Family "support" and sleepiness

Hi all… I was diagnosed with diabetes after a couple doctor visits with 450+ bg levels about 8 months ago. She bypassed any oral meds and went straight to Humalog and Lantus injections. I could not believe how much better I felt, and so quickly. Now my levels are decent, but we’re still tweaking to get things stabilized. I’ve made dietary changes and educated myself about my condition. I feel very good about taking command and being in charge.

Here’s my gripe… my wife told me today that I’m letting my diabetes control me instead of the other way around. It was like a kick in the gut! She told me that I always blame diabetes for my being sleepy and lethargic, or for not feeling well. I get that way when my bg spikes and all I want to do is sleep. I told her that and she said I should get off my butt and work through it. I didn’t know how to respond. Her comments made me feel like a weakling. But the tiredness is real and I can’t help it.

Am I the only one affected like this? Is it psychosomatic or is it part of the diabetes package? I hate feeling this way and I’m frustrated by her comments.


Every BODY is different. I respond a lot like that myself. I just want to sleep to avoid it and the complications of being crabby and feeling “off.”

Maybe your wife should attend some support group meetings or educational seminars on the big D. Ignorance of the situation is no excuse to turn it on you. Keep strong and insist she do research or attend something or even ask your DR questions. Yeah, next time you go, take her a her list of questions along with you and have the DR address them.

Knowledge is peace.

Lois La Rose
Milwaukee, WI

It takes 24 hours for the body to recover from one low or one high. Glucose is one of the body’s main fuels. Not enough glucose will make you tired because there is no sugar there to help give energy, to much will make you tired and your body will want to sleep as a defense mechanism. I have had so many lows in one day that I literally slept an entire weekend away.

Hi James,

Kudos for making changes & feeling better! Many people go into denial & want to retreat.

Feeling tired is part of high BG & also what lots of us experience when we have roller coastering highs & lows. Not psychosomatic at all, but diabetes takes an emotional toll as well. Having to be ever vigilant with self-care can also be exhausting. We never get a day off.

I have many days when I feel just bleech. Not ill, but off & not my usual energetic self.

It’s hard for our families to fully understand how we physically feel. Hurts when they don’t understand. Diabetes isn’t something you can walk off, like a leg cramp. You sound like a very in charge & vibrant person. Perhaps it’s difficult for your wife to see you acting differently. Her telling you to get off your butt & work through it may be her way of minimizing to herself the scariness of diabetes. May be her way of dealing with it, though not the right way:)

You’re certainly not a weakling! The tiredness is very real, with a real cause. Certainly can understand your frustration & hurt at her comments.

Good suggestion from Lois about your wife learning about diabetes. My husband went with me to all my early doctor appointments & to a couple of my diabetic ed classes. He learned a lot. You might also suggest she check out Tu D. There are people here who are Type 3s (families & loved ones of PWD).

Keep your head high!

Thank you for your replies… it helps so much to know that there are others who are in the same boat.

I think the comment about her having a hard time coping with the changes is spot-on. I’M having a hard time, too!

I know exactly how you feel, I used to get tired really easy, partner used to say I was lazy. I gave up trying to explain how I was feeling (then promptly fell asleep, only kidding ) .
I don’t think it’s psychosomatic, D takes it’s toll on our bodies, you will be fine if you keep blds good, diet good and do some exercise. Listen to your body and if it needs to rest then let it.

Glad to help!

Hope you can turn to each other for support & tell the other how you feel. My husband fell apart about my diagnosis. He’s the kind of man who wants to fix things & find solutions. Frustrates him that he can’t fix what’s wrong with me & this manifested in strange ways.

Don’t know about your relationship, of course. But if you’ve always be in the more in-charge one, it may be unsettling for your wife to see you tired & lethargic.

Diabetes is huge thing to cope with. One day your whole life changes. Everything you do is now different, every day is different, the constant thinking about it is draining, to say the least.

We’re all in the big boat together. Don’t ever hesitate to come here for support.

Hi James -

As everyone else has said, you’re not alone - some people can just trudge right through the aftermath of highs and lows. I’m not quite there yet. I still feel like “you know what” and it’s hard to hide it. I too have had a hard time getting the support I’d like from my otherwise very supportive husband. I agree with everyone else that sometimes people are frightened by it. Also, my husband is overwhelmed by it - it doesn’t know as much as he’d like but when he goes to do some research he gets even more overwhelmed by it. So the result is (I think) that he just tries to forget about it. Not the best plan for me! : )

Bottom line - everyone has different ways of dealing with it and you have to deal with the way that feels right for you right now. And your family members will learn to accept that.

When I am tired or having a bad day, I take a nap or just do what I need to do…my family has gotten use to it, and if others don’t “get” it, I don’t care anymore!

James, I was diagnosed about eight months ago also. Until I got my levels under control, I slept alot! Still sleep more than I used to. It sounds like you are doing everything right to try to get this under control. You should feel proud! I know how hard it is and sometimes you just get tired and lethargic, it comes with the package. Maybe you could get your wife on a message board or get some books to read together. She will probably come around when she realizes what you are up against, and that you are still tweeking your meds. When I told my Mom that I had diabetes she said, " You knew you could get it, didn’t you"? I was so mad!

And Robyn, Amen!

I had my blood sugar levels controlled for over 4 months and was still incredibly tired. It turns out that after prodding my doctor to do more testing, I’m aenemic, and also have moderate sleep apnea. Since I always had such poor control, I thought diabetes was the root of it all, when in reality I have had apnea for years and that very likely could have caused the diabetes as I started out as a type II. Maybe it’'s worth a conversation with your doctor.

Dear James.

Thank God that my favorite female is nearly as wiped out as I am so she does not bug me that much. The problem is nothing much gets done. My mother who had unlimited energy at 80 was not sympathetic to my diabetes.

Great that your doctor did not fool around with the oral s==t.

Exhaustion is the key feature of this disease and the one I hate the most. Last easter Sunday the weather was beautiful in our corner of Siberia and I could not bring myself to go fly fishing for a few hours down to the river close by.

Try to get your wife to read some of the posts on this web site.

PS: Moreover I think with diabetes it is hard to get a good night sleep, BG is either too high or too low.