you are not alone!


jed1 2014-01-18 12:23:41 -0600 Report

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes before our grand daughter was born and she is know 16 yrs old. He pretty much stayed in denial until about 2 yrs ago. My grand daughter came to live with us and he realized he had to face it. He now has Parkinsons which often happens when it's not kept under control. He is a Vietnam Vet and I now have him going to the VA for his medical care. It is a long drive down to the VA hospital, and I don't like driving busy freeways, but I had to overcome this fear for both our sakes. We still cannot get him to check his blood but we have learned by his mood, actions and talking when his blood sugars are way off. We now eat the same diet he needs so that he doesn't feel guilty about having us make him a separate meal. This has been really tough on him and all we can do is watch him and do what is needed without making a fuss about it. At the same time we also need to have a place where we can go to release the stress it puts on us. The one thing we all have in common when we live with someone with diabetes, it does affect everyone in the house.

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:19:05 -0600 Report

I hate when doctors tell you that you have diabetes and then send you home. They should send you to a diatician, nutritionist, or and endocrinologist. I have been to all thee. I go to the endocrinologist, then in three months I see his diabetic nurse, then in three months go the the endo. again. If he is in denial, it might benefit him of you make a nurse consult appointment without your husband. You could voice all of your concerns and his denial. Usually these nurses work in close conjunction with the endo. dr. Then the next time you take him to the doctor, he will be better armed to have a frank conversation with your husband. Hope this helps.

GabbyPA 2014-01-17 20:31:32 -0600 Report

Let him grieve....he's loosing what he knows and is facing a huge change. Changes are not all easy, even when we know we should do them.

Love him and keep an eye on him, but the more you "nag" him, even in loving concern, the more he may push it away.

Go to his doctor appointments and classes with him and learn with him. He feels fine because he has felt this way for so long. I know it was that way with me. Once I started getting better numbers, I felt so much better. I was shocked at how sick I was and didn't even really know it.

Do with him instead of telling him what to do. Change your life to fit his now and it will make the temptations to stray easier to deal with because he knows you are doing it too. There is a huge bonding opportunity for you both.

So be patient, be there, and love him. Live life fully, every moment. The less you make diabetes a doom and gloom thing (trust me, there are many who will give him all the doom and gloom he can handle), the more willing he may be to work with you together on the battles ahead.

Bekah Nikole
Bekah Nikole 2014-01-18 07:04:59 -0600 Report

Make the change with him, just don't start eating the sugar free foods yourself. My Hubby went along with me and supported me with all the changes that I had to make. Helping me tweek recipes, not eating out at fast food places, picking up extra veggies and always helping and encouraging me to learn. Start pushing to go out and do things instead of sitting on the couch and reward him when he does well. I love Diabetic Living, when I first got started it really helped me plan out meals that my Hubby and I can both eat. Plus, the magazine has little tips and ideas to help improve every day life.

Puffs55 2014-01-17 16:00:30 -0600 Report

Ketoacidosis is long affecting. My sugar was 850 before I was at this stage. Put me on IV fluids. Each person is different. Type 1 and Type 2.I am 57 years old and not a doctor .Been their and done that. Denial is a stage. Good luck.

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:24:06 -0600 Report

you are so right. As we say at my house "denial is not only a river in egypt" It can be very psychologically damaging. Sometimes you need someone to be at your side and to walk through this with you. Help you along instead of it sounding like they are nagging you about everything you put in your mouth. I have some work associates that will nag me every time I eat anything with sugar. They can't get in their heads that a diabetic can have sugar once in a great while. Good luck with your management

Nick1962 2014-01-17 14:47:35 -0600 Report

In your response to Mike below, you touched on a very important point I can identify with. The fact that he’s only 125 lbs. could mean that up until now, he’s had a super metabolism that’s allowed him to stay that size (a problem, at roughly his same height, I wish I had), or he’s lost a lot of weight which is pretty indicative of being hyperglycemic.

With blood glucose numbers that high, your body is in a constant sugar rush. Before I was diagnosed, I was always tired (and cranky – well downright nasty). Fatigue is also a major indicator of hyperglycemia.

For me it came on over the course of about 10 years (switched from an active job to a desk job) and I didn’t really feel it until one day I just said “I shouldn’t be feeling like this at my age”. My mental state at the time wasn’t quality either. I won’t say I hit bottom, but I could clearly see it from where I was. I didn’t notice the increased thirst sensation, constant peeing, stomach pains, constant headaches and concentration problems, or my vision getting blurry because it came in such small doses.

Unfortunately, as we age, we change considerably I found. Metabolism slows, and in many cases because our activity levels decrease, we don’t need near the same amount of food because we expend less energy. That never really dawned on me, because even in the sad state I was in, I could still get things done – the Superman syndrome you speak of. Long story short, I had my day of reckoning and feel really good and healthy now, and never, ever, want to go back to feeling like that again.

After his endocrinologist chimes in with his/her diagnosis, your husband may have different thoughts, and some damage may already be done. In any case he’ll have to start getting his diet in line with the adult life he now leads because no amount of insulin or meds can fix it at a certain point. Bottom line is some poor lifestyle choices and habits are catching up to him, so ask him what his plans are for age, oh, say, 50. Caribbean vacation? Car to restore? College fund for kids? I’m sure something motivates him. Hate to be the bearer……but unless he comes to grips, if he sees age 50, he probably won’t be in any shape to enjoy any of the things he’s worked for.

For starters, try getting him to “experiment” by cutting out just 10%-20% of the junk he eats for a few months and seeing if he doesn’t notice a difference. If he does, hopefully he’ll get the fact that no, he isn’t “fine” after all, and continue to work on it to see just how “fine” he can feel. He’ll probably have more energy so get out and use it somehow. Baby steps….but they need to be taken now.

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:28:04 -0600 Report

As his wife you can make small changes in the meals you feed him. No cream soups or heavy cream sauces. More vegetables and salads. Baked fish and chicken…not fried and so on… Put it on smaller plates. I think if you make the small changes and go through this with him, he won't feel like he is the outsider and may come around to the changes.

mike v.
mike v. 2014-01-17 12:53:59 -0600 Report

what is he eating and drinking, he needs to cut out a lot of sugars and whites of his diet like bread potatoes stuff like that he needs to cut out a lot of starchy foods teens start eating a lot of vegetables and fruits , like green leafy foods and vegetables. needs to start eating fish and stuff like that tell him to cut out a lot of red meat.

EricanMike817 2014-01-17 13:15:43 -0600 Report

The problem is that he is 32 and eats like a kid. Hamburgers, french fries, Mt. Dew, the whole 9 yards. He thinks because he has had diabetes for so long, and we never knew it, (and he felt fine) that there's isn't anything wrong with him, and that he will be fine if he continues on the way he is. He is 5'7 and weighs 125lbs. He constantly snacks on cookies, and donuts, etc…I won't buy them when I do the shopping, but he will buy them every time he is out. I don't know what to do with him. He sleeps all day, and I'm guessing that is because his blood sugar is so high, and God forbid I say anything about it without getting my head snapped off. On top of all that the Lantus pen won't even touch his BS because let's face it, he is bombarding himself with sugars, and the metformin can't keep up with him, either (not that he ever really takes it, anyway). Anybody else ever have this Superman moment, where you think because you (think you feel normal, which is prob just the normal feeling to you, and if you ever experienced what feeling good actually felt like you would know the difference) that nothing is wrong with you, and you don't have to worry about your diabetes???

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:31:58 -0600 Report

Your are right. He is sleeping all day because his sugars are high. Maybe you could get him to test his sugars when he gets up in the morning and two hours after each meal and show him that they are dangerously high. I have a friend like that, and because her dr has taken her off of all her meds she will tell you that she doesnt have diabetes anymore. WRONG, she is just a diet controlled diabetic. She doesn't monitor her sugars at all now and you can't do anything to change her mind. I know how frustrating it is.

mike v.
mike v. 2014-01-17 13:58:16 -0600 Report

Sorry I'm back, yea recently I had stoped my meds and thought I was done with it. I actually guinea pig myself for 3 months with out my meds. I did 1/12 month eating healthy like a pescatarian it's like a vegetarian but you also eat fish seafood. And I juiced a lot of veggies and fruits. And my bg. Was low all the time. Then for the other 11/2 months I ate like a regular person and my bg. Was high. Over 300 I got back on my meds and trying to keep my sugar low again it's hard but I'm getting there

mike v.
mike v. 2014-01-17 12:51:02 -0600 Report


mike v.
mike v. 2014-01-17 13:28:51 -0600 Report

I'm 36 now. I was the same way, all that stuff is bad for him, get him sugar free stuff they got ice cream, cookies,candy, etc. Look for splenda, change white bread to whole grains. Change red meat to Turkey he won't know the difference that much. The trick is you got to kinda eat the same way or he'll feel different.

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:34:49 -0600 Report

A suggestion. Don't eat anything containing enriched flour. If you are going to eat potatoes, eat yucon golds, they have the least amount of starch (which body turns into sugar). Eat long cooking brown rice if you must have rice.

mike v.
mike v. 2014-01-17 13:34:44 -0600 Report

Also if the doctor isn't explaining to him about his diabetes then change doctors. There's a lot of info. On the American diabetes association. Org check that out. Also on this sight diabetic connect there's a Dr. Gary. Look him up he has a lot of advice. A good guy to know.

EricanMike817 2014-01-17 13:57:50 -0600 Report

Thanks for the info, I do have him an appt with an endocrinologist on the 23rd, so hopefully we can get a lot more info than we did from his pcp. He actually does all the cooking, lol, and hates my cooking. He is just so picky, but I have been able to get him to switch from white bread to whole wheat, and he is ok with that. The Mt. Dew and cookies etc are what is really bad, and his love of hamburger. I will start buying sugar free snacks. I don't buy snacks at the stores, but I guess if he is going to buy them behind my back I might as well try to curb that habit by buying sugar free snacks for the house. I'm praying that the endocrinologist will put him on a fast acting insulin, as well. I think that will really help keep it stable.

cograndma 2014-01-17 23:39:36 -0600 Report

fast acting insulin. Not necessarily. He may need one that is long acting and stays with him all day, which is what I did. I would take a shot before breakfast and then one again before bed. We really had to juggle the doses to get it right.
Have you tried things like ice cream with splenda, sprite zero, diet gingerale or the no calorie flavored tea that comes in powder form and you just add water. Really good and no calories or sugar. It is mostly water. He also needs to be drinking about 8-9 glasses of water a day.
More salads and vegetables.