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Friday, September 28, 2007

Diabetes? Update

To any of you who clicked on and read only the title, I accidentally hit publish instead of save when the phone rang. - again.

The diabetes expert from the hospital just called to tell me that Ray has diabetes and will be on insulin "for a while". How long, I wonder, is for a while? She didn't say. She did say that before they release him, a responsible person has to learn how to do everything involved with his care.

That means giving shots which I've never done in my life but it's never too late to learn. My friend Reno will drive me and Dawn up there on Monday morning and we'll both (at least Dawn and I) learn how to do it. She's been a professional caregiver but has never done it before either.

I think Tim already knows how. I don't even know where the shot goes so I guess my next stop will be online to find out. I do know it will be 4 times a day unless they're talking about the testing.

I also know that many diabetics live alone and do their own maintenance. I went to school with a girl who learned how to do her own shots when she was very young. I'm not sure if they think he can't or what's going on. Not that I can't do it but I think if I had to be stuck several times a day, I'd rather be the one doing the sticking. I also wonder about oral insulin. Oh well, what do I know? I'm sure I'll find out.

The diet shouldn't be a problem. I hope. He'll probably have to give up his occasional Snickers Bar but we don't use much sugar and now that I'm cooking for only two, I can avoid it almost completely.

They have tested for diabetes on every hospital admission here just as they presumably ran all the heart tests each time. How do these things suddenly appear?

I'm trying not to rant but it's hard. He's been chronically ill for years now. They have never been able to pin anything down except the COPD and possibly congestive heart failure.

So now, on top of COPD (lung problems), the bypass, epilepsy (dormant but he takes Dilantin just in case), and whatever else is going on, we now have to deal with diabetes.

And we will. Somehow.

On a brighter note, he called me yesterday afternoon and sounded good. Healthier than he has in some time. He thought they'd release him over the weekend but now he can't come home until we've done the "training". I'll take his clothes in case they're releasing him the same day - I think he has everything except a clean shirt and he may even have that. I'll ask him - I'm sure he'll call me at some point. The clothes he wore to the hospital were clean, I do remember that. When he was admitted, he ate dinner and cleaned up and changed his clothes before we took him in.

I am grateful it's not worse and I know many families have it much harder. I'm trying to be positive but right now I just want to bang my head against the wall or possibly curl up in a ball. It will pass; it always does.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the domestic violence post. It's a little different than what usually shows up here but it's an important issue and one I know quite a bit about.

Have a good weekend and take care everyone.

Update - right after I hit post again.

Five minutes later. The hospital called back. They're arranging for the visiting nurse from Merced as well as a physical therapist when he's released. I feel much better already. They will discharge him, if all goes well, the same day as our training and they'll send him home with a collapsible walker. It may even have a seat.

The wheels are turning quickly and I'm no longer as panicked.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll be great handling the injections, even if it seems scary at first.

Glad to hear that Ray is feeling better post-op in spite of this new news.

granny p said...

Oh Ann - it never ends. Of course you'll cope - you always do - I wish you didn't have to...

Susie said...

Hi Ann,
My Mom was diagnosed with diabetes after two back to back surgeries and an involved dental procedure. The Dr. felt she had been borderline for a while and the stress was the factor that made her insulin dependent. I learned how to do the blood test, measure the syringes and give the shots when she could no longer care for herself. (She took the shots in her stomach) You'll learn quickly too.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Uncurl and stop banging your head against the wall. It's not nearly as hard to manage diabetes as you're probably imagining it is. Most of the time you can give the shots in the belly or thigh and it doesn't hurt as bad as you might think.

It'll be okay, Ann. You can do this and soon it'll be ordinary every day stuff. You'll both take it in stride.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Love you,


Diane@Diane's Place said...

Read the update. See? It's sounding easier all the time. :-)



Anvilcloud said...

I think at one time up here, they wouldn't discharge you until you could administer your own shots.

Gawdess said...

Glad you will have the extra help and glad that he is on his way home.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am glad they are sending some help along with Ray's discharge. Won't it be great, after the past 6 weeks (or maybe years ;-) ) to settle in with Ray in your new little cottage for a peaceful and quiet time? The stent should really help him a lot- I've known people who feel as though they had a whole new lease on life. Hopefully, the diabetes will level out, too and you'll get comfortable with the shots and it will be smooth-sailing. Hope the girls are settling in, too.

Jo said...

Wow, I can't believe all you have on your plate with Ray's health. He is lucky to have such a wonderful wife, feel free to remind him of that as needed. Glad by the end of the post that things are looking up.

ancient one said...

Yeah, you or he will get that diabetes stuff down pat in no time. I have a neighbor who lives alone and she's been doing it for years. It gets to be just second nature. She almost does it without thinking about it... just one more thing she has to do twice a day. And she does hers in her stomach area, too! I'm glad you are getting help with Ray. ~Ann

FosterAbba said...

Hang in there...

I have a friend who is insulin-dependent and lives alone and he manages his own shots just fine.

It's a nuisance, and something that has to be carefully monitored, but it's certainly do-able.

Feel a hug from all of us.

Unknown said...

Sorry to hear Ray has diabetes. I know it’s a new challenge, Ann, and it sounds as if you are more than up to meeting it.