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He says that he is diabetic and has low blood sugar, so he eats a lot of candy. We've noticed that he only throws up when he is upset, although he doesn't show any emotion (e.g., he didn't get to hear the Royals game on the radio on time). I've told his doctor, but he just says to feed him candy now and then. Dad forgets and then he comes upstairs to eat lunch with us, and he throws up right after we sit down at the table. This is getting frustrating. It doesn't happen every day, just about once or twice a week. When we question him, he says he's all right, then he sits down and starts getting nauseous. Then he goes to the bathroom and throws up, not always in the toilet. Then I have to clean it all up. This whole scenario is making ME nauseous. I thought I was done taking care of that kind of illness when my kids grew up and left home. What am I doing wrong? I need some suggestions to help get this under control. Thank you for any help you can give me and my husband.

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Perhaps hubs could go in to the doc with his father?? I hope someone has medical POA so if the chips are down you can speak with the doc. Keeping that diary of emotional ups and downs is sounding even better. It is very hard to care for someone with no REAL information and I agree that at this age they tend to hear what they want.
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DIL2H, what an uncomfortable position to find yourself in, my sympathies. Would it possible for you to make them a cold lunch (in warm weather, anyway) that they can help themselves to when they feel like it? And while this isn't my area, would it be a good idea to be reading up on glycaemic indices and pointing them towards foods that will give him a more sustained, even blood sugar level? Complete nightmare for you, feeling responsible (even partly) for something you don't control. Best wishes.
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I am the original question-asker. FIL is living with MIL in our basement. He is (according to dr.) Type 2 diabetic, and has been encouraged (by Dr.) to have 5 five small meals a day. Unfortunately, he cannot go more than about an hour without "something in (his) stomach." He and MIL will NOT let me take care of their meds and prescriptions. No, I am not overbearing -- I always try to be very gentle and considerate of their feelings. They don't like for me to be in the examining room with them because they feel that invades their privacy. I do believe that they are listening to the doctor, but only hearing what they want to hear. I will try to get an appointment to see and talk with the dr. by myself sometime. FIL does not feel dizzy, but does struggle with balance. Dr. says it's probably what we would call hardening of the arteries. I'm going to try to feed them their lunch much earlier than 12:30 - - maybe 11:30. That's the only meal I'm technically responsible for. Thanks for all the comments and helpful advice!
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"He says that he is diabetic and has low blood sugar - "

???

Presumably, since you yourself have consulted his doctor and no doubt mentioned the diabetes during the conversation and weren't contradicted, he actually is diabetic. But if he's going low then he's not administering his insulin properly and - don't know whether you'll want to hear this? - you need to get your hands on it and sort him out.

But in any case, I couldn't agree more with the advice to make detailed notes of what's happening and march him off for a proper assessment. This is not normal, not even in diabetes, and could be serious.
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Since he has diabetes he really does need to get his meals regularly and on time, and to not go too long without eating. If a meal is going to be delayed he needs a reasonable snack to tide him over.

But the vomiting may or may not be related to his diabetes. Is he on drugs or insulin? Is he taking what needs regularly? Try to carefully track when he takes his meds, what his blood sugars are (and the time of day they are taken) and what he eats, when. Do this for a few days and hopefully include a day when he is nauseated. Take this log with you when you take him to see his doctor.

If he needs a new doctor, consider a geriatrician.
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Use blood glucose meter to determine blood sugar count before acting to resolve a condition that might not be present.
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ba8alou, I run into the same things with my parents and doctor appointments. I now go into the exam room with both, and it is always interesting listening to them on the way home from the doctors.... it's like, were we in the SAME exam room :P
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Okay, the doctor said to feed him candy? Are you sure he isn't hypoglycemic? that's sort of the opposite of diabetes? If you are going to care for him, you need to be in the examing room with him, or permitted to talk extensively to the doc about what the orders are. You either have Medical POA, or you can't really caregive. I discovered that my mom, once she hit 85 or so, wasn't really taking in what the doctors said to her. She would hear one thing, close her eyes and "meditate" on the one thing she had grasped. Our car trips home were very interesting. "He said that? Really? I didn't hear that"
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Promethazone - regularly, but at least half an hour before he sits.



Doctore investigation and diagnosis essential. down at your table.
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First and foremost, remove the candy from the house! The sugar is throwing off his insulin, creating stomach contents to back up into the esophagus because at 88 yrs. his sphincter connecting the stomach to the esophagus is weakened and will allow the contents to "overflow" for lack of a better word. My husband is 88 yrs. and he has no gag reflex. This can cause gagging when food gets stuck, so have your father-in-law's doctor check his gag reflex and any other potential problems. If this doctor is not too concerned, find one who is...
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DIL2HandEAl, definitely get Dad to a doctor to check to see if he feels dizzy when he gets up from a chair.... and also ask the doctor about acid reflux.

Elders some times get up from a sitting position too quickly, their blood cannot circulate as quickly as someone much younger, thus it could make him feel lightheaded or dizzy, which in turn could make him feel nauseous.

You mentioned your father-in-law will get sick when he is upset... when a person is upset some people don't realize it but they could be clamping down on their stomach, and if acid reflux plays a role, it can make you feel like you could throw up.

All above in my post is just speculation from prior experience. Only a doctor can decide what is the medical issue.
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So first be sure that he is diabetic. Does he check his sugar regularly? If he is he probably will do best with 5 SMALL meals a day. Work out a meal plan and stick to it . We do breakfast at 8, lunch 12:30, dinner at 5:30 snack at 8pm. FIL is diabetic here. It works for us, but we do not deviate from those times much. Keeping weight under control is critical as well. Snacks and deserts are generally fruit. The idea of a diary and noting if it is emotional is a good one as is a good overall physical with a geritrician. Are you sure he does not have a cookie/candy stash in his room. I discovered 11 bags of candy and 6 boxes of crackers in FIL's room about a year ago which he kept replacing himself as he still drives (yikes). Quite the discussion about THAT!
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I did not see how many times a day his blood sugar is tested and when it is low, how low is it? Tell us more about his diabetes. He may need an endocrinologist. I am Type 2 & I have a daughter who is Type 1. I attended classes after I was diagnosed, thinking I knew a lot about diabetes. The types are very different. Low blood sugars are very dangerous! You will want to determine if low sugars are in fact involved. I absolutely agree that a doctor visit is in order.
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I'm noticing the phrase "what am I doing wrong?" -- the old trap of taking on general, pointless blame. Watch out for that. But do break it down:

-Something's up physically [make a log, take him in, get diagnosis. He SAYS he's diabetic? Is he really?]

-He's upset but not showing it? You ask him and he says he's fine... well, yuh. How many people his age are going to give you any other answer than that. If you want to change the situation you can't go by that.

-He's possibly not making good choices when he's alone "downstairs" [plan ahead -- he's not going to be able to be by himself forever]

-He misses the toilet [solve this logistically -- how about a wide plastic storage-type container that you can then pour into the toilet and rinse with water from the tub, also pouring into the toilet. You don't have to touch anything.]
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Keep a log of this for a week. Make an appointment to see a "real doctor who will treat this as a symptom of something potentially serious.
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Never mind what he says. Get a proper diagnosis from the doctor. Many possibilities.
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