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Helen B

wives of diabetics

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Hi everyone,

 

As a doctoral candidate at Adelphi University, I have been working on a study on coping strategies and marital adjustment in wives of Type I diabetics. As a researcher, practitioner, and wife of a diabetic, I have become very interested in learning more about the disease in order to help not only my spouse, but also myself, as well as other diabetics (and their families) that I am certain to encounter in my professional as well as personal life.

 

I have been on this frustrating research journey for the last two years. Choosing another topic would have certainly led to quicker results, but I believe in this study’s worth. Moreover, I believe that it will lead to more of a focus on the varied needs of well spouses, which until now has been a relatively unexamined, albeit important topic. Hopefully, my research can shed some light on how to best help spouses (in this case wives) of diabetics with respect to building or increasing adaptive coping strategies, which will enable them to deal more effectively and more positively with the numerous physical, psychological, and social stressors that invariably plague a relationship interrupted by chronic illness.

 

IF you are interested in helping and taking part in this confidential and anonymous online study, you can do so directly by clicking on the following link which will take you to the survey page:

 

Wives of Diabetics - Survey 01

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at:

 

hballas@optonline.net

or

ballas@adelphi.edu

 

Many, many thanks!

 

Helen

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Sorry you aren't getting any takers.

 

I am the husband of a diabetic, but I am diabetic also. That might be a bit of a confounding variable in two ways. But, I am more than willing to help. Your study sounds important, good luck.

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My only experience with "wives of diabetics" are those that attend support groups. Their husbands never bother to come...there lies the problem.

 

I've heard (this from a friend of mine) "I watch what he eats". "I fix him sugar free pudding"...but they don't seem to understand that sugar is not the problem...it's all carbs.

 

That's my experience with "wives of diabetics". I'm not over-generalizing...just my experience with a few that I know!

 

Have you considered contacting support groups in your area? I stopped attending one group since there were so few "actual" diabetics there.

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Diabetics manage their own disease. It does not manage them.

Spouses do not manage the disease of their partner.

The medical team guide, educate and advise diabetics. But the diabetic manages their own disease.

Yes family members need to understand the disease and what to do when.

There is nothing worse that having people tell a diabetic what to do, how much to eat, when to exercise. Living the disease is different for everyone. What works for one person, does not necessarily work for another.

I commend your study.

However, a better study would be spouses of Dementia persons. It is a far more taxing burden and often affects the spouses, quite seroiusly, both mentally and physically.

Diabetics will live well if they manage well. They can be active, live independently, work, enjoy their family and surroundings.

Spouses of Alzheimers and other dementias live the disease with their partner. It is a 24 7 care duty. Costly, limiting and home support can be either sparce or too expensive.

Just a thought.

Kiwi

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....

IF you are interested in helping and taking part ... you can do so directly by clicking on the following link which will take you to the survey page:

 

Wives of Diabetics - Survey 01

I am sure my wife would fill it in. But where is the link .... ?

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Hi Kiwi,

 

Thank you for your reply and your insight. Your points are well taken. One of the reasons I am focusing on spouses of diabetics is because there is little to no psychosocial research in this area, while there has been more of a focus on caregivers of persons with dementia. They are both worthy subjects and subjects that need to be widely studied.

 

Thank you for your comment.

 

Helen

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... Thank you again and how are things down under?....

New Zealand, alas, is in mourning. The All Blacks were beaten in their quarter-final rugby World Cup match .... This is a disaster of catastrophic proportions here. But having said that, we made it though another wet winter and Spring is in the air. I am really looking forward to driving my car with the hood down again ... :D

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Yes it certainly was a bit shocking, it's practically a National week of mourning! But gives another country the chance to pick up their socks, so the All Blacks can return the challenge with renewed vigor!

Helen,

While the diagnosis of Diabetes is a major one to digest, it is a disease that can be well managed.

When a disease is well managed the person with the disease should be able to live a long and healthy life. Yes it takes effort to make wise choices and manage with diet, exercise, testing and in most cases, medication.

Most people will go through the stages of adapting to the diagnosis. It is difficult when the person with the disease refuses to accept it, but I don;t think that is the majority.

There are so many myths, and misunderstanding about the disease.

Learning about food, the carbohydrates and types, how they affect the body is a steep learning curve. Carbohydrates are found in all five food groups. Finding out how much is enough is the trick. It is like fuel for your car. You only need enough to get from A-B (like breakfast to lunch). You don't have to fill up every time and you don't have to stop at every gas station.

It takes diligence to monitor how food affects, the portion, the hidden carbs, and the resulting numbers.

Adding in exercise takes some more effort but the benefits are well worth it.

In my home, with 2 type 1's we are used to the choices we make. The family are well versed and supportive.

Support and understanding is all that is needed. Worry is interest paid before it is due and is non productive.

Diabetes has not set us apart from the rest of the world. We are a normal, busy, active and healthy family.

Maintaining your health and balance in life is the key for all. Setting proirities and goals is the same for all.

there are a whole lot worse things you can be dealt.

Cancer scared me and my family a whole lot more than Type 1 Diabetes in our family. It really puts stress and worry into the stratosphere. It is a life stopping diagnosis. But faced with courage it will help all to grow, to appreciate and not to procrastinate!

We live each day well, with no regrets.

Keep it simple. Take time to enjoy each day and your family.

Do your best.

In the end we are no different than other families. We simply manage our disease and ride the ups and downs.

In some ways diabetes is a better disease as you can manage it and live well.

Empower your family with the knowledge. Learn about diabetes and how carboyhdrates work, where they are and how much is enough.

You will find there is much to be thankful for.

Just a few thoughts!

Good Luck.

Kiwi

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Yes, I agree Kiwi. As the wife of a Type I diabetic, I understand the issues well. Your posts reinforce for me the differences in the ways that individuals cope. I think once my study is published, people will have a better understanding of that as it relates to spouses of diabetics as well. You have a wonderful attitude. Unfortunately, situations are different and people are different, and not all people handle adversity well. And, from the feedback I have started to receive, there are myriad issues that deserve to be addressed. I think it is important to give these individuals a confidential and anonymous voice.

 

Thank you again for your comments and insight. Truly appreciated.

 

Helen

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Helen,

Your study sounds interesting. I understand the diversity and differences. Ethenticity, cultural, socioeconomic, will add to flavour to your study.

Is your study for spouses of Type 1 or Wives of Type 1?

When will it be published?

Good Luck, I will be most intereted in reading your study.

Kiwi

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Hi Kiwi,

 

Thank you again for your feedback and interest. The study I am working on presently is on wives of Type I diabetics. I hope to conduct a study in the near future on husbands of Type I diabetics as well. I think it is important to understand the coping strategies of both wives and husbands. Hopefully, I will get enough participants to be able to complete this study so that I can focus on husbands next time. It is important to get feedback from both to understand the differences between men and women, and the needs, which may be very different.

 

I am always interested in hearing your comments Kiwi and your insight.

 

Best regards,

 

Helen

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Helen,

 

By way of feedback, my wife filled out the form, but she was unable to answer some questions because there were "buttons missing on the form".

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