My loved one has Type 1. He’s had it for almost 15 years. We just moved in together in September, and there has been about 7 different occasions when I’ve been woken up to him convulsing because his sugar is low. I even had to call 911 one night because he was completely unconcious. I can’t say if he manages it well because I am not educated at all on the disease. I am trying to learn all that I can, but I don’t know what I should or need to know. I didn’t even know what basal and bolous meant until after our 911 night. It’s difficult for me because he is so moody. I never know when he’ll be happy or angry. I know it’s not at me, but it still affects me. Last night something strange happened. It was 2 am and he was in the bathroom… it became about 2:45am and he was still in there. I thought his stomach hurt, but when I checked on him he had that look in his eye when his sugar gets low. I tried to give him juice but he claimed his sugar was fine. I couldn’t fall back to sleep because I am just paranoid these days, but then he started moaning in his sleep and wouldn’t wake to the alarm. So I gave him juice, and when I tried to get him awake he got angry at me. And now that it’s later in the day he says he feels ■■■■■■. I feel like it’s my fault he doesn’t feel good because i may have spiked his sugar too high. I probably gave him about 70 g of carbs (from the juice) 64 of which was sugar. I need more education, preferrably from him so I know what to do and how much to give in those situations. I feel unappreciated and left behind, because I’m doing all that I can for him and I am constantly worried and he provides no comfort or education. I don’t like that his moods can swing on a dime and I’m suppose to just deal. No other friend of mine has diabetes so no one really understands.
First of all…DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF…it’s NOT YOUR FAULT. Yes, it’s good that you want to educate yourself, but ultimately diabetes management is HIS responsibility!! I’m not saying that you shouldn’t help…but if he’s having ongoing lows at night, then he needs to address that! Perhaps eating a small balanced snack before bed (something with carb AND protein…protein to sustain the carbs)…as well, he should bring this to the attention of his PCP/Endo. The night time lows are putting his daytime readings all over the map.
I agree with Linda it’s not your fault, explain to him how confused you are and how you feel when you don’t understand what’s going on. Encourage him but don’t push him. But if life does become unmanageable then a ultimatum might be in store. Do what’s right for you and for both of you.
It is very much NOT your fault. When you live with a diabetic, you live with diabetes. Ask him to explain things that you don’t understand, what he needs you to do to help him with controlling his sugars. If that is not enough, call your doc and explain what it is you need, ask for the number of a Diabetes Educator or a place where you can ask your questions, and get he right answers. Tell him you are going to do this because you love him, and want to be able to help him…maybe he will go with you. My dh ignored my “D” better than I did in the beginning, until my ephiphany came around…and then he did. Chances are, your SO, feels he should be taking care of you, not you taking care of him. It’s weird, but they are wired like that sometimes. That’s how my dh felt…but after going to some educational sessions with me, he got the idea. AND he knows what to do in case I have an emergency. Hang in there, it’s not all bad.
Here is a link that can educate you and your loved one it’s the website for Diabetes educators located across the U.S. Ten years ago I was like your loved one always spending nights in the ER. Make use of this website and find an educator in your city. http://www.healthcare.gov/
No it’s NOT your fault. He need it to get his glucose (suger) back up. I got a bit of a thingy myself with my husband. When he tells me I’m low I tend to argue w/him about it. And I get MAD at him for that bit of time,trying to get me to eat or drink when I think I’m fine. Do it EVERYTIME! Good luck hon!
JuJu, I preface this with the disclaimer that I can’t know the circumstances of your relationship, so if this comes off harsh it’s because I’m replying based upon inferences from the relatively little information you’ve given. In other words, I am aware that my reply may be 'way off base.
Before getting into it, you are wonderful for attempting to educate yourself on a disease that it difficult to understand, even for those of us who it. Still, with your science and research background, I’m sure it sometimes doesn’t make any sense at all. But I absolutely agree with what others have said, that the responsibility for managing the disease is HIS, not yours. Your support is important – but he’s an adult and should have an adult’s sense of responsibility and accountability.
Seven serious lows in nine months seems like A LOT. You don’t mention whether your companion is on injections or pump, but it strikes me as odd that someone who’s been Type 1 for 15 years would not have better techniques for managing blood sugar swings.
Your post also doesn’t indicate whether he’s seeing a physician, endocrinologist or diabetes educator – I’m guessing he doesn’t – or whether he tests his blood sugar at all. Maybe he SAYS he checks but have you ever actually SEEN him do so?
Ay yi yi, such a myriad of possibilities to consider. How long have his mood swings been obvious? Just since living together or more recently? Besides the change in living situation has there been another change or event (e.g., a job change)? Does he seem uninterested in things he once was?
How long have you actually known that he is a Type 1 diabetic?
Depression is a possibility, denial of or not “manning up” to his disease or the realization he needs help (maybe he sees it as a weakness) – only he knows.
You must know that if things continue as they are, the prospects for a happy ever after are rather diminished. How much time are you willing to invest in enduring his mood swings, his discounting of your help and concern… the slow erosion of your sense of self-worth?
I see from your profile that you’re in Longmont; I’m in Denver. If you ever want to get together and talk, please don’t hesitate to ask. Send me a private email message through my profile, and we can exchange contact info.
The mood swings can definitely be due to swings in his blood sugar levels as well as depression.Depression is an issue with most people suffering from chronic diseases. If he is low 70 g of carbs is a bit much.It’s usually best to give carbs about 15 g at a time and check every half hour till they’re at a normal level.Normal is typically considered 90-120 for most people with diabetes. He should definitely be checking his sugar several times a day and if he seems to be having lows in the middle of the night maybe eat a snack before bed to try and avoid them. None of this is your fault in any way.He should be responsible enough to take care of his diabetes.Support is great to have,but ultimately it has to be up to him. When I was younger I used to argue with my mom when she would tell me I was low or high.She was like a human glucose meter and could tell by just looking at me. The low blood sugars make you not think clearly and a side effect is also combativeness.
Like everyone has said, it’s not your fault. In the end, he needs to take responsibility for his own care. It’s that simple. Until he faces it and deals with it it will always be difficult for anyone else with him.
My husband will give me juice and it always goes high afterwards. After extreme lows I ALWAYS feel ■■■■■■ but grateful that he was there an pretty much saved my life. It sounds like you’re doing what you can but also sounds like maybe he doesn’t share a lot about his care with you. It is a tuff situation but he’s very, very lucky you’re there to help. If you can get him to agree, sign up for a diabetes education class and go together. Most hospitals offer something. If he won’t - go alone. He has to see an endocrinologist, if he agrees- go with him. If he’s not already or he needs to go back because that’s way too many lows.
When he argues with you that his BS is fine, do not take that as the truth. I always argue. I hope he has a glucose monitor, if not get one! I don’t feel my lows and my husband will insist I check, use the phrase “then prove it” to get him to do it and he will see that it truly is low. If he’s a betting man, bet with him that if you’re right … and if he’s right…
You have to use all kinds of tricks sometimes to get an argumentative diabetic to do what has to be done!!!
They say to take about 15 u of fast carbs and wait 15 minutes and check again but if he’s argumentative (very common) then just get whatever you can into him. Better it go high than he go into a coma. I always get angry at my husband when he’s trying to get juice into me. ALWAYS. It’s how your brain reacts to the low sugar.
Something else you can get is a glucagon kit. Ask the Doc for a prescription. It’s a needle and meds that you inject when he is so far gone that he’s completely unconscious or convulsing and won’t take the juice or candy.
Don’t feel guilty, it sound like against all the odds you’re keeping him alive.
Good luck and maybe
The advice you have received so far is all good.
The bigger question for both of you is, what where your expectations for living together and how does the reality match up?
No one who watches their Bgs should have all those lows. Please take care of yourself in this relationship. Let him know you care but don’t take on the responsibility of keeping him healthy.
If this guy has had Type 1 diabetes for 15 years and is so poorly controlled that he convulses in the middle of the night SEVEN TIMES in the space of less than a year, he’s lucky to be alive… never mind lucky to have someone who cares enough about him to be trying to take care of him. HE, not YOU, should be handling his BG… you aren’t his mother, and he’s not a little boy. Frankly, if this were my son Eric 15 or 20 years from now, and I heard this sort of thing from his girlfriend, Eric would be getting one big piece of my mind! It is utterly unfair for him to expect you to live with him when he’s not willing to educate you, although it occurs to me that maybe his control is so bad because he has been unwilling to educate himself. But at the very least, given what you’ve said, he is a candidate for continuous glucose monitoring and should look into that, for your sake if not for his own – so you won’t be up all night wondering if he’s going to stay stable.
There are a lot of good books out there about managing Type 1 diabetes. “Type 1 Diabetes for Dummies” might be a good place to start. But HE is the one who should read it first, since it’s his job to manage his condition.
Mood swings are crazy, I myself dont think I get to angry, But my fiance does catch it before its too bad because I always talk crazy when I’m low, and we both laugh and get me something to eat. My younger brother on the other hand is quite the handful his wife has had to call the ambulance on several occasions and on one of those time he told the police man and paramedic that him wife was trying to kill him… ha it makes me laugh cause I could see him saying that and she is almost 9months pregnant so i doubt she is trying to kill him. Its tough, but since you care and are trying to learn all you can it will help, talk to him and tell him how you feel. He should understand. good luck
Okay, I know everyone is different, but just to give you another perspective…I have had Type 1 for 10 years and have never had convulsions or needed assistance from anyone outside of myself. My husband will get me something in the middle of the night if I ask b/c I feel to shaky to go downstairs, but he has never had to initiate getting something for me.
I get lows regularly, but check often, now have the CGM and catch them sooner. When I get low things can start to annoy me, and I get mildly irritable, but I recognize these as signs and check my bs. I know that bs swings can cause moodiness, but plenty of people who do not have diabetes get moody too. Either way, moody people can be hard to live with, and diabetes should not excuse bad behavior. You say his mood swings on a dime, and that makes me wonder if it is just diabetes. Does this happen regularly, even when bs is stable?
Your s.o should be grateful that you care and appreciate that you are interested, not blame you if he feels bad. No one should have to endure bad treatment just because threir loved one has the D.
The mood swings are all due to low BS. Here is the formula for quantity of sugar:
- if he is awake and can eat but feeling irritable: Give him a cup (the one that we use for parties and stuff) of coke or orange juice and he should be normal in like 15-20min. This is about 30gms of sugar.
- If he is awake but not in a position to understand where he is or what he is doing things. I mean if u think he is all confused. Ask him a couple of simple questions like time, day etc. Give him about 45 gms of sugars but only if u think he can swallow without choking himself.
- if he is convulsing or unconscious give him a shot of glucagon.[probably u will have to learn to do this.]
The bottom line…boyfriend needs to address the situation!
I am a very similar diabetic, though I’m much worse. I’ve had seizures about 300 or 400 times in the last year. This is a major problem for me, and I’m sure it’s a problem for your bf.
I’m not certain what to say. I don’t know why he has all the lows; he might not either. However, I do have a few comments:
When I’m pretty much passed out, I always (ALWAYS) tell people I’m fine. Don’t listen to us. Or, if we really fight, tell us to test our blood sugars. If we’re not capable of doing so, give us sugar. Actually, any time he acts funny, give him sugar or make him test his sugars.
Paramedics frequently tell us that these excessive lows will kill us. I’ve had hundred (probably thousands), and I’ve always been fine. In fact, after a while, my parents just left me alone to have a seizure, and I’d eventually come out of it. I’ve heard rumors that they do kill people (and the paramedics probably wouldn’t tell us it does kill it if it isn’t true), but I don’t think it’s as dangerous as people say.
Excessive lows make people feel horrible hours later. I just down a lot of ibuprofen, and that helps somewhat.
When I’m passed out, my roommate sticks a straw in my mouth, and I manage to slurp it down, even if I’m pretty much unconscious.
Unfortunately, I’m not much help. I can only tell you that your bf is not alone.
I saw someone say they don’t think lows are as dangerous as they are made out to be. It really can kill you.I had a high school friend pass away last week because she went to bed low , ended up in a diabetic coma and died.They are just as serious as a high blood sugar.
i was with someone for 7 years who did not control his type1 diabetes. it was ALL my fault, too.
please educate yourself about the things you CAN do (glucagon, etc) but do not take on the responsibility of his disease.
now that i have type1 i think it would have been nice of me to have been more aware of how to support someone with type1…i did the grocery shopping and cooking…i could have done better. but his disease or lack of self care was not my fault.
until he gets his bg under some kind of control its probably not going to get much better.
It sounds like he might still be in some form of denial. I was diagnosed at the age of 11 and I dont think I came out of my real denial until I was 19 or maybe even 20. Dont get me wrong I still gave shots checked my blood. But it wasnt until I was much older that I was like dang I better take of this. But if you can sit down with him or take him to a counselor and just talk and explain to him how important this is to you and him. It might be that he has never had a great support system so that is why he is like this. If you ever want to talk you can email me directly email@example.com good luck to you both