Thursday, March 12, 2009

Diabetes for Dummy's

Me being the Dummy.

Is your self esteem really measured by you A1C? I'm not even diabetic, but my daughter's A1C effects my self esteem. I am not going to get all depressed when it is higher than last time though. (Cuz it totally is.) But I was starting on the "I could have been doing this better." and the "What did I do wrong?" bit. The reality is that she has been sick almost the entire month which has been sending her numbers to the moon. When you are getting your A1C checked every month like she is it's bound to take a big jump like that sometimes. Since the A1C is measuring how well you are taking care of the Diabetes Beast it is really hard not to think what you could be doing better and not take it personally. Since our house has been in complete chaos this last month there is a TON of room for improvement.

Yesterday was the 4 month anniversary of her diagnosis (not that I am counting.) and every time we meet with her Endocrinologist I learn something new or think of something I should be doing better. I would pay money (assuming I had any) for someone to come into my home, set us up on a schedule and be the adult to enforce it. (I hate being a grown up most of the time.)

So yes the monthly Endo appointment today was fine. Big changes were made and I really need to bring my best game this month or next month isn't going to be pretty. I will be grateful when this stupid "honeymoon stage" is over so things will mellow out a bit.

I am looking for advice on:

~Breakfast foods that 1) don't require me to wake up an hour early and 2) don't send her numbers high like cereal does.

~When you are busy (or side tracked) what is the best way to stay on a schedule when you are not used to sticking to one?

~I am worried about giving insulin before she eats now. Any advice on this would be handy.

~What are some good protein snacks? She is so tired of string cheese.

~And how do you keep your sanity?

Emphasis on the last question applying it to ANY aspect of life. Thanks!


Amy said...

Oh Shannon! Sending you hugs!! Breakfast is our toughest time and our insulin to carb ratio (just dropped it again today) is 1:10- the rest of the day it's 1:30. Even a piece of toast will send her sky high by 10 am! Good protein snacks- a slice of ham or turkey/cottage cheese (up to half a cup). Jada also likes the occasional 1/4 cup of mixed nuts- just read the labels for carbs. Jada loves peanut butter suckers- a spoonful of peanut butter! I've recently started giving shots before she eats and it helps tremendously! She doesn't spike as high as she used to. If Jada doesn't eat what I give her- I guesstimate how many carbs she needs and then will give her something like chocolate milk or ice cream. That way- she's sure to not drop low. Most of the time, I know how much she'll eat.
Ha ha! Sanity? I think I lost it when Jada was diagnosed!! :) Remember you're not alone and that every thing you are doing is of great, great value! Cry about it, blog about it and give it to the Lord! He'll carry you through this! Much love!

Jill said...

I soooo agree with Amy on this too :)

As far as Breakfast, we usually do eggs (carb freebies!) and then maybe waffles with sugar free syrup. We try and stay away from cereals unless it's Cheerios (which for some reason actually keep her BG in a good range). I will also make her egg & cheese biscuits. I buy the walmart brand canned biscuits. They're really small and only 10g per biscuit and then I scramble some eggs and then fold the slice cheese in 1/4's. She will eat 4 of those little biscuits and that fills her up :) Our breakfast carb ratio is 1:8 and we just dropped from 1:10.

I also agree with dosing before a meal. I was scared about doing this until we were finally told...if she goes low you can always give her juice or milk to compensate for the carbs she didn't eat. After I realized we really could manage that, we dose 15min before a meal. Our CDE also told us that we will continue to drop A1c numbers if we stick by that plan.

We're not much help with the protein snacks. Kacey loves string cheese and peanuts so thats what we do. Have you tried wrapping some lunch meat around the string cheese? We're vegetarians so I'm not gonna be help when it comes to meats LOL!

Sanity.... blog, blog, blog! Thats the only way I can keep my thoughts and feeling straight. I feel like if I type it out then I can breathe and think a little bit clearer. Also..."Mommybaths"!! A Mommybath is an UNINTERUPTED hot bubble bath. When I say I'm going to get a Mommybath then the girls know I'm needing to relax and destress. They are not allowed to knock on the bathroom door unless its an emergency! LOL! I take 30 min and just relax and clear my head :)

Also, as much as we wish for the "honeymoon" to be over...even once it's over you still get crazy blood sugars that you have no control over :( (see my new post about Mac & Cheese) I thought that once the honeymoon was over then things would settle down and we'd get normal BG readings and thats sooooo not the case! Kacey has been out of her honeymoon for the last 2 months and she's getting more insulin now than she's ever gotten and she STILL runs high for no reason at all!

I'd definately try dosing before meals and since you go once a month for the A1c, see if that helps drop it some and helps you get some better BG readings :)

Jacqueline, a regular blog reader <-: said...

I have no good advice, but just wanted to say that I feel for you & I'm praying for ya. Hang in there!

Penny said...

1.~Breakfast foods that 1) don't require me to wake up an hour early and 2) don't send her numbers high like cereal does.

I'm not much help here. Riley eats cereal every morning. It doesn't affect his sugars like I hear others saying it affects theirs. I will say that Riley's insulin to carb ratio is way higher in the morning than it is any other time of the day. It needs to be this way even if he doesn't eat cereal.

2.~When you are busy (or side tracked) what is the best way to stay on a schedule when you are not used to sticking to one?

I don't really have an answer for that. I guess it's just something you have to make a priority and stick to it.

3.~I am worried about giving insulin before she eats now. Any advice on this would be handy.

I've never given insulin before Riley ate. He was 3 when diagnosed and I never knew what he would eat and what he wouldn't. Now, I give insulin while he's eating. I may give it at the very beginning of the meal, but only if I know he's going to eat every single thing on his plate. I almost always give it just as he's starting to eat his snack. He always eats all of his snack. But, still, I have never given insulin 15 minutes or so prior to a meal or snack.

4.~What are some good protein snacks? She is so tired of string cheese.

boiled eggs, nuts, apples smeared with peanut butter

5~And how do you keep your sanity?

I don't. No, really, the biggest help for me is prayer and blogging.

Michelle said...

Found you from a comment you left on Kerri's site. I'm a T1 and used to have trouble with breakfast especially because I liked to eat cereal. It was the milk that did me in, I think. Even when I ate plain Cheerios and dosed right I was usually high after cereal. My insulin:carb ratio at breakfast is 1:10 or 1:8 I can't remember w/o looking at my pump. Anyway, some of my staple breakfasts that don't usually make me go sky high: lower-sugar oatmeal from Quaker, bagels or whole wheat english muffins with cream cheese, 1/2 peanut butter sandwich with a teeny bit of jelly on whole wheat bread. Something I liked as a kid (I was dx as an adult) was cinnamon toast: toasted bread with butter and cinnamon/sugar. You could use Splenda instead of sugar for that. I seem to do OK with toaster waffles, too. I like to put cream cheese on them. Good luck!

Greg and/or Angie said...

I know how you feel with the A1C number. We have our next appt in about a month and I'm really hoping that number will be good. We have always given Nate his insulin before he eats and I think it works really well. I was very worried at first too because I thought it would be impossible to figure out what he would eat but we have learned to predict what he will and won't eat pretty well. Every once in a while he throws us a curve ball and won't eat what we dosed him for but I just leave the food on the table and he comes back to it when he's feeling low. My Doc actually told us that that was fine to do. He gets to feeling crummy and eventually eats. Brooklyn seems like a really good eater, though, so I doubt you would have a problem with that. Nate loves to snack on Pistachios (they have 5 carbs per serving), he got sick of string cheese pretty fast.
Good luck with everything! It sounds like you have a good support group and understand exactly what you are saying.

Holly | Reed Photographic said...

As far as the breakfast I'd try make-ahead breakfast casserole (eggs, bacon, veggies) with a slice of whole wheat toast.
As far as the schedule - pair down to the basics as much as you can. I don't know how time you spend on TV but I know personally I find more peace of mind when I use the "after the kids go to bed" time to get a jump start on tomorrow than if I plop down in front of American Idol. The other half of this is being a total hard-nose on the kids' sleep schedules. They have to go to bed and nap on a schedule. Our rule is even if Robbie won't nap, he has to stay in his room not causing mayhem so mom can get something done.

Stephanie said...

oh man i wish i could help! I for sure am a "dummy" when it comes to diabetes :( sorry!

alisonwonderland said...

i have no experience with what you're going through. but i will keep sending hugs and prayers!

FitGeGe said...

Seriously, lady, check out the Eat Clean Diet Book ( for recipes. This isn't a book about diabetes but she does talk about how clean eating can help lessen the impact of diabetes. I know almost nothing about diabetes so I won't claim to know it's true, but Tosca Reno, the author, had a nutritionist as a consultant so she verified the all the nutrition info in the book. Check it out from the library, maybe? Then you can decide if you want to buy it for $18.

Good luck, and I'm sending hugs and karma your way.