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Support from your spouse

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Mrsrobbieswan, Nov 2, 2017.

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  1. Mrsrobbieswan

    Mrsrobbieswan Family member · Well-Known Member

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    Hi there. As you know I have done my level best to support Robbie through, what I can safely say , has been a very eventful few weeks. Can I ask how your other/better half or close family and friends support you. Does it really make a difference to your mental attitude towards diabetes, and have you seen visible results from their support. Thank you.
     
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  2. ziggy_w

    ziggy_w Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Mrsrobbieswan,

    When first diagnosed with diabetes, my husband's support was invaluable. He was optimistic, supportive and willing to listen to endless mumblings about carbs and blood sugar levels. I couldn't have done it without him.

    I know you've been fabulous in supporting your husband through a couple of difficult weeks. He's lucky to have you.
     
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  3. Snapsy

    Snapsy Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes it ABSOLUTELY makes a difference to me and us in my and our life.

    I spent years not involving other people in my life with diabetes. I met Mr S - himself no stranger to autoimmune conditions, as he's had RA since teenhood - eleven years ago, and over time we have very much together been involved with my diabetes and the way it fits into our lives. We had our third anniversary this year.

    He worries (from a blood glucose angle) about the amount of exercise I do, but together we can plan and look ahead and look back on my test results and troubleshoot things that weren't ideal in terms of control.

    I'm in charge of the catering here at Chateau Snapsy, and he is on board with what I choose to eat and not eat. He eats the same as me but will add in higher carb options if he wants them.

    Having had experience of support versus no support from the other half, I'd definitely want the support. Yes it's my diabetes, but it's a large factor in our lives. And bless him, Mr S really took his time over wondering whether to actually take me on - apparently I'm quite hard work......! ;)

    He knows before I do when I'm going low. He can tell when I'm high. He understands that the 'I HATE MY LIFE' moments when my meter tells me I'm anything other than 5.8 are fleeting and that I'll calm down and become more reasonable. And he doesn't bat an eyelid when I order 'the cheeseboard for two, please, but without the biscuits/chutney/quince jam/apple/grapes' just for ME at the pub. While he enjoys his sticky toffee pudding. And custard.

    I couldn't be the Snapsy I am without Mr S. He is absolutely smashing, and I count myself incredibly lucky to have him. I waited a long time to find him, and I'm glad I did.

    I love that you've joined the forum, @Mrsrobbieswan . And I'm glad you and @Robbieswan are working together on this new challenge. You're terrific.

    Love Snapsy
    xxx
     
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  4. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I will tag @tina_marie. and @eldergarth . Eldergarth isn't on insulin but has other health problems which doesn't allow his memory to post much now but Tina may support or befriend you, not sure. She is very very busy being his carer thou.
     
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  5. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I support my mentally ill partner who does what he can in understanding insulin therapy with me. 2halves make a whole, they say. Ha ha
     
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  6. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Mr B knew absolutely nothing about cooking, nutrition, what foods had carbs or protein. We have now been together over 10 years, and in that time he has tried various different ways of eating, partly out of curiosity, and partly because his old way of eating simply wasn't working for him - indigestion and bloating. He is a very kind, generous and supportive man.

    To start with, because there were no open wounds, or fevers, he kind of didn't believe me that blood sugar had any effect on my welbeing. It was invisible, so it couldn't be real kind of thing. But then he was witness to a couple of hypos. I had been trying to work out a way of eating that suited both of us, and made a few mistakes => hypos. My hypos (reactive hypoglycaemia hypos, not injected insulin hypos) tend to make me angry, with a risk of violence. I can't recall ever actually hitting anyone, but I have hit/thrown things, and there have been times when the only way I have kept control has been walking away and remembering to breathe. In. Out. In. Out. Do not rip their heads off. In. Out.

    We ended up having a few really great conversations about it. I explained what was going on inside me, before, after and during a hypo. The knock on tiredness and aching and depression. And he explained what was going on for him - the feelings of ineffectual helplessness, the desire to do something, the worry, etc.

    We ended up agreeing that when he spotted The Signs, he would say something gentle (less likely to trigger The Rage) like 'it's been a while since you ate, maybe you need a snack?' and then just leave the room. I am very lucky that my kind of hypos don't need medical attention, and my own body always pulls me out of them. Although a snack really helps. He then leaves me alone for some time, until I approach him, having eaten, processed whatever mindf*****y was playing inside my head, and had some time out.

    Over time, I have also got better at spotting the signs and preventing the hypo in the first place. They are rare nowadays (for a number of reasons) and I am slightly concerned that I'm now out of practice and won't spot one incoming!

    Robbie is on insulin, so you and he need to work out different coping mechanisms, because he will need treatment in the form of fast acting carbs to bring him back up. And blood glucose monitoring. But I would suggest that you have a few chats about this. How you feel. How he feels. Agreed ways of coping. And I would suggest you do some practicing taking his blood glucose a few times. Build up your confidence doing it, and get him used to it too. That way he will be less likely to object if you approach him with a stabby clicker when he is feeling off colour.

    There are also other aspects to diabetes that sometimes take months or years to emerge or resolve. Depression. Burnout. Stuff like that. I sometimes think that we don't spot things until we are in the middle of them, and wonder if early counselling would help tremendously. I had known that my T2 was pretty inevitable for about 20 years before my blood glucose reached diabetic levels. But it still hit like a ton of bricks. And took a looooooonnnnnggggg time to process. For you and Robbie, where it hit out of the blue, the shock is profound. I suggest you consider some kind of therapy, maybe as a couple. And I think someone like a Grief Therapist might be worth contacting. They do a heck of a lot more than counsel people following bereavement. We mourn the life we used to have, and we need adjustment to the future life ahead. Your doc surgery may be able to suggest someone.
     
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  7. Glenmac

    Glenmac Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it makes a huge difference to have a supportive partner both at the beginning of accepting things and as you come to terms with it all.You have been brilliant,you've had a much rockier ride than many of us D2s,at diagnosis and have been an absolute star.Mr Mac has been fantastic support to me for sixteen years it has made so much difference to my acceptance of the condition.He is in charge in the kitchen since we retired and eats as I do with some additions for himself and bless him he listens to my grumbles on a bad day(I don't have many of those now!)My one regret is that we didn't find this site at the beginning it has been such a great resource.Dont think it existed at that time.Take care you are doing a great job.
     
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    #7 Glenmac, Nov 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  8. Glenmac

    Glenmac Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    A great post Brunneria.You explained it much better than I can.This is why this forum is so brilliant,Thankyou.
     
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  9. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Great idea for a thread, @Mrsrobbieswan.

    I had no symptoms and was diagnosed nine months ago in a routine blood test at my annual medical. The news was awful but my wife was immediately supportive, and outraged at how I was informed (a terse letter that arrived in the post).

    She came with me to my first diabetes appointment with Dr. K, who saw her walk in and said: "I see that you brought the artillery!" (He is also her doctor.) I am not sure I could have "kept it together" during the appointment if she had not been there.

    Unlike @Robbieswan who is on insulin at least for a while, I was prescribed only the very-low-carb diet with no drugs. This is hard enough for the patient, and in some ways even harder for a spouse, especially if you usually eat together and the spouse does some or most of the cooking! (I do think you have it even harder @Mrsrobbieswan but the no-drugs route is not exactly easy either.)

    We eventually settled into eating separately at breakfast and lunch, but having the same (very-low-carb) dinner. As it happens, my wife wanted to lose weight, in part because our eldest daughter is getting married next summer. My wife is not really overweight but felt she should lose some pounds. She hoped that eating low-carb dinners would help.

    Together, we have had to be very inventive about the cooking. She does most of it, and I had to change my cooking style too. I was brought up in France and many of the recipes that I liked to cook were very heavy on potatos or rich, carb-laden sauces. We both got into "spiralizing" (I think this is called "zoodling" in the UK?). We have been married for nearly 30 years and have always hewed to a "Mediterranean" diet: low-fat, but sometimes heavy in carbs. So it has been a big adjustment.

    I also stepped up the exercise. I have always been quite active but never in a regular way. Since the diagnosis, I have gone on brisk, 3-to-5 mile walks every day. My wife usually comes with me, and it is a great time to nature-watch and talk about Life In General. We communicate far more than we used to, as a result.

    It has been tough for her because for several months I was totally obsessed with the Diabetes Thing. When, a bit more than two months after diagnosis, we found that we had brought the diabetes totally under control using diet-only, she was just as thrilled as I was (and I hope I became more reasonable). This is also when we told the rest of the family -- which means that for several months early-on, my wife was the only other person who knew I had diabetes.

    Notice that I said "we" not "I." I could not have done it without her. Had I been single and living alone, I would probably have been a typical man and tried to wish the whole thing away. @Mrsrobbieswan: Your husband knew to ask for help and the two of you (plus your children sometimes) are the team that will work to conquer this thing.

    (By the way, my wife has lost 5 kilos, presumably because of low-carb and increased exercise. Her goal now is to try and lose another 5 kilos -- the ones that she gained when having our babies more than two decades ago.)
     
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    #9 Grateful, Nov 2, 2017 at 9:16 AM
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  10. auroralapetite

    auroralapetite Type 1 · Active Member

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    My husband is very supportive. He has learned far more about Type 1 Diabetes in the last 7 months than any person with a functioning pancreas ever needed to know, and is now an expert at carb counting.

    While I manage the day to day pretty well, it's the psychological aspect of it that wears me down and knowing that he gets what I'm going through helps. He works as a scientist and he brings a very calm, logical mind to any situations which occur, which meshes well with my more intuitive flow.
     
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  11. tina_marie

    tina_marie Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Good morning all , well I've just asked Ron if I've helped or hindered him the reply I got back was ..... I don't know can't remember with a shrug of the shoulders . OK what about now .... don't know another shrug of the shoulders lol. I would like to think I've helped . I've certainly learnt more from joining the forum. The members have all been very supportive . There have been some really tough times but we are managing . Ron's memory is an on going problem plus now with his heart as well. We seem to be playing the waiting game where the hospital is concerned. Still waiting for test results even now . Ron's been pottering about sometimes over doing things . Like the other day trouble with his legs again . It was a few years before he was diagnosed with diabetes that I noticed the first sign but Ron being his stubborn self wouldn't go to the doctors . Instead it was diagnosed from a routine eye appointment. Looking back at what we use to eat to what we eat now there has been a big change ... for the better . I've also learnt that there is alot of stigma attached to people with T2 which I've had to put many people right .
     
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  12. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    I do admire partners. They are just carried along for the ride. They are the unsung heroes to me.

    My heart goes out to those not so fortunate to have a partner or one which cannot help. Mine is limited but I don't expect too much. I don't pressure him for more. He is very generous with his time. I'm lucky.
     
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  13. tina_marie

    tina_marie Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    I will do whatever I can for Ron even though he never asks me for anything.
     
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  14. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm another lucky one with a very supportive husband. He has chosen to eat a strict low carb diet at home so that my chosen way to control my diabetes is 'normal' in this house - its only when we eat out or visit friends that I realise how much easier it is to have us both eating the same thing at home and how generous he is to have given up lots of the things he used to really enjoy (although I think he has the occasional carby treat when I'm not with him). ;)

    I have had lots of stages to my struggle with T2 - I have had a couple of periods of 'denial' one of which nearly ended up with me in hospital with extremely high BG and then five years on insulin. The periods of my 'denial' were hard for him but each time it was his gentle persuasion that got me back in to taking care of myself again.

    It upset him but he was supportive when I needed to inject insulin and he was brilliant when I would get the fairly frequent hypos that the insulin gave me (one symptom of which like @Brunneria was 'anger' - usually directed at him) and he was worried but still supportive when I took the big step to radically reduce then stop the insulin by introducing a very low carb way of eating. (BTW, I wouldn't recommend doing this without medical advice and support).

    Recently he has been a complete star - he loves cooking and always cooks on Saturdays - the meals he cooks are always low carb but usually involve loads of butter and cream - so when I chose to try out the Newcastle Diet which was 10 weeks on 800 calories per day he really worked hard at devising amazing yet very low calorie/low carb meals for us both.

    Basically he just accepts that its my body and sometimes I want to try something new. He listens to me when I describe what I want to do and why - and what I need him to do to help me. He also does some of his own research on it (thanks Dr. Google) so occasionally he'll ask me questions about what I'm doing and why but he's always supportive.
     
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  15. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Mrsrobbieswan: A while back I had managed to get my A1C down to 4.9% (30) which is, basically, "diabetes gone, for the time being."

    So my wife rightly thought that I was still too obsessive about my diabetes.

    One time, when I refused to eat some food that contained ever so slightly more carbs, she said:

    "Go on, be a devil, Mister Four-Point-Nine Percent!"
     
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    #15 Grateful, Nov 2, 2017 at 12:17 PM
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  16. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    My husband has been wonderful. I was diagnosed out of the blue, no symptoms at all, and in the middle of treatment for breast cancer. After all the stress of the breast cancer stuff and the massive support he gave me then, this completely threw him, not least because back in the 1980's his best friend (a type 1 diabetic) had died from diabetes complications. We had seen him with failing eye sight, very bad feet neuropathy, and on dialysis for years culminating in a kidney transplant. He was only 40 when he died. (I must add at this point that insulin treatment in those days was very basic and totally unlike it is today.) With all this, my husband was probably far more petrified about my diagnosis than I was. He came with me to all my initial appointments at the surgery. He is the cook in our house and makes sure I am eating as I need to. He takes an interest in my meter readings and always asks what they are when he sees me test, and if a post meal reading is higher than normal he will ask why. I am not on any medication and have never suffered from hypos or hypers, but if things change I know he will be there for me.
     
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  17. Grateful

    Grateful Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am not religious, but you don't have to be religious to say "in sickness and in health" and mean it.
     
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  18. Chook

    Chook Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Very true. :)
     
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  19. TooSweetForMe

    TooSweetForMe Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My mom and I support each other, but don't constantly nag if we see the other occasionally eating something we shouldn't.
     
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  20. Hammer1964

    Hammer1964 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My husband has been very supportive since my diagnosis in April. I took him along to an appointment with the diabetic nurse so he could understand the seriousness/dangers of this disease as I have a tendency to play everything down. He mostly does the shopping and always asks me for my list so he does not buy the ‘wrong’ food for me. He does cook a bit but does work 12 hour shifts so sometimes it feels like ships that pass in the night. We have had a few rough months with his mum passing away, cancelling our annual holiday because of the funeral and still fighting the insurance company for our claim 3 months down the line but he always asks how I am, when is my next appointment, have I taken my pills, do I have enough to last me and only grumbles a little when I ask him to come with me on a walk (he has a dodgy knee). We have been married for 22 years and together for 27, I would not be without him.
     
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