How can I help my family support me?


#1

Hello
I have been diabetic for 2 yrs. However my husband doesnt want anything to do w/ my diabetes. He isn’t really intrested in my medication or how I should eat. When it coems to anythign about my diabetes he drops out of the conversation. I’ve told him so many times how much I need him to help me but hes in this mode and I don’t know how to deal with this anymore. Its so stressful I just dont know what to do anymore. :frowning:
thanks,
Mae


#2

Mae:
Sorry to hear about your predicament. If you can get him to read it I warmly recommend the little book “Pumping Insulin”. In addition to discuss the merits or non-merits of pumping, it has some excellent hints on how to deal with someone suffering from diabetes, including the all-imporant hot to deal with hypoglycemia. It is readily available on Amazon.com, and the last time I looked it cost less than $10.
-Olaf


#3

Mae,

I’ve been through this. Part of it is that men are just plain miserable about dealing with any health issues in the family. I’ve seen this with my ex-husband and the kids and with my present, wonderful life-partner and my diabetes. They tend to act as if if they don’t mention it, it might go away.

There’s also the “I want you to be happy and I know food makes you happy, so here’s the food you can’t eat.” problem. You just have to say, “I’m NOT going to be happy with amputations and you aren’t going to be happy if I drop dead with a heart attack.”

It took me almost 8 years to get my guy to where he will say, “You don’t really want to eat that,” when I reach towards somethign I know I can’t handle instead of brining home the pastry.


#4

I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. I know from personal experience that it can be a difficult from both sides – both as the patient and partner. In my experience, frustrations and avoidance tend to stem from misunderstanding. Perhaps your husband doesn’t understand your disease despite your best efforts to explain. If he is willing, there are probably books or information available online specifically written for people living with family members with diabetes.

I wish I had a better suggestion. Its a difficult situation and I wish you the best of luck!


#5

Jenny, I’m sorry that you had bad experiences with your husband, but I hope that your comment is partially tongue-in-cheek. Otherwise, as a man, that’s a pretty offensive generalization.


#6

Tim,

Maybe it is different for younger men, but men in my generation (early baby boom) and the previous one are notorious for neglecting health issues. That’s one reason why if an older man’s wife dies his chances of dying soon soar. It isn’t grief, since the widows continue on with their previous health. It’s not having a woman there to take care of health issues.

Typically men of those generations treat health as something women are supposed to take care of. Or their women just handle them the way they do the children–“Here dear, it’s time for your medicine.”

I would hope with the changes in gender roles over the years that this would not longer be true!


#7

I understand how you must feel and how challenging it is to deal with diabetes alone. Without the strong support of the people you live with, management of our disease becomes very difficult. However, the good news is that it can be done. Even though it would be better with your husband’s support, you can do it. Hoepfully, he will reveal why he won’t take an interest in helping you with this, and then you can fix it. Hang in there and know that you have support from your online friends.


#8

I understand what you are going through. I gave my sister a diabetes memoir (not super well-written but there are others out there) called “Invisible Body” that really opened up a conversation about diabetes that we hadn’t had in twenty years.

Growing up, my family felt that if they treated me as if I didn’t have diabetes, I would feel like a “normal” person. However, trying to act like people who aren’t sick led to me hiding my blood sugar levels, not going to the doctor and eating like it was going out of style. It helps me now to ask my family members how they feel first which has led to conversations about my illness. So now I don’t feel passive waiting around for them to notice I have a chronic illness.


#9

That’s really sad. If nothing else, that’s when you need his support. I can sort of relate- as I have pretty bad back and bone problems and my hubby tries to act like it’s no big deal (though, you have to know him. He is constantly telling me to be careful, not to over-do things, etc) I think it scares him and he can’t control it- he’s the type of person who is scared of things he can’t control or 'make better.'
Do you think that may be what’s going on with your hubby?


#10

Hi Maegan, sorry to hear this news of yours; is there a local group that you can join and try and get your husband to go to? It might help by meeting people other then you, that has diabetes or partners, family members of someone with diabetes that way he will have something in common. To help you if there is no local group maybe you can start one, you will meet like minded people and in time involve your husband too.

I hope you find a solution and your husband starts to consider your diabetes. We’re all here for you regardless (I hope I can say that on behalf of everyone on tudiabetes - if I have offended anyone by saying so, then hmmm this is a community after all)


#11

YEA! He does become upset if he feels he is not in control of his life, surroundings etc.


#12

Jenny, I hope you know I didn’t mean any offense. I know it was true in my family that the older men were raised to be stoic and “suck it up.” I think (I hope) a lot of that has changed, I’m sure it has to some degree in my generation (men in their 20’s and 30’s).


#13

Great topic.
I grew up in an extended family with 30+ type 1’s, several of who endured horrible complications before dying. At family gatherings, no one would talk about it because it was simply too painful. When one of “us” came into the room, the conversation would turn to a hush.
So, beginning 33 years ago, I too learned to stuff it away. We all pretended like there was nothing wrong, and it started a self-destructive pattern of denial for me.
We still don’t discuss it much, and I’ve only recenly begun testing in front of my sisters. I can see a sideways glance of curiosity, but nothing more.
When I had some ice cream cake at my mother’s 80th birthday party, I got a few “diabetes police” stares, but nothing more. I’m sure they are still talking about how “Kathy cheated on her diet”.
I intend to be more open about db related situations as they present themselves, and hopefully that will get the ball rolling. Once people understand the demands of db I will be more comfortable asking for what I need.


#14

Mae,

Maybe your husband is just scared. Scared of what might happen to you, scared that he can’t help you, scared that he doesn’t know what to do. When guys are scared, they change the subject.

Perhaps instead of asking for his help, you should demand his help. Guys actually respond to direct orders. Usually, if you tell us what to do, we’ll do it. It’s the difference between saying “Will you please take the garbage out?” and “Take the garbage out!”

At the same time I think it’s more important for YOU to take an interest in your mediation and diet than for him to do it. In other words, we can’t use our spouses’ lack of interest as an excuse to ignore our own responsibility for our medication and diet. (I’m lucky to have a knowledgeable and supportive spouse.) It’s always better to have him along on the ride, but you may have to hijack him and bring him along kicking and screaming for awhile.


#15

Tim,

No offense taken!

I get along great with younger men, always have because they are refreshingly free of the attitudes that made men my age and older a total pain.


#16

If your husband and/or family does not support you, you have to move on and take charge of yourself.

Diabetes is such a one man/woman show. We are our own doctors. We test, measure, and self medicate all by ourselves and we are grateful for sites like this and good support if we are lucky.

Bottom line diabetes is ours and no one elses. Take care of yourself first and as you grow healthier and in better control, your husband will become less concerned for possible complications he might be thinking about.

I think you need to explain things to him once and offer him books like suggested above, and tell him how low and high bgs will affect you emotionally and physically, but then move on and take care of yourself.

I am not sure if you have children but you better hope he is willing to be with you in bringing them up as they too will have needs that he may not be familiar with.

Diabetes is a lonely disease whether your significant other is there for you or not.