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Old 02-26-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
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HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

Hi all - I'm hoping someone can give advice on how to help my sister overcome her procrastination of managing her diabetes. She's been diabetic for years. She just went to the doctor last week and he told her she WILL die young! She's only 44 now, so what does he mean by young? Her hemoglobin A1C was 10.3. Her cholesterol and triglycerides were sky high too. I don't know how to help her anymore. She says she can concentrate on eating right once she gets rid of her job and finds a new one. She always has an excuse for eating unhealthy and not taking time for her health. She eats at McDonald's at least once a day and says she doesn't have time to eat anything else. She buys cookies, cakes, and candy all the time and doesn't think twice about eating them. She smokes a pack or more a day and doesn't think twice about that either. I'm so afraid she's going to die soon. I don't know why she does this to herself. She watched our father die a slow painful death from heart disease, but she doesn't think it can happen to her. She was on a medication (don't know the name of it) but she never took it. Now the doctor has put her on insulin and I know she won't take that either. I just feel like if she could go to a nutritionist or something to help her plan meals, she might learn to get into the routine. But, right now, it's almost like she just doesn't know where to begin and how to get started on a healthy lifestyle and it completely overwhelms her, so she gets nervous about it and continues her bad habits.

If anyone has been like this or has any suggestions on how she can learn to change her habits with this disease, please let me know. I don't even know if any suggestions will help her or not. She's very well aware of what this disease can do if not managed because she is a NURSE!

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:12 PM   #2
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

The sad fact is that we cannot change someone else's behavior, only our own. As you've stated quite clearly, your sister already knows everything that she is doing wrong, and being a nurse I'm sure she knows all the possible consequences of her poor diabetes management. There is, unfortunately, no one set of "magic words" that will spur someone to want to take better care of themselves.

That said, however, there are things you can do to manage your own frustration and fear over what will happen to your sister. If you believe in a higher power, you can pray for her, turn her over to God, and pray for the strength to "let go and let God." You can understand that you didn't cause her illness, you can't control it, and you can't cure it...and this applies not only to the illness of diabetes, but to whatever emotional illness is preventing your sister from taking better care of herself.

I have been in your situation with a relative of mine, and I know it's not easy to watch someone you love basically self-destructing, but the fact is that it's not only NOT our job to run someone else's life, but it's NOT within our power to do so! A very tough lesson to learn, one I struggled with for years, but having learned it finally, I am much more peaceful now. I pray for my relative every day, but I no longer pray for specific actions, just that God will keep him close and safe.

Ruth

 
Old 02-26-2008, 12:22 PM   #3
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

As usual, ditto to everything Ruth has said. You can't make someone change. But you can lead by example. Perhaps you could begin by eating healthier yourself and joining/inviting her for dinner for a healthy meal. If the "bad" stuff isn't there, neither one of you can eat it.

Also, maybe you could start walking together on occasion or join a gym. All of this would be great for you (it's great for all of us) and maybe you can help to lead her to a healthier lifestyle.

Best of luck.

Cora
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Dxd T1 1966, 2001 dialysis, 2002 kidney transplant, 2003 insulin pump, 2008 pancreas transplant

 
Old 02-27-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

Thank you for both of your input. You both make very good points. I know I can't control what my sister does, but I could try to help lead her on a better path which would be good for me as well. Maybe I can find some good recipes and share them with her to see if that sparks any desire to get started on her diet.

 
Old 02-27-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

Well not to scare you but my brother died Monday from mismanagement of diabetes- he was 43. The dr was asked and he said he was not at all surprised b/c he didn't follow drs orders.

I don't know what it is with diabetics but I know many many that don't care for themselves properly.

My father died at age 70 from diabetes b/c he didn't want to tell his dr he had gangrene on his foot. By the time the dr found out the only solution was amputation- my father refused and he died 2 days later.

So I'm not sure what to tell her, but she has got to behave and listen to her drs or she will die young. Diabetes is a ravaging disease even when well maintained. Bully her if you have to but she must take care of herself.

Best of luck to you both.

 
Old 02-28-2008, 07:53 AM   #6
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

Shelby - I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. That really does scare me because it just makes it that more realistic when you hear that it actually does happen to people and not just that it could happen.

If I lived with her, I could maybe have more of an impact of convincing her to do better, but because our lives are both busy, it's hard to keep up with what she is doing with herself on a daily basis.

I guess it's like the other posters said, only she can help herself. I have no control over her - only how I handle it. I wish she wanted to help herself more because I don't want to lose her. She has a 3 year old son too that needs her very much.

Thanks for your input.

 
Old 03-04-2008, 01:34 AM   #7
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelby_36 View Post
Well not to scare you but my brother died Monday from mismanagement of diabetes- he was 43. The dr was asked and he said he was not at all surprised b/c he didn't follow drs orders.

I don't know what it is with diabetics but I know many many that don't care for themselves properly.

My father died at age 70 from diabetes b/c he didn't want to tell his dr he had gangrene on his foot. By the time the dr found out the only solution was amputation- my father refused and he died 2 days later.

So I'm not sure what to tell her, but she has got to behave and listen to her drs or she will die young. Diabetes is a ravaging disease even when well maintained. Bully her if you have to but she must take care of herself.

Best of luck to you both.
Hi Shelby
My brother died this past October because didn't control his diabetes! He was like an alcoholic and would hid sweets anywhere he thought people wouldn't find them and he would eat them...sometimes a dozen cupcakes at a time! And then he would "adjust" his insulin to make up for the sweets he was eating! And this is AFTER he had a heart attack and had to have quadruptle bypass surgery!

Anyway...he had lost most of his toes and half his left foot and then his heart and kidneys just gave out on him. Of course years of drinking didn't help his kidneys or his pancreas!

My brother was 49 when he had the heart attack and was first diagnosed...he was 57 when he died!

I'm sending you my condolences on the death of your brother and am very glad that you are taking care of yourself as am I!

 
Old 03-06-2008, 06:50 AM   #8
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

My heart is just racing reading all of these messages. I was 26 and almost died because of my mismanagement of diabetes. 26!! and now I'm so healthy and last summer raced in 4 triathlons and this past Sunday finished my second half marathon.

Things can be reversed, but let me tell you it didn't matter to me what anyone said. My brother used to hound me about my weight, I used every excuse you can think of, I ate horribly but it wasn't until I nearly died that I decided to change. It has to come from her, there is nothing you can do. It's even more of a shame since she is a nurse.
Her excuses of "I don't have enough time" is a load of crap. I work two jobs, train 3 times a week and cook dinner every night. Healthy meals don't take that long to make, by the time she drives to McDonald's, orders and eats she could have made whole wheat pasta salad.

Oddly enough when I started working out and loosing weight I had more energy and had time to make dinners even though I was working out 5 days a week. Saying "I don't have time" is another way for her to say "I don't want to", that's all it is, she just doesn't want take care of herself.

For all of the siblings who wrote in, thanks, it helps me realize how much my brother cared.

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Old 03-08-2008, 04:09 PM   #9
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

I agree with the time factor being a load of crap! I am a single mother of a three year old, and I work a full time (usually more than 40hrs) of a very stressful job in child protection, where I am on call as well, and I cook healthy meals EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! How about using a crock pot? Where she can put it together the night before and have it cook all day while she is working and throw it into a plate when she gets home? There are ways to make it easy even without a crockpot. Maybe she just doesn't know HOW to eat. How about if she saw a registered dietician that specializes in diabetes? I learned an ENORMOUS amount in just one hour from one a Joslin Diabetes Center. Just because she is a nurse, doesn't mean she knows how to eat properly. I previously worked in the medical field also and I was appalled at the trays they would serve the diabetics! IT seemed the only difference between the regular and diabetic trays was sweet n low vs. sugar packets, so perhaps she needs to be educated. I suggest a dietician that specializes in diabetes. If she'd like some pointers from me, I'd be glad to help. Good luck and God Bless.

 
Old 03-09-2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: HELP! Sister won't comply with diet and meds

If she's been through diabetes education, the self abuse is her choice, and not much can be done. It's sad. But, be sure to keep yourself well- dealing with a non-compliant, self-destructive family member is incredibly draining on you....
If she hasn't had decent diabetic ed, she needs to go- time off work, if needed. Or, work won't be an issue.

 
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