May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)
Since I am not the one with diabetes, my perspective is different. It is hard to get into Silent Sam's head. What I have found really hard is keeping my mouth shut.
Anyone who knows me, might doubt that I ever keep my mouth shut. But I have to when it comes to diabetes. There is a fine line between being helpful and being a nag. I worry about SS. When I think of all the heath consequences of diabetes, it scares me. I don't want anything to happen to my silent companion. He means so very much to me. But at the same time, I don't want to damage our relationship by constantly harping on him.
I have asked him not to walk around in his bare feet. I know, of all the things that I could ask, that one might seem inconsequential to some. Feet are important but it is not an emotional trigger to ask someone to wear shoes. Seeing him in bare feet bugs the crap out of me. So, I asked nicely. He knows that he shouldn't do it and has agreed that he won't.
I ordered him medic alert bracelets. It was not a hit. There are things that he needs to do for himself and pushing does not help.
I will ask him occasionally to change a behaviour. I try very hard not to press any issue too much but there are times I feel that I need to say something.
The thing is, I understand that we all do things that we shouldn't but we don't want anyone to bug us about them. I think by making the occasional request, I am not treading on emotional issues as much. (Perhaps I am not the best judge of this...)
I think this is the hardest part of loving someone with diabetes. Finding the balance of respect, concern, fear, and love, so that they feel cherished and not constantly badgered. I hope that I find that balance.
Thanks for reading!