I feel like I’m getting a cold, or as my mom likes to say, “I’m fighting something” as if being sick is a war. I mentioned to my 3-year-old this morning that I didn’t feel good, and he said, “Is it because your blood sugar is low Mommy?” It was one of those things your children say that makes you grab your heart and stop what you’re doing. I looked back at him in his car seat, at his “bright yellow” hair (as he likes to call it) and his blue eyes and his round cheeks and his sweet mouth and I said, “No, I think I’m getting a cold.” I don’t want my 3-year-old to worry about my blood sugar. How does my baby know that having low blood sugar means I don’t feel good, and just what does he understand about my disease?

We were in the car, on our way to the dentist because Miles has bad teeth. It’s mostly my fault. I weaned him from breast milk to chocolate milk because that’s what his older brother loves to drink. I let them both take sippy cups to bed at night with chocolate milk. I share my skittles with them when my blood sugar was low. And, I let Miles “brush” his teeth by himself. The dental work Miles needs on his baby teeth is going to cost $1100 after insurance. With that kind of money, I could have paid a babysitter to brush his teeth before bed every night. What have I done? On the drive home, I told Miles how proud I was of him, how he was so brave and I beat myself up about the pain he is going to have in the dentist’s chair, and I wondered, how did this happen?

I want someone else to blame…can I blame this on my diabetes? I can blame the skittles in my handbag on my diabetes, but what about the chocolate milk at bedtime and the not brushing? I’ll take the blame for the not brushing, but I think I can blame my desire for the boys to enjoy foods that I can’t, on my diabetes too. I enjoy taking them to Krispy Kreme and letting them pick out whatever doughnut they want, sprinkles or chocolate iced, and I enjoy watching them lick their lips and fingers with pleasure. Watching them, I can almost taste it.

We don’t eat out very often, I cook dinner at home just about every night, and I cook healthy foods. If the boys have a “good dinner” they are rewarded with dessert. We eat three meals a day as well as snacks. There is always enough food in our fridge and in our pantry. Some days, when I’m running low, I feel like I’m always eating whether I’m hungry or not-hunger is no longer the issue-(without tasting; gulping OJ and carrying around another graham cracker in my mouth) and I wonder what kind of message this is sending to my boys. So I do blame diabetes for the fact that food is a tool, not a source of pleasure. How can I let food be just food, to my boys?

Top ten quick fixes for low blood sugar:

1. Skittles

2. Starbursts

3. OJ, Graham Crackers& Peanut Butter

4. Banana

5. Fig Newtons

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