• We are improving our news section on our website. Please share your thoughts here: News Survey

Partner of Newly Diagnosed T1 Diabetic

Els93

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Carer/Partner
Hiya!

My boyfriend was diagnosed with T1 diabetes last summer. It's been a tough old slog for him and he's come so far, I'm so proud of him. I myself have epilepsy. This can be a saving grace for us as a couple because if one of us is having a rubbish time with our condition we have some understanding about how hard it is to live with a long term condition and can support each other. Equally though, it can be a nightmare-if we're both in a bad place we don't have the energy to support the other person however hard we try and end up arguing. We have totally different ways of dealing with it-I'm a talker and he really isn't. I'm also a nurse and at first got a lot of 'don't be my nurse, be my girlfriend' so I try with all my might to step back and let him get on with it. The other day though, he had a meltdown about the fact nobody ever asks him how he's getting on with it all. I feel a bit like I can't win sometimes. Can anyone shed some light-has anyone been in a similar situation or can any diabetics shed some light on how you like partners/carers to support you?

Thank you in advance! x
 

Robin

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
My OH must have the patience of a saint, I know that on occasions I’ve done the 'stop asking me about my Blood Sugar levels/ why don’t you ever ask how I’m doing!?' scenario.
Someone produced a Diabetic Etiquette card, which might be a good starting point for a discussion. I’ll see if I can find a link, and pop back and post it.
Here you go.
http://behavioraldiabetes.org/xwp/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BDIAdultEtiquetteCard.pdf
 

Els93

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Carer/Partner
@Robin thank you for sharing, it's really helpful to see it from the other side! That etiquette card is amazing, definitely going to print it off and keep it in a back pocket! X
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Robin’s idea is a good one. Not only is it good for people without T1 to look at, it could be good for you to look at it together. With my OH we laughed at some of the things, which he recognised had caused me to be irritated at times, but it also prompted a discussion about what help he could give/offer. However as @Robin says what I want from him changes with my BG levels.

T1 has been described as full time job with no holidays and not even the evenings off. At times it can feel like that. At the start (10 years ago) I was improving my control gradually, getting better at carb counting, adjusting for exercise, doing corrections and adjusting insulin for different types of foods, .... however I got to a plateau and realised it was not going to go away and this was it now. A new normal life. I found it hard at that time.

I was not onefor asking for help, you just get on with things and sort it out, which was frustrating for OH when I then had a melt down. we have now found a happy medium and I am more willing to tell him when I am fed up with it all, ask for help if having a big hypo,... it has taken time but it is a lot easier now that I am more honest.

I hope that is of some help
 

Els93

New Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Carer/Partner
@SB2015 thank you. That's all really helpful stuff, I will take it home and see what he thinks/if he agrees, that's a great way of generating discussion. I can imagine it's a horrible feeling to think you're trapped with it, similar with epilepsy but I can't imagine how tiring it is to have to inject/count etc all the time every day, you guys are amazing!

I think we're still finding the balance with asking/not asking. When he's got high BM I feel like I'm walking on egg shells because I notice the change in his behaviour and he's all irritable. He won't want to be touched but he doesn't tell me he feels high, he'll just move away-it feels a bit hostile and I have to keep reminding myself it's not him, it's his BM. He also HATES when I say 'do you think you need to check your blood sugar' and I can completely understand why so I try my best not to ask (I'd hate it if someone said that to me!) but selfishly it's rubbish when he's so irritable. Through no fault of his own, he's ruined a few lovely evenings out by being high and when I suggest he takes his BM, it sparks an argument and we can then bicker for the rest of the night about it. I don't know if there's any helpful tips about that and what I should/shouldn't say at that point??

Thanks for all your help!
 

HOBIE

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hiya!

My boyfriend was diagnosed with T1 diabetes last summer. It's been a tough old slog for him and he's come so far, I'm so proud of him. I myself have epilepsy. This can be a saving grace for us as a couple because if one of us is having a rubbish time with our condition we have some understanding about how hard it is to live with a long term condition and can support each other. Equally though, it can be a nightmare-if we're both in a bad place we don't have the energy to support the other person however hard we try and end up arguing. We have totally different ways of dealing with it-I'm a talker and he really isn't. I'm also a nurse and at first got a lot of 'don't be my nurse, be my girlfriend' so I try with all my might to step back and let him get on with it. The other day though, he had a meltdown about the fact nobody ever asks him how he's getting on with it all. I feel a bit like I can't win sometimes. Can anyone shed some light-has anyone been in a similar situation or can any diabetics shed some light on how you like partners/carers to support you?

Thank you in advance! x
Welcome ELS 93. You have your hands full. Good luck & pls keep at it :)
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
@SB2015 thank you. That's all really helpful stuff, I will take it home and see what he thinks/if he agrees, that's a great way of generating discussion. I can imagine it's a horrible feeling to think you're trapped with it, similar with epilepsy but I can't imagine how tiring it is to have to inject/count etc all the time every day, you guys are amazing!

I think we're still finding the balance with asking/not asking. When he's got high BM I feel like I'm walking on egg shells because I notice the change in his behaviour and he's all irritable. He won't want to be touched but he doesn't tell me he feels high, he'll just move away-it feels a bit hostile and I have to keep reminding myself it's not him, it's his BM. He also HATES when I say 'do you think you need to check your blood sugar' and I can completely understand why so I try my best not to ask (I'd hate it if someone said that to me!) but selfishly it's rubbish when he's so irritable. Through no fault of his own, he's ruined a few lovely evenings out by being high and when I suggest he takes his BM, it sparks an argument and we can then bicker for the rest of the night about it. I don't know if there's any helpful tips about that and what I should/shouldn't say at that point??

Thanks for all your help!
Ill think on this, and ask Oh how he found a way through it all, and get back to you.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Well you have to tell him - when he isn't high and grumpy - exactly what he's like when he is and most importantly for you - exactly how that makes you feel. He hasn't THE SLIGHTEST CLUE how it makes you feel - I've no idea how my husband feels either when I'm like that - because I haven't ever had a T1 wife, have I?

How the hell was I supposed to react when he was diagnosed with cancer then? It's all a learning curve, this Life thing, for all of us whatever age we happen to be or stage we've got to with whatever.

Communication between you is the key - but both of you have health challenges where it's a waste of the other ones time to try to discuss things - so make yourselves some sort of note of how you each felt when this or that happened - and sit down afterwards and discuss it with each other - and hear each other out, however much yes he does know you can't communicate when whatever - well, how would YOU like him to react when you have a problem and vice versa? How would he like you to react when he has a prob?

Incidentally my second husband who I've had for 20 years now, soon cottoned on to the inescapable fact that having Type 1 automatically turns people into absolute LIARS. He thinks I seem a bit strange so he asks if I'm alright. I answer Yes of course I am, why wouldn't I be? before because of his ruddy incessant nagging, just to shut the pain in the arse up, OK I'll test my blood - and a pound to a penny I'll have low blood glucose and need to treat the hypo - by which time he's handing me the Lucozade, the know all nuisance. I just do it now as soon as he says cos it's easier!

A few years back, I was on a Type 1 training course which was one day a week for 4 weeks, 10 of us, same people each time all sharing how we'd got on over the intervening period trying out on ourselves at home, what we'd been taught the previous week. One lady seemed to be having trouble understanding what we were all going on about this morning, which all 10 of us simply couldn't understand cos we all knew she'd understood it perfectly last Monday. After a bit of this, one of the nurses invited her out of the room and she went immediately. The other one asked us what we all thought had just happened? Clueless we were. She said - it was a demonstration that she agreed to help them with - she'd deliberately made her blood glucose plummet - because none of us had ever seen anyone else go hypo!

It was a damned good lesson for us to learn - you have no idea how you behave when your epilepsy catches up with you - and we don't witness how we behave when low or high, either!
 

SB2015

Forum Host
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
I agree with @trophywench that communication is key.
Just discussed with OH what helps and hw he feels about it.

I feel he helps because:

I never feel judged when things go wrong, as he knows that I am diong other best I can. Things just go wrong for no reason sometime and we just sort it.

When I hypo in the night he checked in and know that if I give him a figure below 3 I would prefer him to remain attentive, otherwise he is welcome to roll over and go back to sleep. I didn’t tell him this at the start and expected him to mind read!!

He is very practical. I found I was low when we were about to set off to walk to a party, as I had been rushing around getting stuff done. We simply switched to taking the car, which we left there and collected the next morning. Nothing seems to be a problem.

He has learnt to respond positively when I ask if he would like to see my graph on the Libre. He knows it will be a good one and responds appropriately.

Just keep talking, and as Jenny says, tell him how You feel about his behaviour, but choose when to do this.
 
Top