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Head or Heart (or kidneys, or eyes, or...)

Posted Dec 05 2008 12:26pm
Every parent wants what’s best for their child. You want them to grow up strong and healthy. You want them to have a strong and healthy body. You also want them to be mentally strong, not just smart, but mentally healthy too. You want them to have high self-esteem. You don’t want them to feel isolated or different.

The physical part isn’t too hard with most kids. You make sure they eat healthy. You make sure they brush their teeth at least twice a day. You take them to the doctor for regular check-ups.

The mental part is a little harder. But, most kids just want to be treated like everyone else. They want to belong, fit in. They don’t want to be singled out amongst their peers.

Throw diabetes into the mix and it complicates things a bit.

What do you do when keeping your child physically healthy is a detriment to them mentally?

Or, keeping them mentally healthy is a detriment to their physical health?

Parents of kids with diabetes are faced with this dilemma on a daily basis, usually several times a day.

It’s been wearing on me as of late.

Usually if Riley’s sugar is high he will take insulin and skip snack. But, what about when there’s a birthday party at school and his sugar is 350 and the main menu items are cupcakes and ice cream with a side of potato chips?

Should I make him skip the party to keep his body healthy? Or should I let him go on and eat knowing the food is going to send his sugar soaring even higher just so he won’t feel singled out?

I’ve done both. And, I’ve felt guilty about both.

It breaks my heart to think of him sitting at his desk watching everyone else eat their treats. But, it also bothers me to think that his sugar is already that high and, before going down, will probably go higher.

9 times out of 10 if peers are involved I let him go on and eat and just deal with the high later. There are enough things he has to do that make him stand out. I don’t want to add to that.

He’s the only one in his class who pulls out a blood sugar machine before he eats. He’s the only one who sometimes has to sit out at recess because his sugar is low. He’s the only one that the teacher counts his fries before he eats.

Yes, there’s enough already to make him feel different.

Lately, he’s had a lot of highs. I’m guessing he’s going through a growth spurt. I have been increasing basals on a weekly basis for the past several weeks. Still, he sees the 300s at least once a day.

I guess that’s why this has been weighing on me so much lately. When his sugars have been pretty much in range it’s easier to let him have cake and ice cream occasionally even if his sugar is high at the time.

But, now, he’s having all these highs….

It is a horrible feeling when you know whatever decision you make is going to impact your child in a negative way somehow. I’m constantly second-guessing myself. I feel guilty if I let him eat and I feel bad if I don’t.

I don’t know how to solve the problem. A cure, maybe. That would be nice. But, until then what do I do?
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