How Type 1 Diabetes Affects My Relationship

My 6 year wedding anniversary is next Sunday, June 11th.  In the spirit of my upcoming anniversary, I decided to write about how Type 1 has affected my relationship over the years.

Living with Type 1 Diabetes isn’t easy!  But, when you add another person into the mix, it can be tricky.  My husband has put up with a lot over the years, so I applaud him for that! 😉

Before We Met…

After me and my ex-boyfriend broke up (we were together for 3 years) I decided to stay single for a while.  Even the thought of trying to explain Type 1 to another person was very unappealing!  My ex understood everything about Type 1, and he was usually really good about it.  It just didn’t seem worth it at the time to try and explain my disease all over again.

Diabetes did affect my past relationship somewhat, so I was really hesitant to get seriously involved with anyone else.

“Diabetes? My Grandma has that.”

I met my husband, Chris, when I was 22.  I had no intention of dating anyone at the time.  But, it’s funny how things work out!  I ended up getting his phone number off of my friend, and I asked him out.

On our first date, we really seemed to hit it off.  I really liked him, so I decided to give the relationship a chance.  After going on a few dates, and not mentioning Diabetes at all, I knew I had to bring it up.  I had no clue what to say, and I was worried about what he would think.  So, one night I called him on the phone and I decided it was the right time to tell him.  I can’t remember how I brought it up but I said, “I have Type 1 Diabetes, and I am on an insulin pump.” Right after that he said, “My Grandma has Diabetes too.”  Umm…it took all of my willpower not to freak out. LOL  I tried to keep my cool, but all I wanted to do was hang up the phone!  I just said, “Oh…okay.”  Haha and that was that!

Dating With Diabetes

When we first started dating, I tried to hide how Type 1 made me feel.  When my blood sugar was high/low, I tried to minimize how bad it felt.  I didn’t want him to think I was a freak with all of these problems!  As time went on, it got harder and harder to hide it.  But, to my surprise, he didn’t seem to care!

When I would come over to his apartment, he would make sure he had juice in the fridge in case I went low.  He was always really understanding when I said I didn’t feel good.  Things weren’t always easy though.  When my blood sugar is high, I can be really snippy and mean.  I know I get like this, but at the time it’s hard to control.  We have gotten into quite a few fights when my sugar was high!

We went on our first vacation together after we had been dating for 6 or 7 months.  One night during our vacation, I had a bad low blood sugar.  I still remember the terrified look on his face!  He just sat there helplessly, watching me lay on the bed waiting for the juice to kick in.

How I Got My Nickname

Back when we were dating, my Diabetes wasn’t very well controlled.  Because of this, my blood sugar was high way too often!  Chris would say, “You are being crabby!”  He knew I couldn’t completely control it, so he tried to be as nice as possible to let me know I wasn’t being very nice!  Haha poor Chris!  So, every time my sugar was high he would call me crabby.  The name kind of stuck!  Now, he calls me crabby all the time, whether I’m being moody or not.  😉

Then, one day I started calling him crabby too.  So, that’s basically what we call each other now.  I have been crabby for almost 9 years now! 🙂

Marriage

Well, even though Chris put up with a lot of crap from me over the years, he still decided he wanted to marry me!  We got married on June 11, 2011.

Marriage isn’t easy to begin with, but when you add a chronic illness into the mix, it’s even harder.  There has been plenty of times over the last 9 years we have been together that Diabetes has gotten in the way.

Sometimes I struggle with feeling like a burden.  Diabetes is an expensive disease, and I feel bad for how much everything costs.  I have been a stay at home mom since my son was born almost 4 1/2 years ago, so I don’t contribute anything financially right now.  It’s hard not to feel guilty!  It’s staggering to think about how much money we would have if I didn’t have Type 1.

Chris has had to help me more times than I can count because of low blood sugars.  He has had to leave work a few times to rescue me too (I think that has only happened 2 or 3 times in the last 9 years though!)  Diabetes is a constant worry, and it’s always in the back of both of our minds.  Diabetes is like the third wheel in our relationship!

A high risk pregnancy is stressful as well.  It took a toll on both of us!  I think in some ways Type 1 makes our marriage stronger, because we go through so much together.  We both know that Type 1 can be devastating, and result in awful complications.  It makes us realize what is important in life, and not worry about the little things.

I Am Extremely Lucky

I really lucked out marrying such an amazing man.  Chris has put up with so much over the years, and I am so thankful that he has stayed by my side.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

He is there for me during middle of the night lows, he loves me through all my highs, and he is there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on.  He also works hard so I can afford all of my Diabetes supplies.

I will never take him for granted, because he is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.  I feel grateful for him every single day.  It’s easy to get wrapped up in my feelings, and how Type 1 makes me feel, but I need to see things from his point of view as well.  I’m sure it’s not easy watching me struggle, or feel like crap all the time. It’s probably really difficult sitting and waiting out a bad low blood sugar knowing that there is nothing he can do.

Spouses of Type 1 Diabetics deserve a LOT of credit!  He goes through as much as I do,  just in a different way.

9 years ago, I was hesitant to get into another relationship, because it seemed like too much work.  Let me tell you, I am SO glad that I gave it a chance.  Chris fell in love with me, despite my Diabetes.  He continues to amaze me every day, and I’m so glad we found each other!

Happy Anniversary Christopher, I love you! <3

Photo by Lauren Clifford Photography

 

 

 

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