57 Responses

  1. Beth
    Beth May 4, 2012 at 10:06 am | | Reply

    What a wonderful idea! I have been the wife of a T1 for 17 years, the mother of a T1 for 6 and a T1 myself for two years! The constant shifting of gears, know what is appropriate with whom and making sure everyone’s needs are met and dealing with my anger (about the disease/my loved one’s responses to taking care of it) is exhausting! Looking for any help that is available!

    1. FX Zavorski
      FX Zavorski May 5, 2012 at 7:52 am | | Reply

      I too, like the idea of etiquette card. I have a teenage son who was diagnosed 5 years ago and it has been a rocky road…up and down. every little bit of info helps. But I can tell you this, I am alot healthier since my family changed our eating habits for our son. In fact I lost 35 pounds and kept it off for the last two years (first two years were tough on me).

  2. sandy
    sandy May 4, 2012 at 1:44 pm | | Reply

    I am the wife of a type 1, diagnosed 32 years ago at the age of 6 months old, disabled from diabetic retinopathy, severe neuropathy and hypoglycemia unawareness. I never know what will come next, be it a high or low, and on top of that, when he will have a neuropathy attack. It is emotionally draining to see him in pain 24/7. I and to be on this rollercoaster. I am lucky to say he allows me to help him and we are a team, but it doesn’t make me worry any less.

  3. Larry
    Larry May 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm | | Reply

    This is a very interesting concept. My wife has been a Type 1 for almost 55 years and we have been married for almost 35 years. Our son is a Type 1 for 28 years. I have lots of experience as a Type 3 and much of what I know was taught to me by my wife and through trial and error experiences. Some of the things that stressed me out in the past don’t have that affect now. However, there are still things that do stress me out. One is when I am at work and try to contact my wife by phone, text and e-mail without success. My mind immediately starts racing with visions of her being too low to respond. I have experienced many instances in our earlier years of marriage where this happened and she was actually hypoglycemic and needed help. This happens much less now that she is on the pump and CMG and has great control. A second stresser is when we are out in a public restaurant and I recognize a low blood sugar, she denies it and won’t cooperate as I try to get something into her system to raise her glucose level. I look forward to responding to the questionnaire in the future.

    1. Jane
      Jane May 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm | | Reply

      Larry, My husband of 29 years has been a Type 1 for 50 years. My stressers are similar to yours. I work with my husband so I am with most of the time. But when he is out on a job site or riding his bicycle and doesn’t return when expected, I worry. I also do not ride with him driving if at all possible. On several occasions when he was driving and I recognized a low blood sugar, he would not pull over and let me drive!

    2. Sandy
      Sandy May 8, 2012 at 1:00 pm | | Reply

      I have the same fears about not being able to reach my husband by phone or text. He too now has a CGM which makes life much easier. Amazing how its the same for all of us.

  4. Shawn
    Shawn May 4, 2012 at 2:38 pm | | Reply

    I am the husband of an 18 year , insulin dependant, type 1 diabetic. The thing I hate the most about her diabetis, other than the obvious issues, is when she has to take insulin in a public setting. People are very rude. They make comments about her being a drug user, since thats what the public see’s more than the medical issue’s. thanks to the press. Or they say she shouldn’t eat in public if she needs to take shots. My wife usually ignores them . I am not so nice. I was just wondering if and when others have experienced this.

  5. Angela
    Angela May 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm | | Reply

    My husband was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 33. We weren’t married yet at the time, and it was a big life adjustment, as he had to monitor his eating and test his blood sugar levels / take insulin everyday. So much of what determines how his day will be (if it will be good or bad) depends on how his blood sugar level results are. If the numbers are good, it’s a good day. However, if the results aren’t what he expects, it impacts his mood and affects how I feel as well. He is extremely determined to eat the right foods and exercise to ensure that he can control his blood sugar levels, but sometimes it’s hard to understand why numbers aren’t what we expect, even if he seems to do everything right. I’m looking forward to this questionaire, as diabetes is still so new to us. I didn’t even know about “Type 3″ diabetes and the impacts on spouses, partners and family members, until I saw this article today. Thank you.

  6. Adam
    Adam May 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm | | Reply

    So…married to a type 1 (11 years) for 5 years and our four year old daughter diagnosed at 3 (the week before Christmas). Of course there’s the daily stuff, is everyone ok in the morning before I leave the house – an hour or two before they wake up, what kind of day will they have BG wise, etc.

    But we work very hard on communication and seem to do all right understanding and respecting the spaces we have to abide with and in. Still, it doesn’t stop the stress from building occasionally, and it does nothing about the guilt surrounding my daughter’s diagnosis – for both of us. Very different guilts, but all in, nonetheless.

    I worry about how hard she works to keep it all together.

  7. Sharon
    Sharon May 4, 2012 at 7:54 pm | | Reply

    My dh was diagnosed 29 years ago as Type 1. He was 24 and we’d been married not quite 4 years ago. It has been very difficult. He is brittle and doesn’t wake at night ever when having a reaction and sometimes isn’t aware of it during the day. Having glucagon has made life easier but 3-4 nighttime reactions a week was stressful in the 2 months he was on a diet/exercis weight loss plan he did without doctor’s advice or assist.

    It will be great to have someone to talk to!

  8. Kristin
    Kristin May 5, 2012 at 11:29 am | | Reply

    Great idea, adding a focus on type “3.” Are parents/siblings not included? Would be great if they could be.

  9. Kevin
    Kevin May 7, 2012 at 10:12 pm | | Reply

    Married to a T1D PWD for 10 years. Two biggest stressors: Handling emotional ups and downs that come with ups and downs of blood sugar readings, and (after one diabetic coma) wondering if she’s not waking up because she’s still asleep or because she’s low. In general I don’t believe diabetes educators or endos put enough emphasis on emotional treatment/support.

  10. janetL
    janetL May 8, 2012 at 6:42 am | | Reply

    Married 25 years to a type 1 who is now 60 years old and diagnosed 40 years ago. Been through so many stages, the issues stay the same but the behavior changes. Very interested in this study.

    Never enough attention paid to partners — its different than any other relationship!

  11. CJT
    CJT May 20, 2012 at 5:20 am | | Reply

    I’d be glad for some local support for spouses of PWD, but so far have not found any. My spouse has had T1 54 years, and does well most of the time managing it. When she has high sugars, for unknown reasons, she gets very mad at herself, and this is hard for me to watch and and respond in any way that calms her.
    Also hard for me is after being together 41 years, it is difficult for me to still be patient with all the ups and downs, the waiting for glucose to kick in during the lows, no matter what time of day or night, trying to explain what’s going on when she can’t think well. Then I get mad at myself for not being patient and understanding.

  12. Shari
    Shari May 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    My daughter is 31. She had type 1 diabetes a long time before we knew. Then she really got sick quickly. That was last year.

    She got great emergency care and then became a patient at the Mayo Clinic. She’s made a very successful turn-around.

    She really had a bad problem with depression, and she does slip back. Everybody in our family has a life-threatening illness. We thought she was the only healthy member of the family. The rest of us have coped with our illnesses for years – now she had to learn to cope too.

    We developed a system of full support. We don’t criticize or blame, and we tell her, never apologize. You feel like you feel and you don’t owe anybody anything.

    When she starts slipping, we stop immediately. We quietly calm down until it passes. I went to depression clinics myself. There’s a way to deal with it.

    You never accellerate the problem. As soon as you recognize you aren’t feeling well, or you feel sad or depressed, you stop doing whatever it is.

    You don’t ever place demands on yourself, or beat yourself up. No guilt trips.

    I’ll give you an example. We love to go out shopping and go to the movies. We loved going to Cheesecake Factory or dinner – we had to modify everything.

    So we get in the car, we head out – and suddenly my daughter starts crying. We pull the car over, and go sit somewhere nice and quiet – get a coffee and deal with it.

    In about an hour, she’s back. We used to turn the car around and go home. That’s a big mistake. Then she never gets to go shopping and the movies. We shorten our expectations, but we follow thru with our plans every time.

    If you put your life off over diabetes, you’re making a big mistake. This is what is going to lead to depression – because you’re not doing what you love.

    We’re actually moving across the country – and normally a move like this would be devestating – we turned it around to make it an adventure – she loves to travel – you have to have something that you love

    A change of scenery, a new sport, tickets to a show, even small things like movies – do something you love and it will pass. Sitting at home is the worst thing you can do.

  13. Chris
    Chris July 29, 2012 at 2:33 am | | Reply

    I am the wife of a 47 yo Type 2. My biggest daily stress is keeping my mouth shut when he makes unhealthy choices. My biggest long term stress is worrying about the future (or lack thereof) … hospitalizations, heart surgeries, disabilities, etc. because of the poor choices being made now.

    1. susan
      susan January 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm | | Reply

      Most of the responses so far have related to Type 1 diabetes and it seems to me that the issues are pretty different. Like Chris, I have a very hard time watching my husband eat bad foods, consume alcohol, and not exercise. It is like being the partner of an alcoholic or drug addict: he binges, then promises he has seen the error of his ways and is good for awhile. Then he falls off the wagon and the next thing you know, he is getting sluggish again, and irritable, and sleeping 12 or more hours out of 24. Do you nag? Ignore? Cajole? Bribe? I go to a support group every other week or so for spouses of people with some sort of chronic health problem and it helps a lot.

  14. Amy
    Amy August 13, 2012 at 12:13 am | | Reply

    Married to a type 1 who was diagnosed 26 years ago. We have been married for 5 years together 10. My biggest issue besides the low blood sugars (which is a huge problem) is the anger he seems to have. He seems to be mad that he is a diabetic. For me, I feel as though he should just get over it and deal with it. Having to deal with his anger on top of his hypoglycemia unawareness, takes a toll on me. I have 2 small children and I worry if I have to leave them with him in the am and I worry if he is okay at work and I stay up until 1am to make sure he gets home okay. He has been known to drive when his BS is at 40-60. I don’t know how he even functions.
    I worry about the future, with what could happen to him and in turn our family.
    Type 3 is something that is new to me, but makes complete sense, and if anyone has a way to talk to their spouse without having it turn into an argument please let me know.

  15. Mary, The Diabetes Lady
    Mary, The Diabetes Lady August 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm | | Reply

    I used to live with a T2D. My husband struggled and suffered from all the nasty affects of that disease including the angry outburst, fatigue, irritability, the neuropathy in his feet was severe and limited him from walking more than 75 feet at one time

    I still loved him but I didn’t like him any more. I couldn’t say good morning without wondering what kind of an attitude would come with his answer. He had absolutely lost his zest for life. And I had lost hi as a spouse, hest friend and lover.

    In 2003, we beat diabetes! We changed our lives. Began eating low carb. Within 3 months he came off of insulin, within 9 months he lost 80 pounds, with a year he walked in 2 5K races. The sleep apnea was gone, the neuropathy was gone. His energy levels are through the roof! Best of all within 2 weeks I could see and feels his personality returning.

    We put together a program to share what we learned and to show others how we beat diabetes. So many women came to me after our classes and would say to me, Mary you are telling my story! We actually started a new class that focused on the spouses of diabetics. We bring spouses together to share our story so they don’t feel alone. It is a huge burden. I know .because I lived with it/him for over 20 years.

    I am so happy to see this subject being addresses on this group

  16. Lori
    Lori September 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm | | Reply

    My husband has been a T1 for 34 years and we have been married 24 years. To say its stressful is putting it mildly. The lows are terrible. He is on disability because of hypoglycemia unawareness. When he was working there were times he wouldnt come home on time and I would find him still in the office with a bs in the 20s. He goes through periods where he seizes daily from the lows. Trying to juggle work, school, children and helping to keep him safe is draining. I often looked for support groups for families of diabetics but theres not much out there. I think this is a great idea

  17. Bo
    Bo October 15, 2012 at 10:31 pm | | Reply

    Married to a typ1, we have three small children 6, 3 and 8 months.

    My husband’s sugar is constantly off, two or three times a day, always on the way from high to low and back. He blames me, sais I cause stress so he can’t manage his bloodsugar.

    He uses insuline but he’s irresponsibly not adjusting his lifestyle to the disease. He takes out his moodswings on the 3 year old, who is a proper todler with temper tantrums. Oh ofcourse he takes them out on me too. It got so bad I had to cal the police twice. Now he’s no longer living in the house.

    I let him have supervsed visits with the kids, I haven’t left him allone with them for a long time even when he was living with us. I don’t know if I should ban him from the kids completly or try and work something out.

    He’s still in denial….

  18. Rose
    Rose October 23, 2012 at 2:31 pm | | Reply

    My partner of five years is a diabetic type one. It’s frustrating having to learn from him what to do if his blood sugar is too low or too high. I wish there were a class or workshop I could attend that would simulate a low blood sugar emergency and that had video examples of behaviors that suggest high or low blood sugar.

    I feel frustrated that he eats processed sugars and carbs to get his blood sugar up, I know that they are useful to bring the sugars up quickly but I don’t think that sugar is good for a person’s health in general and I want him to be as healthy as possible for his diabetes.

  19. Sharon
    Sharon October 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm | | Reply

    Hey there again! We have had a really bad month – 911 was called 3 times, though it was cancelled twice. We have had 2 injuries, resulting in 7 cracked ribs, a sprained shoulder, and 5 stitches in the forehead. The endo and primary really don’t seem to think it is a big deal. How many of you go to doctor appointments with your sweetie?

  20. Frank
    Frank November 26, 2012 at 4:13 am | | Reply

    I’m in my mid twenties, partner of 5 years same with type 1. She was diagnosed really late so has had a hard time accepting it. Sometimes the moods are too much for me to handle. I find myself arguing back even though I know it’s her sugar levels making her like that, but then I get upset with myself for being mean, and then I just get angry both at the disease and my partner’s lack of control over it. It’s a cycle that’s hard to break even after consciously trying to.

    It’s also a real challenge to find the patience needed sometimes. I feel like I can never understand it fully and any attempt I make to suggest healthier eating or more frequent insulin will always end in a fight.

    I think the idea of the social media group is good, my partner was unlucky to get type 1 but that doesn’t mean she has to go through it alone. I love her a lot and if I can better cope with my stress it will help her progress.

    This disease shouldn’t exist any more, the day when type 1 is cured will be a good one.

  21. Crystal
    Crystal November 28, 2012 at 6:03 am | | Reply

    I’m in my mid-twenties as well, married 7 months to a husband diagnosed 19 years ago (at the age of 9) with Type 1. I have had no prior experience ever with any form of diabetes, and have had to learn a lot in the two years we’ve been together. In those two years, he has been so low he has not been responsive three times (each time I was able to get some food/orange juice in him and he came out of the low). And he has been low enough to be belligerent (grouchy, moody, yelling, throwing clothes, etc) less than 5 times.

    It took me a few experiences to understand when he was “angry” and yelling during a low, he wasn’t mad at me. I have come to think of it as his body knowing something is wrong, and him pushing everyone and everything away from him as a way for it to protect itself. He never remembers throwing things, or digging for random things in the kitchen cabinets. He doesn’t remember if his actions are making no sense. He always “comes back” to me in 15 – 30 minutes, if he’s had a glass of juice. And then he asks me for forgiveness.

    My biggest problem is that I have no one to confide in who understand what I go through. I can handle and rationalize his “outburst” during lows, and he would never ever harm me, but my fear is for when we have children, if they will understand what their daddy is going through.

    He understand and manages his diabetes well, and has no physical complications or disabilities (he’s a diesel mechanic and construction supervisor). I feel as if I need support more than he does. I am a problem solver by nature, and I hate feeling helpless. The questionnaire would be most helpful, and I think it is a great idea.

    (Post Script: Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and experiences.)

    1. Tara
      Tara December 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm | | Reply

      I am 27, married to a 31 year old who has had it since childhood. Much of your story is similar to mine. We are expecting our 4th child, and so in regards to that, I wouldn’t worry to much about it. They can actually use that as a motivator to control their diabetes better, i think. My oldest is 7 and if dad is feeling ‘off’ either direction, I can usually pick up on it (him being more ‘edgy’ than normal, etc.) and I will pull my son off quitely and explain that daddy’s blood sugar is off and he doesn’t feel good and my son doesn’t take it too personally. We all kind of let it roll off our backs, in a way. We are a very humourous family, we will make lots of jokes on both ends and it keeps things light hearted. (i’ll joke that he needs some juice, he’ll tell me to check my blood, etc….) best wishes, and there are many others out there with ‘T3!’

  22. Sharon
    Sharon November 28, 2012 at 8:07 pm | | Reply

    Crystal, it sounds like your husband has really good control (or is high often) if he has had so few reactions. I hope it’s the former, not the latter. Regarding kids, mine handled it in Totally opposite ways. My older daughter wanted to be the one who called the ambulance and to show them down the hall. The younger one said she would ‘take the dog to the back’ and would hide With the dog until danger was past. Hubby was dangerous with them sometimes. Once, he put one girl headfirst into the trashcan. My daughter, now a mom, will not allow her dad to stay alone with our grandson because of this history. BTW, she now is LADA (type 1) and dr. says diabetes passes from the father’s side.

    1. Tara
      Tara December 6, 2012 at 11:23 pm | | Reply

      I am 27, married to a 31 year old who has had it since childhood. Much of your story is similar to mine. We are expecting our 4th child, and so in regards to that, I wouldn’t worry to much about it. They can actually use that as a motivator to control their diabetes better, i think. My oldest is 7 and if dad is feeling ‘off’ either direction, I can usually pick up on it (him being more ‘edgy’ than normal, etc.) and I will pull my son off quitely and explain that daddy’s blood sugar is off and he doesn’t feel good and my son doesn’t take it too personally. We all kind of let it roll off our backs, in a way. We are a very humourous family, we will make lots of jokes on both ends and it keeps things light hearted. (i’ll joke that he needs some juice, he’ll tell me to check my blood, etc….) best wishes, and there are many others out there with ‘T3!’

  23. Tara
    Tara December 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm | | Reply

    My husband has had T1 for about 26 years (diagnosed at age 6). We have been married for 4 years now, and it quite the learning curve for me in the beginning. I also have that fear always lingering in the back of my head (he works a night shift and if he’s not home when I wake up in the middle of the night my first thought is if he got low and it crashed in a ditch somewhere). Now with the political/medical changes up ahead, I am worried about his work health coverage, and market prices on insulin. Maybe Canada? Yikes, its expensive!!! Thanks for thinking of us T3′s, who are the silent martyrs sometimes…

  24. Tara
    Tara December 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm | | Reply

    meant to leave comment for girl above this sorry

  25. kristin
    kristin December 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | | Reply

    Wife of a T1 for 3 years, together for 6. we have a 2 year old daughter and my main concerns revolve mostly around her. biggest fear is she will also be T1 but also when he is home alone with her and falls asleep or drops low and he is unreachable. VERY SCARY! causes me a lot of stress to worry all the time. feel like i can never go away for a night without worrying. so happy to see this group. wish there was more information out there about pre-diagnosis or the statistics of kids getting it. thanks

  26. Sharon
    Sharon December 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm | | Reply

    To Kristen: This is not going to help. My husband is Type 1, acquired at 24. Our younger daughter, acquired at age 26 but she has LADA (sometimes called type 1.5). Her specialist said it is more often inherited from the dad than the mom. They have the same body type, including large weight gain at age 8. I had gestational diabetes with her; she weighed 10-5. She had gestational when pg with her son. Specialist says it was probably misdiagnosed and was LADA at that time.

  27. Kristin
    Kristin December 11, 2012 at 8:24 am | | Reply

    so after some research yesterday i found a site that seems promising. They prescreen for an autoantibody and they are working on a preventative cure. good read for anybody who has kids that might be worried…

  28. Suz
    Suz December 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm | | Reply

    My husband, who has Type 1 diabetes, asked me to fill this survey out 7 months ago, and I’ve avoided it because I feel like anything I said would indicate that I’m a bad wife. I get stressed out by two things: 1) I feel a twinge of discomfort when I feel his CGM sensor. It startles me that there is something attached to his body that he needs. The first time it was a bit like disgust. 2) I also feel guilty because I sleep through almost all of his nighttime hypos. I may have woken up three times over 5 years together. What can I say, I’m a deep sleeper, although I suspect, if he were my child, I would wake up more frequently.

  29. Danielle
    Danielle December 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm | | Reply

    I am 28 years old and married to a 27 year old wonderful man who has had Type One diabetes since he was 17. I semi knew what I was getting into as far as the diabetes as my dad (also wonderful) has had type one diabetes since he was in his twenties.

    There are so many frustrating things about diabetes that it is hard for me to even begin. I guess what is the most frustrating is that there is not yet a cure. For a world with technology that is off the charts high tech and billions of dollars spent each day, I find it odd that there is STILL no cure for this disease that affects so much of the world. I HATE this disease.

    My husband’s A1C usually stays well; however, at our last appointment we were discouraged that the number is not looking so good. We know we have to make some major changes- as a family! It is hard to do though. I hate the lows and highs and how much they make every day life such a roller coaster. We have our good days and bad days and I am madly in love with my husband, that’s what makes it so hard to see. I wish the world understood the difference between the different types of diabetes. I love the idea of support for spouses of people with diabetes. I do not think anyone actually realizes the strange situations/stress that we face on a daily basis. I often feel like a live in nurse- but it is worth it to share my life with my man.

  30. Hilary
    Hilary December 30, 2012 at 9:59 am | | Reply

    My mother is a T1, diagnosed 20 years ago. Although I don’t live with her, I am very aware of her lows and what can happen, whether its a full blown seizure or a low BG ” episode”. She is very private about her diabetes which makes things difficult for me and my other family members. The things that scare me the most are her sudden drops and their results. Fortunately, she’s never has a seizure when she was alone, but she’s experienced bad lows while alone. I really need a resource like this, particularly to help me better understand how to help and also to help me with my sadness.

    1. Mary The Diabetes Lady
      Mary The Diabetes Lady January 8, 2013 at 7:55 am | | Reply

      Hilary – I feel your pain at watching your mom keep her diabetes “very private” It really is her form of denial about her condition. It must be very difficult for you to care so much about your mom and deal with the fact that she lives alone, has low blood sugar episodes and does not seem to want to discuss or do anything to change her situation. My husband suffered with Type 2 diabetes for over 20 years and was on insulin. It was difficult to deal with all the ensuing issues. It does, indeed, create sadness as we feel so helpless. What you need to do is come to terms with the fact that the only person you can change is you. Until my husband decided that he would take responsibility for his diabetes, not blame but responsibility and do what he needed to do, there was nothing I could do to help him either. Once he made that decision back in 2003, life changed significantly for both of us. He lost 100 pounds, came off of insulin, came off of pain medication, eliminated severe, painful neuropathy in both his feet and so much more. The point is I had developed a program from my research and reading that I KNEW could help him. I had to wait nearly a year before he was ready. You can make helpful suggestions, you can be there as much as possible for your mom and do everything you know how to help her however, ultimately the decision to change and to share her journey to wellness lies within her — not you. You are a loving, caring daughter and your mom is blessed to have you. Take care of yourself and remember the only person you can change is you.

      1. Hilary
        Hilary February 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm | | Reply

        Thank you, Mary. Fortunately my mom doesn’t live alone. My father is there and helps a lot. He has become more in tune with what she needs and recognizing low blood sugar moments. I do know that the only person I can change is myself and sometimes I just need a bit of reassurance. So thank you for your kind words; it really did help me!

  31. Julie
    Julie January 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm | | Reply

    My husband and I were married in October and he was just diagnosed type 1 two days ago. He is in total denial and I don’t know what to do. I threw away all the junk food and bought a cookbook. I’ve been up all night learning everything I can about diabetes but he just doesn’t want to hear it. I don’t want to be the police but I just don’t know how to act. I love him so much and I’m so scared.

    1. Carol
      Carol February 23, 2013 at 8:15 am | | Reply

      I feel so bad for you. Is he open to counseling?

  32. Carol
    Carol February 23, 2013 at 8:14 am | | Reply

    Wow. Sad stories from many of you. I’m not sure either to feel better or worse about my life being married to a type 1 diabetic for almost 26 years. I’m not perfect, but this relationship has not been easy. He has been placed on a gluten and dairy free diet by a nutritionist recently, and though his high blood sugars have definitely been helped, he seems to get his typically low blood sugar moodiness when it’s not that low. This am it was 84. He wouldn’t get out of bed, then when he did, he was disoriented and went back to bed without testing. He had trouble turning on the tv. I finally got him to test and 84 is what it was. He can be so mean. A couple of weeks ago, during one of these lows, he smashed his alarm clock to a million pieces. He thought it wouldn’t turn off. It was his breathing machine ( C PAP) that was still on. Over the years, I have dealt with extreme lows and scary behavior, but with this diet, it is getting worse. He is going to his diabetic doctor this week. I almost want to go to make sure he is being honest. Any advice or comments?

  33. Sharon Sparks
    Sharon Sparks February 23, 2013 at 6:49 pm | | Reply

    Carol, if you are able, you should go. Diabetes affects you almost as much as him. I think the diet impacts carbs, especially fast acting ones (glycemic index). Also, take his meter to the doctor. It may not be working right. Good luck.

  34. mary flaig
    mary flaig March 4, 2013 at 7:52 am | | Reply

    I have been with my husband for 16 years, but only married since September. He was diagnosed with Type 1 at 17 and is now 70. Throough numerous struggles with different insulins, etc. he is still working. Our life is controlled by the disease and I am afraid to be away from him when he’s at home alone due to several very scary incidents…The anxiety that goes along with this illness can be overwhelming…the limitations can be isolating for any partner or family member.

  35. Scott
    Scott March 9, 2013 at 8:13 pm | | Reply

    Hi Everyone,
    A few words of encouragement and advice. You are clearly loving partners of your diabetic spouses/family. My wife was diagnosed as Type 1 at age 19 and we married a few years after (going on 23 years of marriage now). She was fragile and her Medtronic Insulin Pump has made life easier for her, but she still gets lows and highs.

    1. See a specialist on diabetes. Every doctor THINKS he/she knows diabetes, but only experts really do. Family physicians and ER docs mean well, but often do more harm than good. Find a specialist and attend your partner’s appointments with him/her. It is a partnership.

    2. Remain calm during episodes of low/high. It can be hard to do this and can be very stressful. Train yourself to take deep breaths and relax when it happens. The WORST that can happen on lows is that your partner will pass out and you can give him/her a Glucagon shot to bring him/her out. (If he/she is driving, etc., obviously it could be worse, but remaining calm is the best way to handle that, too).

    3. Remind yourself that your partner is not her/himself during lows/highs. My wife can be a complete witch. She has bitten me, spit on me and said very nasty things over the years, and it can be tough to remain calm; I admit I have come close to punching her in the mouth quite a few times. If you get angry walk away for a few minutes and compose yourself. When her blood sugar returns to normal, she is the woman I adore. It is not her fault and it is not fair, but it is simply a fact of our lives. When your partner is recovered (maybe after a few hours or the next day), talk to him/her and let him/her know that it was difficult and stressful for you. Be honest and know that he/she may feel guilty about it.

    4. ALWAYS keep a snack handy at home, in the car, in purse/pocket, and make sure he/she has snacks at work. Orange juice works best for us at home. Twizzler type fruit snacks or mentos with sugar are handy on the go. A real Coke or Pepsi is a quick fix on road trips. For deep low crashes (usually night time) sometimes squirt bottles like chocolate syrup are the only thing I can get in clenched teeth. Keep sugary snacks in your glove boxes. It is very stressful to get caught on a lonesome highway with no snacks.

    5. Keep a Glucagon shot somewhere convenient and know how to use it. I have resorted to this very rarely, but if she gets so low that I cannot get anything in her mouth, a shot in her arm brings her out.
    6. Know how to SUSPEND (pause/stop) the insulin pump if he/she uses one and do this at first sign of a low. You don’t want more insulin counteracting the juice! Remember to turn it back on so he/she doesn’t go high and feel miserable.

    7. Treat a low appropriately, remember that sugar takes about 15 minutes to work. Sometimes, we tend to overtreat a low. Too much can shoot the blood sugar sky high and that feels just plain miserable.

    8. Eat healthy yourself. Do not tempt your partner by eating unhealthy or sugared foods. Because my wife is Type 1, we have very little sugary foods or drinks in our lives, and we are a very healthy family as a result. Eating and cooking has become a hobby. Read ingredients carefully, stay away from sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other hidden sugars at the grocery and restaurants. Exercise together, even if it is an evening walk. Typical American lifestyles are TERRIBLE for diabetics (and non-diabetics!). A good diet, sleep, and regular exercise are GREAT for managing blood sugar.

    9. Manage stress (both of you). Stress can really screw up blood sugar. And if you are stressed, your partner will be, too (sometimes without realizing it). Pay attention and eliminate stress where you can. Easier said than done, but if you want easy, marry someone else.

    10. We have two kids and both know the situation and how to deal with it. They will follow your lead and act exactly like you do. If you are calm and teach them to pay attention to the signs and what to do, they just accept it as normal. No big deal. Mom’s low, I’ll get her some juice. If she gets too low I’ll call Dad. If Dad doesn’t answer, I can keep calm and call 911.

    11. Talk, talk, talk to your partner and be completely honest with each other. He/she needs to treat you with appropriate care, too! Because you are awesome!

    Much love to all partners and family/friends of Diabetics reading this! You are doing a good job! Thank you to the Administrators of the site; I appreciate you!

  36. Sarah
    Sarah April 22, 2013 at 7:14 am | | Reply

    My name is Sarah and I have been with my partner only 5 months. He is a type 1 diabetic. I find it of great concern that my partner is very open with me and won’t discuss his diabetes in depth with me. He often thinks I’m trying to tell him what to do or I’m being judgemental and nagging him. I unfortunately don’t understand his condition very well as a result.

    The thing about his diabetes that upsets me more than anything is his hypoglycaemic fits/seizures. He has had 4 in the past 5 months and they are taking a massive toll on my mental health. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and the fact that he keeps fitting in his sleep has made me scared to sleep next to him at night. I’m so paranoid he will have a seizure that I’m not sleeping, I wake him up if I have any sign he is going low. I don’t want to sleep in the same bed as him anymore because of the toll his fits are taking on my health. I cry for days afterwards, I find it so difficult to get any rest and I just want him to get better and have them stop. But I know that’s not going to happen, he will always be at risk of going low. I just don’t know how to cope better..

    That’s the two things I find the hardest.


    1. Kristin
      Kristin April 22, 2013 at 7:18 am | | Reply

      Hi Sarah. I feel your pain and just want you to know that I am constantly worrying! I have a 3 year old and worry when she is home alone with him when I leave in the mornings that he wont wake up and have a seizure. This is going to be a struggle for as long as you are together. I agree though, its very scary!


  37. Shawna
    Shawna May 21, 2013 at 1:20 pm | | Reply

    My husband is type 1 and was diagnosed when he was 10. We have been together for 3 1/2 years, married almost 1. He is very overweight and just keeps gaining. His doctor scolds both of us every time we go for his 3 month check ups. He asks me why I’m not doing more to help him. Believe me, I am trying!! I have never seen someone eat so many candybars. His protions are out of control. He refuses to exercise. Then he cries telling me how scared he is that he is going to die soon due to his diabetes. I don’t know what to do to help him deal with the emotions surrounding the disease. It is very taxing and now I’m scared to lose my husband, and worried about how this affects my kids also.

  38. Rudy
    Rudy May 31, 2013 at 3:07 pm | | Reply

    My wife has multiple medical issues including type 1 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, frequent GI bleeds and just last month went into septic shock with a body temp of 94, acute kidney failure, and another bleed that required a transfusion. This was the 3rd time she was in a coma since 07. I also tend to panic when I can’t get a hold of her while I’m at work. She is my life partner and I can’t imagine being without her. My biggest fear is that I’m going to lose her, I’ll come home from work one day and she’ll be gone. She’s only 48. I would have lost her last month if my daughter didn’t happen to spend the night and was there to call an ambulance.

  39. Jenny
    Jenny July 31, 2013 at 6:36 am | | Reply

    This thread has helped me a lot. My husband just got diagnosed of type 2 diabetes. I thinks he is still coming to terms with it. I share the same feelings and worries as the people have posted. I am trying to find the most appropriate approach to create a positive and encouraging environment. It is becoming harder to snap him out of a negative mood ( wants to be left alone, isn’t smiling at all). Any book or blog that have encouraging stories about beating diabetes and keeping life normal would really help.

  40. Roseanne
    Roseanne August 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm | | Reply

    My retired husband always had numerous hypos when he was young and in a stressful job as an executive manager for a large computer firm. Now retired, he has started to have them again, and I cannot cope with his difficult behaviour, that is, his refusal to take action, when I recognise he is “low”, his moodiness, and anger when I’m not feeling at my best either, and I have frankly, had enough. Outwardly I’m a coper, and carry on with my life regardless, but as I have to endure other family problems, and feel very stressed out, with no-one to unburden myself to, I’m beginning to feel ill, with lack of sleep, and worry. Any words of comfort and advice would be much appreciated. Thank you. Roseanne xx

  41. Alison
    Alison November 16, 2013 at 3:19 pm | | Reply

    All I can say is wow! For so long I have felt like nobody else knows what it’s like to love and be loved by a T1. I want to thank everyone for sharing their experiences here and to just say me too.

  42. Suzie
    Suzie November 22, 2013 at 5:36 pm | | Reply

    I am reading these posts and have tears streaming down my face. I feel so alone as I do not comprehend how to help my T2 husband who is in serious denial of his condition. We married 2 years ago and I love him completely, however he is moody, irritable, bullying, belligerent, and suffering badly due to poor lifestyle choices..drinks way too much alcohol on a daily basis and reluctantly does minimal exercise. I try to balance the diet choices but it is difficult to feed a 42yo man that fights every step of the way. I know he loves me but I feel so lost, isolated and thinking that I have made a mistake. perhaps his demons are too much for me to manage. He last night told me that he doesn’t want to try and kick his addictions (including smoking) as he will die anyway so what’s the point. He has no energy, no interest in fun stuff, our intimate life has all but halted, and he is intent on slowly self destructing in front of me. I have talked to his diabetes specialist and the response was to just support him, and it will all be fine. His anxieties prohibit him from functioning effectively in our small business and I have shouldered a massive workload there too. Anxiety attacks also stop him from going to shopping centres and other public places. PLEASE can anyone help me with REAL advice. I do not want to walk away from him as I truly love him, but it is hard to like him when he doesn’t even like himself.

  43. Karen
    Karen March 15, 2014 at 6:21 am | | Reply

    Two things I find stressful is living on edge not knowing what mood my husband will come home in.
    Having to check and ask if he checked blood sugar because I know he won’t bother.
    We have recently been through a domestic violence incident which was both out faults because of the pressure of everyday living and diabetis type one.
    This has ruined every thing the police took my husband and I’m we are not allowed to tAlk or go near each other, until the end of April the incident took place on the 28th of jan 2014. I have tryed my hardest to get the police to stop the charge against him and they won’t listen. I’m so depressed and my husband is waiting to have the diabetis pump fitted so he can take better control of type 1.
    Every thing seems to be on hold in our lives waiting to see if he will get a conviction and then he will loose his job that he has worked so hard to get to the top, when it was tit for tat because we both so stressed.

    Thanks for listening

    Karen xx

  44. Julie
    Julie April 30, 2014 at 12:15 am | | Reply

    Wow! I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is that I found this forum, and I know I am not alone! I am married to a Type 1 diabetic, has been diabetic for 40 years. We have been married 26 years. There have been so many low scares! We have a lot of children. I can’t leave the kids alone with him because I don’t know if he will have a low episode and either be dangerous or put the children in a position that they will have to call an ambulance. He once put a pan of oil on the stove (when I wasn’t home) to heat so he could fry potatoes. He then sat down on the couch and fell asleep and the kitchen caught fire. He once drove with low blood sugar when the children and I were all in the car. He wouldn’t pull over, so I had to call the police on my cell phone. The kids were terrified, and I now do not allow my husband to drive with the kids in the car. When his blood sugar gets back to normal he can’t remember what happened, so it’s no big deal to him. So he thinks I am just being mean when I don’e allow him to be alone with kids or drive the kids. He gets mad at us and won’t believe that he did what we said he did. He blamed the fire on my daughter. He once passed out and hit his head, and told his family that our son beat him up. The behavior during the low episodes is stressful enough, having to convince his family that we are not out to get him is also extremely stressful! I honestly felt like I was the only one going through this…this forum has opened my eyes to the fact that I am not alone! Until now, my in-laws pretty much had me convinced that I was the worse wife ever!

  45. bella
    bella June 8, 2014 at 8:22 pm | | Reply

    Living with my type1 partner for 14 years diagnised 5 years ago but at times indenial. Is very moody and aarrogant most of the time. He does not like being any questions and is at times so hard on the kids. When in bad mood I make sure the kids are far from him because they do not understand. My hardest part is that he has started putting on a lot of weight and does not want to exercise or even go for a walk. What can I do?

  46. Candi
    Candi October 29, 2014 at 10:13 am | | Reply

    Thank you so much for this. I take comfort in knowing i”m not alone.
    My husband is in total denial of his T1. he was diagnosed late in life at age 58. I try my best to support him in every way I can but find it really hard. he just commented that we have nothing in common anymore. after 37 years of marriage. he’s angry at me all the time for trying to get him to eat right and exercise more. i love him so much but cry all the time…even the dog feels bad.
    I know I still have so much to learn.. its so hard. thank you for all the other comments, it really helps.

  47. Julie
    Julie November 15, 2014 at 11:12 am | | Reply

    Very glad to find this discussion string. I live with and am engaged to marry a man with Type 2. He is starting to show early warning signs of kidney complications, which has scared me a lot. I am also pre-diabetic. Decided we need to work out a plan together to get better control over his diabetes and prevent me from getting it. Looking for information and resources to do this.

    I do relate to a lot of the comments about fear and anger, not wanting to be a nag, etc. Hoping that the two of us doing the same diet and exercise plan together will work.

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