Forgive me, I've been writing this for two hours with a headache so if it doesn't make sense... or I've spelled things wrong, sound like a goober... please be kind. :)
Hi everybody... I'm "the girlfriend!"
There's so much I've wanted to respond to- whether it was about diabetic's getting married or finding accepting significant others to my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't get it. Being the girlfriend of a Type 1 for over a year now, maybe I can provide some insight on behalf of everyone else's significant others. Or maybe it'll just be my insight... but hopefully you'll be able to get something out of it?
First things first, there are a lot of selfish, superficial people in the world. People that are going to think diabetes is weird, or that you're going to hold their life back? Or something? I really don't know what these people think because I DON'T UNDERSTAND THEM!??? :) So, don't take what they say to heart. And for the love of banana-lovin' monkeys in Uganda, DON'T DATE THEM! :) Becaaaaaaaaause...
There are also a lot of wonderful people in the world, too! In fact, I like to think they outweigh the bad ones. :) Encouraging, loving, selfless people that just want to love you- whether it's family or friends, boyfriends or girlfriends... people that THINK YOU'RE A GIFT. So to the diabetics who are looking for soulmates or the highschoolers that are afraid to tell the girl they like, you WILL find the right person when it's the right time. In the meantime, try to look for the good ones and keep livin' your life! Keep having dreams & goals & adventures, do something different... do things that scare you. At least that's how I met my honey... I was at rockbottom in my own life & I decided to do a marathon for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. He ended up donating from thousands of miles away. We began writing each other & became friends... and the rest is history. :)
I say all this because I LOVE my boyfriend. When you care about someone, diabetes just doesn't matter. It matters in the grand scheme of your life together, of course, but you don't view that person as undateable or weird or less of a person. You just love them because you can't help it. You care about them. And you'd give everything in the world to be supportive of that person, to see that person's dreams come true- whether diabetes related or not. My honey, Mattie, is ridiculously sweet (diabetics=num!), so super loving, goofy, freakin' brilliant (hello, financial analyst!)... oh yeah... and he has diabetes. That's kind of how it went. Basically, I fell in love with HIM not a disease. He is a guy that happens to be diabetic. It's NOT what defines him. If it was, I wouldn't have dated him. And he does his absolute best to manage his blood levels. He's awesome about it and I appreciate it sooo much!!!
I also had a lot of learning to do! I had nooooooooo idea what diabetics go through. All I knew is that back in 3rd grade one of my classmates with diabetes, Ian, couldn't have cupcakes when anyone brought them in to school for their birthday. :( I remember my mom bringing in sugar-free gum for him instead. I figured a lot had changed since then. I thought diabetes was completely manageable as in you take a pill & you're good for the day. WRONG. I had no idea a diabetic had to be so aware all of the time. In today's day in age, that just seems crazy. Hopefully not for too much longer. :) :) :)
This may sound absolutely nuts... But I view it as a gift (in some ways) that he has diabetes. Because you HAVE to be selfless, you HAVE to be there for that person in uncomfortable situations. For me to see him that vulnerable, for him to see me so supportive... it makes our love very deep, very real. It intensifies your relationship. It has to. It's life & death. You get to find out in a short amount of time if that person your dating has your back. And as the girlfriend, I got to learn just how much I loved this man. And I am soooo blessed to be in such a beautiful relationship! Sheesh... all the "haters" are missin' out. Whatevs. :)
So long story short... don't waste your time with people that don't have the capacity to understand. Dating a diabetic can be a struggle but you know what? I'm not perfect either! And how BLESSED am I that he sees ME through rose colored glasses? Thank ya Jesus, thank ya Lawd!!! ;) I've taken on his diabetes... he's taken on my credit card debt, my flightiness, my long distance, etc, etc... Everybody has something they'd like to hide from the world... or just the juventation forum. ;) Besides the fact, you never know what life is going to hand you... I could end up with *** cancer at 40. That would totally suck but at least I'd know our love was strong enough to deal with it. Dating a diabetic has also helped me to realize every day we get to breathe is a gift...
Should diabetics get married?? Hellz yeah!!! Or I'm screwed!!! ;) No, OF COURSE THEY SHOULD!! Although you are all strong enough to handle this disease on your own, it's just nice knowing that someone is there... I WILL say getting used to dating a diabetic has been interesting. :) I remember the first time my mom met Matt. We flew out for a week to upstate New York and we get there, chat that night with my mom... Next morning, BAM. Worst low spell I had yet seen. He hadn't woken up yet (strange), so I checked on him... I had to pinch him, yell at him, shake him for the longest time to get him conscious enough to even drink orange juice. When he finally did come to, he was this nasty grumpy 6 year old that just wanted to go back to sleep. He was aggressive, he pushed me around really hard, he was mean & tried to bite me... which looking back on it, is kinda funny & adorable (yes, I understand the severity of the situation, I don't mean to make light of that) but there's no humor whatsoever when you're really scared and you're mom is standing there like, "What IS this? Do I need to call an ambulence???" Oh & we're supposed to go see a realtor in 20 minutes. NICE.
Long story short, eventually Matt comes to... drinks a ton of juice... 20 minutes later he's bouncing around singing Xanadu, happy as a clam, & my mom looks at me like, "Does he have a clue what just happened here? Do you really want to go through this the rest of your life? Has he even thanked you?" Long story short. No he doesn't have a clue what happened here. Yes, I want to go through the rest of my life "like this" (you know what I mean). And no he hasn't thanked me. But at this point in our relationship I know him. I know he's just happy being happy at the moment. And I'm happy for him, too! And I know the thank yous will come later as they have in the past. And I'm just so thankful he's okay. My mom, on the other hand, has known him all of 10 hours... so she just didn't know. And that's okay, too. How would she know? Didn't really want to smack her in the face with a low spell Day 1 but that's just how we did it that day... :) And my mom means well... She only wants to make sure I'm happy & appreciated. She doesn't want me to lose myself, taking care of a guy who doesn't thank me or isn't aware of how great I am (ha ha). I wouldn't stick around for that either! But she gets it better now... and everday I get it more & more, too. :)
I'm soooo happy to take care of my man. But there are also ways you guys & gals can help take care of us! YAY!!! I thought I'd bring that up, too. ;)
1) Be aware that it affects us, too. After a low spell, Matt typically feels great, as I just said. He's energized & ready to take on the world. I, on the other hand... am exhausted & still feel traumatized. To go through that experience is incredibly scary. Not only were you just super panicked and your heart was racing out of your chest... but to actually see you physically in an altered state can be really scary. It's haunting. You don't ever want to see the people you love not look like themselves. So just know, you may feel great... but the person in your life may need a good hug or a cry...
There is a level of panic and worry that I'm still learning to deal with. Mattie & I are long distance which SUPER SUCKS for a ton of reasons. But one is that I'm not there all of the time. Something goes wrong, I can't just leave work & drive to him. I remember, once I got a phone call from a couple of friends that he was supposed to meet up with. They get to his place & he's not waking up. They leave me a voicemail asking if I know what to do. I'm at the movies with my phone off watching, of all things, 800 hour long 'Benjamin Button'... So they end up calling the EMT... When I finally check my messages I freak out because a) I don't know what's happened, b) I wanted to know three hours ago and c) Everything's fine now, EMT's came & he's happy as a clam. When to me, I'm freaking out thinking, "What if this time was it??" What if his friends hadn't shown up? It's TERRIFYING. And granted, I really have learned (& sometimes relearn) to let go of the fear. But it's just part of the learning...
**Also know that I don't mean to belittle what YOU GUYS go through. What we go thru is incomparable to what you go through. I'm just sharing experiences & trying to see how long I can make this post.** ;)
2) Listen to us. We're not always right. You HAVE dealt with the disease longer than we have (for me, anyway). But sometimes we can see your patterns better than you can. Sometimes your personality, stubborn traits, rationalization can get in the way. Ex (Sorry, honey!): I've discovered that after Matt's spin class, his sugar drops a TON in a very short amount of time. Matt has done exceptionally well in the losing weight department. Having lost over 100 pounds, he's a tad obsessed about his fitness & nutrition regimens... This is a good thing for him because it keeps him healthy (not to mention it completely inspires me!!) But this sucks because he gets super low after spin. Duh! Of course he would. BUT! He seems to think that he can eat his regular low-calorie stuff after spin & be fine for the day. Ummm, no. He needs to eat either more calories OR eat more often after losing 1200 calories in a spin class. (He works out like a psycho champ). And he doesn't understand (STILL!) why he konks out all day on Saturday... or ends up with crazy blood sugar levels. I tell him this every Saturday & it's like he's hearing it for the first time. It's SUPER frustrating. (Love you, honey!) ;)
3) Be prepared and manage well. THE most important thing you can do. DO WHAT YOU CAN DO. :) I think your family & friends, spouses, others... hear 'I'll be fine' a lot... 'I'll be okay' or 'I can wait' when they start to get low. Please, please, please, always, always, always have something with you to eat. Please, please, please don't wait thinking you'll be okay. You may have been okay in the past. But what I've learned from this disease... is that as soon as you manage it & think you have it figured out, it rears its ugly head again & you have to relearn everything. Don't take ANY chances. (ESPECIALLY WHEN DRIVING). Out of respect for us... for the strangers that have to call 911 in the supermarket when you've passed out... for the EMT's that are out saving lives... it is ALWAYS better safe than sorry. It's also responsible and respectful. **Please keep in mind... I am NOT talking about situations where you've done everything you can & you still have some crazy experience. I am completely aware those things happen. All I'm saying is that I don't mind calling the EMT for those things. I WILL mind if you've just been really stupid & careless. Let me also mention that Mattie rules & is really awesome about managing his levels. It is very rare that my "I get drunk from one drink" boyfriend throws caution to the wind, buys a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne, drinks both bottles at one in the morning, drunk dials his girlfriend saying he still plans to take his spinning class tomorrow & study... HA! Right. THEN wonders why he feels "pokey" the next day, doesn't go to spin & doesn't get his studying done. Hmmm... very rare. *sigh* :) :) :)
HOLY CRAP! It's 3:30... I'm so gonna be a zombie tomorrow. I'm gonna post this & go to bed. What's truly scary is that I know there's more to say. HA! My brain is utterly fried. But thanks for reading, everybody! I hope you've gotten something out of this... I hope I haven't pissed anybody off... I hope my boyfriend still loves me (*meep*- I used him for a lot of examples!!) and I hope you all have gotten more sleep than I will be getting tonight. Hee hee.
Love & blessings,
Okay, so I just reread this... I'm not sure if I swooned enough about what a wonderful man my Mattie is... In fact, the day he was low, I make it sound like he played Ike to my Tina!!! ;) NOOO!!! :) It's not like that at all... It was just a different, uglier kind of low. But even at his very worst, whether D-related or not, he still manages to be sweet & loving & wonderful to me. I really am blessed to be with him. He is incredibly responsible & I always know I am cared for & loved... And yes, he does thank me. Like... all the time. :) I just wanted to make sure that all came out right. He is truly a gift. My gift!! I'm soooo soooo lucky. :)
Nothing is posted here.
I hate to be rude, but you have posted your thoughts and fears of your diabetic boyfriend going blind, etc. Do you really think its wise or sensitive to publish such thoughts to entire group of TYPE 1's??!!!!!!!! I mean seriously? Don't you realize that this is a website for type 1 diabetics and is a website for those who are somehow connected to a type 1, whether it be a child, relative, etc.? I can't speak for everyone, but I will tell you that I have enough fears of my own, and I seriously do not need to log onto a website, where I look to go for some serenity and peace of mind, and read this pathetic excuse of a blog. Please, take your inconsiderate words elsewhere. I don't need to hear how hard being with a diabetic is from you.
I completely agree with Alayna. I understand that 'dealing' with us
T1 isn't always easy but most of the time, we have no idea what we're
doing when low and MOST of the time, lows come on unexpected.
I would refrain from writing messages that make us seem like complete burdens to the rest of the world.
mentioned that people SHOULD date us. Well roxygirl22, you basically
just listed a bunch of reasons why people would consider NOT dating us.
are people like any others, and we have feelings. Most of us are more
emotional while experiencing lows and highs... and comments like these
strike us where it hurts. We work VERY hard to work through this
disease day in and day out. Please give us the benefit of the doubt
and DO NOT openly discourage our efforts.
since June 2004
- Animas One Touch Ping pumper!www.andreelise.ca/design
roxygirl22, I completely agree with Alayna and Andree'. We need positive people in our lives !!!
Mandi, Matt is very lucky to have such a wonderful girlfriend !!! You're AWESOME !!
I also am blessed to have such a wonderful boyfriend. He too sought out information about T1D, as you did. He'd ask questions and paid very close attention when I'd say something was not right with me. He learned how to treat and recognize lows, how to test my sugar level if he needed to. He has been through many high's and low's with me. He got me OJ when I couldn't do it myself, I was so low I couldn't function properly, couldn't remember anything that had happened. He was there when I had my mini stroke this year, he was very concerned but masked his emotions to be strong for me. I appreciate the endless support that I feel and get every single day from him !! Every T1 needs a support group in their lives to help us get through the tuff times, even to celebrate the good ones.
Diagnosed @ age 5 on November 23, 1983
I happen to agree. I'm a lucky man to have such an incredibly positive and wonderful person in my life. She's an absolute joy. And I've had days where I've made her life no picnic. But we always power through. The mood swings, the weird bloods, the middle of the night flopsweating from being 40 mg/dl and anyone that can deal with all that and stay positive, well, that's just something to absolutely clutch onto with the strength of 1000 condors.
I would be very upset with my boyfriend if I saw him posting things like you said roxygirl22. My boyfriend and I were dating before I was diagnosed and he's been one of my biggest supporters through the past few months of my life. He has helped me in so many ways, if he would ever say things like this, I wouldn't be able to be with him anymore.
Diagnosed at 19 on February 21, 2009.
I am on a Animas OneTouch Ping since July 2009.
I see what how you all can take that post by Roxy as being really insensitive but, that is how some people think. The person on the other side can get as burnt out as us, and be just as scared about things that can happen as we can. Why can't they have concerns too? I don't think Roxy meant it to sound insensitive she was just venting the same way that we vent to each other about things bothering us. Yea and you know what sometimes we don't say thank you or can be real pains in the you know what. We should hear these things too.
I think she should be allowed to vent it out.
Dxd November 25, 2000, Minimed Med Pump and CGM
Find me on twitter, my blog, linked in
Roxygirl22, here is Mandi's post when she was searching for inforamtion on Type 1 diabetes, maybe take a look at it. It might help you out with some of your concerns.
Ok so I may have been a little over-hurt by her comment. Granted some of the things that were said WERE uncalled for.. I do believe everyone has a right to be heard and be educated.
Follow orange's information and try to educate yourself. I am sure your boyfriend is going through a lot and I'm also sure he isn't the easiest person to deal with at times. Try to communicate about things?
I have been married to the same woman for 35 out of my 39 years during which I've had Type 1 diabetes. I've known my wife, Sara, since my freshman year in high school although it took her until my senior year as an undergraduate in college to realize that I was worth marrying :) As a diabetic, I believe life can be much, much better if you have someone you love with whom you can share your diabetes.
Fortunately, our marriage does not center around my diabetes. It's as much a part of Sara's life as it is of mine and 99% of the time it's on automatic. We are like any other "normal" married couple, except that unlike most these days we're very good at it as evidenced by our 35-years-and-still-going success. I'm semi-retired having had a successful career in the music industry. We have two grown children.., a 30-year-old-daughter and a 25-year-old son who also has Type 1 diabetes since the age of five.
We go to the movies, concerts and out to dinner just like other married couples. We sit and watch TV (American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, House, Bones, and all the liberal CNN news shows) just like everyone else. We tend to our house, plant our flower and vegetable gardens, and play with our dog, Petunia,... yup, just like other married couples. We even fight a little like other married couples... not too much, just enough to keep our marriage healthy and exciting. We do the other stuff too. Life is good!
I would like to make the non-daibetic girlfriends aware of something which you very well may be aware of already. And that is that there is a fine line between being caring, nurturing and supportive.... and (you may have guessed it) mothering. As much as a man, especially a "poor, needy Type 1 diabetic one," may look like he's wanting to be babied by a replacement mother, as time goes on he won't be happy with one. And, you won't be happy serving that role, especially when you have real children to take care of. Sons really don't want to marry their mothers. Just be aware of this and try to keep your relationship as a mature one between TWO adults and everything will be fine.
Hey, come on, is there really a candy bar worth dying for?
Act always as if the future of the Universe depended on what you did,while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.
Forgive me, because it's quite possible that I have ADD as I can't hardly force myself to read more than a paragraph at a time, so if I mention something that's already been covered, I apologize.
But, as you mentioned, I see no reason why diabetics can't have successful relationships and marriages. I know that I will. It's merely a minor obstacle, if even that.
It's interesting that the name of this post is "Matt's Girlfriend" because as a fellow Matt, I'm very greatful for the girl in my life. I didn't read the aforementioned Roxy posts, but if there was anything regarding reasons why you shouldn't be involved or carry on a relationship, I just consider that nonsense.
It sounds like you're pretty into this guy, and care a lot about him. I know that probably the most important thing for me is that my girlfriend knows my behaviors and how to help if needed, and how to help my watch my carbs, and just any general needs associated with my disease, but most importantly she knows how to treat me completely normal the other 95% of the time. To quote Batts,"I have diabetes, diabetes doesn't have me." If he's anything like me, the last thing he wants is to have his difference pointed out to him constantly. Maybe that's just me.
The fact is that if you care about someone, there's really nothing that should deter you from that!
"Don't take life too seriously... you'll never make it out alive"
Well said Paul and thank you for sharing Mandi! I did not see Roxygirl's post and I guess I am glad I didn't. These posts made me more appreciative of my wife even more. We've been married 11 years now (as of the 20th) and together for 19 years. Due to life's path for us, we do not have children yet but are trying for our first. My diabetes has never been an issue with us. I've always been one to be on top of things - testing, docs, exercising etc. Thanks for pointing out the fine line Paul. It is very true! I'm lucky in the fact that my wife really watches what she eats as she's battled systemic chronic candida for the past few years after not knowing what was wrong for years before that (unlucky for her!). In the years before that though, it was never 'are you mad because you are high or low', 'do you need to test' , 'do you need to eat'. She knew I had a handle on things and let me take care of my disease. At the same time would lend the ear when I'd get tired of doing it all - didn't offer advice to 'fix' it - just listened and that seemed to be enough- for me anyway.
The more we recognize our highs and lows, the more we can manage our emotions and have better relationships. Not to say that sometimes we just can't help it. I can remember a few years into our relationship, my wife was fed up with my moodiness (we weren't married yet) and she'd just say 'mood swing' and walk out of the room. At first it really ticked me off, but I caught on quickly and realized that my bs was off so it became a joke because I trusted that she knew. Anytime we go to the mall or out running errands, she even stopped asking 'should we bring a snack?' - she has a bag ready with an apple, crackers etc. I can't tell you how many times that has come in handy. She hasn't had to be a parent - just a partner. That's really been the extent of my wife helping me with my disease and the 'mood swing' comment opened my eyes to my symptoms for highs and lows, which made me a better man, not a better diabetic.
Again - thanks for sharing Mandi. It is always great to hear that our partners see us as people, not just diabetic. I'd love to hear more commentary like that. Paul - your insight, advice and experience is always appreciated! Be well.
People are not their thoughts, they think they are and it brings them all kinds of sadness.