My Baby has the Sugars!
So, I am sure that I am entirely unqualified to be writing anything about what it’s like to be married to a person with diabetes. I have now been married to Erin, my diabetic, for 1 year and I think that I personally have come a long way. For instance, when we first started dating, I had a hard time watching her give herself shots (I am somewhat of a squeamish person in terms of medical stuff). When she had a continuous glucose monitor it was a particularly trying time for my constitution. But now, I have no problems; though I haven’t experienced the pump yet.
For those unfamiliar with marrying someone with diabetes, there is short time to get used to the things that diabetes brings. Let me clarify; I made a fully informed decision (and might I add, the right decision) in asking Erin to marry me. It took some time to get used to finding test strips everywhere (I call my lunch pail, the fridge, my socks, my shoes, inside my clean shirts, etc. everywhere). Now I find it endearing; they are little reminders of my beautiful wife. I still don’t really understand why she gets annoyed every evening when she has to take her insulin (it’s not as though she hasn’t had to do the same thing every night for the last 17 years) or how she is constantly running out of test strips (didn’t she see she was running low the last time she tested?). You also have to kind of give up spontaneity, as her blood sugar can often determine what we can do for a while.
In all seriousness though, being married to Erin is the most inspiring thing that I have ever experienced. I have never met anyone more responsible than her. From an early age, she has had to perform the function that so many of us take for granted. And though she is not perfect, as no diabetic is, she is much better at it than I would ever be (I have a hard time sitting through a 1 hour church meeting without my ipod, I can’t even imagine the attention it takes to be a pancreas for 17 years). And I won’t even go into the strength of will it takes to wrangle with the pharmaceutical industry as she has had to do.
And finally a note to my diabetic: I know I can never understand what it’s like to be diabetic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try. I have said many times that it’s not you that has diabetes, but us. I love you and will always sit up with you when you go low in the middle night.
I hope I am not being presumptuous in giving a small bit of advice to anyone with diabetes that reads this, but, I would urge you not to define yourself by your illness nor let others do so. You are a regular person that happens to have diabetes with people that love you and want the best for you. Your support community is second to none, and while you could use some breast cancer like exposure and fund-raising, there will always be those who are willing to help.
Husband of Person with Diabetes
Thanks Ben! You are the best Husband that a person with diabetes (or anyone, for that matter) could hope for! I feel bad for all the other diabetic wives out there who didn't get to be married to you!
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