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How do you "deal" with your significant others' health issues?

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15 replies to this topic

#1 CrystalM

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    Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:39 AM

    After spending about 8 hours in the ER with my fiance Saturday night, answering 100s of questions, most of them repeated, making numerous phone calls to his dad and a friend of his and one of mine, watching him get poked and prodded and seeing him attached to a few different machines all the while being out of it I realized that I'm not the first or the last that's been in that same or similar position and that really sucks...

    My fiance is a Type 1 diabetic. He went into an insulin induced coma (1) after drinking beer at a friends house and giving himself too much insulin. We went to bed around 9 and I woke up about an hour later wet from being against his clammy sweaty body (2) nudged him and he didn't respond. I removed his insulin pump (3), grabbed his glucose meter (4) checked and it was 17 (5) I used his Glucagon (6) and waited 15 minutes to check his blood sugar again, it was 21. It should have been about 67 by that point. I called 911 and had them send an ambulance. That's the 2nd trip to the hospital I've taken with him because of too low blood sugar in less 2 years. He's gone the other way, high blood sugar, and ended up in a coma lasting more than a week 3 times since being diagnosed at 17. He's 32 now.

    My friend said to me "How do you deal with it? I don't think I would be able to do it." I never really thought about it before and had no answer. I did think about it and compared to past relationships. I worry more. I call when he's out running errands and get worried if he doesn't answer or call back. I made sure when we got new phones that both our In Case of Emergency contact file had that he is a type 1 diabetic. If someone with a Nashville phone number calls me (I kept my Mich. number), I make sure I answer and it does not go to voicemail. I go to doctor appts. with him and ask his specialist questions if I have them. I make sure that his bills for his medical supplies are paid right after rent, vehicle ins./payment and utilities. I make sure he schedules his eye dr. and quarterly specialist appts. He had a will, a living will, and memorial plan drawn up and made sure I know exactly where all the official papers and copies are along with what is in all of them. I make sure I know how to inject him with his Glucagon shot, even though the sight of a hypodermic needle makes me hyperventilate and it shot being in my hand makes me woozy (Yes, I'm terrified of them!). I encourage him when he get frustrated with it, even though he's right.

    This is how I "deal".

    So my question is, how do you "deal" with your significant others health issues or how do they "deal" with yours?

    1. Hypoglycemia
    2. Ick, I know. They're 2 of the many physical symptoms that low blood sugar causes.
    3.An insulin pump acts close to an artificial pancreas. It gives a low dose of insulin through the day and he programs it to deliver more for meals. It's about the size of a large pager or mp3 player and is nearly always attached to him by a catheter and stores approximately 3 days worth of insulin so he doesn't have to use syringes.
    4. It reads the amount of sugar in the blood.
    5. A normal persons sugar should be between 70-120. Diabetics aim for 70-150. At 30, the body goes into insulin shock and starts to shut down.
    6. It's a shot that tells the liver to release stored glucose - sugar.

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    #2 Jessica

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      Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:29 AM

      First of all, I'm sorry for the scare. Brian's mother is a diabetic and the medics are always at her house because she passes out from low blood sugar at least once every other month. Brian is a paramedic and once while at work he got a call and it was for his mother! It's great that you how how to take care of him when he's unable to and are able to give him injections, go to appts with him to make sure you are informed, etc. etc.

      Brian and I fortunately don't have any physical health issues so I can't answer that part of your question, but you seem to be "dealing" the best way you can and that's great!

      PS. I hope those people who say they wouldn't be able to deal realize that when you love someone, dealing with health concerns and other struggles just comes naturally and you learn to deal the best way you can!

      #3 syl1115

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        Posted 01 June 2009 - 07:54 AM

        PS. I hope those people who say they wouldn't be able to deal realize that when you love someone, dealing with health concerns and other struggles just comes naturally and you learn to deal the best way you can![/quote]

        Jessica, this is so true. My husband had a torn bicep, and rotator cuff repair in October just after our wedding and just had his kidney removed that had a malignant tumor, last week. It is a lot of additional work for me, but I do what I have to and manage. I stayed in the hospital overnight with him sleeping only two hours in a chair! I just hope I didn't snore and keep all the other patients up. LOL

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        #4 purrfected

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          Posted 01 June 2009 - 08:25 AM

          In our relationship I am the one with the health issues. I have cardiomyopathy (a weakend heart muscle) and congestive heart failure. Needless to say I have scared off many a boyfriend with my health issues. My FI is so great about it all, the pills, the hospital visits and the seemingly endless doctor's appointments. I do believe that it takes a special kind of person and a special kind of love to deal with people who have chronic illnesses. The thing to remember is that as hard as it is on those who have to care for us, it is just as hard for those of us who have medical issues to let you care for us!

          #5 jk1101

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            Posted 01 June 2009 - 10:14 AM

            I think when it comes to these things you "just do it".

            I'm the one with more of the health issues. FI hates doctors, drugs and refuses to take asprin most of the time...but I have very bad migraines that have put me in the ER, and some other chronic issues that keep me on daily medication. When I tell him "I need to go to the hospital" for a migraine, he doesn't hesitate, he says, "Get in the car". He checks to make sure I'm taking all my meds. He knows when I'm not feeling well. He knows the signs that my illness is acting up and will tell me.
            When you love someone, you will take care of them. And Purrfected is right, it is hard to let someone take care of you....so you have to love someone to let them do that too!

            #6 CrystalM

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              Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:39 PM

              Awww, thanks everyone.

              He got a call from the hospital today. His potassium is low - they called in prescription to Walgreens for him for potassium supplements and his EKG showed some stuff that they said he needs to follow up with his PCP.
              I have a fabulous photographer I can share in the United States Virgin Islands in late April/early MayP.M. if interested!http://img.weddingco....pvbh7hxc5u.png

              #7 JOSIE

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                Posted 01 June 2009 - 02:56 PM

                I know how it is to have a loved one with health issues! My brother had a brain tumor at age 11 (he's now 30) but it was on his pituitary gland (produces/regulates all hormones) so now he has no hormone production and they also messed up his vision when they were scraping the tumor off.

                It feels like everyday is a battle, especially trying to balance all these medications and seeing how they conflict with each other and effect his mood/behavior.

                All I can say is be thankful for everyday and I don't think the worrying will ever go away. Women worry anyway, and its expounded by these type of things.

                Good Luck and you're such a strong woman for taking such good care of your FI. he is blessed to have you!

                #8 ACDCDCAC

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                Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:13 PM

                im fortunate that i dont have to deal with something like this on a daily basis, so i give you major props! and jessica is totally right, it takes a special person to just accept as the way it is and not think twice about it! :) hugs to you!

                #9 big3n09

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                  Posted 01 June 2009 - 03:22 PM

                  First I want to say LOVE endures all! I'm a paramedic and had a cute 17 year old boy yesterday with blood sugar of 20, I thought to myself he's a cutie I hope he finds a good person to help him with managing his diabetes. After treating him I left him with some encouraging words that he will because he said his brothers told him he would never find anybody. Diabetes is more about management and it sound like you are doing your best and all you can and nobody should be trying to figure out how and why you able to do it. Everything is not for everybody and what one person can deal with the next person may not be able to that's why we we're all created differently.
                  4/1/11 in St. Kitts at the Marriott I married my best-friend!!!

                  #10 Vikki

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                    Posted 01 June 2009 - 05:45 PM

                    It sounds like you're really overwhelmed but finding strength you didn't know you had. Amazing what love can do.

                    I actually had a question though. It sounds like you're doing a great job managing his illness but how is he doing? You mentioned he gave himself too much after having a couple beers.... Please know I'm not trying to make any judgements and I don't know enough about diabetes to know if this is a risky behavior or not but is he taking all the precautions he should be taking-because it sounds like you're taking on a huge burden. I know the last thing you want to do is share any of your stress with him but when he's feeling better do you think it would help you to share with him how you feel and how scared and worried it makes you? Guys seem to internalize differently and he may have no idea how much this is affecting you and it may help him make different choices-or remember to call and check in when he's been out for a while or you haven't spoken.

                    He's lucky to have the love of a woman like you and you are an amazing person to overcome some of your fears (needles....yuck!).

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