True Love and Type 1 Diabetes

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 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, even though it is no longer necessary. 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 the Unconference in October, 2017. 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.

The picture below was taken in Oct, 2011.

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You’ve got a wonderful woman there and you know it. Well done. It sounds like you have no intention of ever taking her for granted. Carry on, brother!

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Nice post, Richard. Your life has been greatly enhanced by Anita’s love. Happy 2017 to both of you!

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Dear @Richard157,

What a moving post is yours! Your relationship is wonderful. This is a great new year’s post for all of us to read. And the picture is GREAT!

My wife and I have been together for 26 years. So we have a lot of time to go before reaching yours:-) I can only hope that my sons find as perfect a match as yours.

Maybe you can convince her to take a trip a year, and find activities to do there that she will truly enjoy? This is how my wife and I plan our trips with my sons. We try to schedule every day activities that they really like - even if it is just idling where we are. For instance, a couple of weeks ago we took them to Louisiana, and rented a house right by a lake, where they could idle by the dock, canoe, kayak or fish. We would spend some time at the house every day, and some time in museums or listening to live music (or eating!) so everyone had some time they really liked.

Wishing you and Anita the best of 2017 - Michel

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Forgot to mention: your book was a Hanukkah gift to my 12-year-old T1D son, who was diagnosed in 2016.

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Thanks, Michel! That trip your family took to Louisiana sound great. A trip a year sounds very good, but we always fly to Atlanta to visit our son and grand kids. A second trip is hard to have since my wife does not like to travel
We are hoping to attend a Diabetes conference in Oct. It is not so far from home.

Happy New Year to you and your family.

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I hope that your son is doing well with his diabetes.

Thanks, Terry! Happy New Year to you and yours!

As it was my husband who rescued me before diagnosis (I went DKA) I know how much he worries - I like to hike and kayak but he’s insistent I only do so with a partner which I’m ok with…sometimes because my control has been very good I forget how quickly I could find myself in real trouble. I had an aunt and uncle who were so close that the local hospital would ensure there were two beds available when one or the other had to be admitted - the beds would be pushed together so they could hold hands. I think your Anita is very special - maybe she might feel more comfortable if you were traveling to these events with a trusted buddy?

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Thanks for your reply, Bowie. Anita does not trust another person enough for me to travel without her. She would still worry so much, and that would not enable me to enjoy my trip It is better for us to take an occasional trip that is not too far from home.

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You are lucky to,have such a good wife. May everything work to,the best for both of you.

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That’s a great story! It is so awesome to have help like that. A guardian angel.

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Thanks so much for telling your story. You and your wife sound as if you were made for each other. I am so happy for you. But I have a technical and practical question for you: Is Medicare paying for your CGM and supplies? If so, how did you get them to pay?

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Hello rrrruff, My MVP plan is affiliated with Medicare, and does not cover a CGM. I have heard of a few people who were denied by Medicare, and they went through an appeal process. I know of only one case in which the process worked. I think that was because the individual was experiencing very poor control and testing on a glucometer was not sufficient for handling the frequent highs and lows. An endocrinologist probably verified the need for the CGM.

Hi Richard,
Your story is very, very much like mine and Sarah’s - married 54yrs, diabetic 52yrs with many problems in the beginning with Sarah coaxing me to take etter care of myself. I now am on a t:slim pump and use a Dexcom 4 with share. The share option lets me share my readings continually with Sarah (we both have iphones) She doesnt worry nearly so much now because she can look at her phone and see my blood sugar, even when I am gone to Home Depot.
Medicare doesn’t payfor my Dex either - I self-fund by buying sensors on eBay :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hello George,
I’m glad you have Sarah. I am also using the Dexcom G4, and I am getting sensors without a problem, but I cannot afford new transmitters and receivers. How do you plan to get those? They are very expensive, and have limited lifetimes. I may have to stop using my Dexcom when my transmitter dies.

I found a guy on EBay that replaced the batteries with a 6 month warranty - I’ve been using it for a couple of months with no problem. I can’t find him on EBay now, but find this when I google Dexcom Battery replacement - it looks like the same deal https://www.etsy.com/listing/501974257/dexcom-g4-platinum-slim-transmitter?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_a-electronics_and_accessories-gadgets&utm_custom1=5ed66163-a0ae-418f-a08c-3821cdaae42c&gclid=CjwKEAiA17LDBRDElqOGq8vR7m8SJAA1AC0_f_aiL_ra98bJymSAvggMG7PXWtZkcDrqcvZ0jYlLLBoCwZTw_wcB
I would be careful and go through paypal, because I don’t recognize this Etsy.com

George

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Thanks, George!!

What a wonderful story Richard and Anita. As we all know, dealing with diabetes is challenging, and I applaud your efforts for living with it all these years. Cheers to both of you!

Guy

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Richard, you are a true survivor. I have a “mench” of a husband who looks out for me too!

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