It’s been 5 years since Ishita and Samaksh got married. While they were dating, Ishita learnt that Samaksh had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was a tough challenge for her. She wanted to be there for him but was apprehensive about how she would support Samaksh in coping with his diabetes in the future. Today, they are a happily married couple with a 2-year old daughter. Living with diabetes, be it Type 1 or 2, certainly affects relationships, no matter whether you are dating or married. Ishita managed to help her husband stay healthy with her determination and love.
Managing diabetes requires your will and compassion along with some knowledge and awareness about the disease. In order to keep your relationship going strong, it is vital that you help your partner manage their diabetes. It’s not rocket science and with a little commitment and patience you can be your partner’s pillar of support.
How do you help your diabetic partner who isn’t interested in helping themselves? It is not a huge task. All that is required is an ample amount of patience, without being the diabetes police. You might catch your partner sneaking some junk from the refrigerator, but try not to nag or overanalyse every bite that passes their lips. They too need to have some say over their own diet. Instead, it is a good idea to pay more attention to their portion control and opt for healthier meals. If possible, share what your diabetic partner eats, so that they don’t feel different or restricted. Whenever you plan to go out on a dinner date, choose a healthy destination, like a snack bar, to avoid tempting them with not-so-healthy foods.
Keep in mind the fact that diabetes management is ridden with myths, as everyone seems to have an opinion about it, whether or not it is valid. Listen to what the doctor tells you because he/she tells you the scientific aspect and gives you an authentic view. Don’t fall in the trap of the next door aunty who talks of magical cures. The only cure is a healthy and balanced lifestyle – so why don’t you adopt it and give your partner company! One must deal with the situation together, making it a way of life. It can start with waking up together early in the morning for a nice long session of exercise. Making it a priority and doing it with them will even boost their motivation.
When your partner is diabetic, you might experience highs and lows at times when you would really don’t want them. But the fact is, getting upset gets you nowhere. Learn to deal with every situation that prevails as health issues can occur at a moment’s notice. If your partner is on insulin, low blood sugar can cause them to feel nervous, weak, confused and irritable. Yes, we rightly call them mood swings and they are common. As the partner of a diabetic, you will undoubtedly be a target of those mood swings, but instead of reacting and complicating things, you need to understand and cooperate, knowing that it is not personal. In such cases, it is a good idea to carry supplies like glucose meters and medications with you and be ready for emergencies.
It is a little tough to take care of a loved one who is suffering from a chronic illness like diabetes. However, having the support of a partner or spouse can help ease the feelings of fear or frustration that often haunt a diabetic patient. This support also helps the patient manage their diabetes better. Diabetes doesn’t run your lives, so long as you stay proactive and supportive, there is no reason to look negatively at something that you can’t change. Just stay positive and love each other more!