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September 13, 2006

Comments

c

I'm also a Type I diabetic, and so I thought I'd chime in, because I feel frustrated sometimes when people talk about diabetics like we are all the same (not saying you are, JW). But the disease is various and manifests differently.

One of the things my husband does best is NOT to nag me. He respectfully does not hover over me when I'm testing my blood sugar. He knows that I'm not someone who would react well to being "monitored" by him--I suspect a lot of people feel the same. He is also very good at understanding that I know my disease better than he does; he never questions what I should or shouldn't eat.

Also, FWIW, not everyone gets angry or emotional during insulin reactions. I never have, and I have had bad ones. I do get discombobulated. I tend to ramble. But it's pretty subtle; most people would not notice it. I would be irritated, though, if my real anger were written off as a blood sugar issue. It's also good to know that the symptoms of hypoglycemia can change.

I personally think a spouse should know how to administer a glucagon injection, be willing to travel with glucose sources, should pay attention any time his/her partner acts strangely during sleep (an insulin reaction is almost always treatable when awake; it's much more dangerous, as I learned the hard way, when it happens when you're sleeping), be patient and understanding and don't let anything interfere with your spouse getting what s/he needs when s/he says "my blood sugar's low," and--I think most importantly--respect the level of involvement or distance your spouse might want from you. I personally feel that it is my body, and I would not want to be policed by my husband at all. That's not how I want him to view me.

My husband has hypoglycemia, and he has always gotten cranky when his blood sugar was low (though it never gets as low as a diabetic's--I know bc we have tested). When he was a kid, his parents, realizing the blood sugar problem, subsequently took it too far and commanded him to eat food every time he expressed anger. It was like they couldn't realize he might really be angry and not just in need of medical attention. I can't imagine how frustrating that must have been. So, just like you don't want your bad mood to be written off to PMS, I suggest being careful sometimes about assigning the cause of a diabetic's frustration or anger. It might really be frustration or anger!

Wow, I had a lot more to say about this than I thought. Thanks for the little pulpit, JW!

Jenny

This was very interesting. Having a friend who is type 1 and me being type 2 we always make sure to distinguish.

But even though I am not insulin dependent I relate to alot of what you said. I have had questions of why do you take soo much medication by kids/adults, I always tell them real reasons. Conor helps alot with trying to recognize the signs of the hypo-I get to about >70 and start to sweat and loose it. I will have anxiety attacks at the drop of a hat if trending low. It is nice to have someone trying to recognize and watch if there is something gonig on.

Diabetes is a terrible disease and I hope they continue to research and find a cure/solution for type 1.

-Jenny

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