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Loved One with Diabetes Goes to ER with Severe Withdrawals

Burning Shack and Fireman

1delapsia is emerging from an enormous scare. Her Loved One ended up in the ER with complications from Diabetes on top of severe withdrawals. Thankfully, the doctors saw that the addiction was the real threat to his health, and spoke with the family candidly about this. Shaken but relieved, she’s looking at starting a new chapter with her son.

I have had a very bad week because of my addict and my 18 yr old cat… Son was driven in ambulance Friday night because of Diabetic Ketoacidosis – 3rd time in 3 yrs. Dx 4 yrs ago at age of 26 with T1D. This episode was the worst yet. When he made it to my house grabbing his stomach horrible pain in his face, shivering so bad, I had never seen anyone in that bad of pain and sickness, I asked him what is it? Before calling ambulance, painfully he replied "withdrawing", I asked from what? He said everything. It took 2 paramedics to hold him down to put iv in his arm due to his shaking, hypertension, sickness. Had he not woken from sleeping for 3 days he would have slipped into coma and died, done. I say it was the grace of God that woke him up and make it to my house. He should have called 911 from his house and gotten to the hospital. Read the full comment here.

What a hard hard couple of days. Your son fell ill from diabetes and drug withdrawals. You called the ambulance and he went to the hospital. An amazing doctor explained to your son and the entire family assembled beside him that drug addiction was first and much more likely to kill him than the diabetes. So it was a hard day but also an exceptional day in your family’s life. A professional (always better than an amateur) explained the problem. Everyone heard the doctor.

This information can really help your family see the addiction as the first priority. And fortunately, there is CRAFT, a set of responses your family can take in unison to help your son with the addiction.

When a Loved One has multiple conditions at once: mental illness, Asperger’s, or a medical condition AND addiction, the family can be pulled in several directions. This can easily muddy the waters when it comes to sending a clear message to the Loved One about addiction. But in the end, the other conditions will not have much of a chance to improve without first healing the active addiction. You can’t even really know how bad the other conditions are when you pile an active addiction on top of it.

So yes, seize on the clarity that you all experienced when that doctor highlighted the addiction as the number one concern. Follow the Learning  Modules on this site, and ask others in your family to do the same. Make that list of treatment options. See Learning Module 8 to learn how and when to pull out the list and to give it your son.

That doctor gave you a gift. The diabetes has been confusing and frightening, but the addiction is where everyone should start.

So it was a hard day (week!) but a good one… Both your sons helped you with your kitty. Everyone got a jolt from this experience, and with it a clearer picture of what is going on in your family. You have all survived something traumatic. It is a blessing that things turned out the way they did.

This is an opportune time to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, and dive into the modules – the practical, nitty-gritty day-to-day application of CRAFT. Make sure to pay special attention to Learning Module 8 for help with timing. You want to be ready with the list when the window for discussing treatment opens.

In the meantime, keep yourself anchored by using CRAFT. You have done so much hard work already in implementing this method. Keep it up. Use your journal to pour out whatever you need to get off your chest. This moment was terrifying but it crystalized things in a very real way. Give yourself some time to regain your own strength and well-being after that week. And keep using all of us for support. This is what we are here for.



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)

  1. I’m back “home” with air, craft, modules, etc. No way was the hospital stay going to change him. Back using meth freely until his new job starts mid may. Might clean himself up for a bit then start using again. I don’t think his chances of keeping new job are good. How long to reach his rock bottom…..I am sick and tired but at least I’m on this page and site where I find strength.