The Talk about Diabetes and Alcohol

talking about diabetes and alcohol Diabetes Advocacy

My son with type 1 diabetes is now an adult. He can vote. He can drive a car and he can drink alcohol.

He is living at home again while he does some upgrading and starts training for his chosen career.

It is hard to believe that my baby is an adult but he is. He has his own car. He drinks alcohol much to my surprise (because he is my baby).

He seems to be responsible…well as responsible as you can be at his age. When he drinks he doesn’t drive. When he goes out, he brings along a friend who is a designated driver and doesn’t drink. He spends the night at that friend’s place so that he doesn’t drive again until he is sober.

alcohol Diabetes Advocacy

He brings his test kit. He has his spare supplies and extra glucose with him.

He has a system when he drinks. He has already learned how certain beverages affect his blood glucose levels. He was pretty confident in what he is doing.

He talked to me about diabetes and alcohol

How do I know this? Because my son told me.  We were discussing his night out.  I was giving him a little bit of the information that I had learned about diabetes and alcohol thanks to places like the Diabetes Mine.  He told me about his experience.  

I asked what he would do if heaven forbid, he got falling down drunk. How could he handle things? He told me that he had been there. He began to tell me what he did.

I was shocked.  This was my little boy. I began to walk out of the room. I didn’t want to know. I didn’t want to think of my baby as drinking. I really didn’t want to think of my little boy getting drunk. He stopped me.

He made me listen to his experiences when drinking alcohol

He told me that I had to know. It was important for me to understand how he handled drinking. If I didn’t listen to him, I would worry more. He wanted me to know that he was listening, learning and growing up. It was going to be okay.

I listened. I was proud that he would have this dialog with me. It was candid. It was honest. Nothing was hidden to make me feel better. It was raw.

It was tough to hear. It was good to hear.

He has stumbled in his short life. I have cried. He has learned. So have I. Together we will continue to get through.

I am glad he feels that he can talk to me.  I am glad that he has learned. I am proud that he wants me to be okay as well.

How much do you figure I should bolus?

The other night I received this picture from my son.

My arteries :o

After my arteries recovered from the shock of seeing all of that fat, I turned to the question that my son had sent.

“How much do you figure I should bolus for the fish cakes?”

How high were you before you started?

“Oh, I have that covered.”

Did you pre-bolus the burger and fries and extend the bolus as well?

“Yep! Gotter dun. What are you thinking on the fish cakes?”

They are massive! That is a lot of potato in each cake.


We continue to discuss what we felt constituted a proper bolus for the fish cakes.  My thought was there looked to be about 1.5 cups of potato per cake so he would want to bolus a minimum of 90g CHO for the pair.  He agreed.

I can’t tell you if we guessed correctly or how he managed with the extended bolus for the rest of the “meal”.  Finishing year-end English assignments required to pass grade 12 were much more important.  Its kind of nice when we can put diabetes in the back seat to regular life for a change!

Swept away and retired to a desk

Today’s prompt for Diabetes Blog Week asks what is that one thing that we are still clinging on to that we need to let go? What in our diabetes closet needs to be cleaned out?

Honestly, I was going to use a wildcard for this one. I thought it didn’t apply to me any longer.  Diabetes does not live with my full time any more so what could I possibly need to junk out? We cleaned out most of my son’s diabetes supplies when he moved.  Anything left here he needs when he visits. Obviously this was a topic that I was going to have to give a miss. Or maybe not….

sweeping up
Sweeping out the old

There is something that I have been working on for…cough, cough, almost….two…cough…years.  It is something that I need to let go of, clean out, sweep away. My challenge is to sweep away that need to know all and me hands on 100% of the time.  It is now physically impossible and thinking otherwise is emotionally draining.

I have to adjust to the role of no longer being that person in charge. Learning my new role as the person standing in the office listening to what is going on in the trenches but removed from the actual events is a huge challenge.

I no longer have to wake up at various times during the night to test my son. That has its own guilt.  I still wake up through the night out of habit but as time has gone on, I no longer wake in a panic wondering if he is okay and if he is testing.

I have gotten better at having him text me readings.  Originally I wanted to know every reading.  I would stay up to all hours just so that we could talk and he could tell me what his readings had been like.  That didn’t work. He did his best to be busy when I wanted to call and talk.  I had to get rid of that need to know. I had to learn that it was now truly his disease.

We still talk daily.  I don’t know his readings from day to day.  He calls me when he has a problem. We troubleshoot issues together.  I still work on being okay with the fact that I don’t know his A1c.  I still struggle with not being able to hook him up to the technology that I want him to use.  Sweeping out the DMomma who is hands on and replacing her with the DMomma who is just there to help out when things get a little messy or he needs a break has truly been my biggest challenge.

As I have have been swept out of the trenches, I found myself struggling to understand my place on the sidelines.  I worried that I had not prepared him enough. I worried that I would not matter any more. I worried that I would no longer have a role in that community of diabetes parents that had been my home for so many years.

Just like cleaning our house can give you a new perspective, cleaning out my role as a DMomma did as well.  I have seen my son thrive on his own. I have seen him put to use what he has been taught and develop his own confidence.  Standing back has allowed me a new role in the diabetes community and in my son’s life…and its not that bad!

Sorry but its private

Day two of Dblog Week asks what we keep private. What is it that is off limits for sharing with our readers or maybe even family and friends? What will you never read about on these pages?

This is actually an interesting topic.  Once upon a time, there was almost nothing that you would not read on my blog pages. I was an open book in part because I never thought anyone else would read what I had to say.  It was my personal journal, sharing my most raw emotions. As friends and strangers began to read, things began to change.

I no longer write when emotionally charged. I still write posts with emotional attachments but I try to wait, write, re-write, wait, and then post after the fact. I want people to understand some of what I deal with as a parent of a child with diabetes but I don’t want them to lose the point in a sea of anger or frustration.

I no longer write my son’s name and very rarely the names of anyone around me out of respect for their privacy.  My son spent a lot of his early life with diabetes in the spotlight.  I wanted people to know more about the disease but I never considered that he’d preferred anonymity.  He did.  At 16, he laid down the law.  He wanted his privacy. He did not want to featured in diabetes related campaigns or any other displays.  I have learned to honour that.

Over time my life has changed and so too have my blog posts.  I now seek out topics that advocate and highlight issues of awareness.  Our life with diabetes has changed. It no longer consumes me 24/7.  It is simply a nagging thought in my head but a burden for my son to now carry almost solely on his own.  I can no longer moan about sleepless nights but I will still share my feelings of guilt at being able to sleep.

I will still share many emotions and experiences in my blog posts. I try to keep them real and from the heart.  Yes, there are a few things that you will never read about.  There are a few things that family and friends will never understand either but the important things that educate, advocate and raise awareness will always be shared.

Do not enter



He’s Got This

calling momIts 7am. My phone rings.

“Mom, what is the pump log?”

“It is probably a sheet for you to put all of your pump information as well as everything you ate and bolused for the past 5 days.”

“But I put that on the other sheet.”

“They send out two sheets. One is for those on injections to fill out and one is for pumpers.  It doesn’t matter which sheet you used as long as you provide them with all of the information that they need.”


I hung up and began my day.  My son was heading off to what could be his last appointment at his diabetes clinic.  He will be 18 at his next appointment and will most likely be transitioning to adult care. Oddly, this was not the first appointment that he has gone to without me but he seemed to want to get this one right. I was impressed.

At 10am I got my second call…”Mom, can you go into the pump manual and figure out where I find my Insulin Sensitivity?”

I dug around in the closet, pulled out the pump box, found the manual and began searching through pages.  I gave him the instructions and took a guess at the answer.  I was wrong.  I guess I am a bit more out of the loop than I thought.

I wished him luck and he continued on with his appointments.

Later that day I asked him how things went.  He told me that he is done with the clinic. They will refer him to something a bit closer to home for all subsequent appointments. I asked if he had been referred to a new doctor. He said no, his doctor was keeping him on for another year.

He was looking forward to a new doctor so I asked him how this appointment went. He said it was great! It was short (could that be because he actually was prepared, looked like he knew what he was doing and they didn’t have to pry answers out of him??).  They were both happy.  There were no A1c results because he only went to get his blood work done the day before his appointment but he would live for another six months so all was good.

The day was an interesting experience for me as the mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes.  My son was/is independent in his daily care and now in his medical care as well.  Despite that, he knows that he always has a someone who will help him whenever he calls.  I no longer hover with advice or suggestions (well not a lot) but he knows that if he presses my number, I will help no matter what.  That is a very good feeling.