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August 21, 2003


Question from San Juan, Puerto Rico:

It is very hard having a loved one, in this case my husband, suffer from this condition. It is like swimming against the current. I believe my husband does not take care of himself like he is supposed to. I did not buy any sugar things until I had a baby, and now it is very hard to control my husband from tasting or eating things he knows he in not supposed to. He says he is only tasting it or in many cases that his sugar is low, and he needs something fast. He gets mad when I mention anything about the topic. Is very hard because we as the family suffer.

He hasn’t gone to the doctor in a awhile, and he almost died one time in the hospital. Since then, he has been using insulin twice a day, he plays with his doses depending on what he eats, and he thinks he is invincible. The last time we went to the doctor he wouldn’t let me talk. He told the doctor that everything was fine, but I see him drinking too much diet soda, eating quantities or foods he is not supposed to, and urinating a lot. I tell him to drink more water, but he doesn’t like it. but Here there are no centers that specialize in diabetes. I would like to take him to a center to get checked and have him monitor his sugar so he can do this at home.

He is only 34 years old, we have a two year old, and I am scared of what may happen to him with his health if he continues playing with his health. I tell him I you do not want to take care for you — do it for your daughter. The family continually asks me how he is doing, and everybody in the family knows that he gets mad when asked.

My mother was recently diagnosed with diabetes controlled with diet, and I see her taking care of herself and going to the doctor frequently. How can I convince my husband of the risks when he hasn’t convinced himself of attending to his condition? How can I control what he eats when I am not around him? What center would you recommend I to take him?

It is 3:00 am, and I can’t sleep wondering what if I wake up and he dies on me from a complication. He almost died on me already. I am doing the best I can, but if he doesn’t let me help him, how can I help him? I would appreciate all the help because I feel alone and desperate.


From: DTeam Staff

Unfortunately, you are not alone with this question. Many patients are in denial of their condition. Unfortunately, it perpetuates the poor results, and ultimately, the health of people with diabetes. I agree with everything you are saying.

Sometimes, the pressure needs to be put to him in a way he cannot say no. This is similar to the interaction of family when there a substance abuse problem. and the affected person will not seek help. Multiple members of the family and friends have to approach him in a way that supports him but forcefully asks him to address his diabetes and do the right things for treatment. You are correct that he is jeopardizing his health in the future.

I am not sure about a diabetes center in Puerto Rico. However, there are physicians who will treat diabetes. He needs to have someone close enough to work with him and that can be accessible. There are a number of specialists for diabetes listed in San Juan in the American Diabetes Association membership directory.


[Editor’s comment: See Finding a New Diabetes Doctor at the Diabetes Monitor for some hints to help find a diabetes specialist.