Does one person manage the D in your family?

I just want to know how diabetes management works in your house? In my house, I do it all. I will say that I stay home with my two children. The 9 year old is type 1 since 2. We homeschool, which is another topic. My husband is self employed but doesn’t work crazy hours. He puts in a 40-50 hour week like every other working stiff. I am the one who wakes at night to check sugars, someone has to. I do all set changes, pump and cgms. He learned how to do a set change just so I could take a weekend away from the family 3 years ago. He didn’t actually have to do one while I was gone and hasn’t done one since. We have been on CGMS for a month and a half. Just the other day he asked what the transmitter was! Then when I was charging it Saturday, he was surprised at what the charger looked like! Wow, that is out of touch.

Am I giving him too much slack? I always say, “What if something happens to me?” He says I shouldn’t talk that way! That isn’t an answer! I feel disrespected that he hasn’t stepped up to the plate in 7 years with diabetes. Am I wrong to feel that way?


My husband and I share responsibilty. The brunt of it, the planning or logging sugars falls on me. But, we take turns with the nighttime checks. And, I used to be the only one who changed sets (my son is 5 and can’t do it himself). But, one day I sat my husband down and explained that it would help my stress level greatly if he’d start changing some sets. I told him that I needed to know that Riley would be OK if something happened to me. He understood and started changing sets too.

He leaves for work before me, so I still change the majority of sets except on weekends. And, he’s a teacher, so he’s home for the summer, so he changes pretty much all of the sets for now. He counts carbs and gives insulin just as much as I do.

My mom keeps Riley while I’m working and she does all these things too. It took a while for her to start changing sets, but she can do it now if she has to.

I think your husband needs to learn a little more about caring for your child’s D. Whether he wants to hear it or not you might not always be around. And, you need to know that your child will be cared for.

I do just about everything since my hubby works offshore, he’s rarely here. But when he’s home, I’ll pipe up “hey can you check his sugars” or “give him ___ novolog please” I guess I’m the timer, I just have to delegate it out to him, otherwise he’d be clueless.

My husband used to do the majority of the daily work as he worked from home and I at an office, but I quit six months after my girls diagnosis and I have taken on the majority of the responsibilities. He used to change sets, but hasn’t in a while. He is totally good with carbs and blood sugars and insulin. He tests before he comes to bed, which is usually around midnight and I make him tell me what it was so I can sleep more soundly. Changing insulin basal or boluses would be slightly challenging for him ,but he could do it if he was required.

My daughter, Olivia, was just dx 6/12/2007. She is two years old. I am a physical education teacher so right now I have the summers off (last day of school was 6/08/2007). Because of this, I right now do the majority of everything, but my husband usually does the bedtime check/shot/and snack. I’m confident that once school starts again, it will be 50-50!

I am the primary care giver in our family, but that is not to say my husband is incompetent, I have a much more flexible schedule than him. I get up most nights for checks but he does it if I need a night off (although I still wake up and ask how it went.) It is exhausting to be the primary care giver, but I think even if he did more I wouldn’t be able to “relax”. There are for sure times when I wish he could do things without having to call me and ask for guidance. As far as worrying about his abilities if something were to happen to me I am over that, he would learn the way I did, out of necessity.

My hubby can do site changes and checks her when she needs checked. I prefer to do the site changes myself as I am a bit of a control freak. He has gotten very good with the scales and figuring carbs. He does the midnight check and I do the 3 am. My only frustration is that he knows nothing about the programming of the pump as far as basals, temps, etc. He doesn’t know how it uploads to the PC. I often worry about what would happen if something happened to me. How would he ever know when/how to adjust her basals, i:c ratios, etc? I guess he’d have to call the CDE for an emergency appointment. I have a spreadsheet with all of the prescription and supply information that includes where to buy everything and what to get through insurance versus websites. It also has all of the current pump programming in it, as well as the previous basal patterns that I have used. It also lists all endo/pediatrician/opthalmologist/CDE contact info as well as a log of all doc visits. I guess he would step up to the plate if something happened to me.

For the first 3 months after dx I did everything and then I had a complete breakdown, so hubby stepped up. He does his fair share of all D care, but I do all the basal and IC ratio adjustments.

I do the majority of Olivia’s care. Mark knows how to do a site change, but he hasn’t done one in a long, long time - probably over a year. Mark is Olivia’s step-dad and stepped into the whole diabetes thing after O had had it for a few years. Initially, I did everything because he wasn’t sure about how to do things. After we moved in together, I showed him, but I still usually did most of the care.

I used to get annoyed by it, but Olivia’s almost 13 now and does a lot of her own care, so it’s not a big deal any more. Mark knows what to do if there’s an emergency, which is the major concern for me. Olivia can handle just about anything else that might crop up.

Hi Michelle,
I first would like to say, I admire that you do so much for your entire family.It takes a special person to homeschool. To do all the diabetes care as well really must be tiring to say the least. I think it would be nice for both you and your husband to share that responsibility maybe even bring in a third person if possible ( a grandparent , aunt or uncle) to learn site changes and glucose testing so you and your hubby can take a break together.
It’s important to remember that even though site changes and bolusing feels like a repetetive chore alot of the time, this is, in essence- child care. Both parents should absolutely be involved in d-care the same way they both would with monitoring their child’s education, dental health, or extracurricular activities.
I hope I’m not coming off as bossy…I am just passionate about the fairness factor here. We stay at home hard-working moms have got to stick together! :slight_smile:
Take care.

I just want to say thank you for all the great responses! Lea, it is tiring. I am happy that I am able to do it, and do it all, but I would appreciate “knowing” that he knows how to do it…it just bugs me that he doesn’t take the initiative.

As far as help in the family, that would be nice too, but I am sure I am not the only one who has a family that doesn’t get it.

My husband wonders where my sex drive went. (Funny how I actually sell sex toys, yet I have no drive!) Hum? Maybe he should think about carrying a little of the load :slight_smile:

I am going to once again talk to him about this and see what we can come up with.

Once again, thanks for all the great replies!

I work 3 days a week, so my husband has those days. I do all the pump programming, all of the controlling and bossing him around…I am a control freak too! I make all the changes to basals, bolus, ISF etc. I am the logger, the details of it all, but he is a much better carb counter than me! I prevent lows, he will wait and treat. Very different in how we manage Maddison, that drives me crazy sometimes that he isnt more like me. Becuase moms know best of course (he he) I am quite arrogant in her care, stating that she came from me, and is me, so I know best…but alot of times he is pretty darn awesome with her numbers! He is horrible with her diet, thank goodness I dont work FT. I do all the night time checks becuase I HAVE to know everything, though he offers, I always decline. Hopefully soon I will lessen my reins of control. Its hard being a FT pancreas for two!

Kelly, maybe we need our own 12 step program!

Wow, reading these discussions makes me feel pretty lucky. Eric’s dad and I share the responsibilities pretty equally, as much because we have to as because we decided to. During the week, I work, and Mark is at the farm looking after the animals, so we incorporated trips over to the daycare to give Eric’s insulin injections into his routine—he was only 10 minutes away where I was nearly a half hour drive away, so it only made sense. It goes pretty smoothly most of the time. I do the first test of the morning because I’m the one who takes them to daycare before I go to work, and I usually do the evening tests & insulin injections too. On the weekends, I do most of it, but often get spelled by Mark if I have work or household chores to do. My stepdaughter, who is 15, can do everything except draw up the insulin too, and she’ll often get the BG reading while I"m making dinner. So it’s a team effort and has been from the start.

In answer to the original question, I think your husband is absolutely 100% wrong. This is his child as well as yours, and for the child’s safety and well-being, he MUST know how to take care of him. Did he learn how to change diapers? How to give the kid tylenol for a fever? How to rock the child to sleep or strap him into a car seat? THIS IS NO DIFFERENT. It’s part of what you have to do as a parent. He’s falling down on the job every bit as much as if he refused to change a diaper or figure out a car seat. BUT… to give him the benefit of the doubt, he could very well be frightened of the responsibility—afraid that he can’t do the job as well as you can, or that he will screw up and hurt his kid. (Been there, done that, my friend…!) I think it’s long past time you and he discussed this matter, with a therapist if necessary.

Your household sounds like mine, I plan and package certain things for the week for my daughter and my family for run and go or just convenience and so that I know how many carbs and it’s easy to make a meal. I tell hubby check the sugars or I am the one to do the sugars. I think it’s mostly me that runs the household lol.

Let me be blunt (Father’s views)…like all of us know ,diabetes can kill. My son is 7 (dx since 3) and it drives me nuts knowing that every high or low affects his health for the worse.Your husband needs a smack in the head for leaving the responsibility up to you just because you are home all the time. It is not like house cleaning, doing dishes or something of the sort…it is your child’s LIFE we are talking about. He needs to get past the macho 1960’s attitude of “it’s the woman’s job” and step up to the plate! I can guarantee you that your husband or yourself for that matter would not enjoy seeing your child convulsing on the floor due to their diabetes. I would like to know what excuse he gives himself to not have to CARE about diabetes.

I am angry knowing that his child could die doesn’t affect him more than that. If he is repressing some feelings of despair or anger or frustration then he should talk about it or consult someone. It is normal to be pissed at diabetes and the world for taking away the “normal” life of your child but life goes on and he must learn to accept it because it won’t go away by ignoring it or pretending it isn’t there.

I work nights and am not around for many site changes or reprogramming of the pump but when I am around I take over in order to let my wife have a break. Yes my wife does more than me when it come to programming the basal rates etc. etc. but it is no excuse to totally leave it in her hands. He is my son as well as hers and I am responsible for his well being also.

Your husband needs a wake up call because it is a lot of work to manage Diabetes and the more brains the better. Like you said, what happens if you get injured or sick and have to go to the hospital (don’t wish it on you)…what will he do? He really has to put that in his head WHAT IF and start taking initiative to learning fast.He is really far behind on the knowledge and better move his butt if he doesn’t want to fall too far behind.

You say that he works 40-50 hrs a week…boohoo,has he ever calculated how many hours a week you do. I doubt it! Do a quick calculation. House work, schooling and diabetes(which alone is more than full time at a regular job…it’s 24/7) I think you have him beat by a mile.

I can go on all day about why he should be part of it and how right you are…there is simply no excuse. Tell him to take his head out of his a… and help keep his child alive and healthy.

My daughter was diagnosed a litttle over a year ago when she was 5. For the most part my husband pitches in, more now than he did in the beginning. At first he was in denial and then he left all the “work” to me because I am a nurse and he just thought I would be better at dealing with everything. Boy, was he wrong!! At the time I was working in dialysis and most of the patients were diabetics who didnt take care of themselves. It took me sitting down with him and telling him about all of the complications that stem from diabetes and him hearing me talk about my experiences with the dialysis patients that made him change. Our main concern is the quality of life that our daughter has.

Hooray for you William! That’s the right attitude. Maybe she should make her hubby read your message.

I do the majority for Willow - but since hubby has D too - he could take care of her - like when I take a night out - not that that ever happens. But he could. He is not as “Exact” as I am and does not keep as close an eye on her BGs as I do. I have her check more often. I get up in the middle of the night. I make her help me count her carbs. He is more of a guesstimate kind of guy. Until just recently when he started the pump (Omnipod - less than 1 week) He even made a comment about how much better control he has when he relates his insulin directly to his carbs . . .Duh . . .but then that was what I was taught from the start - he was not. IDK?? DD was dx this summer (2008) and DH was dx 15 years ago and his sister also is T1 dx 30 years ago - both of them were NOT taught to count carbs - but came from the old school thoughts of dosing the same thing every meal. Or as I say - feeding his insulin!

He still does not do as much for Willow as I do - but then he also has to take care of himself. So I give a little slack there. I also am a SAHM - but work 2 mornings a week at the kids preschool and am babysit out of my home periodically. We have 3 girls 7, 5 and 3 and are still potty training the youngest, the oldest (with D) is a picky eater, the middle is a very assertive and passionate and active kid - so I stay really busy. I am more of a never-at-home-SAHM. running from preschool to elementary school, to girlscouts, to dance and then remembering the “starbag” (with D supplies) snacks, change of clothes for little one, things to keep middle one busy in the car, stopping at the park, checking BG’s, grocery shopping with kids, paying the bills. . .you name it I do it.

I trust that in a pinch DH could take care of her - but I like having the control - to be perfectly honest. I complain sometimes that I feel overwhelmed - but I get crazy when I give him a job and it is not done my way! LOL So as much as I would like some help with D stuff - I feel better when I do most of it.