(Closed) Marrying a diabetic

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 32
1007 posts
Bumble bee

“from all the drinks and the infection he had pretty much given himself diabetes”

You CANNOT give yourself Type 1 diabetes.  It is an autoimmune disease where your own antibodies attack the insulin-secreting cells in your pancreas, and there is nothing that you can do to prevent this, and nothing you can do to yourself to cause it.


Post # 33
1007 posts
Bumble bee

“He probably did inherit it a little from his dad”

You said in your initial post that his Dad has Type 2 diabetes.  Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are completely different diseases, not different points on one disease spectrum.  There is a small genetic component to type 1 diabetes, and there’s a significant genetic component to type 2 diabetes, however a child cannot inherit type 1 diabetes from a parent with type 2 diabetes, as the mechanism of disease is completely different in the two diseases.

Post # 34
850 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I have a friend who divorced her husband because he had diabetes and refused to look after himself.

Post # 35
9276 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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@jbbs1222:  Just to clear up some misinformation that you seem to have Type 1 diabetes is caused by recessive genes which basically means that you have to get the gene from both your parents. You cannot get it from one parent alone.

Also no amount of sugary drinks or infections can give you type 1 diabetes. Sugar drinks may lead to type 2 diabetes if a persons diet and exercise regime are poor.

Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes are very different diseases. A parent or relative having type 2 diabetes has no connection to someone in that family getting type 1.

Type 1 is unpreventable and uncurable (at present heres hoping) whilst type 2 is preventable and somewhat curable.

How do I do know this? I have been a type 1 diabetic for over 30 years.

Type 1 (or type 2 for that matter) is not a death sentence.

A bad attitude, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity is a death sentence. And the only person who can choose to control their disease is the person with the disease.

Support him but don’t nag him, prepare healthy meals, encourage exercise, keep sweet things out of the house and remember that you are his partner and not his mother/keeper.  

Post # 36
1007 posts
Bumble bee

Sorry, I got all wound up in my first two posts, and didn’t realise that the points I made had already been covered by PPs.  I have Type 1 diabetes, and I just get so immensely frustrated when people think that I brought it on myself by eating too much sugar as a kid, or when they tell me that if I do more exercise I will be able to get rid of my diabetes.  Type 1 diabetes doesn’t work like that (for that matter, type 2 doesn’t always work like that either, although sometimes it does).

I was diagnosed at the age of 5, so I don’t really remember much about life pre-diabetes, but I can imagine that getting diagnosed as an adult would be a hugely traumatic experience, and I can definitely understand why your Fiance is struggling with this.  I struggled all through my teenage years (hormones playing havoc with my sugar levels, teenage me becoming rebellious, etc.), and as a result at the age of 27 I already have what looks to be proliferative diabetic retinopathy (I’m actually having an angiogram tomorrow to check how advanced it is).  So yes, it is a big deal, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his refusal to manage his condition is influenced by a feeling of hopelessness about the future and how his diabetes is going to affect him.  However, if he manages to get his head around things and is prepared to start making an effort to learn more about his condition and to come up with a good management plan (ideally in tandem with an endocrinologist or a diabetes nurse specialist that he trusts), then the risks of serious complications can definitely be lowered.

It’s fantastic that you’re trying to support him, and I can imagine how frustrating this must be for you.  Looking back, it must have been incredibly frustrating for my parents when I was a teenager!  Yes, he needs to “man up” and start looking after himself, but this is a huge thing for him to adjust to, even after 2 years, and he’s going to need your continued support.  As for the depression, mood really does have a huge impact on a person’s ability to control their diabetes – I’ve suffered from clinical depression in the past, and when I go through a period of low mood, my blood sugar control just goes out the window.  I suspect that if his mood improves, his sugar levels will improve also.

Post # 37
838 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2008

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@jbbs1222:  I’m sorry, but the mother in me is about to come out.


Sweetie, he’s a 23 year old MAN who is engaged to be married. His parents don’t have to pay ANYTHING towards his well being, they’re covering his insurance, so you have an idea of how much that costs???? At the point where my kids became adults, they understood that they were responsible for themselves, especially if they’re at the point where they can have sex and all that stuff, so PLEASE don’t put this on his parents. He’s a big boy, he needs to act like it. If the educators came and he was asleep, then WAKE THE HELL UP. If you were able to be there, unless you live there, then someone knew they were coming. Go wake him up! Why would you just go relay information to him? It’s HIS disease, he needs to take ownership of it. If he didn’t know they were coming, then make the appointment himself and STAY AWAKE until they get there. Go to the local hospital and take a class. They’re free. Get on the American Diabetes Association website and find a class. Get there. Take it. 


You say you’re the only source of support for him, and that’s nice, but I hate to sound cruel, but if you got hit by a bus tomorrow, he’d have to figure out a way to make due. I suggest he do that.

And yes, if he had cancer and he was hell bent on killing himself, as your mother, I’d tell you to leave too. Cancer, diabetes, leprosy, a heart problem… same difference.

Post # 38
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@jbbs1222:  I am a type 1 diabetic – I had really similar story when I came down with it, although I was only a freshman in high school (and my mom was even a diabetic educator when I came down with diabetes – I guess you just don’t realize what’s happening when its happening to you…but anyways…).  It sounds like to me that your Fiance may be going through some of the stages of loss in dealing with his diagnosis. Its incredibly scary to realize that your entire life is now radically different and that you will have this pain in the ass disease for the rest of your life.  And it is in no way easy to deal with (I almost have a PhD in engineering and I still can’t perfectly manage my diabetes).  I would suggest a couple things to you:

1) Help your Fiance find a doctor that he gets along with.  An endocrinologist is the best bet, but they are pricey if you don’t have insurance.  I have definitely had fear of going to the doctor before – you feel like they are going to yell at you and tell you how much you suck at taking care of your diabetes, when you may have been trying or maybe you’re just not ready to do everything yourself and are still struggling with that.  It also forces you to accept and confront head on that you now have and will forever have to deal with the diabetes.  Maybe it seems dumb that this would be an issue for those who haven’t had to deal with it, but diabetes literally affects EVERY SINGLE CHOICE you make all day long and it is a scary thing to realize and have to deal with. There was a long time that I just wanted to ‘have a normal life’ and not have to constantly think about that I have diabetes (and you really have to think about it constantly or you’re suddenly having out of control sugars).  But hopefully finding a doctor that your Fiance can have a good relationship (friendship almost?) with will help him feel better about going to meet with them.  If there’s one thing I know for sure is that there is NO WAY he will be able to manage this disease by himself.  There are so many variables that affect your blood sugar levels (what you eat, when you eat, your carbs/fats/proteins ratios, exercise, stress, for ladies even what time of the month!) and it is extremely difficult to step back and make decisions about insulin levels and such on yourself.  His doctor can also be someone to talk to about his fears and frustrations/depression.

2) When I came down with diabetes I was in high school, so I was living with my parents and my mom helped me get into a routine with it.  She planned healthy meals, she reminded me about taking my shots, she helped me remember to pick up, and proper storage of my prescriptions, she scheduled and took me to my appointments, etc etc.  Your Fiance is unlucky that he is not living at home to have his mom to help him with everything, but the good news is that he has you.  I think the most helpful thing you can do to help your fiance is to help him remember some/all of these extras relating to the disease so that he can focus just on checking his blood sugar, getting used to taking insulin and feel like he still has a semblance of normal life. I don’t think you will have to be the mom forever, but the first couple years or so of getting used to diabetes it is such a heavy yoke to have to carry all the time, and having you help him carry some of it will be a relief to him. Having said that, try not to be overbearing or nagging – I would definitely discuss how you’re going to help him/ask him what you can help with and suggest some things before you just start doing them.  And I would not bug him about what his bloodsugar is/how tests at the doctor were unless he volunteers them – failures at controlling diabetes can feel extremely personal, like you’re a failure (or at least they do for me).

3) You/He needs to get a job with good insurance.  I think I calculated out once that my diabetes supplies/prescriptions amount to $17000 each year without insurance.  Not sure if that was with my insulin pump (for which the supplies are a little more expensive, but a godsend) or before when I was just doing shots, but the long and short of it is that it is going to be a huge cost for the rest of your lives unless you have good insurance.

4) You can sometimes find a support group/conference sort of thing for type 1 diabetics.  It will definitely be helpful if your Fiance is willing/able to make friends with some other successful type 1s who are managing their disease and still living life. 

I hope my suggestions are helpful. Not going to lie – you are embarking upon a tough journey, but if you have any questions or anything feel free to PM me.

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