Looking to meet spouses of T1


(Heidi) #1

Hello, My Fiance is a type 1. I am looking for other spouses, or loved ones to connect with through out this journey.
I try my best to help my Fiance, but it can get overwhelming so I would like to meet others who are experiencing the same as me.


(joe) #2

@HeidiLynn hi Heidi,

I think you’ll find most of us here either have T1 or are taking care of a child with T1. Diabetes is a disease where we get to be the primary physician, so anyone in the family circle gets to have pretty much the same experiences.

T1 is a physical disease, but there tends to be a lot of “psychology” (depression and disorders) with it as well.

thank being said, you may get more support if you describe what’s bothering you ,


(Heidi) #3

thank you,
I feel as if I am taking on a majority of the responsibility for my Fiance( he is 30 ).
I make sure he tests, carbs counts etc. I have came home several times to him passed out and even in a seizure so I am always worried.
I know I do not personally have the disease, but it is starting to affect our relationship.
He did not get DX until he was 20 and he hates that he has it. I try to be the best support I can, but at times I feel like I need support as well.


(joe) #4

@HeidiLynn

you do! I get it we like to take care of the people we love. in a relationship you can only be 50% of it - the rest is on him.

it is a delicate thing to know when you should help and when you should not help. it’s personal. however if you are feeling stressed and if you are irritated or even slightly angry, it is a sure sign you are doing too much.

lots and lots of people hate having diabetes. I have had it 39 years and I hate it. once upon a time I hated it AND didn’t take care of myself, and i also had very bad relationships. Then when I found acceptance, it was easier to take care of myself and easier to have better relationships.


(Kimber) #5

I’m so sorry to read that thing are so strenuous but I do understand. My husband has been completely supportive of me in this and I know it sometimes gets to him as well. If you could directly message me, I would be glad to give you his email so that you two can chat.


(Heidi) #6

Is there any way that as a significant other I can help him get to a place of acceptance.
It is hard for me to let go, bc I feel like I am then accepting that I may come home to the worst possible situation.


(Heidi) #7

how do I direct message you?


(joe) #8

@HeidiLynn Heidi, no there isn’t. if he’s not ready to accept the situation and he’s not ready to take care of himself then there’s isn’t much you can do. he survived this without you up until you met him… isn’t that so? (it may not be so I am guessing)

The point is, he will have a lot of self-discovery to do, you can suggest therapy, you can suggest a heart-to-heart with a CDE (certified diabetes educator) but if he’s not ready, it’ll fall on deaf ears and to you it will seem like he’s trying to kill himself. In my opinion, then you have only a few simple choices, such as: accept how he is right now and let him manage his own health and try to have a relationship and be happy regardless… or not. in my opinion, changing him isn’t an option, the only thing you can control is your reaction to his behavior…

many partners have tried bargaining, making rules, threatening, or even the dreaded “you will change or I will leave you”. many have realized that if the person you care about isn’t interested or self-motivated into changing, none of the above will actually work. often the person doing the “care taking” grows resentful and angry and even sick due to stress. don’t be that one. take care of yourself.


(pamcklein) #9

Hi HeidiLynn, My name is Pam, and I am a T1D. I was diagnosed when I was very young and never felt self-conscious about it until I got married! My spouse, wonderful guy that he is, just couldn’t understand the complexities of my diabetes. He would scold me if my blood sugar dropped, so I started trying to hide it from him rather than seeking the help I needed. So, my first bit of advice is not to push too hard.
That being said, he needs to realize that it is up to him to take care of himself. He has a choice to make. Does he want to let his blood sugars run out of control now, and end up with diabetes complications like loosing a limb or his eyesight? Or, does he want to take control now and live a long, happy life?
I had a doctor ask me that once and I chose the latter. I have lived with diabetes for over 50 years and have no complications because of the choice I made. When I became frustrated with my husband, I had to remind myself it was up to me.
So, my second bit of advice to you is to let him know you are there to help him any way that you can, but he has to take control. You, his doctor and/or his family cannot be with him 24 hours a day. So, he has to know how to help himself.
If he hasn’t figured it out already, he should take note of how he is feeling when his blood sugar is low. Everyone has different symptoms so he has to get to know his own. You can support him in this by not patronizing him. Instead, help him get something to eat if he needs your help, but then when he’s feeling better, ask him how he was feeling before he dropped. Once he knows how to recognize his lows, he’ll be able to catch them sooner and treat them himself. The same is true for high blood sugars. I’ve always described controlling blood sugars as a balancing act. You have to find the right combination of insulin, food and exercise to keep your sugars in balance.

Hope this helps at least a little!

Pam K.


(@Lily) #10

My spouse has Type 1. While we were dating, I learned to love and respect the sentiments in the Serenity Prayer
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”
Bottom line is you can’t change him. You can’t “make” another adult change. He has to want to change.

I understand completely not wanting to let go and then find out he’s died from hypoglycemia. This is a scary diagnosis.
But you’re describing someone who isn’t taking responsibility for his own body. Do you want to be responsible like that for another adult ? Because that type of responsibility is not yours, it’s his. You can be responsible for emotional support, listening, caring. Reading this forum can teach you a lot about what your spouse has. But remembering to count carbs, test, take insulin is all his responsibility.

Maybe he would benefit from meeting with a CDE (certified diabetic educator). Or maybe an appointment with a really great Endocrinologist. Or maybe if he could meet another man with T1 who is managing his T1 well.

But it’s not healthy for him or for you, to have you, the non-diabetic, be responsible for his diabetes.
If he can accept and manage and be in charge of his T1, … I guarantee, you’ll see him as a hero.

Good luck to you.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #11

I’m not the spouse of a person with diabetes but I can offer some thoughts by looking from the other side of this question.
It was 53 years ago this month that I met my wife and we married the next year; at that time I had had diabetes for 10 years and I really hadn’t yet accepted the fact that I had a critical condition and I hadn’t taken care of myself for about eight years - not even seeing a doctor or having my blood sugar tested.

What happened? Mary accepted me for who I am and took an interest in me and became a positive role model. No, she never demanded that I change my ways or rag on me because “I was BAD”, but rather she did little things, some of which I’m just seeing now, that helped me see the light and grow. By the 1970’s I had become proactive in diabetes management and volunteered for whatever studies I could find. I turned my diabetes management into a science.
On the 4th of this month I will begin my 62nd year living with diabetes - well, that was my date of diagnosis although looking back I believe I was living with keto-acid poisoning for at least four months before that date.


(Emily) #12

This is inspirational, is it possible to speak with your wife? I am 25 and my boyfriend who I want to marry is 27. He was diagnosed with type 1 five years ago and we have been together for 2 years now. He is the kindest man I have ever met and I know he loves me with all his might. But he is extremely lazy. I am afraid this affects his blood sugar levels and in turn our relationship. I do not wish to mother him or rag him on changing his ways because I love him but it still gets pretty annoying because he hates to workout. He is 6’1 and weighs about 190 pounds and looks like a firecracker. I recognize his lows better than before because he gets really corny and dazed, but its his highs that I am terrified off. He recently started to use libre pro but even with its help his blood sugars spikes to above 350! I am unsure if exercising everyday will help control the highs and I am tired of asking him to get off the bed and join me for a run. I do not know how your wife accepted you and did not change you but I am feeling guilty that I feel so helpless in his struggle with maintaining blood sugar levels. Please help.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #13

Hi Emily @confusedsoul, I think I know what you are saying and I really hear your concern. First off, any change will need to come from within your boyfriend but I feel that you are in a good position to influence him for the better. You can learn effective management skills but that will not mean that he will put into play what you know and what he knows to help him live more than just a few years - he will need to use something like this as a motivation; I’ve had the chance to enjoy and influence my grandchildren and now I want that opportunity with greatgrandchildren.

His Libre glucose monitor makes me think that he has developed some awareness and maybe that he knows he needs to do something to improve his health. BUIT, technology in itself means nothing unless he takes that information and acts on it. within not too many years we may have effective interactive / passive tools. May I suggest [if he takes the initiative to pass his glucose reader over the sensor], that when you see his glucose at the 350 mg/dl that you mention, that you say something like “good information, now what are YOU going to do about that?”. It is still up to him to try to determine why his BGL is at that level and then, if appropriate, for him to take corrective action.
Now, I suggested “corrective action”; corrective action could be “wait and see” and do a fingerstick or, could be take additional insulin. T take additional insulin requires HIM to know his body and the proper insulin to take so that he doesn’t dump himself into a hypoglycemic [low BGL] reaction. It takes patience on his part and will require you to be vigilant and encouraging. He should avoid exercise when his BG is very high.
You are very right in saying that he needs more activity than he gets just laying around. Effective diabetes management requires an active, well-rounded lifestyle with a positive attitude and outlook on life - he should be saying something like “yeah, I can do that!”. As a start, ask him to print out the reports from both the CGM and his pump [if he uses a pump] and review them [together] and see if he/you can any patterns - it may be obvious and require simple corrections.
Autumn weather is approaching, I hope you and he enjoy running together.
.


(Jess) #14

Sounds like burn-out to me. I would convince your fiancée to go seek counseling and help him get that process started. If he’s depressed, he needs someone else to help him climb out of the hole he is currently living in. It is unlikely he will be able to do this alone.

Now you have to make a decision. Do you want to live with a burnt-out diabetic and help him get back on his feet again?

If you find yourself questioning whether you want to say with him or not, it’s already too late; You’ve made up your mind. Time to move on, and put diabetes behind you. Count yourself lucky, people with T1D never get that opportunity and carry that weight for the rest of their life.