Diabetes and Marriage


Diabetes and Marriage

My experience having a wife with type 1 diabetes is not so different from any other marriage, with the exception of having a complicated, treacherous side kick along for the ride. My wife, Anna, was upfront with me regarding her type 1 diabetes from early on in our relationship. I realized right away what a burden it is to tell a boyfriend that you have a serious, life altering issue, knowing full well that it might scare off a lot of guys.

A silver lining could be that it might help point out the wrong kind of man to date. I was worried that Anna wouldn't like my receding hairline, she was worried I wouldn't like her life sustaining insulin pump, not quite the same level of seriousness.

Anna's aunt vetted me by asking her "did you tell that boy about your machine"? Maybe something is lost in the Spanish-English translation, but it asks much more than it seems.  Can he handle it? Is he the right kind of guy to date?

A few years after we met, we decided to get married and had a long conversation about starting a family. Anna was determined to be a mother and together, we forged ahead.

A major source of worry and of reward for my wife and I, as a couple, was the choice we made to have a child.  Anna worked long and hard at preparing to get pregnant, knowing full well that she needed to have her A1c  below a target number which she had arrived at with her endocrinologist.  For months Anna had a part time job as her own A1C mechanic, doing her best to ensure that when the test was taken, her numbers would be the very best they could be.

The process itself is a sobering one, as it presents an awareness of how type 1 has a strange hold on the life of one's wife as well as the health of your unborn child.  Usually the only concerns about when to try and get pregnant are related to money or careers, but when the quality of life of the unborn is the main factor, it makes all other considerations pale in comparison.

I still can recall Anna getting the good news and the green light, for us it was the best news we had received to that point.  From that point forward, all I needed to worry about was being handsome and having appropriate mood music at the ready.

Submitted by Mike Norton. His wife, Anna, has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1993. Together, they have a son, aka #theboy, who was born in 2007.