Carb Counting King

Thank you to everyone who offered kind words and support after my post the other day.  The day proceeded to get a little worse but in a way that had nothing to do with diabetes and managed to bring things into perspective for both of us.  Each day will bring new challenges and as a parent, I have to work at letting go and saying just enough without making him feel as defeated as he did on Wednesday.

Not all days are that dark or frustrating however.  Over the past week we have had a new competition of sorts going on.  When my son and I eat together, he will usually wait for me to give him the carb count for his meal.  He is more than capable of doing this on his own and does a decent job when he is away from me, but when we eat together he enjoys the break…or so I thought! Now I think I am just a source of amusement for him.

I came to this realization the other day.  I analyzed his meal.  I totalled carbs, subtracted fiber, guesstimated weights, and after a number of minutes came up with a total.  He then said “I could have told you that without all of that work.”  I laughed at him and said “yeah right!” and so the battle lines were drawn.

He swore that while I added, subtracted and multiplied, he just “knew” what he needed to bolus.  As the competition began, I would no longer say the carb counts out loud (which I do both to help him learn and to bounce ideas off of him).  I quietly would get my total and then ask him for his.

The first time we did this I grinned as I asked him his total. It was a large meal and there was no way to just look and know.  He replied “129”.  My jaw dropped as that was the exact calculation that I had arrived at.  Darn, maybe he was onto something!

We did this a few more times–smoke rising from my ears as I did the math, and the calm coolness of Mr. “I just know”.  He was usually within 5g of carbohydrates.  I had taught him well or he eats the same on a regular basis but these meals were not his usual fair.  I was impressed.  His super carb counting skills came to a crash last night however.  I asked him his guess while knowing the answer.  He came up over 100 carbs too high!

I told him that he had just overdosed himself. Mom wins! He just shrugged in his usual manner and vowed to win the next round.  We may have our downs but strange diabetes games like this bring smiles to both of us and make me feel a whole lot better because I see that he really is learning.  crown

Carb Counting King

Thank you to everyone who offered kind words and support after my post the other day.  The day proceeded to get a little worse but in a way that had nothing to do with diabetes and managed to bring things into perspective for both of us.  Each day will bring new challenges and as a parent, I have to work at letting go and saying just enough without making him feel as defeated as he did on Wednesday.
Not all days are that dark or frustrating however.  Over the past week we have had a new competition of sorts going on.  When my son and I eat together, he will usually wait for me to give him the carb count for his meal.  He is more than capable of doing this on his own and does a decent job when he is away from me, but when we eat together he enjoys the break…or so I thought! Now I think I am just a source of amusement for him.
I came to this realization the other day.  I analyzed his meal.  I totalled carbs, subtracted fiber, guesstimated weights, and after a number of minutes came up with a total.  He then said “I could have told you that without all of that work.”  I laughed at him and said “yeah right!” and so the battle lines were drawn.
He swore that while I added, subtracted and multiplied, he just “knew” what he needed to bolus.  As the competition began, I would no longer say the carb counts out loud (which I do both to help him learn and to bounce ideas off of him).  I quietly would get my total and then ask him for his.
The first time we did this I grinned as I asked him his total. It was a large meal and there was no way to just look and know.  He replied “129″.  My jaw dropped as that was the exact calculation that I had arrived at.  Darn, maybe he was onto something!
We did this a few more times–smoke rising from my ears as I did the math, and the calm coolness of Mr. “I just know”.  He was usually within 5g of carbohydrates.  I had taught him well or he eats the same on a regular basis but these meals were not his usual fair.  I was impressed.  His super carb counting skills came to a crash last night however.  I asked him his guess while knowing the answer.  He came up over 100 carbs too high!
I told him that he had just overdosed himself. Mom wins! He just shrugged in his usual manner and vowed to win the next round.  We may have our downs but strange diabetes games like this bring smiles to both of us and make me feel a whole lot better because I see that he really is learning.  crown

Make it go away…

Today I had a conversation with my son that left me both devastated and frustrated. I know that he is just being a teen. I know that he is trying to exasperate me…and he succeeded.

My son has a diabetes clinic appointment coming up in a few days.  Neither of us are excited by this event.  We don’t really get a lot out of it and the wait times are crazy.  He can’t wait until he doesn’t have to go anymore. I reminded him that he will always have to go to have prescriptions refilled, etc.He was not impressed. I have told him that I have to do the same thing but that does not appease him.  We have been doing this since he was 2 and he wants to see an end date.

We discussed the fact that he had to attend his clinic appointments because  he needed a doctor to sign off on his driver’s licence in the fall. I don’t know what exactly is involved in the licensing procedure but I am pretty sure that his doctor has to give him the okay.  My son then asked if his licence would be restricted.  I assumed it would, just as a person with glasses must wear glasses, someone using insulin will have to be using their insulin.

He was not completely appeased but was doing okay until a little later on.  He was complaining about his being hot feet and stated that he should run around barefoot all of the time.  I said that that may not be the best idea.  He said it was fine for the Indians! I said that they were not running on insulin and he had to watch his feet.

That was the final straw for him.  He asked why he should even bother to get out of bed in the morning? He would have to watch his feet for the rest of his life.  He has to check his blood each time before he could drive.  What is the point to any of it? If he was born years ago, they would have left him to die and maybe that was the right thing!

I wanted to cry (and still do).  I wanted to scream–are you crazy!!!???? I almost lost you once! That is NOT the sort of talk I want to hear EVER!

I tried not to be mad. I tried to understand but I simply said, “Yep it sucks but that is your life and you will handle it.”

I know this is teen frustration. I know it will pass but he does scare me.  When he does not have me around, he doesn’t bother to test. He swears he can tell if he is high or low and he just wings it.  Yes, he probably can tell when he is running in range but the higher he runs himself the less sensitive he is and the more danger he skirts around. What will he do when he is on his own? The years are passing so quickly.

I have been sent an advanced copy of Moira McCarthy’s new book “Raising Teens with Diabetes”.  Perhaps she will have some strategies to help me cope. I think I could use a few about now. sad

Make it go away

Today I had a conversation with my son that left me both devastated and frustrated. I know that he is just being a teen. I know that he is trying to exasperate me…and he succeeded.
My son has a diabetes clinic appointment coming up in a few days.  Neither of us are excited by this event.  We don’t really get a lot out of it and the wait times are crazy.  He can’t wait until he doesn’t have to go anymore. I reminded him that he will always have to go to have prescriptions refilled, etc.He was not impressed. I have told him that I have to do the same thing but that does not appease him.  We have been doing this since he was 2 and he wants to see an end date.
We discussed the fact that he had to attend his clinic appointments because  he needed a doctor to sign off on his driver’s licence in the fall. I don’t know what exactly is involved in the licensing procedure but I am pretty sure that his doctor has to give him the okay.  My son then asked if his licence would be restricted.  I assumed it would, just as a person with glasses must wear glasses, someone using insulin will have to be using their insulin.
He was not completely appeased but was doing okay until a little later on.  He was complaining about his being hot feet and stated that he should run around barefoot all of the time.  I said that that may not be the best idea.  He said it was fine for the Indians! I said that they were not running on insulin and he had to watch his feet.
That was the final straw for him.  He asked why he should even bother to get out of bed in the morning? He would have to watch his feet for the rest of his life.  He has to check his blood each time before he could drive.  What is the point to any of it? If he was born years ago, they would have left him to die and maybe that was the right thing!
I wanted to cry (and still do).  I wanted to scream–are you crazy!!!???? I almost lost you once! That is NOT the sort of talk I want to hear EVER!
I tried not to be mad. I tried to understand but I simply said, “Yep it sucks but that is your life and you will handle it.”
I know this is teen frustration. I know it will pass but he does scare me.  When he does not have me around, he doesn’t bother to test. He swears he can tell if he is high or low and he just wings it.  Yes, he probably can tell when he is running in range but the higher he runs himself the less sensitive he is and the more danger he skirts around. What will he do when he is on his own? The years are passing so quickly.
I have been sent an advanced copy of Moira McCarthy’s new book “Raising Teens with Diabetes”.  Perhaps she will have some strategies to help me cope. I think I could use a few about now. sad

D-Math Muddle

There should be a warning in life to prepare you, some sort of course you could take, or as my son would suggest–an app that would do all of your diabetes related math. I can handle adding up carbs in a meal. I can subtract fiber.  I can even follow the formula for an extended bolus.  I can establish the carb factor for many homemade meals.  Figuring out how much basal my son needs at certain times can however be a nightmare!

Last night he had the brilliant idea of taking off his pump before a workout.  He planned to use the “disconnect” feature which gives him part of his missing basal upfront and then the rest at a specific time so that there is no basal missed when the pump is off. Smart kid! The only problem was he was high before disconnecting.  Do we correct the high? Probably not because he is exercising.  He has a cold.  His body is fighting germs.  Exercise may not be enough to cut it.  The pump of course gave a suggestion for the correction but it hadn’t factored in those two key details.  Mom had no mathematical formula to do this with so my solution? Wing it! Take a smaller correction and hope for the best!

The next question came in the form of how much basal to you deliver before exercising? He figured he would be untether for about 45 minutes but the pump would only allow 50% of the basal rate.  Was he going to need all of his basal rate when he was going to be exercising anyway? Probably not. Where is that calculator that will tell me how much he will burn while exercising to the Body Beast as well as completing his own routine? Oh yeah, its more of the “Mom Guess” formula. Joy!

I assume my guesses did okay.  He was 7 (136) at 3am and woke up at 4(72).  My pancreatic skills sufficed for that round of exercise.  Let’s hope I am as brilliant for today’s battle. Math-problems-

D-Math Muddle

There should be a warning in life to prepare you, some sort of course you could take, or as my son would suggest–an app that would do all of your diabetes related math. I can handle adding up carbs in a meal. I can subtract fiber.  I can even follow the formula for an extended bolus.  I can establish the carb factor for many homemade meals.  Figuring out how much basal my son needs at certain times can however be a nightmare!
Last night he had the brilliant idea of taking off his pump before a workout.  He planned to use the “disconnect” feature which gives him part of his missing basal upfront and then the rest at a specific time so that there is no basal missed when the pump is off. Smart kid! The only problem was he was high before disconnecting.  Do we correct the high? Probably not because he is exercising.  He has a cold.  His body is fighting germs.  Exercise may not be enough to cut it.  The pump of course gave a suggestion for the correction but it hadn’t factored in those two key details.  Mom had no mathematical formula to do this with so my solution? Wing it! Take a smaller correction and hope for the best!
The next question came in the form of how much basal to you deliver before exercising? He figured he would be untether for about 45 minutes but the pump would only allow 50% of the basal rate.  Was he going to need all of his basal rate when he was going to be exercising anyway? Probably not. Where is that calculator that will tell me how much he will burn while exercising to the Body Beast as well as completing his own routine? Oh yeah, its more of the “Mom Guess” formula. Joy!
I assume my guesses did okay.  He was 7 (136) at 3am and woke up at 4(72).  My pancreatic skills sufficed for that round of exercise.  Let’s hope I am as brilliant for today’s battle. Math-problems-

Sleep Guilt

Do you ever feel guilty for sleeping? The other night, I was in bed and really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I am a night-time tester and have been since diagnosis. I know some people do not believe in a need to test at night and that is their choice.  For me, night testing is not a choice but a job that I must do to keep my son safe, healthy and alive each night.

I know how important this is to me.  I know that there are nights that I have woken up at unexplained times to find him low and dropping.  I know that I have checked at other times and found him high or with site problems that I was able to stop before they turned into ketone issues.

I am very conscious of how “lucky” I am to be able to test my son at night. I know that there are parents who have lost their children to diabetes that would gladly take my place for a few nights.

I should be used to interrupted sleep. I have not slept through the night since the before the birth of my first son.  He was a terrible sleeper who never slept through the night until he was six years old! Waking, walking, testing, and going back to sleep to do it all over again a few hours later should be habit and simple.

Despite all of that, I often feel guilty when I wake up and don’t want to get up.  When I have those moments of decision–when was the last time he was tested? What was his reading? What are the odds of there being a problem right now? Do I need to test yet or can I doze off for another hour?

Sometimes those questions simply make sense.  It may have been three hours since I went to bed but I know that my night owl teen has only been asleep for an hour and he normally does remember to test before he goes to bed.  He also knows to tell me if there is a problem before he goes to sleep. It may therefore be safe to sleep a little while longer. Sometimes, those questions are purely selfish. My bed is warm.  My body is in a pleasant state of relaxation and I really don’t want to disturb it. It’s at that point that I feel guilty.

Getting up is my job. It is not one that I would have chosen but its the role that I have been given and it is very important.  My son will sleep through almost anything except the worst of highs.  Some days I wish it was different but as I have said before, everyone has something to deal with.  This is our “something” and honestly, the alternative is not worth a thought. So I live with the guilt of sometimes not wanting to get up.  I push past it and do my job–the job of a parent of a children with diabetes.  fight the d monster

Sleep Guilt

Do you ever feel guilty for sleeping? The other night, I was in bed and really wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. I am a night-time tester and have been since diagnosis. I know some people do not believe in a need to test at night and that is their choice.  For me, night testing is not a choice but a job that I must do to keep my son safe, healthy and alive each night.
I know how important this is to me.  I know that there are nights that I have woken up at unexplained times to find him low and dropping.  I know that I have checked at other times and found him high or with site problems that I was able to stop before they turned into ketone issues.
I am very conscious of how “lucky” I am to be able to test my son at night. I know that there are parents who have lost their children to diabetes that would gladly take my place for a few nights.
I should be used to interrupted sleep. I have not slept through the night since the before the birth of my first son.  He was a terrible sleeper who never slept through the night until he was six years old! Waking, walking, testing, and going back to sleep to do it all over again a few hours later should be habit and simple.
Despite all of that, I often feel guilty when I wake up and don’t want to get up.  When I have those moments of decision–when was the last time he was tested? What was his reading? What are the odds of there being a problem right now? Do I need to test yet or can I doze off for another hour?
Sometimes those questions simply make sense.  It may have been three hours since I went to bed but I know that my night owl teen has only been asleep for an hour and he normally does remember to test before he goes to bed.  He also knows to tell me if there is a problem before he goes to sleep. It may therefore be safe to sleep a little while longer. Sometimes, those questions are purely selfish. My bed is warm.  My body is in a pleasant state of relaxation and I really don’t want to disturb it. It’s at that point that I feel guilty.
Getting up is my job. It is not one that I would have chosen but its the role that I have been given and it is very important.  My son will sleep through almost anything except the worst of highs.  Some days I wish it was different but as I have said before, everyone has something to deal with.  This is our “something” and honestly, the alternative is not worth a thought. So I live with the guilt of sometimes not wanting to get up.  I push past it and do my job–the job of a parent of a children with diabetes.  fight the d monster

Blog Week LOVE!

Spread the Love – Sunday 5/19 Link List

Wow Day 7 of Diabetes Blog week already! I apologize for missing out on yesterday’s Art Day.  Its a long weekend here in Canada and honestly…I am enjoying a country weekend with limited internet access and creative supplies. I did not want to miss sharing some of my favorite new blog finds however.

I have always enjoyed the honestly and talents of Diabetes Blog Week founder and organizer Karen Graffeo.  After reading Scott Benner’s new book “Life is Short, Laundry is Eternal”, I have also taken the opportunity to look at his blog “Arden’s Day“.   

This week I made sure to check in on many of these and other great diabetes bloggers. I was touched by Scott of “Rolling in the D”s day 4 post on “coming out of hiding“.  I was so happy when reading about the favorite D-memory on Nacho Blog.  I hope my son will have such an amazing employer!

Finally, I got the chance to sit and read posts by Mike of “My Diabetic Heart”.  While I have followed his tweet for some time, I don’t often have a chance to click on his posts but after reading this wonderful post from Day 2, I definitely will make the effort to do so in the future!

Thank you everyone who shared this week and I am looking forward more amazing reads!

Better the Devil I know

 

Day 5 and today’s prompt..Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

This may seem weird, but I would not trade for any other chronic disease.  Each one has its challenges and struggles.  I think of people I know with asthma–they have to carry inhalers at all times and never know when an attack could strike.  They do not always occur during the day.  If an attack happened at night, would someone be there to help?

There is epilepsy.  My aunt and uncle both live with this disease.  My uncle has been seizure free for enough years now to be able to drive and live a “normal” life but the fear of never knowing when one could hit? The embarrassment they sometimes feel afterwards? No thank you.

There is celiac.  That would be easy right? Wrong.  I have considered trying a gluten free diet and then I looked at all of the “stuff” that you have to stay away from.  Its bad enough reading carb counts, watching fat and dealing with fiber and protein but looking for hidden ingredients in food? Add to that the high cost of those foods without gluten  No, I think diabetes will do. Granted with celiacs, you don’t have to carry around “stuff” but you have to be on your toes with every ingredient in every piece of food you think about eating.

Diabetes sucks. I hate dealing with it. I would love a cure but as they say “better the devil you know”! Has this devil given me a new respect for other chronic diseases? Absolutely! Before life with diabetes, I know I took things for granted.  Now when I sit down to a meal with someone and we don’t have to count the carbs or deal with bg levels, I almost feel like something is wrong! Its not normal to do that–not to test or calculate!

I better understand parents who struggle for school supports for their children.  I “get” adults who need time off work for health related issues. I hurt for those who have to struggle to get medications and medical devices paid for by insurance or public health care systems. I value my health in a new light. I appreciate each day in a way that I did not before diabetes.  We are all (usually) happy to be alive but knowing how fickle diabetes can be, brings that happiness and gratitude to a new level.

Do I attribute this empathy with the DOC? Honestly, probably not.  It comes from life experience–watching my son nearly die.  The diabetes online community has brought people into my life who have situations that have made me work harder as an advocate.  It has brought stories that keep me aware of how deadly this disease is.  Most importantly, it has brought me friends and people who also have learned greater empathy and strength because of this beast. Florida Vacation July 2007 110