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!

Happy Holidays

Every day I have meant to sit down here and write about so many things. There has been rumblings of advocates in Ontario wanting to see change in schools. There has been my own research and internal battle on whether or not to get a CGMS for my son…and of course there has been the diabetes roller coaster ride that just never seems to end.

The past 24 hours however have had me recollecting “Christmas with diabetes”. Times have changed a lot over the years. We no longer wake Liam up to eat at certain times or require that meals be at a set point in the day with a fixed carb value. This year his teacher gave him a box of Rollo chocolates for Christmas and his breakfast was a diet root beer that he found in his stocking–at true breakfast of champions! He was woke up when Mom was tired of staring at the gifts and wanted company. Brunch consisted of eggs, turkey bacon, toast and chocolates. Our Christmas dinner was a never ending plate of potatoes, stuffing, salads, and turkey with diet Pepsi in a wine glass and apple crisp to top it all off. His pump was steady trying to keep up with the next plate full of food but I guarantee the child is not hungry this evening!

There has been a bit of extra testing today has he embarked on some Wii mountain climbing and high powered dirt biking. After listening to my ceiling rattle and waiting for things to cave in, I felt that a bit of testing might be a good idea. Ironically all was fine!

There were some things that reminded me that our lives are a little different because of diabetes however. Last night I chose to take my kids to Christmas Eve mass. We are not a religious family but its a tradition upheld by friends and one that I felt would be nice to continue with my children. The families all walked over to the Church. Liam needed to test once we found a pew but was concerned about the noise of the meter. I turned off the “beep” and he tested. I am sure whoever vacuumed in there today found a stray test strip. It would have jumped from his pocket I know it! He was running a little high and it was noticed by the family we were spending the evening with. They were shocked to see Liam have only one piece of pie. My dear friend finally turned to him and asked “Who are you and what did you do with our Liam?” Liam said “I am high and I just can’t really eat right now.”

You have to know how odd that would sound if you didn’t live with diabetes! Thankfully they have been around us for the past 12 years and are fully aware that it is not a big deal for my 12 year old to be “high”. Well they know its a problem and they understand that he doesn’t feel well but they are not searching for drug paraphernalia or calling child protective services.

I have done a lot of personal reflection over this holiday season and its amazing how far we have come. Diabetes, the teen years, and puberty continue to threaten my sanity but with the many advances in care and the support of new and old friends–we are truly blessed and will somehow make it through this ride stronger and richer for the experience.

Happy holidays to one and all and thank you for being their for us!