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Let’s talk about being the partner of someone with diabetes

We had the most wonderful Facebook Live session about being the partner of someone with diabetes, and wanted to share it with you.

We were joined by Daniel Sher, clinical psychologist living with Type 1 diabetes, and his wife Jess Sher, speech-language therapist, to answer questions from our community.

Big thanks to Vital Aire Diabetes for sponsoring this event. Vital Aire Diabetes acquired Ethitech Diabetes in July 2022 and is now the supplier of Dexcom and Tandem in South Africa.

Questions – and answers – about being the partner of someone with diabetes

We answered really a lot of questions, including these ones that our South Africans with Diabetes community asked us before the session:


How long have you been together, and why would you want to do a Facebook Live about your relationship? Are you very confident?

And then Jess, could you tell us about when you met Daniel, and when you found out he had diabetes?

How do you switch off/rest while still trying to be an amazing parent to your T1D toddler?

I find this very hard to do. I am so anxious that something will go wrong for example at night I get 2-3 hours max of sleep in.. the rest of the time I wake up checking my sons pump or just checking if his still breathing… Sounds insane right.. this disease is super tiring for me as a caregiver, what not to mention how the actual T1Ds feel

  • Cameron

(Heidi agreed: Watching my son today for an hour taking care of my granddaughter was hectic. There is not a minute that you can switch off and relax. You parents are superheroes “Today you kept your child alive”)

Is it ok for a person with diabetes to drink alcohol every weekend?

  • Nenese


Is there a right level of support?

My husband is very supportive
To the extent where he will bring my sugar machine and check my sugar get my insulin make sure I’m eating healthy.

  • Vashnee

    Family can be terrible
    I get offered cake every day
  • Paul

    Mmmm can’t think of anything. It’s just accepted I can look after myself and I appreciate that.
  • Sharon

Carl wanted to know:

  • Is it essential for a partner to know diabetes inside and out, way more than just knowing how a hypo kit works?
  • Are diabetics so fragile that they really do need constant worrying over?
  • What’s going to happen to my health in the future?
  • How do I prepare for what is inevitable, or what should I say to my partner about what’s in store?

Watch the video for all the very many other questions we asked – and answered.

The main takeaway? You are not alone in this. We’re all in this together.

What to read next?

10 ways to offer diabetes support: Being a supportive partner can be both a gratifying and a challenging role – especially when living with a person with diabetes. Diabetes affects the whole family, not just the one taking medicine.

How to help during diabetes burnout: Diabetes burnout is unavoidable, when you’re living with diabetes. But how can you help during diabetes burnout? What can you offer someone you love who is struggling?

Telling a new partner about diabetes: It’s normal for people with diabetes to worry about what their date will make of their diabetes. So when is the right time to talk about it?

Photo by Imam Fadly on Unsplash

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Sweet Life is a registered NPO/PBO (220-984) with a single goal: to improve diabetes in South Africa. We are funded by sponsorships and donations from aligned companies and organisations who believe in our work. We only share information that we believe benefits our community. While some of this information is linked to specific brands, it is not an official endorsement of that brand. We believe in empowering people with diabetes to make the best decisions they can, to live a healthy, happy life with diabetes.