So, I will start of by saying this will be the point of the blog where I am going to give a warning. What transpires after this worked for me, worked for Abbie, worked for my husband and our entire family. It may not work for you at least not in the same manner. I am not a medical doctor and absolutely do not claim to know all. We are still learning everyday as T1D changes almost on a daily basis. With that being said…onward!
As I stated school was already out for the summer and we had made all of these plans like going to the beach for a week and we had a cruise planned. I had read horror stories of families that were afraid to leave their homes with their T1D children for fear of them going low in the car or away from the house but I refused to be that Mom or do that to Abbie or Jamee. I am absolutely not saying that if you were that Mom or Dad, you were doing anything wrong, that is what worked for you and helped you get over your fear. For us, we needed to continue on with normal life and see that our daughter was not broken, that she could survive, thrive, and move on.
So, we went home and re-adjusted Abbie’s diet to what the doctor had suggested since he had told me I was not feeding her enough carbs. She started getting around 60+ at every meal. It was extremely difficult I will say that. Breakfast and lunch were easier because it was easier to incorporate bread but dinner was a disaster. She was so full from the main course I made, trying to get her to eat approximately 40g of side dishes was a task.
At this point we were still on the multiple injections which were totaling about 6-8 a day and she was sticking her finger almost double that because I was curious how food was interacting with her system. Even without the modern-day technology of a CGM I noticed after a carb heavy meal her blood sugar would sky rocket and then about 2 hours later it would crash. I mean a hard crash, not gradual, but it would go from 140 to about 320-350 and then by the end of the 2nd hour she would crash down to 40-50. We called the CDE, and they adjusted her carb ratio because they said that was really the only thing to be adjusted since she was still on such a low amount of long acting insulin and this was only affecting her at meals. All this did was to make that original high number even higher but she would still crash about 2 hours later. And let me tell you they were scary crashes and they were fast.
I remember my Mom and I had decided to take the girls to Nags Head for an extended weekend. I decided to let Abbie just be a kid and we splurged all weekend. I remember thinking, there was no way she would have that same crash. But you know what she did. And the poor kid felt awful. She wasn’t sleeping well, she had black circles under her eyes, she was moody all of the time, and just didn’t want to do anything. I think it was about the end of July, about 2 weeks after the Nags Head trip that I became fed up. I went to Abbie and asked her if she wanted to lower her carbs back down. I told her we would start experimenting with food and fixing things a little differently so she didn’t feel left out, but that ultimately this was her decision. She didn’t even hesitate and that night for dinner she has maybe 15g and was full. Because it had been so long since she had only had that much, she required a snack later which we of course gave her, she chose some Slim Jim’s, cheese, and some strawberries.
We noticed an immediate change in her numbers. She leveled out and no longer had the scary lows at all. Please don’t get me wrong, Abbie does not have perfect numbers between 85 and 110 all the time. She definitely has highs where she will go up to around 300 but usually we can pin point what it is and we try to fix it way before it gets to that point, but more on that in another post. More importantly, she very rarely has lows and if she does they are lows that we can surely handle, maybe in the 65-75 range. And trust me when I tell you, at least when it comes to my daughter, it is MUCH easier to bring Abbie up than it is to try and get her down!
I think even more important is how Abbie felt. She immediately felt different and she will tell you. She started sleeping better, her attitude was much more pleasant (well for an 11-year-old that is hormonal), she no longer had a brain fog, her skin and eyes looked healthier, and she had the energy to play and just be a kid. So, we as her parents knew that we were doing the right thing for her. We kept her meals around 15-25g of carbs, a generous portion of healthy fats, and lean proteins. Most of her carbs come from fibrous vegetables and the occasional lower carb wrap, lavish bread flatbread or something similar. When we went back to the Endo we of course were scolded, but I didn’t care this time. We take care of our daughter 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and this works for us and her. She was thriving and developing beautifully! But because this was something foreign to him it wasn’t appropriate for his patient. I smiled and nodded and decided at that moment my husband and I were going to be Abbie’s advocate from now on no matter the cost.