Greetings, people who care about diabetes and about the people who have it. This week's edition of The Diabetic Partner Follies is a special treat. I had queried John Close, British hubby of the smart and extremely successful diabetes industry consultant Kelly Close, about his experiences being virtually saturated with the disease in both their private and professional lives. What came back was completely unexpected, and made me laugh. You should have seen my husband in action at the support groups prepping for childbirth! (snorf)
In any case, I'm sure that once again, many of you can relate. Got a story of your own to share? Email me here. Now enjoy.
I read your emails from other diabetic partners with a real sense of understanding. I feel that we could meet up and have a chat and we'd get along really well -- but I have to confess I am not very good at these things. In fact, my biggest folly was attending a diabetes support group with my wife, who has been type 1 for 20 years.
The people at the group gave me a warm welcome. They said it was nice to have a partner represented. That was before they kicked me out, though!!!
The fact is, I just wasn't very supportive at the support group -- which is not usually like me. I spend a lot of time supporting my wife, who I think the world of. But all these type 1's wanted a space in which they could talk about how they had gone on vacation for two weeks in Central America without taking a blood sugar meter, or how they hadn't bothered to test before driving their car down the freeway at 65mph and going low. I squirmed and sat on my hands as each story got more irresponsible than the last. Then I blew up!!
I told them that I know everyone makes mistakes, but it was just wrong to be so foolhardy. They were not only playing dice with their own health, but with the feelings of their loved ones and the safety of complete strangers. Everything went very quiet and for a few frozen seconds, I could hear a cold wind whistling outside the window.
Turns out I hadn't listened very hard to the introduction from the facilitator. Apparently we were there to listen and not be judgemental, that nothing was "wrong" and that my comments "weren't welcome." Whoops! Guess I won't be invited back then!
-- John Close