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[IP] dating and diabetes

Well, for what its worth, here’s my take on dating.  
When I was in college, people that I casually dated
probably never knew I was diabetic.  Although it does
NOT reflect my current views on my diabetes, I felt
that being a diabetic was a personal issue.  Of course
if it was relevant to a topic, I would mention it, but
I never saw a reason to really bring it up.  I was
bulimic for about 2 years, and although that
experience taught me many valuable life lessons, I
never went on a date and mentioned that either.  
When it came to serious relationships, I obviously was
forthcoming about being diabetic.  Of course, I didn’t
mention every possible thing that could ever happen to
me as a diabetic, but I also wasn’t going to be
spending the rest of my life with this person either. 
I also didn’t have the best choice of men either.  The
worst of all the ex-boyfriends turned out to be
“dabbling” in heroin (I heard this about a year after
we broke-up), and aside from the fears about my own
well-being, I was terribly upset that he could have
been stealing syringes from me.
During my senior year of college, I decided to do my
thesis on a non-invasive glucose monitor and insulin
distribution system (I was an Industrial
Design/Architecture major).  Well, doing your thesis
on a topic so close to your heart, certainly forces
you to deal with a lot of issues about being diabetic.
 It also brought up a lot of experiences from my
childhood (dx 6yrs old) that I’d never really thought
about (i.e. I believed cotton candy was really made
out of cotton until I was 22 years old…ouch, ummm
thanks Dad).  Sorry, a little off the topic, but the
point is, I started dating Andrew (current boyfriend)
the beginning of my senior year.  He learned a lot
about diabetes because he was in my thesis class. 
During the research part of my thesis we actually
watched the Minimed promotional pump video (I remember
saying I could never handle being “attached” to
something…ooooooh the irony).  Anyway, I never thought
we’d date beyond college and almost 4 yrs later, we’re
still together!  For our second dating anniversary, I
had the brilliant idea to spend the weekend in
Syracuse (where we met).  He was acting very distant
for about a week before and said he was having second
thoughts about our relationship.  Great huh? He kept
saying we were very different and he needed time to
himself…needless to say I was a wreck.  So I had
already put a deposit at the hotel so we went…the
first few hours he spent pointing out all our
differences (religion, upbringing,etc).  He said there
were things he couldn’t tell me.  So we pretty much
decided to go our separate ways, but I had to know
what he couldn’t tell me.  So after a lot of prying,
he admitted that although we had other problems, he
was really scared about my being diabetic!!!!   After
dating me for 2 years he dropped that on me, this had
always been my biggest fear, so I went into
I-am-diabetic-hear-me-roar-mode!  I told him all my
fears about health (most of which he knew) and how I
occasionally wondered how god forbid would he deal
with it some day.  I told him what kind of person I
thought he was for letting fear rule his heart.  I let
him know that if I walked, he would always regret it
since he was crazy about me, and I went on and on. 
Then I told him this was ok with me, and even though I
was sad and crying, I didn’t want to be with someone
who was scared and that I hoped he found someone who
was perfect and didn’t mind that he had asthma (hey
someone might see THAT as a flaw) and I hoped his
future perfect kids never got sick, cause then he’d
have to throw them away too!  I told him if he ever
got in a car accident, his friends might not like him
any more because they couldn’t deal with it, and
wouldn’t that be a shame?  I told him how I always
thought he was the most open-minded person I’d ever
known, but that he was a sham.  Oh I went on and on
for hours.  Yeah, I made him cry and we decided to go
back to NYC.  He got out of the car to get gas, and I
got out and gave him the most passionate kiss I’ve
ever given anyone and told him he knew in his heart
he‘d never be happy without me and he said I was
right.  We decided to start over.  He got involved in
things involving diabetes, I introduced him to my
doctors.  He realized that nothing in life is
guaranteed except death.  It took us a LONG time to
work through these things, but his admitting his fears
and getting it out in the open forced us to grow. 
God, I just burst out into tears in my office while
typing this.  Years have past since this episode and
he has witnessed my switch to Humalog (lots of ups and
downs), dealt with numerous eye lasers, been awakened
at 2 and 4 am when I check my blood, and now my switch
to the pump.  Since that trip to Syracuse he has never
wavered.   Anyway, I just thought I’d throw my story
into the flame.  -Alecia

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