My Wife and My T1D

My wife, Anita, and I were married in 1964. I had been type 1 for 18 years at that time. I was testing my urine, using animal insulin, and did not know about the effect of carbs on my blood sugar. My control was dismal, with many highs during the day, and some terrible lows at night. I had seizures at night several times each year. My wife was only 20 when we married, and she had a very hard time adjusting to my diabetes, especially the seizures. She became an expert while helping me, and she never complained. In the mid 1980s I had my first meter, I learned about carbs, and I started carb counting with a fast acting insulin in the 1990s. My control improved. There were still frequent lows, but no seizures. In 2007 I started using an insulin pump, and presently I have a Dexcom CGM. My control is so much better, and I never need any help when I have lows, because they are not serious lows.

Anita remembers the old times when I needed her help so often. She was so frightened when I had seizures so long ago. She is still concerned that I may have very low blood sugar, even though my control has been so good for more than 20 years. She sets the alarm each night for 1, 4 and 7 AM. I check my BG to satisfy her that I am okay. She cannot sleep unless I am in good shape. She checks with me several times each day, especially before meals, to be sure that I have bolused, and everything is good. (I do have some lows but they are not bad ones, and I can easily take care of myself.)

Anita’s memories of how it used to be causes her to be this way. I cannot take trips by myself, even for a few hours in the afternoon, without her worrying so much about me. She wants to go with me on those occasions to keep a watch on me. Her being this way really gets on my nerves, but I rarely complain. She probably saved my life several times in the past, so I appreciate her attention. I want to attend diabetes conferences, and make other trips without her going with me. She does not like to travel, she loves staying at home. She went with me to the Friends For Life conference in Orlando in 2015, and we are planning to attend again in 2019. I would like to attend more diabetes related meetings, and conferences, including the FFL’s in Canada and the UK, but this will not happen. I love Anita so much, and cannot ask her to take all those trips. She loves me so much that she would insist on going with me. Love and a great marriage is wonderful, but I do want to travel more. I will just count my blessings, and take only an occasional trip. <Sigh>


Richard, your tenacity and kindness spring forth in your testimony about diabetes. You remain an inspiration for all of us. Anita is a real gem. Nice post!

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@Richard157 You are a lucky man to have a woman who loves you the way Anita does. Consider what you’d do if something happened to Anita.

There are few people who are as blessed :pray:t2: as you are, and thank goodness we have Pumps / CGM’s / A1C’s / Rapid acting insulin (rather than clinitest)

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Hi Richard, congratulations for living well with type 1 for all these many years. I am at 60 yrs living with this and you have me beat by a mile.

I also have been married for many years. We are coming up to 50 yrs. Although my lows have never been as bad as yours, I have had a few when I have needed my husbands help. Today we were out, and I noticed that he was asking too many questions about how I was doing. Then I remembered that when we were hiking a couple months ago I didn’t eat enough and ended up down on the path with him having to feed me dates. This has rarely happened in my 60 yrs living with this disease. Since we are both older now, he isn’t going to forget this anytime soon.

It doesn’t sound like you have scared your wife in 20 yrs though, so I can understand why her worry is getting on your nerves. But she is worried about her beloved husband. My husband has had cancer 3 times in the last 8 yrs. We cherish our time together and hope to celebrate 70 yrs together.

We are both introverts, so being together almost all the time is what we prefer. We know that there aren’t that many years left and we prefer to spend them with our favorite person. I am guessing that maybe you are an extrovert and that she is an introvert? I may have that completely wrong or backwards or whatever.

It you are using a CGM why does she have a need to continue to check your blood sugar during the night?

I am sure that at times I drive my husband nuts about his health, but it is only because I love him so much and worry about him.

If none of this makes any sense please just ignore.

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You are fortunate that someone is around to notice when things are off. I personally joke (in a gallows humor way) that one day I will wake up dead ;0)
the good news is that my middle of the night lows still cause my brain to go into survival mode and wakes me up to treat them. Perhaps it’s my age when these things just aren’t as frightening as they would have been when younger. Keep talking to your wife and maybe one day she will let you fly the coop alone!


@Marilyn6, My Dexcom G5 is sometimes as much as 20 points different from my glucometer. My wife would sometimes worry unnecessarily if she used the share option. She does not fully trust the CGM, and I don’t either.
We are both introverts, but I feel very comfortable with other T1D’s and their families. I dream of making trips and being a speaker to groups. I don’t think it will happen, but I do dwell on that very often.