• Bekah Vander Stelt

Dating & Diabetes

Does diabetes affect your dating life? Have you ever had any super awkward conversations about your diabetes with someone you liked? Have you ever been scared to tell your crush that you have diabetes?? After being diagnosed with T1D at age 16 I remember being super self conscious about it.

I worried about not only what my friends and family would think but also if the boys at school would think I was weird or gross.

But, I want you to know that the one you're supposed to be with will love you diabetes and all.

I asked my husband some questions about dating and diabetes. Here are his responses :)

1. When did you find out Bekah had T1D? I knew Bekah had diabetes before we ever went on our first date. I’m not exactly sure how I found out that she even had it. I must have noticed her checking her BS one time and put two and two together. She was always very discrete and never liked to make a big deal about needing carbs or to adjust. 2.What were your initial thoughts? I was naïve. I had no idea what T1D really was or how serious the condition was. To be honest, Bekah didn’t manage her sugars well at all when we first started dating. I think she just wanted to keep it to herself, eat what she wanted and not adjust for fear of it being awkward. The few times that she did reveal her condition I was very inquisitive and always asked questions about how she manages it or suggested hypothetical situations 3.Did it scare you? Did you have second thoughts? It scared me a few times. Specifically when we were hiking in Arkansas and your BS was low, and we had no carbs. I sprinted to the car and back to get food and I was a little panicked. I didn’t have second thoughts about marrying you though.

4.Did you know much about T1D prior to? No not really, just that you needed sugar or something to stay functional and that you had a pump on your side. I remember doing quite a bit of research when we first started dating to figure out about the disease and I was never afraid to ask questions so that I could learn. 5.Was she open about it? I felt like you were open about anything that I asked, but you didn’t really share without being prompted. When we were first dating I know she never wore her Dexcom, which I’m guessing was because she didn’t want me to see it or feel it. 6.What is the scariest part about dating/marrying a T1d? The fear of a low occurring when no food is around or in your sleep. I try not to think about that happening but it is a very big concern of mine – especially because I’m a VERY heavy sleeper, like very heavy. One example is when we were on our honeymoon in the car on our way to swim with dolphins and your BS was getting so low. It’s just situations like that where I start to semi panic. When the pandemic first came about and everything was shutting down, I was really concerned about our ability to get insulin or medical devices. I was hypothesizing ways to acquire these items haha.

7.Any funny stories? When we were first dating I would always request that you check my blood sugar, and several times you actually did. 8.How does it impact your life? I just have to be conscious of reminding her to take food/drink when we go places. Or remind her to pack CGM, pump, insulin for trips. And I understand that we will max out our deductible each year 😊 9.Symptoms of her lows? "Mean Mave" lol, sweaty, shaky, slurs, and if it’s really bad studders 10.Has it ever made for any awkward situations? Nothing really comes to mind

11.Do you feel comfortable taking care of her now? Yeah for the most part. I don’t know exactly where to order everything from, but I know enough to help you manage or react to lows/highs.

12.Her go to low snacks? Since you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac I’m not sure about the solid foods, but typically you just drink apple juice or maybe a pop. I used to always grab you a granola bar – are you doing GF granola bars now? I should probably figure this one out.

13.Any thing else you would like to share?/Any advice to anyone dating a T1D?

If you’re dating a T1D, don’t be afraid to ask them questions – I think they like it. Make sure you know about how the disease works and how to handle highs and lows just in case you find yourself in a situation. Also understand that the person you’re dating probably has some sort of insecurity about their condition. Make sure they are comfortable knowing that they can take food/drink with them wherever they go, and that even if their sensor is visible it doesn’t affect your view of how beautiful they are.

I have to add that not one time has Joe ever made me feel less than or weird about being a Type One. He understands the severity of it and knows how important it is that I take care of myself. I hope that dating and diabetes is never a problem for you! Love yourself-medical devices and all!!

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