How to Love and Support Someone with Diabetes
Today we’re throwing it back to some of our favorite advice on how to best support the person you love with diabetes. These tips come from our very own MiniMed Ambassadors, shared last Valentine’s Day.
My husband and I have been together quite some time, so I understand what it’s like to live with someone who has diabetes. The hardest part for me is that I don’t know what having diabetes feels like. When my husband is a little on the annoyed side because his blood sugar is high, I don’t always understand why my innocent question triggered a snap. I try hard to understand how things might affect his blood sugars, like did he have a stressful day at work? Are the kids making him run around way too much? Or, maybe it has nothing to do with his blood sugars and because he’s human, is he just having a bad day?
I hope that if you have someone important in your life who you appreciate, you’ll share these tips/notes of affection with them.
Jill: “Learn about it. You are in this together.”
Mary: “I know it can be hard living with me when my BS are low and high. I live with a disease, I try very hard to control! Please be patient and don’t nag me, because I love you.”
David: “T1D can be very tough on both of us. Please know I won’t always be easy to live with but, our commitment to each other is the power we will use to be together for a long, long time. Thank you for what you do for me!”
Troy: “BE PATIENT. We have good days and bad days and sometimes the bad days are really bad, so please be patient. We still love you and appreciate everything you do for us.”
Kurt: “Listen before advising me, offer foods but don’t push, and walk this adventure by my side!”
Phyllis: “I keep wanting to write a thank you, not a tip. Even though I have had diabetes for a long time, I still need help. If you think I have a low blood sugar or am acting funny, don’t assume I am aware of it. Ask me how I feel, or if I need juice, or suggest I check my blood sugar. Though don’t be alarmed if I snap, ‘I feel fine,’ but know after you say it I will do the right thing.”
Nikki: “Educate yourself! Being knowledgeable about diabetes is the most helpful thing you could do for your partner.”
Dan’elle: “I would have to say to them… Even when my mood is not at its best, remember to not take it personally because my diabetes is having an off day but I know you’ll stick with me no matter what and I still love you every day for doing so too!”
Debi: “I can be mad, grumpy or emotional and not because of my blood sugar.”
Karen: “Learn along with and from the person in your life on what they have to do, what to look for with a low or high BS, know what to do to care for them. Patience is a must from time to time.”
Liisa: “There will be times when a person with diabetes’ sugar goes low and they say something or do something that will get their spouse very, very angry and frustrated. It should NEVER be taken as an insult or derogatory statement – SOME lows are completely uncontrollable. I have advised my husband to discuss such events with me well AFTER the fact!”
Sarah: “Ask questions, don’t assume things. Pay attention to new treatments, studies and technology! It shows you care about me and my health.”
Have your own tips to share? Leave a comment and you might be selected to win a Medtronic prize!
Thank you Amanda for this post, and individuals should not go through diabetes alone as the help and love could make their life comfortable.
I’ve been with my husband for 10 years (married for 4) and he has taken a real back-step with his diabetes and mental health recently. I try not to judge but I watch him drink on an empty stomach (which resulted in a bad hypo), gets mad at me if I suggest that bringing up his blood sugars with a cider is probably not the best and see him refuse food all day until dinner time. He is 47 and has had type 1 since he was around 10. He is quite an angry man in general but a lot of it also stems from a very unhappy childhood with a bully for a Father. This mixed in with the diabetes at the moment is a nightmare and I fear he won’t be with us much longer. I have no idea where to go from here
My grandma is diabetic and she doesn’t eat wel lately and her legs are sore
thanks for the information
All you can do is to continue loving him.
He is correct about the talk therapy, it changes nothing. If you live in the U.S., there is almost a tyrannical amount of pressure for people to be constantly happy. This is an unrealistic battle in and of itself, especially for people who are struggling with health issues.
Acceptance of the situation is key here. There are going to be times that he is depressed, angry, feeling hopeless. There will be times that you feel the same way. Loving him means continuing to support him in the ways you have been for years. I hope he expresses his appreciation for you.
But that doesn’t mean that you should neglect you own needs. If you think you might benefit from talk therapy, by all means, seek somebody out. If you have hobbies that distract you, definitely indulge. If bringing a caregiver into your home to give you some relief would help the two of you, then talk to his doctor about that possibility. Also, if your husband needs personal space, i.e., his own bedroom or man cave, etc., go ahead and set that up. That would in turn give you personal space…a win / win.
There unfortunately will be no easy fixes, but I hope those ideas will offer some relief.
Firstly, I love my husband and he is a Type 1. We have been together for 17 years. He has been diabetic since he was 27. He is now 55. I knew what I was getting into..at least I thought I knew. I have read article after article and blog after blog, but I keep seeing the same messages. I am not the diabetic police. My husband is vigilant with his testing, eating, exercise and staying up to date with the latest and greatest Diabetic technology. He wears the XXXX XXX and XXXXXX monitors. My issues are that he is so depressed and wants to give up. He is tired of this unforgiving and relentless disease. My heart breaks. All I do is support and love him. I listen and I try to make life as easy as possible for him. I have made sacrifice after sacrifice for the best medical care and living conditions. He loves me back. He fights the demons of this disease every day/hour/minute. He does not want psychological help. He claims that he has spent at least a decade in therapy for his disease before we met. It did not help him then, and it won’t help him now. He is angry….I get it…He loves and appreciates me, but I am breaking down. I am so sad for him. I love him so much. I do not know where to turn. How can I help him?