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(Daily) Family dinner time help

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by anna-bananna, Dec 12, 2012.

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  1. anna-bananna

    anna-bananna Approved members

    May 23, 2011
    My family lives with my mom, and my husband and mom are frequently frustrated that we can no longer just sit down at the table and begin eating immediately when the food is ready, as we did before diagnosis. There is a lot of huffing and puffing and heavy sighing whenever we have to wait while carbs and insulin doses are being calculated, food is being measured out to be served in the proper proportions, or when waiting for a low bg to come back into range so we can then give insulin and eat. I have held my peace in the past, not wanting dd to feel responsible for mealtime tensions among the adults. I keep forgetting to discuss it with them at other times. So, tonight, dd was occupied in another room, when my mom suggests to me that we should set the timer for a certain amount of time before the food is expected to be ready so that this time we can be ready to sit down and eat as soon as the food is ready. I mumbled ok, and then she asked for my suggestion. I told her my suggestion was that we have D, now, and those days are over. She walked out in a huff. *Sigh*.

    We dose before eating, and dd needs to look at the ready food at mealtime to know how much of it she wants to eat. Also, if she is low, it sometimes takes more than 1 treatment to bring her back into range, and I don't know how we could predict that in order to know how far in advance to set a timer.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

  2. Debdebdebby13

    Debdebdebby13 Approved members

    Dec 15, 2011
    We give DD food, less than she might eat and bolus for it up front, when we sit down. She has tested her number first. We all sit down, DD's food is already dished up and we hand it over. She eats. If she wants more, we give her more and give her more insulin.

    If anything she starts eating before us because we dish her food up first since it gets weighed on occasion.

    In your situation I would have DD check her number before hand by like 5 or 10 minutes. Then if she isn't low I would prebolus for 25 or 30 carbs and dish up her food. Then have everyone sit down and get started.

    If my DD is low before dinner (as she was tonight, 63) depending on the number I have her start eating before we bolus, or I give her a glucose tab and have her start eating. Then I bolus her about ten minutes in, minus about 5 carbs.

    The biggest thing I think is that your family needs to get over it. I see your DD was diagnosed a while ago. It is what it is, she needs carbs counted and insulin dosed. Whining about it isn't going to change anything, except it might upset your DD. I think they need a lesson in empathy.
  3. nebby3

    nebby3 Approved members

    Jun 5, 2007
    When I remember I try to check my dd half an hour before we will eat so I can prebolus her or do whatever is necessary. if she were super high I might try to delay the meal more but not for more moderate highs. If she is low I will treat right away but I will not delay the meal. If anything I will try to get the meal together quicker so she can get to eating. Unless she is really low like below 40 I am not too worried about her not coming up. I would encourage her to eat faster acting foods first. Or if she is high I will encourage her to eat proteins first before carby dishes. Also when I first bolus for the meal I make a guess of how much she will eat without trying to go over but she is fine getting multiple shots so I can always give more later. If I have overdone it I will usually offer her milk instead of her usual water to drink to make up some if the difference. I do think the other adults should be more understanding but I also think there are ways to make D a smaller part of your dinnertime. Not having your daughter aware of the tension would be a big priority to me. You have to balance good bg control with lifestyle issues too.
  4. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    When my daughter was adamant that she didn't want to pump, I was a fierce mama bear to those that tried to push her into it. That said, I think we were both surprised at how much less stressful mealtimes are with the pump. We can test her in advance and prebolus. After 2+ years, we have a pretty good idea of carbs she'll want based on what we're having. If she wants seconds, it's just pushing a couple buttons. Sometimes we dish up in the kitchen and her plate has the scale under it as we dish up; other times the scale moves to the table. Other than that, D no longer interferes with sitting down the the table in a timely manner.
  5. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Oct 11, 2006
    I have my son test 30 mins before dinner is ready and then he preboluses for a ballpark amount. If he eats more, he boluses for the difference later. I weigh out his food when necessary and we all eat at the same time. I try my best not to let D interfere with our meals. It takes some planning but it's well worth it, IMO.
  6. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    It is hard to get organized. Perhaps waiting to call people to the table until you were done with your child's diabetes tasks is in order. Let your husband and MIL know that dinner isn't ready until testing is done.

    For what its worth, I didn't find that waiting for a low to come up was worth it. If low before a meal, the insulin was given after eating and in an amount that accounts for the low blood sugar. My son would just go ahead and eat the meal. Waiting didn't accomplish anything.
  7. maciasfamily

    maciasfamily Approved members

    Feb 15, 2012
    Get them to help! Someone can help weigh and calculate carbs while you're finishing getting dinner ready. Have DD look at the food before it's done to decide how much she might want.

    I would seriously sit down with both your hubby and mom and ask how they can help you. If they want to eat all together at a certain time, ask what they can do to help that happen. You're one person and can't do it all. I'm sorry but I wouldn't tolerate this at all.

    We go through the same thing, but everyone already knows and waits patiently for things to get done. Usually the kids, including our son, are the first to get served. Hubby will usually put him in his chair, test him and dose him and by then I'll have his plate ready. After the kids are served, then him and I serve ourselves and we sit down.
  8. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    I could understand a FIVE year old being pissy about having to wait to eat, but this is your HUSBAND and your MOM?! It's a shame that your daughter's diabetes is such a terrible inconvenience for them. :rolleyes:

    That being said, if they are going to be narcissistic babies about the whole thing, I agree with whoever said to take care of the D tasks before everyone sits down to eat. I find that it's good practice anyway to check BG about a half hour before meal time so that if my son is high, we can get a correction going and if he's low, we can treat a bit. I don't know how your daughter feels about the possibility of two shots, one before and one after supper, but that way she can dose for some carbs up front, and then the rest after she eats. Then she doesn't have to decide how much she is going to eat before she starts.

    But yeah. I'm astonished that grown adults would act like this. Way to go, husband and grandma. Way to make a child feel guilty for "ruining" their dinner.
  9. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    I agree about getting others involved to help you and dd rather than huffing and pouting about their ruined dinner. I'd be furious if my family reacted that way. Also, we don't wait for lows to come up before a meal - not sure that you need to do that unless she's feeling unwell from the low.

    I don't think you can continue to "forget" to raise this with the other adults in the house - they need to get involved and the whole family needs to find ways to make the integration of D tasks into meal prep without making such a big deal of it - your poor daughter must feel terrible that the adults in her family are making her medical needs into such a point of discord.:(
  10. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    Tell your husband, if you're hungry and want to eat right away, then stop complaining and start doing. You guys are a team, he needs to help out.
    As for mom, if you are living under her roof, you probably have to tread a little more lightly and politely ask for her to lend a hand. She can set the stove timer as a reminder for bg testing, she could also lend a hand in weighing measuring. The main thing is you need to let them know that a)you are not the only caregiver in the house b)your child is not to be made to feel guilty because of diabetes and the extra few steps it takes in getting dinner ready.

    Shame on them for behaving like a bunch of immature kids.
  11. DavidN

    DavidN Approved members

    Sep 7, 2012
    You mean to tell me your mother and husband actually have to wait on their meal sometimes? Are you serious? My heart goes out to them! This is absolutely tragic.

    Sorry for the sarcasm. I know it isn't productive. Just burns me up that they can actually get upset because dinner is delayed a few minutes because a 7-year old girl, their daughter and granddaughter nonetheless, is poking her fingers and taking injections because she lives day in and day out with a chronic illness that she can never ever take a break from. Un-fricking-believable.
  12. Lovemyboys

    Lovemyboys Approved members

    Sep 19, 2010
    I don't have any suggestions, but just a huge amount of sympathy. Your Mom sounds like my Mom. She was a very difficult person to get along with in general and at dinner time, she had to have everything hot and we had to start eating right away. My Mom died a few months before my little one was diagnosed and while I miss her, I think that we would have had quite a few confrontations on the food/eating issues.
  13. Mish

    Mish Approved members

    Aug 20, 2009
    pretty much what I was going to say. Only I was going to insert more swear words. It sounds like your mother and husband are behaving like pigs at a trough. It's supposed to be family dinner. One of those family members might need to wait a bit. They can wait too. They're not animals.
  14. valerie k

    valerie k Approved members

    Feb 19, 2008
    first off, its great your mom is trying to help come up with a solution to help. Its an obvious sticking point that needs to be resolved top an extent. I agree, a timer should be set, you should test at least 15 min to 1/2 hour before dinner anyways. You would catch any low. you would be able to treat at that time. You also would have plenty of time to do any carb counting that would be needed to be done. I used to put the carbs for all the food on the table on an index card and have a pretty bowl in the center of the table that held measure cups. You could pre-bolus for some of the food before dinner, and right after, finish the bolus for what is eaten. In case at her age, she decides that she isnt going to eat all put on her plate. Many times matt would say what he was going to eat, and change his mind in the middle of dinner.


    while this video is more geared for the teen set, pay attention to what happens at meal time. Now, you are revolving your meals around D, and its natural for people to start to resent it. Even if they are adults ect.

    my daughter once said "when I get diabetes, perhaps I will be included in the dinner conversation around here..." and it was a wake up call.... Diabetes isnt the center of my dinner, my family is. We now have matt take his blood away from the kitchen table. The time to test isnt as we are sitting down. its (hopefully fingers crossed) at least 15 min before we eat.

  15. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    Like the pp's, I have little sympathy for adults huffing and puffing. On the other hand, however, your mom's suggestion seems like a sensible one. Set a timer a predetermined amount of time before dinner to get a jump on BG testing, corrections, etc.
  16. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010

    It's her house...you might owe her a little more respect than that. Maybe she has the right to have a say in how things go in her own home. Just something to think about. The way you described it made you seem a little bit snarky. Maybe you weren't...there's a lot to be said for body language and tone of voice.
    Her request didn't seem unreasonable to me. Of course i wasnt there, but at least she had a solution not just a complaint. Starting d care a few mins earlier isn't a bad idea. With a family of boys I would have mutiny on my hands if I tried to make everyone else wait while we did d stuff. They would start eating and then we'd start a few mins later.

    I'm not sure why you wAit for a low to come up before eating? I would just give less insulin for the meal based on what the by was etc. I'm not criticizing the way you do things, just suggesting another possible way. (We all do what works best for us.)

    Good luck!
  17. pianoplayer4

    pianoplayer4 Approved members

    Feb 13, 2010
    one thing our family does that speeds things up at dinner is we serve all the food (dish it out onto plates) before we put the plates on the table. we used to use measuring cups to spoon everything out, and while the other kids were setting the table my mom and me would figure out the card/ check my bg/ bolus. It still takes a while but it doesn't have to hold things up quite so much.

    Setting a timer to check/ figure out carbs before dinner isn't a bad idea, honestly if I could do it (I'm 17 and can't always stop what I'm doing/ don't know when or what I'll be eating) I would, pre-bolusing can help stop your daughters bg from spiking after a meal.

    also, do you make dinner, our does your mother? if you're doing the cooking then you could start figuring things out as you cook, if it's your mom cooking then maybe you could suggest that the family picks 7 meals they really like and just rotate for a month or two, then switch so that the foods you're counting are meals you already know the carbs counts for.

    hope this helps=)
  18. Melissata

    Melissata Approved members

    Feb 19, 2009
    Depends on the low, sometimes it is best to wait till the low is treated to start eating. We didn't used to wait, but we have found that sometimes she stays low beyond the meal and then she starts to feel bad. It is a lot harder to treat the low once the meal has been eaten. Sometimes I have to remind my husband to help with weighing, etc, but he always does when I ask. He has even learned not to throw packages or cans out with the carb counts on them, because I make him retrieve them! If you make it look easy or that it is your responsibility alone, then you won't get any help.
  19. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Feb 22, 2007
    Everyone in that home needs to get on board:
    Who cooks dinner most of the time? That is the person to set a timer 30 min before the meal for testing.
    Your dd is young, if it were my call, unless she is really above range, bolus as soon as she has finished eating. You can get an accurate carb count and meal time may be less stressful. When she is older, you can prebolus for carbs.
    Really, if your husband and mother-in-law are behaving like this, there must be other issues than your dd delaying mealtime. Your dd must be picking up on how her diabetes is affecting family life there.
  20. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    All I am going to say is that the grown-ups in this household should get this sorted out asap, outside of the young one's hearing.

    Nothing worse for a CWD than to feel that the D is causing family tensions.
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