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Trusting my husband...and being The Bad Guy

Discussion in 'Spouses and Significant Others' started by Rocky Mountain Mom, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    I just need to tell the truth (vent) for a minute, as there's no other place I feel I can say this:

    Because my husband lies to me about his diabetes management, I cannot trust him to care for my son, who also has T1 diabetes. (I just read somewhere on this forum where someone suggested in a similar thread that the person is lying to THEMSELVES, more than to the spouse. Thank you, to whoever wrote that! That helped a lot, as that is probably the case....)

    Anyway...before my son was Dx'd, I was, admittedly, rather oblivious and "hands-off" my husband's care. I was advised to stay out of it, and I did. But, now that I have been educated in the day-to-day management, both my son and I witness tremendous gaps in my husband's care. I try to keep my son focused on HIS own personal care, and tell him that Daddy is responsible for Daddy's personal care.

    I have still tried to stay out of it. But...how can someone who doesn't do a repeat BG test after a low be allowed to take a T1 child on a camping trip, for example? (This weekend's argument...the story is below....)

    Last night, when I got up to check my son's BG levels at 1:00 AM, I found my husband outside with a flashlight, rinsing out the vents on the air conditioner on our side yard. After taking it apart, he was complaining that he was having trouble getting the unit back together. I asked him if he was OK, or if he wanted or needed my help before I went back to bed. He said he was fine, and I started to go back to bed. But something did not seem right. I wondered if he was having trouble because he wasn't thinking clearly (beyond the idea of doing routine maintenance on an A/C at 1:00, when he had to be up for work at 5:00 AM). So, I went back outside, and asked him if he had recently checked his sugars. He said, yes, and that his numbers were fine.

    I did not believe him. His monitor was on the counter, and I looked at it. At midnight it was 52, and twenty minutes prior to my coming outside, it was 41. I felt awful for checking, for not trusting him...but, his life was on the line. (Was I wrong?) After the 41, there was no other BG check....and he was outside, alone, in the dark...saying he was "fine."

    I went back out, and insisted he come in to check his sugar. He said, "no,"... that he was almost done. I then said, "Either you come in, and we'll check this together, or I will call for some help, and we can have someone else tell you to check your sugar." (I hate to feel like The Bad Guy.) We both knew I meant what I said, so he came in, and he, begrudgingly, allowed me to help him with checks and food, until a repeat test showed his sugar at 110.

    He was furious with me, and we had an argument about the whole situation, which lasted several more hours. He said he just wanted to finish dealing with the air conditioner. I said, I just wanted to sleep, not wondering if I left my husband to die outside in the dark.

    I acknowledge my fear. Believe me, living with 2 T1s, I admit there is fear. But, I was not feeling angry about the fear of living with DM. I was feeling furious that I was being lied to...and that, as a result of this situation, I don't feel I can count on my husband to help in any way with our child.

    :(

    So, there. Thanks for letting me share. I needed to leave this somewhere...to be heard...to let it out. Thanks for being here for me, and I hope I can be here for you.
     
  2. sarahspins

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    I don't know, as a T1 myself, I have to say that there is a fine line between someone being concerned with how I am caring for myself, and someone essentially telling me what to do because they don't feel like I'm doing a good enough job (or I'm doing it all wrong - amazingly enough I do get that reaction, and it's because I "test too much" and I "shouldn't have to if I'm in control").

    The somewhat reactive way that your husband responds to you kind of tells me that he doesn't really feel like you're being helpful, but that you're telling him everything he's doing "wrong" - and it's probably because he's been living for 10 years with this, and you've only been managing your son for 5 months. You definitely know a lot about D at this point, but the one thing you'll never grasp is what it's really like to live with it. It's hard enough not to burn yourself out - imaging having someone constantly watching over you that second guesses EVERY decision you make - I don't know any adult that would respond well to that. I know I wouldn't.

    I hate to break it to you, but your husband is an adult, and it is not your job to micro-manage his care. I know that sounds harsh, and I wish it didn't, but it's the truth. What you require of your son may not always translate exactly to how your husband wishes to manage his D, and that should be okay - I can't say that if any of my kids had D I would manage them the same way I manage myself, and that's because they're kids, and I'm not. Let him make his own mistakes - I would be mad at you too, if you "interfered" in my own D management (whether you agree with how I do things or not).

    I am not suggesting for a second that your husband was right, however you really need to look at the BIG picture. Do you have any idea how many T1's out there don't test regularly at all? We're not talking missing a re-check after a low, but there are T1's out there who go days, weeks, even months without testing - they just run high and don't care. Your husband doesn't strike me as one of those. His idea of adequate D management might not mirror your own, however YOU are not the one with the disease.. he is. Trust me it's much easier to be an outsider looking in than it is to actually have diabetes. If his overall control is okay, I would just let it go and try not to let some of this bother you. I am not trying to tell you for a second that not treating a low is okay, but I have a feeling in this case he would have either finished the A/C and come in, or given up and come in.. and in either case he would have finishing treating the low and all would be well. I've certainly been guilty of pushing through projects because I just don't want to stop even when I know I am low and I should take a break.

    I would probably go off the deep end if my husband messed with my meter without asking... to me that's on par with (secretly) going through my emails or checking my phone to see who I've called. There's just no reason for it... he either trusts me or he doesn't, and if he doesn't, going through my personal things isn't going to make him trust me, no matter what he finds (or doesn't find). Just my 2?... but I kind of get the feeling that something more is going not.
     
  3. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    Is this about you, and how you feel about the way people treat you? I am sorry if you feel you are not respected in the way you manage your diabetes. I am not about to question that. It is none of my business.

    However, my post had to do with how I feel about how our child might be living or dying by his decisions....

    I hear you, and I agree with most of what you are saying, in terms of how adults should relate to one another. For all these years I have completely respected his autonomy, up to the point where his mental status is altered. He has the right to live or die by his decisions, even if he is my husband, and I want him to not only live, but to thrive. My lack of involvement in his care is usually the case, as he's out of the house 14-16 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I have only rarely looked at the meter...like when his BG was 16, and he was unconscious, etc.

    May I ask if you are suggesting I should have left my husband outside, in the middle of the night, with a blood sugar of 41, and just gone back to sleep? Or, are you simply saying, I never should have looked at the meter...? (Then, if something had happened, it would not have been my problem, fault, concern, or whatever?) As a T1, do you want someone watching your back in any circumstance?

    (This conversation in this thread may digress here, as we are now talking about how a T1 feels about the line of where support should be, and where it should not be. I hope my original intention for reaching out, as a spouse in the "Spouse and Significant Others" forum, does not get lost, as I still feel I have a right to reach for support.)
     
  4. emm142

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    Yeah, but what you don't know is how you would treat yourself if you had diabetes. People, in general, make far more reckless decisions when it comes to their own health than their child's. My dad smokes, but that doesn't mean he would happily share a cigarette with me, KWIM? Just because he makes stupid decisions when it comes to himself, that doesn't mean he will with your child. They are two completely different situations, and I think you need to separate them.

    If I was 41 and acting recklessly, I'd want someone to help me, but not to admonish me. The sad fact is that at that level most people are starting to behave irrationally. You can help him without telling him off, and I think that would be advisable.
     
  5. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    You are right...I don't know. I can't possibly know. That's why I don't admonish him for making those kind of decisions when his sugar is that low. That's part off diabetes, right? I was not mad at him for any part of that. What makes you think I was "telling him off?"

    What I can know is what it's like to wake up and find my husband unconscious and unresponsive, with a blood sugar of 16, because he accidentally took Lantus, instead of his Novolog, when he was doing a pre-bedtime BG correction. It was a mistake that nearly cost him his life. I just happened to wake up.... I don't judge him for making that mistake. Anyone could have made the same mistake. (In fact, when I was a working paramedic, I constantly prayed that I would not accidentally make a fatal drug error! And, I knew I was not immune from that possibility.)

    What I do know is what is was like to look for, and not find, his Glucagon in the next moment, as he had not replaced it after the last one was gone. ("The co-pay was $20.00, and I did not want to waste the money.") That was just another mistake, and it was made while perfectly oriented and not under the influence of a low blood sugar. That kind of thinking just is, and he may live or die by one of these choices.... As a spouse who loves him, I have a right to my feelings about it.

    What I can relate to is what it is the fear that every mother has when her child is diagnosed...to lie awake at night, and wonder if her child is dead.

    I can know some things.

    May I ask...how do you handle it when your spouse does things like this, in terms of how it might make you fear for your child's life? Perhaps, to use your lingo, "what you don't know" is how you would respond with a husband and a child in this situation? Is that possible?

    I posted this in the particular forum I did because I was hoping from some input from people in similar situations. With all due respect, I would appreciate some support without feeling I was being "told off," too.
     
  6. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    Just sent you a pm
     
  7. Lucky 868

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    Kimberly,

    What a tough place you're in. I completely understand why you would be concerned about your husband's health. It must have been unbelievably scary to wake up and find him unconscious and no Glucagon handy! I get what you're saying about him being responsible for his own D care, but he is not alone in the affect of D care has on him - you're his wife and want him alive and healthy for both you and your child/ren. How is that different that a spouse who wants their spouse to take their heart medication, blood pressure medication, etc? It doesn't sound to me like you are micro-managing his D care, you're being there when he is unable to care for himself (like at 16 and unconscious). Hmm...I thought that was what spouses do for one another.

    From your post, I clearly see the distinction you are making between how your husband manages his D as separate from him lying to you. You can let him handle his D care, you cannot handle being lied to as I don't think any spouse would. The issue of lying to you is the real problem and figuring out how to solve that one won't be easy.

    How does your husband feel about your son's D care? Does he think "I've handled my D care fine and the same level is fine for my son" or does he think "I want a higher level of care for my son than I give to myself"? Does he support or criticize the way you, individually, mange your son's D? I'm with you on the camping trip - it's a no.

    Cyndy
    Mom to N, 17
     
  8. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    Thank you for your supportive comments. As to your question, my husband thinks that however I want to handle our son's care is fine, and he does not get involved with it. He did not go to the post-dx. appts with us, and has no idea how the ratios are, what the dosing challenges are, etc. He figures that one parent with the info is fine. (In all fairness, I believe he would have preferred to be at those appointments. He was, apparently, not able to get time off for them.)

    (On another note, I am scheduled to have bilateral eye surgery in less than two weeks. It needs to be done, but I am very concerned about my not having someone to help with our son who thoroughly understands the situation. To that end, I will be asking for no post-operative pain meds, so I can make dosing decisions as soon as possible after surgery, without my being altered by narcotics. I think that stinks, as I would prefer having plenty of pain meds. In a situations like this, I think that two parents who knew what to do would be helpful. I would love to be able to find someone I can hire...but who? That's another story.)
     
  9. anna-bananna

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    Ugh...I feel so sorry for the position you are in, as I have been in a similar one myself! (Not with a D spouse, but one who wants to go off with our CWD without knowing how to care for said child!) I eventually had to say something, because he was taking her to a friend's house, but not really watching her, not doing bg checks, except for at meal time (even though she was MUCH more active than usual), and then when he would catch a low at meal time, he would just give her the meal, and "bolus" (we're on MDI) for it as usual...no sugar, no follow-up check to be sure she had risen, etc. Followed, of course, by drastic and recurring lows. So, after several times of this, and after many explainations of how he SHOULD be treating to keep this from happening and him refusing...I stopped letting him take her. She was "conveniently busy" every time, until he caught on, and we had to have a discussion about it. I had to tell him that until he regained my trust, by treating her lows the way they are supposed to be treated when we were together...I was very sorry, but she would not be going with him, because I felt that this was a matter of life or death for our CWD.

    I have to say...it was a real rough patch for us. DH, who is very involved with our children, was HIGHLY offended that I would suggest that he did not know how to care for his own daughter without help from me, but after a while, when he realized he COULD regain my trust, he saw my point of view and came around. Of course, your case is even trickier, since your DH does have D, and probably feels that this qualifies him inexplicably to care for any CWD, and that is probably true to a certain point.

    But, if your DH has not been involved in any of your CWD's D care thus far, then I would definitely try to postpone the camping trip. Five months seems like a long time to be hands-off, and then suddenly want to have full charge for a matter of days.

    In any case, eventually, a heart-to-heart with your DH is going to have to be had. In your case, maybe start with a question of what level of care he sees the CWD as needing...on par with his own? Higher? Lower? And what level of care he expects to give himself while he is in charge of your CWD's care? Then add in that even though he is capable of managing his own D (whether he chooses to do that is another point, entirely), he needs to get fully up to speed on his CWD's D care before doing a big thing like going away for a whole weekend, or caring for your CWD for several days while you have/recover from eye surgery. (Having D himself, he should know YDMV, so the CWD's care CAN'T be just like his own.) Then, hand over the instructions (bare minimum-give everything he needs, but no extra fluff--maybe just a couple of charts-one for ratios and one for corrections) and see how he does for a few days caring for the CWD at home with you on hand in case there are any questions/concerns...and go from there.

    It's what we had to do...it was very painful at the time...but so worth it now. I know I can trust DH to take care of our CWD. He accepts my instructions on when to do bg checks, and he even voluntarily sends me her BG numbers and if/how he is treating when they are away from home. I'm even thinking about making plans to go away for a few days and leave him home with the kids, so I can get a break!

    Good luck to you! And I will pray things get better. :)
     
  10. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    You have offered much encouragement and hope to me! Thank you!!!
     
  11. Lucky 868

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    From what you've posted, it's probably a good thing your husband has a hands-off approach to your son's D care. At least you are not butting heads over how to care for him and that's one less stressful thing to deal with.

    I had eye surgery about five years ago and was very surprised to be in a lot of pain post-op. I thought since it was elective surgery and my vision was so improved afterwards and I was very excited that the pain wouldn't be a big deal. Figured Tylenol would do it and I declined the Vicodin the doctor wanted to prescribe. Bad move! There is a reason the doctor gives you pain meds - you'll need them. You'll probably be more clear-headed on pain meds than you will be trying to suffer through the pain. Hopefully you can be on them for only a few days.

    As for D care help, maybe your other sons can help you with any insulin dosage changes. Or is there a neighbor who you can train quickly? Rude as this may sound, your husband really should be willing and able to take over your son's care for a while but I see why you are concerned about that. While my husband isn't a diabetic, he also has a more hands-off approach to our son's care and that has been an issue a couple times when I've needed him to step up to the plate and just double-check our son in certain situations.

    For what it's worth, I sympathize with the spot you're in and think you're doing a good job trying to juggle a difficult situation.

    Cyndy
    Mom to N, 17
     
  12. TheFormerLantusFiend

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    I never ever recheck my lows in fifteen minutes. It almost always takes longer than that for them to come up. If I'm not wearing a sensor, I'd tend to check in twenty to thirty minutes if I had symptoms, or in an hour to two hours if I didn't. Rechecking in fifteen minutes is one of those pieces of diabetes advice that have never made sense FOR ME.

    That does not mean that I would not recheck the blood sugar of a child in my care if that was part of his care plan; I am very capable of understanding that my diabetes needs and his diabetes needs are different, that a blood sugar I would correct shouldn't be corrected in him, that he needs a different number of carbs per unit of insulin, etc.

    From the sound of it, your husband does a fairly conscientious job of taking care of himself- he checked his blood sugar in the first place (a responsible thing to do) and he takes good enough care of himself to have mild lows. He just doesn't like for you to know what's going on with his blood sugar, probably because he feels guilty about the not in range blood sugars. When he's low (or was just dealing with one) is a bad time to talk about it.

    I really really don't like to say what my blood sugar is when it's not in range and either I'm judging myself for it or I think the person I'm with might judge me. The more incompetent somebody thinks I am with my blood sugar- the less I'm going to want to tell her what my blood sugar is, particularly if it's not 100.

    I would wonder if your husband should be alone with your son on a camping trip because I'd be worried that he'd become impaired due to a hypo and be unable to take care of your son at that point, if the two of them were the only ones on the trip, given that your son is still only 9 and fairly new to diabetes. Perhaps one of your other children should get some basic diabetes training.
     
  13. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    Thanks for the encouraging words, AND the heads-up about the meds! What will I do? One minute at a time, I guess!
     
  14. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    This is a HUGE concern for me.

    How my husband handles his DM is not the issue for me, and was never intended to be the focus of my comments.
     
  15. emm142

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    You sort of made it the focus, when it was the main subject of your first post...

    Guess what? There is no person in the world who is in exactly the same situation as you. Exactly how closely does someone have to understand you to be able to give advice on your thread? I never, ever claimed to understand your position, I was simply trying to offer advice from the other side of the fence. Personally, I find it useful to get advice from as many perspectives as possible to try and fully understand an issue. I'll be more selective about where I post next time.
     
  16. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    I disagree that it was the subject of my first post. This was my intended subject of my post:

    "Because my husband lies to me about his diabetes management, I cannot trust him to care for my son, who also has T1 diabetes."

    Where did you get the impression that I was looking for advice? I was looking for some compassionate support.

    "I just need to tell the truth (vent) for a minute, as there's no other place I feel I can say this...."

    "I was feeling furious that I was being lied to...and that, as a result of this situation, I don't feel I can count on my husband to help in any way with our child."

    As far as input from you, thank you for what you shared. You taught me a lot about being more sensitive to the needs of others, and I appreciate that. I am sorry if I have offended you. That was never my intention. My response to you was because I felt I was being critiqued by someone who does not appear to be either married to a T1 diabetic or have a T1 diabetic child. (I could be wrong about both of these things, though.) That does not mean I discount your perspective. But, it seemed you were responding about the offense that a diabetic might feel, and I was trying to discuss my desperate need to trust my husband with our child...the one with newly diagnosed diabetes.

    Because I have not faced some of the trials you have faced (i.e. I do not have diabetes), does not mean I have escaped my own difficulties in life...believe me. I would have appreciated a more respectful tone, and I should have offered one to you, as well. Again, I apologize for offending you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  17. emm142

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    Well, I apologise.

    A lot of people have thanked me for advice I gave them in the past, so it's hard to know when people want advice from only those with a CWD, and when they would appreciate advice from another perspective as well. Clearly you fall into the first category, and I'm sorry I didn't realise that.
     
  18. Rocky Mountain Mom

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    If you look again at my last note to you, I also thanked you for your perspective, and what you taught me.

    "As far as input from you, thank you for what you shared. You taught me a lot about being more sensitive to the needs of others, and I appreciate that."

    (I was referring to the sensitivity I need to have in all circumstances for my husband, as well as all others.) My gratitude was, and remains, sincere.
     
  19. Lucky 868

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    You might find that you do not get as loopy as you fear on the pain meds. If they do affect your head too much, maybe take a smaller dose (like cutting the pill in half) so it takes the edge off the pain yet allows you to function and think. I'm sure you've had to make dosage decisions when you're not at 100%, like being really tired from the middle of the night checks, so the pain meds might not be much different than that. You'll be surprised how quickly you learn to make adjustments on auto pilot.

    As for finding others to help, maybe one of your son's friends moms would be available and willing to get some basic D training and could check in to see if things are going OK D wise. Can your older son's pitch in? Have you talked to your husband about this upcoming situation and is he willing to contribute to the D care or is that conversation not practical? I hope things go well for you with the surgery!

    Cyndy
    Mom to N, 17
     
  20. tuckerce

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    I have a similiar issue with this as well, except that sometimes my husbands lets Caitie snack while I'm at work and forgets to or doesn't cover her with insulin for what she has eaten. This is very frustrating, because when we go to the doctor and have to explain these erratic numbers, I now look like the negligent parent:mad:
     

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