Thursday, January 30, 2014


By Angeline M. Duran Santiago

Why is it that I make such a big deal about Type 1 Diabetes? I mean, ok, you have to deal with it, like so many others, but why writing about what you're going through?

The moment you begin to investigate what Diabetes does to the one you love, your world begins to change. It has to. You have to truly see what things like sugar, certain foods, and stress can do to slowly deteriorate the body. It's a big deal. To me. Maybe you're like me, a parent wanting answers, help, and guidance. But, oh, how little of that is really out there. It seems everyone that writes about T1D, writes the same thing over and over, like copying from one another, but no one is really saying anything you didn't already learn in the hospital or from your Diabetes Educator. Well, I'm still learning and you might really think I've gone crazy now, but I want to try something with my son. I keep seeing it and I've begun, but not daily. His high blood sugars are demanding I set higher goals.

Let me share some things I've learned, (yes at my age, still learning.) If I give my son a plain bagel, notice it's plain, I have to count 63 carbs. That would mean 10 units of Novolog. But, if I give him 2 slices of Wheat bread, I just have to give him 2 units of insulin because those two slices equal 24 carbs. A difference of 8 units of insulin. I do this with pasta, pizza, crackers, and rice. Same idea. The less carbs, the less sugar I'm giving him. Oh, yeah, I see carbs like sugar now.

High blood sugars hurt someone with T1D. They completely change in appearance, mood, energy and behavior. When my son's sugar levels are high before school, it is very hard for him to be on time to class. I have to work towards bringing the levels down with insulin and water. But, he will remain feeling very sick and out of it for a long time. Sometimes, I have to keep him home.

In my home, we're not big on soda or fruit drinks. I always have to keep juice or something sweet to drink in case Jacob's sugar gets very low. At that moment, I have to raise his sugar up and drinking something very sweet is one of the ways to help him, especially during an emergency when sugar drops. But, as a fun drink, no, absolutely should be. Look at the amount of sugar in these food items.

I've seen people sit down with a bottle of soda and gulp it down easily. The amount of sugar in these drinks is so great and so harmful. Parents just give it to their kids without imagining the risks to their health, to their body. My son didn't get T1D from obesity, eating sweets, or the regular thoughts on how it shows up. One day, the body just turns on itself and decides to self destruct. So, if your child is healthy, why would you not take care of your child? 

Thanks to my sister n law, Jessica, for sharing this.

Here are some things I've read and heard a lot about. Call me crazy, like I said, but I have to try and see what happens. I've read that Okra and Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar levels. I don't know how Jacob will react to trying these new additions, but it is my obligation to at least try. Supposedly it takes the Okra two weeks to do its magic. Don't you think? If it doesn't work, well at least I can say, "I tried." You never know, right?

I don't know what else to do and I sure can tell you I am not just sitting back to let things get worse. There has to be a way to get the levels down. This is my trial and error moment. The food changes are not making much of a difference. I mean, ok, I know, I've only been at it for about a week, but it seems those numbers keep climbing. Tomorrow I shall do my best to find Okra and Cinnamon to test and see if the blood levels decrease. It's by faith we believe we can move mountains, so why not move the sugar levels down? 

We shall see what happens. Have to believe good things can happen even when it's all going not so great. Cheer me on and say a prayer. If it works for my son, you'll be the first one to know about the success or the failure. Take care.

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