Hi my name is Donna and I am new here. My son, Logan, was just recently diagnosed on 1/7/14. We got released from the hospital this past Friday. Just wanted to introduce myself to the group. I feel extremely overwhelmed and scared out of my mind. So far Logan is doing pretty good about taking his insulin shots. I think I’m more scared than he is. So much information has been thrown at us in the hospital and I feel like my head is spinning. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. I feel so lost and just confused. I see that some people are on a carbohydrate plan and other’s aren’t. SHould my son be? Our Dr. said he could eat whatever he wanted and then we just make up for it with the insulin if it wasn’t a free food. Is that right? Are there any ‘bad’ foods? or a certain number of carbs we should stay around? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks everyone!
Hi Donna, welcome! I was diagnosed at age 4 (I’m now 27), and while I’ll never understand completely the way a parent views their child’s T1, I hope I can give you some reassurance that you will figure out the best methods of handling it–and Logan will be just fine!
I know both of my parents were in the same boat as you (being more afraid of the shots than I was). For a long time, they wouldn’t even leave the syringes out because they just couldn’t look at them.
I’m sure you’ll get lots of great advice from everyone on here. This is a great resource, with a lot of really experienced, smart people.
As to your carbs question, when I was diagnosed, my doctor said the same thing to my parents–that I could eat whatever I wanted and we could just make up for it with insulin. (Think like a pancreas! (“Think Like a Pancreas,” incidentally, is also a really great book that you might want to think about buying.))
And growing up, that is exactly what we did. For about the last 3-4 years, though, I’ve tried to eat low-carb. I have to give less insulin, fewer shots, and my blood sugars tend to be a lot better when I don’t eat high-carb foods. (And for me, low carb is about less than 75 grams each day. I have seen some kids on low carb plans that eat roughly 50-60 carbs a day.)
I think the best thing is to just try figuring out what works best for you. It will take time and a lot of guesswork, but as long as you’re frequently testing his blood sugars, you’ll eventually be able to figure out trends and learn what kinds of foods he handles well/doesn’t handle well. (For example, I have pretty much given up on eating cold cereal–for some reason, my bloodsugars skyrocket, and if I want to eat it, I have to give a LOT more insulin than I really want to.)
I’ll be keeping you and Logan in my thoughts!
Your doctor has given good advice. What he’s recommended is called carbohydrate counting and it’s where you match insulin to food eaten. You’ll find this especially helpful with a toddler’s sporadic appetite. Carb counting has been used for diabetes management about 20 years and it provides a great deal of freedom and allows a person to eat more normally. That should be the goal of living with diabetes.
There’s a lot to learn but you will get it over time. You already know the basics… treat the highs and lows and report and patterns to your doctors so they can help you make dosage changes. Like Maria said “Think Like a Pancreas” is a good book. There are others on this site and any labeled Highly Recommended are especially good. Your library may have some of them. http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/d_06_b00.htm
There are good resources on this site too. This link shares a little about the Bag of Hope with Rufus the Bear. I was diagnosed before Rufus, but he has quite a following with insulin challenged kids everywhere. I had to learn to give shots on my own teddy bear an as a kid felt badly that he had to get shots because of my diabetes. =) http://t1n-migration.10uplabs.com/bag-of-hope/
I was diagnosed at age 4 and am 40 now and complication-free despite teenage dopiness and many years of bad control. I am married, have a son of my own, and work a busy job.
For now, just know that your son is going to be okay. His life will be different with diabetes but it won’t be ruined. Take care and let us know if you need anything.
My daughter was diagnosed at 10 months and is now 3.5. It is very challenging as a parent, but it does get easier. Emma only knows this way of life. Her sugars are all over the place unfortunately, but they say as they get older it can be better managed.
Think of it as a new normal… just something you have to deal with.
I always say “it could be worse”
Our son Jesse was dxd at 4 yrs old and is now 8. The first few months were hard but it has gotten easier. Its overload of info but before you know it, it’ll just become part of the daily routine and will become second nature to your family
Hi there, my daughter was diagnosed just 9 months ago, age 5. We were on holiday in the US and had to re-learn everything when we got home to Ontario. I completely understand how overwhelmed and scary this is. I was terrified. Some days, I still am.
However, we carb count and cover with insulin. I have downloaded a couple of apps on my phone CalorieKing and Track4 which really helps. I take photos of labels so I can remember and we write EVERYTHING down. I’m terrible with math, so there’s a calculate on my phone and one in the kitchen. We travel with the calculator and a little scale whenever we go to friends, or to a restaurant.
Our nurse told us that as a child, our daughter should have carbs, and protein and fats as she needs them all to grow. We try to eat healthy and make sure she’s getting fruit and veggies, dairy etc, just as if she didn’t have diabetes. We just act as her pancreas and cover with insulin.
Our doctor in the US told us to keep her main meals between 45-60 carbs, and although I’m not sure why, I’ve tried to keep within those numbers. Some days are less, depending on how hungry she is, others are more (McDonald’s chicken nugget happy meal with container of chocolate milk and yogurt is 75 carbs - yes, we even give her McD’s once in a while).
Some things you will find spike his sugars - cereal and white bread do it for Teagan. So we try to make sure we give her complex carbs, and check that there’s some fibre. We’ve also found combining proteins with carbs tend to smooth things out a little.
Thankfully, we had a good friend who had gone through it with her son to help us. I think I called her every day for weeks.
Although I didn’t believe it at the time, the anxiety has settled down. After all, we do this, day in and day out, meal after meal. It still sucks, but it’s manageable.
Am not sure where you live, or how the medical system works, but I do know that the nurses at our diabetes clinic have been incredibly helpful and patient with all my questions. I’m sure you could call if you were worried or needed more information/clarification.
I am a T1 and my daughter was diagnosed with T1 at age 3. I agree with everything that has been said above (you can count carbs and dose insulin based on what & when your son is eating) - though depending on what sort of 3-year-old eater he is you will need to figure out what works best for him. Our daughter was a terrible eater at 3 (still is) and we just never knew if she would eat what we put in front of her or not and she never ate very much at any one sitting. This meant she was hungry multiple times during the day but only ate very small amounts each time. There was no way we could live with giving her that many insulin shots each day so we very quickly (within 30 days of dx) moved her onto a pump so we could more easily give her very small amounts of insulin when she needed it. Just wanted to mention that a pump can be a great option for little ones whose eating habits are unpredictable.
Ask lots of questions! There are no “stupid” questions when it comes to diabetes and if you are dealing with it then you will definitely find others who have had to face it too. You may also want to find out if your endocrinology office has any program to set up newly diagnosed patients/families with other families who have been dealing with things for a while. It can be really helpful to have face to face or phone conversations with someone who is in your area and goes to the same practice.
Good luck and be very patient with yourself. You will do great because you are the person who loves your son the most and will always take the best care of him.