She Can’t Eat That…She Has Diabetes!

Ever heard this said about your child?  I have.  Usually it’s coming from someone who is stuffing themself with the same item my daughter may be enjoying at the time.  Things like chips, ice cream, cake, pie, candy.  But the fact of the matter is, she CAN eat it.  The difference is that whatever she eats, she has to get insulin from an outside source to use the food for fuel, unlike someone without diabetes whose body does all that fancy calculating and insulin administration all on it’s own.

Of course, for someone with a functioning pancreas the process is much more precise and streamlined.  They probably have no clue what’s going on inside their own body.  I read somewhere recently that a normally functioning pancreas starts releasing insulin as soon as you see or smell food in anticipation of you eating food.  And there’s a built in safety mechanism if insulin is released, but then you don’t eat so your blood sugar starts going low – your pancreas releases glucagon to signal your liver to release some extra glucose into your blood stream to counteract the insulin.

For someone with type 1 diabetes their insulin comes from a syringe, insulin pen, or insulin pump.  As a parent, I will never be as efficient or as exact at dosing Angelina’s insulin as her own pancreas was.  I can give her insulin, but it won’t always be at the right time, or the right dose, and even rarely both.  But I can give it to her and I can try my hardest to mimic a functioning pancreas.  So, if she wants ice cream, she can have it, just like anyone else.  It just means that it comes with a dose of insulin from outside her body.  You telling me that my child can’t eat something while I am trying to figure out how much insulin to give her just makes my job harder.  Maybe I should start telling your pancreas YOU can’t eat that.

For more information please see points 5, 7 and 12 on the post linked below.


EDIT:  So, I was reading over at Death of a Pancreas and noticed that the author is the person who made this gem:     Since a very special line from this video was repeated multiple times in our home after watching this video and was part of the inspiration for this post I thought it only proper to share it here.  The line?  “There are only two things my daughter cannot eat.  Poison.  And cookies…   Made with poison.”  Fitting.