It has been almost three months since my dad was hospitalized for diabetes and congestive heart failure after I found him unresponsive in his home. After being in the hospital for almost two weeks, my dad was sent home in my care and it’s been an uphill battle ever since.
My dad is a really good guy who means well, but he is also stubborn and bull-headed (see where I get it from?). The first few weeks after he was released, he ate the right foods and went by the book as far as his health was concerned. But as he got better, he also began to fall into his old habits—eating processed foods, smoking cigarettes, and drinking sodas. All of these things were not to be done per doctors orders, but when I found out he wasn’t following instructions, he told me, “you only live once”.
So you can see why I am a little frustrated right now.
His blood sugar levels has stabilized and he is feeling better, so I think he thinks he can do whatever he wants. But the thing about diabetes is it is not a forgiving disease—he has to follow the doctor’s instructions and eat properly or he will be right back where he started. And his heart is in poor health—smoking is going to just continue to to make his CHF and his heart disease much worse.
So the update is this; on paper, everything is great. In a few weeks, he will get a defibrillator installed in his heart to help it run the way it should. But if he doesn’t get in check, I am afraid that he will back in the hospital for the same thing or worse.
As a daughter, I do my best to be there for him, to love him, and to have his best interests at heart. No matter what, he is my dad. I just want him to be as healthy as he can be.
Kim Wolterman says
It is hard to watch someone you love not follow doctor’s advice, but in the end your dad’s health is in his own hands. He has to decide for himself what he eats, drinks and smokes. All you can do is love him for who he is. You are a good daughter!
I know what it’s like to see a parent make choices in their health and diet that are not the best for them. It’s like as much as you try to help them, their mindset is that they are the parent, and they know what they are doing. Continue to be strong. You and your dad will be in my thoughts and prayers that he indeed gets 100% better.
“in the end your dad’s health is in his own hands”
I totally agree with what Kim said. I have had similar experiences with family members whom I’ve cared for and you can only do so much. I would suggest praying for him that he has a heart change when it comes to self-care as well as doing what is in your control to help along the way. I still say you are doing an incredible job and will keep praying for your strength.
Robyn Wright of Robyn's Online World says
I know it’s hard to watch. Heck we do things like that to ourselves even and justify it. Being supportive and making sure he has access to the tools he needs is really all that you can do I think. Although, you could sic the kids on him – they are good convincers for grandparents sometimes 🙂
It’s so tough to see another adult do this.
Take it as a lesson for how you will listen to someone the next time they try to tell you something you don’t want to hear.
Hugs to you.
This is an emotional subject for me. I lost my dad last November to lung cancer and CHF. But you can’t live his life for him but I do believe in carefully well place guilt, I mean conviction. I would just remind him what it will cost you and others if he doesn’t take care of himself. Then the ball is in his court.
You just need to love him where ever he and his health are.
Danyelle, my friend, Renee is dealing with a similar issue with her mom. Her mom is morbidly obese and refuses to do anything to lose weight. It is difficult for her mom to walk, shop, stand for more than 10 minutes and her attitude is awful. Renee has tried everything to get her mom to lose weight and encourage healthy eating habits. Her mom eats fast, fried, greasy unhealthy foods, sits around all day watching TV and gaining more and more weight. Renee’s emotions range from anger, frustration, and sadness. Her mom refuses to heed the doctor’s warnings. I do hope that your dad makes lifestyle changes that he can keep up. Hang in there!
I so get this! The funny thing is, once I asked my father why he still smoked….after he slowly blew a cloud of smoke towards me, he said, “Because I enjoy it”. He eventually stopped, but I realized that I couldn’t force him to change….hard stuff
Mitch Mitchell says
I almost hate admitting to this but in a way I’m your dad. I’m also diabetic and I know how I’m supposed to eat to be better. But it’s not as easy as people think it is to eat a lot of stuff that either you don’t like or that you get bored with, especially if it’s the rest of your life.
I’ve been diabetic for 14 years now and my eating habits are nothing like they were when I was younger and first diagnosed. But the diabetes gets worse and the medications get stronger and I’ve tried to continue with the past changes without wanting to go the entire route. But there are things I do stay away from, things that are much worse than my occasional dessert, and I don’t eat a lot of foods not good for me. Actually, my nutritionist told me I don’t eat often enough, and need to eat earlier in the day than I do, instead of waiting 3 or 4 hours before my first meal. That’s my problem; not what I eat but how I eat.
As for the rest of the things your dad’s doing, well, I’m lucky in that I never smoked and I only drink diet drinks, and only diet soda if I’m out at a restaurant. I also go to the gym and walk at the lake, so I get in some exercise. I figure it all helps; it’ll have to do for now. But I hope your dad comes around and makes some changes.