Living with diabetes is hard. And for many people, diabetes can have a big impact on relationships. Since February is the month of all-things-love, now’s the perfect time to take a look at how diabetes affects the relationships around you.
Whether you need a brand new strategy or just a simple refresher, here are a few ways we, as people living with diabetes, can help the people who love us most, help us better.
Tell Them What You Need
The people in your life who love you want to be helpful. But they may not know exactly what you need when it comes to your diabetes. They don’t have it! So they can’t possibly understand the ins and outs of this thing the way you do, and what it is you need to meet all your goals.
Take a minute to really think about that: whether you’ve had diabetes for one year or 40, there are certain, specific daily routines you pick up all along the way that no one (no one!) knows about but you.
So when you’re frustrated about going low every night, angry about your latest A1c results, or fed up with taking all those pills to manage your levels, let your partner know. Loop him or her in!
Sometimes, you just need to tell them exactly what you need. Need help making healthy food choices? Need an exercise partner? Need someone to remind you to take your medication? Let them know!
No one knows what you need better than you, and sharing that information with the people in your life can help them help you.
Tell Them What's Not Helpful
Do you get frustrated when the people in your life try to be helpful, but what they are doing actually makes things worse?
In the same way people need to be told what is helpful, they may also need help knowing what's not. Just make sure you send this message gently, and include some ideas about what would actually be helpful.
If your significant other is reacting to your high blood sugar in a disciplinary way (that you don’t appreciate), let them know you don’t need that! You know you’re high, and what you need to do to fix - that patronising voice does not help. Then, follow-up with what they could say instead that would be more helpful, more supportive.
Make a Plan
Diabetes isn't a do-it-yourself journey. The people in your life can play a major role in your diabetes-management success.
Always remember what they’re also dealing with. While we’re on the phone arguing with the pharmacy, or having a bout of highs and lows, our partner is also feeling the pain. Our pain.
When we get frustrated with them not being able to fully comprehend what we go through, remember that they’re trying. Help them help you by giving them more insight into your daily routine.
Come up with a specific plan, together, about how they can support and better help you. A plan can help set the stage for great diabetes management, and turn that unwanted third wheel into #relationshipgoals. 🏆