Husband/Wife/Boyfriend/Girlfriend Involvement in care

My question is how involved is your significant other in your diabetes management? What do they know? what do they understand? How involved are they? Do they ever come to doctor appointments (if so when did this start)?

My boyfriend and i have been together almost a year and he understands the numbers when I check my blood sugar, but it doesn't go far beyond that. He worries about me as far as diabetes in general like me taking care of myself, but he doesn't understand why i'm upset about an A1C going up or how upset i am that i'm 21 and am on meds to protect my kidneys and lower my blood pressure. And when I get tired of checking blood sugars or having a pump connected he doesn't really understand that it's a 24/7 job.

He's more than willing to understand. I can tell when he asks questions or when he doesn't know how to react when I get upset that he doesn't understand.

So after all that...How involved in your significant other? and how do you help them understand?

I'm considering having my bf pretend he has diabetes for a day and have him go through everything I do... I'm curious as to his reactions.

Thanks everyone!

Hey Melissa,

I'm 22 and have been with my bf for 7 or 8 months now. He is a bit older than I and he has a "general" understanding of diabetes but to really say he "KNOWS" is not really plausible. No one will ever understand what we go through or burn out feelings unless they're another diabetic. Even going through just one day pretending, it won't be the same as everyday for the rest of their lives. 

He knows enough that if I tell him I feel low he will go get me juice, and he has no problem asking questions about how I am feeling, regarding D and BS, and knows that if i give him "the look" it's not a day to ask about my numbers lol.

I don't think I would want him to go to an endo appt. with me but I'm pretty sure he would if i asked, especially if there was something going on of concern. He will never "get" what all the number mean, he just knows it is important to me being healthy and he trusts me to handle it or ask for help if I need it. Part of that comes from how I like to manage my D, mostly independently, and I have never had a D problem that required assistance... KNOCK ON WOOD. He knows I like junk food and will indulge, but I generally eat healthy. He has never attempted to be Food Police (Smart guy! haha). I think his attitude comes from one of our first dates, it was lunch and we were eating outside.  I wiped out my "kit" and asked "anyone have an issue with blood or needles, tell me now" haha. He just stared with his mouth open for a sec, but I think there was some admiration that I wasn't ashamed to do what it takes to take care of myself and more than anything he was curious. The issue never came up again.  :)

I also have Graves disease (hyperthyroid) and he knows I take meds for it and that's kinda it. He never pushes info, but he's willing to listen which is all I can ask for, because like I said, I don't think anyone who does not live with our disease(S) everyday will ever "get it" completely.

I've been with my boyfriend just over a year now and I gotta say, he's not too involved and I like it.

His mom has T2, so he kinda "got" somethings when we first started dating, but he's learnt a lot over the past year. He knows the basic signs of me being high or low, knows sometimes when I snap at him, it's because i'm high and not really his fault, etc etc.

I've explained the basics of what my level should be at, what an a1c is, and he listens when I need to rant and reminds me to test or do my insulin if i forget and start eating, etc etc.

That's about it. I would NEVER have him come to an endo appointment with me, unless we were married and trying to plan for kids. I don't think it's a boyfriend or husband's place to go otherwise, especially after dating for only a year. that's your personal, medical business, not theirs.


i've always just told my boyfriends the basics, so if anything happens they know what to do, beyond that, I don't think they don't really need to be involved.

When I have a girlfriend, I'll let you know =P

My fiance is very supportive when I need him to be, but I don't know that he understands how dangerous high and low blood sugars can be.  While he knows that complications are a possibility in the future, I don't think he thinks about them in the short term.  This is probably partially because I tend not to have extreme reactions to abnormal blood sugars.  I have never passed out from a low blood sugar and I rarely get sick from high blood sugars.  That doesn't mean that it doesn't make me feel awful, but I tend not to vocalize it.  Anyway, I am happy that he does not focus on negative possibilities, but I think that sometimes he thinks I am overreacting when I get upset about diabetes in general. 

That said, he does understand the basics.  He will get me my test kit or glucose tablets when I need them, and he will listen to me when I need to talk.  Like Batts, I would never have him come to my endo appointment, unless we decide to have children one day.

He is not very involved in my day to day diabetes care, and that is fine.  He is there when I need him to be, and I have come to understand that no one will *really* understand unless they are going through the same thing themselves.

[quote user="Run D-Link"]

When I have a girlfriend, I'll let you know =P




Mu husband came to endo appts when I was pregnant, but doesn't go to my appts otherwise. He definitely understands how insulin works, how to treat a high vs low, carb counting, etc. But, he has very minimal involvement in my daily care, other than being a listening ear when I want to complain. We started dating in 1997, but going through the T1 pregnancy together in 07-08 definitely increased his knowledge because it was so intensive.

Hey, few men know how to react when their sweetie is upset at them. If we were turtles we would pull into our shells and wait until the danger is over. 

Maybe he does understand but he just choses not to get upset. That is a perfectly okay reaction. No use having two people upset when someone else is already. Maybe being calm is a strength of his you could admire. 


It has been 5 years with my bow and he understands very well and is very supportive when I start feeling down and sad. We have a high 5 system worked out for numbers below 200 and a Don't Panic system for lows. We even have a feet tickling system worked out to check my feet once a week for problems. =) it is very fun!

These games that we built over the years have really helped me and him connect A LOT. Of course we struggled along the way. During our 2nd year dating I got very sick, I was vomiting non stop and running a high fever and not thinking clearly. In the morning he took me to the schools medical clinic and was so scared. but he was too scared to go inside with me and he left me walking in on my own. I ended up going to the ER from there and needing 6 bags of IV fluids to stabilize  and get out of DKA. The next day he found out that I went to the hospital and that In all consideration I had been pretty close to dieing, he really changed. Not right away, but over time. He became more curious and I answer all his questions. We developed these games I mentioned to keep track of when is happening.

Although, I don't get angry or upset when my a1c is high or my numbers are out of wack. After all those are just numbers that I need to respond to, I just need to to change my behavior in order to change my numbers. and really no reason to be upset. What you and I need to do is focus on finding ways to deal with fear. I know i have trouble. Some times I'll get very depressed thinking out what lies ahead. At times I'll Just quit going out with friends or quit making art (dealing with that problem right now, I am very scared of my future.)

SO as far as helping him under stand, I just tell him all I know and thank him for being there to deal with the storms as they pass. Some times we'll just put in The Beatles "When i'm 64" and dance. =) it helps.

my boyfriend and I have been dating for almost 6 years now, so he was with me before I was diagnosed. because of going through the diagnosis with me, he was able to learn about the disease with me and he knows a pretty good amount. he doesn't go to appointments with me or anything, but he is there to help me get sugar when I am low and also to help me if I need it when I have a couple drinks. I feel like as long your loved one knows the basics and is there to help you if you need it, then thats all you can really ask for!

I've been T1 for coming up on 2 years now. My wife and I had been together for 4 years and married for 2 at the time I was diagnosed, so she has known me before and after diagnosis. She was worried when I was first diagnosed and ended up in the hospital. She went to the first couple initial endo appointments with me and we learned about the disease together.

Since then, she has been pretty hands-off with my day to day care since I have it so under control. She will just remind me to have my insulin with me if we are heading out the door somewhere. She also is very supportive if I am having a bad day with my numbers and need to complain for awhile. I am thankful to have her by my side through all of this.



I got diagnosed with diabetes at 18, so I have always thought of this as my problem.  I've never had anyone come to an appt. with me.  I never needed any assistance with low blood sugars until a few months into my marriage at 22 when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy.  It was about 2 in the afternoon one day and I hadn't really been up for the day yet and my husband had to try to get me woken up enough to drink some juice.   That was quite an experience when I was that low and to get back to normal.  After that time, I clued him in a little more about having a glucogan in my dresser drawer otherwise he didn't know where it was.  There hadn't been a time when I had been close to ever needing that so it was just another thing in a drawer.  There were a few more instances of bad lows in the middle of the night when on MDI and waking up all sweaty and out of it with my husband trying to get me up for at least a half hour.   One time after mowing lawn I was laying on the ground or watching 2 small kids in the house and laying on the floor with a toy mailbox on me halfway out of it.  I am very grateful for his help and lucky not live alone in those instances.  I know he mentioned one time like he didn't think he had bargained for this or thought this would be the case when he married a diabetic.   Like what did he get himself into? Since I got on the pump in 2004, I haven't had that bad of a low.   I may mention if I am low once in awhile or if I'm super high and he may ask "how come?", but overrall it is me just doing what I have to do. 

I can actually answer this question from both perspectives.  When I first starting dating my husband, almost 10 years ago, he was a type 1 diabetic but I was not.  I only recently got diagnosed about a year and a half ago.  When I first starting dating him I really didn't know much about diabetes at all.  But he explained a lot to me and always answered my questions.  I think the scariest thing for me was when he would go low and pass out and I would have to try to get him to drink the juice.  But I was always willing to do whatever it took to make him better.  I never went to doctor's appointments with him and mostly let him take care of the diabetes himself.  I just basically knew what to do if he was super low or super high and I was always willing to listen to him if he had a bad day and just needed to vent.

Then a year and a half ago I started to feel pretty bad.  I starting drinking tons of water, going to the bathroom every hour and was super achy and tired.  I just figured I had some bug so I kept trying to push through.  It got to a point that I woke up one morning and got in the shower to go to work and once I got out of the shower I passed out on the bathroom floor.  When I came to I decided not to go to work and figured I would just go to the doctor.  I made an appointment with the doctor and was feeling really out of it so I decided to write all my symptoms down on a piece of paper.  That's when my husband came over to check on me.  He saw the paper and started reading it.  The next thing I know he runs out of the room and comes back with his glucose monitor.  My sugar was in the 700 to 800 range and I was in DKA.  My husband rushed me to the hospital.

Since being diagnosed I now totally understand what my husband has been dealing with for the past 20 years of my life.  Before I was diagnosed he would try to explain to me how a high or low blood sugar felt but I didn't completely understand until I was going through it myself.  I feel that I was very supportive to my husband before my diagnosis but I never truly understood what he had to go through every single day until I was doing it myself.  I remember a few weeks after I came home from the hospital after my diagnosis actually telling my husband that I now totally understood what he had been dealing with and that I never truly understood how hard it was.  Unfortunately I think the only way for your significant other to truly understand what you go through everyday is if they are going through it themselves.  I think that they can be supportive and they obviously should know the basics of what to do if you have a high or low blood sugar but other than that I think its hard for them to truly understand how it feels if they are not doing it everyday like you are.  If your boyfriend is willing to understand then I would just explain things to him and always answer any questions he has.  I know that my husband explaining everything to me and answering my questions made me understand things much better.

well of the several gf i have had one one cared about it thats cuz she was one and the other didnt but when i get a more current one ill tell u 

My wife and I have been married for 46 years, and I was T1 for almost 19 years before our marriage. She has seen me have many hypos and seizures and has been excellent in bringing me out of them. She asks me a dozen times a day about my most recent test result. She has always cooked for me and is well aware of what I can/cannot eat. She counts the carbs in the meals she prepares and is very good at it. I love her so much for all that she does, but there is one problem. She is overprotective. If I move more than usual in bed at night or make some kind of vocal noise, she wakes me up, just in case. She has seen me have some awful seizures while sleeping, but that was several years ago, before pumping. I have not needed her assistance with a low for more than three years, but her argument is that it takes only one time to kill me. I cannot take an overnight trip without her tagging along. She does not completely trust my pump even though she admits things are much better now. It is so embarrassing when we are visiting someone and I act or say something just a little bit unusual and she immediately pulls the kit out of her purse and has me test. We are taking a trip to the UK in June, our first trip away from North America. Her concern is that I will have a terrible seizure because our schedule will be completely different. She thinks I might end up in a hospital and our insurance will not help much and the trip will be ruined. She wants to stay home. That is the story of my married life. It is possible to have a caretaker who is overprotective!!!

Thanks everyone for the info!

I was just really curious what level involvement others had.

I think that, for now, my boyfriend's involvement is good. Depending on the future, I think I'd want him to understand a little more. I think that involves me to not downplay things.

One thing I've realized that I tend to not react to my blood sugars or other medical information because I know how to deal with it. I was diagnosed at 18 and have always done everything on my own without anyone's help. So I realize now that if I want him to even begin trying to understand or know what I have to do, I have to start talking. Glad I realized this now, I guess I never knew I did that.

Thanks again guys!

My husband goes to almost all of my doctor appointments with me, unless he has to work. When my BG's drop low he tries to stuff me with food and drink. He reminds me (even nags me) to check my BGs. He's always packing little candies and snacks in my purse when we go out incase I go low. He is nosy and goes into my PDM and checks all my insulin records and BG history. He is very supportive and certainly tries to be understanding, but I think there will always be a kind of gap there because he is not T1D and doesn't quite understand the emotional aspect of this. For the most part I really think I am a "strong" diabetic. I have took control of my life and I monitor my health closely. I don't let diabetes control me, I control the diabetes. But every now and then I will just have a down day, like when I get a bad A1C or something along those lines. Then it occurs to me (like you) I'm 19, almost 20 and already on meds for my kidneys, living on an "artificial pancreas", already have retina damage done, already fight with hypoglycemia unawareness. And I think, I am 19 and going through this! How will my health be 10 years from now? This is the part of diabetes my husband doesn't understand. He just tells me, "You're fine! It's just diabetes! It's not that serious! Lots of people have it!" But it does seem serious to me because this is my LIFE and I don't want to play around with it. I think it would be a really good experience for non T1D's to have to live with "pretend" diabetes for a day or so. Just to see that all the work really DOES take a toll on you. But still, they will never fully understand. Because their "pretend" T1D will go away, unlike ours which is a lifelong disease.

Every boyfriend I have ever had has not really been involved. They don't ask questions. They don't understand. I once had a boyfriend tell me that I use my diabetes as a "crutch."  He had also told me he didn't want to marry someone that was "just going to die in 5 years, anyway."  :(

My parents have always been involved; my mom would go to my endo appointments with me regularly, up until I was about 22 years old. My dad attended my pump education class with me. Since I moved, my parents still ask me every day how I am feeling and what my blood sugars have been like.

hello :)

i am 21 years old and I have been married to my husband now for about 7 months. We dated for 2 years before we got married and I was diagnosed with type 1 about a year before i met him. i have to say that my husband is amazing with my Diabetes! He has gone to appointments with me in the past and I share with him everything that goes on in a day with my Diabetes. I just started the pump and he has been to the appointments with me for it, and has sat and watched the videos and read the books on it, he is very aware what Diabetes is and what he can do to help me. He is so great with it! He really is my  little guardian angel and main support system, I know it would be lost without his guidance.

I hope you boyfriend gets a little more involved because really it is such a help and you don't feel nearly as alone in this unfortunate illness :( If you ever need anyone to talk to I'm here :)

Mariah Campbell :)

After 15 years, my husband understands it. But he truly did not get how life consuming it could be until our daughter was diagnosed almost 3 years ago. When she was in the hospital I told them he needed training, not me. He has learned very quick and I think now he is understanding why i always have a blood checker and some candy or juice with me. And why sometimes when i am having a low that I eat everything in site. i do notice at times though that when he goes somewhere with our daughter he forgets a blood checker and a juice box. Our daughter is only 6 so i cannot expect her to remember everything.

I know how frustrating it can be when your spouse just doesn't get it. i remember at one meeting with my Endo he came along and she asked how it was going handling diabetes and pumps for 2. I broke into tears because I was so sick of having to think about it for 2. The doc looked at my hubby and told him he needs to get more involved and helping with our daughter. Since then he has really made strides to learn and understand.

I did give my husband the book that children's gave us when Courtney was diagnosed and made him read it, He said he got a lot out of it. It was the Pink Panther book and although it has a cartoon on the front it is not a childrens book. I also let my daughters teacher read it ti help her understand. Best advice it to talk openly with him and let him ask questions. i like to look at my hubby and ask him "So how many carbs do you think was in that?" i do this whenever we go out to a restaurant and you have to play that guessing game of how many cabs is in the meal you ordered.

Good luck!

My boyfriend that I have been with for like 13 months now has some involvement he also understands the numbers and he has gone to 1 drs appt with me but didnt go into the room with me he sat in the waiting room and then I explained everything to him afterwards. He knows a lot about the insulin that I have explained all of that to him how to test my blood sugar and then how to give the insulin and the glucagon if something happens that I pass out. When I was on the pump he didnt really understand much of what to do with that.

Since I have been going to his place with him and his buddy I have had to explain everything to them so that if anything does happen. To help them understand I have just explained everything real thouroughly. Good part is he doesnt live to far from his mom who is actually a nurse and who has dealt with diabetes quite a bit and she knows what to do if anything happens.

Thank god I am not on any other meds than the insulin thank god and that is all he would basically ever have to deal with but Im sure he will start going to drs appts with me soon now that I have health insurance I would like him to know more of what is going on with the health so he does have a better understanding of it and so that he actually hears it from a medical person instead of just me.