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need advice on 3-year-old type 1 daughter

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by deedee, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. deedee

    deedee Approved members

    Nov 14, 2009
    For those of you that have type 1 kids who are 2-3 years of age, do you struggle with your child being an erratic, unpredictable, and picky eater? Ever since my daughter turned 2, she stopped eating regularly (she was diagnosed at 2 1/2). I know this is normal....you hear about kids who are this way all the time. I just do what I can to work with her and get her to ingest something each day. The problem is that we can never get on a carb/insulin "schedule" very well, because she is more of a grazer...so from day to day things can be unpredictable. I wind up checking her blood sugar quite a bit (maybe 10 times a day), just to know what is going on. I did not think this was a problem....but we saw a new endo the other day and she reamed me for allowing my child to be a "grazer" and for hurting her by pricking her finger too many times unecessarily. It was very demoralizing - she accussed me of causing my child uneeded physical pain and said that I am doing things all wrong (and by the way....she was only diagnosed 6 months ago, so the idea that we should have it all together is crazy). As far as she is concerned, my daughter should be on a predictable meal/snack schedule, and I should only check her blood sugar at predictable times a day / 4-6 times a day. I am really frustrated because I really, really want my child on a meal/snack schedule....but how on earth do I get her to comply????? Any one else go through this?? BTW - her A1C was 7.0
  2. Dan

    Dan Approved members

    Nov 8, 2009
    Easy for your CDE or Endo to preach to you...My son got T1 when he was 22 months old. He also was a very picky eater and we had all the issues that you described. All I can say is it is easy to criticize when you have never lived it. I know exactly what you are felling because my wife and I lived it for at least 2 years. Finally Josh started to eat a little better. But he still can take up to 45 minutes to eat a meal. We just do the best we can and dose after his meals or after he starts to eat. Because you never know how much he is going to eat. Hang in there...I feel your pain
  3. sisterbeth43

    sisterbeth43 Approved members

    Oct 14, 2007
    Apparently your new endo is not a parent. None of my children had D at that age, but all 6 of them were picky, unpredictable eaters. Normal for a kid that age.
  4. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    First of all Deedee, you are doing fantastic!!!!!! Having a young child with type 1 is so hard. Please do something for me, demand another endo if at all possible. I am so angry with this one for treating you this way:mad: Your endo is supposed to be part of your team, this bit.....I mean doctor is not being a team player and is instead being a control freak and a bully!!:mad:

    Many people in here test their very young children 8-10 times per day and will often use toes if need be. What types of insulin is your little girl on? With MDI she can graze but you will have to probably give her insulin after she eats or a good choice may be to put her on a pump where you can bolus for small amounts of food eaten. Also if she eats no carb or low carb things like cheese or celery sticks with cream cheese its not to much of an issue.

    I know you will get lots of good advice from some of the parents in here with little ones. My Steven is 8 and was diagnosed at 3 1/2. And that A1C of 7 is perfect!! Good job:)
  5. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    I would look for a new endo asap. To expect a young child to be on a 'predicable' eating schedule/pattern is rediculous... My daughter was dx at 2.. we checked her (and still do) up to 15 times a day.. we tried to keep her to three 'meals' a day and then two snacks, and then carb free foods to cut down on the injections.. HOnestly, I'd encourage you to look for a new endo and research pumps. My daughter's world changed when we went to a pump at 3 years old.. you can graze on a pump.. when we first started to pump we would bolus (give insulin) for the food as she's eating eating it.. unlike injections, you can insulin through a pump as often as you'd like, kids have so much more freedom in their schedule and eating choices. The pumps keep track of active insulin so that you don't stack it.

    I'm sorry your appointment was not fun.. An endo shouldn't talk to you that way, ever, especially so new after dx.
  6. goochgirl

    goochgirl Approved members

    Jul 28, 2008
    My son was diagnosed at 22 months old. It was very difficult until we went on the pump 3 months later. It makes the "grazing" much easier to deal with. We check our son at least 10 times a day; well, he checks himself.
  7. twicker1

    twicker1 Approved members

    Apr 10, 2006
    First off, six months in, and being 2-1/2 years old, I think an A1C of 7.0 is very good! You are doing a great job. My little one was only 4-1/2 when dx, but I am well aware of a child that doesn't eat when you want, and then only eating WHAT he wants. He is almost 9, and we still have problems giving insulin before he eats because we never know how much he will ACTUALLY eat.

    Next, don't feel bad for checking blood sugars up to 10 times a day! You will find A LOT of people here DO check that often, and sometimes more. I know there are days when we only check 4 times, but that is very rare.

    I know you said you just went to a new endo, but who knows, you may have to look for yet another one if they make you feel bad for doing what you have to do to take care of your child.

    What insulin is your daughter on?
  8. kpoehls

    kpoehls Approved members

    Apr 18, 2009
    First of all, WOW! Her A1C is AWESOME!!! All I can say is that checking up to 10 times per day is really working out great for her!!!! Your new endo is really missing the boat... IMHO... you are doing an AMAZING job controlling her bs, which I think is what an endo should be MOST concerned about. :rolleyes:

    It seems that it is easy to be an expert about somebody else's parenting... I wonder if she would be as patronizing if she had to walk a mile in your shoes. My dd was diagnosed 6+ months ago as well. There is NO WAY that anyone could have it all together in that time, even with a child who is quite a bit older than your's. As far as causing physical pain, I can tell you that my dd (who is 8 and quite able to express her feelings clearly) says that the finger pricks don't feel bad. However, she has a lot to say about the lantus sting ...:eek:

    I am sorry that you felt your endo was "reaming" you for doing what you think is best for your child. I hope that you find her advice/support more supportive in the future. :)
  9. Spongy

    Spongy Approved members

    Mar 15, 2009

    My son was diagnosed 8 months ago, a month before his 3rd birthday, since diagnosis he has become much more of a predictable eater, we check him 8-10 times a day and schedule his meals and snacks roughly 2 hours apart -- his A1C is still 8.1!!

    You are doing an awesome job - an A1C of 7 is amazing. I realize grazing is not ideal, we have dealt with that without diabetes and it was exhausting chasing him around the house to have him eat (I swore I would never do it but I did!!)

    Don't take any notice of that cranky endo, she should be congratulating you and you should be proud of yourself.

    Keep up the good work!!
  10. Kalebsmom

    Kalebsmom Approved members

    Aug 29, 2008
    Both of my kids are grazers. That is one of the main reasons Kaleb went on the pump. He would much rather graze than sit down and eat at the same time everyday.

    Has the endo ever mentioned going ont he pump?
  11. manic4titans

    manic4titans Approved members

    Apr 17, 2009
    Great A1C. good job mom.

    I will be in the minority here but I never allowed my children to be grazers. It's all in what the child is accustomed to, IMHO. BUT you do what you feel is best for your child.
  12. miss_behave

    miss_behave Approved members

    Aug 28, 2006
    I would definitely look into getting a pump. They are fabulous for unpredictable eaters. You can bolus a little bit here and there to cover whatever they eat. The pump does all the calculations and takes into account insulin on board so you don't stack insulin, meaning you can dose as often as you like. I definitely don't have a scheduled eating plan and I'm 20. Schedules suck IMO, who wants to live like that? Life needs some spontaneity!

    BTW, you'll find most parents here test their children 8-12 times a day, especially the really young ones. You are not hurting your child, you are making sure she is healthy! TBH your endo sounds like a dud. I'd fire him/her and find a new supportive one. They are not here to tell you off, they are here to support you.
  13. Little Diabetic Dude

    Little Diabetic Dude Approved members

    Sep 7, 2009
    Firstly don't let anyone tell you , you're doing a bad job.D parents are so dedicated it's not funny the ones I have met anyway.
    My son was diagnosed 6 mths ago he was 16mths old. He is king of all grazers I guesstimate alot on what he eats and in the back of my mind I think it will not be like this forever we are on a pump now for 1 mth and it makes it easier for grazers to bolus what you need and even food they shouldn't really have you can bolus for. He doesn't miss out on treats because he is a D. I treat him no different to my other 3 children.I pray for a cure in his lifetime.
    A1C is 7.0 also and that is OK. I wish I could get tighter with his levels but it is very difficult with a small toddler, you do the best you can. My son has constant ear infections he has a vomitting bug tonight so there is always something going on with him. If I can get food into him that's a bonus let alone the time of the food and the amount. For now that is not so important.

    I finger prick when I need to some days alot others not so much, just to find out whats going on. I don't over finger prick cause I am being horrible its the need.

    Just do the best you can that's what we do, I don't feel guilty for it but having D isn't fair so getting by days to day is the aim. I know it will get easier and that is what I look forward to.
    Pm me if you need to chat.
  14. joan

    joan Approved members

    Aug 31, 2009
    I am sorry you had to go through that. I would get a new doctor. I would have asked her how you were suppose to know when she was behaves poorly if she was low or not. The only way you can tell is to check. Why are there cms? Because the more you know the better for your child. Her approach to diabetes is antiquated. It upsets me when patients are treated poorly and you were. My son was diagnosed at 22mos. I had to check him a lot. I had no clue when he was crying, hitting, resting etc what his bg was. As far as the pain inflicted, they all say children don't feel the fingerstick much at all. She should have praised you on the great job you are doing, her great a1c and made you feel good when you left. It seems as if she has no clue what you are dealing with. Good Luck.
  15. Jen_in_NH

    Jen_in_NH Approved members

    Jan 12, 2009
    I think you're doing awesome! My son was diagnosed at 20 months (almost 1 year ago), and we've never had an A1c that good.

    Christopher isn't really a grazer, so that made our lives easier. He just eats like a horse at meals, and could care less if he gets a snack. We just started pumping a month ago, and that has made life a lot easier. We've been able to correct mealtime highs before he eats, and then bolus him as he eats to keep the 2 hour spikes from being too bad.

    I bet your endo doesn't have kids. One of the first things our endo told us was not to get into food battles with him. If he doesn't want to eat, OK. If he wants more, give it to him. She told us if we start battling him about needing to eat more to get his shot, then he'll figure out that it's a good way to control things. So far, we haven't had any huge issues.
  16. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Nov 21, 2007
    Change endos.:)

    Seriously, I can't believe any endo would say that a toddler's grazing habits are not normal.:confused: Do they come from a Mary Poppins Toddler School?

    Get a new endo, and hopefully things will go fine.
  17. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Goodness. I think you're doing a terrific job! My child with D isn't a grazer, but his little sister, who is 2, is. You simply cannot make a child eat when they're not hungry, and withholding food when they are is, IMHO, cruel, at least at that age. You're doing the best you can, and considering you're getting an a1C of 7.0, I'd say that your best is pretty darn good! :)

    I agree with the others that a pump helps so much with grazing. Like I said, Jack isn't normally a grazer, but there are times, like at parties, or the fair, when he eats all day, and the pump makes it a ton easier.

    I would find another endo. It is simply unacceptable for him to berate you for doing what you're doing. Period.
  18. gradysmom

    gradysmom Approved members

    Nov 6, 2006
    I've been in endo appointments with my boys for over 10 years and no one has ever made me feel crappy about anything, ever. 7.0 is great but don't get hung up in the number, it's really hard not to but try. Look at the whole picture.
    First, I'd definitely get a new endo.....for sure.
    My 3 year old was a great eater. Everything on the plate, all counted up and insulin given.
    My 2.5 year old was exactly the opposite. If I told him not to eat his supper he would. If his brother said it could be poisonous he would ask for another helping. He makes me nuts. I check his blood sugar at the same time as his brother, I give him his insulin about 45 minutes after his brother, taking into account the running around the table, the tantrum over the potatoes touching the meatloaf....
    Grady is 13 and Ethan is 5 and Ethan is starting to settle into a more predictable pattern. Some days are better than others. I still don't give him his insulin until I am sure he is done eating.
  19. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    Looks like you have a found a pediatric endo (there are millions of straight pediatricians like this) who believes that her job is not to give you medical information but parenting instruction.

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world. We have conflated having knowledge and understanding with having good judgment. It's hard to make a good judgment without knowledge, but just taking a degree (and so gaining information) does not in any way improve your judgment. In fact, a 20 year old pediatrician will almost always have worse judgment than I have. A pediatrician with no compassion with have worse judgment than I have. A pediatrician with a bitter or nihilistic world view will certainly have a much different judgment than I have, and her degree does not in any way prove that her choice is superior to mine. She doesn't have a degree in wisdom, she has a degree in medicine.

    So I take the information from doctors, because they have more than I do (sometimes), and I can use it to form judgments about the way I raise my kids. I never substitute a doctor's parenting judgment for my own, and I will not tolerate a doctor that believes I should.

    As for your child's eating habits, while diabetes does take some adjustment I think the answer to these kinds of questions is usually another question -- if she weren't diabetic, would you do things any differently? We have never been a "sit down at the table and no wandering" family with toddlers. My two older girls were sometimes fed in the tub. Neither one of them wanders from the table anymore, neither have food disorders, neither have starved to death. We do have a lot of rules about food types, though. For example, juice is a no-no (at least apple and grape juice) almost all the time for all the kids (if it's not good for the kid with diabetes, it's not good for the rest of us). So we just have an expectation that we don't drink it, not constant fighting. If you want your toddler to do something, the best way is for her to assume there are no other options. Toddlers have a very strong counterwill that is a good thing and should not be broken (also not catered to). You can't let a toddler think she's winning, but you also can't let her think she's losing -- so it's best if all involved just assume there are no options.

    I know, easier said than done.

    What I'd suggest, if it were my family, is that she get in the habit of eating only free foods outside of mealtime. "We can't eat goldfish now, honey, do you want a piece of cheese?" (Not "you're not allowed"). Since she can't get her own meals at this point, it's good time to put this in place. For meals, give her good carbs and either post-bolus or have something waiting to fill in the carbs that will not be considered a treat (we use grapes, she likes them and will always eat them but she won't skip her dinner for them like she would for candy). The pump would make some of this easier, but at the same time with kid her size every time she eats carbs she will have a spike in blood sugar, so getting in the habit of constant carbing because the pump makes it possible can actually be a bad idea, in my opinion. Once she is out of her honeymoon, if she eats a pack of goldfish every couple hours you'll never see her out of the 200s, or even 300s.

    One other nosey bit of advice. With all my kids, what I've noticed with picky eating is that when they eat refined sugars, white carbs, high fructose corn syrup, and processed carb snacks, that becomes ALL they want to eat. This is a natural human reaction, it's carbing up before a winter that never comes. If you cut out all of this -- all of it -- suddenly meat and vegetables become something they gain a taste for. They learn what it means to be hungry, instead of just crave carbohydrates. It's like offering some nice leafy spinach to a bear standing under a tree of ripe apples in the fall -- he's going to gorge himself on apples as long as he can, and have no desire for spinach at all.

    There's my 20 page treatise. Best of luck to you, don't let the endos get you down.
  20. deedee

    deedee Approved members

    Nov 14, 2009
    Thanks yall!

    Thank you so much for all the replies.... I really do feel a lot better. It's so frustrating when you do all you can to care for your child, and a doctor acts so condescending. I do want to get her on a schedule, but I think that is so much easier said than done. One thing I think that endos miss is that diabetes does not just happen to the child....it happens to the parents too. Obviously the child is the one who has it much worse....but the parents (especially when your child is so young) become pancreas's. Sure they will tell you "Don't become your child's pancreas" Yeah...I get that. But when a child is diagnosed, you come home from the hospital basically having woken up in a brand new world. Your given a stack of learning material that is like 5 inches high, but your brain can only process so much of it at one time....so you do what you can to get through each day with good blood sugar numbers, with the hope that your 3-year-old (and 1-year old!!!!!) will eventually take a nap or go to bed - and you can then try to digest the 5 inches of learning material. And that's my RANT! :mad::eek::mad::eek:

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