Family support?

I love my family, I have two great teen boys and a husband that works very hard, but I don’t think they understanding diabetes, and aren’t trying to understand what I’m dealing with. Hey, I’m still figuring it out. I’ve only been diagnosed type 1 for about 9 months. I must admit I spend a lot of energy and effort learning about diabetes by reading blogs, websites, books, and the latest news in the diabetic world. I wish my family; especially my husband took a little time to understand this disease.

Yesterday was not a good day. I’m not on a pump, but I’m on regular injections of apidra and lantus. I drove with my 15 year old yesterday to school, and he talked me into going out for breakfast. We ordered, I did my injection, then the food came--not exactly what I was expecting. I should know better, best to see what you’re getting first. Anyway I didn’t eat all of it, and sure enough later I dropped to 56. When I go low, I start eating and have a hard time stopping until I know it has come up. So I proceeded to go high—so more apidra, it was a roller coaster for the rest of the day. By bed time I was exhausted.

My husband’s comment to me was, “I thought the insulin was supposed to stop that.” Ugh, pay attention! It’s an ongoing balancing act! I was too exhausted to start an educational class on diabetes and insulin therapy. I’ll have some time off with him in the next couple of weeks, I’m thinking I’ll be educating him then. Information he should have taken the time to learn before now. Maybe it’s my fault for not making a bigger deal out of it. I’m thinking I need to be more of a "prima donna," especially with him and the boys.

What support do you get from your family? Anyone have suggestions?

Being the Mom I’m sure you take care of everything and they don’t even realize all that you do. Maybe all four of you should go to a class or do something to educate them. I have a daughter who is diabetic and my husband, who still calls when I’m not around to make sure he is doing it right, is good about trying to help as much as he can. My other daughter, when her sister was first diagnosed, wanted to be at every appointment and know everything as well. Your family should be your foundation should you fall. I wouldn’t think of it as being a prima donna at all. You sound like you’re not much in the attention seeking category, this is different, you’re not looking for compliments, you’re looking for help and support for the good of your health. Are you going to go on a pump? It certainly is an ongoing balancing act. Someone posted a great drawing depicting diabtetes as just that. If I can find it again I will send it to you. Good luck with everything!

Thanks Renee

It’s kind of tough to balance the “stop checking everything I do, I’m not an idiot” with “I need some attention, I’m feeling overwhelmed”. In general my husband assumes I’ll deal with it all myself (dx’d at 37, 6 yrs ago) But, on days when things are rough, it’s enough to say “bad day today, I’ve got to lay down until dinner” and he will deal with the food, kids, etc.

There were definitely a lot more days in the first year where I was completely overwhelmed and needed a shoulder. I found it was easiest to just tell him “I really just need to complain right now, and could you please just listen and not make suggestions on how to fix it?”

After I was dx’d I would periodically send my husband links to other people’s blog posts that hit me - I think it helped for him to realize I wasn’t nuts, that other people have problems balancing it all too… feel free to rummage around in some of mine, sounds like we have a lot in common.

Also, my husband and teen have both read “the Born Again Diabetic” by William Dubois - quick, easy read that sums up things pretty nicely - you could ask your husband to read that. Or Cheating Destiny, if you really want to scare the carp out of him…

…sorry if this is rambling, 52 right now ; )

I would try the prima donna bit. They clearly don’t understand what a burden it is… of course, that’s part and parcel of being a mom, is that no one around you gets it that you do EVERYTHING until you have a hissy fit about it. I have to have one about once every 3 months to remind everyone not to take me for granted.

PS, um, he DOES get it that if you start acting funny and/or become unconscious that he’s supposed to intervene, right? And he knows how to, right? It would totally stink if you passed out one day and no one had the sense to put some sugar under your tongue.

PPS you’re definitely not alone in this - I just discovered last night that my hubby only has a fuzzy idea of how to work our son’s pump. This despite the fact that we took the training together - it’s mostly because I do the majority of the childcare around here while he tends the animals. But, hello, every so often I can’t be there to push the buttons… someone else needs to know the routine…

Thanks Elizabeth and Val. Yes, they do know what to do. It’s probably easier to cope with it if you ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist…wish I could

I know what you mean. My Wife tries. She really does. She even took a Diabetes Education class with me.
She still has a hard time understanding some things. Like why sometimes I feel overwhelmed or why I take my
numbers so personally. I just try to be patient with her and explain things because I know sometimes she has to be really patient with me. Somedays that’s just a little harder to do than others.

Sweetheart I have been married to a man who’s mom was a Type 2 all his life (me, I’m a Type 1) and he still looks at me and when I hit a really bad low (had it now for 36 years with no warning system for that kinda went kablooy about 10 years ago) he ask me “Why did you let it get that low before you done anything about it” Yes I understand family having no clue about your diabetes. One better here I have a Type 1 daughter who took it at 11 and is now 21 and a mom of 3. One time when I went super high she ask me why I let it do that couldn’t I tell that was happening? Well NO that’s what I have family for!!! Yes you get discusted the only thing I have come up with is my husband has really bad back pain and I’ve never had that trouble so I tell him “I won’t say anything about your back and heart (he’s had 3 heart attacks) if you don’t say anything about my diabetes” Seems to work for a short while! HA!

I wanted to tell you (and forgot what I was typing) that I had been married to this man for 25 years now. He married me knowing I was a Type 1. Suggestions??? I have only one: Try and educate him more on Type 1.

Well… don’t get me wrong, I love my family, but they are the biggest Diabetic Police in my life.

My family seems to think that I cannot eat anything with sugar in it or anything with carbs (even when I tell them it is ok to eat it in moderation and portions). When they see me drink a diet soda, they freak out… however, I do know that they mean well… =)
And it has gotten better.

My husband goes with me when I see the diabetic educator – he’s very pro-active and he’s trying to soak up everything he possibly can to make sure we both are eating well and healthy (he’s not diabetic, but it runs in his family too). My parents are trying to educate themselves by reading up on every website they can find (and though I love them dearly, they seem to have their own idea of how to care for a diabetic … lol).

In other words, I am sure your family does support you, but they do not know how to go about it. I am sure they are still trying to figure it out. You’re right, maybe you do need to start educating them yourself. Unfortunately, it will be hard to have them understand what you are going through because it is not them that has to do the balancing act. Even though my husband goes with me to see the diabetic educator, and even if my parents are reading up about diabetes, it’s not the same as actually having it(not that I am wishing it upon anyone).

I think your idea to start with the hubby is great! Once he realizes what you have to go through, then perhaps it will get easier for you.

Im not sure if anything I’m telling you will help, but I wish you all the luck!

Don’t forget, we are all here for you too! =)

I come from a blood kin of diabetics…both type 1 and 2. Fortunately…my immediate family is not. During my early days of equipping myself with diabetes information, my husband was very supportive that he would tag along with me on diabetes classes, seminars and workshops. He would read the same diabetes materials as I do. I asked him once about this and said…He just want to be a part of the condition I am going through…so he can best understand and support me. Our “initial education” came from my Dietary nutritionist Mom and a physician sister…how cool is that =)
I beleive your husband and your children does cares for you and your condition…maybe its a matter of taking time to educate them as well. As they will take their time listening and understanding you…I guess its fair to take time teaching them as well. I guess its not also fair to “impose” things to them…but they are your family…they will best sincerely care for you.
I wish you and your family the best =)

I also downplayed my diagnosis and people around me have no idea how hard it is from day to day. But when your husband makes a comment ‘why did you let it get so low?’ do you explain that it can drop rapidly and you may not have the awareness when your brain isn’t getting enough sugar? Or you could give him some Insulin, just kidding LOL

Hi Jeannene- Having raised 2 kids ( they are both grown and gone now) when they were teens they were completely into their own lives. I think your boys are probably in that stage now. They know you have diabetes, but they don’t really know what it means and how you feel. You are Mom and they want you to meet their need like before your Dx. As far as your husband goes, tell him everything you learn about diabetes and tell him how you feel about needing his emotional support when you are feeling down. We moms tend to hold in how we feel and try to be strong for everyone in the family. Don’t be a martyr.

Ok, I have to inject something here. Most people are in the mindset “just take a pill & everything will be alright”. Most diabetics don’t understand their disease either. Insulin performs many functions in the body and balancing insulin to actual needs is similar to dancing on the point of a needle (nopun intended) Too much makes us fat and too little is not good. it is complicated and we have a vested interest in learning as muchas possible in order to refine our personal expertise. A non diabetic lacks that understanding andmotivation.
what i’m suggesting is that you should not judge your family harshly. They just do not know any better. However, find ways to educate them and in time they will eventually learn enough to be helpful.

Thanks for writing this. Now I see we all have this issue. When I go high, she asks “why didnt you take enough insulin?” I explain and explain. Now I email articles I find about living with diabetics and the dangers of the “diabetic police” This way, I’m hoping, she can reread as she needs to. She appreciates that I try to include her. But the more criticism I get the less I want to talk to her about it…

found this site for diabetic ettiquete cards. might help

Danny, thanks for the link, I will definitely be printing it and sharing, and your earlier comments are correct. Jmac, your right we do seem to be in the same boat when it comes to the appropriate level of support. Thanks for all the comments, already started infusing the educational comments to the family. Thanks for all of your support.

everyone said all of the things I would say,there’s no much left to say.
but anyway.
just give them sometime,don’t force it on them,don’t let them completely out of it,and don’t throw a bunch of diabetes books for them to read,just like insulin-balancing act- :slight_smile:
tell them the guidelines "I can eat sugar,I can’t have irregular routine all the time,I do get low sometimes ,…etc
tell them about the insulin’s control and balancing,and that it doesn’t just ‘work’,tell them what you feel when you go low\high,what to do when so.
my family,it’s pretty funny,my brother used to come into my room in the middle of the night to see my readings and test BG,my mom freaks out pretty much all the time when she hears (low)but I’m alive and they are,so no worries :wink: