Being that November is Diabetes awareness month I’ve seen some great campaigns geared towards raising awareness and improving life with Type 1. There’s also an amazing Diabetic Online Community (DOC for those in the know) allowing PWD’s (people with diabetes) to share daily stories and struggles that no one else can truly understand, unless they are living it as well.
So I would like to take a moment and talk about Type 1 from the spouses perspective.
When I first met Stephen, I knew the basic facts about Diabetes, and what I didn’t know I googled. I knew that dating him would be very different from any of my past boyfriends since he had adapted a very strict diet to allow himself to have tighter control of his Blood Glucose (BG). It was going to be an entirely new experience and I had two options: learn how to adapt to his lifestyle or be with someone else.
I don’t give up that easily.
So what exactly do I have to adapt/deal with when I don’t even have it? It can all be summed up into two things: Fear and Guilt.
Every day I fear the big things, some days I fear the little things.
He has a D. Emergency around people that have no idea 1. that he’s diabetic or 2. what they are doing.
He has an extreme low in the middle of the night and I don’t wake up in time to help him.
He has a low on a climb and isn’t able to correct quickly enough.
He develops another chronic illness /”complication” associated with Type 1.
He has a day where no matter what he does right, his BG is still high (thus putting him in a bad mood).
Every day I have to deal with guilt, because no matter how much I read or how hard I try, I will NEVER understand what he goes through everyday minute of everyday.
On the occasions where we go out, I feel guilty if I forget to bring a larger purse to carry his insulin, meter and glucose tabs in. When I’m indulging my sweet tooth I feel guilty that I’m eating something that he can’t freely have with out shooting up. When I get mad that I want to go out for Italian and we can’t because it doesn’t leave him with many menu options, I feel guilty for not being sensitive. I feel guilty every time he has to explain to someone why he won’t eat that, or why he’s not drinking while I’m just being carefree in what I do without having to give any thought to what is going on with my BG at the moment. I feel especially guilty the mornings I wake up to find out he had a terrible nights sleep because his sugar was high while I slept soundly next to him.
I feel guilty everyday that no matter how much I tell him his struggles are my struggles, there is nothing I can do.
Here’s a picture from 4 years ago: