Reply
Visitor
gaylavan
Total Posts: 5
Registered on: ‎02-20-2013

I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

My husband is a recently diagnosed diabetic. And yes, that does change things for both of us. However, he is in charge of making choices for himself. I,as his partner, only support him in those choices. If you have a diabetic child or a relative who is incapable of self care for whatever reason, then caregiver is reasonable. But lumping spouses and others who are in a relationship with a person who happens to have diabetes does not make them a caregiver. To me, such language puts the burden for wellness squarely where it does NOT belong. My expectation is that my husband is in charge of making his own choices.

 

People with diabetes need to be in charge of their own wellness and to commit to healthy choices themselves. Victim language dos nothing to encourage and empower that mindset.

 

I am happy to say, my husband is doing a GREAT job of taking control by exercising a minimum of 5 days a week and being active on the weekends. He has also made a complete 180 turnaround on his eating and his A1C number is back down in the normal range. He did that. Not me. And we are both healthier for it.

 

Advisor
Carleen656
Total Posts: 427
Registered on: ‎05-11-2012

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

For the most part, I agree with you.  I'm the diabetic in our family and a little support is a nice thing.  BUT DON'T HOVER!!!  I can't stand it!!!

 

By "a little support" I mean not bringing sugar-laden junk foods into the house, etc.  Also, joining me on a walk or in our home gym.  If Hubby doesn't feel like exercising, that's fine.  I'm a big girl and I can find my way to our gym or around the block all by myself.  And if I want to be a "victim", it's not Hubby's job to do damage control.

 

Carleen...
Listening for the Shout
1 Thes. 4:16-17
Responder
melivale
Total Posts: 47
Registered on: ‎02-04-2013

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

I dont think there are victims out there...but I can certainly say that when my husband gets sick, the burden is on me to care for him and get him ready to get back to being okay. When he recently had a heart attack, I was the one dealing with my 35 month old, who is also Type 1, and him in the hospital. I had to split myself up between the hospital and caring for her...who was getting over pneumonia. I dont have any family that lives close by. So this was close to impossible to deal with. 

 

When he had laser surgery to avoid having aneurisms bleed in his eyes and avoid blindness, it was also my job to care for him. So...every time Diabetes strikes, I am in the hot seat. I totally support that as spouses, children, partners, friends, grandparents, we are not to manage things for the patient...but, boy! We sure turn to caregivers really quickly when something goes wrong. You are lucky that your relationsip is not being impacted by the disease and that things are under control. Kudos to your husband! But there are many people whose lives are in shambles because their loved one acts as if they didnt care about the consequences...these boards carry a lot of stories about that. It is just simply sad. And the family member does get a raw deal...hospital stays, hospital care, daily routines revolve around patient, sleep depravation, frustration...it all turns into a giant you cant deal with. Specially if the patient is a little one...

 

In essence, I dont think caregivers are victims, but the disease does impact us greatly. We pay the price for bad decisions and carelessness. We also enjoy and celebrate progress. We live with stress and fears of what could happen...like what happens if I miss my daughter's 2AM check or her 5AM check...she could go low at night and I can either lose her or end up with a serious crisis if I am lucky. It is so much more complicated and complex than what it seems. 

 

Hope you always find yourself cheering and celebrating your husband's success over the disease! 

Mel

Wife of J, TD1 since 1989
Mom of S, TD1 since 2012, Diagnosed at 2 yrs. 8 mos.

"Courage is NOT the absence of Fear. It is the sense that something else is more important. The fearful will never live a day, not one day in life."

"There are people who make things happen; there are people who watch things happen; and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen" James Lovell, Astronaut

Responder
sugabutt
Total Posts: 21
Registered on: ‎01-15-2013

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

Sorry but I have to disagree with you.  Yes my Type 1 husband is old enough to be responsible for his health. But for Type 1's, even though they may do everything right, and eat all of the right things and exercise daily, that stuff happens and when a low blood sugar hits, I am the caregiver.  He will not have the ability at that moment to take care of himself.  So I don't take offense at the Caregiver title being on me.  I don't have to wear that hat 24/7, but I do have to be on alert to his behavior. He makes the decisions on when to check, how much insulin to take and what to eat - I don't.

 

And people that have had this disease for years and years won't always have the great attitude your husband currently has, and  I will just have to be more of a caregiver than I am now because of my love for him.

 

What I can't stand is the medical field giving the name Diabetic to both type 1's and type 2's.  They are two entirely different diseases, and they should have different names.  Type 2's can get rid of the disease if they exercise, eat right, and lose weight.  Type 1's don't have that ability.  Yes, their numbers will be better and they will be healthier, but they will need to be on insulin, and always checking, for the rest of their life.

Super Advisor
powerwalker2
Total Posts: 5,462
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?


sugabutt wrote:

.................................... Type 2's can get rid of the disease if they exercise, eat right, and lose weight. ......................


 

 

Sorry, that is not true.  Type 2s can get rid of diabetic NUMBERS if they exercise, eat right, and lose weight (MAYBE), but not the diabetes itself.  They will ALWAYS have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.

Nancy ~ T2 since '98 ~ 16 yrs ~ D&E 11yrs ~ treadmill, elliptical, bike 15-20 minutes 3x/day (including evening), dumbbells/resistance training, small portions heart-healthy high-fiber/low-fat fuel/carb-counting, 500mg Glucophage XR x4, 2.5mg Glucotrol XL x6, 6000IU Vit. D/day ~ RHR 53 ~ A1cs mainly between 5.9-6.9 av. 6.5
Advisor
Ronin1966
Total Posts: 217
Registered on: ‎10-08-2012

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

[ Edited ]

Hello gaylavin:

 

I appreciate your objection of using such labels... carelessly?

 

 

Caretaker is a double edged sword. Unable or incapable of caring for ourselves what action do you take, or to protect us from ourselves, if need be??? "Action giver" has a better sound....

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken

J
T1
Responder
HerDotness
Total Posts: 21
Registered on: ‎05-11-2013

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

I agree that "Caregivers," the mobile app title for this board is confusing. I landed onto the "Recently diagnosed" board wanting support and encouragement due to my husband's having been diagnosed barely a week ago and realized somewhat later that it was the wrong board for me. Now, you might think the problem was that I can't read (and you would be partially correct!) since "Recently diagnosed" wouldn't apply to me, a non-diabetic, but I was frightened, distressed and basically a basketcase when I came onto the site and didn't realize that it was the wrong board until I'd vented and gotten a lot of advice that wasn't really what I was wanting or needing.

 

"Family and Friends" might be more clear for the mobile app title. Caregivers to me means someone aiding and providing for the basic needs of an incapacitated person rather than simply wanting to know how best to support a friend or family member who is diabetic and to share experiences with others concerned about a diabetic loved one.

Visitor
gaylavan
Total Posts: 5
Registered on: ‎02-20-2013

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

Naturally, if my husband was sick and unable to care for himself I would at that point be his caregiver until he recovered, and he would play that part for me until I recoverd. What I am saying is that, if you hear in your own head that your lable is "caregiver" then you will tend to not empower your partner, but rather take responcibilty for his or her wellness. It is sore point for me because I see other partners of diabetics, nagging them, hiding food from them, yelling at them when they do something wrong.

I understand a diabetic can be doing everything they know how to do and still get sick, and they deserve our support when that happens.

 

Words matter, How we think about ourselves matters and enfluences the choices we all make. I prefer to think of my husband as a smart person who can think and make decisions for himself. I am his partner by SUPPORTING his choices, not MAKING his choices. He wanted to adapt a plant strong diet and so we did that together as partners. But I am not his mother - If he stays from that diet, that is his choice - I don't whine, nag, push, remind, scold or act any other way that is not empowering. I find such actions as disrespectful. If I behave like he can not be trusted to do what is right for him and his family, then the chances are he might decide to wear that label and become dependent upon me making choices for him..

 

 

Visitor
gaylavan
Total Posts: 5
Registered on: ‎02-20-2013

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

well put

Super Advisor
Pam01
Total Posts: 2,204
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: I am a partner, not a caregiver. What is with the victim language?

Bravo Gaylavan. I fully agree with what you have written in both posts. I am Tyoe 1 and my husband has numerous health issues. I really don't consider either of us as "caregivers"! We are partners, team, support systems for each other...(and I can be a tyrant to some posters who come here wanting to know how to "control" their boyfriends/fiancée,/etc diabetes)

Pam

Diagnosed Type 1 at age 16 months, over 45 years now
Minimed pump and cgm since July '09. Metformin (insulin resistance), levothyroxine(thyroid), losartan (BP)

I have traveled cross country, and to Canada, UK, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Equador/Galapagos islands, and lived in Egypt for a year.