This is going to sound bad but, here goes ...
I have type 1 diabetes and even though I have it and know the ins and outs of it, I could never allow myself to fall for someone with diabetes, too. Wow, I actually said it, phew! What a relief! Not the nicest thing one might admit about herself, but it's the truth *sigh*.
I know what it takes to "be diabetic." I know how hard you have to work and how much you have to do all day, and how, sometimes, despite our efforts, nothing seems to work. I know about the highs and the lows, and the mood swings and the aches and pains that come with complications. I know what it means to stick to a diet of bland boring food and the crazy testing, sometimes into the night! I know about scary lows (I had my first 30 mg/dl a week ago!) and mind-boggling highs.
And, I know about what it costs to be diabetic. Before I had insurance, diabetes was costing me thousands of dollars every month on doctor visits, testing supplies and life-saving insulin, not to mention all the extra money spent on the finest organic meats and produce just to stay alive another day.
I also know that relationships are hard even in the best of times, and couples can be testy sometimes for no apparent reason. Doesn't being diabetic make things harder? I mean, it's hard enough to find new ways to be romantic every day and new hairstyles to keep his interest -- how much harder would it be as a diabetic?
After I was diagnosed, I was actually surprised that the men I dated didn't mind I was diabetic. If they didn't have a problem with it, then ... why do I have a problem with it? I gave up dating more than a decade ago; it just makes things a lot simpler.
Just out of curiosity, if you weren't diabetic, would you ever consider dating or marrying someone with diabetes? I know I wouldn't because it'd just be too hard. Too much worry. Too much money. Too much time spent testing and counting and planning and not enough time (or energy) to devote to romance. I know I'm wrong in my thinking. Does love, in fact, conquer all? Thanks!
This is going to sound bad but, here goes ...
You bring up a lot of good points on why not to marry someone who has diabetes. But what if you met someone, fell in love, and then he came down with some other illness? Would you stop loving them? I don't think so. And I would hope that if you met someone and he fell in love with you, he wouldn't decide not to marry you because of your diabetes. Of course this all depends on the person, and chances are you won't fall in love with another type 1, but if you do I would hope that you and he would find a way to make it work.
Marriage isn't all about love. Love keeps us going, but marriage is just as much a business arrangement. You must be partners, not just romantic partners but business partners as well.
Yes, I would date/marry a person with diabetes. Of course if I weren't a diabetic, I'd be responsible enough to learn about the disease my partner has so I know what I'm in for. but in the end if I truly care about this person, no amount of work or uncertainty would keep me away.
I have to comment here that a diabetic diet does not have to be bland or boring. Although I eat a carb free (including no fruits, either) diet, I enjoy a wonderful variety of foods and flavors. I might suggest learning to use all the wonderful (and inexpensive) herbs and spices this world has to offer to flavor up your diet.
Diabetes is expensive, even with good insurance. But if I had to choose between saving my money and being with the diabetic I love, I'd choose the diabetic.
Relationships are difficult, but so very worth all the trouble, normal everyday troubles and even the extra troubles that come with diabetes. But that's life, you can't escape issues. I'd rather go through life with a little stress in a relationship than have to go through anything life throws at me alone. I've struggled with this very issue. Thinking my husband would have been happier without me and my diabetes, but he always reassures me that he'd rather be with me and my diabetes than be with anyone else or alone.
It wouldn’t even enter my thought process. Any marriage that lasts is bound to go through health issues, in the grand scheme of things diabetes is a manageable condition wheras many others are not.
You eat carb-free? I’m not even sure what that means. You don’t mean Bernstein-style low carb, you mean even less than that? How many carbs per meal and day?
I would not refuse a date (or marriage proposal) because I or he were diabetic. Nobody wants to be diabetic. You can't give diabetes to someone. Discriminating against someone because they are diabetic is just plain wrong. Life is short and it sucks. We need all the friends we can get.
I'm with Sam on this one. When he points out that any marriage is bound to go thru health issues, I interpret that to mean that even if you start out in perfect health, it isn't always going to be that way. Not if you're in it for the long term and plan to grow old together. Sooner or later there will be stuff to deal with; if not diabetes, then something else. So no, "It wouldn't even enter my thought process".
There is a myriad of things I would consider in deciding whether I wanted to spend my life with someone but I very much doubt that would be one of them.
I totally know what you mean, and it makes sense to think about these things. Here's the thing: As you get older, you'll realize that we can't predict what the future holds. So even if you're dating someone you feel is "low maintenance", 5 years down the road they could get some medical condition, cancer, or maybe just undergo a radical lifestyle change like eating vegetarian, and there you are having to make a lot of adjustments even if you didn't plan on it. I think what's more important is to date people who seem to "roll with it" well. How do they handle crisis and change? Do they freak out and retreat into a shell, or do they deal with the negative emotions in a healthy way and then move on to tackle the issue? Do they take ownership of their issues, or do they expect someone else to fix it for them? Do they crave attention? I know lots of drama queens who avoid gluten or eat vegan or do some really nutty things even though they don't need to, but they are reactionary or paranoid, and don't make the effort to tackle their issues in a sensible way. I actually think most diabetics are pretty sensible people! It takes a lot of maturity and perspective to be ready to make a long-term commitment to someone, so make sure to date a while longer so you can be sure what you're willing to handle, and most important, whether the person you choose is worth it.
I'd like to offer a different view on this. I wouldn't just consider dating or marrying someone who also had diabetes. I've done it (the dating part anyway)! My longest relationship was dating a fellow T1. Did diabetes take up some time, yes, but overall, I wouldn't say any more than it already does in your day. I had to test before eating anyway, take insulin anyway, plan my meals anyway. So, by the time I take care of that myself, she had also. Nothing lost. It was just as much fun and as good of a relationship as any other I've had, if not a bit better, because she already understood everything I had going on. I didn't have to explain how a low or a high made me feel. Things like that. Ultimately, though it didn't work out, diabetes didn't play any part in that respect. Diabetes was actually how we met. So I say, if the person interests you otherwise, and is a good person, go for it. Don't shy away just because of diabetes. Her bother was also diabetic. If we were all together, it was like a flock of diabetics. Haha.
I’m mystified that you feel a diet of “bland boring food” is needed for diabetes-related reasons. If you have other GI issues maybe, but what does pepper have to do with blood sugar? You mention only “raw” fruit, but you realize the fructose in that is the same fructose in “processed” items, right? That’s not to say that processed items are inherently good, but then neither are “raw” items. To each his or her own, I guess.
I eat a balanced, low end of moderate but not super low carb diet, lots of veggies, discrete portions of fruit, grains, starches, decent protein, some from animal sources, a fair bit of healthy fats, some less healthy fats too, though. Over time I’ve scaled back my carbs a bit.
I think “organic” is about as scientifically supportable as the anti-vaccine stuff, but the devil is in the details, ie there are some really nasty organic substances (some of which are used as pesticides on your “organic” produce), and some really benign synthetic ones (often developed to overcome the health and environmental downsides of those organic substances, actually), and vice versa. The words “organic” and “chemical” kind of drive me crazy, because as used in common parlance they’re pretty incoherent. The potent poison ricin is organic. And you and I are composed of chemicals.
Sorry for the rant, the discourse around these issues drives me a little crazy sometimes.
Be my guest.
I certainly wouldn't want to, but I'm sure its manageable. One of my diabetic friends is a great big, bear of a man, so I have asked his wife how she 'handles him.' She gets irritated (they've been married 40 years) and says he acts like 'an idiot' when he's low, but seems to have it all under control. She also has a deaf daughter. The point is, a lot of people have a lot of different physiology's and you don't ALWAYS get to pick your family according to their chronic conditions.
I would be careful about dating a diabetic that's much bigger than you unless he's got reasonable control.
You are not meant, niccolo, to understand the depths of how women structure their diet. Its a grl-thing. I appreciate your hate of low carb, but a lot of women do this and its pretty admirable. Takes discipline.
Huh, I don’t hate low carb. Actually, I think low-ish carb is probably the healthiest approach for D and non-D folks. What I hate, though that’s a strong word, is pseudo-science.
+1. Too much science woo out there, way too much. And a lot of it comes from the snake oil salesmen who offer the magic diet that will "cure" your diabetes. But we live in a (somewhat) free society. As Barnum said . . . well, you know the rest.
I know you guys say that processed and non-processed carbs get 'processed' by our bodys the same and have the same insulin requirements. I just suspect that's a little oversimplified. If you ate an 'all-carb' diet, you would notice differences.
Both of my grandfathers took care of their wives until they died. Their only complaint was, afterwards, they didn't have enough time with them.
One took care of his Demented (she had dementia...) wife for 18 years. He changed her diapers, fed her, took her to the doctor, and towards the end, had the doctor come to their house.
The other took care of his wife after she had a stroke, for 18 months, he cleaned her, fed her, took her out to see things (she had clear thinking, just not use of half her body), and she died in the car as they were on an outing.
What this taught me is that loving someone is not about what you get, but about what you give. It makes me respect them even more, because I loved my Omi so much, and the way my Opi took care of her honored her.
All carbs are absolutely not the same, though personally, I find they vary less than some suggest. But the processed distinction gives little leverage. Eat a bowl of “unprocessed” grapes and your blood sugar will skyrocket. The reason that unprocessed apple makes your BGs rise less than that processed apple juice is influenced by the fiber in the apple, but mostly by the fact that it’s a far smaller portion of the exact same fructose sugar than the juice. This stuff isn’t rocket science (thankfully!).
Beautifully stated. Thanks for posting that.