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Too Much Info
Jul 2, 2002
Iím getting too much information and now Iím so scared.

My husband was diagnosed with diabetes (Type II) a couple of weeks ago. All we were told was that he had it and that it may kill him. ĎDrastically shorten his life spaní is what the doctor said.

Heís going to several doctors and they tell him different things and we are really scared.

The doctor that diagnosed the diabetes is very nice, but he talks so fast and rushes though the medical lingo that we donít always know what heís saying. We donít know what questions to even ask! He gave us a list of books and Iíve been to the diabetes websites, and it just gets worse and worse.

Is my husband going to die soon?

What do the numbers in the home blood test mean? The doctor prescribed the kit and glucophage and that was it. The medicine made him have diarrhea very bad Ė to the point of dehydration. When we called the doctor back we were told that it was not the medicine and more like John (my husband) just ate something that he shouldnít have. The doctor said to take some Imodium. It hasnít helped. As for the kit, we were given no instruction on how to use it or what the numbers mean. The doctor just said to test his blood 2 hours after every meal and log it. So we got a notebook where I write down the date and time of day and the reading, and what the meal consists of. Then I thought that maybe I should test him before the meal so we could compare and see how much his blood sugar goes up. Poor John is like a pincushion now. But I donít know what the numbers mean. What is the normal blood sugar range? John goes from 250 to 128 a day, with lots of spikes.

About 5 years ago we went to the doctor and asked if John maybe had hyperglycemia because John gets dizzy and weak and sick to his stomach sometimes and itís pretty severe. The doctor didnít order any tests he just said ďnoĒ and pushed some pills at John. This is the best doctor on the HMO and itís who we are still seeing and who diagnosed the diabetes. John still has the ďspellsĒ of weakness but now he drinks some orange juice which helps a little bit. But I guess that is when his blood sugar drops too low. His daily readings are like a roller-coaster. What is a good level? What are we trying to achieve? How do we know what food he should have? If we do the test and his blood sugar readings are higher than before the meal does that mean that he canít have those foods at all? EVERYTHING he has eaten has caused his blood sugar to go up 2 hours after the meal. We eat whole-wheat toast, that spray-on I CANíT BELIEVE ITíS NOT BUTTER stuff, grilled fish or chicken. Red skinned potatoes or white rice (small amounts), carrots, peas or green beans. Even with those foods his sugar count goes up.

Or, should we expect the reading to be higher and be more concerned with the percent it jumped? Like his before dinner reading was 240 and his after dinner reading was 300. Is that too much? Is it okay if itís only like 5 points higher? We donít know!!! The doctor wonít or canít tell us. Or, if he is trying to tell us Ė itís coming out of his mouth so fast and in such medical terms that we just donít catch it. We are trying to find another doctor or diabetes educator but no one has time. All the appointments are in August or September. I feel like this canít wait Ė what if he dies! Also, I probably have diabetes too and Iím almost certain I have some kind of heart disease. I have all the symptoms, including shortness of breath and chest pains. I canít afford to be off work. I want to get my husband taken care of first.

Also, my husband was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. What is that? Something about the left artery. That doctor did a stress test which showed blockage. John was supposed to have a cardiac catheterization, but the doctor had to cancel and we couldnít get our questions answered anyway. The doctor was just going to put a camera in his heart Ė if there is a problem we would have to find another surgeon. Everyone I talked to that had this done said that a surgeon either did the procedure or was standing by to do angioplasty or by-pass or whatever at the time the test was done. So now we are waiting for another cardiologist to call us back so we can make an appointment. This doctor came highly recommended to us and Iíll feel better about seeing him, but in the meantimeóis my husband going to drop dead at any second? Iím scared here!

The more books I read, the more posts I read here, the more terrified I become. Much of it doesnít make any sense to me.

Iím usually pretty level-headed in a crisis, but I seem less able to handle this than I have handled similar crisis in the past. Including the recent death of our son. For a couple of years before our son died, we were on a ďdeath watchĒ and I donít know if any of you know what I mean. Itís a feeling in the pit of the stomach and center of the heart. Itís an all-consuming thought that circles the brain but you try not to let in because once it gets in the brain it takes a lot of pain and tears to get it back on the perimeter again. The ďdeath watchĒ feeling is horrible. After our son died we began grieving. We still are grieving, but the ďdeath watchĒ feeling is gone finally. We felt the weight of it life off the backs of our necks and even though we bow our heads in grief, itís different from the pressure of that other feeling pushing you down. But now, I have the ďdeath watchĒ feeling again. Iím watching and waiting for my husband to die and Iím so scared.

Thanks for letting me vent. I guess Iíll go finish crying in the bathroom again then get back to work.

[This message has been edited by YadaYada (edited 07-02-2002).]

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