Help with husband type 2 Diabetes

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Hi, My husband has had type 2 diabetes for a few years he is nearly 69. Firstly just diet, then metformin dose increased after initial dose. He has recently had more bloods done and now the gp has added Gliclazide 80mg in the morning.  The gp just rang and explained and left out a prescription.  I am no stranger to diabetes as our son was diagnosed with type 1 age 2 in 1974.  At that time my husband although he helped would not learn about the condition as I tried to do.  He is the same now just not interested and thinks he can just take the tablets and get on with life.  My questions are as gliclazide can cause hypos should he not be testing his blood sugar level and what about inbetween meal snacks.  The gp did not mention anything when they spoke.  What do you think.  I know he will no want to do tests and probably say I am over reacting.  I try with his diet but he is not good at trying new things.  The other thing is alcohol now more important because of the risk of hypos.  I have suggested he stop drinking at leat until he know how this new tablet affects him.  I am sure he will take m uch notice though.  I have enough to deal with as I too have health problems and family problems.  He also has arthritis and prostate problems.  I am very worried but there is only so much I can do.  Just always accused of nagging which I probably do.  I am not expecting him to be 100% perfect diabetic just to be interested and try would by a start.

Any one suggest anything.  Thanks for reading this.

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  • Posted

    Hi. I can understand your fears. I was recently diagnosed with type 2. My partner has been type 2 for 5 yrs. After my diagnosis, the diabetic nurse booked us both onto a short (two mornings) 'Living with Diabetes Type 2' course. I had to pursuede my partner to come with me, as he, like your husband, has never shown an interest in helping himself. The course was very informal but packed no punches and explained what happens to people who ignore their condition and try to carry on as before. Since then, there has been a dramatic change. This morning, he had a review with the doctor and he has come home with his hba1c levels, blood pressure and cholesterol level. He has asked me to design him a spreadsheet so that he can keep a track of his results. We are also going to analyse his food diary to try to cut his cholesterol levels! All this is such a relief and a weight off my shoulders (like you I have my own medical conditions to contend with). Apparently all areas are now offering these courses. I wonder if you could somehow persuede your husband to attend with you (you are encouraged to bring your other half). I hope you get the same result as me. If you cook your own food, there are things you can do to help his diet without him even noticing! Take care and you can always 'talk' to us on this forum if things are getting you down. It helps to feel you are not alone. Debbie
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    • Posted

      Thankyou Debbie for your kind words.  The course is something to think about but I doubt at the moment he would agree.  I have ordered some leaflets from Diabetes UK and am looking to Diabetic cookbooks.  The old I had was back in the 1970s when my son was diagnosed I passed this onto his wife when he got married.  Ove the past few years I have got him change to skimmed milk, wholemeal bread and to his credit he does eat a lot more fruit now, but of course he likes his ginger biscuits and cake.  We have given up chocolate so their is none in the house something I really miss, but I am trying to lose weight having lost a stone and he really needs to lose around 3 stone as well.  It is early days so I do hope in the next week or so he will begin to realise he has to come to grips with his health.  By the way could you suggest crackers to
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    • Posted

      Sorry about that must have caught the reply when typing.  Back to crackers to go with low fat cheese just once a week which he does not but not with the best crackers.  Thanks.
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    • Posted

      Hi. The moderators are reviewing my last reply, probably because I included a website address, so I will repeat the other bits just in case it doesn't get to you! My partner, Paul likes the new ryvita thins. I like dutch crispbakes. You can also get corn thins which are great with cheese. Granary bread is better than wholemeal as it is slow release carbs. Oats are excellent but you probably already know that from when you were caring for your son. By the way, the free test meters are given by the companies to gp's. I am going to request one next time I go. I think the attitude to self testing varies from doctor to doctor but I find the diabetic nurses are usually a lot more helpful and knowledgable.

      Loads of recipes are available online if you search for recipes for diabetics.

      I know exactly what you mean about the docs. I have a condition called PMR for which I have to take steroids. The gp knows next to nothing about it and the specialist is a rheumatologist who is clueless about steroids! You are so right. We have to become our own experts to cope. I am so pleased I found this site. The PMR forum is invaluable for both information and friendly support. Don't know where I'd be without it! Debbie

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    • Posted

      Thank you Debbie for the information about crackers.  I will check when I go shopping.  I myself love granary bread but I don't buy it very often as my husband complains it get stuck in his dentures.  

      I am sorry you have PMR.  I have heard of it, is it an auto immune condition like diabetes and thyroid? 

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  • Posted

    I am 72 and a T2 insulin-dependent diabetic. I found out recently that one-third of people diagnosed with Type 2 do absolutely nothing about it - so your husband is not alone in his reluctance! However, it is essential that he takes much more interest in his diet and medication because diabetes doesn't get better on its own and it requires much work to keep it from deteriorating quickly. I didn't test as that is current NHS thinking but over a period of a few weeks I started feelin quite ill and asked my GP to check my blood glucose - it was >25 mmol/L - much higher than I though it would be.(7 mmol/L is 'normal'). I had to go to hospital and was immediately put on insulin and 4 months later it is now back under control but I will be insulin-dependent until I depart this mortal coil. I had been on glicazide up until this point but it no longer 'did the job'.  At least it didn't give me hypos. To be frank, your husband really should be glucose testing even if only a few times per week to see how his glucose levels do respond to diet and medication - you will boht find it reassuring that he has taken control of his illnessand starts to 'manage' it. I have to test my glucose levels 4 times per day so I would be delighted to only have to do it even just once a day!
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    • Posted

      Hello thanks for your reply.  Am I right in thinking that from what you say the current NHS does not suggest blood sugar testing if you are just on tablets.  I could up to a point understand this just with the metformin but this new tablet from what I read can cause hypos.  I suppose it is another case of finding out and doing what you think best.

      It is a bit of bone of contention with me gps not always knowing a lot about the conditions for which they are prescribing not just diabetes but thryoid disease to name one.  I suppose when you live with a chronic condition you become the expert.  Thanks again and good luck to you for the future.

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  • Posted

    Hello there Libralady, sorry to hear of the problems with your husbands Diabetes.

    I am a 70 year old male with Diabetes type 2, and can understand your concerns.

    Unlike your husband I medicate with Linagliptin (Trajenta) as I am unable to take metformin because I also suffer with Pernicious Anemia.

    The problem you are describing with your husbands attitude is typical of some men, simply because they feel if they ignore the problem it will simply go away, which in this case it won't.

    Whether or not there is a risk of hypoglycemia your husband should really be checking his bloods regularly. This in itself should not be a problem as the test meters are nearly always provided free of charge from the manufacturers, and the test strips can be obtained from his doctor free of charge on Prescription.

    This only leaves the will, or if you like the desire for him to want to do the necessary checks for the good of his own health.

    I quite agree with your comments regarding alcohol, in that he should really consider cutting back on this until such time as his Diabetes has stabalized, which at the moment it does not appear to be doing.

    It might be beneficial to sit down with your husband and explain to him that his apparent lack of concern for his own condition and welfare is causing you considerable anxiety.

    If this fails, maybe you should consider a private word with his doctor, as this may help your husband to focus more attention on the issues.

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    • Posted

      Hi,  Thanks for your reply and your kind words.  Are you in the UK I wonder I have not heard of free test meters from the makers but I do know  that they are on sale in chemists and test strips are available on prescription.  Funny I was just thinking what a long way we have come since 1974 when my son was diagnosed aged 2 with type 1.  Then we had big glass syringes which were kept in methylated spirit and urine testing strips only.  Then came disposable needles and then the syringes. I wonder if my son remembers all this at the age of 42, expect he does.  Any way I am going to suggest to my husband that he pruchase a meter and strips even if only testing once a day to start with.He won't be keen but I think it would make me feel better and a bit more included.  As for the alcohol I can only suggest that he wait and see until he is better controlled.  All the best to you for the future.  
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    • Posted

      Hello again Libralady.

      I live in Lincolnshire and I use a Lifescan test meter.

      As I said you do not have to buy a meter as most firms will send you one free of charge.

      If you phone Lifescan on 0800 121 200 or email them at CustomerCare@LifeScan.co.uk and tell them that your husband has Diabetes Type 2 which is medicated they should send you a free meter.

      Personally I always phone them and find them most helpful.

      I prefer the Lifescan meters because they are very simple to use and you can download the results directly onto your computer.

      If you do wish to download the cumulative results onto your computer, when you speak to the customer care team you should ask them if they would kindly include a USB dowload lead for the meter with the parcel.

      If you have any more questions please come back to me.

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    • Posted

      There is my reply coming to you shortly Libralady. At present it is with the Moderators because I have given you specific details of a test meter that I use and how to get hold of one free of charge.

      Please do not buy a meter in the meanwhile until you have read that follow-up message.

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    • Posted

      Your hubands doctor should supply him with testing strips on prescription, and as he is 69 years of age he should not have to pay for the script, meaning that it should all come at no cost to you.

      Hope this information helps you.

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    • Posted

      Hello again,

      Thank you for that information about the Lifescan Meter.  I went on to their website just to have a look and it says that the meters are available free of charge to insulin users but says nothing about type 2 on medication.  Also are the strips for this particular make available on prescription.  I might add that they have tightened up on what they will prescribe at our surgery 

      There are a couple of things that I used to have on prescription which you need to buy yourself in needed.  As my husbands gp did no say anything about blood sugar testing that might mean they would not prescribe the strips.  I don't know if where you live makes a difference but we are in Greater London.

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    • Posted

      Yes their website has said that for some time, but if you telephone them I think you might find that their Vario meters are free to Diabetics on oral medication.

      I am very surprised  to learn that your surgery might not be prescribing test strips as these are essential. If you make enough of a fuss about it, I think you might find that they will prescribe them for your husband.

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