Welcome to the latest edition of the Diabetic Partner Follies, where the partners of people with diabetes (PWDs) come to share their stories. Ginger and her husband Doug have had it tough; his health issues go beyond struggling with blood sugar. Understandably, she is scared. And worn out. And — well, let's hear it from her:
I just last night tried to find something out on why diabetics do not heal well. I came up empty and frustrated. Just tonight as I was on the phone with my sister talking of this very thing, I found YOU!!! Thank GOD!!!
My story is somewhat different. My husband has type 2. We did not even know that he was diabetic until he had a massive heart attack at the age of 46. That was almost 8 years ago. I am now 45, and sometimes it is hard. In his case this has so effected his heart. We are no longer able to control his diabetes with diet and a pill. He is on insulin and even with that, it took over 7 months to get it right, all the while further damaging his heart. It got to the point last year where I kept a bag packed with all my essentials that I use daily to be ready to go to the hospital. So I literally lived out of a suitcase. I never told him of this. But every noice he made would worry me. He had nine caths last year and I have lost count of the stents he has had placed. One month after the heart attack he had open heart surgery.
In October of last year he had to have a pacemaker/defib placed. This was a total shock to both of us. We really were not prepared for that. He felt he was to young to have one. I on the other hand wanted it done like ASAP. That is how quickly the diabetes was taking over. Then we were told that he would need an insulin pump -- if we ever wanted to stay out of the cath lab every two to three months, not to mention all the other things that a diabetic goes though. By the grace of God, not a month later the latest insulin took over and worked! He has not had surgery since January. That is nothing short of a miracle! He had his "first" normal stress/echo test in over three years this past March. We are lucky we have great doctors and our insurance is good. We are now into summer and things are still good. Just one small place that we may have to have treated. I feel for people who do not have this opportunity. The only thing that our insurance does not pay for are the testing supplies.
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We are now just starting to deal with the healing thing. He injured his leg and we are having a time with that. Doug is such a strong person, he still manages a multi-million dollar project.
There are times that we both get so weary and want to just give up! But we get through it and and go forward. We refer to our health issues (his) as hills or mountains. The last ones have been mountains. But the valley is sweeter every time we climb that mountain and get to the bottom.
Thank you for listening and your site! I feel so good that I found it and some great info!
Thanks for sharing this reality check, Ginger: some people have been hammered harder by the diabetes than others. We feel for you. And Doug's testing supplies should be covered!
[Editor's note: If you have your own partner story to share, or a question for the community, please contact me via email here.]