November 7, 2014
A Patient That Knows He Needs Help
Two days later, Karen sent me their phone number and asked me to call later at about 3:00 PM when Andy would be there. Then she started asking questions about lifestyle changes that could help her husband. I answered her question by asking her to read my blog on components of lifestyle change. I also told her that some might not apply, but that both needed to learn about eating to his meter. I gave her this blog and said both needed to read it. I suggested that if at first he had postprandial readings of 140 mg/dl, not to be overly concerned as it would take some time and experience to bring diabetes management into good focus.
I also suggested that they do some experimenting, as this was also a good way to learn. I teased her about making him her lab rat while learning about how the different foods affected his diabetes. I said that eating low carb and medium to high fat would take some effort on her part and I suggested that they convert in the following two weeks and then allow this to take over for the month following. I said it may take some effort and they needed to be careful when he had trouble with some foods and the amount of fat. Everyone reacts differently and it takes patience.
I said that starting on insulin should make it easier because metformin might possibly have created stomach problems and diarrhea, especially converting to a low carb and high fat diet. I assured her that communications with the new doctor were important and not to be afraid to ask questions if needed. I also told her that his request about insulin dosage questions was important and showed that he was concerned. I did suggest that she talk to the doctor about a prescription for glucagon and learn how to use it, if and when needed. I told her that glucagon was for severe hypoglycemia and she could need it if her husband had a severe low. I said the doctor would know this and would ask her questions, but it was better to ask than not ask and have problems. I urged them to talk with the doctor first. Then if it was prescribed, hopefully they would never need it, but it would be a cost that may not be needed.
I also suggested that she or her husband have a good talk with their pharmacist and see what he had for glucose tablets and that her husband carry a meter and test strips at all times plus the glucose tablets. Once the six months have passed, and things have settled down, then they could relax some. I asked if her husband wore leather gloves or cloth gloves most of the time. I said once I knew that, I would make more suggestions.
Then it was time to time to call. Andy was there and both were on the phone. I asked if they had reliable internet and used Facebook or Skype. Andy said the internet was decent, but not for Skype and they hadn't tried Facebook. Karen said they would talk to their son and see what he thought as that could be a good idea for the three children that were spread out in the West.
We talked for an hour and they asked many questions. I sent my email and this raised many more questions. I told them I would send more URLs that they could explore and read. Andy said he was reading many of my blogs and he would be asking more questions. He did say that he was glad to see my blog on washing hands and not using alcohol pads. He did admit that he wore both types of gloves for protecting his hands, wore the cloth over the leather during the winter, and even had some thick mittens during the coldest weather. He said he had two meters and the doctor had sent a letter for extra test strips for six months, but the pharmacist would not have heard yet. I told him that when he was out away from home and needed to test and it was too cold to wash his hands, he should use the alcohol pads if he needed to, but he felt that wearing the gloves he would not need them.
He said the pharmacist had made sure that he had glucose tablets and told him when to use them. He said they would talk to the doctor about glucagon, but Andy was concerned about the fact that he was often out away from the buildings and sometimes a few miles from his wife. His wife then said, but we have more than one horse and two all-terrain vehicles and maybe until things settled down, she should go with him. I said that was entirely up to them and should depend on what the doctor might advise. We agreed to email as things progressed. Karen asked about my cost of using the phone and I told her to call and have me call them back. We had talked over two hours which surprised them.
We agreed to stay in touch. use emails, and phone calls to ask and answer questions. He agreed to let me continue blogging about his experiences if it will help others. I thanked him for that, as I do feel that real life experiences will help others in their battle with diabetes.