From California, USA:
I'm really scared. My husband is 23 tears old and was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but he's very thin and may actually have type 1. His glucose levels rose to over 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L] last night, even after taking 8 units of insulin twice a day and a diabetes pill. I paged his doctor who told him to take more insulin then, but it still took over an hour to get it down below 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L]. After a few hours it went down to 144 mg/dl [8 mmol/L] and he had something to eat, but his blood sugar must have shot way up, because it was 320 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L]a few hours later when he woke up. He's very thin and hungry, but afraid to eat now. He didn't eat a whole lot yesterday, and what he did was low fat and sugar -- e.g., oatmeal, salads, fat-free bologna. The doctor changed his insulin to 15 units of a pre-mix twice a day. Is that a very small amount, or average? Why would his blood sugars be going up so much? Are there any particular foods that are much less likely to raise it? Can you go into a coma easily when it is above 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L] like that? My poor husband's arms are full of holes because I'm so worried I keep taking his glucose readings.
The best way to put your anxieties behind you and get on with your lives is to learn more about diabetes. This makes you better consumers and caregivers. I would recommend you look into taking a course on diabetes at an institution near your home. You can check with your physician's office to find out who has a diabetes education unit near you.
Your concerns and fears are real and shared by families in which diabetes is a new diagnosis. From your description, it sounds like your husband really needs insulin. I would also be concerned that he has type 1 diabetes. However, it is possible to implement an insulin program that adequately covers usual meals and snacks. I would recommend you speak with a dietitian about learning carbohydrate counting, a meal planning system which allows you to give appropriate amounts of insulin for the food that will be or was eaten.
Original posting 21 May 2001
Posted to Daily Care
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