How do you handle lack of support by family members?

Mair
By Mair Latest Reply 2011-08-01 16:45:34 -0500
Started 2010-09-01 00:02:49 -0500

For years I have tried to ignore, discuss, educate and finally shut down from my husbands lack of support. Everytime I have a dr. appointment he comments oh I cant afford to go to the doctor ( we have insurance fortunately) My weakness is ice cream and I have it once in awhile, the comment is well if you stopped eating that you would not have diabetis. I have asked him to come along to doctor appointments so that he could better understand. He is well educated and is a teacher but for some reason because he has the good fortune of being healthy he is not very supportave.

How do the rest of you cope having people in your lives that are not very supportave aside from kicking them to the curb ( just kidding)


53 replies

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2011-08-01 14:00:10 -0500 Report

My husband is usually very supportive but he has a bee in his bonnet (do guys wear bonnets?) about my going from MDI (multiple daily injections) onto the insulin pump even though I've tried to explain that it should drastically reduce the low BG episodes I've been experiencing. I have gone ahead, ordering the pump, because I feel it is the best solution for me and, ultimately, for him too. (Still awaiting the training to actually start using the pump) You have to do what is right for you.

SweetPooh
SweetPooh 2011-08-01 13:08:42 -0500 Report

Hi I just found this web site. I can relate to your post. I have type 1 diabetes and my husband thinks that if i just lose more weight and get down to goal I will not have diabetes any longer. He refuses to go to appts with me and I have had to miss the last two due to the fact neither of us was working and we have NO insurance. He calls me a hypocondriac (SPELLING) thinks it is all in my head and I only want attention. I want to give up at this point as I have no money to get supplies or insulin, due to being out of work for over 6 months and no insurance. I am working a part time job at minimum wage but what I make will not cover the cost of supplies and needs of diabetes. If anyone has an answere I would really appreciate it.

ShellyLargent
ShellyLargent 2011-08-01 16:45:34 -0500 Report

Not sure what meds you are on or where you're currently getting them from, but I switched all my meds (NpH and regular insulin, lisinopril and pravastatin) to Wal-Mart. I have insurance, but it's crappy so most of the cost of my diabetic supplies comes out of my pocket with little help from the insurnace. I use ReliOn insulin ($24.88 a bottle), ReliOn Micro glucose meter ($9 for meter, $36 for 100-ct test strips) and ReliOn syringes ($12 for 100-ct). The lisinopril and pravastatin are on their approved meds list for their $4 precscript plan. I get a 30-day supply for $4. I come out between $100 and $120 a month, depending on my test strip and insulin useage. Check out their website: www.relion.com Also, they only sell at Wal-Mart, as far as I know…

I know it's still expensive when only working a part time job, but it far outweights the cost of having to go to the hospital with complications of not having your insulin.

MarkieMarkie
MarkieMarkie 2011-08-01 12:43:35 -0500 Report

Take responsibility for your own health 1st. Eat what is best for you. If someone is unsupportive it is either from lack of interest, ignorance or a spiteful attitude. Go with your gut feeling on this and determine which of these scenarios it is. Lack of interest means the person simply does not care, ignorance means they are simply ignorant to what the reality of diabetes is and spiteful attitude is because they aren't the center of attention… you are actually putting your needs before theirs. In determining this, you have to remember, if your needs are not met, you will not be around to meet anyone elses needs.

You might do as my mother-in-law did… she posted a sign… "The Queen Does Not Cook.'' Cook for yourself, let them fend for themself and maybe just maybe a little bit of respect will be gained. Notihing changes attitude like empty stomachs.

ShellyLargent
ShellyLargent 2011-08-01 11:05:05 -0500 Report

The problem I have is with hubby thinking he's being supportive. The trouble is, he thinks he knows about my diabetes, but in fact, he's clueless. I've tried to help him understand, but it only ends up with him either getting mad or hurt. He also works with several people who have or their wives have diabetes and he'll come home and say things like "Well, So-n-so does this" or "So-n-so says you should be or should not be doing this". I've tried to tell him that I'm not So-n-so and until they get a degree as a diabetes educator or a PHD in endocrinology, I'll just follow MY doctor's advice.

I also get the "we really can't afford this" trip from time to time, usually about the time I need to refill my prescriptions. Which only adds to my already mounting guilt over how money we have to spend on my health. I've tried talking to him about it, but he says he doesn't mean anything hurtful by it, he's just stating a fact. I've stopped trying to get through to him.

SweetPooh
SweetPooh 2011-08-01 13:11:23 -0500 Report

shelly sounds like your hubby and mine are from the same mold. Makes me feel like I am the cause for all the money problems in our lives at this point.

runthe
runthe 2011-08-01 10:56:06 -0500 Report

I had the same problem with my husband as you do. when I was diagnosed my husband did not give me the support that I need until recently. He eould eat any and everything that he knew that I could'nt have. but, as soon as i eat something he would talk about me to his family. On one of his last visit to the dr they told him that he was on his way to becoming a diabetic because of his high bs. Boy things have really change. Now he wants to eat all the right things and count his carbs. Now that the shoe is on the other foot he wants to change. Just like me you have to not worry about others. You have to do this for yourself. This is why I am glad that I found this site because i know that I will have the support of my DC friends.

Skyview
Skyview 2011-08-01 04:11:39 -0500 Report

I think wht is more imp than medicines is the support or care a diabetic gets. ..will pray for you… at least ..

RAINDANCER1950
RAINDANCER1950 2011-07-17 22:06:06 -0500 Report

SADLY THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO STILL THINK CONSUMING SUGAR CAUSES OUR PROBLEM ! AND THAT CAN BE CHANGED WITH EDUCATION…BUT TO HAVE MY FAMILY TEASE OR RIDICULE ME BECAUSE I HAVE A DISEASE THAT REQUIRES A RADICAL LIFE STYLE CHANGE…I WOULD'NT KNOW WHAT TO DO …EXCEPT TO TRY EVEN HARDER TO STAY WELL…BECAUSE…WHERE I TO SUFFER A SEVERE COMPLICATION , THAT TOOK MY VISION OR MOBILITY , I'M NOT TOO SURE A HUSBAND WHO WOULD BELITTLE ME…WOULD BE THERE FOR ME IN THE LONG RUN ANYWAY ! OF COURSE , YOUR READING THE OPTION OF SOMEONE WHO SURVIVED A BRUTAL ABUSIVE MARRIAGE…AND HAS BECOME STRONG…AND KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT AND FAIR , IN A RELATIONSHIP !
RELATIONSHIPS ARE A COMMITMENT . BETWEEN 2 PEOPLE , WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THERE FOR THEIR MATE…GOOD AND BAD…WHERE I MARRIED…I WOULD DO WHATEVER I COULD TO ENCOURAGE MY MATE IN CONTROLING IS SUGARS…COOKING AS HIS CONDITION REQUIRED…AND BUYING THINGS THAT WERE TREATS MADE FOR THOSE WITH DIABETIES…SO , WHEN OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS HAD TREATS, HE WOULD 'NT FEEL LEFT OUT !I CAN NOT SAY WHAT CAUSES A SPOUSE TO HAVE SO LITTLE COMPASSION…BUT I WILL SAY…BE TRUE TO YOURSELF…DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO STAY HEALTHY…BECAUSE YOU MAY ALWAYS HAVE TO DEPEND ON YOURSELF…AS SAD AS THAT WOULD BE FOR YOU.

glee9349
glee9349 2011-01-09 11:46:23 -0600 Report

When i first was put on Insullin my husband didn't understand and he was very hesitent to learn. He used to say to me go ahead and eat that just take more insullin and it took me a while to make him understand that that is not how it works. He finally got on board when i let him help me give myself shots and he learned. I was very lucky to have someone that was so willing to help me and support me in that way. I feel for you becasue is was there at one time. He now helps with shopping and meals and he even likes to give me shots when im not up to doing it sometime with my other health problems. I hope that eventually your husband get on board with your diabities because you really need the support of loved ones to live a somewhat normal life. I have a lot of other medical problems and he knew that when we started dating so he knew what he was getting when we married. Good luck with your husband and we are all here for you!

Whomi?
Whomi? 2011-01-07 08:54:16 -0600 Report

My husband keeps a large stash of sweets (cookies/chocolates) in the cupboard right above the stove, and on our dining room table where he does paperwork! He seems to think it's funny that he can have all the chocolate he wants and I "can't have any". He's not the only source of this lack of support. At Christmas, his brother and sister lavishly showered me with boxes of chocolates! They, too, know I'm diabetic.

Over the years, I'll think I'm doing much better at leaving these alone, but sometimes it gets the better of me. In the last week or so since Christmas it's been very hard, and I've succumbed big time.

I need strategies! Any ideas???

Barb

RAINDANCER1950
RAINDANCER1950 2011-07-17 22:13:58 -0500 Report

THIS IS SO EASY…DO LIKE I DO…GATHER ALL THE WONDERFUL , BUT FORBIDDEN TREATS TOGETHER IN A NICELY DECORATED BASKET…TAKE IT TO YOUR LOCAL FIRE STATION…I CAN TELL YOU MY BOYS AT THE FIRE HOUSE NEAR WHERE I LIVE…COUNT THE MONTHS BEFORE THANKSGIVING AND CHRISTMAS…THEY HAVE RECIEVED BENIFIT FROM MY FORBIDDEN GIFT FOR NEARLY 10 YRS. AND EVERY YEAR , THEY REMEMBER ME WITH A NICE ASSORTMENT OF FLAVORED COFFEES…THEY ALL KNOW I LOVE IRISH CREAME , ALMOND,HAZELNUT ETC…AND IT'S SUGAR FREE…SO , ALL WINTER LONG…I ENJOY MY GIFT …WHILE THEY ENJOY THERE'S !

ShellyLargent
ShellyLargent 2011-08-01 10:45:07 -0500 Report

That's such a great idea! I love it! I have family members that are or were fireman and they don't get nearly the amount of thanks they really deserve.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-01-07 12:08:38 -0600 Report

Howdy Barb!
You might want to not open the and regift the chocolates. Get them out of the house. Send them to an orphanage or a nursing home or a non-diabetic friend. You might want your husband to know where those "gifts" have gone. I suspect hubby will inform them.

In a way bro in law & sis in law are cutting you out of their gifting, since they know you can't / shouldn't eat those, so your husband gets more. It seems to me very passive aggressive of them to do this. (One of my therapists had a delightfully humorous picture definition for passive aggressive behavior: Picture a big dog like a St Bernard with his paws on your shoulders, just licking your face. All the time he was showing love licking your face, he was also peeing on your leg.)

As Gabby suggests, you don't want to stoop to their level. Perhaps if hubby tells bro & sis that he's not getting the overflow/ benefit of their gifts it may just stop it, unless they're absolutely clueless. Perhaps next Christmas you can thank them by saying something like: "Why thank you! Since you know I cannot possibly eat these because of my diabetes, I'm certain that X (whoever you've decided in advance to give them to) will enjoy them. I love making X happy." That's direct communication that hubby's not getting the so called benefits of their gift and that you can't use what they've given, but doing it in a nicer way.

Of course you don't know how any of the 3 will react, but unless you do something like that the passive aggression will continue and they'll keep peeing on your leg.

Perhaps Dr Gary might have better insights & suggestions. You might want to friend him (if you have not already) and ask him.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-01-08 21:53:58 -0600 Report

I love your analogy. I hate that you have to share it. People who are supposed to love us who do these kinds of things just really burn my biscuits.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-01-08 23:28:38 -0600 Report

Sometimes they are simply ignorant. Some are mean spirited. Some are clueless. Some you don't know why. Any of them are hurtful, especially from those who are supposed to love you.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2011-01-07 09:33:55 -0600 Report

Well, I say next year you lavish them with rolls of toilet paper or something. Or maybe something less useful. I don't get that at all. I suppose that is stooping to their level, and maybe it won't work. Do they really understand that you don't want these things?

If you do the cooking at the house, start cooking for yourself and let the rest of the family eat what you eat. Maybe they will eventually get it. I just think there is no room for that kind of meanness.

Armourer
Armourer 2010-09-13 19:54:44 -0500 Report

I completely understand and empithize with you. My family and extended family give no support at all. Two years ago was an extended Thanksgiving diner and I was told not to bring my food or even prepare it. While everyone else had a pig out diner, I drank two cans of V-8 juice. I quit going to any extended family events. Finally I found a food that I can make and have told them all to stick it! My family understands it, they just don't care cause it will never happen to them (heard that, thought that too). House often has cookies, chips, etc., and most times I can resist, but have those "I don't care moments" too. Its hard, its sad, but hey, its life!

speak up
speak up 2010-09-13 17:39:49 -0500 Report

I don't have a husband but my Mom and brother and sister act like it is no big deal and brother saw what happens when someone does not take care of themselves with diabetis his wives brother had it and he lost both legs and siter saw her father-in-law not care and his legs were both black and he passed away from not taking care of himself and now her husband has it, but my family acts like it is no big deal, I just don't listen to them they are the ones with the problem not me, I have diabetis and I plan to beat it not let it beat me, my daughter (28 year old) supports me on what I am doing, she reads stuff and send me texts on how to take better care of myself, she and my animals is the reason I am fighting, heck they are the only reason I work and get up every morning. Maybe your husband is scared and maybe you should show him this site and show him that people here are living life, I wish you the best and pray that hubby will talk about why he can't go to the doctor with you, then again maybe he is just not understanding that this is not something that you did to cause this!

bicker68
bicker68 2010-09-13 06:43:54 -0500 Report

I'm sorry to hear of this, it's not your fault that you got diabetes. I'm lucky I have Great support in Family and Friends, and I think that helps with my attitude about my diabetes.

2004jeep
2004jeep 2010-09-12 10:00:38 -0500 Report

Hello'
I'm newly diagnosed, 8/10. After 30 years of marriage he wants a divorce. He said it's to much for him to handle. It's my fault my eating habits, not exerciseing. He's not supportive.

Mair
Mair 2011-01-07 14:24:59 -0600 Report

I am sorry you are going through this, I was divorced after 15 years my first marriage. I found to help me alot in addition to support groups; was to write all my good qualities and tell myself the illness is not me. Keep posting here and I will pray for you.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2010-09-12 18:47:24 -0500 Report

I'm so very sorry to hear that! I was divorced out of a 25 year marriage in part because of DM. It took her a few years to get there, but I was single again for 7 years before marrying "Jem". Now single again due to my bride's passing.

If he will not support you in sickness, only in health, you might be better off without him. It may not seem so now, but I now see it as a good thing that my ex divorced me (believe me I really did NOT want it). But it cleared the way for someone who really loved me with all of my medical challenges. Someone who really "got" me the way my ex couldn't.

Whomi?
Whomi? 2010-09-12 07:34:09 -0500 Report

Well folks, I think I have the perfect example of a husband who does NOT support my having this disease! He's a "sweet freak" himself…our freezer is full of cakes and ice cream, he makes sure there is chocolate candy within easy reach, as well as cookies. Oh…and sweet cereals for his breakfast every morning.

When I was first diagnosed, he would slowly wave one of his treats in front of me with a, "Heh heh heh, you can't have this and I can!" Thankfully, he's pretty much stopped that, but still admonishes me if he catches me in a weak moment with, "Hey…you can't have that!"

He went with me to my first meeting with the dietician, so he knows what I can and cannot have and the supportive strategies helpful to diabetics, but it makes no difference. He's convinced I wouldn't have diabetes if I hadn't let myself get overweight.

My resistance to temptation has grown through the years. I'm not a cereal person, so that's no problem, but there are times when I just crave chocolate; or when I don't know what it is I'm craving, and I'm on the prowl for whatever it might be.

So you see…I know exactly how one feels without support, but I don't know of any solution to offer except to develop strong resistance within!

Barb

bicker68
bicker68 2010-09-13 06:51:19 -0500 Report

I try and keep some chocolate in the house in case my bs drops, which it has done in the past, one morning it dropped to 40 so thank god I had something sweet and some oj in the house. But my Dr. told me I can treat myself once a week, sometimes I do but most times just don't feel like it.
I couldn't imagine living with someone who treats you this way, I would be telling him a thing or two…

Whomi?
Whomi? 2011-07-17 15:42:34 -0500 Report

Yeah…I actually am "happy" when my sugar drops enough to have some chocolate! Crazy, eh?? :) I do have to remember, though, to follow it with a carb or protein for more lasting effect.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2010-09-12 18:57:55 -0500 Report

Have you shared this website with him? Perhaps he would see things differently should he "talk" with some of us. I think the fact that he went with you to the RD shows SOME interest.

Wouldn't it be ironic if HE developed DM? (Not that I would wish DM on ANYONE!)

Gabby
GabbyPA 2010-09-12 07:56:06 -0500 Report

That kind of behavior just makes me so angry. How do you deal with it? I would be telling him a thing or two and probably not with such nice vocabulary. That is just mean spirited.

I buy things for my husband and he keeps them on his desk, and then I am fine with that. But he rarely asks, so I don't mind getting him things. And if I have a craving, I ask him for a small bit, then I am good. You have a special place in heaven for dealing with that kind of person daily.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2010-09-12 18:51:20 -0500 Report

That Barb's hubby went with her to dietician, may indiicate a bit of support?

RAINDANCER1950
RAINDANCER1950 2011-07-17 16:17:46 -0500 Report

FRIEND…YOUR AMONG FRIENDS HERE…AND EVERYONE WILL SUPPORT YOU…THANKFULLY , MY FAMILY ARE ALL BEHIND ME DOING ALL I CAN TO LIVE A GOOD , HAPPY , HEALTHY LIFE WITH MY CONDITION…IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ALOT OF SUPPORT IN YOUR PERSONAL FAMILY…I HOPE YOU KNOW…BEING HERE WITH US..WE ARE YOUR FAMILY…QUESTIONS ?…ADVICE …A HUG…JUST NEED TO KNOW YOUR NOT ALONE IN THIS…
…YOU ARE A THE VERY BEST PLACE YOU COULD EVER BE…WE ALL HELP EACH OTHER…I'M HERE…AS ARE EVERYONE ELSE TO HELP AND BE YOUR FRIEND…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-09-04 09:13:59 -0500 Report

Hi Mair, you are getting some incredible advice here. Certainly evidence that what you are dealing with is, unfortunately, not uncommon. I would only add that your husband may be feeling scared and, as a result, hoping that if you 'don't think about it too much, maybe it will go away.' and sometimes people who aren't experiencing the medical diagnosis themselves take a 'mind over matter' approach and assume that you can simply decide to get better by not paying attention to your symptoms. As you know, that doesn't work with diabetes. DC is a great place to get support. Stay connected with people who understand what you are going through and can be your partners on this journey.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2010-09-01 19:29:01 -0500 Report

"Know it all" family members are everywhere. It really dose become quite a bother. I am fortunate in that my family, while not really understanding, are still supportive.

The thing is that we really have to do this for ourselves, support or not. And no kidding aside, a kick may be what he needs. I know I went through a time where I was not in good control and telling my husband that I should have really gone to the ER kind of woke him up. He went out and bought salad fixin's and made me a salad and pampered me for a day or so. He quickly forgets, but that is only fair, he doesn't live with it daily. Just like I don't live in his wheelchair 24/7 either. I understand to a point, but there are still times when I do insensitive things without thinking.

I know you can't force him to go, but taking him to a diabetes education class will help. I took mine to a couple of mine and that kind of opened his eyes a bit. Not that he knows what I deal with daily, but I do share a lot with him and we are getting better at making food choices together. It has taken a couple of years, but with time, it does sink in.

This is where you can pull the "for better and for worse" card. That was his promise (I presume) and a gentle reminder that this is a disease that he cannot see, but that is no less real because of that.

RAYT721
RAYT721 2010-09-01 17:21:14 -0500 Report

If you can answer that question, I would encourage you to write a book because I swear to you it will be a best seller, not only in the world of diabetes but out in the world of family/relationships and life in general. My wife is supportive of my diabetes and I am of her many medical issues but there are times that we fail to show the support as we tend to be wrapped up in our own little worlds of stress, heat, discomfort, etc. It sounds like your husband bases his knowledge of diabetes on stereotypes and therefore lacks the education that you are on a quest for. You certainly can't MAKE him attend classes or doctor appointments so it's hard to get the "I'd really like you to come with me" across when you are hurt, angry, frustrated or whatever. Watch your timing when you ask for his support because I see that happens a lot. Also watch your wording. Men from from Mars and women are from… oh, don't get me started. :) He's a teacher? Make him write "I will be more supportive" on the blackboard 100x or just have an open and honest conversation with him about how YOU feel not challenging him to defend what's he's doing or saying … or not doing or saying. Regardless how that works out start the outline for that best selling book simply titled, "male to female dictionary."

Mair
Mair 2010-09-03 22:44:27 -0500 Report

Ray:

Great advice! you brought a smile to my face. It is true weall get wrapped up in ourselves from time to time. I like hearing the advice from a male because it really helps to look at thinks differently.

Thanks again,

Mair

Mair
Mair 2010-09-03 22:42:35 -0500 Report

Oh UNA I feel so bad reading your post, This is why this forum is so great, plenty of support here. You hang in and we will try and help each other.

Mair

UNA
UNA 2010-09-01 15:28:43 -0500 Report

As someone who deals with a very overly religiousl family, who thinks you are hell bound for eternity for just being diabetic, I can relate. I remember when I first started using the pump , I had family members who were scared to touch me (lol). Anyway, I am so glad for this forum. I cannot strees enough on how important it is to know that there are others out there like myself and I am not alone. I 2nd, 3rd and foremost agree wholeheartlly with what realsis77 and MAYS have wrote.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2010-09-01 19:18:51 -0500 Report

This just makes me want to cry. How could we treat people we love like this? Ignorance is never bliss, it surely is hurtful. I hope that they have come to realize that their beliefs are not founded?

realsis77
realsis77 2010-09-01 11:15:58 -0500 Report

Hi. I understand how your feeling. I continue to try to explain the disease. Sometimes its best to go elsewhere for support like this forum. You can only do so much or try to teach so much if the other person is not willing to listen or learn. Just take care of yourself and do what you know you need to do to stay healthy. As for the comments they make, I try to ignore them I know this is difficult! Maybe buy a book and have them read about diabetes or some pamphlets if they won't listen to you. Ultimately we need to take care of our selfs and continue to do what we have to do to stay healthy. I wish I new the answer, these are some things I do myself when my family is not listening or supportive. God bless you and know you have people here who will listen and care about you! Good luck. Your friend, realsis

MAYS
MAYS 2010-09-01 10:58:31 -0500 Report

Do what's necessary for yourself as a diabetic, it's tough at times, but if you don't, you will only succeed in destroying yourself.

~Mays~

MAYS
MAYS 2010-09-01 10:52:25 -0500 Report

Me, myself, I continue to push forward in life for my survival.
Support is necessary, even if that support must come from deep within yourself, or as part of a support group such as Diabetic Connect.

You must be your biggest supporter in order to survive in life!

It's rare to find someone who is supportive of your issues in life, unless they are dealing with, or suffering from the same issues, so expcting others to be understanding can sometimes be a hurdle, even if it is a family member.

I have four sons that I must prepare for life, the choices that they make will be their own, but I must guide them to a path and let them choose, in order to do that, I must survive diabetes long enough, and if doing so means that I must do it alone (support wise) then I will, it's my goal to survive diabetes.

~Mays~

Mair
Mair 2010-09-01 13:23:00 -0500 Report

Thanks, I needed that kick in the butt; the both of you are so wise and it is comforting to know people in the same shoes truly care.