What do you expect from your partner as a diabetic? How much should you rely on them and What are some things your partner should know about your diabetes? That is, having a partner who does not have diabetes. What are your relationships like? Has a relationship not worked out because of your T1D? I'm interested to hear your experiences!
First, I look at my diabetes as my burden, not my partner or families. All I really require is a modicum of patience and understanding. I can do what I need to do. Other than that, the personality trait that suits me the most is the ability not to be embarrassed by my diabetic predilections. I do what I have to do, when I have to do it, with as much respect as I can have for the people around me, but if I have to gulp down a roll of Smarties in one mouthful, that's what I have to do.
Second, there are things that I've just lucked out on, like the fact that my partner can sleep through just about anything. Pod alarms, Dexcom alerts, me getting up in the middle of the night with my beeping test kit, nothing rattles her.
Third, it really helps that, despite me taking on the burden, I have a partner who will willingly pick up whatever slack I need picked up, no questions asked. She definitely needs to know when I absolutely need to deal with a hypo and what to do if I can't. She needs to know where all my supplies are and have some idea how my support equipment operates, just in case. I think it really helps that I do not take any help I may get for granted. I am very very thankful for who she is and the fact that she is with me.
Other than that, business as usual I imagine. I still get yelled at for not picking up after myself, leaving dishes in the sink, playing too many computer games, and watching The Matrix every time it's on TNT.
Never had a previous relationship not work out because of diabetes, knowingly anyways.
I caught my Hubby when he was young and naive(17)...in the library, of course. :D He was also beside me in the ICU when I woke up from a 3 day coma when we were 19 years old. I had forgotten to take my Insulin in a rush to get to work. I figured if that didn't scare him away, nothing would.
I honestly didn't expect too much from a partner to help me with my Diabetes, as a Diabetic. But I thankfully lucked out with him.
He gives me shots where I cannot reach, he gives me a juice(etc)if I need one, he learned the numbers: 911, he drives me to some of my appointments when he is able, he looks for or makes me things that help me with my other disease, he worries about me and calls from work when he has time and more. He is not the Food Police, he knows that I look after my testing, most of my shots, my appointments,etc., so he doesn't need to bug me. I recently bought a trophy for him for saving my Life countless times, once even when a drunk driver almost ran over me when I was 18. I figured since I got an award then he certainly deserves one also.
I looked for a Man who was normal. As in, being kind and considerate, stable, had patience and was understanding. Someone who enjoyed employment, was smart in his own ways, had a sence of humour, someone who wouldn't mind living in a city, who I felt would make a Good Dad(he is) and so on.
We had about 2% in common, we both have our faults as everyone does but we love each other, work on our problems and are even willing to compromise sometimes. And to admit it when we are wrong. Life threw us hell on a platter and we fought it and prayed through it so far,like many others. We've been married over 30 years now and we still play with toys.:D
We are interested to hear what you expected and of your experiences in seeking/finding your mate also hk62. Let us know please.
Terrie, isn't it so wonderful to have a spouse who cares?
My husband is a saint. I handle my diabetes, but he is my partner, so there is no way he is not involved. My story is much like Terrie's, but I was in my mid-20s when we met.
When we got together, I had been Type 1 for over 10 years. Also, my mom was a Type 2 (diagnosed 5 years or so after me) and she struggled much more than I had at that point. My dad, God bless him, was soooo overprotective of her, and it took away a lot of her spirit. I told my husband before we married that I would divorce him if he ever tried to do that and true to his word, he keeps an eye on me, worries about me, but lets me do things I want to do. In my case it is travel, and he lets me go away on my own, although I think he also enjoys the quiet--no beeping, crisis, etc.
I am very lucky, and we will be married 37 years this May.
Ha Spock! I know my Hubby isn't a saint but it is Great to have a caring Hubby for sure. I appreciate and care for him in return.
I'm not sure about what I "expect," but I can share how my relationship with my husband works as far as the T1D goes. He never suggests I eat, drink, or do anything with regard to my diabetes. We've sort of oganically come to a place where we agree that the only time he should do anything is if I directly tell him something I need help or if I appear to be having an issue that makes me a danger to myself or others and I appear unable to handle things. So far, that's never happened, but he knows what to do if I appear to be having a low that's impairing my ability to care for myself.
I know it's hard for him sometimes. Like when I try pizza and then complain about the results, but a few weeks later I'll say I want pizza. A natural reaction might be to say, "Are you sure? Remember what happened last time?" But he never says that! He knows I'm an adult and that I can make my own decisions, even when they're not so great.
Thats kinda how things are in my relationship, the hub leaves it to me...but obviously if I was really acting off, or I asked he'd know what to do, and that for me works great. It would get on my nerves to no end if he wanted to go to appointments, or everytime I test, what it is.
This has been something I think about from time to time. I know other people with diabetes in relationships where their spouses really understand the disease and participate in the day to day --at least from an awareness or interest perspective. I've observed in awe the T3s on the DHF board who are dedicated to DHF becuase their spouse's have it. That's not my husband. Don't get me wrong -- my husband is everything to me. But as for my diabetes -- he's pretty much oblivious to it. Of course, if I have a low and need some assistance correcting - I can ask him for help and he'll dart in response. But he really doesn't "get" the disease at all. Much of this is my doing. I am, as he puts it, fiercely independent in all aspects of my life. This holds true for my diabetes as well -- I have had BG as high as 600 and as low as 27 and am always lucid and functional. I feel my lows so I can usually self correct. I recently got a CGM because I travel so much alone on business. But it fascinates me that my CGM alarm will wake me right up out of a dead sleep and my husband doesn't miss a beat in his snoring. But the fact is that the disease is all mine and I don't really expect anything of hIm other than help with the rare super low.. But I confess it drives me a little buggy that on the rare occasion when I do ask him for help with a low he always responds "what do you need me to do." He definitely knows -- the question is bewildering. But it's no different then when he asks me where the scissors are when they are always in the same place, or when he is emptying the dishwasher and asks me where every other dish he pulls out goes. I chalk it up to the inane questions that husbands are taught to ask the moment after they say "I do." And I consider myself really lucky because I couldn't have a better partner in life. So if that means I have to ask for what I need some times or answer a few needless questions - that's ok with me.
I dated a guy when I was 20, who had to watch me being rushed to the ER when I was near coma. He was in the room when I was being hooked up to countless machines with doctors and nurses surrounding me, and I looked over and saw the horrified look on his face. He stuck with me, but he still had no clue. The day I got out of the hospital, he insisted on taking me to barbeque with tons of unhealthy food.
My next boyfriend also had diabetes. I found myself nagging at him alot about the unhealthy lifestyle he led, but it challenged me to take better care of myself.
My current boyfriend, a nondiabetic, told me he read alot about diabetes when we first started dating because he wanted to know more about it and how to help me. His intentions were good, but he still doesn't really get it. He expresses his impatience with me when I'm busy recording my food intake before I eat. He also doesn't understand that when my sugar is not perfect, I am very tired. I went through a period where my sugar was high all of the time and he criticized me for being tired all of the time. However, he is great about carrying emergancy food when we go somewhere and taking care of me when my sugar is so low that I can't get out of bed.
Still, I feel very much alone in this.
I don't really look for anything related to my diabetes from the husband. I have had this LONG before we were ever together, so it's my deal. I'm kinda of the thought, Im going to have this forever and THAT is guaranteed so I need to know how to deal with it, and be responsible for it, and deal with it. There are no guarantees to relationships. So better not become too dependent.
34 years with my wife and 20 years T2. For all but the last 2 I was on oral meds and my wife never got involved. She knew it would do no good because I was too stubborn headed to listen.
When I became insulin dependant she knew how to handle my lows before I even knew. She had a T1 co-worker that had occasional lows. She had learned the signs of his lows and knew how to help him. I ask her once how she knew and what she did. She said he would come to her appearing to be drunk, she would then take him by the hand and lead him to the drugstore next door and buy him a coke. She was the person he trusted for help and is my go to also.
My wife still doesn't get involved in the day to day care of my D because she knows I'm still hard headed but she knows what to do if I need help.
I'd like to offer a little bit of a different take since neither my ex-wife or I live with Type 1. Instead, our son lives with Type 1. His mother is his primary caregiver. Thankfully, we get along very well, especially when it comes to our kids, but the differences in our life-views certainly contribute to disparate viewpoints. Since his mother and I were already separated when he was diagnosed, the disease did not have a significant effect on our relationship but did, I guess, contribute to a slightly more positive relationship (because we had to work together). That said, the disease unambiguously effects primary adult relationships. I'd love to hear from other people about their experiences in this context.
I was married a few weeks before I came down with the Bete's. My wife has stood by me since day one...if the Bete's has a negative impact on your relationship then it was doomed from the very beginning. I expect my wife to be my partner we share everything including our faults and opinions good or bad it's a package deal, I have much more to offer besides diabetes...;-)