Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Living with a Type-One Diabetic

I wake with a start, my eyes bleary as they find the clock.  Its after midnight, and my husband is out of bed.  I find him in the kitchen with the refrigerator door open.  He is getting ready to urinate in it.  I rush over to him and try to pull him to the bathroom.  His body is covered in sweat and he yells at me calling me his sister's name.  He stumbles over to the couch and tries to pee there, but I stop him.  I try to drag him to the bathroom, something that proves difficult seeing as he outweighs me by at least 50 pounds.  I finally get him in there and settle him on the toilet, though I doubt he actually has to pee. 

Most of the populations reaction is to give him insulin.  If I did this, I would most certainly kill him.  A normal blood sugar level is 80 to 120.  His was about 33 meaning he already had far to much insulin in his blood stream.  Any more would send him into a comma he might never wake from. 

After I gave him a bottle of juice, I have to wait for 15 minutes, talking myself out of giving him more the entire time.  If I gave him more too soon, I might make his blood sugar skyrocket.  After awhile he starts talking normal, he knows my name, asks why he is on the toilet.  He is out of the woods so I crawl back into bed. 

He was 28 when he was diagnosed, something becoming more and more common.  No one knows why he developed it.  Type one diabetes is not hereditary, it isn't due to over-eating, or being obese.  There is a theory that something has attacked the pancreas and caused it to die, but nothing is certain. 

This incident was years ago and since then he has gotten much better at controlling his insulin levels.  He counts carbs in absolutely everything he eats.  This is vitally important because he knows his insulin to carb ratio is 15:2.  !5 carbs, 2 units of insulin.  Unfortunately it is not an exact science, and sometimes things just don't digest the same or the body reacts differently, and he ends up a walking zombie until we figure out what is wrong.  Other times he shoots high, but when he is high, he is still coherent and just takes more insulin. 

Living with someone with this disease is stressful.  My ten year old has been home with his father a few times and had to force him to drink juice.  Though he stayed cool, I know it worries him.  He is always asking his dad if he has taken insulin, and checking if he is sweaty.  I guess it something that is hard to understand unless you have lived it, but I wanted to give a small view into the difficulties. 

1 comment:

  1. I admire you for the way you have handled this over the years. My friends son (1 years old) was just diagnosed with diabetes. Talking to her about it lately actually made me think of you. I miss you my friend. We need to get together soon. :)