With so much to share about T1D, I’m not always sure where to start. Everyone has different curiosities and concerns, sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed as to what information to offer first. I often find myself wondering if I’m giving too much information. I’ve been guilty of not recognizing the glazed look in the listeners eyes as I’m rambling on about shots, sleepless nights, and our quest for a cure. So I apologize in advance if you feel captive after you’ve asked a simple question about T1D and are wondering if I’m going to take a breath in between sentences. You know, I just get excited when someone gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about T1D.
In my search to find a good place to start when talking about T1D, I recruited Logan and Zoe, the experts. “What should we should tell people about T1D?”, I asked. Logan’s first response was “I CAN HAVE SUGAR!!!”
If Logan’s blood sugar (glucose) is low, which is called hypoglycemia, he needs a fast acting carbohydrate (sugar). Typically we give him raisins, but if he doesn’t want them he gets plain M&M’s. There are other options, like juice, Cake-mate gel and glucose tablets. Logan does not like juice and won’t eat the tablets, so these have not been an option for us. Raisins have always worked, and knock on wood, we have been lucky that he has always been able to chew. Severe hypoglycemia would require an injection from a glucagon pen, or possibly, a trip to the ER.
You may have heard me say, “Sugar is Logan’s friend”. This is usually how we explain it when people ask if he can have sweets or not. Depending on the moment, if we have the opportunity, we’ll also explain that sugar helps keep his blood sugar in range. (When we say sugar we don’t mean straight sugar, but anything that turns into sugar like carbohydrates).
The toughest times can be at school when there is a special treat, scheduled or spontaneous. Most of the time he won’t even eat the treat that is offered, but if he likes it, we want to do what we can so he can participate with the class. He usually saves the special treat and brings it home for an after school snack. Homemade items are hard to figure out sometimes, most treats shared in class don’t have a carb count so it’s easier if he can bring it home and I can look at it, weigh it and figure out the carbs. It gets pretty tricky though when he says he’s going to eat a treat, gets dosed and then realizes he doesn’t like it. He just can’t stop eating it, if he has been dosed we have to figure out how to get those carbs in him, which usually ends up be some type of granola bar or a Z-bar.
There is one time that sticks in my mind, it was when there was an ice cream treat offered to all of the students, school wide. Logan’s teacher told him he could not have the ice cream because he had diabetes. Ugh. When he told me about it after school my heart just sank. He said it made him sad that everyone was having ice cream and he couldn’t have it because he had diabetes. I explained to him that his teacher misunderstood and that of course he could have ice cream. The school nurse was also upset by this and quickly reminded all of the staff and support staff that Logan could participate in any treat that was offered, if he chose to.
So, if you ever see us handing Logan a handful of M&M’s you can assume that he is low, because this is not a snack we allow him on a regular basis. I know that I won’t cover everything in my posts, so please don’t hesitate to ask me a question or two, I’m always happy to hear from you.
Please note that the examples and stories we share through this blog are related to our own families experience. Every family and child is different, there are many ways to keep T1D children healthy. We share our way so you can get to know T1D through our experiences and we hope that we help raise awareness while doing it.