In my last post, I talk about the importance of having a supportive partner when you have diabetes and what it means to be a “type 3 diabetic.” In this post, Podder Talk interviews my husband Nate on his experiences being in a relationship with someone who has diabetes. Check it out!
Photo credit: Blue Stitch Photography
1. What do you remember about first learning that Natalie has diabetes? Did any part of it make you feel less interested?
Nate: I knew very little about diabetes before I met Nat. The aspect that sticks out the most is the constant management required. I had no idea managing diabetes was a 24/7 ordeal. I probably assumed it only required attention around meals. Believe it or not, the way Nat dealt with her diabetes made her MORE attractive in my eyes. The way she handles diabetes with the utmost positivity is admirable.
2. What do you feel your role is in Nat's diabetes? What do you find difficult about being in a relationship with someone who has diabetes?
Nate: I feel my role is critical. I have often expressed to Nat that I want to be a “good diabetic” as well. I try to be a good influence with diet, exercise and general well-being. Over time, I have adjusted to promoting activities between us that are diabetic-friendly. The awesome thing is; my lifestyle and health have improved in the process. This is a true team effort.
3. You were with Nat once when she had a low blood sugar that resulted in loss of consciousness. How did that make you feel? What did you learn from that? Do you have any tips for significant others of people with diabetes (type 3s) as far as being prepared for those kinds of situations?
Nate: I have experienced a “bad low” with Nat. I learned much from the experience. It was within our first year of dating. I realized how little I knew...and how much I needed to learn. To that point, I was perhaps a little too relaxed, as Nat managed her diabetes so well. My advice: discuss what to do if/when a bad low occurs and determine how to handle. Review every few months!
4. What is the most surprising thing that you have learned about diabetes?
Nate: Easily the most surprising thing is how inconsistent diabetes can be. Diabetes is like an elaborate math equation...changing one variable can drastically affect the outcome!
5. What is the best thing that Nat's diabetes has brought into your life? Any specific experiences? Something new that you have learned?
Nate: Winning The Amazing Race as a type 1 has Nat super active within the diabetes community. I have had the privilege of joining Nat for meetings, conferences and speaking engagements around the country. It is just awesome seeing people come together to help and inspire each other. I love being a part of it as a type 3.
6. What tips do you have for someone who has diabetes about introducing it to someone that they are newly dating?
Nate: Just put it out there. That's what Nat did! There is nothing to be ashamed of. You can do anything with diabetes!
7. Do you ever worry about having kids with diabetes? Do you ever worry about how Nat's diabetes will affect your future family?
Nate: I don't. Nat has shown that you can live the life you want and accomplish anything with diabetes.
8. If you could erase diabetes from Nat’s life, meaning she never had it all, would you? Why or why not?
Nate: I have often thought that I wouldn't change a thing about Nat. Nat has touched, inspired and provided hope for many in the diabetic community. That said, diabetes is a disease that requires constant care and has had adverse effects for some (not all!). For that reason alone, I would erase diabetes from her life, if I could.