Living under a Microscope

Carter and Ashleigh Park
Ashleigh and Carter, hanging out at the park – April 2013

These days, it certainly feels like I am living under a microscope when it comes to my sons Type 1 Diabetes.  Having to be in touch with his Endocrinology team every couple of days to discuss what he is eating, how his blood glucose numbers are, etc., it feels like I am always cramming for the final.  It can be discouraging when you speak with the “team” and they question everything you are doing, however in the end this is the only way they can gain the knowledge they need for your particular situation.  The most interesting as of late is the latest conversation I had with a nurse who suggested I speak with the nutritionist because they didn’t see enough variety on Carter’s log.  I should point out that the log consisted of a fine balance of foods, but the one food that was on there the most was sweet potato.  This nurse acted like the most consumed item was donuts.  I listened to her suggestion and reminded her that I have a 19 month old who, at this stage of his life is pretty particular with the foods he likes to consume and as his pallet expands, the possibilities will be endless.  She agreed and understood, and then went on to ask me why he had a couple of high numbers, basically what had I done differently.  That’s the thing, I hadn’t done anything differently, and again I know that they mean well and are gathering information in order to change his dosages of insulin, but it’s such a fine dance we do with young children who are diagnosed.  Everything they put in their mouths is our responsibility, and though we do our best to feed them well-balanced meals, at this age I find myself grasping at any carb my son will consume as we hover at the 1 hour mark since I gave him the insulin shot… know that fast acting insulin that takes effect in 30 minutes, right, now he is 1 hour in which means unless I cover those extra 20 grams of carb that I accounted for when preparing the shot Carter will plummet too low and we risk a coma.  So these days, though I make pork chops and dressing with peas and applesauce, Carter’s log shows pork chops, applesauce, yogurt, and a Hawaiian dinner roll.  Because let’s be honest here, when push comes to shove, if your child is refusing all healthy carbs, in order to avoid using the Glucagon pen, I will feed him whatever carbs he will consume.

4 thoughts on “Living under a Microscope”

  1. UGH… I know your endo team means well, but they don’t live with this 24/7. They have no idea what it’s like, especially with the little ones. You can’t make a toddler eat what they don’t want to.

    Right now you have to depend on the endo to help you make adjustments, but it won’t always be that way. To me it sounds like your son eats just fine for a 19 month old!

    BTW, when Elise was first dx’d, they told me I had to stop nursing her. I refused and it never seemed to affect her numbers. You know what’s best for your little guy.

    1. Joanne, exactly! I can’t believe they told you that you should stop nursing! It can be so frustrating, the comments, dripping with condescension because on paper diabetes acts a certain way. You are so right, they don’t live with this day in and day out, thank goodness we have our instincts to rely on. 🙂 Good for you for sticking to your guns about the nursing! Your babies are lucky! 🙂

  2. Hi Alyson,

    I sounds like our sons & families started this journey at about the same time. Our son Drew(9) was diagnosed on Nov. 20th last year. I can only imagine the extra challenges of this disease with a 2 yr old. Thank you for putting into words the many ways that Diabetes can make you feel. Sending love and good thoughts your way.. Keep doing all the great things you are doing for your son.

    1. Hi Rita,

      I can’t believe Drew and Carter were diagnosed on the exact same day. So sorry to hear that your son was diagnosed, and I can imagine that as you are closer to puberty there may be challenges you will encounter that I have years to prepare for. Thank you so much for your kind words, as you know, being only 2.5 months in yourself it certainly is a different world. I am hopeful that with each day all us “diabetes parents” will gain the knowledge, as well as the peace we need to get through each day. Thank you so much for sharing your story Rita!

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