Hello again here at the Diabetic Partner Follies, where people who live with and love the PWDs (people with diabetes) are invited to share their stories and vent, if needed.
Today, a woman who prefers to remain anonymous explains how she and her boyfriend are learning to cope with this disease together -- with the emphasis on learning.
Remember, if you'd like to submit something to the Follies (post, link, video, you name it), email me your submission HERE. Onward:
My boyfriend is Type 1. Before I met him almost 4 years ago, I knew next to nothing about diabetes. He has always insisted that he can feel when his blood glucose is high or low, and that he doesn't need to test that often. He limits his sugar intake and takes insulin twice a day, so I assumed he had it under control.
Our relationship is a very close one, but once in a while he will have these mood swings out of nowhere. He gets depressed, just wants to be left alone, feels like everything and everyone is against him. During these mood swings, he often tells me he has a feeling that I don't love him anymore or that I'm seeing someone behind his back. He feels his life is a mess and that everything is going wrong.
Then, just as suddenly as it came on, the depression will lift and everything is fine again. I never understood what was happening. I knew he loved me, but I didn't understand how he could go from the perfect boyfriend to someone who couldn't even stand to be in the same room as me (or anyone else for that matter), with no warning and seemingly for no reason.
This past spring, he began suffering from diabetic neuropathy. The pain got so bad that he had to quit his job. He could barely get out of bed most days. With no insurance, he couldn't afford to go to the doctor and get any kind of medication for his pain. I started doing a lot of research online about his disease. I found out that the longer someone has diabetes, the less able they are to feel when their glucose is high or low. I found out that tight control of blood glucose is a key factor in preventing or easing the pain of neuropathy. I got him a new glucose monitor and, after quite a bit of nagging on my part, he has begun using it. I read some research about supplements which also help with neuropathy. He has been taking Benfotiamine, alpha-lipoic acid, and acetl L-carnitine. He even agreed to try a vegan diet. His leg pain is almost gone and he is keeping his glucose levels under much better control.
past few months, as I was learning about his disease and keeping track of his
glucose highs and lows, I noticed that his mood swings always came when his
blood sugar was low. Then, when I found your website, I literally cried I was
so relieved. I had been struggling alone for so long, trying to figure out why
my wonderful boyfriend was occasionally and inexplicably a jerk. After seeing
your website, I realized that there are other people going through the same
The last time he had a low, and he said that he didn't feel like I loved him and that his whole life was a mess, I asked him to check his blood sugar. I told him that I suspected that when he had these sudden feelings of depression, it was due to his glucose level. I asked him to allow me to be more involved in managing his diabetes, and I suggested that whenever he has these feelings he should check his blood sugar.
It was like a huge weight was lifted off of both of us. Now that we knew WHY he had these "episodes," we could deal with them together.
Our relationship has become even closer, as we address each new challenge together. Thank you so much for providing a forum for the partners of people struggling with this disease to share their stories. I can't tell you how much it has helped me to know that I am not alone.
-- A.G. (anonymous girlfriend)
Thank you for sharing, A.G., as you stated to hopefully "make someone else feel less alone."