Tag Archives: type 1 diabetes

Trick or Carrot Stick! Our First Diabetic Halloween.

Santa filled his stocking with socks, underwear and Pokemon cards.

The Easter Bunny left Lego around the house instead of chocolate.

Sugar Free Jell-O has become his staple dessert at birthday parties.

But what do you do with your diabetic child on Halloween? A holiday that revolves around candy?

My boy is excited to go Trick or Treating in his new Storm Trooper costume. He’s pumped to run around in the dark with his brother, sister and friends. But he keeps asking me what we’re going to do about the candy and my only answer so far has been “we’ll worry about it on Halloween”.

BUT HALLOWEEN IS TOMORROW AND I STILL HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

Clearly I need some help…and fast!

Sam’s one year diabetes anniversary is on November twenty-fourth. This will be our first rodeo having a diabetic child on Halloween. Because he’s on injections of both slow and fast acting insulin twice daily, he needs to eat a regimented amount of carbohydrates at certain times throughout the day. So what does that have to do with Halloween?

EVERYTHING!

Halloween is all about running wildly from door to door while pigging out on candy. It’s about staying up late and bending the rules when it comes to bedtimes and proper nutrition.

BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT WITH A DIABETIC CHILD.

Maybe I could go around to all of the houses in my neighbourhood and ask them to offer carb free, diabetic friendly foods like veggies, meat or cheese to the Trick or Treaters instead of candy? And while I’m at it, I’ll ask all of the kids to say “Trick or Carrot Stick” instead of Trick or Treat?

Clearly I’m delirious.

As I sit here and stress about ways to include my son in all of the Halloween fun, my husband comes up with a plan.

“Sam, how about Mom and Dad buy your Halloween candy from you and then you can use the money to get yourself something special? Like a new Lego set?”

“Really? So I can still Trick or Treat?”

“Of course,” my husband replies with a smile.

What just happened here? Did my husband just solve our Halloween dilemma?

“Sam, you’re sure you’re okay with not eating candy with your brother and sister?” I ask to make sure he fully understands.

“Yeah, I’m fine. Oh and maybe I could donate the money to the JDRF instead of getting Lego?”

What? Who is this kid?

“That’s a terrific idea” I say as my heart swells with pride.

As a parent of a diabetic child, all I want for my son is to be included. Whether it be soccer, hockey, class potlucks or Trick or Treating, I simply want him to know that having diabetes won’t stop him from doing anything that he did before his diagnosis. Sure, we might have to get a little creative, but nothing is impossible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last year it’s that my son is ridiculously resilient.

I’m still relatively new to the complex world of parenting a diabetic child and I would gladly welcome Halloween tips from any Type 1 parents out there! I’d love to know how  you make holidays and other special events inclusive for your kids. Feel free to let your suggestions fly in the comments! I think that my “Trick or Carrot Stick” idea is a pretty clear indication that I need all of the help that I can get!

Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!

Your friend,

Natasha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Is Diabetes.

It’s three in the morning and Adele’s voice is lulling me awake from my clock radio.

I groggily shut off the alarm and rub my eyes.

Two more minutes…I’ll get out of bed in two more minutes.

The next time I open my eyes, forty minutes has passed. Panic washes over me as I get out of bed and grab my son’s kit off of my nightstand.

I squint under the hallway light as I fumble for a lancet and a test strip.

I stumble into my son’s room and prick his finger with the tiny needle while he stays fast asleep. I hold my breath as the meter calculates his blood sugar. I want the number to be over ten so that I can go back to sleep.

It flashes 3.1.

Fuck.

I wake my son and inform him that he needs a “Midnight Buffet”. He angrily gets out of bed and follows me downstairs. He chugs a juice box in a daze while I try to stay awake beside him on the couch.

After fifteen minutes, I test him again.

The meter flashes 4.2.

It’s buffet time.

Still groggy, my son manages to eat a granola bar and some apple sauce. I figure that should hold him until his six-thirty breakfast and morning shot of insulin, but with Type 1 Diabetes, you really never know.

As I tuck my son back into bed and kiss his little face, I’m hit with the realization that this is diabetes.

This and so much more.

It’s the sleepless nights and the never ending worry.

It’s the panic in the pit of your stomach when your phone rings and you see that it’s the school calling.

It’s double guessing yourself as you meticulously calculate insulin doses.

It’s needing a degree in math just to make your kid a snack.

It’s knowing that there are exactly twelve grams of carbs in thirty-seven Goldfish crackers.

It’s having your son yell at you impatiently to hurry up when you have to haul him off the ice to test his blood during hockey.

It’s the mountain of paperwork involved with every new school year or extra curricular activity.

It’s the guilt that your kid has a stupid fucking incurable disease and you can’t make it go away.

It’s your husband switching careers and working the night shift so that one of us can be available in an emergency twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s people saying ridiculous things like, “but he’s not over weight”, or “I could never give my child a needle”, or “he’ll grow out of it”, or my personal favourite, “my uncle has Type 2 and he’s doing great”.

It’s wanting my son to never be left out of anything because of his disease.

Before my son got sick last November, I thought diabetes was just about drinking orange juice and avoiding sugar. I’ve learned over the last nine and a half months that it is so much more. It’s a complicated and relentless disease that never takes a day off or gives my son a break.

There is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, also known as Juvenile Diabetes. All donations made to the JDRF go directly to research.

If you’d like to donate or if you’d like to learn more about Type 1 diabetes, check out the JDRF Canada website at http://www.jdrf.ca.

Furthermore, if you’re curious about Type 1 Diabetes signs and symptoms in children, I’ve compiled a handy little list;

-excessive thirst

-excessive hunger

-rapid weight loss

-constant urination

– unprovoked mood swings

-always being tired

-looking pale

-dark under eye circles

-sudden stuttering or losing their train of thought

-a sudden loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

I also just want to say that if you ever feel like something is “off” with your child, trust your gut and follow your instincts.

Thanks for reading and also a huge shout out to all of our friends and family who have been so supportive. You know who you are and big love to you all!

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016.

Seven months ago today my youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Throughout this time he’s been showered with love and support from his family, friends, school and community. Diabetes is a shit deal, but my boy takes it all in a stride and makes me proud every day.

Today started off a little rocky. My boy was on edge, grumpy, not his usual bubbly self. When my daughter asked if she could have a loonie for Freezie Friday at school, my son exploded in a rage filled rant about how it’s “not fair” that he can’t have a freezie and that “diabetes is stupid” and that he “doesn’t want it any more”. Every time he has one of these breakdowns I find the only thing I can do is agree with him, because he’s right.

Once he calmed down, I asked him if he’d like me to bring him something special to have when the kids were having their freezies. Last week I surprised him with some diet iced tea and that blew his little mind. On my way to work, I stopped at the corner store and decided to totally freak his freak by buying him a diet Dr. Pepper. Yes it’s full of aspartame and is obviously not the healthiest choice, but come on! The boy deserved a treat after the crappy morning he had. I happily dropped off the pop at his school and laughed with the secretary about how odd it was that a diet pop was better for my kid than a “100% fruit juice” freezie.

Freezie Friday takes place during second recess, which is at two o’clock in the afternoon. At three o’clock I got a text from my husband asking me to call him. I wasn’t busy at work so I called him right away. The first thing he said was “everything is fine” followed by “but there was an incident at school”. My heart sank thinking that my son had gotten sick due to high or low blood sugar. My husband was quick to say that our son was “just fine” but that he had been very upset.

Here’s what happened…

My son was ecstatic about his diet Dr. Pepper surprise! He took a few sips at the start of recess then set his pop down on the ground next the school wall so that he could go off into the yard and play. A few minutes later he went back to have some more and was horrified when he discovered four boys drinking his coveted diet Dr. Pepper! When my son confronted the boys they dropped the bottle on the ground an ran away. With tears flowing down his cheeks, my son and some of his friends found the teacher on recess duty and told her what happened. Together they found the four boys out in the yard and those jerks were promptly sent to the principle’s office.

THOSE.

FUCKING.

JERKS.

First off, what kind of kids see a random drink on the ground and think drinking it ALL is a good idea???

Secondly, my son’s school is tiny and everyone knows about his diabetes. WHY WOULD THOSE JERK KIDS STEAL MY DIABETIC KID’S FREAK’N TREAT???  WHY???

Knowing that this happened to my son filled me with a myriad of emotions. Rage, anger, sadness. I mostly wanted to find the parents of the four boys and ask them why their children were such inconsiderate assholes.

On my way home from work, I stopped by the same corner store that I had been to in the morning and I bought my son his second diet Dr. Pepper of the day. When I got home he was playing in the basement with his brother. I called him upstairs and hugged him a little  tighter than normal. I gave him his replacement diet Dr. Pepper and his eyes lit up as he thanked me. We had a quick chat and he said that some of the boys had apologized and that he had forgiven them.

I’ve had a few hours to cool down (and swear) about The Great Diet Dr. Pepper Incident of 2016. I’m still angry, but if my kid can get over it so quickly then maybe I should follow his lead and let it go.

Thanks for reading my rant and we’ll chat soon,

NFred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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