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Concered about my mother

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Old 04-08-2007, 02:00 AM   #1
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Default Concered about my mother

Hello, I am mainly a reader of this forum. I visit daily, have been for a long time and learn so much. First off, I myself have a bunch of weight I need to lose! I have "fallen off the wagon" here lately, but am ready to hop back aboard and take it one day at a time.

I am very worried about my mom. She has a lot of extra weight and has carried it for 40 years. About 20 years ago she was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. My family worries so much because she is a perfect example of what a diabetic should NOT do. We try to talk with her but she naturally gets very defensive. Today she took a terrible fall. She hit her head very hard and broke her wrist in 2 places. Surgery tonight for the wrist and they will have to put in a plate (she really broke it badly). After arriving at the emergency room it was discovered her numbers were DANGEROULSY high and come to find out she hasn't checked her numbers in 2 days It appears she passed out and then fell and it appears it is due to her diabetes situation. She has had several scares with her numbers getting high/complications form diabetes/hospital stays in the past and been very lucky. Food-wise she doesn't follow any plan, eats many carbs, eats desserts and even drinks sweet tea. No exercise. We ask her about her health and she is not honest about it, my dad asks her if she is checking her numbers and she tells him she has great records and checks it twice a day. She also has some serious sleep issues ongoing. I know she has to be the one to realize how SERIOUS this is and she has to be the one to make the changes, but I wish there was something we could do. I live over 600 miles away, but do talk to my family often. I have asked my dad to meet with her doctor and lay it all on the line (eating, exercise, sleep, all the issues that are so serious to this diabetes). She has never been honest with her doctors and tells us things we know are not what she is really doing. I also think at times she even believes what she is saying. She has something serious happen and receives great care and then she doesn't take care of herself (she even stops seeing these specialists that are tyring to help). I know recently she was losing a lot of feeling in her legs and the doctor ordered therapy, she went for a while and stopped. It was explained that it was like trying to balance an apple on toothpicks and her legs needed to be strengthened. I am worried and I hope they are able to control her numbers and the surgery goes well. Any advice, any programs for diabetics?? I wish there was a rehab center she could go to and they can teach her how to get on the right track. Someone almost needs to hold her hand 24/7 until she gets it. There are so many habits with the eating, non-exercise and sleeping that have been ongoing for 30 years and I wish there was a way to help her change them. Thanks for listening!
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Old 04-08-2007, 02:59 AM   #2
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It sounds as if you have had a rough time and at this point you have some big issues. I agree,given the description of her management, she is lucky.
There should be someone on staff at the hospital to review some of the basic stuff with your Mom. There might be some confusion, but the bottom line is that she has to learn to live with this somehow.
Could part of it be the wrong meds or insulin ? Does she know that she it is possible that she could go on the pump ?There is so much going on in the last ten years that has made management easier.Even some of the diet stuff has become more focused on maintaining a healthy blood sugar.
I truely feel for you. Even diabetics that exercise and eat right have their days when nothing works the way it is supposed to work. This denial that she is in is serious and perhaps this will be the red flag that gets her to eat right, check her sugar and exercise.
Remind your Dad to check her toes/feet for any redness ! That circulation stuff in the legs is a big deal. I can't stress that enough.They can't ignore anything small at this point.
My Mom has some sort of electical unit to help stimulate her muscles in her legs- but she is a life long walker and a real fighter.We aren't sure if it will help her- but she fought using a wheel chair last year.
It is important for you to continue talking about this situation with your siblings, your dad or even someone who can just takes time to listen.
Even in a good situation you have bad days with this stuff.
There are good resources at Joslin
and other places on the net.
Again- good luck- you have a hard situation to deal with.
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Old 04-08-2007, 04:22 AM   #3
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Hi there,

First of all to you. I know how difficult it can be to worry about a sick mother!

My mother also ignored her diabetes for 30+ years. Two years ago she passed out and was rushed to the hospital in complete renal failure (due to the diabetes). At that point they kept her in the hospital for almost three months and stabalized her on insulin and on a regular diet and started her on dialysis. She hated it but it was the best thing for her. Sadly, she is now a permanent dialysis patient. I was tested to be a kidney donor and I am a perfect match but my doctor does not want me to donate because of my weight AND history of diabetes in the family.
How guilty do you think I feel? Being a perfect match but being to fat to donate?? I've lost a lot of sleep over it thinking that Mum could die because I am too fat to give her my perfectly healthy kidney. It has taken time, but I've come to realize that she may die. But not because of me, because she ignored her illness for so long. Her struggle has motivated me to lose these pounds and hopefully not develop diabetes myself.
At some point people have to wake up and realize the danger they are putting themselves in.
I have a hunch that this terrible accident may be it for your Mum.
My mum did snap out of it. For the most part she is very good. Some days are better than others. For her, the social workers at the dialysis center and the kidney foundation in general have been a tremendous source of information and help with her diabetes. They have provided a dietician to keep her diet accountable. They also provide menus for her.
She is eating much better and takes her insulin and checks her blood regularly.
I am sure the doctors that are with your Mum now will figure out she has not been taking care of herself and will bring in the right people to help her.
Be strong! Take care of yourself and hope that this will be the turning point in her life to get her back to health.
You could try the Canadian Diabetes Assocation website for some information. Also, most hospitals provide dieticians at no charge.
Anyways, I hope some of this info is helpful to you.
If you would like, pm anytime.

Lisa
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Old 04-08-2007, 08:32 AM   #4
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(((Hugs))) It's natural that you would be worried about your mother. I hope that if nothing else this incident will be a wake up call for her and that she will be able to get the help she needs in managing her illness from the healthcare professionals who are treating her. I do not have any personal experience with diabetes, but I understand that it is manageable with medication and a good diet. And your mother is like many of us that need to lose weight - we get defensive when confronted about it. You have the perfect opportunity to motivate your mother into working on a healthier self - not by talking to her about her need to lose weight and eat healthier, but by leading by example. If she sees or hears that you are having weight loss success it might just encourage her to try to eat healthier herself! Ultimately though, each of us has to decide how far we are willing to go to be healthy.

My thoughts will be with you and your family.
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Old 04-08-2007, 09:51 AM   #5
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I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. How sad and scary for you and your family. I don't have any advice on this, but I wanted to just give you my support. My uncle had diabetes and ended up losing one of his feet because he just wouldn't make the changes he needed to make. I hope that your mom makes a better decision. Hang in there!
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:28 AM   #6
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I just wanted to express my sympathy as well. I don't have any advice either, but just wanted to give you a .
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Old 04-08-2007, 11:48 AM   #7
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I'll be praying for your Mom and for you. I don't have any experience with diabetes, but I do have a MIL who is Bi-polar and refuses to take her medication as required. The hardest part is that they are adults and can't be forced to do what is best for them. Even though she may get angry, don't give up on reminding her of her condition and special requirements. Nag her if you must. This is too important to remain silent.
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