Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Real Thanksgiving Holiday

I was pleased to read that DW had a peaceful Thanksgiving.
We did also. For the first time in my life, I did not spend Thanksgiving with family. Tom and I went away to a hotel and had dinner at a fancy restaurant - by ourselves.

On one hand, it was nice because we did not have to deal with the trials and tribulations of the family garbage that goes on (my family is minimum of 25 people when we get together so its always a very big "to do"). But I was also nervous because restaurant holiday dinners are notorious for overcooked buffet food, cranky wait staff, and uncontrolled kids running around. So we selected a relatively expensive place where the food included traditional thanksgiving fare plus modern french cuisine.

I didn't have one piece of turkey and don't feel like I missed a thing. This fabulous restaurant offered bite size pieces of lots and lots of different things. I tasted so many different foods - some I had never had before. well, lets just say it was delightful.

And, Tom? you ask? well, he did well also. He kept checking his monitor all night and was able to keep things in a good place. he was really quite sweet - all night long. The first (I guess that means I am hoping for more) in a long time.

I hope that others will have a good time this holiday season.

Tom's wife

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Who is the sick one?

I just read the last couple of posts by DW and my heart is breaking for her
her last line,

Yes, one day at a time, one hour at a time, 1 minute at a time - we do muddle through, don't we?

and we know that these are the magic words of alcoholics anonymous
I live them every day
yet, do our husbands? sometimes I wonder

it is their diabetes and yet we are the ones wondering how we will survive

something is wrong with this picture
maybe we have a different "disease"
maybe we are the famed "enablers"

I try not to be
but what is one to do?

I fell in love with him and married him before his health was in such dire condition
before I knew that he would treat me with such disregard
yes, I said me
because at some point that is what it comes down to
not how well he takes care of himself
but how well he treats me

he has so little regard for me that he refuses to take care of himself
or he is wallowing in such self pity that he can't see past himself to take care of me

don't misunderstand, I'm not asking for him to "do" anything specifically "for" me
other than taking care of his own health so that I don't have to constantly save him from hurting someone else in a car crash, going to the hospital, or even dying

Is that really too much to ask?

I don't think so.

All of my very best wishes for everyone taking care of a diabetic who is not doing everything he (or she!) can to take care of his health for himself, for you, and for the rest of his family.

Tom's Wife

Monday, November 16, 2009

its a grumpy night

I'm not much in a mood to feel sorry for myself tonight.

On one hand, I am feeling grateful for what I have -- tom is not in crisis as are some other husbands.

Yet it is not necessarily the life of every wife to be awake multiple times a night to make sure your husband is breathing, to wake him up because his monitor is beeping, etc, etc, etc...

Then again, I don't have a husband who smokes cigarettes - I would hate that
or, one who has cancer
and I've never been divorced

There are many "bad" experiences I have never been through
I may be able to feel sorry for people who have been through those things but haven't experienced them so it is difficult to know exactly what they feel

It is my strong belief that if/when Tom dies, which we both assume will happen before me, I will never want another permanent man in my life again

I think its too much trouble
I think men are just too demanding

but I have really never had to make that decision
it must be really hard

My dad has had cancer during the last 2 years and my mom is just realizing that she is no longer sleeping through the night because of his health -- all of a sudden she has a new appreciation of what is like to live with someone with a chronic illness

she told me this weekend that she never knew...

its nice, but it doesn't change anything
she has always been supportive
its still hard

maybe I'm just grumpy tonight

maybe I just think men are crap tonight

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Anonymous Wife

DW wrote:

....Love the idea of meeting with other spouses.....but here's the problem with that. I have to remain anonymous myself in order to keep the "peace" here. If he thought for one second that I blogged....or that I was meeting another wife....I would have to leave for sure. Sad, huh? I'm going to guess there are several of us in the same position. We are not allowed to talk about this disease, not allowed to mention it, can't discuss it with our families and friends unless we do it in utter secrecy...

I find this incredibly sad and yet very understandable. There is so much about "being married to this disease" that is so hard to handle. The secrecy is about the worst. In the early years of my marriage, when we were young I gave in to it. Keeping the secrets from his mom, his brother, his friends.... I wasn't supposed to tell anyone about the lows, about what was going on. It was "embarrassing" It was a mistake It was Tom's limitation and I was his partner, a keeper of the secret.

To a certain degree he was right. He was responsible for the mistakes, but he couldn't be perfect and back then he tried much harder and was much better at it. And, true, his mother is a hysterical person who over reacts to everything so if you did tell her she would cry and hyperventilate and just overdo it completely -- even if you told her 6 months after the fact.

But now after 25 years I have learned so much. I don't rush to tell people about what's going on, but I don't try to hide it anymore either. If he goes low in front of others, and they see it. oh well, they see it. not my problem, he has to deal with the consequences of his choices. Just like you would do if it were your kid. I have learned to be a big believer in consequences. I have to deal with the consequences of my actions and he has to deal with his.

Of course, I'm still anonymous here. Because like DW, if Tom realized I was doing this he would be furious. I know I can use his name, because there must be many, many people named "Tom" out there. But he doesn't know to look. So I'm good.

And, if not. Well, I will deal with the consequences. Potentially it could be difficult. But what about this life isn't?

Tom's Wife

Monday, November 9, 2009

A great Idea

Thank you for your encouragement; it is helpful to me
even though I know that I "should" be writing this just for me, it helps to know that others out there are reading what I say and understand... that I'm not alone.
On a good day, I feel so confident counseling someone else. But then I have bad days when it seems like I'm the most selfish person in the world. I shouldn't be whining, I have it so good, others have it so much worse, who am I to complain? after all, I'm not the one with diabetes.

Just Little Me made a great suggestion:

I have started a quasi support group for spouses of diabetics - I say quasi because I am, in no way, qualified to run a support group. I have 2 friends whose husbands are diabetics and whenever we would run into each other we would catch up on how things were going. That lead into my organizing a dinner for the 3 of us and now we meet every 2 months or so. It has been just over 2 years now and it has helped me greatly - and I'd like to believe it has helped them as well. We all live in western New York state, in the suburbs of Buffalo. I'm sure we're pretty unique, but I thought it might give some of your readers an idea.

Does anyone else do something like this? I would love to hear how you cope.

That sounds like a terrific idea. I live in the DC area and I only know one person here in the same position as me. And I'm not sure if she is ready for the conversation yet. But there must be others; I'm not sure how to find them. But hopefully through communications like this maybe more of us can talk to each other more.

Wishing everyone better days for all of us.

Another day, I want to talk about technology and how its as much of a problem as it is a benefit. If I forget, will someone remind me? lately the "monitor" is causing more problems than its solving. But for tonight, I need to go.

Tom's Wife

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I'm so Tired of it all

Doesn't it just get so exhausting? I don't know where to begin tonight. I read others' comments and I feel badly -- the woman who has finally called it quits. getting divorced because he is so selfish and wont take care of himself, expecting her to do it; she is correct. how much can one person do?

the abuse we get from other people - especially the mothers of the men who don't take care of themselves. I guess its their own guilt they are putting onto us. they can't take care of their son so they want us to do so. but it just doesn't work that way.

and there is absolutely no help for us in the diabetic community at large -- no that's all about denial. diabetics are to be supported and pitied at all costs. don't assume they are human, with strengths and weaknesses. who go through the same psychological limitations that everyone else goes through. yes, some of them want to be pitied that way, but I'll bet in their saner moments, many do not.

Tom, for one, wants desperately to be as "normal" as possible. he doesn't always understand that sometimes in his efforts to do so that he becomes compulsive and pushes the mark to go too low. then its up to me to catch it -- if I don't do it in time then its the paramedics. then he gets upset because we both "failed"

what a cycle

i think the woman who is ready to leave her husband will think I have it so much better than she does because after all my husband cares enough to watch what he eats etc. but there have been times when i was up at 2 or 3 in the morning multiple times a week, for weeks on end, fighting with him to take sugar, because his sugar was so low, he was about to go unconscious

One summer, the paramedics were at our house 8 times in 2 months.

believe me, that is not fun.

I'm not saying this to compete -- but to sigh in frustration, sanguine, and sometimes anguish. we are not alone. just sometimes lonely.

I wish I could help others but sometimes I don't know how to help myself feel better.
But I think DW is the smartest of us all, keep busy with things you enjoy doing and spend time with people you love and people who love you. your life is short too.

tom's wife.