Marriage and D


#1

I came accross a discussion on the forums about a nasty comment a mother made to her daughter about not marrying another Type 1. I made a comment that I thought that D was significant baggage and should be considered before marriage. But those with T1 disagreed saying that everyone has some sort of baggage and D shouldn’t matter.

Now, I married my husband while his mother was literally a year away from dying a painful death from D complications. It didn’t affect my decision to marry him, but I really had an idea what T1 can mean and it did NOT prepare me at all for having a toddler with D. It is the most difficult thing I have been through in my life.

I have a cousin who just married a man with T1 and he had an overnight hypo and she had NO CLUE what to do. He didn’t even have glucagon in the house (not that she knew how to use it.)

We want our kids to feel that D does not limit them, but I think the psychology is very complex and this subject seemed to strike a nerve over on the forums. My MIL had serious denial over her diabetes. How do we balance awareness and confidence?

Just had to get this off my chest, because I didn’t think I should post it on that thread.

Thoughts?


#2

I think you are right, it is a complex issue. I myself have no diabetes or had any relatives or friends who had it. Then, I was thrown into having to manage my (then) three year old’s diabetes.
On one hand, I want the society to be open minded and not exclude her from ANYthing, marriage or otherwise.
On the other hand, I have to be realistic. How many people really know what a commitment it would be to marry someone with diabetes?
I think it certainly has to be a very open relationship with a lot of envolvement from the person she would marry. It has to become “their” diabetes.
When she finds that kind of person, then I will feel that I can let go, untill then I will be there every step.
PS: Let’s just hope there is a cure soon…


#3

Yes, I’m hoping that by the time Griffin is ready to marry it there WILL be a cure!


#4

This is an interesting topic. And actually I’m fairly focused on my daughters mental health and trying to make sure that she grows up with a healthy attitude towards her D. I think the key is that yes you have to teach your child to be assertive in their treatment, testing often, being “in control” (ha!), but also that this is just one aspect of their life. Your life should not revolve around D. It’s just one piece of it. We are very involved in sports. She plays softball and soccer. She has many friends and goes on sleepovers. She goes on field trips with out a parent. We try very hard to make sure that the D doesn’t stop us from doing anything.

We are lucky that we have friends parents that are involved, they make sure she tests, they measure portions, count carbs, they call before bed. We also have family that is invloved, that babysit for us.

I am extremly worried about the teenage years, that she might rebel against this disease (among other things). And that she will not take care of herself. But we can only try our best and give her the skills and then it will be up to her.

I really think that finding a partner that loves, respects and supports you as a person is a difficult prospect. But frankly I just don’t see the diabetes aspect of it as that big of a deal. I think if your attitude is that your diabetes is managable and just one piece of the pie that it just gets lost in the rest of the issues of getting along and making a parnership. By the time my daughter is an adult, I’m sure CGM’s will be fairly common, and avoiding night time hypos will be fairly common place. And isn’t that the biggest partner issue? I’m more worried that the guy she picks will be supportive of her and not have a bunch of his own baggage.

The partner issue just isn’t my biggest concern. Making sure that she is healthy and happy is. I think if I can accomplish that goal that the rest will follow.


#5

Hmmm, this is a complex issue. I hope no one ever tells a potential suitor of my daughter to not marry her because she has D. Is it a big deal? Yes, but if a person is educated and involved it should be no more of an issue than any other condition like RA, Lupus, etc. I would think that if a person truly loved someone with D they would want to be there to support them and help them.


#6

I married my husband with no thought of D. I was with him at 16 when dx. He had no problems with his bg. Then after about 4 years of marriage he started having hypos. It is a big part of being married to him. When he is alone with our kids I always worry, if he doesn’t answer the phone I about have a heart attack. October of 2004 our oldest son was dx. Having two of them in the same house makes it even harder, but we keep going. I think someone should be sure they can handle the responsiblity of a spouse with D, but it shouldn’t scare them away either.


#7

I am friends with a lot of adults with T1 through my blog and this is a touchy subject with them. And, I understand why. No one wants to be told they shouldn’t do something or that someone should think long and hard before marrying them.

I’ll just put my two-cents worth in. I don’t think you should marry someone for what they have, but rather for who they are. My son has diabetes, but that’s just a very small part of who he is. He’s also a very loving and very smart person. He’s very independant and quite the wise guy. He has brown eyes and brown hair and the sweetest smile you’ve ever seen. Compared to all his other traits, D just fades into the background.

I try very hard to teach Riley that he can be and do anything he wants. Some people think this is unrealistic. It is not. People are in charge of how much they let D control their lives or limit them. While a low may stop them in their tracks, they learn to deal with it and move on or either they let it consume their life.

Frankly, I find it insulting that someone would think that my son is not worth marrying because he has D. As far as I’m concerned it’s like saying my son is not worth marrying because he walks with a limp (he doesn’t, but you see where I’m going with this.)

We all have our problems, be it physical or emotional. We all bring something to the marriage that our spouse would rather not have to deal with. If a person is not ready and willing to face with their partner whatever may come their way, (what if your spouse gets cancer, would you wish you never married them in the first place?) then they are not really ready to get married.


#8

I’m not sure I really addressed the original post’s intent. I was a bit round about about it. The two instances given, a MIL that did not take care of herself and an unprepared spouse, should obviously be avoided. Denial is not an option. And I think that was what I was getting at. That if you are emotionally prepared to deal with this disease then the disease itself does not become all consuming. You talk about it with your potential partner, deal with it and move on.

I think that my daughter is just the most wonderful person in the world and that anyone who passes her up because of her D is the one losing out. Their loss. Maybe I’m naive, I don’t think so. I know there is an emotional toll that this disease takes. You get mad, you get frustrated, you get tired of it, and you can’t take a break. That is a reality. And yes you need someone who is strong emotionally to help you deal with it… But you want that anyway, even for your non-D child.

I also have met some really great teenagers and young adults with diabetes at camp. These people, I feel, are more compassionate and empathetic than their peers. If she decided to marry someone who also had diabetes, who was a great guy, I’d have no problem with it.

I don’t think that D limits my child. She’s had to grow up faster, become more responsible than a child her age ought to have to be. But she is confident and aware of her disease. Oh I’m sure we’ll have some rough spots, especially as we go through the teenage years, but confidence is key. I want to make sure she is emotionally strong as she becomes an adult. Then hopefully the chips will fall her way.


#9

I am totally in the same line of thought. Diabetes is NOT the end all and be all of my daughters life. I also live relatively fearlessly with diabetes, not becuase I don’t think bad things can happen, but because know that I am doing the best I can and she is a very smart and competent girl. The husband issue is a non-issue for me as my husband married me (with T1) and it isn’t HIS disease. All three of us have diabetes now, (he has type 2) and the biggest factor in considering marrying another person with diabetes is the cost of all the medical supplies. :0 Just walk away!