Can You Really Step Into Your Spouse's Shoes?

I’ve only experienced one low in my life. My husband has Type 1 diabetes. As a spouse, it can be a little hard to understand what my husband experiences when he has a low. There was one time that I experienced what he goes through when he has a low blood sugar. And I would never wish it on anyone–ever.

After we had our son, we moved into our house. We were supposed to have moved a month before he was born. Instead, he came six weeks early and was two weeks old when we moved into our house. Billirubin blankets and other medical equipment came with us. When we finally were able to move our things in, we couldn’t believe the mess that had been left behind by the previous owners. The rooms our children were supposed to have moved into were in shambles. Our children lived with us in our master bedroom for a week while we scraped paint, tore up carpet, repainted, and recarpeted their rooms. I was running on an empty tank to say the least. There were four of us plus all of our little boys medical equipment crammed into our master bedroom with us while we gutted their bedrooms. Add to that the fact I had had a baby not two weeks prior and didn’t get a chance to rest with the move and the disappointing move in. For months, I didn’t stop. Days were spent gutting the house and putting it together while nights were spent up with a newborn baby.

Several months after he was born, my preschool daughter was napping along with my little boy. “A perfect moment to get some work done,” I thought to myself. Thinking it would only take me a half an hour to finish my project, I headed downstairs to tackle it. “It shouldn’t take too long” I thought to myself. “I’ll grab lunch in a little while.” What I didn’t realize is I had forgotten to eat my breakfast and it was almost 2:30 in the afternoon. Add to that my body was using more calories than it was getting post baby. My half an hour project turned into an hour and a half long project. Half way into the project my lips started to tingle. It got harder to grip things. “It’s okay,” I thought, “I’m almost done.” Towards the end of the project I couldn’t think clearly. My fingers were going numb and the room was spinning so bad by this point that I didn’t think I could stand up. But damn, I was going to finish this project!! I didn’t even know what time it was by then. I heard my little girl calling for me, and I just wanted to lie down. Everything was foggy, and my daughter was talking to me as if from the end of a long tunnel. A thought popped into my head and I suddenly knew that I needed to eat. NOW. Somehow I was able to walk up the stairs on shaky, unstable knees and get a snack. I don’t remember anything that was going on around me, and I don’t know how I got to the couch surrounded by food.

My daughter had apparently realized that I was talking funny and scarfing down food and grabbed the meter. I checked my blood sugar. 50. While some of you reading may scoff (my husband laughs and says, “I’ve been in the high 20’s before and still functioning!”) This was kind of new to me and my body. And scary. Once my brain started to clear I was so tired. Incredibly tired. But I couldn’t sleep. My little girl sat next to me, and I could hear my little boy playing in his crib. “How does he do it?” I thought. “How can he live his life like this?”

Because he has to. Because just like I fought to get up those stairs and get food, he has to have that same drive and determination to be there for me. For our kids. He loves us and fights the disease that none of us understands. Because he loves us and himself enough to know that he has to keep going. Because you can’t beat this disease lying down.

I’m really sorry you had to go through that. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. However, I do wish some people had to experience it just one time. No one can understand unless they’ve been there. At least you understand a very little bit of what your husband goes through on a daily basis. You sound like a good wife for recognizing it.

My Mum used to go low once in awhile - and she’s not even a diabetic. It only happened once in awhile - she’d say she felt strange - but I would see the same symptoms that I get - and go and make her a sugary cup of tea. It might be because she had a thyroid condition at the time (overactive - on meds) - so perhaps this is why. Maybe in your case it’s not only because of burning both candles at both ends (Super Mum) - but also having just given birth - when our hormones are ALL over THE place!!! Yee! Haa!

No lows are not fun at all! We are not ourselves - but when we are low - we try so hard to still act like it’s not happening - because we have to. I don’t really have anyone to rely on when I’m going low - I have to handle it on my own - and I’m lucky that I can do this. In away, your story despite it not being pleasant for you - brings you I think closer to your hubby in a special way.

Take care!

Anna from Montreal aka FatCatAnna - The Trials and Tribulations of a Diabetic