Mon | Dec 5, 2016

Dear doc: Did diabetes make my husband cheat?

Published:Sunday | August 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Q Doctor, should I forgive my husband who has cheated on me? I am asking you this because there are medical problems involved which maybe you could explain.

We have been married for 10 years. I thought it was a very happy marriage, and certainly, I have never even considered going with another man. I love my husband dearly. And he tells me several times a day that he loves me.

In the past, I have had proof of his faithfulness. Five years ago, my best friend betrayed me by trying to seduce him. I am glad to say that she failed, because he rejected her sexual advances and refused to sleep with her. Naturally, she is no longer my best friend!

Unfortunately, two years ago, he developed diabetes and, because of that, he has to take daily insulin injections. Sometimes, these make him behave oddly. For instance, one night he appeared to be drunk at the wheel of our car, and crashed. The police nearly arrested him, until it became clear that he had not had any alcohol, and that it was the diabetes that was making him behave strangely.

Well Doc, about a month ago, he had to go to Kingston on business and stay overnight. He checked into a hotel and, when he called me, I thought his voice seemed a little slurred. But he did say that he loved me.

In the middle of the night, the hotel manager called me and said that my husband had caused a big fuss and had been screaming and shouting at a 'room service' waiter and throwing plates. Apparently, when the staff went to investigate, they found my husband in bed with a prostitute. The end result was that he was thrown out of that hotel and spent the night in a park.

When he came home the next day, he confirmed what the manager had said. Apparently, high-class prostitutes sometimes frequent the lobby of that hotel. He told me that he did not know why he had allowed one of them to 'pick him up'. He just said that he had felt 'confused'. However, he did admit that he had sex with the woman.

Doctor, he says that he is very sorry, but I do not know if I should forgive him. I have been very distressed by this.

A: I am sure you have. But I am encouraged to hear that apparently the two of you still love each other.

The medical issue here is that your husband has 'insulin-dependent' diabetes. It is quite clear that he has been getting what are called severe 'hypos'.

A 'hypo' is an episode in which a person's blood sugar gets very low. It is caused by too much insulin and too little food. That can easily happen, particularly when the patient is away from home and having irregular meals.

The symptoms of a 'hypo' can be very dramatic. Persons can become confused and start doing silly things. They may be very argumentative and, if they are in a public place, people may think they are drunk. Unconsciousness may follow.

Very importantly, some diabetics do become sexually uninhibited when their blood sugar level is very low. They can even be so confused that they don't know whom they are going to bed with.

So I think it is quite likely that, when your husband was in the hotel in Kingston, he was almost in a state of temporary insanity because of his low blood sugar. Therefore, it seems to me that you would be justified in forgiving him for going with that prostitute.

But it is very important that your husband gets his diabetes under better control. He cannot go through life having frequent 'hypos', especially if they make him throw plates at people and fall into bed with just about anyone.

Therefore, I urge you to take him to see a doctor who is experienced in diabetes and its management. That doctor can adjust his insulin regime and his diet and teach him how to control his blood sugar through regular testing.

Finally, it is a sad fact that professional sex workers do tend to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So your man should have tests carried out for STIs in case he picked one up from that lady.

And if you have had sex with him since his trip to the Corporate Area, then you also should have tests. I hope that all the results will be negative.

Q My doctor put me on Viagra and it has worked very well for me. Doc, could I occasionally give my wife one of the pills to kind of 'perk up' her sex drive?

I thought I could put it in her food without telling her.

A Please do not do this. Viagra is NOT licensed for use in women. A lot of research has been done into whether it could help females. But, unfortunately, all it seems to do is to increase the volume of vaginal secretions.

Furthermore, to put a drug in your wife's food without telling her would be a criminal offence.

Q My doctor wants to put me on that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) thing. Is it true that it will instantly increase my desire for sex as I have heard?

A No. That is a popular myth. HRT is very good for treating certain symptoms like hot flashes and sweating attacks. But it does not increase sexual desire. However, it does make some women feel so much better physically that they may feel more keen on having sex.

Q I have a girlfriend in Port Antonio. She does not like condoms. So I use what I think they call 'withdrawal'. In other words, I 'pull out' at the last moment so that I orgasm over her thigh or belly.

Can I assume this is pretty safe?

A Not really. Worldwide, millions of couples use this method. It is certainly better than nothing. But it often fails and the woman ends up pregnant.

As your partner doesn't want to use male condoms, could you interest her in employing the female one? It is pretty acceptable to a lot of women who dislike the 'ordinary' condom. It is easily obtainable at the large pharmacy near to where your girlfriend lives.

Q I am a guy of 33 and I am about to get married. Our only problem is that my fiancée does not orgasm during intercourse. She can do it at other times. I am sure that my previous girlfriend used to climax while I was actually having sex with her. So is there something wrong with my fiancée?

A No, there isn't. Many people believe that a woman should always orgasm during intercourse itself. But this is not true. Research has shown that only around 30 per cent of females regularly orgasm during actual intercourse. About 70 per cent are like your fiancée and need stimulation of the clitoris to make them climax.