Hi, Doug. Thank you so much for your response - I cannot tell you how much I could relate to what you were saying. Thank you so much for being so honest with me. Knowing that we are going through something that others' have been through is a great comfort. I actually e-mailed my husband's endocrinologist a couple of weeks ago, before I posted here and got her recomendation for a family therapist who has worked with diabetics. I have been trying to decide if I wanted to bring her up as a therapist for him or a therapist for us. I have also been very concerned about him feeling judged and ganged up on, in terms of talking to him about his health. I hadn't really put the two together, though. You referred to the counselor's office as safe, and I think that is exactly what we need. I do not want to shame him, only to offer my love and support.
He has a wonderful endocrinologist, who is young and enthusiastic about a very proactive care regimen, but she told me when I e-mailed her that she was having a great deal of difficulty getting him to comply. He refuses to let me come to the office with him, so until I heard that from her, I could sort of pretend along with him. I knew that he was not taking care of himself, but I could tell myself that the fact that he had no major complications yet meant that he was somehow protected from them in the future. Now I just feel like we are completely vulnerable. The problem now is that we have switched insurance companies, and she is no longer covered on our plan. His brother is an ER doctor in St. Louis, and I have him researching who the best endocrinologist in Houston is. We are also looking into a new insuln pump and CGM system (we met our deductible!) I know, though, that until he is ready to face it, none of that will help. I want to be there to help him face it, not to nag him.
You asked if I had mentioned testing to him, and I have, many times, but admittedly, mainly when he is obviously high or low, which is a testy time at best. Recently, I feel that I can feel his swings far before he does. His mood swings scare me with our two girls, so this is a real point of contention with me. He had a terrible belligerent low a couple of weeks ago in front of our daughters, and our three year old definately noticed and was scared by it (it breaks my heart for her). I called his parents, which in the ten years I have known him I have never done, because I was so afraid. He bristles when I try to talk to him about it, and I know some of the blame lies in my timing. This is where I think you are right about the counselor working well.
It's funny, we talk a great deal about his diabetes, in terms of his pump and even what he (and we) should be doing, but it begins and ends with him saying, I know what I need to do, and I just need to do it. I don't think it is that simple, and because he does, he has a great deal of shame in his poor control. He and his family are very hesitant to talk about his history with diabetes. He was 14 when diagnosed, so he must have a memory of the experience and of life before, but he always tells me that he doesn't remember it being a big deal to him or to his family. His younger brother was 11 at the time, and he is now a doctor. I know his family, and I know that this was a huge trauma for all of them, but none of them are really able to talk about it. They have only just started opening up to me, because I called them in a panic that other morning. I plan to talk to Paddy this weekend about trying the counselor. i will keep you posted. thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful response. You have made this all feel a lot less scary.
Best regards, Christina