We’re new to Minneapolis, and eager to meet people. Naturally, families with kids our own children’s age are the most logical place to start. Outside of work, the parents of our kids’ schoolmates are the only community we are connected to, as we don’t attend religious services.
Our school has been incredibly welcoming, but there is one constant problem: the “kid friendly” dinners organized by well meaning parents. Unfortunately, these meals are not aimed at children with Type 1 diabetes; why should they be?
You know the drill. You get invited to someone’s house, the hosts know there will be lots of children, so they choose food that most young folks are likely to enjoy: pizza. pasta, and ice cream. Our school is a Montessori, so the food at parties is usually organic and Whole Food-bought. Still, pasta is pasta.
Our kids, aged 9 (no diabetes) and 6 (type 1), love pasta and ice cream as much as anyone. But pasta wreaks havoc on our son’s blood sugars, all night, and when you throw in a serving of ice cream – including the fat, protein and high carb count – the damage is even greater.
Dinner is served typically around 6. We do a combo bolus, but nonetheless, our troubles begin around midnight. Sugar levels begin to zoom up, and we start correcting to try and bring them down. Nothing much happens for a while, but by 3 or 4 am, his sugars usually start coming down too hard, and too fast.
Since I’m the night-time BG guy, I spend 1 to 5:30 am waking up, studying his CGM, testing his blood, wondering if the pump isn’t working, and tinkering with basal and boluses.
At 5:30, if I’m not too exhausted, I go to the gym and get a bit of relief. My wife takes over, dealing with the oscillating BGs until the kids get up at 7:30 for school.
We’ve tried dealing in different ways. We tinker with basal rates, combo boluses, and the like. It doesn’t help. We’ve called our hosts ahead of time, asking if they can tweak the menu. This gets awkward, however, as it imposes on people we don’t know particularly well, and throws their dinner plans into chaos. We’ve also tried bringing our own food for Sacha, but that just causes a scene; he doesn’t like being singled out.
More often than not, we just let it go, look at each other with resignation, and hope that this time, things will be different.