Diabetes really does pop its head up in random places and situations. A friend of mine recently started seeing someone who happens to also have type 1 diabetes. While I was more excited over the new man situation, she was telling us about how he manages his diabetes.
Firstly, I am really glad that my friend isn’t bothered or freaked out by the fact that he has type 1 diabetes. Being a nurse herself, I guess it would take a lot to bother her! She has seen him had a few hypos and understandably, she was quite concerned to see his sugar levels jump from the 2’s to 20’s. She was also fascinated by the way his behaviour changes during a hypo.
We ended up having an open conversation yesterday about what living with diabetes is really like. Hearing my friend’s experience of seeing someone they care about having a hypo also made me think of how my diabetes impacts the people around me. It’s silly, but sometimes I forget that my diabetes does have an impact on them too.
Being diagnosed at 19 years of age, I have been in the drivers seat of my diabetes management from the start. It’s always been MY diabetes; MY problem and MY thing to worry about. In a way, I wouldn’t know how to let others help me with my diabetes management.
Speaking to others with diabetes and hearing how their family or partners or friends are included with their diabetes management is always interesting. In a way, I’m envious that they are so involved. Some partners even know how to do a line change or are willing to wear a pump site around to see what it’s like.
But everyone is different and every relationship is different. I remember looking at my boyfriend weirdly when he first asked if he could test his sugar levels on my meter. I remember my sister looking queasy when she came with me to learn how to insert a CGM (it was hilarious). My favourite was when I let mum inject a new pump site, but had forgotten to remove the baking tape, so it didn’t stick, I just bled and she freaked out (also hilarious but sorry mum!).
Even though they are not intricately involved with my diabetes management, I do know they care. I think though, the simplest thing a loved one or close friend can do to show that they care is just to ask genuine questions and listen with an open mind.