Diabetes Blogs

A Love Letter to My Husband from His Type 2 Wife

Black Door: It Was Always You Having a supportive partner just may be the key to getting through both chronic and acute health challenges. My type 2 diabetes never goes on sabbatical but either does my husband's love. (Photo: Unsplash, Brianna Santellen)

My two adult sons are in love. Their love interests are charming, intelligent and ambitious young women, and it does my heart good to watch them as they begin their lives together, unencumbered by much worry, happily enmeshing their hopes and dreams. 

I too am in love. But my love is an older love, a love honed by time, experience and illness. While we’ve been lucky not to spend any significant periods in hospitals, my type 2 diabetes and my husband’s heart issues—a heart attack in his early fifties—has sobered our love and deepened our knowledge that one of our many roles as partners is to take care and support one another.  

What does this mean? 

For me, it translates to my husband’s unending patience with my type 2 diabetes. From my first diagnosis of gestational diabetes 34 years ago, to my recent scare over possible thyroid disease, my husband has been there in ways both big and small. He’s listened to my frustration with unruly blood sugars, helped me through patches when I simply did not want to deal with the condition for one more minute. He’s rushed my blood sugar monitor to me when I’ve experienced lows, made sure I didn’t skip meals and even, on occasion, joined me in exercise when my commitment flagged. 

Type 2 and Beyond

But it hasn’t been a one-way street. He has his problems. There was a morning when he woke with a feeling of “having been on the parallel bars all night”, his skin grey and face clammy. He had a doctor’s appointment that morning and though I didn’t know what was wrong, I decided drive him to the office.

 An electrocardiogram revealed a heart attack that sent him straight to a hospital bed. There, I camped out for days, using all of my reporting contacts in the medical field to get him the best possible care. At home I helped him shift from his meat heavy diet to a more balanced one,  counseled him on cutting down on sweets and carbs. And so far—knock on wood—his heart has stabilized.

You might say we’re very lucky. Both to have one another, and to have made it through chronic and acute medical issues pretty successfully. And while I’d be the first to admit that we’re beneficiaries of good care, good medicines and good health insurance, a big part of our relatively good health is our mutual support system.  We try to listen to each other’s concerns and celebrate our victories. This summer, for example, my husband cheered me on as I decided to lose weight; I’ve encouraged him to meditate to lower his stress and compensate for his workaholic personality.

I adore watching my sons and their significant others. But I also love how my husband and I, long ago pledged to one another, have managed to cope and grow. 

I love knowing that he has my back, and I have his, no matter what comes down the road. 

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