Hello everyone! I am new to this site, but would like to get some advice please from all you experts!
My boyfriend Chris has Type 1 diagnosed since he was about 10. He is now 26 and doing well, we have been together for nearly a year and are very close.
He does his testing and that regulary and is very good with it and we eat healthy all the time as I enjoy cooking as well as himself (although Im better haha). He does not know that I have joined this site and I would never tell him as I dont want him to worry about me worrying!
I just worry sometimes as I know its not gonna be all plain sailing when he gets a bit older, plus he has some bad habits - he smokes, and drinks occasionally, as he believes that he shouldn't have to change his whole life according to his condition - although he has recently shown more interest in stopping smoking which I encourage obviously and I hope he will stop one day sooner rather than later.
Has anyone got any advice for me as his partner? and anything that I should be on the look out for as he gets older? Im not very good with illness and would like to be prepared for what may come our way. I love him to bits and I will will stick with him through anything.
Anyone got any stories of what happens and what is to come?
Thanks a lot for reading!
Well first of all understand that diabetes can be a very private matter to some people. So you may want to encourage him to share things, such as his blood sugars and A1C's but never snoop or push him. Asking a diabetic what their blood glucose reading is as personal as someone walking up to you and asking your bra size.
Secondly, there is no evidence that he will get complications as he gets older. Sometimes people with the best care develop them and sometimes people who don't take much care at all will not develop them, but poor care is causal to eventual health complications, diabetic or not. It sounds like over all he tends to take care of himself, but remember we all eventually get burnt out sometimes. We may need encouragement (but not nagging) and sometimes we just need a day to just be human.
Drinking is not a big "no" when diabetic. Many of us do that, but just like eating (and almost everything else) it should be in moderation. Beer and fruity drinks are especially troublesome, but I definitely have indulged on many an occasion :) Wine, especially red wine, is thought by some studies to actually help lower blood sugars and it is not too high in carbs. However diet will effect everyone differently. One food or drink may shoot someone's BS sky high, and it may barely effect another persons BS. It is highly variable. However be careful when drunk because a low blood sugar may occur after drinking and since the senses are very inhibited he may not feel it and is putting himself at risk of a bad hypoglycemic episode.
It sounds like you are both working very well with his diabetes. It doesn't have to consume your every day lives. Continue to do what you're doing and it seems you are very supportive.
Jessica made great points. It's not possible to be a perfect diabetic, at least not long term. At some point every diabetic has to figure out how to fit their diabetes into real life.
Drinking isn't a threat to diabetes but smoking can be because both D and smoking are hard on blood vessels. My last endo told me that the only diabetics she knew who'd had amputations were smokers.
When I was young I thought that by making the right choices I would have a good life. But the older I get, the more I realize that EVERYONE experiences some kind of trouble. Ask any 80 year old and you will be surprised by the difficulties they've encountered. Diabetes is full of potential risk, but so is the rest of life. Part of maturing is realizing you don't have much control over the big stuff, you just deal with problems as they come. Easy to say but hard to do. =)
As long as he keeps testing and maintains good A1C's, i think he's fine. Good on the quitting smoking since that constricts your blood vessels and those are important for us :P
As far as the drinking, I'm not sure why you mentioned that. It's one of mankind's coping mechanisms with dealing with their SO. Definitely not soemthing to be worried about.
As long as he doesnt drink too much. Drinking in excess is never good for anyone let alone a diabetic. But if he's good with it then its not a big deal.. Like the others said smoking is no bueno.. So that's good hes quiting. You can try to talk to him about it and get stories from him. If you show an interest he might feel like he has someone to talk to or that someone is willing to listen. though he could be private with it.
Hello, thanks so much for all your messages!
I hope he will stop smoking soon but i dont want to put too much pressure on incase he rebels!
Dont know why i put drinking in as i am not worried about that at all really, I hope everything will be good in later life as he really deserves it.
I've been a male T1 since I was 10, and I'm now 78. One thing that hasn't been mentioned about drinking is that it's easy for the general public to think the symptoms of hypoglycemia are symptoms of drunkenness, and this can mean the hypo doesn't get treated if assistance is needed. I believe that getting older is easier for most men than it is for women because of the hormones.
That's great that you're looking out for your partner's welfare, but I think Jessica made some good points about how your helping him might be perceived. Speaking from my own experience, I went from my parents' house where I felt I was very controlled to living with my first boyfriend, then husband, now ex-husband, who was also very controlling. He would count the test strips in the garbage and then confront me about not testing enough, for example. My diabetes used to be very poorly controlled but ultimately it was me who just got sick of feeling crappy all the time who reigned it in, not my mom or my ex brow beating me into being a "good" diabetic. I'm not saying that's what you're doing and I hope this doesn't sound harsh, but I am agreeing with Jessica that T1s can be very sensitive because of a life time of people micromanaging them. In my experience, it didn't work for me to be in a relationship with someone who wanted to be my parent. My current husband just lets me do my thing but knows what to watch for and when to assist, like when I get sweaty and am not making much sense he knows to get me some candy. I guess that would be my advice: discussing with him what level of involvement you're both comfortable with you having, and then stick with that.....like maybe you can help him by carrying candy in your purse or a glucagon kit.
In regard to drinking, I drink, not excessively, and have never found it to be a problem. Is your worry about the carbs or is it that he won't know when he's low? The carbs have been a non issue, you can pretty much figure out how many carbs are in any given drink. Probably best to stay away from the super sugary stuff like margaritas, though. I used to smoke and smoking for T1s is bad news, as others have pointed out. I don't know what I was thinking and am so glad I quit! Good luck with him quitting.
As far as what to watch for in the future, it's hard to say because everyone is different but I've been T1 since 1985 and have had no long term problems, despite my early years of poor control. Good luck to you!