I understand what it’s like living with diabetes, but I have no idea what it’s like living with someone who has diabetes.
I can imagine, but even still, I don’t know what that experience is like. It’s not something I ever stopped to consider until my boyfriend brought it up the other day. He said some things in a conversation about our future which made me think. Some of them scared me and hurt my feelings, but his comments also made me think outside of my own comfort zone (which is something the boy often (and annoyingly) makes me do.)
I know what it’s like to be 38 in the middle of the night. What I don’t know is how it feels to watch someone you love string incoherent thoughts together while scarfing down orange juice with a blank, pale stare on their face at 2 a.m. I know what trials I may face in the future where complications and pregnancy fears are concerned. But I don’t know what it’s like to wonder if you’ll need to take care of someone when they’re older or wonder if the love of your life will be able to have children. I know what it’s like to manage my diabetes, and I know what my body can handle and what it can’t. I don’t know what it’s like to see a loved one manage diabetes without understanding or being able to do anything to help.
It occurred to me during our conversation, that his fears are completely justified, even if it may hurt to hear them.
I want to help my boyfriend. I want to help him understand my diabetes and understand why no two diabetics are alike. I don’t want him to assume things or to judge me when I do something he doesn’t understand or eat something he doesn’t think I should eat. I understand my body better than anyone else, and after 16 years, I know what I can eat and how to gauge my bloodsugar levels as a result. I don’t mind concern, but I don’t want to be looked at through a magnifying glass – that’s why I have a loving and concerned mother. I want him to feel comfortable with my choices and to understand them. I want him to feel open and come to me with questions.
I want to give him an outlet to go to with diabetes fears that I may not be able to understand.
I have diabetic friends with spouses and significant others, but none of them live nearby. I know there are support groups that cater to people living with diabetics, but I don’t know of any here. What’s my next step? Where do I go from here? How do I give him the outlet he needs?
I know this is something other people have faced, so why is there no easy solution to help my boyfriend? I had an amazing learning lesson when I was diagnosed at 11 years old. But now I’m older and there are people in my life who need to learn those same lessons. Where can I go for that beyond my local bookstore? I think it’s a shame there aren’t better resources out there for people affected by diabetes, even if they may not have it themselves.