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Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Frymom3, May 3, 2011.

  1. Frymom3

    Frymom3 Approved members

    May 3, 2011
    I am a mother of 3 beautiful girls. My youngest (6 years old ) daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Thursday. It was a total shock to say the least. We have just returned from a 3 day stay at Childrens Hospital where we received TONS of info.
    To be honest I feel like I'm in information overload. While our daughter is fine, now and doesn't seem to be too traumatized by the situation, her father and I are not. haha
    It's a totally new lifestyle. We have SO many questions. :confused:

    Like.... how do you do potlucks? We have decoration this weekend with my husbands family. How in the world will I know how to calculate carbs for food I don't know how it was prepared?
    What about babysitters? We've started using our 12 year old for when we have meetings at night or just for a quick dinner date (we never them them longer than 2 hrs). While I'm sure they would be fine, my 12 year old is too scared right now to be left alone with her. That may change in the future though. It's all still new to all of us.

    Trying to find a support system in our local area. Looking forward to the day when it's all second nature and our fears are not on high alert.

    So glad to have found this forum. :)
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Hi, and welcome :cwds: I'm sorry you've had to join us but I'm sure we can help.;)

    First off we ALL felt that way in the beginning. It's a very steep learning curve and the first few months are pocked by uncertainty and intense emotions.

    A few thoughts ... buy a copy of the "Calorie King" book http://www.amazon.com/CalorieKing-Calorie-Carbohydrate-Counter-2011/dp/1930448333 as it will help you learn how to count carbs whether eating out or cooking at home. Also, I highly recommend Ragnar Hanas' book for understanding Type 1 and it's management http://www.amazon.com/Diabetes-Chil...tmm_pap_title_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304448160&sr=1-1

    Above all you have to give yourself time. If you have a special event coming up you can look up foods that your child will most likely want to have and come up with an estimate of how many carbs that will be. Or you can skip the buffet and make the whole family a special meal at home until you feel more confident making guesses at carb counts.

    It gets easier, really it does. ;)
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    I just wanted to say welcome and echo what Sarah said, give yourself time. After dx we just kind of hunkered down and didn't really go out much and just tried to get used to counting carbs, giving injections, etc. Although she did go right back to school, 3 days after coming home from the hospital.

    Take it one day, one meal at a time. Glad you found this site, it is a great place to get support and information.
  4. mocha

    mocha Approved members

    Feb 27, 2011
    First of all, I want to welcome you to the forums.:)

    Secondly, you are not alone. Getting this diagnosis is physical, emotional, mental, and definitely information overload.

    As far as potlucks, and eating out in general, there are a lot of good resources for carb counting. You can get a scale and measuring cups. There are apps for phones, but there are also lots of books, such as Calorie King, that can give you a good starting point for carb counts.

    For the first few weeks while you're all getting a handle on everything, it's totally understandable to bring a separate meal for your daughter, or to have her eat before hand.

    As far as baby sitters go, if you find a support group in your area, you can see if there are any teens with D who would be willing to baby sit. I used to do that for a family while I was in high school. You get the piece of mind knowing that the baby sitter knows what they're doing, and your children get to see someone older with D.

    Anyway, I know you're overwhelmed with information right now, so feel free to continue asking questions and rereading everything. :cwds:
  5. jules12

    jules12 Approved members

    May 26, 2007
    I am sorry you are dealing with this disease but you have posted in the right place. You will get lots of information and support! :)

    When my son was first diagnosed, I used to carry some of his favorite prepackaged snacks that had the carbs right on the package. Many times he liked this just as well as what was being served. It helped us ease into this thing and not feel as stressed. We also carried the Calorie King book around with us everywhere.

    If you know the type of foods your child typically eats, go ahead and look them up and take a cheat sheet with you (i.e. 1/2 c mashed potatoes = ___ carbs, etc.) It is easier than looking each food up - but I have done it both ways. Also, if you have to guess, do the best you can and test a little more often than normal.

    We kept a list of favorite foods with carb counts on the front of the refrigerator and added to the list as we figured out more of the foods we ate on a regular basis. This helped speed up our meal times because I didn't have to figure things as often. We also (as a family) ate simplier meals at first until I really got the hang of carb counting different foods.

    It will get better - I still remember that information overload feeling when we first came home from the hospital.
  6. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    Hi! I'm so sorry to hear of your daughter's diagnosis. It is very overwhelming at first, but I promise that it does get better.

    With respect to potlucks, the first thing I would do is to prepare a dish that you know your daughter will like and will eat quite a bit of. You'll be able to calculate that carb count pretty accurately, which will help.

    At age 6, you can probably predict pretty well what sorts of things she will like and which ones she won't. You don't have to be exact on your carb count. Just go over in your head which visible ingredients have carbs and which ones don't and then give it a good guesstimate. Encourage things like fresh veggies and fruits, which are easy to guess on, as well as cheese and crackers.

    As long as you test often, you can "fix" any errors in carb counting. :)

    Welcome to CWD! :)
  7. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

    Aug 3, 2010
    I'm so sorry your family is going through this. We all understand! This is a great reference book that you can view online (but not print): http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/c...eBooks/books/Pages/UnderstandingDiabetes.aspx We found it very comforting.

    Please remember that there is no such thing as "perfect" when figuring out carbs and such. The correction factor can be used for the next meal when you have underestimated the carbs in a meal. After a while, you'll get really good at guessing. There will come a time when things will feel more normal. We are here to give proof that there can be lots of joy ahead for you and your family!
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  8. Frymom3

    Frymom3 Approved members

    May 3, 2011
    Thanks so much!! :) we do have a calorie king book and it is lots of help. My husband has a smartphone and it is good too.
    So glad I found this sight. I KNOW it will be a big help.

    Thanks again for all the encouraging words. :)
  9. quiltinmom

    quiltinmom Approved members

    Jun 24, 2010
    I'm glad you found us. I have learned SO much here that I wouldn't have learned elsewhere. I love all the practical tips and suggestions, the "what do you do when..." answers people have. I probably forgot half of what they taught us in the hospital. Good thing most of it was written down! How do they expect us to remember anything after being blind-sighted like that?

    I remember our first pot luck after diagnosis. I was pretty nervous going into it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. Most people brought foods I was somewhat familiar with. And, he was so interested in what was going on he didn't eat that much.

    Sometimes, though, you have to make a complete guess. Just do your best at counting for what you think is in there, and test again in 2 hours to see how you did. I tend to estimate on the low side, to prevent possible lows. Especially with a new diagnosis, assuming she's honeymooning, you can give a little less insulin and sometimes her body will cover the rest. There is some wiggle room. Or if she goes high, you can just correct it later. Obviously, this isn't what you should do for every meal, but once in a while, on special occations or holidays, you just have to do the best you know how. You'll be okay.

    As far as babysitters go...we didn't leave DS with anyone (outside of school, which also made me nervous, by the way) for quite a while--more for my peace of mind than anything else. As your 12 year old gets more used to the daily routine, she'll get more comfortable with babysitting her sister. And, you will gain a new appreciation for your cell phone. ;)

    Early diagnosis is very overwhelming. But, day by day, you'll slowly get used to it and before you know it, you'll be an old pro. :) You'll find you encounter "firsts" less and less.

    Good luck! Feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
  10. kidsmakes7

    kidsmakes7 Approved members

    Apr 12, 2011
    I'll echo what Sarah said, and welcome! You're in the right place.

    With carb counts, failing all else, take along your web enabled device and drop a question to the forums. Typically, there are folks online that can provide help within minutes.

    It really will get easier.
  11. JeremysDad

    JeremysDad Approved members

    Dec 28, 2009
    Ha Ha, yes, I remember that too when my son was diagnosed. You probably got 1 folder, 2 CD's 2 backpacks, books, pamphlets and lots of other stuff. Oh, and you need to read it all before tomorrow. Actually I did read a bunch of what they gave us but there is nothing like getting information directly from those who live with this illness day and and day out...like those who frequent this group.

    So, welcome of the "family" and be sure to come back often. We are here to help. We know because we have been where you currently are.

    And it really does get easier!!!
  12. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hello and welcome:cwds: I am sorry you joined us for this reason but promise you that your daughter is going to be fine:) And you and your husband are going to do great;) For now, be patient with yourself. I know there is so much to try and remember. I used to write alot in a notebook. I still have that and look through it from time to time. It has important info such as: Teddy Grahams have approx 1 1/2 carb a piece:) and such things. come back here anytime if you need advice or just a friendly eye to give support
  13. monkeyschool

    monkeyschool Approved members

    Mar 2, 2011
    Just wanted to say welcome! I am so sorry about your daughter's diagnosis. My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed 2/26/11 so it's all fairly new, but I can tell you I feel MUCH better about things two months into things :) The first few weeks were the worst, as well as the first couple of times we tried anything new....a party, an activity, etc.

    We use the Calorie King book that other posters have suggested and it's been pretty much on for us. The problem right now is that we don't really know how to 'judge' portion sizes so we are still struggling a bit where we don't have a scale to help us out. It is a huge learning curve, but it really gets easier with a little time.

    I can't help with a potluck since I've never really been to one, but when we first went to a backyard friend's party we took a cooler with sandwich and some veggies/fruit in case we needed them :)

    Hugs your way,

  14. bnmom

    bnmom Approved members

    Oct 26, 2010
    Sorry about your little girl's dx, but you will love this forum. The practical advice and voices of experience are priceless.

    For your potluck, just practice eyeballing portion sizes at home. That way when your book says 1 cup of xxx...you'll know what 1 cup looks like on a plate.

    Or if you are totally freaked out (which is understandable!) then just take your daughter her own meal - from home, or a happy meal, or whatever.

    It's not the end of the world if you guesstimate and you're off. Just check her level 3-4hrs after she eats, if she's high give a correction shot...if she's low give her some juice. And if you are unsure, don't be afraid to call your endo and ask.

    And I totally agree with Sarah's recommendation to get Hanas' book. I just did so this week and I wish I had gotten it the day we left the hospital. It's awesome!

    Hang in there, good luck and I hope you guys have a great time at the potluck :)
  15. ShanaB

    ShanaB Approved members

    Apr 4, 2009
    Sorry you had to join us but welcome :)

    You have been given a lot of really good advice already. I just wanted to add that in the beginning this site scared the crap out of me because I didn't understand 90% of it. I couldn't even tell you off hand what insulin Emma was on. Don't get overwhelmed by all the information here, ask lots of questions and I promise in time it will all start to make sense!

    It's all overwhelming at first but it does get better, promise!
  16. Cassidi's mom

    Cassidi's mom Approved members

    Nov 13, 2010
    So sorry to hear about your daughter. We are approaching the 6 month mark with our daughter and I know exactly how you feel! We also have 3 children, and our daughter was 7 when she was diagnosed this year- VERY overwhelming! It gets a lot easier, like everyone said. What helped me in the beginning was make a few meal combinations that you add up and calculate and write them down in a notebook and then rotate those same meals for the first few weeks so you are not so overwhelmed with figuring it out. I also remember thinking that our whole family would have to change what we eat- go all low carb meals, etc and then we learned that she can eat what everybody else eats, just need to keep to a schedule (at least we do) and cover what she eats! A big relief once we realized that! :) Also, in our pantry- we bought some prepackaged 100 calorie snack pacs that we put in a plastic container labeled (1 CHO) and our daughter knew she could pick anything out of that box for her 1 CHO snack. Made it a lot easier not having to measure them out. Also, on boxes or bags of chips, crackers, etc I try to write with a sharpie how much one is worth (ie. 1 cracker= .5 grams). Hope this helps! :)
  17. kavon

    kavon Approved members

    Mar 24, 2011
    It gets easier

    It gets easier. Mistakes will happen. The first week my son was diagnosed he misuderstood me. I told him he could eat the cheese off the pizza. I took it off and put it on a plate for him. I left and came back a few minutes later and found him eating a whole slice with the extra cheese on top. I almost fell over. I called the doctor and she told me to give him an extra unit.( He had great numbers that night.) I felt like a fool when this happened and I was sure I would kill my son. He is still alive and eats pizza without incident. I won't say it isn't alot of work but it does get easier.
  18. gerry speirs

    gerry speirs Approved members

    Dec 18, 2010
    I can second everyones thoughts regarding the reason you are here and welcome:) May I ask where your local area is?
  19. Frymom3

    Frymom3 Approved members

    May 3, 2011
    Gerry... We live in Fort smith, Arkansas.

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