I'm looking for some advice on how to offer better support to my diabetic husband. He was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 4 years ago. He was 29 years old at the time. He has also been diagnosed with depression and takes an antidepressant in addition to metformin, Lantus, mealtime Novolog, a statin, and heartburn medications. We have a 4 year old son.
I've been very frustrated because I feel he is not trying as hard as he could to change his lifestyle. He was raised on a typical midwestern meat-and-potatoes diet and is having a very hard time making better choices. My mom is a type 1 diabetic who is also a registered dietitian and diabetic educator, so I've been schooled in nutrition my entire life. I make most of the meals that we eat together, and I feel that we eat fairly well when we eat together, though he almost always refuses vegetables. When we're not together at meals, he tends to eat fast food, frozen pizza, etc. I try not to keep any junk food in the house for his benefit, but sometimes I find empty bags of chips or candy. He has problems with portion control as well to the point where I wonder if he might have an eating disorder. There have been periods when he will join a gym and exercise there, but these tend to last only a few months if that. I've recently been working out more, and I feel great. I've tried to talk him into coming to work out with me; no luck.
He's very close-lipped about drs. visits, and I think he may be skipping some of the recommended follow-up. I went to the initial diabetes education as well as the insulin education with him, and he's just simply refusing to accept their advice regarding diet and exercise. I suspect his diabetes is not well-controlled, and his depression may not be either. He's never seen a therapist or anyone with a psychiatry background, just GPs and internists that have prescribed a series of antidepressants.
His disease has really affected our relationship. I feel like he's not really trying to manage his disease and is ignoring possible serious complications. I worry I'll be raising our son alone in a few years. When I talk to him about it, he always promises to do better, but I've seen no real change.
So…I'd love to hear some examples of ways your spouses encourage and support you. What attempts at support are annoying or counter-productive? If you have been diagnosed with depression, how did that affect your ability to manage your diabetes and what did you do about it?
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