Hi everyone, I’m the boyfriend of a wonderful woman with type 1 diabetes. Just wondering what practical things I can do to help her and be of assistance. Any little things that you might do for your partner or suggestions would be really helpful. Thank you very much.
Hi Greg @Sprogisg, an answer to your question is difficult without knowing you and the “wonderful woman”. Personalities and openness play an important part - and some people I’ve known [women as well as men] get offended when anyone tries to tell them the “how-to” of health management - be the suggestion about food, weight, exercise, etc.
My suggestion is:
- First, to be a good listener, hear what she is telling you and ascertain if she really wants your suggestion or if she is only sharing her frustration with you - diabetes management has MANY frustrations.
- Second, learn all you can about management of autoimmune, TypeOne, diabetes -there are many myths and management of TypeOne differs significantly from management of the lifestyle types of diabetes.
- Third, work with her in a non-confrontational way keeping in mind that she has HER T1D with her all-day, every-day for her entire lifetime. Do not be confrontational except for those times when she is severely hypoglycemic and refused to eat or take any carbohydrate.
- Fourth, and most important, love her above all else in this world and make certain that you are always lovable in her eyes.
I’ve had diabetes for 63 years and I’ve been married for 53 years to one special woman.
Thank you so much, this is very helpful. I really appreciate the feedback
Hi @Sprogisg Greg, I agree with @Dennis and only want to add that insulin is a powerful hormone and both high and low blood sugar can make anyone um, “testy”. Type 1 is and endless set of both high and low blood sugar episodes.
Learn what you can about the disease, that would be nice, but don’t try to “fix” any of this. I’m very guilty of trying to fix stuff and it’s not always welcome. Cheers good luck.
Thank you so much! Just trying to educate myself as much as possible and help in the ways that I can.
Those are all really great suggestions … this one is simple, but will hopefully make her feel understood and loved. Maybe keep her favorite low in your pocket or car or bedside table? Mine is 9, but I know my kiddo LOVES it when I pull out a special fun low. We go with pink only starbursts because who wants to have a YELLOW anyway.
PS. Her parents are really grateful that you are asking this question.
Obviously everyone is different but a couple things I really appreciate that my husband does is: 1. When we’re trying to decide what to eat (like say for lunch or dinner) and he can see I’m starting to go low… he just says 'want me to make the decision?" and takes the lead. We’ve been together long enough that he can read me and knows a decision just needs to be made and I’m not in a frame of mind to do so. 2. When I’m low he’ll sit by me til I’m feeling better. This makes me feel comforted. and 3. He knows that I often rebound high after a low sugar binge. Sometimes when us type 1’s get low we can’t think as straight, think we are really eating a reasonable amount of sugar when in reality we’ve eaten way too many jelly beans, drank a glass of juice and had 5 tsp of honey! My husband is so good about saying "ok that seems like a good amount you ate (or something like that) and now lets wait a little bit… he’ll watch the time then ask me to check my CGM again… This comes from being in a relationship a long time. He also understands the anxiety and stress that can come when I am really low, so again he is great about staying with me through it.
But most importantly, he loves me and supports me. Which I value every day.
I’ve been had by Type 1 diabetes for 63 years, and a major thing to learn is how does she act when her glucose levels go low? There is NO absolute, since symptoms cover such a wide spectrum that she may look to be going high when going low at times.
For me I usually get trouble seeing very well since I see clear yellow splashes overlaid on what I’m really looking at. Also get confused easily since thought processes suffer greatly. So try to keep aware of her responsiveness all the time, but don’t make an issue of it, just get her to have a carb snack handy and be willing to eat it at the time.
BTW when I go high I tend to bog down and fell sore or itchy all over. These may be things to watch out for to try to know the difference.
Thank you all for all of these wonderful suggestions and great information. It has been very helpful already. Extremely appreciate it