Diabetes vs. Spouse/SO


(A-D) #1

I know my wife takes a pretty hands-off approach to my diabetes except in those rare instances where I am unable to help myself.  There are times where I would almost like a little more interest (like in areas of shopping/ meal planning, etc.) but then I have never really let anyone assist with my management and I can say I'm not used to including a second person in my approach. 

I am curious how others find balance at home and how, if at all, ya’ll involve your significant others…  I appreciate anything you're willing to share!

Cheers!

A-D


(BrianC) #2

Is the "hands-off" approach really her style, or is it something in response to wishes you once expressed, or what? Have you talked about this? How long have you been together (if I may ask?)

My partner is fairly involved. Not, perhaps, on an every day-to-day basis, but we often have discussions about my current sugar levels, carb-counting, etc. There are certainly times when my blood sugars might be unstable (ups and downs, etc.) that make me frustrated about my ability to control it, and that's the kind of thing I hate to share because (stupidly) it makes me feel like a failure of some sort. But, in general, I really appreciate and need someone to walk beside me on this constant path of management.

 


(robbslilangel) #3

My husband is involved. He likes to research the advances in medicine and the research trials. He knows how to check my sugar and the signs for highs and lows. He also knows how to give me shots. It is nice to have someone involved. It makes me feel like I have support and i am not in it alone. He is definately my soundboard when i am frustrated or upset about my diabetes.


(Jody C) #4

My husband is pretty involved (and after the pre-Christmas weekend I had I'm grateful!)  Last Tuesday (after suffering 2 1/2 days from food poisoning) my BS DROPPED.  He was there with the boxes of apple juice and grapes with my OneTouch ready (when I was able to use it).  I should show him how to use the finger stick so that he can do it IF I ever get that way again.  He's really good about asking if I'm ok. He sees the signs before I do sometimes.  He tries really hard even if it's all hard for him to understand (the constant BS checking.....Didn't you just take it?).  But he cares.  He lets me take care of myself but he's there and it means alot to me.  Afterall, when we were dating my parents DRILLED him on how he was to take care of me if "something" should happen.....He passed! :o)


(nfrench) #5

My hubby is also pretty well involved.  He knows how to test me and knows the basics of my pump.  He's also a nurse so that helps!  However, he does like to pig out at night and eat lots of sweets in front of the tv while I sit and watch him and salivate.  Ha!  Other than that, I would say he is a pretty good supporter.  He is constantly reminding me that I need to stay in my regular eating/exercise routine so my sugars are at their best.  I think I will keep him around for a while...;)


(A-D) #6

BrianC,

 

The short answer is that it has a lot to do with my doing and a small bit to do with her style or approach.  Now, for the rest of the answer – which, as you’ve probably guessed, won’t be short ;) 

 

We’ve been married about 4 ½ years and together about 6.  The reason the question came up for me is that it is an area I expect I could be handling better.  I have always been a bit private with my management and my control is good and I have A1C’s that rival some transplant patients.  And since I don’t need to tighten my numbers, I am looking at the things that I can do to improve.  For those of us in committed relationships, I believe our significant others are one of our greatest resources.  As I read posts from others I am also reviewing and assessing my own management.  I suspect that spending a bit more time recruiting my spouse and working with her on some of the day-to-day of the disease (along with integrating a CGM into my life) may be the next big steps toward improving my life with this illness.   

 

This may be more detail than is necessary but if we’ve all learned anything from my other posts… I do tend to go on a bit…

 

I appreciate everything ya’ll have shared and I look forward to seeing more from everyone  – it is great to have good peer role models around… I’ve never really had that before with “D.”

 

Cheers!

 

A-D


(NicTheTeach) #7

This post really made  think about how much I take my fiance for granted. We've been dating for twelve years and will finally be married this July. I met him at a time in my life when I was trying to hide every aspect of my diabetes. Teen years were rocky for us both. But some how we grew together and not apart. He has been with me on this crazy roll coaster of my diabetes and other health compications the whole time. He came to my training for the pump and I think he understands it better than I do! He knows how to help me test when I don't feel well. He listens to me babble on about how it doesn't make any sense that my numbers keep going higher although my basals are so high. He calms my fears when I talk through tear filled eyes about how scared I am to have a child and pass this nastiness on to her or him. I know he cannot feel empathy but he certainly gives me much more than sympathy on a daily basis.


(Gina) #8

My husband is pretty hands on. He tries to help but not doesn't get over involved. He will prep my stuff for me like getting my pump supplies, insulin etc.. and getting them ready for me on the table when I have to change them. If I need him to help me insert into a hard to reach area or something he will do that too. The only time I get annoyed is w hen he asks what my blood sugar is like when it is 295 or something because then I just feel stupid because it's so high and he will ask why is it so high? did you forget to bolus and then I really feel like a failure. Although, I know he doesn't think that I am. I still feel that way.


(BrianC) #9

[quote user="Gina"]The only time I get annoyed is w hen he asks what my blood sugar is like when it is 295 or something because then I just feel stupid because it's so high and he will ask why is it so high? did you forget to bolus and then I really feel like a failure. Although, I know he doesn't think that I am. I still feel that way.[/quote]

I could've written exactly the same thing!


(Kathy-Go-Girl) #10

Hi Nic, my husband is VERY involved - from giving me my shots, to asking me what my sugars are throughout the day, to checking my sugar when he thinks I am low.  He will talk with me thru my decisions to increase or decrease my insulin and how much to take for this and that. 

What caught my eye on your listing was your fear of having children and passing this on to them...I have had diabetes since 1987 and I have two beautiful girls - 7 yrs and 2 yrs old.  Thank God they do not show any signs now, but thinking about it...who would be better to take care of children with diabetes than someone who loves them more than anything and has already lived with diabetes and knows how to treat it?  I often feel worse for the parents of diabetics that are not diabetics themselves...they can try to understand what it is like, but we know, they could never know how it feels.  

Pregnancy with type 1 was not easy...but it is manageable...especially if you have someone that helps you so much like your fiance does!

Good luck with everything!  Kathy


(IndyJess) #11

My husband wasn't really too supportive when we first started daing, but that was because he didn't know about the disease.  When I got on the pump he went with me b/c he wanted to learn all he could.  I think it's really important to have the person you're with be involved.  It's part of who you are...a BIG part.

I completely agree with Gina...I feel so stupid when he asks how my sugar is and it's high. 


(hcole) #12

My boyfriend actually checks my blood sugar for me on long drives so that we don't have to pull over and I can still watch the road.. haha


(BrianC) #13

[quote user="hcole"]

My boyfriend actually checks my blood sugar for me on long drives so that we don't have to pull over and I can still watch the road.. haha

[/quote]

On long drives I'll make my partner prep my insulin pen (while I give step-by-step instructions), hand it to me so I can inject it, then I hand it back and give step-by-step instructions on undoing it. 

Probably not the safest thing to do while driving, but it's probably better than the time I actually filled a syringe from a vial, pulled down my pants and shot my self in the thigh - all while doing 65 mph down an interstate in Wisconsin. 


(leticiab) #14

Well, from a spouse's perspective, my husband is the diabetic, and he was just diagnosed 2 years ago.....I have become hands off, BUT, not because I dont care or am tired of the whining, but because as you can see I'm the one who joined this group, I'm the one who does the research and he takes the laid back approach to his disease.  I tried really hard to be involved, went to his apts with endo., attended the nutrition classes with him and learned to give him his shots but at the end of the day, he does what he wants, when he wants.  I have felt pushed away, so you push enough times you will get what you want.  Sometimes I get him telling me that I dont care about his disease but I get tired of telling him to watch was he eats, ask if he's tested his blood sugar and throw out all the pastries and candies he sneaks in the house, so i tell him I care but I dont care to watch him self sabotage.

So what I'm saying is, is it possible that you either have pushed her away or possibly, maybe possibly she IS interested and has decided to joing every freaking Diabetes forum to learn as much as she can, that being her way of showing interest.  Maybe?


(davisxa) #15

[quote user="leticiab"]I tried really hard to be involved, went to his apts with endo., attended the nutrition classes with him and learned to give him his shots but at the end of the day, he does what he wants, when he wants.  I have felt pushed away[/quote]

I can think of an ex-SO who would have said something similar. Leticab: please don't give up on trying to be involved, sometimes the only opportunity to express your general anger at having the disease arrises when someone you care about it, out of love, tries to remind you that you have it - at a moment when you're busy trying to forget. But then those moments pass. I've snapped at a few SO's when they did something like that, only to regret it later when I was feeling really alone and isolated with the disease.

I've had different SO's deal with my diabetes in different ways. I think that the hands-off approach is partly because SO's already feel so bad for you for having diabetes, and so when you bite their heads off about it then they really feel terrible. 

On the one hand, there are incentives to keep it private. Knowledge is power, so a lot depends on how much power you're ready to give up in exchange for that support (which is probably more about the length & general health of the relationship). Example - after I confided in my ex that high blood sugar makes me irritable, he would ask me to test, and then inquire about my PMS status, before I could proceed with any bone I had to pick with him.

I had another ex who would do things like prep my pump reservoir & infusion set for me, or get my meter out and get it all ready to go with a strip - things like that made having diabetes a little easier, and just so sweet it was hard to say no to, and I think it made my SO feel like a proud, competent, little caretaker. It was cute. It wasn't like a nagging request for me to put in the work, or some kind of underhanded assertion that my status as a diabetic makes my opinions less valid. 

Oh A-D: I saw something on DiabetesHealth TV about how diabetic men tend to ask for, and receive, less support & involvement from SO's than diabetic women do. Not that that's a good thing.


(A-D) #16

BrianC: LOL, pre-pump my insulin-dose-gymnastics whilst driving were likely not my safest moments either… It is easier now that I can just push a few buttons – funny, I almost forgot about that li’l change…

Xa: Yeah, this was the main bit of my point – not in terms of guys but in terms of myself… My wife is generally inclined to not push  or insert herself without my asking and I was at this (D-management) on my own for long enough, I am sure it SHOULD have occurred to me to include my spouse, but it didn’t until I was reading some of the scattered posts on here… It is one of the (many) reasons I am so grateful to see what everybody is sharing, it gives me a lot of insight in areas where I can improve and ideas for things I can do to be healthier…

Cheers!

A-D

 


(clh983) #17

[quote user="A-D"]

I am sure it SHOULD have occurred to me to include my spouse, but it didn’t until I was reading some of the scattered posts on here…

 

 

[/quote]

A-D,

I'm not married, but in all of my long-term relationships, it never occured to me either to include any of my boyfriends in my diabetes management.  I think that it might be that I have always been rather independent when it comes to my diabetes management (my parents always went with me to my doctor's appointments and always checked on how I was doing on a daily basis, but by the time I was in high school, they pretty much let me be in charge of taking care of my diabetes).

I also think that if it wasn't for some of the posts on here, I would never have thought to include any serious boyfriends in on my diabetes management.

Thanks for the post!

Christie


(system) #18

[quote user="Christie"]

A-D,

I'm not married, but in all of my long-term relationships, it never occured to me either to include any of my boyfriends in my diabetes management.  I think that it might be that I have always been rather independent when it comes to my diabetes management (my parents always went with me to my doctor's appointments and always checked on how I was doing on a daily basis, but by the time I was in high school, they pretty much let me be in charge of taking care of my diabetes).

I also think that if it wasn't for some of the posts on here, I would never have thought to include any serious boyfriends in on my diabetes management.

Thanks for the post!

Christie

[/quote]

I have to agree with you there Christie, I would never have thought to include any boyfriends in my management before this thread. As long as they know how to help me when I need it and know the signs for when I'm starting to go low, I've seen no reason for them to be included otherwise. I've shown my past boyfriends how to take my blood test if I'm to disoriented to do it because I'm sick or having a hypo..but that's about the extent of it. I still don't think I will include my husband when I get married, except for what I have shown my ex-boyfriends but it was interesting to see how other people have involved their boyfriends/girlfriends, finances and husbands/wives for sure.