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Marrying/ Long term dating a T1D person

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by ye6911, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    Hi all, I am new to this forum, hoping to learn more about the condition. I, myself am not a diabetic person but my boyfriend is. He is a Type 1 diabetic who was diagnosed in his teens. I can't describe how much I love my boyfriend, I am seriously considering marriage with him. However, my parents have their reservations about our relationship because of his condition. They are quite ignorant about the condition and imagine many worst-case scenarios (eg: kidney failure, early death, amputating legs, I'm sorry this is triggering to read). Honestly, I am not very knowledgable myself, other than research on the internet, I don't know much about the condition. I am still considering marriage with or without my parents' approval, but I feel like I should speak to some people with T1D out there to have a real-life understanding of the condition. So here are my questions:

    1. What are the real possibilities of T1D patients getting organ failures / heart conditions/ other horrible diseases we read about on the internet? Does it only happen because of poor management of glucose?

    2. What are the possibilities of having a child with T1D as well? (My boyfriend has no T1D family history, I believe he was diagnosed because he had a heart complications/ problems as a child -- the cardiovascular problem is sorted now)

    3. What are some things he can do to prevent the diseases arising from T1D?

    4. He is generally a very stressed out and anxious person, what are some ways you alleviate stress?

    5. What is the ideal average blood glucose levels he should be getting?

    I'm sorry the questions are so long, but if you bore with me this long, thank you very much and appreciate any answers or responses to this. Thank you!
     
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  2. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @ye6911 ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Hopefully, your boyfriend is seriously entering into matrimony too?
     
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  3. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm, I am sure you are a very nice person and I can understand anyone wanting to know more about their loved ones condition but if I was in your boyfriends position and was aware that my girlfriend was 'considering whether to marry me or not because I had type 1', well it would be a 'Bye' from me. You either love someone enough or you don't, call me romantic but a partner's health doesn't come into it. It sounds like you're asking us to fill in a questionnaire to prove whether it's worth it.
     
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    #3 KK123, Oct 30, 2020 at 8:18 AM
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  4. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    @KK123 Just an edit, I phrased wrongly, considering whether or not to marry was badly phrased. It's nothing to do with his condition, more of things on whether we see eye to eye on our future. Nothing to do with his condition, hence I said it doesn't matter what my parents' approval was. And when I mean I am seriously considering my marriage with him, I meant wanting to take my relationship to the next level. I think you have misinterpreted what I said and saw it negatively.
     
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  5. sally and james

    sally and james Family member · Well-Known Member

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    I am very sympathetic to @ye6911 's queries. Marriage is, or should be, a life long commitment and rushing into it in the first flush of "love/lust" is not necessarily wise, important to try and have as full an understanding as possible as to what you are getting in to. Perhaps ye6911 wants children, is it right to deliberately have them with a partner who may need more care than they do? These are legitimate worries from someone (or her parents), who do not have the knowledge and experience of people on this forum.
    Now back to what I think was actually her question. If she looks round this forum, she will come across T1 diabetics who have completed 50 years and still in good health and ones who fly planes, do all sort of exciting things. Keeping sugar levels within the correct range and leading a generally healthy lifestyle will keep most diabetics in a healthier state than many of the population.
    You could marry Superman and tomorrow he could be hit by a runaway bus.
    Good luck and all the best to you, @ye6911
    Sally
     
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  6. TashT1

    TashT1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes I think it was a bit too easy misinterpret your initial post, but I understand what your getting at.

    From my personal experience this is something that will cross your mind if your dating someone with a long term condition or disability. Its doesn’t mean you don’t love them but at some point you will think about the future & ask yourself whether your willing to ‘sign on’ for everything life may throw at you.

    The father of my children has cerebral palsy & whilst his condition will not deteriorate his mobility will/ has & his caring needs will/ have increased in the last 13yrs. I didn’t spend weeks agonising over the decision and it was a decision not just implicit. I signed on for wherever life could throw at us & it is a lot so far and not all of it health related.

    So all in all I think it’s natural to think about & natural for your parents to be concerned but maybe they need to be better informed.

    I can’t answer all your questions as I’m new to diabetes myself but I’ll try.

    1. As with any health condition it is complicated & I can’t say for certain complications do not arise even with good control. But in general yes the better control a person has on their diabetes the less risk of complications.

    2. Again yes it is possible but not certain. T1 isn’t just inherited, there’s lots of evidence it is caused by a viral infection or other pancreas damage.

    3. I’m sure your partner know what he can do to maintain good control. Discuss it with him & see what his point of view is.

    4. Is he just stressed in general or stressed about his diabetes? Is that why you are concerned about complications?

    5. Ideal blood glucose levels can be personalised but in general between 5-7 before eating increasing by no more than 2 after eating. But again talk to him, let him tell you how he manages his diabetes.

    At the end of the day you never know what life is going to throw at a relationship. It might just as easily be yourself that develops a long term condition later down the line. Diabetes isn’t a death sentence, daily life will probably be slightly different but does that really matter?
     
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  7. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If you love someone - in marriage or otherwise, it's for better or for worse. You need to be asking him these questions.
     
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    #7 ert, Oct 30, 2020 at 10:49 AM
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
  8. dani96xx

    dani96xx Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 17(now 24) I have been with my partner for 4 years who also had no prior understanding of the condition. I've always managed my diabetes well and we live our life like any other couple I just have to be a little more careful with nights out and travelling etc but this doesn't impact our relationship.

    As long as his control is good his risk of complications is massively reduced.

    The risk of a man passing on type 1 to his child is 1 in 17 so relatively low.

    He will have his own targets but generally your blood sugar should be anywhere between 4-8

    I'm sure your partner will appreciate you taking time to ask and speak about your worries.

    Type 1 isn't a life sentence and we live as normal life as anybody else

    We control diabetes, diabetes does not control us!
     
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  9. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    Thank you so much, I really appreciate your comment because there are some snarky ones on here ngl. It always lifts me up to see people in the same situation and doing amazing. Wishing you and your partner all the love in the world!
     
  10. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    Thank you for the super detailed advice, I wish you and your family nothing but the best ❤️
     
  11. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    Thank you very much for understanding where I’m coming from. I love him a lot, I just want us to have a good long life together. So seeing people question that was abit heartbreaking. Thank you for your uplifting words and advice.
     
  12. ye6911

    ye6911 · Member

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    We actually talk about this very frequently, I just want to learn more from other people with real life experiences. Thanks for the advice xx
     
  13. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @ye6911 As several have suggested there are no absolutes in all this. When I met my wife-to-be in 1978, I had already been Type 1 for 19 years. I was in a very bad way. She helped me straighten my regime up and I only had a kidney/pancreas transplant 7 years ago. The good has far outweighed the bad and as a result we have a delightful nearly 9 year-old granddaughter to enjoy. I am still the only Type 1 in our family tree and I hope that continues. But life is simply unpredictable. I hope you both enjoy the future as much as we have since 1978.
     
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  14. bmtest

    bmtest · Well-Known Member

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    To put simply you could be run over by a bus tomorrow it does not matter whether he is T1 diabetic or not if you love him.

    I was in teens when diagnosed and wrong side of 50 now I am still standing many friends have gone to wall.

    Sometimes being a diabetic is healthier today as you are bound by internal health controls so you are faster and stronger well into middle age and beyond.

    I am glad I was diagnosed a T1 it saved my kidneys and liver as I enjoy drinking too much.
     
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  15. Morgan25

    Morgan25 · Newbie

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    Hii ye6911
    Thankyou so much for trying to learn more about t1d !! I feel like it’s a disease that’s really misunderstood and I would appreciate soo much if someone I was going out with, took the time and effort to learn about it :)
    1. Very dependent on control and hba1c
    2. Low ( if u don’t think it’s due to genetics )
    3.Control
    4. Don’t know, wish I knew
    5. 5-7 but obviously that’s not realistic, it’s virtually impossible to keep sugars in that range permanently without having a lot of hypos
    U might already know this but I feel a really useful thing to learn would be their symptoms of hypo and hyper glycemia and what to do if they are high or low.
    T1 diabetes is a incredibly incredibly complicated disease, I’ve had it over 10 years and still don’t know everything about it ! So it will take a long time for u to understand it to the extent I feel u want but once u do hopefully u will realise that although it’s a scary disease if u manage it well the risk of complications is massively reduced and I also feel that once u start to understand it a bit more u won’t be as nervous about it.
    Good luck :)
     
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  16. Morgan25

    Morgan25 · Newbie

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    Also to add to that if u have any more questions about t1d feel free to ask !
     
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  17. Fawbs89

    Fawbs89 · Active Member

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    I've been diabetic since I was 41 and I'm 31 now. I've been with my bf for 9 years....as long as your bf keeps himself in check and controls his diabetes he will be fine... I can testify I have all my organs and toes tell your parents to *** off.

    Edited by moderator to remove content not in line with forum rules.
     
    #17 Fawbs89, Oct 31, 2020 at 9:41 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2020
  18. Fawbs89

    Fawbs89 · Active Member

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    I should add it should say since I was 14
     
  19. eshobabu

    eshobabu · Well-Known Member

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    First, diabetes of 2020 is not the same as diabetes of 2000, 1980, 1960. Today, many T1 diabetics are able to maintain normal sugar levels (even better than normal) because of advances in pumps, cgms, insulin, and nutrition. Let me answer your questions:

    1. What are the real possibilities of T1D patients getting organ failures / heart conditions/ other horrible diseases we read about on the internet? Does it only happen because of poor management of glucose?
    -> See my comment above, it requires discipline, but like with non-diabetics, your body will work with you if you take care of it. You could have a non diabetic smoking 3 packs a day and have worse complications. Technology is making the management of this disease easier every day and I envision it will continue to get better. As of right now, we can maintain very good sugar levels - it just takes time. Maybe 15-30 minutes a day.

    2. What are the possibilities of having a child with T1D as well? (My boyfriend has no T1D family history, I believe he was diagnosed because he had a heart complications/ problems as a child -- the cardiovascular problem is sorted now)
    -> There are lots of factors involved here. Age at diagnosis, age at child birth, family history on both sides. But, there is a real statistical probability, and genetics do play a role. You may want to talk to a endocrinologist who can look at more specifics.

    3. What are some things he can do to prevent the diseases arising from T1D?
    -> See my answer to #1. Just maintain glucose levels. There is technology today that didn't exist 10 years ago that lets you monitor in real time, on your phone what your sugar levels are. And it will get better with time. You need to be disciplined.

    4. He is generally a very stressed out and anxious person, what are some ways you alleviate stress?
    -> This has nothing to do with diabetes. I am the same. I don't have diabetes.

    5. What is the ideal average blood glucose levels he should be getting?
    -> 80-140. T1D's usually spike after meals, but with better bolus timing, and with pumps and cgms and faster insulins, this is getting easier and easier to achieve.

    A lot of the answers to your questions are simple google searches, so I think you are here just to get positive emotional validation to counteract the negative one you are getting from your parents. My daughter is a Type 1 D, I love my child to death. I would never want her to be in a relationship where the other person feels there are so many concerns (the ones you mentioned above) for them to make a decision.

    Please don't get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from. All I am saying is when life gets messy and the stress of marriage piles on top of your concerns you already have, both of you will end up resenting each other. I don't know what culture you are from, but in those cultures where parents play an outsized role, your parents will continue to have the "I told you so" attitude which won't help your relationship either.

    I know it sounds great to say follow your heart and everything will fall in to place, but you should not marry this person unless you feel you cannot imagine a life without them - don't marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you cannot live without. And please, don't misunderstand me - I am in no way being judgmental towards you, I completely understand where you are coming from.
     
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  20. Stefp

    Stefp Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi ye6911,
    You have had a fair few responses so I don’t know if my post will add to them but for what it’s worth below are my thoughts on your questions. As a type 1 diabetic for 30 years who has been married for 22 years, I think my husband wishes he had known more about this condition but I don’t think it would have changed his decision to marry me - being informed and knowing what to expect is important but with any partnership you can never fully know what is in the future and you have to be willing to take in the good and the bad! Anything can, and does, happen.

    1. What are the real possibilities of T1D patients getting organ failures / heart conditions/ other horrible diseases we read about on the internet? Does it only happen because of poor management of glucose?

    Poor diabetes management can definitely increase the chances of complications, but great control is not always easy - sometimes you can do everything right but not get the results you would expect. There are no guarantees- but there are also no guarantees that you or your partner won’t fall out of a tree or get cancer.

    2. What are the possibilities of having a child with T1D as well? (My boyfriend has no T1D family history, I believe he was diagnosed because he had a heart complications/ problems as a child -- the cardiovascular problem is sorted now)

    I have 3 children - 22, 19 and 15 - at this stage none of my children have diabetes. There is a very small increased chance of children of type 1 diabetics inheriting the condition.

    3. What are some things he can do to prevent the diseases arising from T1D?

    Look after his diet and keep his blood sugar levels as low as he can.

    4. He is generally a very stressed out and anxious person, what are some ways you alleviate stress?

    Exercise, having someone supportive to talk and vent to, maybe a psychologist.

    5. What is the ideal average blood glucose levels he should be getting?

    Ideal is exactly that - while type 1 diabetics aim for as ‘ideal’ as possible, it is impossible to achieve this all the time - stress, sadness, exercise, sunlight, temperature, hormones and a while list of things affect blood glucose - it is not your job as his partner to control and micromanage someone else’s diabetes treatment - be supportive and help when asked, such as during a hypo or seesawing levels, but do not try to control his levels or condition unless asked. You do not have to live with diabetes 24-7, your partner does - this can be exhausting, frustrating and depressing some of the time and having a partner who makes you more worried or disappointed when things go wrong will add to the burden!

    Good luck - I hope you work things out - the best person to talk to about this stuff, and your concerns, is your partner.
     
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