The Diabetic Partner Follies, Act 15: Walk a Mile in These Shoes

Welcome back to the Diabetic Partner Follies, where the partners of people with diabetes (PWDs) come to share. Michael has had a crash course in this disease since his wife was diagnosed, and it ain’t been pretty. Like so many others, he’s searching for some kindred spirits:


I am SO glad I found your site. It’s been a wonderful source of information and humor about PWD’s.

I’m the spouse of a 39-year old type 1 PWD. She had gestational diabetes with both of her pregnancies and developed type 1 about 1-2 years after having kids.

Mikelori When my wife was diagnosed, I knew next to nothing about this terrible disease and its effects. Five years later, she’s been hospitalized once for DKA, been through a handful of doctors and is developing foot problems.

I now know diabetes as an all-consuming, spontaneity-sucking, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week bummer. It’s hard to fathom how little support there is out there for PWD’s. A lot of my wife’s doctors don’t seem to get it. A lot of family don’t seem to get it. Even some friends don’t get it. I probably don’t fully get it either.

Sometimes I wish there was some way for people to ‘walk a mile’ in the shoes of a PWD — like putting on a prosthetic tummy or walking around blindfolded.

Maybe we could come up with a device that you could hook up to people that would alternatively make them feel tired, weak, hungry, combative, depressed, dizzy — and the user would have to adjust the device to try and feel better. Maybe that’s too harsh…

Anyway, thanks for providing a fun forum for information-sharing. I print out a lot of your posts and share them with my wife.

Best, Michael

Thanks, Michael. Glad to know that our community can be of help.


5 Responses

  1. Lauren
    Lauren July 4, 2007 at 6:24 pm | | Reply

    Speaking of putting yourself in another’s shoes … last night around 5 a.m. I woke up with one of those nocturnal lows that jolts you out of sleep. I must have looked like a complete madwoman: dishevelled, sweaty, shaking, basically a stunning picture of semi-conscious hypogylcemia. For some reason, I did not realize it was ME having the low. I don’t know if I’d been dreaming he also had diabetes, or if I was just delirious, but I offered my boyfriend the glucose tablets on my nightstand. When he refused I got angry and asked why he was picking a fight with me. My memory of the event is foggy, but I do recall feeling annoyed and frustrated at his pigheaded refusal to eat the glucose tabs. Fortunately he realized I was in trouble and coaxed ME, the real-life type 1 diabetic, into eating four tablets.

    From this, I’ve learned that nocturnal hypoglycemic episodes have the potential to be accompanied by disorientation and irrationality. Today is one day I’m especially grateful not to live alone. If I’d tried to force-feed glucose tablets to my teddy bear at 4 a.m., I would probably be missing quite a few more brain cells today.

  2. Vicki
    Vicki July 5, 2007 at 8:20 pm | | Reply

    If your type 1 wife has been in the hospital with DKA and is developing foot problems, clearly here insulin dosage needs adjusting. If her doctors don’t know how to help her, she needs to find one who does. These kinds of problems do not need to happen. I happen to know of an online diabetes list whose moderator, a retired diabetic engineer, has devised a formula that clearly works. I’ve been using his methods for 9 years as a type 1 diabetic and I’ve never experienced either DKA or any diabetes related problems.

  3. Linda B.
    Linda B. July 5, 2007 at 11:41 pm | | Reply

    One of the best things you can do is to educate yourself and ask questionsof every healthcare person that you all are dealing with. Your wife I would hope would want to educate herself on how to take care of the small issues that can come up daily as well as the larger issues that can develop down the road. In closing I would just like to say, in a lot of ways you are right about diabetes sucking and having to plan things out rather than being spontaneous and such,but, I have found over the years that you either let this take you over or you take controlover it. It took me twenty years, several complications and the loss of my child to finally learn this for myself. It was a long hard lesson to learn but I wouldn’t change the journey to where I am now for anything.
    P>S> If you both feel that you are not getting the answers or results you feel your doc should be giving you, try an endocrinologist and seeing a cde. Most GP and internists just don’t have the training to keep up with all the treatments and advances that are coming out all the time.Just a thought.

  4. michael
    michael July 10, 2007 at 8:44 am | | Reply

    thanks for the info and thoughts. vicky – i’d love to get the name/URL of the doctor you use. linda – thankfully, my wife now has a great GP and a strong endocrinologist, but it sure took a lot of switching to get there. lauren – i’ve become quite a fast short-order nocturnal crash cook. probably my best is PB&J, but i also do a mean cookies and milk.

  5. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell July 25, 2007 at 11:42 am | | Reply


    For a disease like the D, you really need to constantly educate yourself. No doctor or CDE can help you enough based on a 30 minute session once every few months. Diabetes blogs help a lot, as do sites such as where you can learn from others with diabetes.

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