Taking Care of Our Diabetes Partners
To our Diabetes Partners: Thank You!
When I use the term “diabetes partners,” I’m speaking of the people who love us unconditionally and those who partner with us and our diabetes care on a daily basis. However, I cannot begin to write about our diabetes partners without first saying a heartfelt thank you to these invaluable allies of ours. Thank you for running to the refrigerator and bringing us juice, glucose, or candy or whatever we need to quickly bring our blood sugar back in range. Thank you for going with us to our appointments to simply hold our hand and take us out to lunch afterward. Thank you for waiting patiently by as we attempt yet another 2 am blood sugar adjustment. Thank you for contributing emotionally and financially to our care. Thank you for your silence when we are less than civil during a low or high blood glucose reading. (ahem) Thank you for loving us with empathy and patience. We know you’re not always perfect in your support, but we also know emphatically that you have our backs no matter what.
What Your Support Means to Us
I have a friend who once told me that during a severe low blood sugar, she was standing in the hallway and literally had to drop to the floor and wait until her glucose levels returned to normal. Her boyfriend quickly brought her juice and when he then abruptly turned and went down the hall, she was confused. Where was he going? Then, he came back with 2 pillows and a blanket. He placed one of the pillows under her head and then covered her with the warm blanket. He then laid down and placed his head on the second pillow and didn’t leave that cramped hallway until all was back to normal. To me, that second pillow says it all. To me, that second pillow was his silent statement that he wasn’t going anywhere, that he was settling in to partner with her and that he was there for the long haul.
What Can You Do to Show Your Appreciation?
I know that some may find it hard to show gratitude to our partners. Whether it’s not knowing how or what to say or even the thought that, “They already know how much I appreciate them.” Do they? How do you know? I will ask you, how do you feel when someone says a simple thank you to you? Even when you know how appreciated you are. That special feeling is so simple to give to someone.
A few suggestions…
- Acknowledge their contribution by just saying thank you. Repeatedly. That goes a long, long way.
- Buy or make them a little thank you card or gift.
- Take them out to lunch or dinner and tell them this is because they deserve a party!
- Remember that they will have challenging days too.
- Keep in mind how frustrating it is for them that they can’t “fix this” or “make it go away” for you.
- Remind them that they matter too.
Share This Article with Your Caretaker
If you find it hard to say these things to your partner, why not show them this article? I have a feeling that they’ll know. Because they always know.
On we go…
About Peg Abernathy:
Peg Abernathy is a writer, activist and spokesperson for diabetes awareness, education and legislative reform. Her media work includes four years as a contributing diabetes columnist on The Huffington Post and three years as producer, writer and on-air talent, Sirius Radio, The Lime Network. Her diabetes sales and sales training corporate career includes early tenure at two successful insulin pump start-ups as well as various blood glucose monitoring companies. She has also served as a consultant in the diabetic retinopathy space. Ms. Abernathy is a current member of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Community Leadership Board, Los Angeles, California and former Chair of the ADA Advocacy Committee, Los Angeles.
Follow her on twitter: @diabetesmedia