How can I get my husband to check his blood sugar?

William Lee Dubois
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

Ahhhhh… now that is a tricky one! I love these kinds of questions! OK, it’s clear to me that he doesn’t check his blood sugar, and it's also clear that you understand that it’s important that he does.

In a perfect world we’d get him on the couch with Freud and find out what his malfunction is. Of course Freud is dead. Who else can we use? Have you asked him what the issue is?

You might have, of course. But if you haven’t asked yet, you should. There might be a good reason, or at least a reason that seems good to him. I need to remind everyone that men and women think differently, and even if you don’t agree with the other gender’s view, it doesn’t make it less valid. So if he gives you a reason that seems silly to you, you need to bite your tongue, respect his view and help him to find a solution.

Now people don’t test for lots of reasons. A common one, is that if you haven’t been properly trained to do it, it can hurt. Hey, no one likes pain. If he’s finding the testing painful look to the lancing device. Most have variable depth settings. The perfect setting is one right between the swearing-like-a-sailor depth and the milking-the-finger-and-praying-for-blood depth. The idea is to get a small drop of blood with little or no discomfort and with little need to squeeze the finger. It may simply be that his depth is set too deeply.

Generally, larger numbers mean deeper lancing. Now, still on the pain theme, when was the last time anyone changed the little needle in the lancing device? Oh? Back when you changed the smoke detector batteries? So the folks that sell the needles want you to use a fresh one every time. Most of us don’t, and I don’t see any need to change that often. But they will get dull and you do need the change them. It depends on how tough your hide is, but a lance can get from 5 to 25 tests.

Another common reason that people don’t test is they haven’t been given any knowledge to use with the numbers. If he is only on oral meds he may feel he’s helpless to change his numbers. He’d not. He can study how various foods and activities change his blood sugar. It is a game. A puzzle to be solved. A battle to be won.

And if he’s just a stubborn old coot you can resort to any of the following: appeal to sense of loyalty (do it for me); bribe him (do it for something in the bedroom); or threaten him (do it or I’m outta here).

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

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