Sunday, November 2, 2008

I survived my first Halloween as the parent of a child with diabetes! ...t-shirt, please.

WOW!! What a weekend! I definitely feel that I've grown and learned a great deal this weekend. It's been stressful and I've had to work at remaining calm but I made it through our first Halloween. My girls had a great time trick or treating at a local mall. Jazmine went as a fairy and Jenna, a lady bug. We spent close to an hour there, hitting all the stores, then back to the car to do a quick blood sugar check and have one treat before going home for supper. Jenna was pretty low key during the last leg of the trick-or-treating and wanted to be carried out of the mall and through the parking lot to the car. It wasn't surprising, then, to find her blood sugar low at 3.3. Perfect timing!! We rummaged around her treat bag for some sweet-tarts and let her have at it. Then she ripped into a peanut butter cup for good measure.

We spent the rest of the evening in our jammies handing out treats to all the neighbourhood kids willing to brave the wind and rain. Then my girls approved the candy stash we were going to leave for The Great Pumpkin to come in the night and swap for toys (thank you Charlie Brown!) The whole candy swap was a huge hit with both my girls! They have spent most of the weekend playing with their new Barbies together and have watched the Tinkerbell movie left for them at least two times already. Eating treats hasn't really been an issue.

The weekend wrapped up today with a birthday party complete with a buffet table full of treats (mostly healthy) and an ice cream cake with a thick fudge centre, of which Jenna partook like all the other party goers, and enjoyed every last gooey drop!! Thankfully, this birthday party was held at a recreation centre and a huge gymnasium was rented for the little ones to rip it up in for a good hour. Jenna and Jazmine ran their little tushes off! It was a glorious sight to see our little toddler run and play with a seemingly endless supply of energy. I bolused for the cake but had to guess at a carb count. I must have been close because her levels have been pretty good, all things considered. I'm sure the activity helped quite a bit.

In spite of having to chase that high Saturday night due to my inaccurate carb counting, I feel really proud of myself for the way I handled things. I deliberately steered us into situations where I would have to allow Jenna freedom to indulge, all the while quietly monitoring her intake and bolusing as she ate. I don't want food to be an issue for Jenna. I don't want her to feel restricted and treated unfairly. I'm taking to heart all of the advice and wisdom of other people with type 1 in an effort to avoid as much as possible the repercussions and pit-falls of restricting Jenna and blaming it on her diabetes. I figure, if I can get incredibly good at handling situations with ease like guessing carb counts, knowing how to utilize activity to assist in keeping blood sugars in check and anticipating how certain foods will behave once Jenna's eaten them, I can pass on this knowledge to Jenna when she starts to take over her own diabetes management. My mastery of her diabetes will become hers one day. And hopefully Jenna will have a healthy relationship with food and have fond memories of a childhood filled with fun, laughter and a plethora of gastronomic experiences and diabetes will only have been a minor consideration instead of taking center stage. That is my goal.

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