Blog Entries With Tag: parents


Posted: Sep 14, 2011

I have quite a few friends that follow Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's way of eating - which is to myself - very restrictive for me personally (he really doesn't like fruits to be eaten - due to their effect on blood sugars). When I recently read someone giving advise to a parent of a child with diabetes and telling them not just about low carb being good for their child it started to get me abit upset (even more so - they were giving out details on mixing insulin with saline - that is something a doctor should be advising a patient on).

Anyway, I accept that for some - this is what makes them happy (especially for those Type 2's needing to lose weight) - and I have no problems with that. I respect all ways of eating/controlling your health - except for the claims of cinnamon lowering blood sugars - I don't think the teaspoon a day that I tried for a few weeks made any difference - though my steel cut oatmeal tasted fantastic.  I just know having only 6 grams of carbs for breakfast is possible for me (I tend to average about 30 grams myself for breakfast).



I just know, as a child, I needed those carbs, due to being active along with all those hormonal surges that kids go through.  It didn't have any ill effects on me in the long run I think - of not eating low carb.  So far as I get closer to 50 years of having diabetes - touch wood - I'm doing well with no adverse effects of how I control my diabetes.  I know Dr. Bernstein says that a child following his way of eating can get all the correct nutrients without some of the foods he doesn't allow - but still - what happens when your child goes to a party - where "forbidden" food is available?  I know for myself, I loved going to other people's houses, where foods my Mum didn't have in our own household were readily available for me to sample.  I mean, a kid has to be a kid, to have a juicy slice of watermelon - and spit out the pits at your friends - that is FUN!!!

Also, the aim of having an A1C in the mid-range of 4.2%-4.6% makes me wonder about how this would affect a child.  I seem to be sticking around 6% - and am very happy with that reading - but a recent meeting with an endo I had hoped would be my doctor felt that I probably suffered from many hypos to get that number.  I don't - and my blood meter proved that to her (and no - the endo won't take me on as a patient - she said I am doing fine on my own).    My point here is, I think as a parent of a child, I would worry even more if I was to have them following the goals that Dr. Bernstein wishes his patients to have (all with the goal of avoiding complications from diabetes).
 
Recently I came across a great article at Diabetes UK (I follow them both in Twitter and Facebook) - that explains in what I call "layman terms" what low carb eating is all about.  I have tried to read Dr. Bernstein's books a few times - but I find them to be abit too technical for myself.  It turns out that my way of eating carbs where I'm between 100-120 grams of carbs per day on average is basically a "low carb diet".  Anything under 30 grams a day - which I believe is what Dr. Bernstein's follows is called "very low carb".  Again, I'm just not able to go that low (though my Dad apparently eats this way now according to my Mum now).

So, if you are abit puzzled by low carb eating like I am - check out this link from Diabetes UK and hopefully it'll answer any questions you may have like I did. 


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Posted: May 9, 2011

I’m one of many folks that are taking part in the 2nd Annual D-Blog Week that Karen Graffeo at Bitter Sweet is so kindly hosting on her website this week.  If you haven’t heard of it – check it out - see what we’re all doing – and perhaps get involved – come on don’t be shy!

The topic today is about  “ admiring our differences “ – and at first I was stumped by this topic (I never did well with assignments at school) and then I realised that I had written something similar a few weeks ago (Dear Parents of Diabetic Children) without even knowing that I’d be writing a similar story again this week.  My mind was aflame with ideas of who I admired the most out of the many diabetics that I have met over the years since I discovered the D-OC.  There are so many, but I think what has struck me the most over the year is the parents of diabetic children that I had come to admire the most .  Why?  Well, my parents (mainly my Mum – as my Dad was working) that did the best that they could with what information was available when I was diagnosed with diabetes in the 60’s.  They were pretty well in the dark with no online groups for them to join up to like we have today, so they did the best they could that was provided by CDA/ADA and the hospital that took care of my diabetes in Ottawa.   Personally, I think they did pretty well even when they tried to hide away the sweets from me in the top cupboard (I took my shoes off before getting on the counter tops to retrieve those goodies – me who is afraid of heights – the call of the “unforbidden” won over my fear).

Nowadays, parents of diabetic children have so many tools at their disposal – so I sometimes think it is more scary for the parents seeing their children’s blood sugars (BG) going up and down like a roller coaster ride and the fear that because of that horrible things will befall them (loss of eyesight, kidney, etc).  I wonder if sometimes having too much information isn’t a good thing.  I mean, my parents didn’t have all those tools, but in the end, I’ve turned out okay.  Yes, maybe I’m abit of a screw ball with my fantasy of wearing a cape/mask – but it works for me.

So, to all you D-parents out there – and you know who you are – I raise a toast to you in your everyday challenge to ensure your little one(s) are living the most out of their life.  If you love them and let them be who they are without stifling them, they will turn out fine.   I still wonder if my Dad was happy with my spending the CSB’s  he’d saved for my “further education” on a motorcycle instead – I know I was pleased as a little kitten <lol> – and I’m still alive despite a few miscalculations on a sharp turn in the road at “x” amount of speed!

 

 

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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   




Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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