"Decline" or being overwhelmed by diabetic complications?

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Suz23 posted on Fri, Sep 2 2011 9:14 AM

My Dad is 74 and lives in a nursing home, he has had diabetes for about 20 yrs. In the last month and a half his blood sugars have been all over the place, he's lost appetite, lost weight fast and hasn't been sleeping.We've been trying to find the source of this - his white blood count is elevated, he was anemic, which has been treated with iron supplements, but he's still as white as a pillow case and extremely not well. His legs and feet are swollen and ache. Yesterday we saw a hematologist who believes he has MDS on top of everything else, and wants to get him back to his baseline to begin to discuss treatment options.

But still no one can find anything wrong with him to treat to get him back to feeling better. Two opinions so far are that he is in "general decline" and there's nothing to be done except pallative care/hospice.

The hematologist seemed to think treating the MDS would help him feel better, and that he's not ready for hospice care.

They just started him on an antidepressant to help with sleep, he's already on prozac. For the last day and a half he's been sleeping constantly.

Anyone have any experiences like this? What happened? Could this be a conglomeration of diabetic complications....neuropathy, etc...?


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nance replied on Sun, Sep 4 2011 6:22 PM

Hi, Suz; sorry I don't know anything about MDS -- had to Google it -- there's a lot of information to be found on it, and just on first glance, it looks like it may be something like "pre-leukemia", for which there are treatments, as suggested by the hematologist.  Doesn't look like anything related to diabetes to me (not a doctor).  But as for the diabetes -- is he being treated for that, and if so -- how?  Doctor needs to know about his current situation, and "numbers all over the place."  The two separate issues may have to be addressed separately, but improving one may help the other, if you know what I mean.  Are there MDS message boards out there?  These are just my opinions, and I would not give up and just accept "general decline" as an answer, but would want to take action.

Nance, T2 dx 7/98; diet and exercise/no meds 11 yrs; 500mg Glucophage XR 4/day, 5mg Glucotrol XL 3/day; A1c av. in 6s.  Treadmill, elliptical, biking, Arc trainer, dumbbells, other resistance moves -- 30-60 minutes a day.

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