I often take for granted how adept my child is managing her own disease. She is six and a half and uses a Minimed 512 pump and has since she was just four. As we were eating pizza tonight with her friend who spending the night, I watched her shoveling it in. I sat and watched, guesstimating the total carbs as she peeled the cheese off one slice and eat about 1/3 of that crust, then fold another little slice into a rolled pizza sandwich, eating 2/3 of that. She ate five out of eight apple slices and guzzled her milk (did she go get more from the fridge??? No.).
I do some quick calculations and came up with 65 grams of carbs. She pulls out her pump and confirms, looking me in the eye, “65?” “Yep,” I say. She enters the numbers in her pump and tells me her insulin dosage in Spanish, “Dos punto ocho,” then runs upstairs to watch High School Musical with her friend.
Many of the parents I know with T1 kids would be having a heart attack about now. They carefully weigh and measure each serving, even counting the carbs on deli packages of sliced ham. I grew up with measuring cup shaped mashed potatoes; it traumatized me. It traumatized my mother.
The kitchen was not my mother’s favorite place, and then she has a kid with a disease totally dependent of food she has to prepare for me. Our dinners were very precisely thought out; back in those days I had two breads, three meats, two fats, one fruit and one vegetable exchange. She had all the cookbooks and tried to give me the most balanced and predictable meals possible. It was hard on her and my father. The pressure to be perfect as a mom is enough, but to then be judged by blood sugar readings is just too much.
I never really saw how hard it was for her. She is an amazing woman; lots of core strength that I don't think she acknowledges. She framed me and shaped me. Things were what they were, and we did the very best we could to contend.
My daughter has the benefit and detriment of having a mom with almost 25 years of history with T1. I pretty much think I know everything (I am constantly proven wrong). My perfectionist tendencies are around my work, my housekeeping (or lack thereof), her school work, but not around the diabetes. I know she is alright, after all we check her blood sugar virtually every three hours.
Her A1C's are below 7, so there must be something to this. I worry about the big things like her falling on her head out of the tree in the front yard, about the tangles in her beautiful curly hair and dealing with broken hearts over who got the most candy at Valentine’s Day. I am doing the best job I can caring for her diabetes. Her blood sugars are going to be high, they are going to be low, and I know how to take care of that usually. If I can't figure it out, I call her diabetes educator, she'll know. I know how many carbs are in most everything and if I don't, I'm a good guesser because a good guess is really ok. What more can I do? The best I can do is good enough; it has to be because that is all I have.