Son newly diagnosed with Type 1


(Erin) #1

My 16 yo son was diagnosed on Monday with type 1, so this is brand new and overwhelming. Can anyone recommend an app to help with calculations?
Thanks!
Erin


(joe) #2

@ErinL hi Erin, in my opinion, it’s better to learn how to do the math by hand than it is to depend on a program, most especially at first.

Please consider getting the book “Think Like a Pancreas”.it is full of good information. I hope you have access to a CDE (certified diabetes educator) and endocrinologist. The first year can be a challenge.

If you are looking for others in your area, please consider looking up the JDRF chapter nearest to you, you can click here https://www.jdrf.org/chapter-select/ and put in your zip code. These chapters run fundraisers where you will meet others with diabetes and other parents. Plus doing something helpful always puts me in a better mood.

Welcome to Type One Nation. there are a lot of parents here and always feel free to reach out for help.


(Dennis J. Dacey, pwD) #3

Hi Erin @ErinL, apps for doing the calculations are OK and there are many available for different types of operating systems, BUT …!!!

in my thinking an app is NOT the way to go. A couple of reasons:

What happens when a “device” is not available to do the calculations? Yep, you don’t have a paddle and you find, your son finds himself up the proverbial creak;
Calculator apps use facts supplied, such as carbohydrate consumption and BGL and plug those values into information that you have programmed such as time of day, insulin:carb ratio, sensitivity factor, target range, etc., but do not consider what your son has been doing or plans to be doing.

Proper diabetes management requires an individual to be aware of his/her body and to know what is happening and requires each of us to be flexible and refrain from getting locked into “well my doctor said to take xx units”, but rather to be prepared to make adjustments. Yes, the “wizard feature” of my pump displays a recommended estimate for insulin dosage, but I always have a figure calculated in my head before accepting what the device recommends.
A 16 year old high school student should have the ability to do the calculations in his head.


(Joel) #4

Hi @ErinL,

I’m in general agreement with Joe that it’s important to learn to calculate without the tech, because it’s not going to be available in every situation…but…

MyFitnessPal is one of the most widely used and reliable sources out there, and it’s free for basic calorie and carb/fat/protein content.


(Erin) #5

Thank you so much! You are exactly right.

When you’re overwhelmed with information and emotions it’s hard to think straight. No need for an app once you calm down and can see straight.


(Elease) #6

We use CalorieKing for finding the carbs but we do our own calculations. We use CalorieKing for so many food items, from blueberries or wheat Thins to waffles to fast food to so many foods ! Good luck


(Cathleen) #7

Hi Erin! We are just a few months in but, yes CalorieKing has been wonderful! I just use the calculator on my iPhone. A notebook for the kitchen counter with the carb counts of all the foods we commonly eat has worked well. In the beginning, the insulin dosage changed a lot, so the calculation was always changing too. It has gotten easier with time and practice. I wish you all the strength and resources you need to start this journey!


(Julie) #8

I recommend a kitchen scale. We found that a lot of labels are using serving sizes in grams or ounces, not cups or tablespoons. The scale helps be more consistent with measuring fruit size, pizza servings, foods of variable size. We have a really cheap one, there are nice ones that help with carb counts but you don’t have to spend that much to get the precision if you don’t want to.


#9

Welcome Erin, my son was diagnosed a few months ago just after his 17th birthday. Had to reschedule his SAT as he was hospitalized three days before. If you haven’t gotten the pack from JDRF, you might want to order the adult instead of child pack, it has things in it more usable for a teen. The calorie king book is great help. Work with your school and get him a 504. Even though he may not want it (no teenager wants to be different) it will help in the long run.


(Dennis J. Dacey, pwD) #10

Yes Julie @julied5600, the kitchen scale, with choice of ounce and gram readings, is almost a must have.
Even with 60 plus years living with diabetes, and carb counting since the late 1970’s, I keep a scale on my kitchen counter and use it regularly - almost every day. I’m always surprised how deceptive eye-balling serving size can be.
I also keep a Calorie King pocket manual in the kitchen so I can look up foods that don’t regularly appear on my table - yes, my wife of 50+ years is a creative cook and she doesn’t let me get bored by serving the same foods day after day.