Hi everyone, I have some major concerns about my brother-in-law. He is about 31 or 32, was diagnosed with diabetes about 3 years ago when he started rapidly losing weight. His mother has diabetes, too. He was taking just pills, not insulin shots, and was managing it. The problem is I think he has an eating disorder. He is very happy with the weight he has lost but now he is getting too skinny. He has stopped monitoring his glucose and he says he takes his pills but only once in the morning, but I doubt he even takes them that much.
He came to visit and my mother-in-law has been asking to take his blood sugar (last visit he was here, it was over 500 and she got his prescription filled and made him take it). He refuses to let her monitor his blood sugar. He says "it's probably over 500 again, but what's the point in measuring it, I know it's high." I asked him how he knows it's high, and he says he gets tired and has a little blurring of vision when it's high. He also said something stupid about how initially it's the lows you have to worry about and that you don't have to worry about it being high until the long term. He is not thinking rationally. He is depressed over a broken engagement, but he was acting this way for the past year, way before the broken engagement. I think he likes being thin and is letting his blood sugar stay high so he will not gain weight back. His former fiancee had an eating disorder and I think he was worried about gaining weight and being too heavy and unattractive to her, just my theory.
The thing is, this will all catch up with him, whether it's his eyes, kidneys or something else, but my question is how long? I can't believe he hasn't wound up in the hospital yet. There is no getting thru to him - he is extremely stubborn and doesn't trust most doctors, so it's going to take something major happening to him for him to get help. How long do you think he can go on this way before there is permanent damage?
I'm sorry to say that he is going to end up in the hospital. The long term complications occur because the glucose is constantly high in the short term. If he doesn't end up in the hospital with DKA (diabetic keto acidosis) he will end up there because of heart disease, blindness, or kidney failure. There is no way to tell how long it will take for the complications to set in. They may already have started if he was undiagnosed for a while. And 3 years of high blood sugar will certainly cause some damage.
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to force him to take care of himself.
Thanks, Cora. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. It's frustrating. I'm a medical transcriptionist and I transcribe a lot of reports about people like him who let it get out of control and end up with DKA, like you spoke about.