Justin Delgado is husband to Kacie Doyle-Delgado, diagnosed at age 11. After more than a decade together, he considers himself to be an expert carb counter and Dexcom inserter. He graduated with his Master of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013 and has been working in commercial banking since then. He attended his first Friends for Life conference in 2015 and is looking forward to volunteering with the teens.
May 29, 2003
Question from Geneva, Florida, USA:
My son's school had an end of the year ice cream party, and since he was not able to participate in any other parties this year, I went to the school to help out. When I got there, his sugar was about 300 mg/dl [16.7 mmol/L], so I decided to give him some insulin to bring his sugar down and let him have some ice cream. I do not do this all the time, but I felt that since he misses out enough, I wanted him to have fun. His teacher, whose husband has diabetes, decided to give me her two cents about doing what I did. Was I wrong for doing that? It seems to me if you're constantly telling your kids,"no, no, no," they are going to rebel when they are older, and you can't be there to see what is going on. I want him to be a kid sometimes, and I felt very offended that she would even open her mouth when she has never had a child with diabetes and had to deal with not letting them have the things other kids eat all the time.
It’s quite reasonable to allow children — or adults — to have some sugary foods or ice cream at varying times. You should work out a plan on how often and what to do under such special circumstances — parties, holidays, family events, religious events, etc. Usually taking a small amount of extra fast-acting insulin would be quite reasonable. Knowing the blood glucose just prior to the “eating” would then help you figure out how much extra insulin to provide for the circumstances. Also knowing if there would be extra activity would also be helpful since the extra food or ice cream may sometimes be counterbalanced with the extra activity alone.
Sounds like the teacher didn’t understand the system you are using. So, none of this is matter of right or wrong, just different treatment philosophies. Involving your child in an age-appropriate fashion may also help you figure out when and how often such special events need to take place. Parents sometimes feel significantly more guilty about “depriving junk foods to their kids” than do the kids themselves especially if the kids participate in the decisions.