Stubborn Husbands with Diabetes

Hey, All — if you have got questions about life with diabetes, then you have come to the right place! That would be our weekly diabetes information column, Ask D’Mine, hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and clinical specialist Wil Dubois.

This week, Wil has some advice for a pair of concerned “type amazing” wives who have husbands living with diabetes.

Here’s what Wil must say on that front… to be taken with extreme care, obviously.

Joanna, kind amazing from South Carolina, writes: My husband’s blood sugar is 172 every morning. He won’t visit the doctor. He has type 2 diabetes, hemochromatosis, high blood pressure, quite fatty liver and weak kidneys. Please help me know where this is about?

Wil@Ask D’Mine replies: This really is going to the morgue. Sorry. I understand that’s not what you wished to hear that this early in the morning, but it’s the truth.

At least that is where it’s going if nothing changes. More importantly in a bit.

Blood glucose factoid: In individuals with diabetes, blood glucose almost always goes greater during the day than where it began. So while 172 wouldn’t be terrible after in the afternoon, particularly two hours following a meal, it’s a poor starting point. It indicates to me that he has to be pushing 300 later in the afternoon, and that in turn strongly suggests his A1C has to be over 9.

A1C factoid: In levels over 9.0%, the glucose is toxic to every living cell in your body. High A1Cs kill, albeit slowly. However, with weak kidneys, this is extremely bad news indeed, as the kidneys may be one of the first methods to succumb to elevated glucose levels.

Was that the doorbell? I believe that the Grim Reaper has come calling.

Oh, talking of kidneys, high blood pressure–along with being a serious risk factor for heart disease–is also a kidney-killer. While around 44% of all kidney failures at the United States are connected to out-of-control diabetes, high blood pressure is in close second area, causing 29% of failures. With the combination of high blood pressure and high blood glucose is similar to having identical twin Grim Reapers appear at the door of your husband’s uterus. And his kidneys are already weak?

But if he does not want to visit his doctor, he should at least put down a deposit on a mattress at the dialysis centre.

As to the very fatty liver, really most individuals with type 2 diabetes have some degree of liver, also some investigators now believe that fatty liver may be the smoking gun from the development of the diabetes in the first place. Apparently substantial levels of fat from the liver are connected to difficulties using fasting glucose levels and improved insulin resistance. It used to be considered that oily liver shortened lives, but a recent study throw doubt on this. However, it certainly is not raising his life span, and it complicates efforts at controlling blood glucose (assuming he was really making an attempt).

Last, the hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder in which the body heaps up too much iron from the blood. The excess iron is bad news for major organs, including–wouldn’t you know it–the liver, the center, and the pancreas. According to the Iron Disorders Institute, hemochromatosis, left untreated, could be deadly.

So perhaps the Reaper is triplets in your husband’s case.

Now I believe that you can see why I said this is going to the morgue.

Are there any good news?

Sure. Until you really push the cliff, there is always a chance to turn or stop. A lot of what is murdering your husband is readily treatable. It’d be nice if he’d only get the hell for his doc and get some frickin’ diabetes meds, kidney meds, and blood pressure meds. He would also need to find a doc for the hemochromatosis, the premium treatment for which is a excellent conservative blood-letting–that we now call a therapeutic phlebotomy, simply to make it sound less medieval.

However, if he absolutely won’t move (make sure the premium on his life insurance becomes paid on time each month… there is that damn doorbell again) there is really something you can do in your role as his partner, assuming you are also his cook. If you reduce the carbs in his diet you may improve both the blood glucose levels and the liver. Reducing caffeine and sodium can lower the blood pressure. If he shed some weight, better still. You should also read up about the dietary guidelines for the hemochromatosis.

They had to say that the way into a man’s heart was through his stomach. Maybe it’s the route to his survival too.

Kim, kind amazing from North Carolina, writes: I do not know what to do anymore! My husband has been a diabetic for a number of years now. He’s a man who proceeds to consume whatever he wants. His blood glucose level jumps from high to low. I have tried to have conversations with him about his health difficulties and it ends up with us having an argument. I go to his doctors appointments and he lies to his doctor. I really don’t know what to do anymore. I love my husband, but it’s causing constant arguing.

Wil@Ask D’Mine replies: What is it with these Carolina boys? Actually, I jest. Guys are equally uncooperative in most of the lower 48 states. And in Alaska. And Hawaii. And England, France, the Netherlands, Northeastern Pakistan, Kiribati (the least seen country in the world) and nearly everywhere else.

I am a man, and I am at loss to explain the collective stubbornness of my gender.

Wait a second… He ignores his diabetes. He eats whatever he wants. He won’t discuss his health with his mate, though his health fate affects her up to him. He lies to his doctor… This is not stubbornness, and he is not a man at all. This is complete selfishness and he is only a big baby. Tell me did his mommy spoil him child?

Your husband should grow up. He’s a man now and contains a partner. As soon as you join the adult world, and join your destiny with a different one, there is no room for complete and total selfishness.

Good for you that you have attempted to engage him in a dialogue. And shame on him for arguing rather than listening and talking. Good for you for accompanying him to his doctor’s office, also for not ratting him out into the doc when he lied. Shame on him for doing this, and for placing you in that place.

It sure seems to me as if you are a better woman than he or she deserves.

And what does he deserve? I hear you that you are still in love, but when he is going to push a cliff like the husband above, you might not want to sit loyally in the car together while it plunges to the stones below?

The information given to battered women–which everyone agrees with–is Leave the bastard. It doesn’t matter whether she loves him or not. That is not relevant in regards to abuse.

Your spouse’s selfish actions are abusive to you and to your marriage. He’s not a partner, not a team player, not accepting he is part of a couple–in short he is a poor partner. And I believe you want to accept this, in some ways, you also, are a battered woman.

Maybe you, too, need to leave the bastard.

This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs publicly and publicly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs, or partridges in pear trees. Bottom line: we are only a small portion of your total prescription. You still require the expert advice, therapy, and care of a licensed medical professional.

Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and does not stick to Healthline’s editorial guidelines. To learn more regarding Healthline’s partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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