@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.