Marte s a Type 1 Diabetic, she is not a leper, nor has she the plague. Marte was adamant that if I was to write a blog from a spousal perspective on Type 1 Diabetes that I write about this topic. She’ll tell me stories about her work, and when her boss knows she’s having a bad blood sugar day she always suggests she go home, maybe even take a day. While this support is nice it frustrates her. I’ve learned over the short years I’ve know my wife that her Diabetes is part of her life, another thing she has to manage not some debilitating disease.
The concept of it being a disease has a negative connotation, as if it is this crippling awful thing she has contracted. Sure from time to time it changes our plans. Yes we have to be watchful when we go out to eat about what’s in her meal, or drinking water instead of soda at a movie, or make sure she times her insulin intake right for meals and exercise. We make adjustments and move on. No big deal an no different than someone with an allergy making sure they aren’t around or ingest what they are allergic to. Your joe average person will have silly questions which is also no big deal, they are just curious. But then there are those who make it out to be this awful thing. Who get nervous when she’s high or low, when it alters her mood, etc. Who hover or get over protective or go out of their way changing their normal routines on her behalf. That’s a bit much, and unnecessary.
What I’ve found important is educating myself (through her mainly and other sources) on it and understanding that she can handle herself just fine . Early in our relationship I was very watchful of it, asked questions, asked her to test, was overly mindful of where we were going to eat, what we were doing, etc. It was hovering and overprotective and unnecessary because at the end of the day I have to remember she’s not new at this. If she was it might be a different story but eventually the hovering turned into an occasional check-in, asking to test frequently turned into only when I noticed behavior change. Getting nervous about highs above range turned into “you’ve been higher”. Leaping into “supportive mode” when she’s frustrated by it turned into “let me know if you need anything”.
Trust is key in any relationship, friendship, spousal, work colleagues, etc. She can manage herself, and more times than not she’s damn good at it. And when she’s not, she can trust me to be there when she needs it.