Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dating & Diabetes

Just as I've had to learn how to eat and workout again; dating as a diabetic has brought about a host of new challenges to what is already a difficult process. Prior to my diagnosis of diabetes I didn't have to worry about going low on a date, keeping a clif bar in my pocket if I was going to a wine bar or explaining to a girl why I had to order an appetizer even though I clearly said we'll go out for drinks late night (after eating on our own). If normal insecurities aren't enough to make dating tough, diabetes just adds more fuel to the sweat factory.

Over the past several months diabetes has both helped and hurt my dating chances. When I was first single again I went on a date to a wine bar and went low without realizing it. After saying goodnight I tested and was at 56; a second date never came of that one (didn't reveal myself as a diabetic) so god only knows how I acted as I started to enter into the land of the shakes. Yet on another occasion the diabetes card worked well as it turned out the girl had interned at the JDRF while in college. I revealed myself as a type 1 as I ordered some food at 10:30 pm after a couple rounds of beer.

In some ways training for the Ironman has made it easier to explain diabetes to people I first meet. Undoubtedly the question of "why the hell are you going to do something for 140.6 miles" will come up when I tell someone of my IMLP goal and that provides a great segway into my type 1 diagnosis. It's alot better than saying, hey if I happen to pass out can you take this needle, shove it into my body and hope I wake up. However, since most people don't know the symptoms of a low can be quite awkward.

Given all that, this past Sunday I had my worst public low, and was petrified of what that would do for future dates with a girl I recently met. On a second date I went to Bowlmor lanes, a fun but really over priced ($100 for 5 games!) bowling alley in Manhattan. I had ridden my bike for 3 hours earlier that day and my nutrition was a bit off (only had a muffin for lunch) so I was kind of worried I might go low. While real bowling is WAY harder than Wii bowling I was still doing pretty well, then all of a sudden the ball felt like it was 1,000 pounds and I threw 3 consecutive gutter balls. Figured I better test, and I was scared to death to see 42 on my meter!

I should have realized way before the gutter balls that I was headed low, as after I tested I noticed that I was sweating like a pig. I told my date that I needed to chill for a minute and apologized. She was super cool about it and only asked that "I please not pass out because that would kind of freak me out." After the waitress asked us if it was really hot in the alley (I guess a pretty in shape guy sweating like Patrick Ewing in the 4th quarter from bowling is somewhat odd) I ordered some soft pretzels and an orange juice. My blood sugar climbed back up, my sweat glands finally relaxed and then I was able to enjoy the rest of my date. As if the pressures of dating weren't bad enough!

11 comments:

Araby62 said...

Oh, have I ever been there ;-) Being a girl I guess I always had the excuse of rushing off to a ladies' room for no good reason...but still, I definitely lost dates over it. Amazing how people's true colors come out over something like this. At the same time I've been on wonderful dates with really cool guys who were very understanding of lows, etc., but we just didn't click in other ways.

All I can say is that the right person will have the right reaction to it. My now-husband was a little shocked the first time I "shot up" at the table in a restaurant, but he said later that he just accepted that diabetes is a part of me. He's the first person to notice if I'm a little 'off' too.

Good luck!

Anne said...

yeah I've had boyfriends/dates who could handle it and some who couldn't. I am usually very open about it and casual, and if I don't seem stressed, my date doesn't as well. Then again, there are people who just can't handle dating someone with diabetes, but I imagine these are the same people who haven't really faced anything difficult in their lives yet (and don't understand that we all have challenges).

by the way, I'll have to try that testing after swimming w/o pricking my finger...

Anonymous said...

Date #3, hit the pool. She won't see you sweatin'.

- Coach Megan

"Grandi" said...

I found you through Sugar Free Cherries - my daughter in law's blog - I applaud you for not wimping out on your life! As we are grandparents of a type 1 (at age 2) little lady, we are all learning new ways of doing things! I like your "ring the bolus"! Good stuff!

Donald said...

$100 bucks for bowling?! That would make me sweat all by itself.

Shannon said...

$100 for bowling is insanity.

At least diabetes will help to weed out the bad apples. You'll know that the girls who will stick around during a sweaty low episode and accept another date are top notch.

Cara said...

It's always a thought. I have always been concerned with what people will think about it. How will they react if I have a low? Or how will they react if I turn down dessert because my blood sugar is 200? I'm not being rude, just trying to care for myself.
And then there's the getting "serious" part... when you date me, you date my diabetes too. That can be a lot to handle.

Jodi said...

From now on out, just date doctors.

;-)

But seriously, it's hard enough dating and being a triathlete. Pretty much NO ONE except other athletes understands the time committment. "Why can't you just skip this one workout?" Well, 1 turns into 2 turns into...and it's all over!

Good luck this season!

Jodi

Anonymous said...

I am a type 1 diabetic and have been for 30 years I have ran my whole life as working out is a very important part of keeping your blood sugars as normal as possible....if any one is in the toronto area I would love to go for a run with you....it is much easier going with another diabetic ......happy running....sharon

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am now dating a wonderful man who has diabetes. I just wanted to put out there that their is a lot of understanding people who won't judge or be bother by low sugar symptom.
Once my boyfriend told me he had diabetes, I better understood why he was shaking for time to time and why his speech abilities decreased all of the sudden during one of our dates.
Don't be afraid to tell your dates!

Happy dating

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice and comments. Things are pretty much the same here in the UK...

But my new 3rd date is a nurse...