April 14, 2014

Our April Support Group Meeting – Part 1

In the few weeks leading up to the meeting April 12, Tim received emails from several unable to attend March's meeting and Tim made sure to ask for extra chairs and made extra copies for each. When the meeting started, 89 were in attendance.

The speaker said I have a special presentation for you this evening. He said this is unplanned, but started this afternoon and the family has consented. I will be doing an intervention for you. He introduced the family, then the wife, and the person with diabetes. There were a few hands quickly covering mouths, as some recognized the person with diabetes.

The speaker asked the person with diabetes (PWD) to explain the action he was taking and why. The person with diabetes stood up and said I have some questions first. The speaker asked him to continue. He asked how many people had diabetes. Every hand went up and he was a little surprised. He next asked how many had diabetes for more than three years. Only seven people did not raise their hands.

Next, he asked how many had not known relatives with diabetes. Nine people raised their hands. Now he asked how many felt they had been misdiagnosed. No hands were raised and he said I have been misdiagnosed and don't have diabetes. I will do a test to prove it. Allen stood and asked when he had last had anything to eat. He answered about four hours ago. Allen then asked when he had last washed his hands and he said about an hour ago.

The PWD pricked his finger, tested, and then asked his wife to read the results. She said 209 is what the meter says. Then he picked up a second meter and also use this to test. When he read the results, 88, everyone looked around in disbelief. One doctor asked to see the meters before the test strips were removed and they were put away. They were offered and the doctor said, there is no blood in the test strip and the meter is still showing the number 88.

The speaker interrupted then and said the readings in his office three hours earlier were the same. The wife of the PWD asked if this was what he was using and had the meters preset to try to fool everyone. With that, she opened both test strip containers and said that the ones for the one meter, all had blood in them, and none on any of the strips for the second meter had blood.

The speaker asked if anyone had their meter with them and new lancets. Ten of us raised our hands and the speaker asked me to bring my meter up. Once there, he asked that I remove the lancet and insert a new one. Next, I used an alcohol pad to clean the lancet device and set the depth to #3. Next, the speaker removed another alcohol pad and cleaned his fingers. Then he removed a test strip and inserted it in the meter.

When he asked the PWD to hold out his hand, he refused. He asked a second time and again he refused. The speaker asked if there was anyone he would let prick his finger. The PWD said he was the only one he trusted. The speaker announced that he was in denial then and had some depression in addition. The speaker turned to the group and asked Allen if he would come up. Allen got to the front and the speaker asked if Allen agreed with his analysis.

Allen said he agreed and asked the speaker if he could ask two questions and the speaker agreed. Allen asked the person with diabetes if he had pain in his feet that felt like a thousand needles. He answered no, but his wife said he doesn't like anything on his feet at night and had constructed a metal frame to hold the covers up away from his feet. Allen asked if he had been tested for vitamins D and B12. When he would not answer, his wife said no.

The speaker asked when he had been to his doctor and he would not answer. The speaker asked the wife and she said about nine months earlier. She continued that he would not see the doctor again and had protested seeing this doctor. If it was not for their two children, the wife said he may not have gone.

The speaker turned to me and asked if I had any questions. I faced the PWD and asked if he would let us know why he would not accept us testing his blood glucose and why he was afraid. He would not answer. The speaker turned to him and asked if he would allow Dr. Tom to do an A1c test which would measure his previous three months. He nodded his head and Dr. Tom came up and asked to borrow my lancet device. He carefully pricked one of his fingers, wiped away the first drop, and gently squeezed another drop for the A1c.

After getting the blood for the meter, he held it carefully for a several seconds and showed it to the speaker. The speaker asked the PWD if he wanted to read the results and he said no. Then Dr. Tom said it was over 14. Dr. Tom said this meant that his blood glucose for the three months was over 350 mg/dl. Then Dr. Tom asked what his first reading was and the PWD would not answer. His wife turned to Dr. Tom and said even higher.

Continued in the next blog.

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