questions about juvenile diabetes

key west chick

11 Years
May 31, 2008
Gainesville, GA
So DS, 16, has a new GF that has had diabetes since she was about 9. Shes 16 now. I didnt find out until we took her to go get pizza, and she checked her blood sugar at the table. Come to find out, she also wears a insulin pump. DS doesnt know much about it, other than when he is at her house, she checks her sugar before every meal, and eats pretty much whatever. The had cookie day before Christmas and she ate lots of cookies, according to him. DH doesnt want me asking her a bunch of questions, he says its not really my business and doesnt want her to feel like Im nosey. I want to know, as a mother, if she has any no-nos. I know shes not allergic to any foods, caused I asked her that one day. And she loves sushi. But shes eaten Chick filet, pizza and new years lunch with us, and other than checking her sugar, you would never know. She seems like she has a good grip on it, and she did mention that she can tell when her sugar is off. Should I ask if theirs anything she cant eat? What should I look for if her sugar gets wonky while we are out? Are their certain restaurants we should avoid while we are out? And I know they are only 16, but it made me wonder. If they got married years from now, what are the chances their children would get it sometime in their lives? Would DS contstantly have to be a watch nurse?
If she wears an insulin pump, she is pretty much free to eat anything you guys would normally eat. Insulin pumps give diabetics sooo much freedom when it comes to food choices.

I would just ask her if there is anything she prefers to stay away from being a diabetic. It's different for everybody, really. There are some foods ("trigger foods") that don't agree with my blood sugars, but other diabetics are fine with them. I do try and stay away from things that are overly sugary so I don't have to give myself so much insulin, but as long as she is giving insulin for the things she eats, she can have whatever.

As far as low and high blood sugars, it may take some getting used to for you guys to notice the signs. When my blood sugar is low, I feel tired, shakey, I get pale, and may not make much sense. It kinds of mimics someone who is very drunk. When my blood sugar is high, I get very thirsty, I have to go to the bathroom a lot, and I can get annoyed with people. That is one thing I think a lot of people don't understand and it is good when others know. Sometimes diabetics get upset and can be difficult to be around when blood sugars are wacky. It's not an excuse for poor behavior, but it helps that my friends understand why I get irritable sometimes. It may help to ask her if there is anything she prefers to use when her blood sugar gets low and then you can keep that in the house. Personally, I use capri sun juices and glucose tablets.

I can't think of any restuarants in particular you should avoid. McDonalds, fast food, and pizza makes my blood sugars really wacky though.

As far as children getting it, it's actually pretty rare for type 1 diabetes to be passed along to your kids, but there is always a chance that it could be. It's really not that big a deal though. Kids who grow up with it usually deal better with it than kids diagnosed later (I was diagnosed at 4 1/2 and no one in my family has a history of type 1 diabetes). You son will probably always have to be mindful and may have to make very minor adjustments to his lifestyle, but really if she has good control of her blood sugars than he will not have to be a constant "nurse" to her. By minor adjustments, I just mean possibly having to wait for her to raise her blood sugar should they do some activity like hiking/biking/etc, some possible diet changes, and there will def be lots of doctor appointments through the GF's life, especially if she decides to have children.

I wouldn't feel too awkward about asking questions of her though. Most people I know who have Type 1 diabetes have never minded talking about it. In fact, I love educating people about it. If you still feel like you will be prying, feel free to PM me or ask me here. I could even give you my personal email address. It definitely is a little bit different dating someone who has type 1 diabetes, but if the person has it under control, it's really not too different!
Thanks, that makes me feel better. I felt kinda bad the day we went to get pizza. But she drank water, ate a salad and several slices of pizza. DS really likes this girl, and so do we. Very polite, smart and has morals. They actually both want to go to the same college and be engineers. I was worried that having a pump meant her diabetes was really bad and hard to control. Sounds like its just more of a convinience thing. I dont want to make her feel weird by asking her a bunch of questions so soon into their little relationship. So, thanks for the first hand experiences!
Kudos to you for being so politely concerned and respectful of her. She has dealt with it so long, she probably doesn't realize you have questions. A good way to approach asking her may be, "I've never known anyone with an insulin pump, sometime I'd love to hear how it works for you.". That way she an get back to you or let you ask questions then. Your son sounds like he found a nice girl.
My GD was diagnosed a few years ago. It's funny, years ago, people with diabetes were not supposed to eat anything with sugar. Now it looks like they can eat anything they want, and just adjust their insulin units. My GD has a pump as well. I would be asking questions. I like to know, and my GD doesn't have a problem answering anything. It does help people to know more. I don't think it's nosiness. Nosinest is when you ask someone how much they make, or how much money did it cost.
Thanks everyone. She seems very open about it. I only know what I know cause my nosy FIL asked her a few questions on new years. Maybe the next time we all get together, and it seems appropriate, I may ask her about it more. You know how teens can be, I didnt want to look like the nosy mom!

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