Tweens and Teens - Food Police?


(ReneeM) #1

I have and almost 12 year old, now dx’d since 8. He is very active, plays sports, wears Dexco but no pump, and now since starting Middle School IL am sensing his social life will take center stage as it does for everyone. Dances, youth group outing etc are planned, Everyone of these is pizza and ice cream at 9pm or pizza after the game at 9 pm. HOw do you handle increasing social-ness of food?

In past we have been in charge of his social life but that is starting to change. The few times at parties when I have tried to set him up to not have something he gets sad and cries, I give in.

I have a good relationship with my son and fear that he will hate me over diabetes if I try to control what he eats to the extent that is necessary for good A1C.

If I don’t how does he eat pizza at 9 with his friends and not be up correcting all night or him have high aic and problems later?

Any help would be appreciated


(joe) #2

hi @reneem, my opinion on this is just an opinion - a warning in advance I am not trying to offend.

pizza is easier to deal with when on a pump, but it is one of the hardest foods (second only to ice cream) to manage. pizza carbs can take 4-6 hours to absorb, because of the fat in the sauce and cheese. Ice cream has milk fat and sugar, the fat blocks absorption in me for at least 3 hours.

given that blood sugar control is imperfect anyway. I would say that it’s okay to be high once in a while. Once in a while it is just fine to get a 330 and have to drink water and walk and take a correction bolus or shot. NOw I realize that this is your baby, and that my blase attitude is heresy, and you wouldn’t dare risk it, but someday very soon he gets to completely control his diabetes, make his own mistakes, and deal with party food and drink. All you can do is prepare him for his eventual 100% ownership.

I treat myself to ice cream and I make the most awesome grilled pizza anywhere. I even drink beer with it. Yes it is hard to control. It took me many tries to get the insulin flow right with either fat/carb treat but I eventually did.

Now I must admit that I don’t do it every day, or even every week, but I do like my pizza and I give myself permission to eat it once in a while and deal with it. I also eat wedding cake, first birthday cake, candy at Halloween, and pretty much ice cream cake because… well… it talks to me.

in my opinion it is a mistake to forbid, or force limit food or be the food police. the problem is that the limits and the expectations are overwhelming. Once overwhelmed, for me, the pressure does more harm to my head than any high blood sugar would do to my body. The expectations to have perfect blood sugar all the time could influence pressure in a way that leads to or worsens depression or at least bad self image or self esteem.

this is a tough one. I don’t envy your position. good luck!


(ReneeM) #3

Hi Joe! Thank you for your advice! I actually agree with your approach. My fear with type 1 and policing food is that I will become the enemy and when you are the enemy you cease to have influence over your child and they rebel and depression as you mentioned is a really big fear, as much as other complications. This can have lasting effects for life. My other fear is once he is more in charge of things, going out with friends and eating poor american diet of pizza ( which we all love!) and it’s served EVERYWHERE, I know I will be seeing those 300 plus numbers. If you dont mind my asking, were you diagnosed as a child? Wondering if you lived through teen years with it.

Thanks again, Renee


(joe) #4

hi @reneem, I was diagnosed at 11-12. I overheard my father talking to the specialist at the hospital “OH he’ll be okay for a couple of years but at 20 or so he’ll have complications”

we didn’t have home blood glucose meters, we tested urine to see if our blood sugar was high or ridiculously high 45 minutes ago. “long acting” insulin was 12 hours and peaked at 3. all insulin was made out of ground up pig and cow pancreases. you ate on a schedule based on insulin absorption.

the shock, horror, and my absolute embarrassment over getting diabetes hit at about puberty. I was lucky because 25 years before that time they had to use glass syringes with needles you sharpened yourself, and 25 years before that you simply died about a month after diagnosis… but I didn’t feel lucky. All I felt was punishment for something I couldn’t possibly understand.

I did a 20+ year stint depressed and angry, had my troubles with being a young adult, drinking, smoking, and some other issues, and then things changed. There were dark years in there.

you are 1 million percent better off not being the diabetic police. it is a far better thing to be a confidant and a consultant than an enforcer.

i’d be happy to tell the whole story if you’d like!


(ReneeM) #5

Joe, I am thankful for your story and that you responded to me on this board! I feel like I have learned so much from first hand experience from people living with this. My son does not like to share with his friends he even has type 1 so that is how I started reaching out to people, this site,and facebook groups for type 1, and blogs have been a life saver for me…I understand this is a long game, and your state of mind is huge factor.

There is a lot of pressure to have perfect numbers (we dont), I try to balance it, but again and scared of teen years!! Only about 30% of people meet there A1C goals, and those are not teens and young adults. From what I have read 15-25 years old is a “risky” time for people with this…I feel we need to be more open about how hard it is to maintain those numbers and you need a lot support, technology and wisdom to get there and we need better because 70% of people are left out of good health.

Anyway, I am glad you are on this board, reach out anytime and enjoy your pizza and beer!! :wink:

Renee


(ReneeM) #6

and yes, if you are willing to share story. i was wondering how you got to this jdrf site.