a man and a woman standing in front of a chart

No, I Did Not Give You Diabetes

I have been married for 25 years and have had type 2 diabetes for over 25 years. My husband just developed type 2 diabetes in the last few years. We are a couple who both live with type 2 diabetes. We support each other along our journey with diabetes.

Same diagnosis, different experiences

We are total opposites. My husband works out every day, keeps his ideal weight. I "was" sixty pounds overweight, and the only workout I knew was walking to the fridge. I did lose forty pounds of weight, but I'm still on medication. On the other hand, my husband has nothing to lose, but he takes pills--2,000 mg a day, along with an insulin shot.

Type 2 diabetes care is serious

We both loved to eat out, but we realized how serious this disease was for both of us. I am more understanding of what a day is for him. He has to take two big pills a day and stick himself every day. He asks me every day, "Did you take your medication?" Sometimes it drives me crazy, but I understand that empathy deepens our connection more.

Navigating opposite eating habits

Type 2 diabetes affects both of us differently. Our lifestyles are so much different. I can eat ice cream after every meal, but my husband wants pasta at every meal. We decided a few years ago to do better. We started planning meals together. It used to be, "You eat what I cook or don't eat at all!" We discuss what we are going to eat for dinner. Trust me, we don't eat healthy every day, but we do our best to add fruits and vegetables to every meal.

It's so funny because my husband knows when I have had too many sweets throughout the day. I fall flat on my face by five o'clock. I know when he has eaten something that wasn't good for him because he is tossing and turning all night.

Supporting and learning from each other

We don't nag each other, but we support each other. We have been married for 25 years and want to be married for another 25 years. To be honest, I'm the more hardheaded one, but I try and keep an open mind and know that we both need to learn from each other if we want to live a long healthy life.

We have both made some healthy changes. I baked more chicken instead of frying it. This seems to be a part of the norm now, eating healthier. Again, I'm usually the one who gains weight, he doesn't, but we both had to watch what we eat because of type 2 diabetes.

Our diabetes experiences are unique

It took me a minute to figure out my symptoms and even longer to figure out my husband's symptoms. After being together so long, you would think we would know each other. We both had to learn to listen to each other and observe what our bodies were going through. There were times I would get the shakes, and he would ask, "What is wrong with you?" I immediately knew it was an overload of sweets and soda that day.

Communication and patience go a long way

We learn from each other so that we can help each other. Like with type 2 diabetes, all of us as couples need to communicate, be patient with each other, and have mutual respect. I don't criticize anymore; instead, I encourage. If you fall off the wagon (and I do a lot), I have my husband there to throw me back on.

Do you have family members who also live with type 2 diabetes? Do your experiences with diabetes differ from one another?

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