April 15, 2014

Our April Support Group Meeting – Part 2

Continued from the previous blog.

Then the speaker turned to Tim and asked him to put up the list of complications. Once they were up, the speaker asked the PWD if he understood what this could mean. He was looking away and did not answer. The speaker asked the PWD why he would not look at the screen. No answer, and the questions was repeated and repeated several more times until the PWD tried to leave the room. The speaker stopped him and asked him if he was afraid to admit he had diabetes. The PWD was seated and the speaker asked Dr. Tom to join him.

Then he told the rest of us to be seated, as this was going to become tense. The speaker and Dr. Tom spent the next almost half an hour asking the PWD question after question. They waited just long for him to start an answer and receiving no answer, the next question was asked. Finally the PWD started crying and he was taken from the room by the speaker and Dr. Tom. As they were leaving, Dr. Tom asked another doctor to accompany them. In about 10 minutes the second doctor was back to get my meter and lancet device. He asked Tim to go through the slides and who ever could help explain, please do so.

We started covering the slides and the doctor came back for the rest of the family. Then about 15 minutes later, they all returned and the speaker explained what had happened and why they had been excluded intentionally. The PWD asked to speak and when given the okay, admitted that he had been in denial and his refusal to accept the diagnosis of diabetes. He then explained that his first A1c had been over 15 and then tonight having a second A1c over 14 was even a larger shock. He had figured out how cover with numbers for the meters he had and had used this for tricking those around him.

He said that with an audience of people with diabetes, he knew he was going to have a hard time. Then when the questions started he said the one that had gotten to him was the question - “What makes you think you are so special that you can't get diabetes?” He continued that he did not know of any family members with diabetes, but he had heard of several others that had no family history of diabetes, but still had type 2 diabetes.

He finished by saying he had now accepted that he has diabetes and the doctor we call Dr. Tom would be his new doctor. To help Dr. Tom, the PWD turned to Tim and asked if he could be a member of his support group and that he would be on insulin after he saw Dr. Tom on Monday morning. Tim asked for a show of hands from the group members of our group. It was unanimous and that was done.

The speaker asked what the reaction was to this type of intervention. This drew a round of applause and he held up his hands for silence. He continued that the reason for privacy he felt was necessary to help the PWD accept his diagnosis and this was the reason he addressed you when we were done. The speaker said the PWD has a lot of healing to do and will need the support group for help.

The speaker said he would send Dr. Tom a summary of the happenings that could be shared and he would then send it to Tim for distribution. He said if Tim does not have your email address and you wish to receive this, please give it to Tim after the meeting.

The speaker said he would still do the other session, but felt this evening could be valuable for everyone and did not want to let it get away. He said to let Dr. Tom know if they needed the second session. Tim asked when and the speaker said he could not do it in May, but after that he could. Tim asked for a show of hands that wanted the second session and it was unanimous for the first part of June. The speaker said he would check his schedule and let us know through Dr. Tom, but hoped it would work.

Another 45 minutes of questions and answers and the meeting ended. Tim obtained the email address for the PWD and let him know he would receive a notice of all meetings and receive a summary of all meetings even if he was in attendance. Tim was surprised when he gave his wife's email, but the PWD said she should come if she was allowed. Tim called her over and explained the rules of her being allowed and she agreed.

Several others thought they may not have given up their emails and felt that with the last two meetings, they would like to be present for the third meeting. Jessie and her husband then talked to Tim and told him that he was a distant relative of theirs and they would like to be informed if there were future problems with him. The PWD had noticed them and was surprised to see them. He asked if they had diabetes and we could see his chin fall when they said yes. He had the presence to ask if he had other relatives with diabetes. Jessie nodded and then he really broke down and cried.

Dr. Tom and the speaker both started toward him and he said that he was okay, but so very disappointed that he had not known about relatives having diabetes. The PWD asked Jessie to list those she knew about. She said herself, and listed five other of their relatives that had type 2 or type 1 diabetes. Now he was in shock as he had contact with them rather regularly and he wondered why he had not been told, especially the two with type 1.

Jessie said this was because the entire family was too secretive and very seldom talked about this with relatives. The PWD asked his wife if she had heard this, and she admitted that as a non-family relative, she had heard nothing about what he had just learned. He said this puts a whole new perspective on his situation. He said thank you to the speaker and said to Dr. Tom he would be there on Monday morning. Jessie said she could have spoken up earlier, but was not sure if she should. The speaker said that this was a lesson she would need to learn. After another 15 minutes, everyone was leaving.

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