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To think my DM is being incredibly unreasonable?

(23 Posts)
MissSG Sun 28-Apr-13 20:35:31

My DM has type 1 diabetes, she has had it for 20 years now. She coped with it okay in the beginning with the checking her blood and injecting etc but now she has quite frankly stopped caring to the point where it is becoming dangerous.

The reasons being that when her blood sugar is low she doesn't get any signs at all (No dizziness, blurred vision etc) and the only way that we can tell is if someone is with her as she becomes extremely confused and sometimes aggressive.

We continuously tell her to check her blood but she refuses to, she binges on chocolate and just injects more insulin to counteract it and most of the time she injects too much causing her to become dangerously low. Many times a member of the family has had to force her to eat glucagel as when she is low she refuses any sugar, she starts screaming because she is so confused and doesn't know what to do and she becomes aggressive.

This is happening every week now and it has got to the point where I refuse to allow her to babysit DS as it is so dangerous. Another example being that she was pushing DS in his buggy across a road, stopped and shouted what do I do in the middle of the road. She has also driven whilst her blood sugar was low and kept swerving, bumping the curb and speeding. She told me about this and the first thing that I said was 'You could kill someone' to which she replied 'I know', She still refuses to check her blood sugar.

My DF has told her that he will pay for her to have an insulin pump which would solve all of our problems, she is refusing as she is worried that they will take her driving licence away.

I don't know what to do anymore but I think that she is being selfish and putting not only herself but other people's lives at risk.

AIBU to feel this way?

Doinmummy Sun 28-Apr-13 20:45:06

You are def not being unreasonable. Do you know why she has stopped caring about her health? How old us she. I would refuse to leave children in her care and would not get in a car with her.

What a worry for you. I've no idea how you can make her manage her diabetes properly though.

Do you think you should inform the DVLA? She's a danger to everyone if she drives.

Chottie Sun 28-Apr-13 20:48:36

Hello, could you speak to her GP or practice nurse or the diabetic clinic she attends? Is she depressed? I'm just wondering why she has suddenly decided not to manage her diabetes?

MadBusLady Sun 28-Apr-13 20:50:38

YANBU. I don't suppose you can "whistleblow" to her doctor, can you? Not sure how these things work.

Diabetes UK may be able to suggest the right way to go about it.

This sounds like too big a problem for a non-professional to deal with to me. Sorry you're going through such a worrying time. And I definitely wouldn't leave DC with her.

Springforward Sun 28-Apr-13 20:54:53

Wow. I would absolutely not think you unreasonable to not leave your DS with her.

It's not quite the same but DM had type 2 diabetes which she pretty much ignored (and which eventually did take her sight and kill her indirectly), she was most cavalier about it when suffering from depression. I think the consequences were just too long-term for her to take seriously.

Astley Sun 28-Apr-13 20:59:47

Good God! She sounds seriously selfish tbh. To drive, knowing you could be impaired to the point of causing an accident is disgusting.

I would tell her not to drive until she starts taking better care of herself and if she says she won't then I'd report to the DVLA.

quietbatperson Sun 28-Apr-13 21:04:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissSG Sun 28-Apr-13 21:16:09

She has put on a lot of weight lately and cannot get her head round eating healthy. I've gone on diets with her and started walking with her to encourage her to lose weight but she never sticks to it and we are just back to square one.

She has told us that when she sees her diabetic nurse she tells her how everything is perfect and she is doing extremely well just to get out of the clinic. I have offered to come with her to explain the situation but she has refused to allow me to do so.

She isn't depressed, she has just stopped caring completely. When I talk to her about it telling her that I want her to be here to see my DC grow up and that she is putting her life at risk as well as others she just rolls her eyes at me.

I haven't thought of informing the DVLA but I will consider this because she will end up killing herself or someone else.

I would love to talk to her diabetic nurse but I thought that this is not possible due to confidentiality issues.

Thank you for your replies, things really need to change and I'll make sure that they do even if that means losing my relationship with my DM.

MadBusLady Sun 28-Apr-13 21:21:45

The nurse can't tell you anything about her due to confidentiality, but I can't see what's wrong in you doing the talking. Or maybe a letter would be the best way, that way you're just giving information with no expectation of a discussion, it's up to them if they want to follow it up by talking to you.

You might even find they have an inkling something's wrong anyway, I can't imagine she does very well on any random tests they give her.

MissSG Sun 28-Apr-13 21:22:22

She also smokes 30-40 cigarettes a day which doesn't help at all. It really does need to change but I'm not sure what I can do.

MadBusLady Sun 28-Apr-13 21:29:28

sad Ultimately, it's her life. I do think you need to alert authorities in some way because it's gone beyond the point where the consequences are only on her own head. But past that, I think the only way she's going to be steered back on course is with professional help. And, while I accept she's not depressed, I'm actually thinking mental health professional, because this level of self-destructiveness sounds odd. Don't beat yourself up about not being able to tackle something this big.

I feel very sorry for your DF too.

LippiPongstocking Sun 28-Apr-13 21:36:00

Please speak to Diabetes UK, they help counsel both the people affected by diabetes directly, and their families. It sounds like she could be depressed. It's a big problem, but they'll help you find the help you need.

digerd Sun 28-Apr-13 21:39:27

Agree that you can inform the nurse about your DM, just nurse is not allowed to give you any info.

omama Sun 28-Apr-13 22:49:06

Agree. My mum chose to contact my grandad's gp as his diabetes had affected his eyesight so badly he couldn't see & his wife was directing him from the passenger seat. An accident waiting to happen.

GP didn't discuss confidential patient info but did take her concerns seriously & notified DVLA. He lost his licence as a result & was furious with my mum but she did what was necessary to protect both him & others.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Mon 29-Apr-13 02:17:04

What makes you so sure she isn't depressed? Indifference to life in general and not taking care of yourself is a sign of depression, as is irritability.

Thumbwitch Mon 29-Apr-13 02:21:08

TBH, I think that diabetes can have a strong effect on people's willingness to listen to reason etc. My mum had type II diabetes, but was very stubborn about eating the wrong things etc. Not as bad as your mum - if she was, I'd have shopped her to DVLA for sure!

She may not be depressed as such but her fluctuating blood sugar will obviously have a massive impact on her mood and stubbornness - she may need hospitalising, or a home visit daily, to get her blood sugar back on an even keel again so that she can be reasoned with - if that's not possible then having her driver's licence removed would be a necessity, IMO.

golemmings Mon 29-Apr-13 03:20:10

I agree that you can talk to the nurse. She can't talk to you without your mum's consent but she can listen to you and make no comment.

I have recently had to phone my dad's GP because he wasn't being honest with them about his drinking (even following an accident where he was drunk and wrote off a couple of cars...).

He has given consent for me to talk to them and they to me, but I think even without that for her own safety you should talk to them.

Like Omama's mum, my call to the GP has resulted in dad losing his license. It's inconvenienced him but I'd rather he was inconvenienced than on a charge of death by drunk driving which is where I thin we would end up.

It's bloody hard. Good luck.

BonaDea Mon 29-Apr-13 03:46:24

Yanbu to be concerned.

A few things (coming from a T1 diabetic):

- it is illegal for her to drive without checking her blood glucose before getting behind the wheel. She could lose her license and if there is an accident would face stiffer penalties if she doesn't.
- a pump is not 'going to solve all your problems'. A pump is only an insulin delivery method, not a mechanical pancreas. The wearer still has to calibrate doses and most importantly check bg for it to work. Don't throw away good money on an easy fix as this is not it!!
- you say she eats chocolate and just takes insulin to cover it. Yes, that is how modern insulin works (I assume she is on a basal/bolus regime). It sounds like your mum doesn't calculate her doses properly but the eating of chocolate itself is not a big problem within reason. Being told what you can and can't eat is an extreme pet hate of mine - I have v well controlled diabetes and work hard at that, so don't expect others to pass comment.
- you say she is not depressed. Your mother is dealing and has dealt for 20+ years with a relentless chronic condition. It is exhausting. You have no idea - nor does anyone - how utterly depressing it is to have to think about every little thing you eat and drink before you have it. To do a finger prick, do a mental calculation, dial up a dose and do an injection before you have a cup of tea and a biscuit. Your mum is being reckless and silly but I expect she has simply snapped a bit and needs help. She clearly IS depressed, certainly as far as her diabetes is concerned.
- if it is not just testing but also the fact that she is not good at calculating the insulin she needs, a DAFNE course could be really worthwhile, not least to meet others and feel less alone

Agree that getting her some counselling and or speaking to her medical team would help. Meantime, don't leave your DCs with her and try to get her to test before driving.

Good luck and I hope you can help her.

RawShark Mon 29-Apr-13 07:03:37

HI, another type 1 diabteic here.*bon Dea* has covered oit pretty much I woudl say. As with all things - not just diabetes - being told what you can do immediately activates a stubborn response (as a teen I used to overinject on purpose so I could eat chocolate not only acting like a tit but not understanding that chocolate doesn;t really have that much sugar in comparatively) However this does not negate the fact your mum is being extremely irresponsible. I don;t have a solution just a few thoughts.

the only thing I can think is to sit her down when she is stable and say you are worried about her and her impact on othe rpeople, no other way of doing it. Please do not constantly ask her when she is grmupy if she is hypo - this is guaranteed a hostile response even if she is fine. Is there anything recently which woul have triggered her behaviour - e.g. something which woudl have upset her? My diabetes UK local branch meets every month - maybe you coudl encourage her togo to a similar group in your area?

TBH I was having thoughts about the whistleblowing - her team should be requesting her blood sugar diary so if she doesn;t have one which corresponds to the blood sugar level test they do then alarm bells should be ringing for them. And she shoudl be seeing a consultant not just a nurse, has she beento the hospital? IS she actually seeing the nurse?

Tshoudl also send her on a DAFNE course (as Bona DEa says)which will take her through working out how much insulin to take depending what she is eating.

It is also worth knowing that nothing is "forbidden" for type 1 diabetic although if her weight is up feel free to skip this bit

I was offered counselling by my hospital when they thought I was having trouble dealing with my chronic condition - in the end they decided I was OK mentally but I had quite a few appts with an occupational therapist to explore reasons behind my difficulties

I have just gone on a pump and it has improved things but it is hard work. Worth it though.

RawShark Mon 29-Apr-13 07:16:30

I just read somebody suggested reporting to teh DVLA. Unfortunately I have to agree . She is obliged to tell them if she loses her warning signs anyway, and a diabetic license needs to be renewed every three years with declarations around the same. You need to do this ASAP as people ont least herself are at risk.
Good luck

Tee2072 Mon 29-Apr-13 07:34:00

Report her immediately to the DVLA. She could kill someone if she hypos while driving.

I'm surprised the Diabetes Nurse believes her. They have tests they can do to check her historical blood sugar and if she's that up and down, they'll be able to tell and her A1C will be terrible.

So I wonder if she's seeing the nurse at all.

I'd call her GP. Even if he/she can't tell you anything, you can tell him/her things.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 10:04:12

My stepmother died two years ago, she was found dead on her bathroom floor. She'd been there for four days, we'd been ringing and ringing and brother called the police.
She didn't look after herself. She'd been insulin dependent for years, she wouldn't go without her 'daily chocolate fix'.
She was a lovely woman and she is much missed, but the last few months of her life were as you describe, chaotic, forgetful, aggressive.
Show your mother this.
I miss my Stepmum.

EldritchCleavage Mon 29-Apr-13 13:03:53

It is very sad.
Hard though it may be, I think you've got to do something about the driving-GP, or direct to DVLA.
I know a relative with a difficult chronic condition benefited enormously from specialist counselling to help deal with it, so perhaps you could look into that? Though how you persuade your mother to go I don't know.

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