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Husband suddenly stopped using insulin
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WorriedWifeLynn posted:
How dangerous is it for a type II diabetic man who has been using insulin for a number of years to just decide to discontinue using it (without consulting his doctor)? My husband just stopped using his insulin several weeks ago, saying that he's lost a few pounds (he was 100 lbs. overweight and lost about 25 pounds) and he feels fine and doesn't need his insulin anymore. This worries me greatly and I wonder what the long-term effects will be or whether something adverse can happen suddenly and without warning? He's such a stubborn man and has never really followed his doctor's advice or any particular diet...just gave himself insulin shots...never checked his blood sugar...ate whatever he wanted. I'm sure there was already damage being done, but now that he quit using his insulin altogether about 5 weeks ago...I'm really worried. What could happen?
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davedsel57 responded:
I'm sorry to tell you this, but your husband's decision to stop using his insulin could very well prove to be a fatal mistake. Uncontrolled high blood sugar puts your husband at great risk for heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems that could lead to death. Your husband needs to see his doctor as soon as possible. Watch for signs of health problems like chest pain, slurred speech, leg pain, or anything that would indicate the need to go to an emergency room and get him there.

I think you need to tell your husband how dangerous his decision was, and to consider the impact this could have on you and your family. We men are stubborn when it comes to our health issues, but your husband must get treatment and stay on his diabetic treatment plan or face the dire consequences.

Praying you can get him to listen and get the medical help he needs.
Blessings, -Dave
 
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arealgijoe responded:
I hate to say this but E-57 is on target........

I had a co-worker who's hubby was diabetic, he als decided to simply NOT take his insulin. A few days later he had a heart attack...while in the hospital his kidneys shut down etc..........Long story shot he DIED.

GOMER
 
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phototaker responded:
The fact that he has "given up" is not a good sign. It's great that he lost 25 lbs., but the fact that he didn't check his blood sugar numbers and ate what he wanted is not good at all. He is putting himself at great risk. No only that, but he could end up with blindness, PAINFUL neuropathy of legs, his organs, trouble with erections, (nerve damage), heart and other problems, etc. If he's stubborn, all you can say to him is that you will not participate in taking care of him when he loses his feet or is in the hospital with other major problems, if he doesn't take care of himself now.

No amount of nagging is going to get him to do anything different. Then, just leave the room and let him think. I can understand your worry, but you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink it. Good luck!

I would let his doctor know what's happening.
 
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WorriedWifeLynn replied to phototaker's response:
I do intend to let his doctor know what is happening. You won't believe this, but this man comes from a "medical" family. His mom is an RN and his dad is a physician. They've talked to him over the years about how serious diabetes is and what he was doing to himself by not taking treatment seriously. Everything fell on deaf ears.

And I told him years ago that I would not participate in taking care of him when he becomes disabled as a result of complications from his refusal to take care of himself. That didn't phase him either. Talk about denial!

What I really want to know right now is: can something happen suddenly, like when he's driving one of our children somewhere? Should they not be allowed to be alone with him in case something happens to him? How long could he go without medication without something drastic happening?
 
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phototaker replied to WorriedWifeLynn's response:
It sounds like you've done all you need to do for yourself. I don't think anyone here can guess what might happen to him. You need to talk to his doctor to answer those questions, and soon.

It's amazing that he has closed off talking to his professional parents about this, too. He's in total denial, possibly having fear, too, that he doesn't want to look at... He needs therapy to save him from himself. Why is he trying to kill himself?

The fact he lost 25 lbs. is good. Where did it go wrong? Why is he giving up? Is he depressed? Does he not want to live?
 
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mrscora01 responded:
Wow, this is dangerous. My first question is whether he lost the 25 pounds by lowering his insulin. There is something called diabulimia where type 1s on insulin will lose weight by lowering their insulin. This happens because their sugars run high and they can't metabolize what they are eating.

While I'm not a doc, I suspect that nothing will happen dramatically in the near future, especially since it has been 5 weeks since he stopped. Do you have any idea what his blood sugar level is? If his sugars are out of control, he is giving himself a very good shot at ending up with complications. Due to the excess weight, I think that Gomer did hit the nail on the head and suggest that his first symptom might be a heart attack.

I'm sorry I can't be more positive, but the bottom line is that he is responsible for taking care of himself. If not only for himself, but for you and and the kids as well.

I wish you the best of luck. I hope he sees the light and takes good care of himself. It would be a shame for you all to lose him.

Cora
 
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auriga1 replied to WorriedWifeLynn's response:
I can truly understand your worries. Many folks feel fine when their blood sugar runs high; many don't.

I had symptoms of severe fatigue when my blood sugars were running high. They were in the 400's. My eyes could barely stay open.

I hate to be a doomsday sayer, but this can be dangerous for him and the kids should they decide to get in the car with him. This fatigue can come out of nowhere and cause sleepiness while driving.

Maybe you should lay down the law and have him test before he gets in the car with the kids. If it's really high, he's not taking the kids anywhere. If he is not going to take care of himself, protect your children.

I do use insulin four times daily. It keeps my numbers in the normal range along with diet and exercise. It was hard at first with all the testing and the injections. In my mind, though, the thought of dangerous complications from not complying, keep me from doing anything so drastic as stopping.

I wish you luck.
 
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WorriedWifeLynn replied to phototaker's response:
My husband has never wanted to accept the fact that he has diabetes. When we got married 17 years ago he had just been told he was "borderline" and that diet, exercise and shedding the extra pounds would completely reverse what was happening. He vowed he would never, ever need insulin and was going to "take care of it." Of course, he never did, and as things progressed and he was put on oral medications, he then vowed he would "never, ever need insulin and there would be no shots for him." Again, complete denial. When he had to start using insulin, he vowed it wouldn't be for long. That was 5 years ago, and at one point his diabetes doctor wrote a letter to his primary care physician stating that since his diabetes was still not well controlled after that many years of treatment with him, perhaps referral to another doctor might be in order. In other words, "I've done alI I can with this patient...he refuses to follow my advice and I am unable to help him if he doesn't help himself." That must be so frustrating for a physician.

I think his current decision to discontinue his insulin is due to a recently missed doctor's appointment with his diabetes doctor (the same one that wrote the letter). I'm sure that faced with the doctor expecting to see a log showing dates and times of testing his blood and how much insulin he was giving himself and when, and not being able to produce such a log or even show that he was keeping his blood sugar controlled in anyway, he decided to just "blow off" the appointment, and probably feels he can't go back so he's just going to stop eating and drop weight drastically in order to no longer need insulin....and, in his mind, problem solved.

Obviously, this is one of the most difficult cases of someone in denial that I've ever heard of. I just don't know what it would take for this man to understand that he has people who love him and want him to be around for a long time and want him to take care of himself. He must not care about himself at all. I can understand he was getting really tired of giving himself injections....but most people, faced with the alternative, eventually learn to live with a different set of rules for their life than what they envisioned.

He also has hypertension, which was diagnosed shortly after we were married. And he has ADHD, so I'm wondering if he's going to stop taking his other medications as well. He's tried going to a therapist on occasion, but never gets far. As soon as the sessions got to a point where he had to really look at himself...he walked out. It is really sad that he has such a difficult time taking responsibility for his actions...and the end result is that his children could end up growing up without a father.
 
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WorriedWifeLynn replied to mrscora01's response:
Cora, he isn't a type1...he's a type 2. He stopped using his insulin altogether and started eating very little...and dropped the 25 pounds in about 4 weeks. However, I suspect this weight loss will not last. He's never been able to sustain a weight loss because he doesn't lose the weight in the correct way and eventually reverts back to his old ways. It doesn't matter if I make a healthy meal...he'll add things to his plate before beginning to eat. For instance, a meal that has lean meat, and healthy salad with vegetables...he'll add lunch meat and cubes of cheese to the salad and drench it in salad dressing. He takes a plate and piles the food on. He would eat like a linebacker. This, of course, is not the best example for his children.

Well...at least he hasn't thrown away his insulin...there is a two month supply in the refrigerator. Perhaps if he starts feeling ill he'll go back to using his insulin and will make an appointment to see his doctor. In the meantime, first thing Tuesday morning I will be calling his doctor. He might not be able to discuss it with me, but he can certainly listen to everything I say and take notes. It might take a trip to the emergency room for my husband to see the light. I can only hope and pray that nothing happens while our children (who are ages 12 and 14) are with him in the car. I'd like to forbid him from driving them anywhere but he's one of those people who does whatever he pleases regardless of what anyone says to him.
 
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mrscora01 replied to WorriedWifeLynn's response:
While he may not be T1, the principle is the same, it's just that when it's used by T1s (most common) to lose weight it's called Diabulimia. The good news is that because he is T2, this won't kill him in short order. I pray that you will find a resolution for this and that he can remain healthy for the entire family.

Cora
 
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DavidHueben responded:
It is really dangerous and potentially fatal. He needs to follow the advice of his physician and not deviate.

David
You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six. - Yogi Berra
 
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phototaker replied to WorriedWifeLynn's response:
Lynn, when it comes to your children, YOU CAN talk to him strongly about them not getting in the car. Ask for a bs test before they go. If his numbers are over 200, tell him he can't drive them. Does your husband rule you that much that you can't protect your children from him falling asleep at the wheel while driving or nodding off? How would you feel then? Insist on it. It's one thing killing himself, but he's certainly not being a good role model for his children that may end up getting diabetes down the road.
 
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Marty08 replied to WorriedWifeLynn's response:
I believe your husband knows all that can happen to him. I am amazed that anyone would give themself a shot without taking their bs to know where they are. How does he know how much to take. Everything everyone has said here is revelant - but I would ask how many of you have been so sick of and depressed about diabetes you just don't care anymore. I have gained 60lbs over the last 4 years and believe me I am disgusted. The dr recently told me if was of course because of my insulin. People who are not diabetic don't have a clue and those that are -are bound to have gone thru I'm Just Sick Of This phase. I am 60 and was diagnosed 8 years ago. Then I stupidly 'volunteered' to go on insulin. I had a family dr telling me - NEVER do that - you'll be so sorry. Indeed he was right. I would not stimply stop taking insulin cold turkey but my present objective is to lessen my dosage when possible while monitoring my numbers. I'm hoping with strict attention to what goes in my mouth I may be able to lessen the dosage. There is plently of material I have read that says that can happen IF you watch what you are doing and eat right. I have terrible arthritis and feel 70 instead of 60. I feel like if I don't get this weight off of myself I will be in a wheelchair in another 10 years. I have spent literally thousands of dollars on weight loss products and plans...stupidly..because I have NO appetite...and that's what all the junk stuff is about - Curbing your appetite. Please remind your husband of the dangers and see if he won't agree to test his bs and then see whether it is even feasible to 'cut back' on his insulin. It is dangerous to play with and I think he knows that - he's just likely at the end of his rope. Good Luck.
 
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flutetooter replied to Marty08's response:
This post is 3 years old, with no contact since then.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!


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