A Diabetes Break

The thing with diabetes is it never gives you a break. It is constant and you always have to TRY to be one step ahead of it . Some days you will succeed and others you will fail miserably. Every day you have to get right back on the horse, or the bike, or your motorcycle and try, try again, because giving up is not an option. My husband will never ever get a break from diabetes. It will go wherever he goes. It’s a constant companion. No matter where he goes or what he does, he will have to consider diabetes. It’s almost like a girlfriend that turns into  a stalker when you try to make it go away.

My husband will be going on a business trip soon. He will take his diabetes with him. He will take a box full of goodies, hopefully enough for his time away. He will need some carb-y snacks and some low carb snacks. I’ll probably stick some peanut butter, crackers, glucose tablets, etc in there. I will also probably worry the entire time he is gone. Especially at night. He sleeps soundly, but I get up at least once per night. No matter what wakes me up, I make it a habit to check on him. Depending on what his activity level and/ or blood sugar was before or at bedtime, I might check his blood sugar.

These are the things that worry me when he is away for any length of time. It hasn’t happened very often. I can probably count on one hand how many times it has. When he went to Reno 16 years ago, I don’t remember worrying. He was diabetic then, but it hadn’t infiltrated my life as much as it does now. We are constantly checking in with each other on his blood sugars, his insulin doses and how he is feeling. He CAN count carbs, but typically he relies on me to tell him what they are, because I prepare most of his meals. (he’s generally on his own for breakfast and takes leftovers for lunch)

So he won’t get a break…. ever, but I will. He will be gone and I won’t be able to count his carbs or prepare his meals. I won’t have to meal plan with him in mind, while he is gone. The kids and I can graze if we want, we can have ice cream, sandwiches, cereal. I won’t have to make sure that the meal I am providing is well rounded.

It sounds almost delightful, but I am sure that when the time comes, I won’t think so. I will probably worry too much to really enjoy it. He HAS promised to keep in touch morning and night with his blood sugar readings. It sounds awful, like he has to check in with a mom, but he knows that it gives me peace of mind.

And as a side note, have you seen this? http://www.wral.com/news/national_world/national/video/14722595/

Do you think a cure for diabetes is possible? I’ve seen many hopeful “cures” that haven’t panned out, so i am a bit hesitant to get excited about anything that seems possible.

I’ll check back in at a later date and let you know how the time apart went. eeeek.

Have You Tried Essential Oils?

Ahem. I might step on a few toes today. That is not my intent, but sometimes the suggestions given to my husband are crazy, even if they are well intentioned. Nobody likes to see a friend or a loved one suffer from a disease that *might* be cured or managed. My husband has heard some zingers. These are a few of the suggestions he has heard from others regarding his diabetes and the reason(s) why he is not/ has not/ will not try(ing) them.

1. Have you tried essential oils? No. His doctor doesn’t really recommend essential oils has a viable method of controlling his diabetes.

2. I heard that okra in water will cure diabetes. No. I think if this worked, we would all know about it and there would be an okra shortage. (Source: http://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/2014/03/why-okra-will-not-cure-your-diabetes/)

3. If you just had more faith, your diabetes would be cured. Do I believe that God COULD cure diabetes? Yes, but so far He hasn’t. My husband said that he was approached at a family wedding by an aunt who thought she could cure him with her faith. This many years later, he’s still diabetic. This has become an inside joke for us though. When his blood sugars are whacked, I tell him to get “in the word”. I’ve heard it’s a cure for all that ails ya. (Don’t hate us, we’re believers. We also think we are funny)

4. Medifast.  I can’t tell you how many times Medifast has been recommended for my husband for weight loss and diabetes control. I have seen Medifast work wonders for some people. I am not discounting that it’s a great product for some people; however when we looked into it we were told that my husband needed to check with his health care provider before starting this program. In fact, straight from here is this: If you have type 1 diabetes, it is essential to discuss Medifast with your health care provider or diabetes specialist before you start any of our plans for weight loss. He has been seeing the same doctor for 15 years. He has a good relationship with him. He asked him about Medifast. His doctor said that he did not think this was a good option for my husband. Rather than leave the people hanging that had recommended this to us, I politely informed them that his doctor did not recommend this route. These were the responses:

  • “What? Really? I have never had a doctor say no before” (There’s a first time for everything?)
  • “He obviously doesn’t understand what it is. Let me give you information to take with you next time. In fact, do you want me to come with you?” (no)
  • “That’s weird. Our doctor said it was okay for my diabetes.” (ok)
  • “Why would he say no? That doesn’t even make sense!” (none of your business)
  • “If his doctor said no, he has a good reason. Honestly, I sell it and wouldn’t recommend it for your husband.” (smile)

5. What about an insulin pump? Yes. Yes. Yes! We have looked into this before, but at the time, the cost was prohibitive. Now my husband has double coverage. I just checked his benefits and BOTH insurances cover the insulin pump! He has had some major medical expenses in the past two years and our out of pocket costs have been minimal. It looks like this will be the case for the pump. He has an appointment with his doctor soon and we will be asking about this again!

Did I step on your toes? I hope not, but when you are a diabetic (I am not) you have heard it all…. for the most part. To keep our patience, we try to remember that people are just trying to help because they care. It’s actually the people who are offended that we are not taking their suggestion that test our patience. We have learned to say “Thank you” rather than give the reason why what they said will not work for him. If you are diabetic, what are some helpful/ unhelpful things you have heard to cure or manage your diabetes? 

ETA: Out of all these things, the only one he has tried is prayer, although he isn’t praying that he’s cured. He’s praying that he manages well. So he can’t say without a doubt that none of these will work to manage his diabetes. 🙂

P.S. in an earlier post I talked about how my husband’s insurance only wanted to cover 100 test strips a month. We talked to a different pharmacist the last time we filled his test strips and she knew the work around/ coding needed for insurance. They just needed to know that he had a condition that required the test strips, because people like to fake diabetes, you know.