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Hello from Derbyshire UK

Discussion in 'Greetings and Introductions' started by Laura_, Apr 15, 2022.

  1. Laura_

    Laura_ Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Hi there. Thanks for accepting me on this forum. I'm Laura, 34 years old and originally from the Netherlands. I recently moved to the UK to live with my partner Tim who has type 1 diabetes. Due to the distance between Derbyshire and the Netherlands we had a short courtship before I moved in and I did not realise how big the impact of diabetes would be.

    I tend to worry unnecessarily about him and am trying not to interfere too much :)
    I often wonder how (if at all) I can be of any help to someone who has managed this disease for years, while I 'm also trying to keep it cool, and that can be difficult if his glucose doesn't go up when it is needed.

    Looking forward to getting to know more people with diabetes and their partners and family members.

    Laura
     
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  2. Fenn

    Fenn Type 1.5 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, welcome

    Best advice I can give you is to try not to worry (easy to say) I would say my wife hardly notices my diabetes, she knows to shove some sweets in my mouth if I am going gaga and when she cooks she roughly counts my carbs and usually gives me 30 minutes notice, but apart from that it really doesn’t have a huge impact on normal life, hard to think of a restriction to be honest, I hope you find some peace with it :)
     
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  3. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Hi @Laura_ , you'll do very well, seeing as you've already figured out it's a very fine line to walk between caring too much and too little!

    What is considered helpful and what is considered nagging is highly personal from person to person (and to make things worse, most of us are quite unreasonable at the moment we need the nagging the most, hypo's mess with your brain that way), so I think the most important thing is to keep checking with your partner if he appreciates your degree of involvement or would like you to do somethig different. But DO NOT ask him while he's hypo, having to repeatedly reassure people you'll be OK while hypo is just the worst! Brain malfunctions when hypo.

    A simple thing you can't go wrong with is making sure you carry something sweet, just in case.

    Another thing you might want is to learn how to use glucagon, if you don't already know.
    It's emergency medication to be used if someone goes unconscious from a hypo. Many of us will never need it, but it may ease your mind to know you can do something if something goes really wrong.
    Even if he doesn't want this, it easing your worries is a good enough reason.

    Mostly, I think, it's about following his lead. The way we manage our diabetes is different from person to person. If he likes to talk about his diabetes and his day to day decisions, he'll likely appreciate you knowing what he's talking about. But if he's more the kind to deal with his diabetes by himself, he won't be happy if you keep talking about it all the time.

    I think you'll like this post: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/forum/threads/5-things-any-newly-diagnosed-type-1-should-know.175425/
    You might like these two funny videos as well, I think they're pretty insightful on how diabetes works. (Ignore the blood glucose numbers, they use different units in the US)

    Anyway, welcome from a fellow Dutchie!


     
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  4. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    You sound the ideal person for him! I have been married to Helen since 1982, partly because she has always taken things on board, whether from what I told her before we started going out, what others have said, and, like you asking for advice from experienced people. Here is a little bit about "hypoing" from within:

    Hypos fascinate me. After all, they occur because the brain is starved of energy and therefore the body shuts down. Yet I am able to recall many of the topical and visual details and even the state of mind at the time. The shut- down of the brain can begin subtly. Many times my wife Helen has asked me to do a test because my speech has slowed down, not necessarily perceptibly to others. I might insist that I don’t need to. Difficulty in making choices or decisions is also a giveaway. Visibly the face takes on a deathly pallor because what little glucose there is has been distributed to the brain and heart. Vague staring is common, as is slurred speech. The problem is that these are all recognisable symptoms in a drunk. Similar to a drunk, a diabetic can become violent when accosted. This is because the brain translates well-intended actions into attack. When faced with a semi-conscious person it is unwise to offer questions or statements which require reasoning or choice. Do not say “Do you think you ought to have some sugar?” The sheer effort of making a judgement is enough to cause unpredictable reactions. In my 40s I burst into tears (a rare occurrence) when in a hypoglycaemic condition, simply because I was expected to make rational responses. Instead you should say something like “You need sugar, here is some.” or "You are low" etc.
    I wish you the very best of luck and a happy future together.
     
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  5. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @Laura_ and welcome to the forums.

    I've been T1 for 52 years and living with my partner/husband for 40 and though I manage the insulin part of my diabetes on my own it's been a massive support to have a partner to "spot me" should my blood sugar go too low. (Though it can be annoying if I'm in a bad mood and he asks me if I'm hypo :)).

    But the treatment for T1 is massively better now than when I was first diagnosed, so although complications are a possibility they are no longer an inevitability.

    My recommendation is to be ready to get him glucose if he goes hypo but not to worry about the rest of it. It works for me and my husband, anyway. (Though when travelling he carries extra glucose for me, even though I have my own.)

    And if you have a car and he keeps boiled sweets in it for hypos, please don't finish the container without replacing it. (Grr from personal experience with my family :):):)).
     
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  6. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hello and welcome @Laura_

    It's great that you are seeking information and advice from others who have type 1 diabetes. I live in Australia so don't full understand how big the move to the UK was for you and how much of a culture shock you are experiencing. As you are from the Netherlands I am assuming English isn't your first language so that must also be a challenge. Other members here also come from the Netherlands and I am constantly impressed with their fluency on more than one language.

    Good luck with learning how best to support your partner.

    Welcome.
     
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  7. finzi1966

    finzi1966 · Well-Known Member

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    My only tip is that when I’m hypo it’s *really* hard to make decisions. Like, in some ways you are perfectly aware of what’s going on but if someone asks you to make a decision you just can’t. So my husband has learnt not to say “do you think you need some sugar?” “What would you like me to do?” and says things like “here are four grapes. Eat them”.
     
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  8. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    [​IMG]
     
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  9. MrsA2

    MrsA2 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Poor Laura will be having to cope with the Derbyshire accent too.
    Duck, for example, is pronounced dook
     
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  10. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Moderator
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    yep!!!
     
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  11. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Moderator
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    yep!!!
     
  12. Laura_

    Laura_ Don't have diabetes · Newbie

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    Hi there lovely people. Thankyou so much for all the replies, making me feel welcomed and supported.
    Hehe yes the northern accents are something else! :)

    The last couple of days were mainly hypers hypers and more hypers. It can be scary when Tim's glucose isn't coming down after several doses. It makes me worry about long term effects on his body. Maybe it was already like this before he got the libre patch and he just didn't know. He started using a patch on our first date so we never know if his glucose levels are changed because of life style changes or that he just didn't always know they were too high or low because he used to finger prick 5 times a day instead of looking at the patch graph.

    Fortunately I have found a great online mental health service for myself which is accessible even without health insurance (do not ever move to a new country without both a work visa and a new job, kids).

    @ Fenn, I think I can learn a lot from your easygoing approach. I always think it is easier when it is your own health - I have a severe peanut allergy and am not worried about it, but tend to panic when it is about someone else :)

    @ Antje, nice to meet you! Wat leuk, landgenoten hier. I'll take a look at the videos when I get back home this afternoon.

    @ VashtiB, I must say it has been strange going days or weeks without speaking my first language. Very thankful for whatsapp and video calls!

    Thanks so much everyone for the tips about trying not to think about it too much and (in case of hypos) giving instructions rather than asking questions. I'll definitely try that next time Tim's glucose goes too low. And as for not worrying too much... well I'm getting there slowly :)

    In a couple of weeks Tim's yearly appointment with the specialist nurse is coming up but we have been wondering whether to schedule a call or appointment before that. It is something that has been on our minds the last weeks.

    So far for today.. I have to catch my train- wishing you all the best.
    x Laura
     
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