Well, the title tagline says it all: A Survival Guide.
“Here is a given: 100% of people do not like having diabetes. Most partners don’t wish to burden anyone with their disease 1, especially not their significant other. Often, the “burden” becomes a problem in the relationship. The partner with diabetes may have guilt and shame – or have experienced real or perceived stigma – for having to deal with this disease. All of these emotions and experiences contribute to emotional distress and are something you should be aware of. Take on this “elephant in the room” and make sure your partner knows you support him/her through thick and thin – and that includes diabetes.” (page 17)
Nicole Johnson and Lorraine Steihl have an abundance of experiences surrounding life with diabetes. Nicole has had T1 for over 20 years … and Lorraine has been married to a T1 for over 30 years. They have both been actively involved in the diabetes community and diabetes advocacy … and they definitely know about living with diabetes. They touch upon lots of topics that affect couples in which one partner has T1 … and offer some suggestions on how to best cope. Often they default to “communications” and “humor”, which certainly is the bedrock on surviving a relationship with T1.
This is a great little primer although I wish there were more personal anecdotes and humorous stories (you know, the kind that wasn’t funny at the time but in retrospect are hilarious!). If you have Type 1 diabetes or you are living with someone who has T1, this is a great little coping book.
Lorraine and Nicole did such a terrific job with this book. We talked at length about the challenge to the partner with T1D. We all felt that the partner should not have to feel as though they needed to become an endocrinologist in order to love a person with T1D.
With this book, Nicole and Lorraine have achieved this goal. At one point, Lorraine had considered calling the effort “Hunky Firemen in the Bedroom” because of a few incidents with paramedics. Of course, in retrospect, there are a few things we would like to have done slightly differently or would add to the book if we could; however, we set out to help others. I believe Nicole and Lorraine have done a tremendous job of doing that, as the both have for their entire adult lives.
Lorraine found out about my T1D on our second date. She was 22 and was not frightened by my condition, she was more curious than anything. She is my Angel of Survival and has been part of the answer to many prayers for over 34 years!
I met Lorraine when she was running the LA chapter of JDRF and actually sleeping on the office floor!!! I’m so glad you have each other!