Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Homew6kids, Oct 28, 2011.
Again, the homeopathic stuff won't hurt. Cinnamon is NOT homeopathic by the way.
I am very sorry to hear of your nephew's diagnosis. It's difficult for me to tell from your original post what your major concern about your sister in law's lifestyle / preference for organic foods / use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) encompasses.
If your concern is simply over her preference for alternative therapies, I just want to put out there the idea that Western Medicine and complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) are not mutually exclusive, and most (if not all) top medical schools have a school for CAM such as the Osher Research Center at Harvard and Beth Israel Deconess Medical center, also at Harvard. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and I've also studied a number of alternative treatments. My first job as a critical care nurse was in a surgical ICU, where the hospital contracted with two anesthesiologists who were also licensed acupuncturists. My patients returned from surgery with acupuncture needles in their ear lobes, and had received half the normal dose of anesthesia. When I had cancer, I received chemo, homeopathic medicines, naturopathic medications, and herbal meds. The different members of my treatment team worked together cohesively, and I am better for it today. The National Institute for Medicine recognizes complementary and alternative medicines, including homeopathy. Our endocrine center has no objection to any of the homeopathic or herbal remedies that we use, and we've continued with them since dd's diagnosis.
My family and I prefer to eat organic foods, and I tend to subscribe to the notion that complex carbohydrates are healthier than simple carbs, even though a carb is a carb is a carb. It's what it's packaged with / in, and how it got that way that matters to me in terms of health. I respect that others have their own or differing beliefs, and that mine are only meaningful for my health and my children's. I know people who eat organically and look incredibly healthy, and others (like myself) who don't for whatever reason. It's a lifestyle choice that has some proven benefits - but then again, so does chocolate.
We don't have celiac (though the gene marker is present in all my kids), but we DO have gluten sensitivity. I've found plenty of organic foods that work just fine for my daughter, some high glycemic, and some low. We're learning to eat some things in moderation, but that's true regardless of whether you subscribe to organic, vegan, or typical American cuisine, right?
I don't want to read anything into your post, but from what you wrote, your SIL and nephew should be just fine. Maybe it'll turn into an opportunity for you and she to share different ideas with each other. As a funny aside, my dd was fortunate to go to Camp Colorado this summer, and 90% of the snacks they served were of the natural food variety. My dd was happily familiar with most of them, particularly the Enjoy Life (gluten and nut free) and Enviro Kidz brands.
It's difficult for me to tell from your original post what your major concern about your sister in law's lifestyle / preference for organic foods / use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) encompasses.
I'm not concerned about their lifestyle, per se, I am concerned that she is going to have a harder time carb counting and figuring out dosing than those of us who simply look on the back of our pre-packaged dinner I'm hoping to find people for her to connect with who share her needs and concerns so she can learn how to deal with diabetes in a way that works for them.
Her lifestyle is not for us, but that's cool. To each their own. I just feel badly that I really can't help her with that kind of stuff.
CAM departments at respectful schools are political.
Alternative medicine that actually works is called "medicine."
Thanks, that makes sense, and you've described my kitchen to a T - I won't even touch Annie's organic mac n' cheese. We weigh everything, make most meals from scratch. I have a few resources I wouldn't dream of living without. We're nearly 9 months into dd's first year, and I've learned that Whole Foods doesn't have nutrition info for any of their in store dishes or meats, but Sprouts and Vitamin Cottage do. You just have to ask and they'll print it out for you. One website that is free and has been invaluable since Dx is called nutritiondata.com - I've been able to look up the carb content in 100g of many, many foods. Another, not free, is a software download called weight by date that I've been able to add recipes to, and has a lot of natural, organic foods in its database already. I'm sure people get by just fine without buying something like that, but it really helped us out a lot, and continues to do so.
I'm sure there are tons of people here that your sister in law could get advice from (and newbies like me that are happy to muddle along with). Honestly, I was mildly worried at first given the lack of prepackaged food labels, but carb counting has been the one area of D that has actually been fun for dd and I, and really not hard at all. We end up quizzing each other through the store about the number of carbs in various foods to see who's closest. It earns us some looks, but we have fun!
I admire and respect the wealth of knowledge you share regarding diabetes and its management in this forum. It puzzles me, though, how frequently I notice incredibly intelligent and helpful individuals here state their opinion in regard to something, in this case CAM, as fact.
I can acknowledge and respect your belief as stated above that CAM medical centers are political and respectfully agree to disagree. Within the paradigm that colors my view of the world, I choose to acknowledge the wealth of replicable, verifiable research studies in various alternative modalities, and the enormous benefit to many areas of western medicine as more doctors open themselves to collaborative efforts between various areas of practice. I also realize that not everyone is or will be open to that paradigm. I have close friends who are, and those who are not.
Rather than argue over the perceived benefits or deficits of other viewpoints / belief systems, it seems more important to build and maintain a level of mutual respect and the understanding that we each use what works for us in our belief system and leave the rest. Not seeing or believing in the supporting data of another viewpoint doesn't mean there is no rational basis for the existence of other paradigms, just that it doesn't work within our own.
I think if she came on here she'd find a lot of people who home-cook rather than eating pre-packaged food. I almost never eat pre-packaged meals, and manage just fine with carb counting. I think the key in the beginning is a book like calorie king and a good electric scale (one of the Salter scales with a carb database is preferable, but really, anything which weighs will do, and you can use carb factors). I used my scale religiously for the first couple of years, and now I can judge the carb counts in the things that I eat. I weigh sometimes, but rarely.
How about offering her a Salter Scale? And maybe the Calorie King book? Or just a carb-counting guide? I think that would help her out immensely. And both the scale and the book are "organic".
My view is entirely based on either evidence of efficacy, aside from the placebo effect, or the implausibility of the modality - meaning if it just can't work based on the laws of physics or chemistry, then it just can't work. I don't mean it in the context of "respect or disrespect" only knowledge as I, and many others, see it.
EDIT: Just to be clear, I acknowledge the placebo effect.
Yes, we were just talking about that. I killed mine dropping it not long ago, I have backups and now that I'm trying to get my DD to weigh things, I need another. Wonder if I can get a bulk discount?
I'm trying to get my brain back to shots and Lantus and all that. (They've been told to test 4 times a day. I'd totally forgotten endos tell people that!!). I was thinking a care package with a scale, carb counting book, Inject-ease in case he wants to try his own shots, an extra meter, Precision Xtra ... Maybe a book and a Rufus.
Blegh ... Feels like my own kid's been dx'd all over again.
Thanks all for the suggestions for sites and books.
I think that if you can do that, it would be really great. Those are all the sort of things that newly diagnosed people really need, but I know I didn't get round to buying them for several weeks after dx because everything was crazy.
Also, I didn't say in my original post, I'm really sorry to hear about the new diagnosis.
Exactly what happened to us. Thank goodness I had the sense to have the receptionist call an endo for us immediately even though our ped said, "You might want to find a pediatric endo soon."
To the OP; I still remember the feeling of being overwhelmed with what we were taught in a few short days while in the hospital, I remember feeling so alone and somewhat scared that our life was turned upside down in a matter of seconds. What I needed then and asked for was someone that was going through the same thing to comfort me, to show me it was all going to be okay, to explain to me how exactly it wasn't going to change our lives as I believed it would. It took my a while to get in my thick head that he could still eat what he always had before as long as I counted and dosed for it. I had no idea what the difference between basal and bolus was and the endo and nurses used that jargon with me a lot. I know I asked and I'm sure they answered but there was just so much being thrown at us at the time. It took 3 months for another parent to contact me due to having to sign many documents saying it was okay for someone to contact me.
That being said, just reach out to her, comfort her and let her know you will help her every step of the way. Try to encourage her to come on here. Try to gently explain that testing 4 times a day is really not enough. The JDRF, ADA and this site have great things for newly diagnosed kids. We got a juggling set from the ADA I think and JDRF sent us a Bag of Hope that contained a Rufus and a lot of books, I think the Pink Panther book was in that one and CWD sent us a backpack that Will still carries today.
I commend you for helping her, wish I had someone like you around after Will's diagnosis!
I was in the same boat. Homeopathy and alternative medicine has greatly helped Ella with her hypothyroidism, allergies and low platelets. It literally saved her life. It's also helped with her siblings' behavior. And 10 years ago, I too was in the mindset western medicine was bad. I had my kids in a birthing center with a midwife instead of a hospital, rinsed her ears with diluted vinegar when she had an ear infection, used various herbal teas, eat all natural, organic, community grown food (still do!) But I (thankfully!) had enough common sense to realize when I needed more help than I could give my baby at home, and once the ER doctor calmed me down and explained type 1, I took a deep breath and did the best I could to figure this all out...that's a different story.
Hopefully your SIL won't deny him insulin and figure out that she can use her homeopathic remedies and tricks while using the miracle of modern medicine to keep her son alive and healthy. Good luck!
and oh yes, recommend more than 4 times a day for sure!!! i was told that too...Nope. I tested her at least 10 times a day, probably closer to 15. I was SO scared
Well, they are concerned parents, and have - of course - already discovered that they are testing WAY more than 4 times a day. I am so frustrated for them. My BIL is freaking out because his poor son is hardly ever below 300, let alone 200, and the endo says to wait for the next shot.
I have this insane, intense desire to go get everything under control for them! I think I am just as stressed and frustrated as they are.
I feel so very badly for her. You do everything you think is going to keep your kids well and safe, and finding out that you cannot prevent everything must be a tough pill to swallow (pun intended ) Diabetes is tough for anyone, but for those of us who like to keep on top of things, if you will, it's a damn nightmare. There's no such thing as control.
Our daughter ran in the high 200s for the first week or so after coming home. They didn't want us to adjust her down further, as they were expecting a honeymoon. Within days, her BGs dropped at that dose and then her doses started dropping. I wouldn't like those numbers, either, but we were so new, so overwhelmed, and it was more important that she be relatively safe while we learned the ropes. Now when the same thing occurred with our pump start, my frustrations went sky-high with not being able to treat my daughter myself. I didn't wait the three days I was supposed to before calling our CDE for a dose changed. Fortunately, this time around, the learning curve is going quicker.
I think being there for them to vent, ask questions, provide resource suggestions, etc. is what they probably need most. I remember when an acquaintance's son was diagnosed seven months after my daughter. I called them within the first week, and she called me back later in the week. She was so chipper and upbeat about having found New Normal. I remember thinking, "I am SO not whom you should talk to right now" as I was at the 6 month grieving stage. But, two weeks later, she called and the minute I heard her voice, I said, "You're emotionally and physically exhausted, aren't you?" It was then I felt most helpful, as she needed to talk to someone who knew exactly what she was dealing with.
Turns out the nurse told them their son could have snacks up to 15 carbs without insulin. So that's what they've been doing. No wonder the poor kid is so high!
We were told that J could have 15 carb snacks without insulin at dx too. I think that is a pretty common thing to do at first.
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