Dealing with partner's diabetic needs - Positive Wellbein...

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Dealing with partner's diabetic needs

MaggieSylvie profile image

I have just been accused, apparently, of not calling for an ambulance quickly enough.

On Sunday evening my Type 1 partner cooked and served dinner and then couldn't eat or test his blood sugar. We have been together in excess of 30 years and I usually manage to bring him round. As soon as he sat down he went into a hypo and I thought I could bring him round but within about half an hour he received a phone call and was incoherent. It turned out to be his daughter (also diabetic) and she ended the call at 09.40. Then her older sister (also diabetic) rang on the landline and said her sister had called for an ambulance! They are not used to him being the way he was over the phone. I said I was dealing with it and would call an ambulance if necessary, which I actually did ten minutes later as he was becoming very disruptive and not accepting help. Paramedics arrived within half an hour. His blood sugar wouldn't come up until they injected him and he had lots of chocolate and toast etc but he avoided having to go to hospital. He's fine now and the outcome is that he is, like his daughters, getting a pump fitted on Friday.

I am mortified that three people are pointing the finger at me for apparently doing nothing. I am very upset. Things have been bad enough lately.

43 Replies
bobbybobb profile image
bobbybobbAmbassador

I am sorry to hear this it must be very upsetting for you at the moment. I think when people are worried about others there anxiety levels go through the roof and often so does their logic. Maybe his daughter’s have just gone in to panic mode as they have been unsure what to do. After 30 years you obviously have much experience of dealing with these episodes. Hopefully it will be something you can all get past. 😊🌸

Yes, I have years of dealing with it, and it is clear that one daughter went into panic mode (probably drunk at the same time) and the other went into control mode as an experienced nurse. It's horrible. He's having his device fitted - should be home by now. Thanks for caring. xx

Hi MaggieSylvie,

I’m sorry to hear that your partner had gotten low blood sugar recently. Does he use a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)? What was his blood sugar at the time? What did he have to eat along with the chocolate? Sometimes, chocolate actually can make the blood sugars go even lower when a person with Diabetes is dropping.

I’m a type 1 and I use a CGM, eat a low carb high protein diet with also a gluten free diet plan and take a fast and long acting insulin. My CGM has woken me up last night and a few other days recently saying I was dropping.

When was his last appointment with the Endocrinologist? What is his A1c?

You did the right thing in the moment. Don’t let anyone get you upset. If you have any questions, please feel free to let me and everyone else know anytime.

He's hopefully on his way back from having his device fitted as I type. We couldn't check his blood sugar because he couldn't get the monitor to work and he wouldn't let me near him. He was about to eat the evening meal but couldn't. I gave him to glucose tablets and would normally give him more if needed and I don't think half an hour is too long to wait for a change.

He eats high carbs and we saw his diabetic team a year ago when they said they would consider giving him a pump or monitor. I have no idea what A1c is. His middle daughter is a nurse with the same diabetes but she doesn't live near us and no-one was there to see what I did or didn't do. He didn't have the chocolate until he was upstairs with the paramedics, and they gave him a glucose injection before he started snacking. He was coherent as soon as they arrived! But you can't fake blood sugar at 3.3.

The paramedics gave him Glucagon? Did he feel nauseous or have a headache afterwards? That sometimes happens when a person is given the emergency glucagon injection.

The A1c is the 3-4 month blood drawing done to see what the blood sugars have been for the last 90-120 days.

Does he count carbs. for each meal and snack? What time is each meal?

Hi Activity2004,

The answer to both your questions is No. He has the experience to know how much insulin to inject, having tested, and his mealtimes are when he feels like it. Breakfast is often nearly lunchtime. Sometimes there are hours between them, but I am frequently told I am trying to control him, which isn't true, so I can't do anything to improve things. He is the controlling one, although sometimes I am allowed to cook and when I ask him when he'd like to eat, he often says "soon". This is the nature of the beast.

What time did he try to eat dinner when he was dropping? If you take insulin and then you don’t eat for many hours after, you can start to go hypoglycemic. I usually do my shots after meals and sometimes before my bedtime snack. I test about 1-3 times a day depending on the way I feel and if my CGM/sensor is working correctly. I’m classified as a brittle type 1. I can’t feel lows, but I sometimes can feel the blood sugars going up.

In 30 years his sugars have gone up once when his insulin pen was stolen in Nairobi. High sugars looks identical to low, so it was as well the doctor tested him. On Sunday he had been working a long time in the garden and wanted to eat at 9.0 pm. He was fine until he sat down and tried to test and start his meal. He would inject soon after that if necessary, and he was testing 8 times a day with the object of getting this monitor today. The monitor bleeps when sugar is low but it doesn't do anything else. He was a long time sitting in the ambulance outside and I had just rung the hospital to find out where he was. It's just so difficult. I can barely stand and I cannot cook something for him and look at what he's had done all at the same time. It's so draining.

Would you like to talk privately? I will be having dinner here soon, but I can talk when I get done. :-)

Thanks Activity2004.

I'm actually exhausted, and after three days of not eating, he has just asked me if I've had anything to eat, so that's something. I will be going to bed soon but thank you for the offer. If it escalates any further, may I be in touch at a later date?

Of course you can send a PM to me anytime. I'll write back as soon as I get it. Promise! Get some rest and try to relax.:-)

Time to go get dinner ready. :-)

Thank you, friend. Enjoy your meal!

You're welcome and thank you! :-)

That sounds really harsh MaggieS. Please don't take it personally. This does happen sometimes and we get judged unfairly. But you know, and your hubby will know that you took all the sensible steps before calling in the big guns. Don't dwell on it but if anyone takes you to task, just state your side of things calmly but firmly! It can't be denied that you are the one with 30 years of experience in taking care of your husband in matters diabetic or any other.

Unfortunately, he didn't blame me until his nurse daughter put it into his mind that I had been less than useful. If they do take me to task, I know I won't get a chance to speak because I never do. My partner turned against me after he spoke with her because he won't be able to remember what happened. He asked me whether I had called the ambulance. Well the proof is on the "calls" list on the phone. But as Bobby says, I'm the one with 30 years experience - lots of occasions that they don't know about.

So thanks Callendersgal - I am just riding out the storm at the moment waiting for him to come home from having his device fitted so this kind of thing doesn't happen in future.

Ghounds profile image
GhoundsReading Rabbits

I'm very sorry. I know from experience with my ex partner how quickly these hypos can occur and also how resistant to your help the person can become when they aren't able to think or act rationally.

I hope your husband is feeling better, these episodes are draining.

Thank you so much Jerry. I need a few people around me like you. xx And yes - they were not there and he recovered at home, which isn't always the case. They seem to be well in control of their own diabetes and have little idea of how uncontrolled their father is. Nor do they appear to have noticed the possible onset of dementia because they rarely see him.

He was a bit drained the next day but yes, that hypo was extremely sudden. One minute he was fine, and the next incapable of anything. He is talking to me now but there has been no discussion about what happened. I am simply judged without a hearing. Thanks, Ghounds, for your friendship.

I've only witnessed a type 1 hypo once and Im here to tell you that I never want to see it again. I really admire you for being able to cope with these episodes. I could only look on in amazement as the young mans(a family friend) cousin dealt with the situation! Take care of yourself and be proud of what you are capable of xx

MaggieSylvie profile image
MaggieSylvie in reply to

Not proud. He arrived home very late, with the two ambulance staff helping him into the house! After spending most of the day in the hospital he gets home with a hypo. I was standing for too long and then had to rustle something quick up for him to eat. He ate tomatoes on toast with a look of disgust on his face. Why can't hospitals get it together? They discharge diabetics with no consideration for how long they will have to wait for transport and with no means of getting food.

in reply to MaggieSylvie

Wow that's disgusting surely they have a duty of care to make sure that he'd eaten properly before he was discharged?

MaggieSylvie profile image
MaggieSylvie in reply to

I don't know. I may contact PALS.

So sorry to hear that.

Sending big virtual hugs

Thank you Ninelives. I don't know what he has had to eat since breakfast but he's arrived home 3 hours after clinic closes, having a hypo. No thanks. Just disgust on his face when I gave him tinned tomatoes on toast - all I could do in a hurry.

How stressful for you.

Please take care of your own health.

My hubby has just had orthopaedic surgery ,can't get up our stairs ,and is non mobile.So I can totally sympathise how hard it is caring for someone who has a medical issue.

Don't ever let anyone put you down,you are doing the best that you can in the circumstances you are in.

Thanks, Ninelives. I'll try to stay "up"!

Don’t worry!! You did the best you could! My wife is diabetic and I’ve had to call the ambulance! With upsets and crisis like this, families can get upset, and become irritable! Usually, I let that go, realizing the stress and tension, of the moment, can get to people! Unfortunately, between my wife, and my elderly parents, I’ve had way too many of these moments of crisis. Good luck, and just let it go!

I don't think I'll be allowed to let it go and I have just been interrogating him about why he was allowed to get so low in blood sugar last night. Oh, the hospital service is in an unholy muddle with stupid things holding up ambulances, like patients going missing and keeping them waiting and satnavs that are sending them miles out of the way. Those are just some of the problems. Even in Suffolk the nurses are all working 12-hour shifts and have black eyes. The worse problem was that they had to pick up a patient and take her to a care home on a stretcher on the way (well not the short way) to our home but when they reached the care home they weren't ready for her. There was paperwork to be completed and the ambulance needed their stretcher back. That clearly wasn't urgent but it delayed my partner getting home. There is no food in the hospital after 6.0 pm.

Oh, how I understand what you are going through! I’m glad he got the monitor, but, as you say, the supporting services leave a lot to being desired. Turning him against you, is just plain wrong! It is bad, when the support services are not doing much! Frustration, big time!

I also feel that it should be the hospitals/doctors that need to listen to the family/patient. There has been some doctors that I've had over the years that thought my parents and I had no idea how to take care of myself-- or my Diabetes. One doctor out right said that "If you don't agree with me on what I say, then you don't have to come back in the next 3 months". This was when I was a very young teenager. I did what the doctor said and never came back.

That's a crass remark from a doctor.

That's right! Other patients of his left him, too because he treated them the same way as he treated me.

It is plain wrong but perhaps they don't know that he doesn't support me in private; he certainly never has supported me in their presence.

I agree with everything bobbybob said. Thinking of you. Hoping your predicament settles down soon.

Thank you Sheila, he's got a monitor on his arm now to alert him when he's going low. Nevertheless, he arrived home from the hospital yesterday having a hypo. They don't have the resources any longer and he had to wait more than three hours for the transport! It's all to do with logistics, not triage, although we can forgive the heart attack they had to pick up first.

That’s TERRIBLE of them, your Not his Doctor or his Keeper or psychic!!! That’s up to him to maintain his health. I’m diabetic, my daughter lives with me I don’t expect her to be responsible for my health. Stand up to them and tell them if they can do Better? That happened to my mom, my dad was mentally ill, his sisters thought she didn’t do enough for him, my mom told them they can take him in if they can do Better? They didn’t, they need to PUT up or SHUT up? 😷

Well said. That has already been tried! It didn't work out. I expect nurse daughter would have got him in from the garden sooner but he wouldn't have finished his task and he wouldn't have felt so good about it when he came in. They have not said anything to me but they have turned him against me.

He had his monitor fitted yesterday and he was kept waiting so long for the ambulance to bring him home, without any idea when it would come, that when he got home he was having a hypo and had to be helped into the house. After 6.0 there is no food in the hospital. The ambulance was delayed, had to wait for a missing patient, and then sent round the houses with a lousy satnav. The resources are no longer there.

Good morning I am sorry for your ordeal I agree with what the others have said, and that you have cared extremely well for 3o years, the daughters have not, I feel they will be sorry when things settle down and they have time to calm down and reflect on there harsh comments, if not then I wouldn't stress on there opinion, yours and your husband's well being is what's important you need to look after yourself your doing a fantastic job when people upset me now I do some deep breathing and say calm on a deep breath out repeatedly until I'm calm, I wish you both well 💐

Craftyperson profile image
CraftypersonReading Rabbits

Sorry to hear this they obviously panicked being further away and feeling helpless. Glad he's ok .

Well, I don't know how they think I manage the rest of the time. They picked the wrong moment to phone but I have no doubt they will not let it drop.

Well if you have been together for 30 years in my opinion YOU know best!! Don't take any criticism from anyone.

I'm not but my partner is accepting what they say. He's more amenable today but I have had no redemption, if that's the right word. Thank you for your support, Pussycat65.

Vindication.

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