An Overview of BC’s New Insulin Pump Program

BC insulin pump program expandsThe internet has been abuzz. The provincial government of BC lived up to an election promise by removing the cap on its insulin pump program. There was celebrating in the streets…until the fine print of the new program was read.

You see, this program will be unlike any other program in the country.  It will be a two-tiered program that seems to favour one insulin pump company over the others.

The issue is complex and very emotionally charged. Let’s take a closer look and you can decide for yourself if this is a step in the right direction or a step on a new and slippery path.

No more age cap

This is big news.  Adults no longer have to pay for their insulin pump out of pocket if they don’t have private insurance.  One pumper I spoke with as spent almost $20,000 to purchase insulin pumps over the past 15 years.  That is a lot for an individual to come up with every 5 years.  It is not surprising that she sees this as a welcome relief!

A two-tiered program

This is the news that has some people scratching their heads and wondering if this is such a good program after all.

All residents with diabetes will be eligible for an Omnipod insulin pump and supplies under tier one.  There will be no deductible for this system.

If you do not want this insulin pump system and feel that a Medtronic insulin pump would be better suited for your needs, you will have to convince your doctor of this as well.  Under tier two, a portion of your insulin pump and supplies will be covered if your physician prescribes a tubed (Medtronic) insulin pump.  If you simply want to own a tubed pump but your doctor does not deem it medically necessary, you will have to pay all costs out of pocket.

You can read all of the details on the BC government website here.

A pump is better than no pump

There is a school of thought that any pump is better than no pump and I can agree with that.  If you want to use an insulin pump, then this is a fabulous option if you have no coverage. You can also work with your doctor to attempt to get some relief on a tubed insulin pump if that is your preference.

It’s a win for the little guy

Some people are claiming that this is a huge coup for the little guy.  The small insulin pump company Insulet is the preferred insulin pump for the province.  That is rather significant I will agree.

It’s a start

One thing that I always tell people who ask me for tips on advocacy is to think of their “ask” as a cookie.  Every piece of the cookie that you get is a step forward.  Often you don’t get the entire “ask” (cookie) at one go so you keep asking.  You keep enjoying each bite, knowing that you are working towards having that entire cookie.

Conclusion

For residents of BC, this is another step towards the ultimate cookie. There were pumps for kids. There were pumps for adults up to age 25 and now there are Omnipods for anyone who wants them and assistance on tier two, tubed pumps.  It another step towards the goal of coverage for everyone regardless of age who wishes to use a sensor-augmented insulin pump.

Congratulations BC residents on your new insulin pump program!

Why we need choice

choice is importantWhen I first decided to put my son on an insulin pump I was overwhelmed by the choices.  I wasn’t sure exactly what we needed in an insulin pump but I could get one from Roche or a different one from Animas.  There was one from Medtronic and there was a new pump in town, called Cozmo. Four choices to consider.

How was I going to decide?

With the help of friends! I was part of an incredible online email list that told me which pump they preferred.  I also talked sales reps who quickly became friends! They were all wonderful.  They guided me and told me which questions to ask…both of pump companies and of myself.

How much insulin did we need?

Well back then my son was only 5 and I was throwing out insulin on a regular basis so reservoir size wasn’t much of a concern. I would only fill as much as we would need between site changes.

Did we need reminders?

Heck yes! I had two young children and was very active in their lives.  There was no such thing as a continuous glucose monitor so I was up at all hours testing, correcting, and treating.  I had trouble remembering my name. I desperately needed a reminder of things like site changes and missed boluses.

Did we need more than one basal pattern?

Granted my son wasn’t working shifts at that point in his life but he was beginning his school career.  That meant gym days and sleep in days and hours upon hours of outside play days.  A pump that could switch gears and change patterns based on the day of the week was a definite benefit.

My son was 5 when I began researching his first insulin pump.  He needed a pump that would administer tiny amounts of insulin…much smaller than he would ever use now. That was 15 years ago however, now his needs have changed a lot.

Fifteen years later…

He still needs reminders. He hates carrying anything extra so the more compact the pump the better  He works shifts and is up at odd hours.  A pump that makes basal switches like his very first pump did would be ideal.  He uses a lot more insulin at 20 than he did when he was 5.  A 300 unit reservoir is a must.

This is 2018 however and not 2003.  He can no longer choose a Roche pump or even the AccuChek brand.  He can’t get a new Cozmo because they left the market one insulin pump life ago.  He likes his Animas pump but that is now out of warranty. He is left with two choices…sort of.

He could try an OmniPod but he really doesn’t like them. Yes, he has seen them.  He knows that they are much smaller but they aren’t for him.

That leaves him with a Medtronic pump.  He doesn’t want that either.  It also doesn’t work with the Dexcom that he plans to use for work.

Neither pump fits his lifestyle.  Neither of these insulin pumps have all of the features that he wants and needs.

What does this mean for my son?

It means that he waits.  He still has a working Animas pump and cartridges.  He has two old Cozmo insulin pumps and a few boxes of old cartridges for them.  He won’t rush to get a new insulin pump.  He will make do for the moment and wait for there to be more choices on the market,

Everyone who lives with diabetes deserves choice.

No two people with diabetes are the same.  Even the same person with diabetes will have different needs in an insulin pump over time,  This is why they need choice,  Diabetes is not a one size fits all disease. Every person needs to tailor their care to fit their life at that point in time.

As a wise person with diabetes once said…”Having diabetes is not my choice.  How to manage it should be.”

 

 

Fit with Diabetes eBook Review

Cristel OerumRecently I was given the privilege of being asked to review Christel Oerum’s new fitness book.  I was both honoured and excited.  My son has been big into fitness since he was in his early teens.  The idea of learning a few tips from this fitness guru that I could share with him led me to open up the book soon after it landed in my inbox!

In keeping with the book’s fitness theme, I read this book while on my treadmill.  It made me feel slightly better when I saw images of the toned and amazing Christel staring back at me.  I am nowhere near her fitness level but at least I was trying and her book tells you how to do just that…try…and succeed!

Christel offers amazing tips, tricks, and recipes that make you drool!  She shows you how to set achievable smart goals that lead you to your ultimate goal.  Smart goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.

From the very beginning, Christel offers great advice like looking at why you are excited about your goal.  She reminds you not to focus on what you don’t like. Don’t focus on being out of shape or carrying around that extra weight but rather how great you are going to feel instead!

Fit with Diabetes also offers valuable, usable tips for people no matter what their fitness level who may be struggling to manage their diabetes care. 

As I said, my son has been big into fitness for years.  There is a huge collection of dumb bells in his room.  He heads over to the gym whenever he can.  I was, therefore, taking a lot of notes when Christel discussed weight training and how different exercises impact blood glucose levels differently. My son had told me something similar.

He saw different bg levels after leg day versus when he had an ab day for example.  Christel tells you how to use this information to your advantage!

One of the things that amazed me the most and made me go “Of course!” was the idea of using the dawn phenomenon to your advantage.  She gives you an effective way to deal with morning spikes through exercise.  You really want to check this out!

As I said,  Fit with Diabetes can easily be your personal trainer if you are not in the position to invest in one just yet.  Christel shows you real examples of how people on pumps and injections are managing their diabetes care while exercising.  She shows you exercises that you can do at home or at a gym and how to put them together into your own personal fitness routine.

I was equally impressed by Christel’s no-nonsense approach to diet and exercise in general.  She never gives you a “diet” to stick to.  She offers suggestions on what a healthy meal should contain.  In Fit with Diabetes, Christel provides formulas and apps for you to use to create the menu plan that fits you! I am the world’s pickiest eater but after looking at some of Christel’s prepared meals, I was drooling!

Finally, Christel reminds us of the reality of weight loss.  Many of us, myself included, get hung up on the numbers. We want our scale to say this weight or that.  Christel promotes a healthy body weight and a positive self-image.  Muscle weighs more than fat.  You may be getting toned and building beautiful muscle without seeing the scale heading the way you expect…and that is okay!

I loved this book. It was easy to read.  The concepts are easy to follow.  I was however starkly reminded how different it is for me to jump on my treadmill with my perfectly functioning pancreas than it is for my son to do the same with his flaked out pancreas.

This book gave me a renewed respect for everyone who is living with diabetes and working to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It isn’t easy but Christel shows you that it is attainable with a little guidance and dedication!

To purchase your own copy of Christel Oerum’s Fit with Diabetes, you can go to her website at https://diabetesstrong.com/fit-with-diabetes/

Christel is a Los Angeles based blogger, certified personal trainer, and diabetes advocate. She has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1997 and at an early stage decided that it wasn’t going to slow her down. Her motto is “There is Nothing You Can’t do With Diabetes”. She writes about how to be Fit With Diabetes on DiabetesStrong.com. She also coaches people with diabetes from across the globe, online and in person, and supports them in meeting their health and fitness goals.
Christel holds an MBA in Finance & Strategy and an ISSA Personal Trainer certification with specialization in Fitness and Diabetes (Level 3 certified from the Diabetes Motion Academy). You can find her on Facebook  @DiabetesStrong and Instagram
@DiabetesStrong_IG /

 

 

18 years of life with type 1 diabetes

18 years have passed and still, I remember it like it was yesterday. March 17, 2000.

The day started out sunny but by the end of it a horrible storm would hit my world and nothing would ever be the same.

We drove through a raging snowfall to take my lifeless 2-year-old son to the hospital.  There we were told that he had Type 1 diabetes.  They would monitor him for the next 24 hours to see if he would live or not.

Thankfully he survived that day but the fear never left me.   Before we left the hospital I was terrified of taking him home. I worried that I would make an error in his insulin and cost him his life.

When we got home, I did make mistakes.  Because he was so young, he didn’t know how to tell me if he was high or low. We didn’t have continuous glucose monitors then either.  If he fell asleep, I would panic.  The meter would be taken out before anything else.  I would clean his tiny finger, get a drop of blood almost as big as the pad of that finger, and apply it to a test strip.  30 seconds later I would finally learn if he was low or simply a toddler in desperate need of a nap.

Over the years he would learn to tell me if he was high or low.  His attitude would sometimes tell the tale for him.  When he short tempered…and trying to kill his brother by throwing things at his head, he was definitely high!

Eventually, he learned how to tell if he was low.  He would come to me and say he felt “weazy” and needed some juice.

We moved from injections to an insulin pump by the time he was 5.  My family couldn’t handle seeing him sitting by himself eating meals at set times when there was a better way. They helped us to pay for that first Cozmo insulin pump.

Our life was changed when his pump arrived.  No longer did we have to deal with 6-8 injections per day.  I was able to allow him to graze.  This was an incredible freedom for a small child…and mom.

Puberty came with its own challenges.  The teen years were much like those of children without diabetes.  There were good times and bad.  Somehow we made it out alive and that is more than can be said for some children with diabetes.

My son is now 20 years old.  He has lived with diabetes for 90% of his life.  That makes me want to cry.  90% of his life has been dealing with injections, infusion set pokes. finger lancing, carb counting, high blood sugars and lows.  He has learned how to workout while managing diabetes  He goes out with his friends at night and as a few drinks all while dealing with insulin, test strips and diet.

My son works in the construction industry and must keep his pump warm when temperatures dip below 30C.  He manages to test and combat lows all while wielding a hammer and trying to get his work done.

He lives thousands of miles away.  His roommate has known him his entire life.  They watch out for each other.  He knows about my son’s “broken pancreas”.  I wish that neither of them ever had to learn what diabetes was or how to handle it but life had other plans.

18 years.  It amazes me and saddens me.  I am so blessed to have a strong, young man who is still doing so well after all of these years.  It fills me with gratitude to think of all of the love and support that has guided me on this journey.  I still wish that he didn’t have to be on it.  I can’t believe that 18 years have passed already.

18 is just a small blip in his life.  I look forward to watching the next 18 years and another 18 after that.  Who knows what technology will have in store for him then.  Perhaps he will live to say “I used to have type 1 diabetes but now I don’t”.  I certainly hope so.

What a parent of a person with diabetes wants their child’s significant other to know

As a parent, there are certain things that I want my son’s significant other to know about diabetes.  My son’s list of important qualities and things that she needs to know is probably quite different.  That list is for another time. This is my list of ideals wants in a partner for a person with diabetes.

I want her to know when my son’s blood glucose levels are out of whack.

In school, he often had teachers who just “knew” when he was out of range. I felt safe because they would make sure that he tested and took care of himself.  She needs to make me feel the same way.

I want her to know to carry glucose with them at all times.

A low blood glucose level can seemingly come out of nowhere.  My son keeps some treats on him but we all know how easy it can be to run out at the most inopportune moments.  His ideal partner, for me, would be a gal who recognizes this and carries a bag filled with candies easily accessible in her purse.

My son would be happy if she carried all of his supplies in her purse too but as I said, that’s a different wish list.

I would love to see his lifelong partner remind him to test at night or at least wake him when he seems restless and out-of-range.

My son doesn’t currently have a CGM.  He once relied on his mother’s inability to sleep to keep him safe overnight.  Now that he lives on his own, he wakes himself at night to test.  I know that he would love to have a break now and again.  A person who would help him at night would be a blessing for both of us.

I want to see his partner know how to help him on days that diabetes is too much.

As much as helping my son at night would be wonderful, we all know that there are days that we just don’t want to diabetes.  When he lived at home, my son would some days just simply hand everything over to me for a day and I would deal with it.  I would count carbs, bolus and test.

I don’t know if he would still want that sort of full-on break but I know he still prefers someone else to put in new infusion sets.  It would be nice to know that she cared enough to learn about his care and help him where he needed it.

I want her to know that diabetes is part of his life but it isn’t what defines him.

Finally, as much as diabetes can be overwhelming and time-consuming, it doesn’t define my son.  I would love to see his life-partner understand this.  I want her to love him for the incredible, handsome, quirky guy he is.

Diabetes is a lot of hard work.  I want her to understand this but not be deterred by it.  It will mess with their schedule.  It may impact his mood but he is strong and deserves only most loving and supportive partner.  In return, she will get a pretty amazing guy.

 

Hot Tips for Managing Diabetes in the Deep Winter Cold

winter tips with diabetes The weather outside is frightful! The temperatures are dropping and we are in the midst of deep winter cold.  Managing to stay warm can be a challenge on days like these.  How do you manage your diabetes as well? Here are a few things to remember…

Insulin freezes.

Insulin is liquid. It can freeze. Make sure not to leave insulin in your car.  When you are outside, keep it close to your body. This also means that if you are pumping, make sure to tuck your pump close to your body to keep things running properly.

If you think your insulin has been froze, throw it out! Don’t take any chances.  It will not work as efficiently once the proteins have been frozen.

Keep warm!

That means keeping your diabetes devices warm as well! I just told you to keep the insulin in your pump warm, but did you also know that your pump (like your phone) also needs to stay warm? Keep your pump and CGM under your winter clothing and as close to your body as you can.

If you are using a tSlim pump, watch for the low temperature warning on the pump.  This will tell you that your pump is not functioning as it should because of the cold.

Check your blood glucose level.

I know, you normally check but when it is cold out make sure that you still check…a lot.  Some people see their bg levels rise in the cold weather while others see it go up.  Don’t guess or go by how you feel–check then adjust with food or insulin.

Before you check, make sure that your meter is warm as well.  Glucometers function poorly below 40F (4C).  If you feel that your glucometer could be too cold, warm it in your armpit for a few minutes. It will quickly return to a functioning state.

Keep your hands warm.

It can be hard to check your blood glucose levels when fingers are cold and blood isn’t circulating properly.  Keep your hands warm and toasty to help making finger sticks a bit easier.  Wear warm gloves. You may want to consider using  mitts that have removable fingers to make it easier to check .

removable finger gloves for checking blood glucose

We found these gloves online.

Carry glucose that won’t freeze.

Juice packs are a handy way to treat lows but when you are playing in the snow, glucose tablets and granola bars are probably a better choice.  Also make sure to keep your glucagon warm and safe.  Frozen glucagon will be as useful as frozen insulin.

 

Winter activities can be fun but make sure you are prepared.  Follow some of these few hot tips and  enjoy your time in Mother Nature’s deep freeze!

 

If you can live with an elf on the shelf for a month you can manage the holidays with diabetes

diabetes management over the holidays

Do you have an elf in your house? Is there a little creature living with you who gets up to nightly shenanigans and watches your every move? I am here to tell you that if you can live with an elf on the shelf for a month, you can manage diabetes over the holidays!

Seriously.  That little guy brings a lot of pressure to a family…and so does diabetes but you’ve got this.  Here are a few tips that are going to help you find your way.

WAG it

Wild a$$ guess when need be! If you don’t have your scale or your measuring cup around.  If you aren’t 100% sure on what exactly is in that food item, wing it! Chances are that you know more about carb counting than you think and you will probably do fine.

You can also ask Google or download a calories counting app like the Calorie King or My Fitness Pal.  These are great tools when you are completely out of your element.

Pre-bolus

If you have a child with diabetes who would love to graze their way through the holidays, give it a try! To help with your own sanity however, I would suggest that you pre-bolus before you set them loose.  Ask them what they plan to eat, set it all on a small plate and then bolus for as much as you are certain they will eat.  (This can be done on injections or a pump)  Give them the insulin that will cover at least half of the food (or all if you know that they are good eaters).  Remember that they will most likely be excited and active so its okay to inject a bit less rather than more.

Check…a lot or use a CGM

To help survive the holidays with diabetes, make sure that you are checking your blood glucose levels every two hours when you are at events or gatherings with a lot of food and/or excitement.  If you have a CGM, make sure it is calibrated properly and close by.

Put one person in charge

To avoid parents double bolusing or giving extra insulin, make one person in charge of an event.  The other parent can relax and simply enjoy the event.

Schedules will be thrown out the window. Adapt

Chances are very high that all of your careful scheduling will go out the window over the holidays.  Concerts will run late.  Dinners won’t be on time.  Chaos will reign supreme.  That’s okay.  This is only for a very short time.  Learn how your insulin works and do you best.

Do your best

That last line was worth repeating.  Your best is all that you can do.  If you child survives and has fun, you are a complete success!! It is that simple.

The holidays are a time to create wonderful, loving memories.  Don’t spend them wrapped up in readings and insulin.  Test every couple of hours, watch for adrenaline crashes and find time to breathe.

It will all be worth it!

Happy Holidays!

Why November 14th is Special

Banting birthdayNovember 14th is  World Diabetes Day.  Those who live with diabetes often remark that every day is diabetes day! That is true but November 14th is special.

The 14th is the day that Frederick Banting was born. For those who don’t know, Banting was a Canadian born medical scientist.  He received the Nobel prize for his work isolating insulin for therapeutic use with his colleague Dr. Charles Best.  He is the reason that my son is alive and thriving today.

Before 1922, a person with Type 1 diabetes was not expected to live long. The only way for them to survive was on very strict diets and those diets often left them malnourished.  Injected insulin came along and changed that.

The incredible before and after image of Leonard Thompson shows us just how dramatic of an impact insulin had on the lives of those living with diabetes.

From https://www.trumanlibrary.org/histday/insulin/impact.html

While my own son wasn’t as emaciated as poor young Leonard, he was gaunt and skeletal before he was diagnosed.  He had been a thin child.  He had been sick but seeing him teetering in the bathroom after he began to receive insulin sent me into shock.  His skin was hanging off of his tiny body.  It had happened so quickly.

Thankfully on November 14, 1891 a man was born who would find this miracle elixir.  He would discover a way for my child, and millions like him, to receive the insulin that they were lacking in their own bodies. Dr. Banting gave them their lives back.  He gave parents back their children.

Those of us who use insulin, no that it is not a magic pill. We understand that it must be respected.  People living with diabetes quickly learn how the smallest doses of insulin can have life-threatening consequences. Despite the risk, the reward is incredible.  We have our children, our partners, and our friends.  They thrive, contribute and enrich our lives.

On this day we say “Happy Birthday Dr. Banting!! Thank you so very, very much for giving us this incredible gift of life.”

 

The DTC…We have come a long way. We will win the war!

we will win dtc warThe past few weeks have been incredibly busy and I have never been more proud! I have been battling the Federal government over the Disability Tax Credit since the early 2000s.  There have been victories and most recently there have been setbacks but we have come a long way!!

Let me give you a bit of history.

Back in 2002 or so, a lady named Shelley Tyler took the Canada Revenue Agency to court and won.  She believed that her son was eligible for the Disability Tax Credit because they took an inordinate amount of time to feed him and keep him alive.  Her son had type 1 diabetes.

Mrs. Tyler was kind and shared her experience with others.  I used some of her work in preparing my own application.  Others did as well.

More and more families were applying for the Disability Tax Credit.  They were still being turned down, but even more where refusing to take no for an answer.  They were taking their cases to Tax Court–and winning!

Families like the Chafes were winning the argument that insulin therapy was administered 24 hours a day when using an insulin pump.  This led to a year of qualification for all pumpers.

(The irony of recent comments that the increased use of insulin pump therapy is why applications have been denied is not lost on me. )

Changes were happening.  The diabetes community was roaring.  We were a grassroots group.  The Canadian Diabetes Association was only in the infancy of creating a dedicated Advocacy Office and JDRF was focused on funding research. That was okay because the diabetes community was powerful in its own right.

Together we rallied. We worked on court cases.  Friends and family members contacted their MPs and demanded fairness. The diabetes community was represented at the Federal review of DTC fairness.

The result was legislative change.  Children with diabetes were now given the tax credit based on a certified diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.  Adults were also allowed the credit but their means test was a bit more strict.

Recently there seems to have been a change in how disability tax credit applications are handled for people with diabetes.  We have discussed it before.  One thing hasn’t changed however and that is the power of the diabetes community.

Thanks in part to the power of social media,  the community voice is louder than ever and I couldn’t be more proud!

Diabetes Canada is sending well-spoken, knowledgeable individuals to meet with CRA and voice our concerns.  JDRF has been delving into the issue for months as well.  Together they are creating a powerful voice.  Behind the scenes, there are many more grassroots groups working together.  Everyone is pushing the same  message.  “Diabetes is a 24/7 job.  People living with insulin dependent diabetes take more than 14 hours per week to perform life-sustaining therapy.”

The message is getting out there.  This issue was all over the media.  My Twitter feed has been blown up with articles and Tweets.  I am proud! The diabetes community is coming together.

Some members have voiced their frustration. This should have been finished years ago.  People living with diabetes have enough to deal with.  Fighting their government for a credit that they obviously qualify should not be another stressor. They are right of course.  I totally understand their get their pain.

I have been in this battle since the beginning.  It’s been a long one but please don’t lose hope! This is not a war that is lost.  It is a battle that will see victory.

The diabetes community is a powerful voice.  Canadians with diabetes are coming together in record numbers.  We are using that voice to let CRA and the Minister of Finance know that we are not prepared to back down.

Now is the time to keep the momentum going.  Write your letters to your MPs. Answer the call when one of the diabetes organizations calls looking for your story.  Our voice is strong.  We have come a long way and together we will finally win the war.

Six things not to say to parents of children with diabetes

things you dont say to a parent of a child with diabetesPeople generally mean well but sadly many just don’t think before they open their mouths.  I therefore thought that it might be a good idea to create a little list for them of thing that you really should NOT ever NEVER say to parents of children with diabetes. Consider it a personal service announcement if you will…

My cat had diabetes

Really? Seriously? Because we know that you injecting your cat’s fur with insulin is really identical to chasing a toddler around the room with a syringe,  pinning them down and explaining that you are stabbing them for the fourth time today because you love them.  Yes, I am sure they are exactly the same.

Yes, there was an eye roll here.

My great-aunt Thelma died of diabetes

Thank you.  I needed to hear that.  I have guilt on top of guilt about not protecting my child from this disease and you tell me that your 90 year old aunt died because of diabetes?

Odds are that she had Type 2 diabetes and at 90…well her odds weren’t the greatest for lasting long anyway but yeah, I can see where I needed to know this.

This is why parents of children with diabetes have bruises on their heads. They spend a lot of time banging it against a wall in frustration. .

Don’t worry. I am sure that your child will grow out of it.

The odds of my child outgrowing their diabetes are lot  less likely than as you overcoming your ignorance of what type 1 diabetes really is.

Nope, growing out of diabetes is not an option.  My child’s pancreas is just no longer doing its job.  We have tried everything we could to revive it but its dead. Gone. No functioning beta cells to produce insulin.  No hope.

On the upside, I would really encourage you to do a bit of Googling or even ask some questions of me and then listen.  Truly listen to what I will tell you and you might be surprised at what you can learn. Your ignorance can be cured!

Perhaps if you hadn’t given your child so much sugar, then he/she wouldn’t have gotten diabetes.

Perhaps if you had not thought that they said “trains” when they were handing out “brains” and decided that you didn’t want to go for a ride, you would have a bit more of a clue.

Having a child with diabetes brings enough guilt.  I fret over what I could have done. I berate my faulty gene pool for allowing this to happen to my baby. Despite these things, I did not cause my child to develop diabetes. What my child ate had nothing to do with his diagnosis.  Really.

Would she prefer a diabetic chocolate?

Eeeekkkk!! Run! Fast! Actually if you eat many of those chocolates you will have to run fast–to the washroom.  Many diabetic candies are filled with sugar alcohols that can cause diarrhea.

Thankfully, my child is able to balance insulin injections with food intake so regular candy is just fine.  We do appreciate you trying though.

Perhaps you may want to relook at how many of those candies you have as well.  I kid you not.  They are nasty!

Is their diabetes under control?

Control? What is that???  A parent of a child with type 1 diabetes is trying to keep a blood sugar fluctuation of .54grams per liter on a constant basis despite over 25 influencing factors trying to mess with things.   Imagine that…trying to maintain a balance of less than one gram of sugar with the influence of stress, food, exercise and 20+ other things!  Can you see why  as parents we simply celebrate when they get even two readings in range?

It’s a big deal.  Diabetes is a really complicated disease.  Most parents of children with diabetes are doing their very best to balance allowing their child to be a normal kid and trying desperately to manage blood sugar levels so that their children feel healthy.  It is a huge challenge.

Parents of children with diabetes appreciate when you care.  Really we do, but please, please, please, think before you speak!

There are certain things that you really truly should not say to parents of children with diabetes.  Offer them a smile, a sympathetic ear, a kind word even.  Honestly, they are much more appreciated.