As a parent, there are certain things that I want my son’s significant other to know about diabetes. My son’s list of important qualities and things that she needs to know is probably quite different. That list is for another time. This is my list of ideals wants in a partner for a person with diabetes.
I want her to know when my son’s blood glucose levels are out of whack.
In school, he often had teachers who just “knew” when he was out of range. I felt safe because they would make sure that he checked his blood glucose levels and took care of himself. A partner of a person with diabetes ideally should make a parent feel the same way.
I want her to know to carry glucose with them at all times.
A low blood glucose level can seemingly come out of nowhere. My son keeps some treats on him but we all know how easy it can be to run out at the most inopportune moments. His ideal partner, for me, would be a gal who recognizes this and carries a bag filled with candies easily accessible in her purse.
My son would be happy if she carried all of his supplies in her purse too but as I said, that’s a different wish list.
I would love to see his lifelong partner remind him to test at night or at least wake him when he seems restless and out-of-range.
My son doesn’t currently have a CGM. He once relied on his mother’s inability to sleep to keep him safe overnight. Now that he lives on his own, he wakes himself at night to test. I know that he would love to have a break now and again. A person who would help him at night would be a blessing for both of us.
I want to see his partner know how to help him on days that diabetes is too much.
As much as helping my son at night would be wonderful, we all know that there are days that we just don’t want to diabetes. When he lived at home, my son would some days just simply hand everything over to me for a day and I would deal with it. I would count carbs, bolus and test.
I don’t know if he would still want that sort of full-on break but I know he still prefers someone else to put in new infusion sets. It would be nice to know that she cared enough to learn about his care and help him where he needed it.
I want her to know that diabetes is part of his life but it isn’t what defines him.
Finally, as much as diabetes can be overwhelming and time-consuming, it doesn’t define my son. I would love to see his life-partner understand this. I want her to love him for the incredible, handsome, quirky guy he is.
Diabetes is a lot of hard work. I want her to understand this but not be deterred by it. It will mess with their schedule. It may impact his mood but he is strong and deserves only the most loving and supportive partner. In return, she will get a pretty amazing guy.