Internet Slams Family Blaming Man's Wife for Not Managing His Diabetes

Commenters on a popular internet forum slammed a person, who blamed their sister-in-law for their brother's declining health, because she was not helping him manage his diabetes.

The original poster (OP), known only as u/Throwaway7991J, posted about the situation in Reddit's popular r/AmITheA**hole forum where it garnered more than 9,000 upvotes and nearly 3,000 comments, with many criticizing the OP for blaming their sister-in-law after she had a hard time affording her husband's insulin.

In the post titled "AITA for telling my brother's wife she's responsible for his health declining" the OP explained that their brother, 30, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at a young age.

With type 1 diabetes, the individual's pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to maintain a healthy sugar level in the body. Without insulin, blood sugar cannot enter the cells, which can result in a harmful build up in the bloodstream.

Woman blamed for husband's diabetes
An anonymous user was slammed after posting in a popular internet forum that they blamed their sister-in-law for not managing their brother's diabetes. Natalie Karpenko/iStock

While less common than type 2 diabetes, more than 1.6 million Americans have type 1 diabetes, with about 65,000 new individuals diagnosed each year, the nonprofit Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation estimates.

In order to manage type 1 diabetes, it's important for individuals to check their blood sugar throughout the day with a finger prick and regulate blood-glucose levels by injecting insulin, with either a needle or a pump worn on the leg, arm, or abdomen.

In the United States, insulin prices have tripled in the past decade, leaving many struggling to afford their medications—even with insurance. Currently, a month's worth of insulin can cost individuals anywhere from $334 to $1,000, ABC News reported, citing a Kaiser Family Foundation report from 2020.

In March, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act, which would limit the out-of-pocket costs insured patients would have to pay for the medicine. However, the legislation still faces uncertain prospects in the evenly divided Senate among Democrats and Republicans.

The OP said that they grew up watching their parents manage their brother's condition for him, since he never came to terms with having diabetes. Over the years, the family took it upon themselves to watch and correct his eating habits and insulin intake.

When the family met his now wife, the poster explained that he can be "reckless" and "in denial" about his diabetes and that she needed to help them keep an eye on his health.

"She did her best at first but started caving in to his complaints about not being able to eat this or that or when he complains about his insulin intake and having to pay for it," the post read.

Over the past three months, the OP said their brother's health has declined and that he was in the hospital because of a hyperglycemic episode, which is caused by a lack of insulin, and nearly went into a diabetic coma.

"The reason for this was because he wasn't taking the right dosage of insulin. I talked to his wife and had an argument with her, she said he deliberately kept stretching out his insulin dosage to be able to save insulin and not have to buy it," the post explained.

The OP replied that their sister-in-law was responsible for keeping an eye on her husband and that while it was unfortunate that insurance is "screwed" she should have stopped him.

"She said I was being too hard on her but I told her that if he was doing this under the family's watch we wouldn't have allowed it and so she bears part of the blame for him staying in the hospital," the post read. "She started crying and asked for a minute for herself."

After going home from the hospital, the OP's dad called saying that their sister-in-law called him upset. The father told the OP that they shouldn't have said what they said to her.

"He said I have to apologize but I'm unsure wether [sic] I was completely at fault here because I feel there's a bit of neglect on her part," the post concluded.

Nearly 3,000 users commented on the post, with almost all in an agreeance that the OP was in the wrong and that their brother's health is his responsibility and no one else's.

"TLDR [too long; didn't read] of this is your brother is an adult. As such it is his responsibility alone to manage his health. His wife is there as a support, not as a nurse," one user commented, receiving nearly 30,000 upvotes. "Your parents failed him, and now he's failing himself. You taking it out on her is unjustified."

"She's his wife, not his mommy," another user commented. "Stop treating women like your caretakers."

Others mentioned that not only were the OP and their brother at fault, but the unreasonable price of insulin was to blame for the situation.

"OP is definitely TA because it definitely shouldn't be on the wife to manage her husband's condition," one user commented. "Brother is TA for refusing to manage the condition himself and once again the biggest A of all is the American healthcare system because who tf decided that something that people need to survive, and that the creator sold the patent for for only a dollar so people could access it for free, should be so expensive."

"I can't comprehend that people in your country have to pay for insulin and if they can't pay they die. And people fight for that system not to be changed. Like, literally does not compute," another comment read.

Newsweek reached out to u/Throwaway7991J for comment.