In the first of a series of one article, my wife Katie describes what it’s like to go through a diagnosis of diabetes – when you’re not actually the person diagnosed. Warning – contains details of our first date. -Tim
When Tim asked if I would like to write an article for Shoot Up I have to admit I didn’t know if I was entitled to join the diabetic force, not having diabetes myself. However, having brushed those doubts aside I got my quill and paper out and started writing.
I wanted to tell you about how the “other halves” deal with their loved ones having diabetes and how we cope with the ups and downs, highs and lows and the general fun that comes along with diabetes care.
I met Tim for the first time in 2005 over a pint in a dark dingy pub in the centre of Edinburgh during the mad International Festival. We drank, talked for hours and saw an Iranian comedian, which I think you’d agree is a great first date! Tim wasn’t diagnosed with Diabetes until December 9th 2005, in fact he didn’t have as many grey hairs back then either…Don’t know if that makes me a health hazard.
After feeling tired and lethargic for a month or two and having to take a week off work sick he decided to make a doctor’s appointment. Thinking it was probably the stresses and strains of modern life, he wasn’t expecting to be whisked off to the hospital that night and meet the Professor at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. I remember that fateful day when I went to pick him up from the ERI after I got his messages. He looked lost, frightened and alone. Being told that he had something that would be there for the rest of his life is not something that you can take in straight away.
I didn’t know a great deal about diabetes, but I had the opportunity to visit the Diabetic Specialist Nurse with him and ask as many questions I wanted, which was a great help to both of us. I wanted to make sure Tim was not going through this steep learning curve and often bewildering time alone. I have tried to be there for Tim to listen, support, help, assist and learn with him. I am also kind of proud that I can guess how many units he should put in of Humalog before a meal or snack.
I know having an ailment or illness in any form can be isolating and frustrating, thinking you are the only one going through the problems, having someone there to rant and rave to is hugely helpful.
As I said, I am lucky my pancreas works but I am also very optimistic by the progress being made with the technology for diabetes.. I have seen that if you are able to keep a tight rein on your diabetic care, the future is very positive.