I am the spouse of a type 1 diabetic who uses the omnipod insulin pump. I have "lived" with diabetes as a spouse for over 35 years. The worst feeling is to be "on call" 24x7 for the lows. Today he played doubles tennis, had breakfast, changed his pod, and several hours later experienced a very bad low. I fortunately was with him and gave him orange juice and additional carbs. He was extremely hostile while low and does not remember anything about it including his catatonic state. He has hypoglycemic unawareness and tries to keep in tight control. Are there any other spouses out there who have these experiences? It is a thankless position to be in and very frustrating as I hope that he does not have a low when someone is not around, mainly me. My life has revolved around his disease and his lows. The fact that he does not acknowledge these lows if very upsetting to me. He tried to wear the meter that would signal lows and highs but became frustrated with it and will not use it.

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Comment by Doris D on September 13, 2010 at 5:18pm
Ugh I can talk for him. He dosen't know what he does during this time (I don't) My husband has frequently ask me why I try to bite him or really argue with him about testing my bs when I'm low. I don't remember any of it but I sure get told about it. I can never feel a low coming on. He is probably as flustrated as you are about them. Speaking for myself I HATE the idea of having to rely on my husband when they happen to me. Check out our groups at the top of your page. There is one there foe Type 3 and also one there for sunifagent others of diabetics. Sounds like you could talk to them and they would know what you are talking about.
Comment by SF Pete on September 13, 2010 at 7:56pm
I read your post and I'm dying inside. I'm the T1 partner to a non-diabetic but extremely knowledgeable "civilian" who is some kind of diabetic magnet. That being said, he has seen me through some bad lows. I recently (in the last month) had a severe low that was so bad, he had to call 9-1-1 to get assistance. I was combative. When he dialed 9-1-1 I was going to have none of that and tried to wrestle the phone away from him. When I couldn't I actually bit him. I came to awareness with 4 EMTs around my bed and very sore arm from 2 dextrose injections. When I asked what happened, the EMT in the living room yelled out "you were 25" and my blood went cold. I got dressed and let them walk me down to the ambulance and take me to the ER. I remember none of it. But I've seen the evidence. He seems to be taking it in stride but it brings home to me the other side of the coin. I've gotten much more careful and I apologize every time I can't stand the guilt any longer. I feel a very expensive present coming on. Nothing says "I'm really sorry" like new electronics.
Comment by Anonymous Jim on September 14, 2010 at 4:21am
I feel for you having to take care of my mother for many years. I have had clothing ruined(A mouth full of grape juice sprayed back at me), Taken a punch to the jaw 2 days after my wisdom teeth had been removed and told "I should of let you die as an infant"(I was a very sick newborn) I also have recently found out I like my mother am Type-1. My mom rarely remembers her reactions, she use to make some great dinners when she was low lol. I have many issues with my mother and just have to remind myself she didn't mean to do the things she has done.

Your husband sounds like he tries to control his diabetes, which my mother does very poorly, she is either super high or low most of the time. Its a hard to handle at times but we do what we must for those we love even if we resent it at times.
Comment by DARGIRL on September 14, 2010 at 5:19am
Spouses are Guardian Angels. You are an Angel. One time I was I was finishing a YMCA swimming excercise class. As I was coming out the pool I felt a low coming on. And FAST! Stupid me left her purse in the car. I was in a swimsuit and It was only 10 degrees outside. I could not manage to fully dress myself and I was not able to communicate with the people that were passing me. I could not tell them please get me a glass of juice. There I was sitting in a chair going lower and lower unable to communicate, no one around me knew I had diabetes. Then.....as I look up there he was my Guardian Angel. How did he know I needed him? Did God tell him, GO TO THE YMCA, YOUR WIFE IS LOW! Maybe. As soon as he saw me he went into action. Moments later he asked me, "Are you OK?

I asked him later, "Why in the world did you just happen to show up at the YMCA today". He said, "I have no idea, something inside of me told me to go" It is very fearful for all the Guardian Angels out there. Yes he does freak out at me about being low and taking the risk. But sometimes we have no control over it.
Comment by Donna H on September 14, 2010 at 3:41pm
My husband endures a lot. Fortunately I feel my lows and I know to ask immediately for help when they come on. But there have been times that I wake up in the middle of the night feeling a low and wake him for help and he runs to the kitchen to help me with the ritual cure. Or we can be out somewhere and I feel the drop and he races into action. He is a saint. He often says he is frustrated because he wishes he could take class or go to a support group for partners of diabetics. I think being in a forum for him to ask questions or just share experiences and ideas would be such a good thing for him but I know of no such class or program.
Comment by mary on September 14, 2010 at 4:49pm
Different people react differently to lows, and some can be low at 70 and others low at 20 and some can still function at 20 (myself included sometimes - other times I'm on the floor). Strange disease.

A relative of mine has Type 1 also, childhood onset at age 12, he is very active and is the poster child (he's now in his 30's) according to his endo. His A1c is very low, he has lows all the time. His are violent, he has bitten his wife and given her black eyes and bruised lips. He never talks them over when they are done, kind of like they never happened, and he tells her "you knew I had diabetes when you married me and your mother has it, you should be used to it." You never get used to it.

My lows are passive, I accept help and do not argue with anyone. That's just the way I am. People are different.

Don't feel it's your responsibility to take care of him, it's not, it's his. You can't be with him 24/7 - 365 days a week, he must have some activities that you don't participate in, who takes care of him then.....I bet he does.

Here are some things I would suggest for him: try low carbing, test more often, test during the middle of the night, try the CGMS again - maybe its improved since the last time he wore it. He must realize that a BG of 70 or whatever is his goal is not going to guarantee he will be complication free, if the IR kills him before the complications come and could be perhaps taken care of with other meds. A good book to read would be "Diabetes Solutions" by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, himself a Type 1 for over 60 years. His family got fed up with his insulin reactions which led him to the low carb diet that he promotes. I bot the book when it first came (1997) and thought he was a nut case, but I kept the book. I've read it over and over many times. I don't follow his strict diet plans, but I do lower carbing. He also has many ideas that I don't adhere to, but at the same time he has many rules that all diabetics should try to follow for a better life..

I still have IR's but almost all of them I can handle by myself. Maybe 1 or 2 per year now when I need assistance from my husband or other relative. We have not called 911 in over 50 years.



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