Friday, August 1, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex....

Listen, I'm as private about my sex life as the next person... it's taken me a long time to blog about it because it's something I don't feel needs to be shared widely on a regular basis!  However, lately I've realized that there just isn't enough out there that speaks to some of the challenges that we (those of us who love someone with type 1) have in this arena.  It's like people just don't want to talk about it.

So, let's talk about sex.  First of all, let me preface this by saying that my husband and I have been together a looonnngg time - 25 years in fact (married for 19).  And you expect there to be ups and down, peaks and valleys when it comes to our sex life.  Lucky for us, we haven't experienced many valleys, and have been able to maintain a really healthy, active sexual relationship.  There are a few things though, that diabetes loves to throw in the mix ... and I thought it worthwhile to share one of these with you.

Lows during sex
The first few times it happened I thought it was just a coincidence ... but when the lows - and I mean significant lows, the 48s, 35s and lower - started happening fairly often during sex, I started to take note.  There is nothing that kills the mood more than discovering that your partner is not all "there" while you're making love, and honestly, as a woman this can be a little frightening.  I'm lucky in that my husband hasn't been in any way aggressive or belligerent during these lows, just somewhat silly and sometimes truly out of it.  But it is hard to discover that in such an intimate moment, you're suddenly the only recognizable one present.  It's an awful feeling.

Then of course there is just the break in momentum, even for more mild lows, to treat the issue, get the juice, etc.  Takes the wind out of everyone's sails, and it is highly unlikely you'll get it back and continue where you left off.  Even if you and your partner try to pretend like it's no big deal, it is.  Talk about coitus interruptus!  Thanks for that diabetes.

Emotional drivers for lows
Recently, my husband figured something out - and this was a huge "ah-ha" (and I don't know why we didn't think of this before!).  He discovered by testing his sugars directly before, and then directly after we had sex, that his numbers consistently dropped 100 points or more when we'd made love.  We never would have guessed it was that much!  And we're not talking aerobic, crazy sex, just normal... the good stuff.  I know people talk about this being attributed to the exercise involved in the activity, but we've come to realize that it's more than that ... it's actually more related to the emotional state of relaxation and happiness that makes my husband's numbers drop.  Throw the exercise on top of that (and however much insulin he recently bolused), and you have a potent mix for a pretty good low.

In the past we used to check his sugars before sex, just to make sure he was in the normal range (i.e., somewhere over 100)... but now what we've figured out is that this isn't sufficient!  Where we thought he was good - say around 140 - having sex would drop him down to the 50s, 40s, and lower during our encounter.  We have discovered that he actually has to be in the high 100s/ low 200s for this to really work and for him to stay on an even keel during sex.  So now it's a trip to the kitchen for some juice prior to any action.  This kind of takes the spontaneity out of it, sure... but it can also become part of the anticipation.

And anyway, I'd much rather be secure in the knowledge that my husband's not going to disappear during sex and become the low version of himself that I need to deal with.  I also will know that we will be seeing things through to completion... no interruptus involved.  If you know what I mean.  :)

1 comment:

  1. We have found that emotions can (but of course, not always) swing spouses BGL quite a bit. We have always thought about the movies we watch and anticipate a low or high, based on how gripping and emotional the movie was. Popcorn/check, Soda/check, Test equipment/check...
    35 yrs as spouse of T1