Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter, Type 1 Diabetes & Coeliac

3 of my little lovelies with their Easter Baskets.

Halloween 2007  6 months before Claudia was diagnosed Type 1

There are many aspects of Easter that are important. For the majority of children, the most important part of Easter are all the Easter Eggs!!! Yummy yum yum (I am addicted).

Since my girlie's were born I have always had an "Easter Egg Hunt". The excitement on their little faces, when they realise the Easter Bunny has visited and left them Easter Eggs, is priceless.

Then Type 1 walked into our life. Actually barged in without an invitation!! Very rude and not welcomed.

We left hospital under strict instruction:

Breakfast:      8.00am + Novorapid

Lunch:         12.15pm + Novorapid

Dinner:          4.00pm + Novorapid

Supper:         7.00pm + Levemir

No snack in between, unless "hypo". We were not told how to correct and also not to give extra injections. Carb counting was far to complex and not necessary! Yes sadly, I am being serious !!

We approached our first Easter. At this point Claudia had been diagnosed for approx.11 months. I was having a panic, our lives had become so strict and regimented, which in my opinion was "unhealthy". To be honest life was very overwhelming, at this point Claudia had also been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease.It takes a lot of courage to challenge the thoughts of your local hospital team.

Yes, her HbA1c's were below 7.5% but our quality of  life and flexibility was very limited. I was fed up of saying no. Having a 3 month old baby didn't help my emotions. The social network was very quiet, when Claudia was diagnosed, so I had very few people to share my feelings or ask advice. Thank goodness that has changed. Men tend to be far more practical rather than emotional. Can be very irritating, when you just need a cry and moan.

I decided to rebel and make a stand!! Oh yes, this mummy & children were having Easter Eggs and the usual hunt!!! What changed my mind? Claudia said "mummy is it going to be like Halloween & Christmas"? I said what do you mean? Claudia said " we didn't have any sweets or selection boxes, so does that mean that we can't have Easter Eggs too"

That for me was a turning point!! Surely everything in moderation is OK?? As a child there are a few times a year, that you can have a blast: Birthday's, Christmas, Easter, Halloween & special occasions.

Whilst the girls couldn't have the usual complete "pig out" they had a chocolate egg with their breakfast, 1 with their lunch & 1 with their dinner. Yes her blood glucose levels were "higher" but the look on her face made it worth it.

Nearly 4 years into diagnosis my out look is very different. This is due to:
Finding a supportive hospital team
Sharing tips with other parents who have children with Type 1.
Having a pump and continuous glucose monitor has helped Claudia.
However the biggest help was learning to carb count!!
Yes, carb count. Sadly some hospitals are still not teaching carb counting on diagnosis, why I am not sure...  It allows far more flexibility and choice.

Whilst "good control" is important. Quality of life is vital. Getting the balance can be challenging. Most importantly is, know matter how we manage "special events" in our children's lives. Our children need to feel "the same" as any other child. Sometimes that's virtually impossible, on some occasions it's finding a compromise.

I have asked my girls if they would like to exchange their eggs for small gifts. The answer was a very firm no!! As they get older I am sure that will change.We did have an extra challenge this year. Due to the new labelling laws finding "gluten free" affordable Easter Eggs was even more difficult.

We have decided to live our lives with "everything in moderation" and to do all the things we did before Type 1 Diabetes & Coeliac entered our lives. Sometimes life is relatively straight forward, but on others it can be stressful and seemingly impossible. Mr D needs to realise that mummies & daddies are smart and  ready to battle in order to give our children the best! It has taken me the best part of 4 years to reach this point.

I always keep in my mind, sometimes there is no" right or wrong " way. It's what fits in with your family.
I truly believe that the majority of DSN's & Doctor's could not walk 24 hours in our shoes. It's always easier to guide, give advice and recommend, than actually live that life.

Watch out Mr D I am ready for you, the gloves are on!!


  1. You definitely spoke words for what I'm feeling. My son Andrew has type 1 + celiac and it's NOT easy! I was just telling my husband the other day that next time the doctor mentions anything regarding Andrew's food selections, I'm going to challenge her to eat his diet and see how easy it is. It is downright hard! He's always being rationed. Then it has to be gluten free on top of it which sometimes has more carbs than its wheat counterparts meaning even smaller portions.

    Good for you for continuing your "in moderation" splurges!

    I actually went out on a limb and bought some gluten free chocolate for Andrew this year. This is our 2nd Easter. He's as happy as a bug in a rug. So worth it!

    Happy Easter!

  2. When I was diagnosed in 1965, carbohydrate counting wasn't done. It was done by calories because every food item has sugars and that is what raises the blood sugars. I had a very good doctor and was allowed to have sweets as long as I had more insulin. My "diet" wasn't any more strict than someone who was trying to maintain their current weight.

    I still do not carbohydrate count. I see a regular GP. I control my diabetes, it does not control me. I do not use a pump because I do not want to. Also, I have no complications, none. I inject insulin with a syringe 3 times a day humulin N and R. I know what foods will raise my blood sugar.

    I do not have celiacs, but I have so many other food allergies that eating is a problem. I am glad you decided to allow your daughter to have Easter candy. My grandmother was worried that she wouldn't be able to give me my Easter basket after my diagnoses. She was so happy when she could continue giving me and my sister Easter baskets until we were both in high school.

  3. We were out of state when my daughter was diagnosed but I am so glad we had an awesome Diabetes Educator. She told us about carb exchange & carb. counting. I will never forget all the things she said like always let your kid come first and Diabetes 2nd. She said to never deprive my child of the joys of life and that Diabetes can fit into any situation as long as some planning is done.
    I'm glad you continued to do your research and found ways to make living life with Diabetes & Celiac's a little easier.