Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Take Care of Yourself Now - you may have to live in that body longer than you planned

I took my mother to the doctor this morning for a check up. After reading her lab report, the doctor said that her diabetes was well under control, but that he was concerned about her kidney function. He suggested taking her off Medformin for a couple of weeks to see how her glucose levels do without it; that this might be all that is needed to restore kidney function to normal.

I am convinced that the reason my mother's diabetes (type2) is under control is because she has alzheimer's disease and is dependent upon me to provide her meals. Before the dementia, she ate whatever she wanted and she loved sweets! This coupled with a sedentary lifestyle caused her to become morbidly obese and develop type 2 diabetes. Before my father died, he would indulge my mother and bring her chocolates, donuts, and whatever else she wanted - despite knowing that she shouldn't eat these things, and I will probably never understand why. I now prepare healthy meals and snacks for her and make sure she takes her meds as prescribed. As a result, she has lost 30 lbs over the last 3 months, and her blood glucose levels are normal.

After the doctor visit, I came home and did a bit of research on Medformin and kidney disease. It seems that the jury is still out on whether or not the drug actually causes the disease, but most of the data shows that long term use can result in some sort of kidney disease.

I can't help but wonder what would have been the outcome had my mother taken better care of herself when she was younger? I remember hearing George Burns, at the age of 90 something, quip: "If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself." Had my mother been more active and ate a healthier diet, she probably never would have developed diabetes. Since some studies suggest that people with type 2 diabetes are 3 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, she may have spared herself that also!

I will never know how how my mother's life might have differed had she taken better care of herself, but I am now more committed than ever of taking better care of me....

No comments: