Your Loved One Has Type 1, Now What?
It’s hard to imagine being told that you have Type 1 Diabetes, let alone your loved one. When my wife recently received her Type 1 diagnosis, there was part of me that wished it was me instead of her.
Why did she have to receive this news? Why couldn’t it be me? I was the fighter, she was the healer.
However, I quickly learned that she was the fighter. She has more resiliency and determination then I could have ever prayed for or imagined. If your loved one was also recently diagnosed with Type 1 or you are searching for ways to be supportive to someone with Type 1, here are some helpful tips that I have learned.
Make Life Easy:
Adjusting to life with Type 1 takes time and being thoughtful can make life easier and less stressful for your loved one. For example, I’ll sometimes place my wife’s insulin kit by her breakfast or dinner table setting. This way, everything she needs is ready for when we eat together.
I bought Dex4 Glucose Tablets on Amazon. These tablets are fast acting and easy to keep in small zip lock bags in everyday areas, such as your car’s glove compartment or a gym bag. When you’re together with your loved one, having these tablets within reach will help limit low sugar dips.
There are several helpful resources that share other Type One experiences and provide opportunities to connect. For example, JDRF hosts Type One Nation, a series of national conferences that connect and educate Type 1 Diabetics about the latest treatments and strategies to cope. I found the conference to be extremely beneficial both from an educational perspective, as well as comforting to learn from other Type 1 families. If you are less familiar with Type 1, Type 1 Diabetes for People Who Don’t Have It is a good book that provides a crash course about Type 1 and some of the common experiences people have with it.
Share Your Story:
I found that when I shared our story with close friends and family, these friends were very supportive. Although some of them may not be as familiar with Type 1, having them know our story made us feel more support and understand why we passed on dessert. 😉
If a loved one’s mood is altered by the low or highs of their sugar levels, don’t take it personal. It’s impossible to always have perfect sugar levels. Therefore, as your loved one transitions to life with insulin, be prepared for some moments when their levels may not be perfect. Having insulin and glucose tablets close by will help depending on what’s needed.
Hopefully some of these tips make life easy and just remember, we are all in this together!