Living with someone living with diabetes

By | 29 July, 2009

Katie keeps a close eye on Tim

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.

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 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 Drs appointment.  Thinking it was probably the stresses and strains of modern life he wasn’t expecting to be whisked off to the Hospital and meet with the Professor at the ERI.

I remember that fateful day when I went to pick him up from the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary 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.

 

 

 

11 thoughts on “Living with someone living with diabetes

  1. Alison

    Welcome Katie, it’s lovely to hear your side of the story. I think a supportive partner/family is the thing that makes diabetes bearable, you do an amazing job. Please don’t make this a one off article, I want the details of those embarassing hypo moments and diabetes strops that only you have the insight into!

    Reply
  2. Katie

    Now,I couldn’t possibly divulge information like that Alison….well ok then….to be continued.

    Reply
  3. Tim

    @Alison I utterly agree – I could have done it without Katie. But it would have been harder by a magnitude of a zillion; and it’s very very useful to have another diabetes expert around the place when decided how much humalog to stick in at a tricky 11-course banquet, etc.

    Post-diagnosis, the ERI was actually very good at encouraging Katie to come along for training / ask questions to the DSN – so top marks to them too.

    Reply
  4. Tim

    Katie :

    Now,I couldn’t possibly divulge information like that Alison….well ok then….to be continued.

    I’m glad I didn’t give you an account so you could post directly to the blog.

    Oh. You know my password – damn…

    Reply
  5. Sam Clifford

    This is particulaly timely for me – I had to wake my husband up at 3am with a nasty hypo and try to articulate what was going on!

    We were together for a year before I got diagnosed and I know he feels the responsibility of having to take control when I cant. Being in it together does make it easier though – Im sure Marc soemtimes feels he has diabetes too.

    My diabetic team have also been great at including Marc and my family at all stages – even giving us both pumps at our training!

    Reply
  6. Mark

    Bravo Katie! Tim needs all the help he can get. 😀 Can’t wait for further details. Love the photo of you two…

    Reply
  7. Tim

    Mark :

    Bravo Katie! Tim needs all the help he can get.

    So true, so true!

    The photo was taken in a surprisingly rainy Times Square in NYC earlier this year. If I had longer arms the photo would have been better…

    Reply
  8. Ckoei

    If I’d been my own companion, I’d have throttled myself years ago. As it is, I’ve only been bitten once and slapped about a few times (which is indicative of the kind-heartedness of my home’s inhabitants). Katie, can you divulge on how to deposit glucose in the mouth of an obstreperous hypoglycaemic while abiding by Queensberry rules ?

    Reply
  9. CALpumper

    OH Katie!! You must not make this a one time deal!
    T3s (those who care for or support a PWD) are NEEDED!!!!!!!!
    Sorry for the caps. We need the support as much as you do.
    So good to have someone there for you.

    I am so glad Tim has you. Vice versa.
    LOVE the pic!

    Reply
  10. Katie

    Thanks folks!! Tim is really good at managing his diabetes, but as the wife I get to nag every so often purely for health reasons!
    I don’t think this will be my last post either! Think I may have caught the bug (of blogging)

    Reply
  11. Mark

    Tim, you did warn Katie that blogging can lead to health problems. Right? 😀

    Reply

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