What to do with conversations like these when someone Is diabetic?

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My mother is diabetic. Tonight she took her blood sugar before going to bed. It was 165 -- a bit low for her pre-sleep glucose. I suggested she get a snack before retiring. She asked me if I knew what to do if she died during the night. I said yes, but wouldn't it be easier to just get a snack. She said that she didn't want anything to eat because it made her fatter, which made her sugar go up.

This last week has been the worst. Her logic is so twisted now that I have difficulty getting her to do what she needs to. She tells me she won't do something Earlier this evening she had taken her blood sugar -- why I don't know, since it was after dinner. She told me it was 195, so I needed to call the doctor's office. I told her that it was Saturday night. She asked me what difference did that make. I should call him unless I wanted her to die. I reassured her that 195 was not a bad after-dinner glucose, but she didn't believe me.

So now I wondering if she think normal is high, and if she will be endangering herself with hypoglycemia trying to get it lower. And I'm also worried about the effect that the stress of caring for her is having on me. We have an appointment with the geriatric clinic at the University on Monday morning. I hope that they will be able to help her or at least help me get through this.

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Flora, thanks for the info. I have cared for diabetics and watched them inject themselves. For him, even testing would cause a tide of complaints. I guess I should get going on a healthier diet to postpone that evil day as long as possible.
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Jinx,
If it's the very word 'needle' that sets him off, this may not relate. But too many sources that should know better say things like "Diabetics have to inject insulin INTO THEIR STOMACH." Which would mean a big long needle doing something dangerous.

The fact is that what's used is the fat layer that covers most people's abdomen (aka 'ugly belly fat'). Really, fat at any location can be used, if it's thick and soft and floppy enough. Insulin needs to go into fat rather than into the muscle like ordinary shots. So the insulin needles are very small, very short. Even so, the person pinches up a wrinkle of fat to put the shot into, so there is no possible danger of it going through the fat into tissue below.
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jessie -I thought the "fairly healthy and with a life of our own" was not dire. - the others - yes. Unfortunately some of what I read here points to those scenarios, and also in the direction of caregivers not having financial resources for their own senior years. Personally, I have had to, and still have to, make some tough decisions to keep my life on track. I wish you well re the dementia - not exactly a Golden Girls scene.
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Oh, goodness! That sounds dire. Chances are that most likely I will keep my mother here until I can't anymore. When she dies, I will move to a senior community and live the Golden Girl life. If I'm lucky, I'll find a good-spirited gentleman to spend time with. If not, I'll sit around and gripe with my girlfriends. That sounds more like what will happen with me in the end. The thing I worry about most for myself is dementia, since both my father and mother have/had it. That will really put a monkey wrench in everything.
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Yes we know how it will, end up in that we all will die. Those with dementia will get worse before they die unless something else intervenes. However, we do have some control about how we ourselves will end up - burnt out totally from caregiving which has given us with health issues of our own, broke and with no resources as we have given up our lives to care give,fairly healthy and with a life of our own - there are different scenarios as to how we end up once our parent passes and we do have some choices in that matter.
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We all know how it will end up and none of us really like it! How we wish we could stall or push back the hands of time.
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Jessie this is so stressful im in same boat as you know but her meds are starting to become a real worry. She knows she takes her insulin then eats now shes taking the insulin and not eating im so stressed now as MORE pressure to control her insulin ive just spoken to my bro and told him that if this isnt addressed Emo is right its a home and 24/7 med care unless we can take complete control of this its so dangerous im not sleeping well worrying about her but she will not hand over the meds to me she thinks I treat her like an idiot but this is so serious and we both may have to get the doctors to advise on this i just dont think i can cope with this huge resposibility on top of the dementia am going nuts monitoring her constantly.
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Thank you for your concern. This thread was resurrected from earlier this year, so fortunately all this is worked out now. My mother is a difficult person made more difficult by the dementia. I am just taking it one day at a time now. I don't know how everything is going to end up. I guess it is how most of us feel.
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Jessie - is it time to start thinking about placing your mum where trained staff can deal with her and her diabetes 24/7? Caregiving seems to be taking a toll on you more and more. The difficulties with your mum will likely only increase. I know she would resist going, but other have managed to make this transition, even with someone who resists.
You say you are worried about the effect the stress of caregiving is having on you. Considering the posts of yours that I have read over the past year, I have that concern too. You are young, by my standards, and can have many years ahead. Please do not let caregiving harm your health any more than it already has. Even at a distance and with my mother in an ALF, the stress she causes affects my health. I have been struggling with various bugs since August, having had a very difficult summer with her. Before that I was doing well. I managed the stress better physically in my 60's but once I hit the 70's things have been different. Could your mum live another 5-10 years? Could you keep caregiving for that long, with her health and yours declining? Please give this serious thought. I am concerned for you. ((((((((hugs))))))).
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Diabetes is worth worrying about; the damage to brain, skin, muscle, kidney, eye, heart is beyond belief the longer it goes on badly controlled. And Veronica, I otherwise love the post but most of us couldn't slap our momma and stick a carrot in their mouth, though it would probably be really good for them. :-) The exercise and weight loss can in fact reduce insulin resistance enough to cure a true type II case or at least delay it, but it takes a lot of commitment and energy to fight the excess appetite that most of us at high risk or actually in any stage of it experience. Switching over to lower fat and sugar ice cream can be a huge help, you can find tasty choices at 100 calories per half cup or less and *very* tasty at 120 or less, while some of the unmodified full fat ones can be 200-300 calories or more instead. And the medications used make a difference. Insulin alone tends to increase weight and appetite, unless you can possibly get detemir. My mom finally stopped stashing and eating sugar packets daily when she was started on on Januvia, but other meds we tried before that did not agree with her or did nothing.The first step towards a better quality of life with diabetes for my mom was actually finding a new doctor who was not content with sugars over 200 and just giving more insulin, while watching her gain weight and making the whole thing even worse. She felt like she was starving all the time - whether her sugar was 120 or 380 - and in a sense she was - the insulin resistance meant nothing was getting into her cells. If she felt bad, she'd assume that meant her sugar was low and would just gobble down some candy or sugar packets without even testing. Her A1c was as high as 14 at one point. The second step was getting her sugar free candy, and getting friend and neighbors to collaborate on that.

I've lost my mom and some dear friends to this disease and its complications...it is so common people do not think much of it, my mom for many years just gave herself a little insulin twice a day and did not even check her sugars, did not eat well or exercise, and once even said to me that you can't really manage diabetes, you just live with it! This is genuinely not true..we eventually got my mom on good enough management that we saved her from losing her chronically infected toe or even her foot after the third or fourth episode of cellulitis, but too much damage was already done to heart and brain to reverse those things, which were what cost her her independence and ultimately took her away from us.
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