A few things I've been thinking, comparing about our lives now and our lives then. Our pre-T1 diagnosis and our post-T1 diagnosis life.
• Eat when hungry.
• Cook what you want, put some on a plate and tell him he can have seconds if he wants. Sit down and eat.
• Celebrate and offer dessert, just for fun -- even hours later!
• Eat on schedule
• Cook what you can put together that you can count the carbs of, but no seconds unless they are carb free. You have to count the carbs you put on his plate and decide if that amount of food will sufficiently fill his tummy. Then you do the math to dose the right amount of insulin. Have him check his blood sugar to see if he needs more or less insulin based on current levels. Give insulin. If the food ends up not being enough, offer him carb free food because you only gave him enough insulin for the one plate of carbs and he'll run high if you give him more carbs. If his plate had too much and he can't finish it, then figure out how many carbs are left on the plate and give him that same amount in a more easily digestible, less filling food group so that the insulin doesn't take over and cause his blood sugar to crash.
• Plan ahead on if you want to offer dessert, and decide if he'll be able to eat it with dinner. Remember, you are counting the carbs of that dessert in his insulin dosage, so he HAS to eat it, decide that even though there's always room for ice cream, it shouldn't be forced, and he can have a smaller portion in two to three hours, make sure it's under 15 grams of carbs and then you call it a snack.
Pre T1~Dinning out as a family
• Take a vote on where everyone wants to go
• Get in car and go.
• After being seated, let everyone order for themselves
• Decide if you or hubby is going to be the designated driver and order a drink (or two) to make this dinner more enjoyable
• Enjoy food when it arrives to table
Post T1~Dinning out as a family
• Decide where to eat
• Go online and try to find the restaurant's nutrition facts menu. If no nutrition facts menu is found, search on their site for it. If no search box is available, consult google and spend 5 minutes finding a current, accurate copy.
• Have son "order" his food to you at home so you can count the carbs using online nutrition menu's and/or websites who list them. Write down his order and how many carbs it is. Do the math for how much insulin he needs.
• Make sure the diabetic bag has enough supplies for checking blood sugar and don't forget to put the insulin in it.
• Get in car a go.
• After being seated, order as it was written down at home and convince the other kids that they don't get extras like ice cream shakes (except on occasions when you are allowing the extra insulin for the one who needs it).
• Decide hubby will be the designated driver because son isn't comfortable with dad giving his injections yet so you have to be sober anyway.
• Have son check his blood sugar while food is cooking. Do math to figure out if he needs more or less insulin when the food comes.
• When food arrives at table, look at it to make sure it looks right for the amount of carbs you are getting ready to give insulin for. Adjust math if needed. Give insulin.
Pre T1~Date night
• Schedule local teenager to babysit and order pizza.
• Spend time getting dressed and ready to go out.
• Leave in uber/cab/lyft
• Have fun and get smashed
• Return home hours later, after teenager has worn the kids out and put them to bed for you.
• Crash and sleep hard.
Post T1~Date Night
• Spend weeks looking for an adult baby sitter who has skills and experience with knowing the signs of high and low blood sugar levels, monitoring blood sugars, dosing and injecting insulin.
• If you were blessed enough to get past the finding babysitter stage (we have not), then plan the meal ahead of time and know the carbs and insulin bolus numbers so when sitter has son check his blood sugar, the math will be easier for them.
• Make sure diabetic supplies are in the right place and sitter knows where they are.
• Review the emergency plans with sitter each time they come.
• Leave house in whatever you have on because you spent so much time prepping for the sitter that you didn't prepare yourself.
• Decide after being gone for 30 minutes that you'd rather just go back home; you're too tired worried about your T1 Child.
• Try again next month.