It’s not easy being in a relationship when you have Type 1 diabetes, especially during a blood sugar swing. In this edited excerpt from Persona Non Grata with Diabetes, Paul Cathcart asks for his love’s understanding with the many communication breakdowns during highs and lows.
You see, the difficulty in being diabetic is in the living, and how blood sugar changes you. Cheekbones and back along the ridge of my brow furrow, skin pales, eyes narrow. A piercing fault as I usher aside clouding thought. I’m trying to concentrate on what you’re saying, but instead I become frustrated. I’m shaking my hands and I’m trying to follow and focus.
Then, I saw, sharp of tongue, “What?”, not because I want to snap at you, nor because what you are saying has little substance or I’m disinterested. My “What?” is because I can’t think, because I’m trying to understand. I’m trying to relate to you, to empathize with you.
I am like this because my head is clouded and agitated and buzzing and I’m trying to communicate with you at the same time and it’s smothering me. I want to be there for you, I am there for you; I am here for you always. And I’m not ill-tempered, especially not ill-tempered towards you. What should be clear and simple between us becomes disagreement, repetition, and frustration.
I want to be a better person for you and I’m only four points of sugar away. My life is run by this simple biological block of not being able to cope with glucose on its own. I won’t let it continue to hurt me and I won’t continue to hurt you. I won’t allow it to stop me from becoming a great husband and a great father.
I know now why I’m writing this. Because I’m ready to settle down and I can’t be living like this or behaving like this anymore.
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