My Husband Tries Type 1 Diabetes for a Day

Meagan Esler

| Nov 13, 2012

It started at 7:45 a.m., when I heard my husband's phone alarming. Since it was his scheduled virtual type 1 for a day challenge with JDRF, I grabbed the phone as he kept snoring. Sure enough, it was his first text from JDRF, reminding him to gather his testing supplies before leaving the house. I shook his leg. "Wake up, sleepy, you have a text about your diabetes." He lay there, continuing to snooze. I tried again with "C'mon, you have to get up, your diabetes needs you!" He hollered between snores, "My diabetes is fine!" Oh, how I wish I could silence my diabetes in the morning with those words.

When my husband's phone began alarming with a low battery, he reluctantly got up and plugged it in. I thought how lucky I am that my husband doesn't really have diabetes. I could see that if he did, I would be the worrier and the one checking on him and reminding him of things. He rarely has to mention the "D" word to me, since I've had it for 18 years.

His next test said that he had high blood sugar for no apparent reason. It's true, sometimes blood sugars are just high, even when we've done things right. He stomped around the living room simulating my bad mood during a high blood sugar, but all in good fun. He then tested his blood sugar and pretended to take a shot to correct the "high."

Just when he'd get comfortable, his phone would alarm that it was time to check the betes again. He got a text that he was too high to eat something despite being hungry, so we decided to handle it by doing a workout to help lower his blood sugar. Of course, if you are truly too high, exercise is not recommended, but since this was a simulation, we happily used the scenario to squeeze in some cardio.

During a car ride, he was texted that his blood sugar was low and that he needed to drink some orange juice immediately. We pulled over at a gas station to get him some, and he drank the appropriate amount to equal the carbs needed.

The day was somewhat of a pain, but he admitted that it was nothing compared to truly having a diabetes life sentence. While he gladly tested his blood sugar to show support and add realism to the project, he cringed at the thought of using an actual needle (without insulin of course). The syringe was just too much reality. I don't blame him at all. I remember how hard my first injection was. It took a long time for me to muster the strength. I told him as I held the syringe that I wished I didn't ever have to take another shot, and he emotionally replied "Me too, baby."

The night ended around 3 a.m., when I woke to my husband squeezing me tight in my sleep. He had his arms around me, and when I asked what was going on, he commented he'd gotten a text that he had low blood sugar in the middle of the night and thought of me and began worrying about my blood sugars. I told him pretty much the same groggy thing he'd said that morning, "My diabetes is fine," and we both relaxed into sleep.

I'm sure he's happy to be done with having type 1 diabetes. Now we'll just hope that someday I will be too.

Your friends and loved ones can sign up to take the challenge by texting T1D4ADAY to 63566. You will receive a confirmation text that completes your registration. You can also sign up by visiting the JDRF website at The campaign runs from November 1 through November 29.

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Posted by Richard157 on 14 November 2012

Meagan, I admire your husband for doing this, even for one day.

Posted by Anonymous on 15 November 2012

Meagan, as always a wonderful article. My son had a night of bad lows recently and felt unwell afterwards from a headache etc. When I told his teacher that he couldn't be at school because of what happened, she said 'you should be managing it better'. My son rarely misses school on account of Type 1 but we are always managing it. This teacher 'knew someone's child with it and they seemed to manage it.' Getting people to walk for 24 hours in Type 1 shoes is a great way for them to learn that managing Type 1 doesn't always go to plan. Really well done.

Posted by Anonymous on 16 November 2012

Wow, that was a good idea to try this virtual diabetes day. It was very interesting to read thru it and found myself either saying " yes, that's true" or noding my head in agreement. I'm sure you husband was quite aware of what does go on with a person that has diabetes, as he wittnesses you daily but can you imagine an unfamiliar persons frustratation? Yes, that's how it goes. Thanks for great, interesting articles.

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