When Sugar Bear was diagnosed we were given at the hospital a little booklet that travels in his kit. We also were blessed with some iphones from my in-laws and between those two things we can figure out how many carbohydrates are in a meal for our little guy. And then the learning took off.
Type 1 Diabetes is a never ending, constant source of emotional battering. From highs and lows, to regular doctors appointments, to worries about long term complications, and social impacts and it all centers around food. Go to the movies and there is popcorn. Go on a date and you'll probably go out to dinner. Friends have a party and there will inevitably be numerous foods (not necessarily "healthy") to choose from. Want to do something healthy like exercise? Better test and adjust carb and insulin intake. Ever been on a diet or told you shouldn't eat a particular food? It becomes the elephant in the room. It's all you can think about. It's all you want even if you KNOW it's BAD for you. Can you go one time winning that craving? How about 100 times? A thousand? With Sugar Bear we have taken the very sound advice from another parent of a child with type 1: Child first, diabetes second. It doesn't mean that diabetes isn't part of the equation. It most certainly is. But when we weigh how to operate or treat him, we err on would we act a different way if he didn't have diabetes? If the answer is yes, then we have to figure it out. We have to do it. So we SWAG (scientific wild a## guess) that popcorn he had watching a movie with his friends because they wanted popcorn and so did he. We indulge in ice cream to celebrate moving up a grade. And he gets chocolates and candies at Easter, Halloween,and Christmas. He'll get to eat all his carby starchy favorites at Thanksgiving. And he can most definitely have cake on his birthday. It becomes about covering with insulin not making him feel different. Diabetes already makes him feel different enough with testing 6-10 times a day and having to take a shot 4-6 times a day. Feeling awful with highs and lows. Oh, yea, and doing math just to eat. This doesn't mean he doesn't have limits. We all do. Everything in moderation and sometimes even moderation. Will we let him sit down and eat the entire Trick or Treat bag in one sitting? Um, definitely not. But we wouldn't want him to do that even if he didn't have diabetes. Will we make him feel guilty for wanting to? Nope. But he will get to have it. We will plan accordingly.