I am delighted to share our newest edition of the Diabetic Partner Follies — a series we launched here at the 'Mine several years ago to give a voice to all the loved ones of PWDs out there about what life is like from their end of the 'Big D.'  This latest entry is written by none other than our assistant editor Allison's new husband! She and Erik and have been married for five months, and today is their third "date-aversary." She says she feels incredibly lucky to call Erik her husband because he's been "such a trooper in dealing with all the ups and downs (literally and figuratively) in living with and loving someone with diabetes." 


A Guest Post by Erik Nimlos

On November 17, 2008, I was visiting OKCupid, an online dating website. I didn't have any luck meeting someone at work or from church, and I felt ready to settle down, so I went online in search of love. On that fateful day, I came across the profile of BlueJazz85, otherwise known as Allison Blass. After her reading through her profile, I was instantly moved to send her a message. The rest, as many of you know, is history.

On December 1, 2008, before we even began our phone "dates," Allison sent me a message to let me know that she had diabetes. She was very concerned that she would be rejected because of her health. I happen to have acid reflux, allergies, and anxiety problems, so for me, it wasn't much of an issue. To her though, it could stop her from meeting her man. I reassured her with my next message that diabetes wouldn't stop me from wanting to keep talking with her.

As we are on the eve of our fourth year of being together as a couple (and five months as husband and wife), I reflect on how diabetes has impacted our relationship and what I've learned about Allison in the process.

The first thing I noticed was that diabetes is a disease that must be monitored 24/7. It became clear to me that walking around New York City, watching TV, eating dinner together, and bicycle rides were all times when Allison needed to check her blood sugar. I quickly learned which numbers were good and which weren't. I also learned about counting carbs and setting a proper bolus for different foods and activities. Many times I held her supplies while out at a museum, brought juice to her and rested with her during lows, and was patient with her during highs after meals. It all seemed very normal to her, so I accepted the daily rituals with ease.

What was challenging for me was to learn and understand how she felt during these highs and lows. Sometimes it's challenging as a "Type 3," since I don't understand the sensations or the frustrations of not being in complete control of my blood glucose levels. I may never know what it's like to have to stop in the middle of a great workout because I discover I'm 50 mg/dl. I may never know what it's like to feel agitated and irritable when I check and find I'm 250 mg/dl. This by far the toughest challenge for me — to be able to sympathize without having been there myself. Although my medical conditions are serious problems, they are not things that I think about throughout the day.

Another thing I've learned about being with Allison is her extended family in the diabetes community. She was actually slow to introduce me to the diabetes community, but over time I got to meet many of her friends who she's known for years. Through meet-ups, brunches, and dinner parties, I've gotten to know people who have been with Allison through thick and thin, and have come out as better people, all sharing the same struggles. Do I feel left out at these events? No. Am I happy that she's found others to share in her struggles? Yes. As much as I want to be able to claim that I can meet all of my wife's emotional needs, this is just an area that, try as I do, I will never fully understand. It's for that reason that I'm thankful for this extended family.

The final thing I've learned by living with Allison is what it means to live with a blogger... a diabetes blogger at that. Blogging is not something I partake in, so it's been difficult for me to understand the need to share one's experiences in such detail online, especially when it comes to dealing with a chronic illness. However, I've seen how beneficial it's been to Allison, to connect with so many new people, and to spread awareness about diabetes through the blogging world. It's also been nice to see someone take enough interest in my own life to share it with the world in a way that makes me feel special.

As much as I've learned about life with Allison and diabetes, in the end I think living with someone with diabetes is not that different than life with a non-diabetic. I say this not to downplay the role that diabetes has in our day-to-day life — I'm reminded that I'm married to a diabetic on an hourly basis. But like anyone who you love, you learn to not only accept but embrace the things that make that person unique, even if they're negative. Diabetes is a part of Allison, and for now, nothing will change that. It might be a part of her, but it in no way made me reconsider what I might be getting myself into that fateful December day.

If anything, diabetes reminds me that life is precious, unpredictable, and we should cherish each and every moment we have with the people we love.



Thanks, Erik! We love you, too :)

{I'm off to call my own husband now, to make sure he reads this post!}


Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.