What it’s Like to Live With a Type 1 Diabetic

by Crystal Carder
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Whenever I met my husband, one of the first things he told me was that he was a type one diabetic. Up until that night, I had never even heard of type one diabetes. As I soon found out, type one diabetes is diabetes that most commonly affects kids and researchers don’t understand why.

My husband was only 2 when he was diagnosed and, at the time, he almost died. The symptoms of type one diabetes are often overlooked in children and many times they are passed off as other illnesses.

What it’s Like to Live With a Type 1 Diabetic

Till this day, doctors screen kids for everything but diabetes. In fact, many times parents don’t find out their kids are diabetic until it’s too late, or almost too late. It’s a startling fact, but as a mother, the thought of a child dying because of undiagnosed diabetes is so upsetting.

While diabetic research has come a long way since my husband was diagnosed, 29 years ago, diabetics still need your help to find a cure. That’s why I feel it is important that people understand what it’s like to live with a type one diabetic.

There is Constant Beeping

Whenever your spouse is a type one diabetic, there is always a lot of beeping; you’ll wake up to beeping, you’ll go to bed with beeping, and, you’ll sleep with beeping. It’s almost like the beeping NEVER ends.

Since most type one diabetics carry insulin pumps around with them to deliver their insulin, these pumps are constantly going off with for some reason or another. They go off when Michael’s insulin gets low, his batteries go low, or whenever his blood sugar needs to be checked. And, if that wasn’t enough beeping for one day, most type one diabetics wear sensors that alert them when their sugar is getting high or going low. As with most diabetics, Michael’s sensors are constantly going off with some sort of alert.

While the constant beeping can be annoying, these beeps help keep my husband, a father of 3, alive.

More than once I was able to wake my husband up before his sugar got too low and he wouldn’t have woken up.

You NEVER Leave Home Without Extra Supplies

As a wife to a type one diabetic, it is unheard of to leave the house without Michael’s insulin supplies. No matter where we go, we never know if his pump will fall off from sweating or if one of his pods will malfunction. Unfortunately, most diabetic supplies for type 1’s can’t be purchased at local pharmacies. So, if you do leave home without extra supplies and you need them, you’re out of luck.

Unlike parenting where if you forget something at home, you can buy new, whenever your loved one is a type one diabetic, you always have to leave home prepared.

You Worry About them Waking up in the Morning

Whenever your spouse is a diabetic, especially a juvenile diabetic, the possibility of their sugar going low at night and them not waking up in the morning is real. More than once I’ve had to shove sugar in my husband’s mouth and pray he would drink it. Because if he didn’t, I would have to stab my husband with a shot of sugar and pray he would respond.

As a wife, I have had to prick Michael’s fingers while he was sleeping, just to see how low his sugar actually was. Waking him up is never easy and if you have plans, they are usually canceled. Whenever Michael has an extremely low sugar reading in the morning, he’s usually sick for the rest of the day and struggling with a high sugar reading.

It’s literally a constant battle of highs and lows.

Advancements in Diabetic Technology Excites YOU!

My husband doesn’t know what it’s like to live life without needles and tubes. Whenever a new technology comes out or articles are published about advancements in diabetic technology, you get excited. You hope and pray every day for a cure. You know one will be found, you just pray they will get to experience the cure.

You’ve Watched Your Little Kids Give Up Halloween Candy for Daddy

Whenever you live with a type one diabetic, it’s a family affair. Kids always know their daddy has diabetes and they worry when daddy’s sugar gets low too. In fact, you’ve watched your kids give up their Halloween candy just so daddy’s sugar would go up.

Everyone Has a Hilarious Story About that One Time…

As the wife of a type one diabetic, I have heard many stories about my husband that took place when his sugar was low. Fortunately, he usually doesn’t remember what happened, but everyone else always does.

Your Kids Have Been Checked for Diabetes More than Once

Whenever you have children with a type one diabetic, you are always overthinking everything. When the kids drink a little more than normal or urinate more than average, you immediately have them checked for juvenile diabetes.

Sugar Readings of 30 and higher than 300 No Longer Phase You

While most normal people would freak out when they see a sugar reading in the ’30s or higher than 300, we don’t. After being a diabetic for so long, my husband has had his share of low and high readings, so many times, that we don’t freak out when it happens, we manage it.

I have even seen my husband function normally with a blood sugar reading in the low 30’s!

You Can Tell When Their Blood Sugar Goes Low

After being with a type one diabetic for so long, I can tell when my husband’s sugar is low without any technology. It may sound weird, but I can usually tell when my husband’s sugar is low, even before his sensor starts to beep.

They are the Youngest People at the Endocrinologist & Podiatrist Offices

Whenever you walk into an endocrinologist or podiatrist office with a type one diabetic, they are almost always the youngest people in the room.

You Can’t Go Without Health Insurance

There is one thing families of juvenile diabetics can’t go without and that’s health insurance. Health insurances help to pay for all of a diabetic’s life-saving necessities. Without health insurance, many families couldn’t afford the rising cost of diabetic medicine and technology.

And, a lot of times, even with health insurance, many people still can’t afford it.

Do you live with a juvenile diabetic? What’s one thing that you would add to this list?

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