A few years ago I made the acquaintance of a new LADA diabetic who was diagnosed at age 32. When I met him he was most distraught for himself and his changing life situation. I cannot say that I know him well but I have been able to talk to him a few times over the years.
When diagnosed the gentleman was 32. He had become extremely ill losing weight and shedding energy at a high rate. When he checked into the hospital his blood sugar was over 700 and he felt awful.
The poor fellow had recently had a break up of a long term relationship. Now to say this clearly our meeting did not occur on TUDiabetes, so I do not want someone to think I am breaking a confidence, but of ocurse it could have and a few of our members will think this is a true excerpt of their lives but it is not. The fellow knew I would offer his story for advice at some point. He agreed to let me do that so long as I did not reveal his name he was fine with me telling the story.
So here was his story. He was very ill and had been for some time. His longtime partner and he had been at odds for a few months and he was so upset he could barely tolerate his living situation. When they broke up he was heart sick. What to do, was his main question he started not eating, and at the same time drinking. The deeper he sank into depression the worse it was. He was ill, angry, upset and totally unbalanced. This went on for about one month and he became so ill he had to see the doctor. After a few days he received a call from the doctor’s office and he was told to report to the hospital. When he was told to go to the hospital he thought he needed another test. When he got there he was admitted and that was when he learned of his diagnosis.
To him being called a diabetic was the same as a death sentence. When told he was diabetic, and given insulin for the first time he was in shock. Over time he came to understand that he would be on insulin for a much longer period of time than he expected. At first he thought maybe a few days but now he understood that he would likely be using insulin the rest of his life. In fact that part became a major depressive factor and that really started him down a terrible road.
While in the hospital he started suffering daily panic attacks. He was worried about his job, living situation and to some extent his diabetes. Truthfully he was not able to find much he could feel good about. His most significant relationship was over, and he his new relationship with diabetes was not positive. Upon dismissal I met him and he asked, me a very important question, what do I do?
He was desperately worried about never finding another female to share his live with. He wanted children and he felt children were now out of the question. He was worried about his job, his living situation and of course his diabetes. So I ask, what would you suggest for him?
I suggested, as I almost always do that he get some counseling. I also suggested that in counseling he focus on his diabetes. I suggested that he try to stop obsessing about dating, which was easy for me to say, but difficult for him to do. My advice was and is that his primary focus be on getting his diabetes under control. Instead as it turned out his primary focus was on finding a partner to share his life with. In terms of getting his diabetes under control, he was having great difficulty. His blood sugars were out of control and in his first few years he was readmitted to the hospital twice.
In terms of finding a partner he continued to suffer. It seemed his revelations were met increasingly with rebuffs of his interest. He blamed each one more and more on diabetes. I personally doubted that diabetes was his problem. He has remained unsure how and when to tell a date that he was diabetic, how much to explain and when to do so. Six years later he is still without a steady female presence and as I said he continues to blame the diabetes.
What advice would you give my friend? He seems to be stuck. We have a number of females in this community, what would be a good way for a man to approach this subject? Remember he is now 37, never married and he has type 1 diabetes. He does manage himself but not always the best. Do you have suggestions about how he should approach this delicate situation? Suggestions are encouraged. Oh and to be clear he is a fun active individual. Besides diabetes, I believe he would be considered good dating material. But what do I know?