A couple of days ago, Kaitlyn came to me with a sugar cookie that she had decorated and said, “Mom… Is it cookie time yet?”
She had decorated it the night before at a church activity, and since we had already had major sugar overload for one day, I had told all my kids that we would save the cookies for later. Many times, I conveniently “forget” about a treat until somehow it just disappears and the kids forget about it too. Not this time though! I don’t think she stopped talking or thinking about it for one minute! I think she was probably eating it in her dreams. When morning came, she wanted it immediately, but I told her we needed to have a good breakfast first. When she asked again, I told her that she needed to make sure her bed was made and her room was picked up. Reluctantly, after I had given as many jobs as I could think of, I couldn’t put it off any longer. We checked Kaitlyn, and she had a perfect number, so I said, “Sure… why not?”
I walked over to the kitchen and looked at the monstrosity. It was a thick, huge sugar cookie smothered with mounds of pink and green frosting, and every inch of it was decorated with candies and sprinkles. Evidently, Kaitlyn had done her finest work! I inwardly groaned as I thought about guessing the carbs on this mammoth cookie. I could guess way wrong on this one, and it was bound to cause a blood sugar reading that was way out of range. Too high, too low… who knows? Out loud, I said, “I bet that’s about 60 carbs.” I got out our scale and measured just to see how close I was. Whoa! I looked at the scale, and I had guessed perfectly! Sixty grams of carbs on the dot! I was really quite proud of myself for how far I have come with my carb-counting skills!
I thought back to when Kaitlyn was first diagnosed. I had to look up every morsel of food she ate. It took me several minutes at every meal just to figure out how much insulin to give. I remember toting around my food scale, measuring cups and, of course, my beloved calorie book everywhere we went. I was so dependent on nutrition labels and all these tools, and at the time, I couldn’t imagine getting to the point when I would be able to look at a plate of food and just eyeball it.
Although I cannot estimate everything perfectly every time, I can officially say that I have come to the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am pretty darn good at counting carbs. If you’re still toting your nutrition books around with you, don’t worry… it will happen for you too! A day will come when you’ll be able to count like the best of them!
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.