Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Thursday, March 06, 2008

He's Not Gumby, Dammit!

The four of us drove to Massachusetts for Brendon's endo appointment this morning. The three kids and I had a nice ride down with no fighting and no bathroom stops on the side of the road.

There are 3 issues:

A. His A1C went up to a 7.3 (but that is excellent and I'm happy with it...I don't focus on it going up...whatever the end result is is what counts)

B. He has high cholesterol

C. He has been sneaking food we've forbidden him (and Jess and Jake) to have.

Technology rocks the casbah since I don't have to flip through the logs and fill in the blanks in preparation for the endo.

Everything is downloaded from the pump and interpeted into pie graphs, lists of numbers, etc.

So, the endo looks everything over, asks Brendon directly about his lifestyle (afterall, he's the patient and old enough to speak for himself) and then she studies the numbers and makes some changes.

There was a change made by her directly to his pump, bumping up his breakfast and supper ratios as well as his overnight basal rates.

And then I asked her how old she was when she was diagnosed. She said she was 4 years old. After looking for it for the past 5 years, I finally spied her pump. It was hanging on her belt loop.

I asked her if she had eating issues, and she said no. I asked how her mother dealt with food while she grew up. She said her family generally ate healthy. She eats as healthy as possible now, she has friends who have the same healthy lifestyle, and her best friend is one of the nutritionists at the hospital. So she surrounds herself with people who are like-minded which helps her to keep on top of her nutrition.

I discussed with her an episode for which Brendon is now grounded for a week (No TV is killing him). He was told he couldn't have ice cream bars I had bought for myself. He was caught in the middle of eating one in the early morning, and we had warned him if he ate any more, he'd be grounded. The next morning, around 5 a.m., he ate 4 of them one right after the other. He dosed himself though.

She said don't go overboard with restrictions. As long as he covers what he eats, then it's OK. And if he did something he was forbidden to do, wait until we're calm and tell him we'll discuss the outcome at that time.

We don't restrict treats like cakes and cookies although they're not even a weekly occurance. Treats are pretty random.

I feel that maybe he, and Jacob and Jessica, go crazy over junk food because they don't know when the next treat is coming, so they get it while they can.

And Brendon has the will of a bull, so to trying to bend him to our own will is impossible, and not very fair....he's not Gumby, dammit.

He'll need to deal with food in a special way for the rest of his life, and we need to teach him how to deal with it according to how his own character is rather than tailor it to our character. I respect him as a person and for who he already is, not who I expect him to be.

We do, however, have expectations of him and his siblings (he will never be singled out....what is good for him is good for all of us as a family). We expect them to eat fruits and vegetables and lean meats for the best health and energy they can have.

But, treats make life a lot more fun, and when you have to deal with testing, bolusing, counting, subtracting, weighing and measuring, fun is good to have around.

I plan to make treats predictable by having dessert every Sunday night. I hope that if they know when it's coming, and that it will always be there when they expect it, they won't feel the need to cling to everything they set their sights on as a desperate way to fill that need to hoard when they don't know when the next treat is coming.

I'm trying to do things in the most logical and reasonable way while making sure my kids are well taken care of.

I'm sure they'll sneak goodies and still eat them in back of the couch. But, maybe they won't do it as much now that they have a steady supplier to feed their fix.


  • I wish I could eat 4 ice cream bars and not have them go straight to the gluteus maximus!

    Ahh - the joys of parenting a child with Type 1. After diagnosis we threw out all the sweets in the house until the dietician (who is also type 1) laughed at us and told us to enjoy ourselves... in moderation.

    It's true - we do eat much healthier as a family. What goes for Tomas, goes for all of us.

    In our case, we get a cookie a day. We like the Golden Oreos or the Peak Freen Fruit Creme. They're around 10 cb. each and the kids get them usually with a glass of milk and some fruit for their night-time snack. Then, on Fridays I give Tomas a treat in his lunch. Something simple and little but fun like a Hershey Kiss or a snack-size chocolate bar.

    So far it works for us. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Glad to hear the 7.3 on the A1C and the fact that there was no roadside potty breaks!!

    By Blogger Carmen & Todd, at 3/06/2008 2:43 PM  

  • How the heck did he eat 4 ice cream bars?!
    That A1c is great for a kid his age. High cholesterol is something I share with Brendon, in my case it's genetic and I'm fighting an uphill battle. As for the sneaking of food I think that your routine Sunday treat sounds like a good plan. I don't know how well it will work though, I just think sneaking is something all kids do. Have you asked them why they do it, that might be the start of your solution. Your endo sounds great, and I think she earns cool points for having Diabetes too. It's much easier to talk to someone who actually deals with the disease in real life.

    By Blogger Jillian, at 3/06/2008 3:03 PM  

  • 7.3 is really good. It's really, really, really, reallllllllllly good. This will make more sense if you read my latest post in a bit.

    By Blogger Carey, at 3/06/2008 3:55 PM  

  • You eat much healthier than we do! Although I do take into account how high certain foods raise BS and glycemic mix and load (i.e.,we have found cereals of all kinds to be not worth the effort), I basically feed a 90 percent healthy diet, with about ten percent junk. I give three meals a day plus a large afternoon snack on school days; she gets three meals on the weekends because she gets up later/eats later. Her snacks (whether fruit or potato chips, cheese-its, popcorn or ice cream, etc.) are tagged on to the end of a meal as "desert." So lunch, dinner and snack are combination meal plus desert. The desert could be fruit, icecream (I only offer this about three times a week), small snack bags of potato chips, cheese-its, popcorn. I deliberately avoid cookies, cakes, pies except for very special occasions as it is very hard just to eat one cookie and these deserts spike her BS. The deserts that don't spike her BS are what I offer. So there are three "deserts" of sorts, every day. But the fruit, icecream, coming at the end of a meal, delays the rise in glucose. We also do take into account amount of carbs, and have shuffled them around a bit so she is eating the most carbs at the time she is most hungry, i.e., least amount of carbs for breakfast (about 30-40), still small amount at lunch (about 45-50), most amounts at afternoon snack (about 55 grams) and dinner (60-70 max.) It works for us, but reading your blog, I can see I may be going overboard on the deserts! LOL.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/06/2008 4:05 PM  

  • I'm sure I never had an A1C as low as 7.3 when I was a kid. That's great!

    When I was a kid, I was NEVER allowed to have sweets. So what did I do? I found ways to get them.

    By you having desert on Sunday night, that will probably help. But be prepared for more sneaking as he gets a little older. At least he can bolus for those treats so it shouldn't be that bad. He'll be fine - well, except for when he gets in trouble for getting caught. LOL!

    By Blogger Donna, at 3/06/2008 5:44 PM  

  • I once ate an entire bag of Krispy Kreme mini-cruellers. LOL.

    I think you are right on with your parenting and diabetes management. Someone with diabetes can eat anything they want just like someone who doesn't have the disease - its all in how you give the insulin.

    But separate of that are family rules. And with any kid sweets are always a problem and a challenge.

    Obviously with diabetes in play, it complicates that entire equation - one reason of many why I freaking can't stand the disease. My wife and I talk often wondering what life or discipline would be like with Caroline without it.

    By Blogger Brett, at 3/06/2008 6:04 PM  

  • I tend to keep the sugary stuff out of my house if I can. But, I have a 17 year old who has a sweet tooth. He often buys his own junk since he has a job and a car there is not much I can do to stop him.

    Riley eats much healthier than Holden. I fuss with Holden more about his eating habits than with Riley.

    For the most part Riley does very well. For example when we do eat fast food Riley always opts for the side salad or fruit instead of the fries. At restaurants he'll get broccoli or a salad as his side. He's just good that way. Holden, however, rarely ever eats a vegetable.

    Riley gets some sort of treat about 3-4 nights a week. It's nothing major, but it's enough to satisfy him for now.

    I bought Girl Scout Cookies from a co-worker a couple of weeks ago. So, after supper Riley would eat one cookie (10g). Last night he ate a tootsie roll (4g). Tootsie rolls are his favorite.

    He still does not eat nearly as much sugar as his peers though. It kills me to go to the parties at school. The last party I went to they served chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, Skittles, and cheese doodles. What?!? Is that what people are really feeding their kids?

    Anyway, don't mean to be so long with this. I try to limit fat from Riley's diet more than anything. He has high cholesterol too. Heart disease scares me as much as kidney or eye disease.

    By Blogger Penny, at 3/07/2008 8:51 AM  

  • oh it's so hard to know what to do.

    Ian eats his 2 cookies with his lunch every day. I don't know if that helps or not but I've never made an issue of it.

    I think the bigger issues is eating 4 ice cream bars at 5am. For any kid. And I think you're right, you've grounded him and it had nothing to do with diabetes.

    By Blogger Michelle, at 3/07/2008 10:42 AM  

  • I'm still clamoring over the sweets and treats deal over here. What to do? What to do? I have one kid with D, one kid w/o. I do want to promote a healthy choice of foods in the house, but I still want them to enjoy some treats as part of being a kid.

    My kids go stupid over candy. They just do. I keep any sort of candy (on the rare occasion it is purchased) up on the top shelf in the pantry so they can't reach it. I let them have a cadbury thins bar (chocolate) from time to time (only 10-12gr each) and they are happy as clams with that. I'm glad that there are low carb kool aid jammers that my kids think are the "real thing" just like all the other kids. But yeah, it's hard. They love ice cream - I limit that BIG TIME because of the after effects 5-6 hrs later (usually in the middle of the night). Cookies are limited mainly because of the gluten factor and I don't bake them so much (or I'll eat them LOL).

    I dunno, if you ask them what they want for a snack - they'll say "chocolate". (they're sooo my kids) but I always steer them towards a healthier option like fruit or crackers, yogurt and the likes. It's hard - it's really hard. And, my kids LOVE McDicks french fries. *sigh* - again, those do crazy things to Dani's blood sugars hours later. Fun stuff. So, we try not to go there very often either.

    I dread b-day parties too. My kids party had a big platter of cut up fruit (which the kids gobbled right up), a big platter of cheese and crackers and juice and low carb kool aid jammers to drink ... then cake. They kids ate and ate and there was no pizza, candy or crap. The crap isn't necessary in my mind.

    I'm writing a novel. Sorry 'bout that!

    By Blogger Jamie, at 3/07/2008 10:51 AM  

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