Thanksgiving; info needed for my Mom

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by hearts and roses, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    We had a nice Thanksgiving down at my brother's on LI. Loco sister was her usual snotty self, but I ignored her, as did my other sisters, and eventually she came around.

    My question is for anyone who knows anything about diabetes and low blood sugar issues. Any info you could offer would be appreciated. Thanks.

    Anyway, my Mom. Apparently, my PA sister (M) has had her on a restricted diet to control her weight and her blood sugar - her diabetic symptoms were getting very scary there and she had ballooned to over 200lbs, she was peeing herself all night and day and her legs were swollen and blue - it was just awful. Mom lives with M and we all chip in to pay for a day care provider while M works. The on going argument has been that some of us believe mom would do better in a nursing home; others feel she should be with family, even to the apparent detriment of her own well being.

    So, on the drive home from CT to PA yesterday, my mom asked to stop. M thought she had to pee, but when they stopped the car, my mom was disoriented, couldn't move, had broken out in a horrible sweat all over and then, you guessed it, peed herself. My sister immediately checked mom's blood sugar and it was at 22!!!! OMG. She called an ambulance who hooked up an IV of glucose and got mom stabilized. They also performed an EKG which came out normal and then released M to take mom home.

    On Saturday evening when I saw my mom she seemed not quite right, very tired and a little confused. Now, granted she has alzheimers, but this was different. I mentioned it to my sister and said, "oh it's been a busy weekend, she's just tired". Then on Sunday morning before they stopped at our house to say goodbye and drive home to PA, they found my mom on her bedroom floor. She had apparently gotten up at some point and fell. No one heard her fall (I cannot believe they didn't hear 220lbs fall). In her delirium, she pulled clothing off the chair nearby to cover herself for warmth. She peed herself all over and was soaked when they found her. She was disoriented and when my sisters all asked her what happened she told them to leave her be so she could sleep - she was so tired. They got her up, cleaned and dressed and then they came to my house. easy child made her eggs and whole grain toast for breakfast. She asked for more toast - M forbade it. easy child offered an apple and some peanut butter, but M forbade the peanut butter. In hindsight, I wish I had overruled M and given her the peanut butter.

    I believe that my mom's blood sugar has been dipping all weekend - they've been eating on the run, and M has her diet more restricted than it should be for her size.

    FINALLY, it seems M sees my mom would be best in a nursing home and the ball is rolling in that direction. Like I said, FINALLY. I suggested it two years ago and was treated like Hitler thereafter. I also suggested that M see a dietician to help learn how to regulate mom's diet rather than just deprive her. M has mom on the South Beach Diet, which I don't feel is best for her at this time. Also, the Dr gave her a blood sugar medication which is supposed to reduce the sugars in her body. So, perhaps that medication and M's diet was too much too quick?
  2. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    Restricting calories is NOT a diabetic diet. Having "exchanges" of proteins combined with complex carbohydrates is. I was gestational diabetic with both pregnancies, and my dad and both grandmothers were diabetic.

    Your mother needs to be seen by a nutricianist or dietician to know what and when to eat. She needs to be having her blood glucose levels tested. The absolute worst thing for a diabetic - and what causes all the related health issues - is having blood sugar spikes and dips. The goal is to have as steady of levels as possible. The nutricianist or diatician will recommend a diet based on weight loss, but also keeping blood sugar levels even. And not going into ketosis, which the South Beach diet is notorious for.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good lord above. Is she trying to kill her? Poor mom. Yeah, you need to get her into a nursing home that can deal with all the problems now.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    M's diet just may kill your mom. Ketosis is a goal for at least one stage of South Beach. I was with husband when he asked our doctor about it. She just about wigged. She is seeing many many dangerous health problems that are brought about by doing South Beach. She says that for a healthy person it will just cause a lot of problems. If you have any health problems it can easily kill you. She is a common-sense doctor and doesn't wig out over anything usually.

    There is a reason diabetics have to have glucose with them all the time. These spikes are very very bad.

    At your mother's weight, the calories it sounds like your mother is getting are way too few for her body to function. The night time problems may simply be that she is going too long between meals for her body to function.

    In reality, this diet could be considered elder abuse. A nursing home who restricted a patient like this would be shut down. In fact homes are supposed to make sure clients eat enough or they have to have feeding tubes. At least in our state it is monitored closely.

    PLEASE insist on help from a dietician, and if M won't do it, or won't follow what they tell her to do, call and report elder abuse. Did your mom knowingly let anyone starve you? It will be hard. M and the rest may again treat you like Hitler. Maybe the siblings would be on your side, but family politics are tricky.

    PLEASE do what is best to keep your mom safe and healthy.
  5. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    M is a nut and in her zeal to prove to us all that she can help my mom by putting her on a strict diet to lose weight and control her sugar, she nearly killed her instead. I don't know how M got so stupid because following my mom's heart surgery several years ago, she came equipped with some fabulous diabetic cookbooks and information.

    So here is what I know right now: The Dr is taking her off the medications that he recently introduced to reduce her blood sugar levels. He's doing this because he is confident that my sister (M) can adjust mom's levels through diet. The Dr also commended my sister's efforts through diet, but did tell her that Mom needs her 3 meals a day plus 2-3 healthy snacks as well. He also upped the script for test strips so M can test mom's sugar 4x a day. He is also going to see about referring Mom to a dietician so that M can get better information. If M will follow through on that, I don't know. M is in agreement that we need to get mom into a nursing home, but I know she will drag her feet on it because deep down she feels like a devil doing such a thing. My entire family has such a problem with separating their personal feelings from what is best for everyone, especially my Mom in this case! They all think that I lack emotion. Not true - I just control it better.

    Anyway, I am calling M every single night for updates and to keep prodding her to get the appointment with the dietician at least while we are arranging the papers for mom to go into the home of our choosing. It's so difficult to do all any of this from so far away!