A few days ago, Kaitlyn came to me after school with three plates full of snacks and food. “How many carbs, Mom?” she asked. I looked at everything she brought and … wow! I was laughing so hard! I couldn’t believe how much food she wanted to eat! This was just an after-school snack, and her helpings looked as if she hadn’t eaten in days!

Not believing that she would really eat all that food, I told her to start with one of the plates, and then we would go from there. Sometimes her eyes are bigger than her stomach, and we end up giving insulin for more than she really wants to eat. Then we’re left with giving juice or candy to avoid lows. I went ahead and counted the first plate for her. She dosed herself and started on her snack. Before I knew it, she was asking for the second plate … and then the third. She ate all of it!

I’m realizing that she is growing so fast and eating a lot more lately. Her insulin needs have changed quite a bit, and we have actually had to change the limits on her pump to allow her to get more units at one time and more total daily units. It seems like not too long ago, we were dosing her for tiny amounts of food. When she was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and still on multiple daily injections, we would stress and stress about drawing up the insulin amounts on the tiny syringe. How could just a few short years take her from eating tiny bites of food to three heaping platefuls?

I think that is one of the hardest things about managing diabetes — things are always changing. She’s constantly going through growth spurts, coming off growth spurts, and dealing with illnesses, emotional stresses and all kinds of other things that can affect blood sugar levels and insulin needs. Even with years of experience, I still depend on the help of skilled doctors, nurses, and C.D.E.s to periodically analyze her blood sugar data and make changes as necessary. They are the ones that are trained in figuring out exactly what needs to be adjusted — basal rates, carb ratios, or sensitivity factors. I’m not afraid to use their expertise!

Now, if only I could figure out a way to get her to ask for three plates of broccoli …


Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.


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