Friday, February 17, 2012

Hospital time is not as much fun as Hammer time….



So, once in the hospital, they are not as concerned about his leg as they are his blood sugar levels.  And the levels are not going down very fast.  It was quickly determined that he was beyond the “take pills for it” stage and was taught how to check his blood sugar levels and how to inject himself with insulin.  There were instructions that quite frankly I didn’t completely understand but I figured that between the two of us we might be able to piece it together.  (I am such an optimist...)   The hospital sent in the Diabetes Educator to talk to us.   I was trying to follow but I don’t think she was ever given a lesson in talking to idiots.  She was perhaps a level or two above where we could comprehend.    I don’t think that she understood how panicked and stupid we felt.  Basically we left the hospital with lots of written information and not much completely sinking in.  We knew that he had to keep his blood sugar as consistent as possible but we weren’t really clear how to do that except that he had to eat and eat the right things.  Interestingly, the right things for him were not the same right things for me on Weight Watchers.  Whereas I could eat all the fruit I wanted, he absolutely could not pig out on fruit.  Really has anyone ever put those words together?  Pig out on fruit?   Talk about a contradiction in terms!  

 A long 4 days later,  we are going home with insulin (2 kinds) and antibiotics, lancets, alcohol wipes, gauze, packing tape, sterile water, and bandages.  I have been trained to “pack” his wound and he has been trained in taking his blood sugar levels and giving himself insulin.  I am not sure that either one of us is confident about our new roles but we weren’t really given a choice.  

At home, we read a lot and worked on figuring out snacks.  For some reason, snacks seemed very involved.  This might give you an indication as to how out of it we were.  We were obsessed with snacks.  It was probably easier to concentrate on snacks than to look at the big picture.  Part of this is that snacks were not what we thought of as snacks.  They were move of a “bite” than a snack.  And there seemed to be some mysterious balancing that needed to be done.  He sat at the computer and entered in lots of information and I looked at cookbooks.  I also went to the bookstore and picked up some books.  We played to our strengths – he did spreadsheets and I went to the book store.  Luckily, we went to the endocrinologist the next day.  

In my editorial fashion, let me say that the endocrinologist is about 12 years old.   I think this is great.  Why?  Well, two reasons – she should be around for awhile and because she should be up on the latest information. Another other positive thing is that she has access to the hospital electronic medical records and therefore has access to all his medical records.  She knew all his levels and what they had done in the hospital.  She checked him out and issued her feeling that he was in good shape and had probably not been diabetic very long as there did not seem to be any damage.  He has complete feeling in his feet – an important indicator it seems.  This is great news.  Also, she indicated that he is an excellent candidate to get off the insulin shots – IF HE LOSES WEIGHT!  Then we were ushered into the dietician’s office.    Each time you see the doctor you also see the dietician.  This is brilliant.  We really needed her help.  And help she did.  I will admit that I was not as smitten with her as my husband.  Since he was the important one, that was okay.  She recommended a cookbook and another book for carbohydrate counting.  (Oh goodie, I got to buy more).  We left there armed with more information and the knowledge that we did not know anything and were really sloppy in our eating habits.

I promise I will explain about the 9 inch plate in the next post!

Thanks for reading.