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Diabetes runs in my family. Both now deceased, Granny and Dad had it. Both of my brothers have it. I’m the youngest (54) of three boys and so far I don’t have it. My middle brother (60) controls his diabetes with a very strict diet and no injections.

What I can’t understand is our eldest brother (62). He has been diabetic for 10 years. Most of the time he will not monitor his sugar or take his insulin injections or watch his diet. When he does this his blood sugar runs in the 500-1,000 range. At times he becomes so ill he is hospitalized where the hospital brings his blood sugar down. When feeling better in the hospital he gets defiant and checks himself out of the hospital to repeat the process. A couple of months back he tore ligaments in his right foot while stretching his foot in bed. There doesn’t appear to be any hope the foot will heal so he is now waiting to find out if part or all of his right foot or his leg from his knee down is going to be amputated.

He says he does not like to take the insulin injections because it makes him gain weight. He says its nobodies business what he does or does not do.

I absolutely can not understand what is going on in his head.

Is the diabetes treatment so unpleasant or having diabetes so hopeless some people won’t even try to manage it?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can offer me on this!
 

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My mom and both of her brothers had it. Her youngest brother had juvenille diabeties, and was embarrassed to let anyone know. So, he didn't take care of it. His heart gave out when he was 29 years old. Her older brother just didn't want to be bothered with it, and he went blind, and died when he was in his sixties. He ate whatever he wanted; tons of sugar. My mom at least takes care of hers, and seems to be doing well at 68 years old. I guess her brothers considered it a handicap, and didn't like their life style being changed for them.
 

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It's not that big a deal to manage.
Sure, you can't sit and eat a box of cookies, daily candy bars are things of the past, as well as over eating any goodies.
If you make the commitment to change your lifestyle, learn to eat right, exercise a little more, avoid sugar like it was toxic waste, you can manage pretty easy.
You gotta want it.
I take 2 pills a day, changed my eating habits, lot 50 some pounds and brought my A1C down to a doctor pleasing 5.7 in 5 months.
I refuse to die one piece at a time.
 

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He is saying, I suspect, that the quality of his life is more important than its length. While the diabetic lifestyle is not HARD, it is CONSTANT, and in that respect it is pretty annoying.

In other words, I will be busy, and I have to stop to eat. I hate that. Or I will need to eat meat even though I might not want to. YUCK! And, nobody really LIKES poking holes in themselves!

Lastly, some people just do not want to think about what scares them. I once took care of a dear, dear lady like that. She died in her 50's of complications of diabetes.

By way of contrast, my Great grandmother had diabetes, and died of a heart attack in her 70's. I like my great-grandmothers plan better!
 

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I'm a nurse and I work with people with diabetes. I think a lot of people live in the great state of denial. They also tend to feel pretty hopeless. They have a fatalistic attitude. "I have to die from something."

I think it can help when people realize that there's a lot they can do to improve their health and how they feel. For example, most people with diabetes tend to die from heart disease, not the diabetes itself. So, I tell them that one of the things diabetes does it destroy the small blood vessels. That same damage causes eye problems, kidney problems, nerve damage, Taking a baby aspirin helps thin the blood and helps to prevent those problems. Also, taking a medication called an ACE Inhibitor helps protect the kidneys. It's a blood pressure medication that's recommended for most people with diabetes even when they don't have high blood pressure.

Anyway, I think a lot of people have your brother's attitude because they don't think they have any control of their health. Hopefully their health care provider will help them learn that they DO have control.


 

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My exhusband's brothers both had juvenile onset diabetes, as does my nephew. I spoke with a therapist about it and she said, as did Joshie, that denial is very very common with diabetics. I can understand this with a child (my nephew was child- very difficult to control, but he managed even as he was sneaking candy) but not at age 60. For your brother, it's more than managing needles and food, it is a psychological problem. I hope he changes so he can live better.
 

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I have both.. aritficial leg and diabetis.. they are not related.
One thing most people dont know is after having a body part missing is you will always feel it. Yes that is right. Jan 29 40 years ago I had my leg amputated. (a birth defect of a bone missing) After having it off amuptees have what is known as phatom pains. The brain sends signals to the part that is gone and it feels like a large pin or needle stuck in that body part that is gone. It is very painful it does get better over the years but doesnt leave.
I know of some people after amputation that have to take pain meds for the phatom pains

dale
 

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Be powerful. No other option exists.
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This is going to sound harsh, but I don't *mean* it that way.

It is his business. It isn't your job to understand it.

Let him be who he is.

Huggs,
Rose
 

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stranger than fiction
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He says its nobodies business what he does or does not do.
It IS strictly his business......unless you happen to be the person who will be attending to him when he has a bad spell and becomes incapacitated.....perhaps his thinking is that he may die early, but he will die happy.

People with this mentality forget that they may not just die a quick death, but have, for example, a stroke. They could end up in a nursing home for years, having someone have to feed them and change their incontinence pants. And yes, probably also give them insulin injections. Which may not have happened if they had taken better care of themselves, but they're an adult and have to lie in the bed they make for themselves.
 

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This is going to sound harsh, but I don't *mean* it that way.

It is his business. It isn't your job to understand it.

Let him be who he is.

Huggs,
Rose
You can substitute the word diabetic for alcoholic, bulimic, etc, any type of affliction. Your mind cannot wrap around what's in another person's mind and you'll just become more frustrated by trying. It's all up to him. hugs to you across the web.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
In one word NO.
. . . Can your middle brother talk some sense into him?
Rose
Rose my middle brother has been the eldest brothers biggest supporter both psychologically and financially. The middle brother has just about given up.



For example, most people with diabetes tend to die from heart disease, not the diabetes itself. So, I tell them that one of the things diabetes does it destroy the small blood vessels. That same damage causes eye problems, kidney problems, nerve damage.
Concerning heart disease the eldest was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy at age 40. Due to his overall health he was not offered the possibility of a heart transplant. His left kidney was removed at age 43. Gall bladder removed at age 53. At age 55 “at least” 6 benign cysts were found on his right kidney. I'm also thinking he may of had the diabetes much longer than 10 years as I originally posted?

My brother said after his last hospital stay his doctor told him I've done all I can for you.


This is going to sound harsh, but I don't *mean* it that way. It is his business. It isn't your job to understand it. Let him be who he is.

Huggs,
Rose
Rose true enough it is really not my business and I tend to be the brother who has the least sympathy for him. But if it’s none of my business then why does he call me, or middle brother or our Mom to give us the latest bad news? When he gives the news and we ask him what has he been doing to take care of himself he’ll say it’s none of your GD business.

Our Mother who is 86 worries herself sick about him the most and her biggest fear is she will out live him.


Many thanks to all who responded.
 

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Any chronic illness is hard to understand unless you've lived on the other side of it. Period.

Every person has to 'own' their choice of how they care for themselves... but it does not exclude their need to find comfort in their family, regardless of how much or little understanding there is.

At some point, on a base level human being thing, you simply must accept his choice and love him anyway.

The only possible help that I see, with my limited understanding of your brother, would be for him to seek professional counseling. I'm sure, with repeated hospitalizations, that this has been offered.

Acceptance is a great gift, especially if he understands that is what you're doing.

dawn
 

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He probably HAS had it for longer than 10 years, I had symptoms for some years before it was diagnosed. The warm drowsiness after the evening meal, the getting up during the night to relieve myself, the fatigues, getting the shakes when I needed to eat, the lousy blood work that SHOULD have been a red flag for the doc.....

I changed doctors, as I think she should have caught it.
 

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This is a really good thread. I'm going to milk the goats, then go for a walk.

Mom ignored her diabetes and lived to 84. Yes, she weighed 225 pounds, was losing her sight, had neuropathy, etc., during the last twenty years of her life. I don't want to do that. At age 54, I can see the pounds creeping on, and it has to stop now.

Blessings on all of you. The original poster, and those who have had struggles.
 

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Oh, yes.

This is something that my loved ones have not been able to help me with. If I am gonna cheat on my diet, they cannot stop me and I will not listen to them.

I actually do pretty well, but, managing this disease is my job alone, and I will not allow anyone to interfere with it. It is a part of me.
 

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Give him a hug and a smile, and tell him you understand that he has made the choose allowing NO ONE to make any choices for him over taking a stand against his medical condition in the hopes of being healthier and having a longer life. And in doing so he has shown that he is also unable able to take the welfare of others into consideration, and since it's okay with him to have those who love him and care about his well being "worry themselves sick over him" you will do you best to take his lead.

And just for the record, if he his not paying fully for his own medical expenses, and any of his care is coming form others who are leading healthy productive lives - they have ever right to resent his total indifference.

I'm with his doctor on this one.


Marlene
 

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Mom's whole family had it and some worse than others...they all took care of themselves. The thin one died 20 yrs before the others. I have always liked this saying: I'm here for a good time, not a long time. People make their own choices.
 

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I have a father who has this disease and was never over weight or did not do physical work, in fact he will be 90 this year and he works on cars, gardens, fixes all kinds of motors, etc. He has always managed his diabetes himself and has no problems with it. But he always has followed his food plan and is good about what he eats.

On the other hand my MIL was diabetic and ate what she pleased. She was a nurse and knew how to adjust her insulin and we'd try to tell her not to do that. She'd always say, "I love to eat." Which she did. She had all the problems common to a diabetic which I won't go into here. But she did manage to live to be 84 and passed away last January.

Here is a link to a site that I have been trying to read whenever I get a chance. The members of my low carb forum recommended it just to get an idea of how the blood sugar can be controlled with your diet. It may be worth taking a look at and maybe your brother would benefit from some of these tips. http://www.diabetes-normalsugars.com/

Good luck. I know it is not easy to help someone else change something to do with their heath. I have run across this road block myself with a son who smokes. Just leave things around for them to read later when you're not there might help. I know someone who did that and it changed the person's life.

katlupe
 

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Hey Greystone, I think it is great that you are concerned. If your brother does worry or bug you or your mom with the bad details, maybe some tough love is in order.

"You tell us whats wrong with you, and it sounds like youre frustrated/disgusted (however you think he feels). You dont share what youre doing to make it better. It makes me worried/sad (however you feel) when you tell me these things. If you want help or support, I would like to offer that, but I dont want to be the recipient of all your bad news."

You have the right to not feel burdened by his illness (unless you choose to help and hes working on it too!) His misery doesnt need your company :)

Also, I wouldnt encourage him to change his diet significantly without talking to a Dr. (ie the book linked above low carbohydrate diet). Higher protein diets can be hard on kidneys. With his history, it sounds like he should have some serious diet teaching from a nurse, RD, or MD based on his personal health status.
 

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I lost a brother at 34 to the desease and another brother is about that age and he is working on leaving hear the same way. why? i dont know i guess the beer is the lesser ov the evils.
 
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