Carb Counting with a Teen

With Christmas only a few days away,  I decided to do some serious Christmas baking today. You know, making double batches of things, making more than one recipe per day and actually having food leftover at the end of the day that my two young men have not devoured? 

I really didn’t go overboard–some sugar cookies (that I actually iced!) and a cake mix that became cupcakes but all in all it does make me look like a bit of a domestic goddess…in my mind at least!

As I was icing my cupcakes, I began to estimate carb counts.  Most likely the cupcakes would run around 25 grams a piece.  The cookies would depend on which shape he chose. I had used Splenda for part of the sugar.  That would change things a bit too. 

Now the “good” diabetes mom would make sure that my son weighed each cookie.  I would have the carb factor out (which is listed on my recipe) and we would know exactly how much each cookie would be.  I have given this advice to many parents.  Its much easier and more accurate that WAG’ing each piece of food. 

The “slacker” diabetes mom who lives with a teen boy who eats for more hours than I am awake knows that apart from standing over all pieces of food and shoving a scale in my son’s face, that WAG is going to cover way more carbs than an exact measurement.  The cookie that is eaten as I am making supper will have a proper carb count because I will see him and yell out “WEIGH THAT!”  before he has a chance to stuff it completely in his mouth.  The cupcakes that he has after supper will also have a correct count because I will again have cleared my throat as he sat down, asking him where the scale is. After that? All bets are off. With a small bit of luck he will use the accurate measures as his guide for guessing the next dozen cookies that he eats.  


If he is off, he will most likely be high.  This should freak out the “good” diabetes mom but she is busy banging her head against the wall of her bedroom. You see her son has already told her that being 16 mmol (288 mgdl) all day long is really no big deal and certainly not worth an injection or a new site.  

Bring on the eggnog to help me through!!

Merry Christmas and Good Blood Glucose Levels to all!

Once again…

Why did I get such perverse pleasure from my son freaking out about his blood glucose dropping and my relatively cavalier attitude? Because this week brought us back full circle to Mom freaking out at him and him basically wishing that I would simply go away or at least give up the rant. 

Once again, I looked at his meter.  Once again all of those readings that he supposedly had but could not remember five minutes later were because HE DID NOT TEST!!!! Once again I lost it. Once again I yelled. Once again I told him that I HATE being lied to. Once again I said that he cannot be trusted.  Once again I wanted to sit and cry.  Once again I worried about the future. 

I still want to cry. I still am frustrated.  I still hate diabetes more and more.  My son is a teen. I get that.  He has a serious case of “teen brain”. I get that too. He is not my first teenage son but thankfully he is my last. 

I hate that no matter what diabetes is there wreaking some sort of havoc in our lives.  There have been a lot of changes in our lives recently. I have a lot of other “stuff” on my mind. I am trying to create a new business.  I am dealing with new budgetary issues. There is Christmas coming up, my car that needed brakes and tires and so much more of life’s daily challenges. I really did not have a lot of time to sit and hover over my son to make sure that he was testing when I asked.  It would appear that I needed to make time but… I DON’T WANT TO!!

I am tired of being the diabetes police. I am tired of testing, bolusing and counting carbs. I am tired of waking up in the middle of the night and convincing myself that I do not want to roll over and go back to sleep.  What I really want to do is to get out of bed, wander down the hallway, find my son’s glucometer and test him. 

No I don’t!! I want to have a “normal” life. I want to worry about him being happy.  I don’t want to have to be the one to remind him that when he looks at his budget in career class, he needs to make sure that he can afford the extra $400+ per month required to keep him alive. I don’t want to be the person to say “I don’t think that career will pay you enough.” “Do you think you will have good medical benefits with that job?” 

These aren’t conversations that I have with my other son. My biggest concern with him is that he spend all of his money on restaurants and exotic groceries.   

We have been doing this diabetes thing for almost 13 years.  Some parts are easier…and some parts remain frustrating. Despite that, I am done. I am tired. I want off of this ride.  We have been on it for too long and knowing that my son will never get off tips me closer to the edge.

Once again I rant and scream. Once again it will change nothing. Once again I will breathe.  Once again my son will test in front of me. Once again I will pray that he truly “gets it”…one day. 


Mom’s Revenge

I heard my bedroom door bang open and lights suddenly filled my room. My youngest son was standing over me thrusting his pump into my sleeping face. 

“What does this mean?”

“Its telling you how many carbs you need to correct your low. Are you low?”

“No I’m high.”

Now I was puzzled. What the heck did he mean that he was high when the pump was telling him to eat? The answer was relatively simple. It turns out that he was higher still earlier in the evening. He had corrected and now the pump felt that he was dropping way too fast and he needed a lot of carbs to cover the drop.

I told him not to worry about it. I would try to wake up and test him in a few hours. 

“A few hours!!!! Are you kidding? I could be dead by then!!!” my son’s pitch quickly escalated to panic and I was mildly amused.

“You won’t die.  You wake up to your lows now remember?” 

“I woke up to a few! It was a fluke!! You can’t risk my life because I might wake up! You have to stay awake. You have to test me!!!” 


Yes, I was enjoying torturing him.  He never takes diabetes seriously. He rarely ever shows concern about any diabetes related emergencies (or much else actually).  This was an entire new spin on a disease that we have lived with for too long. Normally it was me freaking out at him! 

Finally, I felt bad for him (and actually began to wonder if the pump could be right and we were heading for a serious drop).  I told him to have a sandwich and not bolus for it.  I would test him later.

He stomped off to the kitchen and got some food. I then heard him head back into his room where he continued his tirade with his older brother as his new audience. I could hear him stating that he could die and his brother had better stay awake because his mother wasn’t! And did he mention that he could DIE!

I am pleased to state that he did not die.  The sandwich he ate kept him up through any unforeseen peaks in his insulin.  I didn’t get a lot of sleep and but we both made it through another sleepless night with diabetes!