Supporting my Type 1 partner to take a first step

That’s true, I don’t really know. And most of what I know about how T1 works I’ve learned from him. So I suppose it’s not wise to make inferences about what “works” and what doesn’t based on one person’s experience. It’s frustrating not to have direct experience of what’s going on with him; I have no way of knowing what “normal” feels like to him. I feel like my perception of the situation is really limited. That’s why I’m here to try and learn more, so I can be more informed about what it means to be a healthy diabetic and how you get there.

Emily –

Have you read a lot about Type 1? I’m asking because I think once you do, you will understand that it can’t be ignored, no way no how. I understand the frustration with insurance co’s (oh do I!!) and money, but please know there are serious lifelong complications or even death for ignoring this disease.

If he knew he had cancer would he simply ignore it because he will need to spend money month after month to see a doc and get treatment?

here goes a random mary jane reference, it doesn’t stop your liver from producing glucose like alcohol doesso therefore no worries of midnight lows while drunk based upon excess insulin in the body due the the inability for the liver to do its job because it is detoxing the alcohol in it’s system…

just some food for thought when replacing one stress relief for another…

I don’t know that much about Type 1, but I do know it can’t be ignored! Of course, the expense is worth it, and of course the cost of treating it appropriately is marginal compared to the cost of trying to treat the complications that can arise. I think I was just expressing my personal anger that it should be so expensive. It’s unfair. Grr.

Hm…never been his thing, but interesting to consider.

I just say what I see based what you have shared, and on other people’s experience. I’ve seen a LOT of situations where one partner is trying to help the other to change while he isn’t making any effort to do so. The “helper” is most commonly a woman, because being codependent is a role we learn in our culture. It doesn’t usually work and it’s a world of heartache for the good hearted woman who wants the best for her partner. If he chooses to stay in denial, in the end the girlfriend becomes the “bad guy” and he resents her for it. I have also seen the woman say, “I’m not willing to be with you unless you take care of yourself” (and mean it) and sometimes that works to motivate him.

I’m sorry you’re offended, Emily. But when you post to a board like this and share personal information, you are going to get responses to that information. We on this board know better than any doctor the impact of not dealing with Type 1 diabetes, and it’s not pretty. If “harsh truths” can help save a Diabetics life, than to me that’s a good thing. “Psychology” is as much a part of those responses as practical information. Some of the responses you get you’ll find useful and some you won’t like at all, so you’re welcome to “take what you need and leave the rest.”

I had seen this earlier and it’s an interesting thread. I had quite a few wild years but always finagled some insurance somehow. I drink quite a bit too, although not as much as I used to these days (I’m 43…) so I’m not 100% sure the eeek about drinking is totally correct but I can’t imagine getting a load on without a bunch of test strips around. I also stuck w/ Humalin until 2008, long after it’s time had passed, and it works ok but when I got my pump, the doc & sales nurse explained that it had a 53% chance of peaking when it was supposed to. This, in turn, can cause a lot of irregularity in your bg that can be almost impossible to fix. MrEmily may be pretty sharp to have gotten along with it as well as he’s done.

Ok…but he honestly doesn’t know when he is “normal”. He doesn’t test his blood sugar, so he really doesn’t know if he is low, normal or high, and he isn’t seeing a doctor or getting his A1C tested. He thinks he knows what his blood sugar is, but in truth, he does not. If he consistently runs say 250 for example, in time this will feel “normal” to him even though it is very dangerous to his health.

Type 1 doesn’t act the same way every day, and the only way he will know what is going on is if he tests his blood sugar. The amount of insulin needed will vary from day to day too, based on his food intake, exercise, stress, etc. It isn’t like taking an allergy medicine or high blood pressure medicine where you take a fixed dose every single day, unfortunately it is much more high maintenance than that. Again, the only way he can know for sure if he needs more or less insulin is to test his blood sugar.

See if your local library carries “Using Insulin” by John Walsh or “Think Like a Pancrease” by Gary Scheiner.

In all kindness, I think once you educate yourself and find out what this disease is all about, you will be very shocked and frightened at how he is managing things. If a parent were to adopt his approach for taking care of their T1 child (no meter/no blood sugar testing, no doctor visits, multiple seizures), this would likely be looked at as abuse and neglect. I hope that puts it in perspective for you.

I could not agree more. I definitely neglected my D care at times of my life because of financial reasons. I am fortunate to have wonderful health insurance now, but even with wonderful health insurance, I still end up paying about $400-500/month in medical expenses (test strips, insulin, pump supplies, doctors visits, blood work, paying off old medical bills, etc). I make good money and that’s still a hefty dent in my monthly income! And I do know how frustrating it can be to have to call around to various assistance programs to get the basic supplies that you need.

I think some others on here have recommended a few good books; Think Like a Pancreas is probably the best. It’s fairly technical, but you seem motivated enough that it shouldn’t be too hard of a read. It will give you good insight into what needs to be done to properly manage diabetes.

Finally, while I don’t agree with how Zoe stated it, please keep in mind that there very well be NOTHING you can do here to help your boyfriend. I think what you’re doing is wonderful; I know there were times in my life where someone reached out to help me and I was very appreciative. BUT, I was always willing to make the change. If your boyfriend isn’t willing to make the change and do what needs to be done, then it’s not going to happen. Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we can get back up again and fix things, and sometimes hitting rock bottom needs to happen alone.

I am sorry you’re going through this.

One thing that happens when your in a relationship is oftentimes even if things arent ideal, it IS possible to nudge,coerce, influence, and even get people to do things they may not want to do or be motivated to do, even if its one step at a time… And one thing I have learned in being diabetic, is that harsh truths and scare tactics seldom work in regards to complications, they may push people towards taking action, but they also can and do have the opposite effect of fustrating them and encouraging them to remain in denial, which is a worse situation to be in… Its never a good time to pass judgement, its ALWAYS a good time to lend an ear or helping hand… Im guessing that there are other problems but they are being confronted a bit more privately…Kudos to her for being honest about the entire situation and wanting to help someone she loves. Hopefully their love will be a motivator to change… It sometimes can be

I am more or less in agreement with AR. I had a few wild years and have made it through them without any problems. If your boyfriend is in graduate school he is probably the perfect age to “think” he is managing his T1 effectively (invincible) and drinking is likely a bigger thing if he is still around campus. His drinking does not really concern me as it will likely diminish as he ages and exits the college scene. Your boyfriend must still be “smart” about drinking and testing his BG more, or some, would be the first start. The not testing is a big concern. Even at my low of care I was still testing my BG at least 3-5 times a day. He needs to test his BG more to adequately manage T1. Plain and simple.

The other thing I would suggest is that he try a mail in A1C test. I think Walmart now sells one you can buy and use for under $10. Somewhere in the back of his mind he has to be wondering what his A1C is and this would provide him a cheap and confidential way of finding out. If he scores really poorly it might jump start him more than anything you can do or say would.

And as others have said if he is unwilling to change or adapt, then there is nothing you can do. Be patient and understanding with him, as he is probably unsure (and possibly scared) of changes to his diabetes management. My thinking was, why change something that isn’t broken? Even when my personal care needed to be updated.

Without being in the room with him, you are limited. But even then there are many limits what any of us can say/do to effect the actions of our loved ones.

If you were living with him, you would have the powers of ~physical persuasion~ (ie simple seduction). Living with him (and he with you) there are many things to negotiate, as a couple! All the normal stuff, the irritating habits, the odd things the other person learned/did upto that point and which brought them into your life now. All the normal stuff plus the diabetes.

How are you presenting your entirely understandable concerns? And where do those discussions occur precisely? Neutral place… neutral time. For example done only in the bedroom right before you both fall asleep, not the best/ideal time or place for that discussion. Perhaps in a nice park someplace on a blanket over a bottle of soda, a glass of wine possibly? Framed well, its a thing you are entitled to understand where his head is at!

As an important part of his life, you want him blissfully happy, spooky healthy for decades and decades. You have to lay it out for him as gently as humanly possible, assuming you don’t want to hit his “diabetic shields”, the ones we all possess… You want to understand the details, where his head is at so you can support him. Its the price of a relationship.

You get a seat at his diabetic table" because you do love him… you are not a bystander. And others before you may have been in your position now but, you knowing the problems, the terrors you have bought and paid for your seat.

He must let you be a @)(#@(#@_ pain at times. Be completely wrong on other occasions. But sometimes, sometimes you are very right. And now is one of them. He is using THE approach not used since the mid 1980’s. Then all of us did that. Today’s insulins require much, much higher scrutiny.

Here’s a thought.

Go to your local HUGE pharmacy. Purchase their “A1C testkit”. Its an OTC test that gives any of us an idea how our overall sugar is running. Its an average of the last several months re: blood sugar control. Better control will give him far more energy. Better control will give him far less moodiness. Better control will allow his ~male parts~ to function longer without issues in the future ; )

Pretty desirable stuff.

To reach beyond his force-field, his decades of “diabetic lone wolf” routine, what method do you think might penetrate it? Mischievous teasing? Kicking his butt in a genuine rage? Seduction? Simple caring? In my view somwtimes changing the apporach the channel of presentation may work better than the methods used before.

Your thoughts?


I’m sorry you are going through this! My husband has type one (I don’t have diabetes) and I know how difficult it can be to be married to someone who is struggling with blood sugar control. The main thing I’ve learned is that there isn’t a whole lot I can do. I’m supportive, I try to keep tempting foods out of the house, I try to suggest restaurants where I know there are good choices for him, and I’m always available to listen and help in any way I can. I do occasionally send him links from the forums here if I see something that I believe would be encouraging. Mostly I just wait and hope. I really wish there were more that I could do.

I know that a lot of these suggestions are not possible if you aren’t living together. It would be really helpful if he would see a therapist. Then again, he has to want to do that.

Desert Em,

I realize what some people have said here seems harsh, but that is because we know what you don’t about how he is destroying himself by not taking care of himself. If you read “Think Like a Pancreas”, you will understand a little better, I think, everything he needs. You will understand our perspective better. You mentioned that money is tight, the book can be borrowed from some libraries, and some might let you check it out as an ebook for a couple of weeks. I would recommend giving that book to him as a gift, if you can afford it. I cried somewhere in the first 2 chapters because it was like a real person understood what I had gone through. It was amazing how much it touched me. I am a crier, though.

One thing some people don’t seem to remember is that the Type 1 diabetes education was different in the 80’s than it was in 2000. It is also different today. He probably doesn’t have any idea how much better informaion is than it was before. What was a crazy horrible disease is now manageable. The best principles (not skills) I learned from Think Like a Pancreas is 1) set small goals 2) work on one goal at a time 3) only expect yourself to master one goal every week or two - or take a month if you need it, 4) if you have bad blood sugars, it isn’t necessarily because you are a bad diabetic, it could be because you are stressed or you had the flu or you haven’t been getting enough sleep. You cannot beat yoruself up about bad blood sugars. Just pick yourself up and get back on track. I say that because I was raised with docs constantly criticizing me for my horrible control. I was never good enough. Once I removed that requirement from myself to be perfect, and I learned skills from Gary S, I was able to manage my diabetes.

There is so much to do, it is hard to keep on track. It is crazy overwhelming sometimes. Almost all of us type 1’s go through phases of exhaustion from the balancing and phases of being super strict and controlled with everything we do so we can get back on track. It takes a lot of work.

When I need a laugh, I watchthis videoon Youtube. I am an engineer and I want taste without math, too. There are also the My Life as a Pin Cushionvideos.

Good luck. I’d get him the book, read it yourself, and ask him what you can do to help.

He probably doesn't have any idea how much better informaion is than it was before

Tee, I don't know about that. They guy is in grad school, so I imagine that he knows the seriousness of his condition. It's more like he is just trying to ignore it and put it out of his mind in his own not-so-smart way. It's very common for those of us with D to put our heads in the sand. However, it's great that he has someone who cares about him as much as Emily does, someone who is trying to look out for him and get him help.

She came here to learn about diabetes, but she probably feels beaten up. She didn't come here for tough love. She came here for empowerment, and I don't think she left with just that. I will be surprised if she returns at all.

Hi there!

Here’s my Life Plan for Living With the Diabolical Diabetes (yes me and my fiancé Bryan came up with ‘diabolical diabetes’, makes it sound like an old 60’s comic villain hahahaha).

Forgive me if I’m repeating anything you already know…just putting it all here so everything I say makes sense. Remember I’m not a doctor, speaking from my 20 years of T1, and my mom also being T1 for 20 years. I am 23 at the moment, so I had a full 3 years of rockin out with my functioning pancreas.

Carbohydrates are one of the food groups. Carbohydrates = sugars. From Wikipaedia:

“Foods high in carbohydrate include fruits, sweets, soft drinks, breads, pastas, beans, potatoes, bran, rice, and cereals. Carbohydrates are a common source of energy in living organisms, however, no carbohydrate is an essential nutrient in humans.”

(I note here though, a healthy diet includes some carbohydrates, or carbs as I refer to them.)

Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cells in the Pancreas and secreted into the bloodstream. Insulin acts like a key, opening the doors on the membrane (skin) of each cell to allow food (blood sugar) to enter. Without it, the cells begin to starve, and the blood becomes full of sugar to the point of toxicity. The excess sugar gums up the blood system, which can lead to all kinds of complications. Many things can counteract insulin effectiveness, such as medicines, or other hormones. Even getting sick with a cold or the flu can cause elevated blood glucose, because the blood becomes full of all the virus gunk, and antibody reactions.

Type 1 diabetes is where the body has an auto-immune reaction. The white blood cells confuse the insulin-producing cells with something that shouldn’t be there, and zaps them. Without the insulin, the BG (blood glucose rises). The body cells begin to starve. To feed itself, the body begins to burn fat (and then muscle once its out of fat) in a process called Ketoacidosis. The byproducts made by the burning of fat or muscle is toxic waste in the bloodstream, and can lead to coma and subsequent death. The byproducts are referred to as ‘ketones’. Having a high BG doesn’t necessarily mean that ketones are present; this happens mainly when the body runs out of insulin completely, since as long as there’s still a little insulin, there is some cell-feeding going on. Symptoms for ketones include (but are not limited to): fruity breath, getting extremely, skeletally thin; losing hair; nausea; abdominal pains…etc.

As if that’s not enough, the liver plays a big part in blood sugar. The liver takes in unprocessed carbohydrates digested by the body and turns it into sugary goodness: Glucagon, the arch nemesis of insulin. Glucagon is released into the blood stream when the blood glucose level becomes too low, and there is threat of there being not enough sugar to keep the body running. A little Glucagon is constantly released into the bloodstream, so without insulin, a person’s BG will keep climbing slowly.

A type 1 diabetic requires two types of insulin to keep going: Basal and bolus, also referred to as long-acting and short-acting. Long acting is an insulin used to counter the slow drip of Glucagon, so the BG will stay exactly the same if the person doesn’t eat. In other words, if a person goes without food for 24 hours, and there basal is correct, they could start out with a reading of 100 at 8 AM and end the day at 12 PM with a reading of 100. Basal insulin is regular insulin that is coated, so the body breaks down the coating before using the insulin, thus making this type of insulin work for longer. A good way to test if the basal rate is correct is to have a sugar-free jello day. Hooray!

Bolus (or short-acting) insulin is a fast insulin (regular insulin, no coating) used to cover foods that have just been consumed. Usually the ‘peaking’ time of fast acting is about 3-4 hours after taking it, depending on what insulin is used. Carbohydrates form the basis of insulin calculation. Proteins, to some small extent, can have a miniscule effect on the BG when consumed, but it is safer to not count them until you are testing BG regularly and have a grip on some other important numbers. Diabetes is a numbers game! It has been theorized that it is better to take several smaller injections than one huge one for big doses, as the tissue absorbs several small ones better, having more absorption area. A big dose can sit as a lump for hours and wait to bite you in the a** later when it DOES get absorbed.

The numbers game:

A1C is a blood test run by the lab every 3 months, to tell the patient their AVERAGE BG reading. The average ‘good’ A1C is somewhere around 5-6. By good, it means the person is much less likely to develop complications later, and is probably feeling pretty fine and dandy. 7 (in my opinion) is not too bad, room for improvement to lower it, but getting there, while say a 4 would mean the person is probably running low a lot. A single high or low isn’t going to affect this average much. Being consistently high or low will tip the scale quite a bit. In diabetes, the average is far more important than any given moment.

Daily readings are taken on a meter, usually multiple times a day (around 10-15 is most T1’s average number of tests per day).

The A1C ideal number works again for the daily number desired. However, there are 2 systems: the American (Imperial) system, and the Canadian (metric) system. American system runs on mmol/gram (mili-mol of blood sugar per gram of blood), while Canadian system runs on mmol/L (mili-mol of blood sugar per liter of blood). Confusing huh?

So here’s how to figure it out:

A1C mostly works on metric, as I figure it, since (for example) an A1C of 5.0 would be smooth sailing. So if you were to randomly test and the result is 5.0 mmol/L, that is a great reading! Even up to 10.0 mmol/L isn’t the end of the world, since having that a few times won’t mess things up too much. Going lower than 3.0 mmol/L however is verging into potentially dangerous low territory. Usually around 4.0 mmol/L becomes uncomfortable for a lot of people.

You’re using the American scale. To convert between metric and imperial BG measurements:

Metric ----multiply by 18—> Imperial

Imperial --divide by 18-----> Metric

Many meters offer an averaging feature, which does not always give an accurate measure as the A1C does (and does not cover the same period of time; usually meter gives a 2-week average), but gives you a good idea of where you are sitting.

Say you got 110, 180, 200, 220, and 150 as readings. To find the average of those manually: add, divide sum by 5, then divide that by 18.

110 + 180 + 200 + 220 + 150 = 860 --> 860/5 = 172—> 172/18= approximately 9.5 mmol/L (would be around that on A1C test if those were 3-month results).

Considering this, a good average reading in imperial units would be: 90! Going lower than that, not a great idea. Going higher….little higher is OK, like 100 or 110, but on average good to keep it around that.

A good testing plan:

Test in the morning, upon waking (this is called a fasting test). This number is important and will usually affect the whole day. If it’s good, the day has a great chance of turning out manageable. If it’s too high, this can spiral into crazy high’s and low’s later on.

Test before eating. If a correction is required, give it with the food insulin (discussed below). Then test 2 hours after eating. The goal is for the BG to return to it’s pre-meal level within about 2 hours. Sometimes 3 hours is OK. Even normal people have fluctuations after eating, so if you see a spike upwards, it’s nothing to become frightened about, although if you can time the food and insulin to work together with no spike, you’ll feel better.

Carb ratios and correction ratios:

A carb ratio is how much insulin a person has to take to cover 10 grams of carbs. The carbohydrate content of a food can be checked on its nutritional listing (if there is a box or bag), or from a little handy pocket book from the Calorie King: Calorie Fat & Carbohydrate counter. This thing is my bible! It was $10 and it is my ultimate tool. My favorite thing to do (very occasionally) with it is order dinner at the restaurant with my fiancé, wait till he’s halfway through, then casually mention the carb and calorie contents of his meal to him. He’s expressed a desire to count carbs himself, so I’m not being the Plate Police, just that I enjoy his serious “OMG! Crap!” reaction (it’s way too cute). Ahem. ANYWAYS! The best ratio to assume, in the beginning, is 1 unit of insulin will cover 30g of carbohydrates. So for a meal containing 90 carbs, it would be 3 units of insulin. Go from there, see if you need more or less. I personally am insulin resistant and use 1 unit per 10 grams of carbs. This is because I am fighting some nasty girly hormones that interfere with the insulin. I picture them with frowny faces having sword fights with my insulin. =(

Correction ratio: How much insulin is needed to ‘correct’ (lower) a BG reading. Again, a 1:3 ratio is good to start with. This says that 1 unit insulin will lower your reading by 3 mmol/L (or 3 X 18= 54 mmol/g). Everyone’s different. Again, I have the stupid hormones, so I have a 1:2 ratio (1 unit takes me down 2 mmol/L).

Now a bit about bringing stuff down and up:

Low (or insulin shock, or hypoglycemia) is when a person enters the low BG territory, and there’s not enough sugar to run the brain or other basic biological functions. Low symptoms can vary. Some people get confused, shaky, sweaty, headachey, all sorts of good stuff. Fastest way to correct this is with glucose tablets. Marketed under the name “Dex 4”, they are available at Walgreens in convenient carry tubes and all sorts of fun flavors (grape, nomnomnom). You can buy big tubs to refill the tubes for $5, and tubes are about $2 each. There are 4 grams of carbs in each tablet. For a low, follow the 15-15 rule: 15 grams of carbs, wait 15 minutes and test. If low, repeat. Clear juice like apple is also great for lows, if no tabs are handy.

A REAL safety thing to have around is a glucagon kit. This is basically sugar that you inject into the bloodstream, if the person is going unconscious. It will hit like a towtruck and bring them back pretty effin fast. I was told by a nurse that this can be used in tiny amounts too, if a person is too ill to eat and their readings are going down (as in not use the whole kit). This is a safety godsend that makes me feel safer about dicking around with my insulin to achieve lower numbers. If you’ve ever played a video game, it’s like an instant full-health refresher button. Kind of.

High (or hyperglycemia) is when a person’s BG is on the high side of normal, and there’s too much sugar. Symptoms again vary; extreme thirst, frequent urination, irritability, drowsiness, general blah feeling, nausea, headaches…all symptoms. Even though some symptoms sound similar to being low, they feel different when you have it. Perhaps it’s because there are usually several symptoms in combination. I can usually tell which way I’m sliding just by feeling.

All people are different. Some can manage themselves no matter what their BG is, like myself. Others can’t, and it has nothing to do with self control…just that their bodies react that way. It is never that person’s fault, ever. =)

Back to BG’s:

If a person has consistently high BG, they will become ‘used’ to the feeling, and will begin to feel low at what is actually a good BG reading. This makes trying to play with numbers to lower them a real pain in the a**. The good part is that this won’t last forever. Give it a few weeks, and my biggest recommendation: do everything in small amounts! Don’t go from an average of 220 to an average of 90 in two days. Bring it down to say 170, then 140, then 100 and so on. Give your poor body some time to adjust to your new strict attitude (or else it will be like WTF are you doing?! o,O)

In reverse, if a person gets used to being low a lot, they can develop hypoglycemia unawareness, where they will not feel themselves going low. This too can be fixed by bringing up the average a bit and going low less.

The moral is: The body gets used to whatever BG reading it sits at usually, and will start to feel the symptoms of it less. This is just like if you rest your hand on something, at first you will notice what it’s touching, and then gradually it slips into the background.

In general, I’d rather be a teensy bit high than low. Remember: a high might do lasting damage gradually over time, but a low can kill you LIKE THAT. I’m also thoroughly convinced it’s not good for your brain, to be low.


High-fat foots process a lot slower than pure carbohydrate foods. Pizza is going to digest way slower than cake, for example. This is because the body digests fats by sorting them out of the carbs, and processing them with a different organ (gall bladder). So often it’s good to mix in something like a few slices of cheese with bread.

This is called the Glycemic Index. Foods with a high GI hit the blood fast; foods with a low GI hit it slow. Anything refined or processed will usually have a higher GI than something natural. Do some research on this, google the term.

Pizza (since I mentioned it above) usually has a medium GI due to all the melty cheese goodness, nomnomnom. It can take 4 hours to digest! As such, dosing for a food like that can be tricky, but great if you’re like me and generally digest before the insulin can hit you. For pizza, some people increase their basal slightly instead of blousing, to avoid going low.

Going high after meals:

If you notice the insulin not meeting the food right, taking it sometime before or after the meal may help. If it works too slow, then take it 15-30 minutes before. If it’s too fast, take it like 5 minutes after. Again, this depends on the type of insulin being used.

Alcohol effect:

I SERIOUSLY recommend having a good solid meal before doing any drinking.

Beverages such as beer have carbs, and should be bolused for. Clear alcohols such as rum or vodka have no carbs in them.

The alcohol effect, however, applies to all alcohol. There is a funny process in digestion that hits much later, such as the morning afterward. The effect is that the person can go low. This is why I recommend a meal to drink on, and watching the basal later at night. If I go out drinking, I usually force myself to stay up and supervise my reading.


If lots of night time lows are experienced, try having a high-fat snack before bed, ex: bread and cheese, and bolus a bit less for it.

Another option is to lower the basal rate for the night. Also make sure you’re not taking big boluses, then heading right to bed. Stay up and make sure it works out OK.

The body usually requires a lower basal rate at night than during the day. However, around about 5-7 AM, some people experience “the dawn effect”, a period of time where wake-up hormones begin working, and interfering with the movement of insulin. At this time, a higher basal setting is needed.

Different insulins out there:

Animal insulin: Natural animal insulin. Available in both fast and slow acting. Not certain about specifics.

Humalog insulin: Fast-acting synthetic insulin. Begins working in 15 minutes, peaks at around 2 hours, out of the system in 4 hours.

Apidra: Supposed to be similar to Humalog.

Lantus insulin: Long-acting synthetic insulin. One dose is supposed to spread itself out amongst 24 hours, with no peak time. However, in my experience, this had a major peak time of about 4-6 hours. Everyone is different though.


NPH- Synthetic insulin. Begins work around an hour in. Somewhere around 3-4 hour peak time. Out of the system within 6 hours for sure. NEEDS to be used with a long-acting insulin.

Not sure about the other Humulin lines. I used to take Toronto as my long-acting insulin, had the 6-12 hour peak time.

Levemier: Can’t say much on this one, no experience.

Different gear out there:

NOTE: If no health insurance, check out the assistance programs that the various companies have.

PENS- for shooting up! These are made by Eli Lilly, and are very nice alternatives to the ol’ safety cones (I see the orange caps as that…). They feature metal bodies; you change the vial when it empties; and for each injection, you change the needle. Not too much risk of unwanted pokings. An idea of what they look like. Pretty discreet!

PUMPS- an entirely different and expensive approach to diabetes, but it is truly life-changing. Pumps eliminate injections; instead, you have a little infusion you wear for 3-5 days at a time with the pump attached (either directly or by thin tubing). Pumps use only fast acting insulin, such as Humalog, because the pump is constantly giving your basal in increments every 5 minutes. You can make different programs for active or sleep-in days, and within these programs, set a schedule for how much the pump should deliver every 5 minutes, and when it should increase/decrease rates. Phenomenal control, and it almost eliminates night time lows. I’m on a pump—Medtronic mini-med paradigm 722 (I always read that as Paradiggem) and will never go back to shots, ever.

Several different pumps out there (check em out): Medtronics Omnipod Animus

They all have great customer service departments, and will help you figure out how to get one with whatever insurance plan you have.


Good ones:

Aviva Accu-check: Has a rotating test strip drum that you refill every 17 tests (with a new drum).

Countour (Bayer): Nice and small, uses individual strips. On their website they have lots of cool meter accessories for free, like pouches. I go shopping there when I’m too broke to afford real shopping, and make myself feel special with a new meter pouch for free, woot! =)

There are lots of other mini meters if you’d rather go smaller. The Accucheck Aviva Nano looks cool, except I can’t vouch for it. I had a Freestyle meter for a bit, but swapped out for an Accu-check for the drum feature. I currently have a Countour link which talks to my pump…’tis awesome.

BEST POKER DEVICE: Accu-check Multiclix

Uses poker cartridges, so you don’t need to handle individual poking lancets. You can get a big box for $15 with no insurance. I say big because you don’t need to change them too often! I do mine like once a month, using each poker a fair amount of times. This may sound gross, but it isn’t. My fingers are clean and the pokers for this are so good that they last for many rounds without becoming dull. =D

SECOND BEST: The poker from the accu-check meter. Those lancets are not too painful.


TuDiabetes (duh)—check out all of the links on the site!!

Also, do a search for “Diabetic Alert Dogs”; these guys are trained to detect hypoglycemia.

A final note: remember that the body is a miracle! Don’t take a doom-and-gloom attitude to diabetes. Stress can kill a lot faster, and make everything worse. Stress makes readings run high! School stress, money stress, stressing about readings makes them go high. The liver releases glucagon under stress. So if your readings aren’t the best, BIG WHOOP. Do what you can to bring it down, and pat yourself on the back for giving it a whirl. Never let a doctor or nurse make you feel bad. I feel it should be law that those medical practitioners have to be diabetic for like 2 years before they are allowed to give input.

Additional things to keep in mind re: situation

I am a type 1 Diabetic. Have been for about 20 years now. Around the same time I met my (now) fiance, I realized I wanted to try even harder to take care of myself so we could have a life together. My results are still not perfect but I’m putting a lot of work into it, with a pump and a lot more testing.

This is the attitude you assume when you love a person. Your partner should want to be there for you as long as he can be, no matter how annoyed he gets with his condition. I get super annoyed with mine sometimes, but I still want to be there for my partner later.

It’s just a natural instinct. I’m not putting any judgment on your situation, just explaining how I feel towards this subject.

Supplies are expensive but even 3 tests a day would be better than none. And affordable! Compromises can be made. A suggestion—alcohol costs money…could a bit of that go into a tube of strips per month to start?

Maybe he could read up a little on his condition?

MAJOR THING: Check if he can apply for disability funding through student loans. Check if he qualifies for grants or scholarships especially for students with disabilities. Get him to go to the disabilities office and get a councilor. With a doctor’s letter, he would qualify for time-and-a-half exams and a private testing room where he be allowed to bring his supplies into. Don’t let the disability term fool you; I press for this at every school I attend, and I get it, because it helps me do my best. It doesn’t mean disability in a derogatory way, it means we have unfair challenges, and the school gods are tipping their caps to us and letting us play on a more even field.

My suggestion is to try to have a heart-to-heart with him, and explain your concern and thoughts as lovingly and as gently as you can. Remind him that you want him to be there to enjoy a future together. Suggest a few little compromises, ask if he can work with them, or do something in that order. If he loves you (in my experience with relationships) he will respect your views, and while he might not do absolutely everything you say, he will make a few steps here and there.

I wish you the best, feel free to message me with any questions! I hope my novel here helped!

~Kate // onelildustbunni

PS: Attached the file as a word document, in case someone (for who knows what reason) wants to save this =) it took me like 3 hours to write…lol >,>
4275-DiabolicDiabetes.doc (52 KB)

In retrospect, I think I overreacted to the tone of your comment and passed over the substance. I realize I was defensive, and you do have a point. While I wouldn’t say that I’ve been in denial about my boyfriend’s condition…well, OK, maybe I have…I have been hesitant to dive headfirst into these hard conversations, for fear that they won’t go well and only lead to–like you mention–resentment. And, when I think about it, though I’m aware of how he doesn’t care for himself the way he should, because we live so far apart, I don’t see that in action on a daily basis, so it is easy for me to put out of my mind. The last crash I had to deal with on our most recent visit was the motivator for me to be more actively involved in his health (though as many people have noted, I can not make these changes for him).

Your comments, though they put me in defensive mode, were helpful to me, and made me consider, however reluctantly, whether this is a relationship I can be in. I realized that, as much as I love him, it can’t continue this way. So while I didn’t go so far as to give him an ultimatum when we last talked, I did make clear to him that things can’t go on the way that they have. The conversation went much better than I anticipated, and I learned a lot. Something he didn’t understand about my perspective, which I didn’t realize, was how frightening his low blood sugar episodes are for me. Because he doesn’t remember them when they happen, and because I’ve come to handle them stoically, he hasn’t known how hard they are for me to deal with, both logistically and emotionally. This seemed to be an epiphany for him. He also explained to me how his bad habits had developed and why he hadn’t tried to make changes, even though he’s known that he should. He admitted that if he could get affordable testing supplies, he would willingly get back into the habit of testing regularly. He promised me that he would see a doctor and readopt good regulation practices. We’ll see…he’s not off the hook yet, but just talking about it and hearing him open up about it and express a willingness to do better was such a relief.

This is a conversation I wish we’d had a long time ago. Just the little bit of feedback I’ve gotten since joining this site a few days ago has given me the broader understanding I needed to approach that conversation. Anyway, thank you for your part in pushing me in that direction…just maybe try to have some more tact, ya know?

Jake, this is exactly the anxiety I’ve been turning over in my mind, for a long time now “What if I make it worse somehow? What if, by confronting him, I cause him to shut down and retreat even further from the problem?” I’ve been in relationships, and seen relationships, where this happened. But, as you sort of allude to, if the relationship is truly a good one , that kind of encouragement can work, and if it doesn’t, maybe it’s not so good after all. I think we are moving in the direction of “love being a motivator to change,” which is a good thing. :slight_smile:

Thanks; as you well know, it’s hard sometimes. But we are getting through it. I appreciate your comments. And thanks (to you and to MidwestMommy) for the book recommendations! I’ll definitely have to look for them next time I go to the library.

A type 1 who doesn’t have a meter and doses based on “feelings” is imho a type 1 with a death wish.

30 years ago we had urine testing and no bg testing, but that actually wasn't all that much better than going on "feelings". A urine test will never tell you you're hypo.

And even when home bg testing became readily available, still not everyone was using it. It's a little hard to understand but it was true.

But bg testing is just so many steps ahead of not having bg testing. It'd be positively, the last thing I gave up.