A Father’s Gift: All In The Family Pt.3

A “good” life insurance policy. Yep, that’s my, my mom and my sister’s gift.

When I was diagnosed with T1 my family all but shunned me. Diabetes doesn’t run in our family. No one knew anything. My aunt’s father was T2 and she and my uncle all but stopped talking to my parents after my diagnosis. (I’m incredibly grateful for their trying to knock sense into my parents…even though it didn’t work)

Being that my family is very anti-medicine, they have always “encouraged” me to be on as little insulin as possible and eat very few, if any, carbs. But I’ve never really had a great deal of “babysitting” with my doses and bg levels.

Two years after my diagnosis my father was diagnosed with T2. He didn’t take his meds or watch what he ate and two years later landed in the hospital. That was last Fall and he is now insulin dependent. He’s gone to the diabetes educators a few times, but still hasn’t really grasped card counting and still takes the same amount of insulin three times per day – regardless of whether there’s a meal or of what the meal consists. And when he snacks, he takes nothing.

My father and I have had our issues over the years. I don’t agree with a lot of his parenting choices and other things that need not be discussed. Point being, I’d prefer my father not die – no matter how many issues we have.

Not even considering the emotional side of losing him, there’s the practical side.

Is it selfish he’s neglecting his sugars and health? Does he just not want to accept what diabetes means? Is it because he refuses to accept having a dependency on insulin/medication? I have no idea how idea to approach this with him – or if I should.

He was never there for me when I was diagnosed. Never wanted to know what living with T1 meant for me. Part of me is frustrated and doesn’t want to be for him either. But the other part of me can’t help but care – I know the risks he’s running and he’s still my father

My parents and I had lunch together recently. We went to a local sandwich cafe. Along with the sandwiches came Sun Chips and potato salad. In other words, a VERY high carb meal. When we got home he also had a large cream cheese brownie, with no insulin. (I accounted for over 100carbs, ate half my sandwich and half the potato salad and was still high afterwards) I mentioned something about insulin and his response was he didn’t care.

I don’t understand how he cannot care. Looking at bad numbers – on your meter, after bloodwork, cholesterol, A1c, etc totally sucks. I get it. It’s frustrating and disheartening. But if you take that information and choose to ignore it, where is that going to take you? Back to the hospital, that’s where.

Do you sit back and watch? Or d you try to help? And, how in the world are you supposed to help someone who thinks their “good” life insurance policy is taking care of themself and their gift to you?

A whole other side to this is pretty selfish on my part, and I know that. If I’m testing, taking insulin and other meds and listening to my doctors, what does he think of me? Him not taking care of himself feels like an insult. Am I being weak for being compliant? Am I supposed to not care too? Am I allowed to be angry? Am I supposed to be?

Aren’t parents supposed to worry about their kids and not the other way around?

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About smashleeca

I am a lot of things...a Californian, a T1 diabetic, a Crohn's pt, a daughter, friend, former athlete, forever student, blogger, worker, and most of all life-embracer. That sounds corny...but I'll leave it. I'm just your average 24 y/o girl with a story to tell. View all posts by smashleeca

3 responses to “A Father’s Gift: All In The Family Pt.3

  • tmana

    I can understand how utterly sad and frustrated your father’s behavior makes you feel. I’ve seen T2DM kill — piece by slow, painful piece. The big question is “Why doesn’t he care, follow doctor’s orders, take care of himself, etc.?” There are several possibilities: (1) Denial. Because T2DM doesn’t kill immediately, it’s easy to deny its presence. (2) Depression. (3) Low self-esteem (“I’m not worth saving”). (4) Economics (no money to buy medications or proper food, more pressing use for that money, different financial priorities). (5) Education. Some folk don’t want to learn, think they learned everything at the get-go, think they can do it themselves, think the doctors are wrong and just want to sell them something. (6) Self-blame.

    From what you’ve stated, I’d split up “denial” into “denial that I have diabetes” and “denial that diabetes exists/harms/kills”. It would sound to me that both issues need to be addressed. But I’m not sure if or how your father will listen, and/or to whom. Even heavy smokers dying of lung cancer think it can’t happen to them, only to other smokers. The need to preserve one’s system of (irrational?) beliefs is strong. (Think about how heated theological discussions can become.)

    The trick (and I don’t have any hints) is to find out the reasons behind your father’s behavior, so you can try to help him go forward in a positive direction.

  • Blegh « Random Ramblings

    […] Yesterday’s post was probably not the brightest idea, all things considered. I wanted answers, though there are really none to be had. When I’m stressed (like I have been going into today) I tend to be a little bit more emotional (thank you Ms. Counselor for helping me embrace emotionality). And, to be honest, I’m not entirely ready to display emotion over someone who doesn’t even care about themself. Again, being honest, I have a TON of emotion regarding my father and his situation, I just don’t want to be the only showing that they even care. […]

  • Crystal

    Sorry I am late in commenting on this post.
    I still don’t know what to say.
    I wish you could “get to” him but he has to Want that first.
    There is nothing wrong with how you feel, know that.
    There is no right or wrong way, no rule book, in dealing with a situation like this.

    Just don’t be so hard on yourself about it. Take care of you, always.
    If and when he is ready for your help and support, you will be there.

    Hate that you have to go through this. (hugs)

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