Parenting with Diabetes

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • I've discovered that my quality of diabetes care is directly proportional to Sienna's level of fussiness.  Luckily, she's usually a very agreeable, happy baby; or else my blood sugars would be on a constant rollercoaster!


    However, she's is starting the teething process, which leaves her irritable and cranky when her gums are sore.  She'll have a couple bad days, when her teeth are obviously bothering her quite a bit; followed by a few normal days.  This weekend coincided with a stint of teething, making Dennis and me quite thrilled we decided against taking a long road trip to visit family over the holiday weekend.  Instead, we stayed home and went on several long walks. 

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    One of those walks began on Sunday early afternoon.  I'd made waffles in the morning (my baked good fix for the week) and bolused accordingly.  Dennis and I tackled some chores around the house, which always lowers my blood sugars.  I tested around 10:00 a.m. at 106 mg/dl.  The housecleaning had really kept my blood sugar from spiking after the waffle indulgence.  I munched on some carrots while we finished cleaning up.


    Sienna had a pretty good morning nap while her parents worked, but woke up in a fussy mood.  We were trying to get out the door to meet my mom.  I packed the diaper bag with Sienna in my arms; biting on a cold, wet washcloth (she loves it!)  Typically, I tossed in my meter and a baggie of dried apricots to treat any lows I might experience while out on our jaunt around downtown.  It crossed my mind to test my blood, but at the time it seemed more critical to get the bags packed and Sienna securely in her car seat while she was momentarily happy with her washcloth.


    Around 12:30 p.m., my mom, Dennis, Sienna, and I start our walk toward this amazing burger place near downtown.  They make delicious burgers with grass fed beef and all organic ingredients; it even comes on a whole wheat bun.  My mom and I share one, they're so big!  Halfway into our eight block stroll to the restaurant, I realize I'm low.  Darn, I should have tested. 


    Luckily, I feel my lows well and function quite normally with blood sugars in the 40s-50s.  We made it to the restaurant and my blood sugar was 64 mg/dl.  I decided to have a few French fries to help boost my blood sugar before we headed out on the long leg of our walk.  All was well.


    This low wasn't all that noteworthy, except I had gone over three hours without testing my blood sugar, which for me is quite a while.  Clearly, I'd decided that tending to Sienna in her time of need was more critical that taking a few seconds to test my blood and a few more minutes to either drink some juice or eat something to raise my blood sugar.  This is not a healthy behavior, because ultimately I have to manage my blood sugars so I can be an effective caretaker for my daughter.


    The reality is that Sienna may need to fuss for an extra minute or two, now and then, when her mom has to test her blood, bolus insulin, or gulp down some juice.  She'll be fine.  Those teeth aren't going to come in any faster because mom sacrifices her own care!

Published On: June 17, 2008