Girlfriend died recently due to type 1 diabetes complications

steve Gliss
By steve Gliss Latest Reply 2014-04-17 20:49:01 -0500
Started 2013-07-18 10:53:45 -0500

Well I don't really know where to begin, My 24 year old girlfriend recently died of complications from type 1 diabetes in which he was diagnosed at the age of 12, juvenile type 1 diabetes. We lived together for about a year and even though I knew about her condition I didn't know how out of control it was she also was a meth addict and on occasion used the club drug Extacy. I watched her go through so much suffering in and out of the ER with DKA and at night I would wake up and catch her drinking 5 or 6 cans of soda then she would go back to sleep to wake up sick again,this happened almost every other night for an entire year.There were only two physicians in the city that specialized in her condition and only one would continue to treat her because she refused to change her lifestyle and would leave the hospital against doctors orders.The doctors wouldn't even put her on the pump even though she had insurance until she proved that she could manage her condition in which she failed to do over and over.I did my best to take care of her, she often would be combative and refuse to check her insulin levels telling me that she just wanted to die. I would say to her "you have so much to live for and there is no way anyone is going to let you die" She would finally calm down allow me to help her with her insulin, this went on daily it seemed. I just couldn't take the stress anymore I was going into a deep state of depression and realized I had to take a break from all the chaos and it broke my heart to tell her that I just couldn't take the agony of watching her suffer and if she wasn't going to make immediate changes in her lifestyle, and quit doing the meth and the club drugs which were obviously were compounding the problem, I was going to leave her, and at that moment she looked at me and said goodbye. So I packed up and left and something inside of me told me that by my leaving her pretty much was a death sentence for her because even though she had family that lived with her, I was the only one that was constantly on her case and making sure she was in somewhat of control of her blood sugar.She did ok to my surprise for about a year after we split up but I noticed about six months ago when we spent the weekend together that she had lost a lot of weight,she looked frail and sick again. I didn't say anything to her about it although I wanted to but I was just so happy to see her and be able to spend time with her after almost a year or so being apart.So on April 30, 2013 I received a call from a friend telling me that she was found dead at a friend's home by the police that happened to find her by accident after responding to a domestic violence call at the home which involved the couple that lived at the residence.After an autopsy was completed their were no obvious sighns of death and they could not find anything abnormal but when the toxicology results returned her blood sugar levels were over 1,000 and she must have slipped into a coma and died from organ failure.This is by far the hardest thing I have had to experience in my life, she was only 24 years old,she was funny, very intelligent and beautiful, but the hardest part for me is the guilt I live with for not being there for her in the end!

17 replies

Anonymous 2014-04-17 20:49:01 -0500 Report

okay, i need help my mom has diabetes and she does meth and she is so sick ahe cant even stand up on two feet she cant stop hee body from twitching and she has these big lumps on her arms i think they are blood clots and her foot is messed up there is a big redish purple swollen red spot on her for and shes always hurting and cant move but i dont want her to go what do it do ??

cocot 2013-07-23 07:18:46 -0500 Report

You were there for her, you did everything you could, you can only help someone that helps themselves, so you have nothing to feel guilty about. Whether you were with her or not with her she would have died as she didn't want to make the necessary changes. Release yourself so you can be happy!

SadieMae08 2013-07-21 13:47:31 -0500 Report

I'm a 21 year old female whose on the same track as your ex girlfriend, and I don't know how to turn it around..

Anonymous 2013-08-04 18:02:05 -0500 Report


Get yourself into rehab ASAP. I also was doing a lot of drugs and partying at your age. Rehab was the hardest thing I ever been through, but also the best thing I have ever done. You are at the age where if you clean up now, your body will be able to recover, possibly with no long term ramifications. Your life is still ahead of you. I know what the feelings of powerlessness feel like, but you do have power, the power to make a choice and fight for yourself.

What I loved about rehab was being able to find out why I was so self destructive. Once I was able to shine the light on my demons, I was able to confront and ultimately defeat them. It is an ongoing battle, but the feelings of freedom you gain are worth the effort.

Please consider fighting for your life. You are here for a reason and a beautiful life can still be yours. You will find strength, confidence and true friends/allies if you decide to battle. Don't give up, don't ever give up…

GabbyPA 2013-07-23 07:28:53 -0500 Report

Acknowledging it is a good first step. Do you have anyone special who can be your support and helper? Give them the "right" to help you through and get tough on you if that is what you need.

I know I get in ruts of self destruction and I get mad at myself for being there. I should know better. But sometimes it's not knowing, but it's feeling. Being able to talk about it helps me. It kind of puts my thoughts in order. It helps me see that what I am "giving up" is well worth the benefits of what I gain. I don't always see it that way and having someone to talk to about it can often straighten me out.

I also hate the inconvenience that uncontrolled diabetes gives me. I live for the bathroom, can't sleep, my feet hurt more and so many other things. I think about loosing my ability to drive because I can't see or the loss of my ability to work in the garden because my feet hurt so bad. Those losses scare me way more than the loss of my favorite pasta dish or ice cream.

There are many of us here who are willing to help. All you have to do is ask.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-07-20 23:02:54 -0500 Report

Hey Steve,

I am so sorry to hear about your girlfriend.

From what you said in your post, it sounds like you really tried to help her, by giving her advice, and that you refused to enable her self-destructive behavior. It sounds like you tried hard to be supportive, that you did your best. That's all we can ask of ourselves. It is a mystery why people choose not to take care of themselves when the help they need is available, and when they have supportive people who are there to help them. Sometimes they just can't. Sounds like your girlfriend was a very troubled person.

I hope you will show yourself the compassion you deserve. You did the best you could. It could also help to get some grief counseling. Talking to a counselor could help you to get some perspective what happened, to help you cope with your loss and the guilt.

Don't go through this alone. And stay in touch!


Ebony Faith
Ebony Faith 2013-07-19 23:10:45 -0500 Report

I'm sorry you lost someone you loved. It wasn't your fault in any way, shape or form. I read a book that was helpful to me written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. It's called "On Grief and Grieving."

Sending thoughts of hope, support, comfort, love and compassion.

dietcherry 2013-07-19 15:31:16 -0500 Report

What you are feeling is known as Survivors Guilt. I encourage you to find a support group specializing in this. Good luck to you..

Type1Lou 2013-07-19 14:01:01 -0500 Report

How sad. The sad truth is that unless a person with diabetes takes charge of their condition there is nothing anyone else can do to make them toe the line. Besides diabetes, your girlfriend's substance abuse also surely contributed to her death. Wishing you the strength and support that you'll need to get through this period of grief.

GabbyPA 2013-07-18 18:32:04 -0500 Report

Saying you should not feel guilt is not going to help you get through it. There is always a "what if" and the "if only" that may haunt you. But in the end, as hard as it is to say or believe, it was her choice. We want to be able to fix things, but sometimes we just cannot.

I had a dear friend who kept trying to commit suicide all through high school. I had to do something similar to what you did. Giver her a kind of ultimatum. It worked for many years, but it didn't last long enough and after about 15 years, she finally took her life. I went through a lot of the the "I should have seen it coming" feelings that you have. All I could do was cherish the time I had with her. Remember the wonderful things I loved about her and let those things fill my heart and push out the pain.

It sounds like you are doing the same, so hold tight to those good times.

01misspearl 2013-07-18 18:14:45 -0500 Report

So sorry. It does make you stop and think I know several people who do not take care of themselves you have suck a huge heart and have carried so much weight.

Bun10 2013-07-18 15:11:21 -0500 Report

The things people say under the cloak of anonymous! It must have been very difficult for you to write this, Steve. You are not guilty of her death. You can not rationalize with an alcoholic, a druggy or a mental illness. I suspect your friend was guilty of all three. I don't know how you coped with it all as long as you did. God will bless you for that. If she was living with family who no longer could cope with her suicidal actions, they undoubtedly were just trying to cope and survive themselves. I know how exasperating it can be to see the writing on the wall so clearly and yet be helpless to stop the inevitable. You can mourn her passing. You've been robbed of celebrating her life. But you need not feel guilty. Telling yourself, "If only I had…" Had what? She was 24 yrs old not a minor. She couldn't be forced into getting help. Cleanse your conscience. She didn't want help. She asked you to let her die. She may well have been bipolar. Mourn then let her go.

Madmankm 2013-07-18 11:32:53 -0500 Report

Sad she treated diabetes this way, it is a killer. you have my condolences and hope everything is ok in your life as well.

Next Discussion: Enjoying Life »