[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: [IP] significant other

Sheilagh wrote:
>My husband is like your boyfriend. He is very knowledgeable 
>about diabetes and even at times will shed some light on 
>something I hadn't noticed.

>The problem is that he acts like diabetes is no big deal. Like 
>it's as common as a mosquito bite- a nuisance, but nothing 
>that should inhibit living life like you want to.

>I finally realized that it's a coping mechanism for him. He 
>wants me to live as long as possible. And most of the time, 
>my diabetes is silent to him. So it is possible for him to forget 
>what a horrible disease it really is.

This is very similar to the way my husband acts. 

He knows how hard it's been for me, because he's seen me go 
into hysterics on numerous occasions. (I haven't done this in a
while, I'm glad to say.) 

But still, I think that if he could forget about it, he would. He 
doesn't really want to think about what it could mean 10 or 20 
years down the line. (I can't blame him: neither do I!) His 
attitude about complications is "That's not going to happen to 
you." And, even though I know better -- even though I know
that good control is no guarantee of anything -- at some level I 
think this, too. A little bit of denial can be a survival tool.

It just occurred to me that this is very much the same way
he dealt with his father's illness and eventual death from
Parkinson's disease. He's very much like his father and they
were very close. But about the only thing he'd ever say about 
his father's physical and mental decline was "It's pretty awful." 
Maybe this is a guy thing.

>I am fine with this, because it is my disease and his role is to be 
>supportive. He listens to everything I have to say. We talk about 
>diabetes like most people speak of the weather. 

Yes. My husband does half the cooking in our household, so he 
has to know a lot about carb counting. People who happen to be
around at mealtimes think it's funny that he'll give me updates on 
when dinner will be ready, so that I can go check my blood sugar 
and get ready. I don't think he's gotten used to the idea yet that I 
don't need quite as much prep time before a meal as I did when I 
was on MDI. So he'll still call out "10-minute warning!" and so 

>This past weekend 
>I asked if he would insert a sil in an area I couldn't reach, and he 
>did it without hesitation or complaint. I'm not sure I would have 
>done the same had our situations been reversed.

Wow!  I don't think I would even ask my husband to do this one.

>If your boyfriend is interested, helpful and concerned, be thankful 
>for that. I bet he's aware of more than you think.

This is something I've written about before, so I'm sorry to repeat 
myself, but I think that part of the problem *with me* is that I'm
so eager to appear in control and on top of things that I tend to
hide it when I'm having trouble. I do this in all sorts of subtle
ways -- often, just by not talking about it. And yet, what should
I do? Spend a lot of time grinding it into my husband and my other
loved ones that diabetes is horrible, and I hate it, and it's perma-
nently changed my life? It might be true, but I don't want to dwell 
on it all the time -- it just makes it worse. And also, there's a 
certain kind of "Aww, poor you" reaction that I hate as much
as the "What's the big deal?" reaction. What I really want is for
people to know that it's difficult and frustrating and awful, AND 
that I'm working hard and dealing with it. (Admiration!  I want
admiration and respect!)

It just occurred to me that my husband may be a little more aware 
of what diabetes means than some folks' significant others because 
he went through the whole process of diagnosis and learning to 
cope along with me. I was diagnosed a week after the first anniver-
sary of our first date. And he never for an instant gave me reason
to fear that he'd leave me. What else is there to say, really?

/Janet L.

*  This message was sent from Firstworld Webmail  *
*         http://webmail.hypercon.com/            *
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml