Hi out there: A few different topics to throw out there. I’ll number them in case you want to skip ahead…
2. Exercise & Eating (aka – how to lose weight when you have to take in calories in order to support burning calories)
3. Alone! Eating Dinner! At a Neighbor’s House!
1. Vacation: We’re back from our annual island vacation… Not the palm tree, umbrellas- in-drinks kind but the rocky, northern-Atlantic kind.
(forgive my clumsy image insertions… I’ll get this figured out at some point!)
Of course, any vacation means a change in routine and you just never know how diabetes (times two in our case) will react to that. The nice thing is that we rent a house so we have a kitchen and a roomy retreat. The other side is packing (what seems like) a ton of extra supplies since the only way on & off this island is an hour-long boat ride on a specific schedule. Packing extra site & pod changes is easy… trying to figure out how many syringes the two of us might need if we both had to revert to MDI & Lantus was beyond me. So I just packed about a million. And, as always when you are prepared, everything was fine so we brought the million syringes home. And we have lots of pictures of our T1 little girl climbing on rocks, hiking trails, and pretty much just being a kid*. Awesome.
*Note to parents considering bunk bed for your child – kid sleeping in the top bunk is a complete fiasco for nighttime testing – especially since meters refuse to have a light for the test strip!
2. Exercise & Eating: I’m back on a walking routine… the usual reasons: to get in better shape, better bg management, lose some weight, get some “me” time (aka: head space). I use the word “routine” loosely. I try to walk at least twice per week, my route is 3.5 – 3.8 miles (thank you google pedometer maps!) and takes 50 minutes – 1 hour. As always when I get back onto the exercise horse it is taking forever (maybe it just feels like forever) to figure out how to best manage my bgs before, during, after. I can start off at the same bg (after similar circumstances) and one time I need 10 glucose tablets, a juicebox, a granola bar, and a banana (plus suspending my basal), and the next time my bg rises during the whole thing. Since I am also trying to lose some weight, I have been trying to do more to prevent lows rather than treating them so when I end up needing to eat 400 calories in order to burn my 350 calories that makes me crazy. I know that everyone struggles with this; I also know that if I could just get into a real routine it would get more stable (at least it has in the past). In the meantime, I’m trying very hard not to get discouraged to the point that I decide it would be easier not to do it all.
Plus — how do I help our daughter grow up enjoying activity & exercise so that this is less of a struggle for her as an adult? I find that a lot of the things I have trouble with and worry about for myself end up being things that I worry about for the bear in her future. All parents want their kids to have less suffering in their lives – there’s so much about T1 that I can’t prevent for her — she has to get her pump site changed, has to test her bg, has to deal with her parents watching how much of everything she eats… But if there are areas that I can influence, I want to do it.
3. Alone! Eating Dinner! At a neighbor’s house: The bear was diagnosed just after she turned 3 years old. Since that time she hasn’t gone anywhere without us and eaten (other than pre-school or with a babysitter where they are trained to deal with insulin, etc.). She is 5 1/2 now. This is, of course, ridiculous. Most of her friends have had lunch with another family or gone on a playdate without their parents along. We are in a situation with no family members available to help or learn what to do and no friends we’ve wanted to impose upon just yet. Today we got a last-minute invitation for the bear to go across the street and play with a niece & nephew of our neighbors. She was thrilled so she & I went over and she had a fabulous time. After 2 hours I was trying to round her up and all three kids were begging for her to stay there for dinner. Our neighbor insisted it was fine and said she would measure out the pasta and just pay attention to how much she ate. She asked good questions (and we were right across the street!) so I decided to let go a little and let it happen. The world didn’t end, the bedtime bg was perfect (a miracle in and of itself), and a little girl had a super normal afternoon playing. Maybe I’ll actually act on some of my intentions to reach out to some friends who have offered and give us all a few more of these opportunities.
If there’s any common thread in these ramblings, I think it is about how to best make diabetes fit into your life rather than trying to make your life fit into diabetes. My first endo (whom I still miss!) always approached things in that way with me and I really try to do that with the bear. I appreciate all the amazing bloggers in the DOC who give me inspiration and ideas of ways to do that. Not to mention the book Kids First, Diabetes Second (http://www.d-mom.com/kids-first-diabetes-second-book/) which should be handed out to every parent of a newly diagnosed T1 kid. Just like with so much in the DOC, that book gives you courage to stand up to diabetes and always remember that your kid is your kid.