Monday, November 27, 2006

My rights as a spouse of a diabetic

Do I have any? This is going to be tough for me to put into diplomatic words! LOL! I want to be serious...but this tiny little voice in my head just keeps repeating...."you have no have no rights...." And yep, the annonymous poster who said I did not have the right to toss hubby's viagra got me to thinking....what are my rights?

I think I should have the right to live day by day without anyone screaming and hollering at me. I think I should be able to make it from sun up to sunset without my spouse getting completely and totally pissed off...just because he is in a low. I think I should have the right to have a normal conversation with discuss my feelings and emotions....and not have to worry about the time of day it is, if he is having a low or a high, if he has eaten recently. And mostly (read my past blogs) I think I should have the right to sleep in my own bed without someone else having an accident, waking me up in the middle of the night and asking me to change the sheets.

You can see where I am headed with this post. There are a lot of things that a healthy couple just take for granted. There are a lot of things that you would think would not even need to be thought of as "rights". But when you make the decision to stick with a spouse who has this disease....and ride the roller coaster of uncontrolled blood actually give up all rights that you might ever have had.

The poster said that tossing out his viagra was a violation of trust. Trust has absolutely nothing to do with "trust" and everything to do with survival. Viagra is not a necessary medical drug. And I stand by my thought that it should never be prescribed to someone who has such uncontrolled blood sugars. But when I think about it...what doctor (most being men) would have the guts to tell another guy he's not going to prescribe him viagra until he gets his BS under control? We all know you can get it online. I must get 400 emails a day offering it to me!!!

Which is more in a marriage...or survival of a marriage? Excellent question and I suppose the answer would depend on your ultimate goal. For me, in the past, there have been so many times when just mere survival was the highest goal.

Does my husband go around and take things of mine and destroy them? Oh....well, once again....I "should" have the right to have personal property that is mine...that is left alone....that is not picked up and thrown against the wall and shattered into a hundred pieces when he is having a low. Once, I do not have that "right". I pretty much have sold or given away anything that is breakable.

When a diabetic is in a true low...they do not know at all what they are doing. And they will not remember what they did. It's like you need a video camera, yet when you show them the film they will accuse you of having an actor do the piece. You just cannot win.

Why do I stay? Why am I willing to forego any rights that a normal wife might have? Why am I still here? Why do I put up with this? Trust me....I ask myself that a hundred times some days! And it does not help when my family and friends all tell me to give up and leave. My own mom said to me just recently, "I do not know how you do it...I couldn't."

I think part of it is the nurturing that comes naturally for women. We just want to take care of him, solve the problems, make him all better. Admitting that I cannot do that is part of my battle with this disease. And once you admit that....then what is the real reason you stay? I sure don't believe "love will overcome" this!

In so many ways, diabetes presents itself as an abusive marriage. If not physically abusive during lows and highs, then at least verbally and mentally abusive. Yet can you blame the person with the disease? Not when they do not remember what they say or do.

So let me refresh that comment...."I should have the right to a normal conversation/dinner/evening with my spouse". If anyone gives my husband a drug that will cause his blood sugars to elevate or drop....then surely I have the right to toss out that long as it is not mandatory for his health.

Really....who for one second thinks that the spouse of a diabetic has any rights? Well...maybe the right to walk out and never look back. Problem is...I still love him.


Nancy B said...

I was married to an alcoholic for 25 yrs, I know what your saying because your marriage sounds like mine did except your husband has diabetes, mine had addiction to alcohol. I finally got fed up with trying to fix him and I left. Now I am married to a Type I diabetic and we have been through highs and lows and even near death. My husband is fighting his disease, not aiding it and thats difference.

There is a solution to diabetes, it is called "The Diabetes Solution" by Dr Richard Bernstein who has had diabetes for 60 yrs and has normalized his blood sugar. Your husband can do it too if he works the program.

An alcoholic has to hit bottom sometimes before he seeks help, maybe your husband needs a jolt as well. Hopefully it won't be a life threatening one such as losing one or both kidneys, going into Diabetic Ketoacidosis, or losing a foot or leg.

If you need someone who can give you any ideas you may want to contact Dr. Bernstein's office. Their web site is or There is also a forum you can talk with diabetics and their families that could also give you support.

God Bless You!

whimsy2 said...

Well..what is "love" exactly?

It sure sounds like you're not getting a lot of love from your husband.

I don't suppose your husband would consider counseling. It could help.

In the absence of his participation, perhaps it would be good for you to see a counselor alone. Because you're definitely not in a healthy relationship.

I do second the prior suggestion that Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution could help. But I sort of doubt that your husband would be interested. And HE has to be motivated, not you, in order to make changes.

I also was married to an alcoholic. And when I finally decided I had enough it was a great relief to not have to deal with that any longer. But it took a while because...well, I loved him.

Diabeteswife said...

Whimsy2,, we are in counseling. But it is very slow. We do both joint counseling and I see one on my own. This situation just takes a lot (there are days when I think we need 6 or 7 sessions alone!)

And actually, I do get a ton of love from him....when the sugars are normal...and he is apologizing....

It's that roller coaster ride that I don't love!

nancyb. I will find the book and read it. But it is not ME that has to make the change...and he does not want to change at the moment. I think he is probably bouncing near the bottom, but I'm not sure he will do a thing until it is too late to do anything to help. Know what I mean?

I do have a network of friends and family who give me support, and I have my art, which gives me great comfort.

Hubby is gone this week on business...I slept a solid 10 hours last night with no interruptions! It will be a good week!