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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Default How do I help DH when he doesn't seem to want help?

    For health insurance purposes at my hubby's job, we get blood work done each year right before enrollment starts. They have a tier system for payments.

    Got my test results back. Not too bad.

    Hubby got his back... not so good. His glucose is high and also his triglycerides. WAY high.

    I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that he has gained a bit of weight over the past 2 years. He took a job up in MI and is gone from Sun night until Fri night every week. So obviously he's not eating right when he's up there and left to his own devices.

    I've tried talking to him as we are both relatively young (I'm 40, he's 39) and I'm afraid if he doesn't do anything, he's going to have major issues. But he refuses to get help. Makes jokes about it (oh well, guess I'll just keel over and die). He says he knows he needs to diet and lose weight along w/ exercising (he doesn't really do that). But then I see him scarfing down 3 ice cream bars and other junk items.

    I'm at a loss at what to do/say that will make an actual impact since nothing I've said/done yet has made a difference. I know nagging him won't help at all. He just shuts down. Is this one of those situations where he's not going to get help until he wants to? I'm afraid that won't happen until something bad happens first.



  2. #2
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    Aug. 8, 2001
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    up the hill from the little river (that floods alarmingly often)
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    I'm in the same boat as you, and I've concluded that while it sucks, there's really nothing I can do. He has to want to change, and right now, he doesn't. He knows he needs to lose weight and will say as much, but he doesn't do anything toward making that happen. I get really tired of hearing him complain about not feeling good, because a lot of the physical issues he has are probably exacerbated, if not caused, by his weight, but no lasting change is going to happen unless he decides he wants to make that happen. I can't *make* him do that.

    The only thing I can do is set an example by not eating junk and not getting seconds and asking him to come walk with me most nights. Sometimes he comes with me, sometimes it's too dark/cold/hot/rainy/whatever.

    I love this man, but I am not responsible for what he does with his life; I am only responsible for what *I* do. All I can do is encourage in ways that he is open to and responds to.
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
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    When I used to encourage Dh to eat well and not like a pig he'd ignore me and sometimes I think he took extra portions just to get even with me. I always had to make a special meal for him when I ate vegan, with LOTS of meat, cheese etc.


    When I took off for KY he went in for bloodwork after the Dr noticed a bit of fat padding under a mole he had biopsied. His cholesterol came back astronomically high and the Dr called him in and read him the riot act and wanted to put him on medication. For whatever reason, perhaps because I was far away and he was truly in control, he decided to not take the meds and try to do it by diet. We were Kaiser patients at the time and whatever you have to say about them they have tons of support out there, free support with diet classes etc.. Anyway to make a long story short he took off 60 or more pounds and brought his cholesterol down to normal levels. He was however, insufferable when I went to visit him, nitpicking all my meal choices.


    I don't know how to create the meshing of events that cause someone to make the change, I really don't. I think it is like hitting rock bottom, DH had not been feeling great and had been fishing for some reason and since he was in complete control it was time. Many years ago I had done much the same thing - I took control of what I ate and how I ate while he was gone away and lost weight etc.
    I know how worried you must be but I am afraid I have no magic words of advice. Unless he is shocked into rethinking the matter by the death of a young person he can relate to due to stroke or heart problems.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
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    Maybe some stark realism would help?

    "Honey, I love you. You're on track to keel over and die. Might be easy for you, but what about me? I love you and will miss you horribly. AND I'll be alone. AND I'll know that I didn't do enough to try to get you to change your ways. I don't want you dead!!!!"

    It took my mom being hospitalized to get through to her though. So good luck.

    The travel thing is hard. But even if he could hit up subway instead of McD's, he'd probably do better.

    Ultimately, if people want to kill themselves with food or drugs or booze, there's not much you CAN do about it.

    Just make sure they know you love them and want them around for as long as possible.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Thanks. I figured that was the case. He is considered diabetic for sure. He won't go to the Dr as the test results are done by an independent company so he's not required to.

    5 days a week he is left on his own. It wasn't this bad when he worked here in KY and stayed home. I made decent meals each night. But he doesn't cook so I know he's eating junk up there.

    I try and keep a minimal amount of "bad stuff" in the house. But he can easily go to the store and bring it home. Double

    I think it's going to take something majorly happening to him to wake him up. It's sad really. He's just so stubborn and I think it's a lot denial too. He's British and they just don't talk about medical stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Maybe some stark realism would help?

    "Honey, I love you. You're on track to keel over and die. Might be easy for you, but what about me? I love you and will miss you horribly. AND I'll be alone. AND I'll know that I didn't do enough to try to get you to change your ways. I don't want you dead!!!!"
    I said almost exactly this. His response? I've got a nice insurance policy so you would be well provided for. BIG He really makes light of almost everything I say. I had pretty much given up but thought I would ask you all if you had any additional advice.



  6. #6
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    Jun. 14, 2006
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    VA
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    Can you cry then? Like break down sobbing (cut an onion if you must) and CRY real tears of "please please please take care of yourself!!!" ???

    Else, just start making plans with that insurance money. In fact, ask him to raise it. He's going to kill himself slowly if he's already diabetic and unmanaged.

    Ask him if he likes his vision? Toes? THose are things that go with unmanaged diabetes.

    Good gravy...I'm so sorry!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  7. #7
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    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Can you cry then? Like break down sobbing (cut an onion if you must) and CRY real tears of "please please please take care of yourself!!!" ???

    Else, just start making plans with that insurance money. In fact, ask him to raise it. He's going to kill himself slowly if he's already diabetic and unmanaged.

    Ask him if he likes his vision? Toes? THose are things that go with unmanaged diabetes.

    Good gravy...I'm so sorry!
    Crying does nothing. He shuts down when emotions are expressed. I'm just hoping he will wake up on his own and see what he is doing to himself.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2006
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    Eastern WV Panhandle
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    My DH does need to lose weight but unfortunately he has a bad ankle from an accident when he was in his teens. He can trip and fall walking across a level floor so things like running or even power walking are out, the nearest year-round pool is a fair piece away, and the gyms even further away. So, that makes exercising difficult.

    I've found that it's easier to avoid eating junk food if it doesn't enter the house. I don't buy it and DH hates grocery shopping, which makes things easier. Heck, I think the container of ice cream in the freezer was purchased for last Christmas... I should probably check to make sure it's still good...



  9. #9
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    Don't tell him he'll DIE. That's too neat and easy, because usually they don't go neatly. First they have an ulcer that won't heal and they'll ignore it because putting on those pressure bandages and eating right is such a PITA, and then they'll start missing work because of said ulcer and finally they'll lose the leg and maybe their job (and the great insurance).

    It would be great if you could just be sure you were tripping along enjoying life and then boom, you died, but the way it works is your health fails, your finances are hit by all the meds and hospitalizations and it's a big painful mess. We talk about the MS with my Mom, and usually it shortens a lifespan by about 5 years, but they don't tell you about your last years of life, of being incontinent, unable to tolerate heat, often paralyzed to some degree. Maybe because DH had my Mom to watch he opted to clean up his act.

    Linda, is there anyway you could go to MI and be with him or visit often? He almost sounds depressed too.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
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    Default

    This is a ridiculous suggestion because you shouldn't have to act like his mother, but can you possibly pre-cook meals for him to take with him? Portioned out in little tupperware containers, of course, with some healthy snacks thrown in.

    Instead of getting after him and telling him he needs to not eat junk and work out more, what if you offer ways to improve things? Offer to pre-cook meals, try a group fitness class together, take up biking/walking/running/yoga/whatever together. Even if you don't need to lose weight, maybe it would be more positive to him if you present it as that YOU want to be in better shape also and it's something you can do together.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by gieriscm View Post
    My DH does need to lose weight but unfortunately he has a bad ankle from an accident when he was in his teens. He can trip and fall walking across a level floor so things like running or even power walking are out, the nearest year-round pool is a fair piece away, and the gyms even further away. So, that makes exercising difficult.

    I've found that it's easier to avoid eating junk food if it doesn't enter the house. I don't buy it and DH hates grocery shopping, which makes things easier. Heck, I think the container of ice cream in the freezer was purchased for last Christmas... I should probably check to make sure it's still good...
    That's the thing. I don't really bring it into the house. But he has no issue going to the store and getting it himself. And since he's out of state 5 days of the week, I have no clue what he's picking up for himself.

    So controlling his diet for him won't work. Just trying to find another approach since talking about it and doing the "I don't want you to die" thing doesn't seem to work!



  12. #12
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    Jun. 30, 2005
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    2,185

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    I had a friend that had the same living situation as you OP.....her husband was gone all week. Not because of health reasons but the fact that her husband couldn't cook she prepared a full week of meals for him to take with him. They were all in individual containers so all he had to do was re-heat them. She would say make a lasagna, cut it into individual portions and freeze it. That way he wouldn't get lasagna for a whole week but maybe once a week or every other week and that lasagna might last her a couple months in her freezer. It is alot of work but she makes it work for her and her husband.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  13. #13
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    15,856

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    This is not unlike trying to reason with an alcoholic. Until THEY want to get better, nothing will change.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 16, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReSomething View Post
    Don't tell him he'll DIE. That's too neat and easy, because usually they don't go neatly. First they have an ulcer that won't heal and they'll ignore it because putting on those pressure bandages and eating right is such a PITA, and then they'll start missing work because of said ulcer and finally they'll lose the leg and maybe their job (and the great insurance).

    It would be great if you could just be sure you were tripping along enjoying life and then boom, you died, but the way it works is your health fails, your finances are hit by all the meds and hospitalizations and it's a big painful mess. We talk about the MS with my Mom, and usually it shortens a lifespan by about 5 years, but they don't tell you about your last years of life, of being incontinent, unable to tolerate heat, often paralyzed to some degree. Maybe because DH had my Mom to watch he opted to clean up his act.

    Linda, is there anyway you could go to MI and be with him or visit often? He almost sounds depressed too.
    That is the only approach I haven't tried yet. Telling him the symptoms of what could happen. I don't think he's depressed. But he works wicked longs hours for sure and the job is stressful. But all in all, he loves his job.

    I can't really go up there since I have a full time job here in KY myself. I could try the pre-cooked meals thing. I would have to put them in a cooler for him to take with him since it's about a 6 hour drive. And yes, he commutes back and forth each week.

    This job was his choice. I actually didn't want him to take it because of the commute and being separated. And moving wasn't an option for me.



  15. #15
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    May. 17, 2010
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    Where humidity isn't just a word, it's a way of life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post
    Can you cry then? Like break down sobbing (cut an onion if you must) and CRY real tears of "please please please take care of yourself!!!" ???

    Else, just start making plans with that insurance money. In fact, ask him to raise it. He's going to kill himself slowly if he's already diabetic and unmanaged.

    Ask him if he likes his vision? Toes? THose are things that go with unmanaged diabetes.

    Good gravy...I'm so sorry!
    The bolded is what I did to get my husband to finally go for a check up for the first time in many years; he's 55 and trying to him to go (I was concerned about some moles he had) led to plenty of arguments and frustration (on my part, anyway!).
    I finally told him "Fine, but if you can't do this for me, you need to get an additional $1m in insurance, because if I'm going to be alone and miserable I'm going to do it in style." I then started filling out insurance paperwork for the additional insurance and told him someone needed to be an adult and be concerned with the future.

    I don't know if it was additional insurance costs, the hurt I obviously felt, or the idea of me living it up as a rich widow, but he finally went, and has made some changes to his lifestyle suggested by the doctor.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
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    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSM1212 View Post
    I can't really go up there since I have a full time job here in KY myself. I could try the pre-cooked meals thing. I would have to put them in a cooler for him to take with him since it's about a 6 hour drive. And yes, he commutes back and forth each week.
    Somewhere here in OT day there was a thread about pre-cooked meals and what froze/reheated the most easily while still tasting good. I think it was for someone that had an in-home caretaker that needed to be able to just throw things in the microwave and reheat easily.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
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    Montana
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    I have to say this is a hard one for docs too, when patients need to stop smoking, lose weight, stop drinking, whatever. I can say that the "YOU'LL DIE" approach (although we ALL go there out of frustration) rarely works. And the vague "If you loved me enough...." for many just compounds shame. Also, its not about not knowing the risks (people actually are VERY aware of hte risks) it an be about confidence to make a change, a fear that they may be unable.

    If I were you, I'd tell him I adored him, loved him and so on and that any nagging only came from love, and my frustration with wanting to be helpful and not knowing how to do it. And that I would try very hard not to nag in the future because I realize he is a very competent adult (or I would not have married him!). If there is any way I can be of help, please let me know (making meals, moving to MI, whatever-he may very well be depressed!) but otherwise, sounds like he has the info he needs to do with as he feels necessary. But I would want him to know I love him no matter what. Then I might consider giving him....um.....a canoeing experience of some variety to give him extra motivation

    The point is if you have ever been of two minds about something and a friend,w hen asked for advice, makes a strong recommendation for one course of action, we tend to give the "yeah buts" and offer arguments for the other viewpoint. THATs what we want to avoid (arguing for change). I know this,watching my recently diagnosed Type 2 diabetes husband learn to make his choices. Good luck, wish you could move there, or he could come home so you could be together. Apart can be so stressful!



  18. #18
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    He needs to meet people who were like him but are now suffering because of it. To bad he can't meet my daughter's father-in-law. Only the lucky ones die quickly. For most it's a long drawn out affair. My DH is an ICU RN. Probably 3/4 of the patients he has are there because of their own bad habits.

    He needs to see how it can impact his life and what he wants to do. Losing his vision, losing limbs....

    Or just take a whopper of a life insurance policy out on him.



  19. #19
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    He needs to meet people who were like him but are now suffering because of it. To bad he can't meet my daughter's father-in-law. Only the lucky ones die quickly. For most it's a long drawn out affair. My DH is an ICU RN. Probably 3/4 of the patients he has are there because of their own bad habits.

    He needs to see how it can impact his life and what he wants to do. Losing his vision, losing limbs....

    Or just take a whopper of a life insurance policy out on him.



  20. #20
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    Mar. 4, 2004
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    Louisville, KY
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    This website has some good, very basic DM info. I mainly use it for the Spanish handouts, but he can get an idea of what he needs to do.

    http://www.learningaboutdiabetes.org/handouts.html

    I think you need to be graphic about what he has in store for himself if he doesn't get his blood sugar under control. Going blind from vision loss? Neuropathy and losing feeling in his feet and lower extremities? Toe, feet, and leg amputations from poorly healing wounds? Being strapped to a dialysis machine three days a week because he's in renal failure from the diabetes?

    Scare the crap out of him. Right now, he can probably control it with diet and exercise alone. In the future, not so much.
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



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