With Thanksgiving almost here and the winter holidays around the corner, we know that diabetes stress is about to ratchet way up. The D-Moms are here to help! Moira McCarthy joins Stacey to talk about everything from holiday travel, long car rides, well meaning relatives and holiday gifts centered on T1D. And of course, FOOD!
Get advice to keep your children with T1D safe and happy so you can make terrific memories without freaking out about “perfect” blood sugars.
Previous D-Mom Holiday advice here
Adults with T1D give their take on the holidays:
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
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Episode Transcription below:
Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dario health. Manage your blood glucose levels increase your possibilities by Gvoke Hypopen the first pre mixed auto injector for very low blood sugar, and by Dexcom, take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.
This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
Stacey Simms 0:26
This week, Thanksgiving is almost here and many holidays just around the corner. Ask the D moms is here to help more McCarthy and I answer your questions and share our own stories to help you make more wonderful memories with less stress, even if that means doing things differently for a special occasion.
Moira McCarthy 0:44
And the reality is in this long, long, long, long, long lifetime marathon diabetes, you need to just chill a mile here and there. And by doing this and saying to your children, we’re going to turn this off. This is okay. Don’t worry about it. You’re fine. You’re modeling that for them and you’re giving them the confidence and the courage to know that they can be okay. Yeah,
Stacey Simms 1:06
she said turn this off. She’s talking about something I dare to say and do about Benny’s CGM. We also talk about long car rides well-meaning relatives and holiday gifts centered on diabetes.
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of the show. I’m your host Stacey Simms always so glad to have you here. You know, we aim to educate and inspire about diabetes with a focus on people who use insulin. And yes, this time of year. I mean, it’s the holidays are stressful without diabetes, right. But I’m already seeing in my local group, the stress ratcheting up, somebody said to me the other day that they feel like even though they’re not necessarily doing more than they did before the pandemic as more people are venturing out and traveling. They feel like they’re really busy. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we haven’t been very busy for the last year and a half, really. So there’s gonna be more pressure on this holiday season. There’s going to be more travel, there’s going to be I don’t know, it’ll feel like higher stakes and especially if you are new to type one, that first year those first holidays, those first milestones are incredibly stressful. So Moira and I are here to help you out you probably already know. But just in case Moira McCarthy is a dear friend of mine. She is the author of many books about raising kids with diabetes, including the amazing raising teens with diabetes, which has that fabulous photo of a teen rolling her eyes right on the cover. I love that cover. You’ll hear how long her daughter Lauren has lived with type one. She’s a very successful adult now living on her own. And if you are brand new, my son Ben, he was diagnosed almost 15 years ago. He is almost 17, which is really hard to believe so most of my stories have to do with the early years. We’re not out of the teens yet, and Moira will help kind of pick it up from there. And I always look to her for guidance as well.
One funny thing about Thanksgiving this year, we have a set menu, right? We have our traditions. My husband is the cook in the family and we’ve always hosted Thanksgiving. He does something a little different every year, but it’s really up to him. But Benny has been working in a grocery store for the past six or seven months now. And he is really jonesing for a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, which we don’t usually do nothing do with diabetes. It’s just not our style. We generally save the marshmallows for dessert. But my mom who makes our sweet potato casserole every year has valiantly stepped up and says she will make one for him. Because at the grocery store. He has been seeing the display and he’s like Mom, it’s just sweet potatoes, brown sugar, sweet potatoes, marshmallows, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, like they have this. And he took a picture that I saw the last time I was there. I mean, it’s one whole side of a produce display. So this poor kid, he is really dying for that that marketing worked on him. He wants those marshmallows. My daughter is the canned cranberry sauce person, right. You know you make that beautiful, homemade cranberry sauce with the whole cranberries. Are you you boil it down? No, we have to have it in the can with the jelly lines on it. I prefer that as well. I have to admit. Alright, Moira and I talking about real stuff just a moment.
But first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Gvoke Hypopen. Our endo always told us that if you use insulin, you need to have emergency glucagon on hand as well. Low blood sugars are one thing – we’re usually able to treat those with fact acting glucose tabs or juice. But a very low blood sugar can be very frightening – which is why I’m so glad there’s a different option for emergency glucagon. It’s Gvoke Hypopen. Gvoke HypoPen is premixed and ready to go, with no visible needle. You pull off the red cap and push the yellow end onto bare skin – and hold it for 5 seconds. That’s it. Find out more – go to diabetes dash connections dot com and click on the Gvoke logo. Gvoke shouldn’t be used in patients with pheochromocytoma or insulinoma – visit gvoke glucagon dot com slash risk.
Moira, welcome back. I am so excited to talk to you What a week. I didn’t even think about this when we planned. This is a big week for you and Lauren,
Moira McCarthy 5:04
it is yesterday, October 28. At 2:35pm was exactly her 24th diaversary. My daughter has had type 1 diabetes for 24 years. I can’t even believe it. It’s crazy.
Stacey Simms 5:22
But I have to ask you the time had you know the time.
Moira McCarthy 5:25
So I don’t know why I know the time. We were at a doctor’s appointment, and I know what time the appointment was. And I know what happened when I got there. So I don’t know. It’s just drilled into my head. And then there’s people I meet that are like, I can’t even tell you what day my kid was diagnosed. But for some reason, it just stuck with me. And as a little kid Lauren, like celebrating every year, so I sent her flowers yesterday. No, I don’t care. 24 hours or so give us Do you
Stacey Simms 5:51
mind, maybe just a little bit of how she’s doing maybe a little update. If this is someone’s first time joining us for Deimos.
Moira McCarthy 5:57
I’d be happy to so my daughter Lauren was diagnosed. Well, I just said the date. So basically the beginning of kindergarten when she was six years old, right after her sixth birthday. I can remember feeling like the world was gonna end. But we had a really great medical team from the beginning who were saying to us, you are going to live the life you lived before. We’re just going to add steps to it. And Lauren at six years old was saying I’m gonna lead you’re not gonna, you know, let this hold me down. Now has it been all rainbows and butterflies? Absolutely not. We have had challenging days. We’ve had challenging weeks, we’ve had challenging years in her teen years. But right now, I think, well, first of all, what everybody cares about most is her physical health. She is 100% healthy. She has the labs that a person without diabetes would have if you checked, you know, her kidney and her eyes and everything else. Emotionally, she’s really doing great. She has a long struggle with burnout. But I think she really has figured out a way to deal with that when she recognizes it coming up. And the most important lab of all I always say is she’s incredibly happy. She has an amazing career and lives in the middle of Washington, DC all by herself, and I don’t follow her on share. And I never worry about her. She has 8 million friends and I couldn’t be prouder of her and the life that she is building as a young adult. So that’s where she’s at pretty good. Right? Despite diabetes, that’s fine.
Stacey Simms 7:28
I love hearing that, as you know. And as you listen, you may know, I have followed Moira and Lauren story for many, many, many years since before more and I knew each other. So I always kind of look ahead. It’s like my time machine of what could happen with us. Where could he go? And of course, he’s never leaving our hometown, going to a scary place far away like DC he’s gonna He’s going to live here. And
Moira McCarthy 7:51
Sunday dinner every week
Stacey Simms 7:53
is nice. That’s so nice. So I’m glad she’s doing so well. Like you’re doing so well. And you know, gosh, I heard something recently about diversity that made me smile. Instead of the diversity you’re you’re on the new level. So Lauren has reached level 24.
Moira McCarthy 8:08
I like that. That’s really funny. And her boyfriend is a big video gamer so he’ll like that.
Stacey Simms 8:13
Oh, that’s good. Yeah, Benny’s approaching level 15. And I am one of those people who I always have to look up the date. I just know it’s the first weekend of December, but I never. Yeah. Alright, so we are in that time of year where it’s not just our kids diver series. It is holiday time. And after I rewound the Halloween episode that we did a couple of years ago and I got a lot of questions and people asked us to do a follow up for Thanksgiving and looking ahead to the winter holidays. And I got some great questions. So I was wondering more if you wouldn’t mind sharing though, you know, the first holiday season that you and Laura and your whole family had to address this you guys want a very different routine? Yeah, we can be a little more difficult but would you mind sharing what that was like that first year?
Moira McCarthy 8:59
I will and and I think it’s good to hear because it can help people see how far we have come daily care for this disease. We may not have a cure yet, but what it looks like on a day to day basis is completely different. So Lauren was diagnosed in October so Thanksgiving was our first big holiday and I remember we were going to my in laws and back then you took a moderate acting or we called it long acting, but it was really middle acting insulin called NPH that peaked a bunch of times during the day and then you took regular which you had to take it wait 30 minutes and then eat exactly what you had dose for it exactly 30 minutes which was super fun with a six year old child I will tell you and no waiting in between. So I had reached out to my in laws ahead of time and asked them if they could work the meal around the time that it would work best for her to eat and they said yes and I I move some things around with A doctor to kind of compromise with them, you know, so we changed what time we gave everything starting, like two days before to be ready for Thanksgiving. And then we showed up and they were like, oh, yeah, we decided on a different time. Oh my gosh, the world is ending. But the world didn’t end. You know, we figured it out. We got through it. What I will say for these holidays, for people who are new to it, it’s not always going to feel this scary and confusing and daunting. I think the first 12 months, you go through every holiday, every special event, every family tradition for first time. And then the second year, you’re like, Oh, I remember this from last year, and it gets a little better. And then the third year, you’re, you’re sailing. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.
Stacey Simms 10:43
I would absolutely agree with that. I also kind of suffered and I’ll say suffered from this feeling out of the box, that it had to be perfect. Because I remember one just show everybody that we were okay. Especially my mom, I wanted her to not worry. And know that we were we were just fine. And for some reason that got tangled up in my brain by thinking this has to go perfectly and I can’t make a mistake. And of course that lasted about three
Moira McCarthy 11:06
seconds. Yeah, we’re really with a toddler with type one, and you want to put together a perfect Thanksgiving. Why don’t we do that to ourselves, though, you know, but feelings of control at a time when you feel like you’ve lost control?
Stacey Simms 11:21
Night? Exactly. Alright, so let’s get to some of the questions that came in. I got one in my local group. And this was about travel. And the question was, we’re driving along distance. And I guess we could talk a little bit about flying or other modes of transportation. But this particular case, we’re driving along distance, you know, six or seven hours to a relative’s house. Any ideas or tips for helping me and the question here was about stable blood sugars. But I’m also going to kind of throw in there. How do I make this trip? easier on the whole family? Yeah, I’m I have a lot of ideas that maybe you do too.
Moira McCarthy 11:56
Well. So I guess my first idea would be for special occasions and events, stable blood sugars aren’t the most important thing ever. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with trying, of course, we want to try but the first thing I’d say is if it doesn’t go perfectly, that’s perfectly fine. I am quite sure if you ask your medical team to help you with the plan. That is one of the things they will say to you. That’s the first thing. So I mean, what did you do on long car rides? For us it I don’t remember it impacting her blood sugar that much, you definitely have to have snacks in the car and like more than you ever think you’re going to need in your life, because you never know when you’re going to get stuck in a traffic jam from a car accident or something like that. You know what it is be prepared, and then you don’t need it. We tend as a family, not just for the person with diabetes, but for everyone to try to stop every 60 minutes and get out of the car and stretch and move around and breathe fresh air and then get back in. I think that helps
Stacey Simms 12:56
us How about depressive we don’t my husband would have fit? No. So in my
Moira McCarthy 13:01
father, he would never do that. That’s probably why I do it. I grew up driving from Minnesota to Massachusetts and like never being allowed to get out of the car. So
Stacey Simms 13:10
I would say for us we actually did struggle a lot with long car rides, because we did a lot of trips, especially to my parents in Florida, which is like a nine or 10 hour road trip. And we found that Benny’s blood sugar would go very high. Just you know, an hour or two in the car and looking back, it’s probably because toddlers never stopped moving. So his insulin dosage was all based on constant activity. So when he was sitting still, just looking back that’s my assumption. Also, as you mentioned, you know everybody’s eating in the car
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Now back to the D mom’s and I’m talking about what we did when we realized Benny’s blood sugar would always go pretty high in the car.
What we did was talk to our endocrinologist about adjusting doses giving more insulin when he was in the car, giving more insulin for food when he was in the car. And that was a real trial and error for us because, you know we have to be really conservative about that you’re not going to be changing basal rates by enormous amounts and so it may not quote unquote work the first time you do it, but I think you know we’re doing Talking about stable blood sugars, I hope that this person means is like maybe kind of sort of in range. You know, when I see somebody talking about stable blood sugars, I usually think like, it’s not going to be a steady line at 95, right? We’re just trying to keep them from skyrocketing and staying there. And even if that happens, which happened to us a ton, it’s fine, and you fix it. When the baby was younger, and the kids were younger, I was much more mindful about healthy eating. You know, they’re 19 and 16. And it’s like, they buy half their own food. Now anyway, I don’t know what they’re eating. But we used to get coolers the big cooler, and fill it with, you know, healthy fruits and veggies and hard boiled eggs and carrot sticks. And you know, and then of course, everybody would want to stop for fast food and ruin everything. Right?
Moira McCarthy 15:39
So I made the assumption, and perhaps I shouldn’t have that by stable, she meant within that range. If this mom is suggesting that her child should have a straight line across my answers quite different. I have no idea going on the assumption that what she means is within their range. And my answer was based on that what I meant was, if you go above your range, or below your range, I think it’s okay. I don’t think that if you’re going to celebrate with a family, the most important thing is, is staying in your blood sugar range, I think the most important thing is enjoying the time and loving your cousin’s and running around and having fun and staying within a an area that is safe. And by safe. I mean, you’re not you don’t need to get in an ambulance, I guess. And maybe my advice would be talk to your medical team, take some ideas that we have on your idea, I think that’s a great idea. My only caveat would be the doctors probably going to want you to err on the side of your child being hired. The first time you do this, as you mentioned, you did it after some trial and error, I’m not sure a new parent to diabetes should just, you know dial way up on their kids insulin because they’re going to be in the car for nine hours, I think you should take it slowly and go a time or two or three and see what happens. And then make decisions like that after that. But for now talk to your team. They’re they’re going to say what I said, and they’re going to support you and say, Don’t worry about going out of range. You know how to do corrections, here’s when and here’s why to do a correction and then take it from there.
Stacey Simms 17:12
And like you said, some kids sit in the car and nothing happens. Right? They don’t go super high. That’s why can’t do
Moira McCarthy 17:17
assumption, right. That’s why you have to wait and see what happens. One quick
Stacey Simms 17:22
thing about the car that I learned the hard way you mentioned about you know, be prepared for traffic be prepared for you know, delays, if you have and we all do I think have a you know a diabetes kit. Make sure it’s where you can reach it, especially if your child is very young, right? I mean, there’s a lot of kids, they’re older, they can have it the backseat with them. I’ll never forget packing everything we needed and leaving it in the trunk or like the way back of the minivan. And then we were delayed. And I’m like I need a new inset like says it was leaking, or we’d like crawl through the car.
Moira McCarthy 17:54
That’s a really good tip. So put it
Stacey Simms 17:57
up to the front seat with your pack, even if you just pack a couple of things. And we had so many car adventures. Okay, the next question, I loved this one, because this just I could picture this one I know you can do more. So Deborah said we are in the first year of diagnosis, I just realized I don’t know what to do about our Christmas cookie tradition. We make a bunch and give them to relatives we usually eat as we go. Can we still do this with diabetes child is eight and is on multiple daily injections, so no insulin pump yet.
Moira McCarthy 18:26
So my answer is eat all the cookies, bake all the cookies, visit all the friends have all the fun, click your fingers if you want to. But then wash your hands, have all the fun and check in with your child’s doctor. And what they’re going to say is go do all that check at the end of all the fun. If you need a correction, here’s what we’d like you to correct. And here’s what we’d like you not to correct for they may not want you to correct because sometimes these things involve a little adrenaline high. And again, first times you have to see what’s going on. But just have all the fun. Fix it later. If your child gets high during it, it’s no big deal. If they get low, you’ve got cookies. There’s an old saying it started with Kelly crewneck, who’s a very well known person on the diabetes world on the internet. And she said people with diabetes can’t have cookies, dot dot dot with poison in them. Right? The only cookies you can’t have.
Stacey Simms 19:26
I think that’s fantastic. And it took me back listening to that about we know we don’t have a Christmas cookie tradition. But we certainly you know, I think most people with little kids love to bake. And it’s just such a fun activity to do with them. And in the first couple of weeks with shots, it was so difficult. You know, Binney ran away from us. He didn’t want anything to do with it. But after a little while, he didn’t really care as long as we didn’t make a big deal and make him stop what he was doing. So and we bought after, which I know is like bananas that people admit to bolusing after these days, but I think it’s so much less
Moira McCarthy 20:00
Streisand gets really super smart, particularly with a small child.
Stacey Simms 20:04
And so for something like this, like we would bake, and then I would kind of try to estimate like, what did he licked the spoon? Did he eat the crumbs? You know, when you do a guess? And in my case, I would always get a little less because he was teeny tiny. And then we would eat the cookie, and a couple hours later, we would correct and move on. Now. I don’t know, I feel like the fun as you said, the memories of that time, you know, outweighed the quote, unquote, out of range blood sugar, I’m sure his blood sugar went out of range. And he might have been low, because they sometimes they just get really excited. And you know, he might have been high, but he’s, they’re healthy.
Moira McCarthy 20:39
You know what, I think this, this mom, and anyone who’s considering these kind of questions over the holidays should think about too, when I look back on Lauren’s life, these 24 years with type one included, I don’t remember that her blood sugar went higher low. I don’t remember what her diabetes did one day, I remember that the cookie swap was fun. And so that’s why I think it’s important to focus on the fun, within reason with a kid with diabetes, you know,
Stacey Simms 21:12
oh, yeah, that’s a great way to put it. And I’m realizing as he gets older, I have a lot of those same feelings. I’m so glad it didn’t stop us. I’m sure at the time. My heart was pounding, right, especially at first, I’m sure I was worried. I’m sure I was thinking, Am I doing this the right way. But look, you know, you have those fabulous pictures and those great memories. So that’s a great way to put it. Alright, so let’s talk about well meaning relatives. More Hi, Moira. And Stacy. My aunt thinks she knows everything about diabetes. She has type two and is always lecturing me about not letting my second grader eat, quote, bad foods. Holidays are the worst. I’m sorry to laugh, because she wants us to have sugar free desserts. There’s so much going on. In that question.
Moira McCarthy 21:59
Bless her heart, right. You know, I mean, what do you do? It would depend on what kind of person she is. And if they have, if they have a relationship that she could, I would call her ahead of time and say, Look, we’re working on adjusting Stevie’s life, whatever the child is, and, and there’s a lot of things he’s dealing with right now. So I’m just asking you, if you have anything you want to say about it? Could you say it to me now over the phone before we go, and let’s just avoid talking about diabetes other than Hey, how you feeling? I’m really glad you’re doing well at the holiday because I don’t want him to feel sad when he has all this on his mind. That’s a great way to put it. Who knows what she’ll do. Right, right.
Stacey Simms 22:45
I mean, you have you have well meaning relatives who want to help you have nosy relatives who think they’re helping, it all depends on my mother for the first year or two she wants to make she makes one of those sweet potato casseroles, not always with marshmallows, but it’s got a ton of sugar in it. And so she made it sugar free. And I didn’t really notice but it’s not something Vinnie was going to eat much of anyway. Yeah, when he was he was three at his first Thanksgiving with diabetes. But she meant well, but what I found worked over the years, and I still use this, even though he’s his own advocate. Now, I really found that saying, Our doctor says, which I made up, but our doctor says helped everything. So I would say to somebody like this. Oh, you know, thank you so much for thinking about my son. I really appreciate it. I gotta tell you things with diabetes have changed so much now. And our doctor says that he can eat these foods and as long as we can dose with insulin, you know, we know what we’re doing. He’s helping us or our doctor says that Thanksgiving should be a date, like every other day or whatever it is. But people would never listen to me. Listen to what my doctor
Moira McCarthy 23:46
says my my words for that was always her medical team. Yeah. sound very official, our medical team is me. But they don’t need to know that. The one thing I’ll say, though, is it’s also okay, if it’s not super aggressive, and really out of line. I think it’s also okay to teach our children to show some people a little grace. And sometimes and all this even when people are wrong, maybe at the family thanksgiving, or Hanukkah, or whatever party isn’t the time to say, Do you know what I mean? Great. And so if someone makes a sugar free thing, and your kid hates sugar free, you say to your kid, please just put a tiny slice of that on your plate and then push a couple pieces around under something. And it’ll be fine. They met Well, yeah, you know, yeah, say and then afterwards, you can say hey, he really liked that. But FYI, next time, you don’t even need to do that make the same delicious pie, but you don’t need to make it sugar free. Right
Stacey Simms 24:41
on everything. And that’s a good point. Because we’re so in our society today, we’re so ready to fight. We’re so ready to be on the defensive. And so I think that that’s a great point just to be able to say we really appreciate it. We know how you meant it, you know, just thanks and then have the discussion later on. Yeah,
Moira McCarthy 24:57
but if they’re over the top aggressive about about telling your child what they do wrong with their diabetes, then you need to have a conversation ahead of time. That’s right.
Stacey Simms 25:04
Or you know, even in the moment if this sometimes you see, you know, I made this for these kids who don’t have diabetes and look at this wonderful vegetable plate I made for your child like they’re having cupcakes, but you could have the carrot that it’s okay.
Moira McCarthy 25:17
It just jello Jaguars. My daughter was locked up. I always have to bring a tray of jello jugglers This is before acting. And
Stacey Simms 25:25
that is so funny. I’m so sorry for sugary jello. jigglers Woohoo. Oh, my gosh. Okay, another question. How do I dose for all of the grazing that goes on during Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings? This is kind of similar to the Christmas cookies, or I would think our answer is going to be but in some homes, right? It’s not just one set meal. It’s we showed up and we’re starting to eat and we don’t stop for seven hours. Oh, yeah.
Moira McCarthy 25:51
My house isn’t that yours?
Stacey Simms 25:53
Isn’t? No, no, no.
Moira McCarthy 25:57
Not every house was like that on a holiday. Seriously, this is interesting. All right, well, I guess I’ll answer this first, then talk to your medical team. Ask them about planning different times during the day for check ins. And then just let your child have what they’re going to have. And at the check in times that you agree with your doctor, it may be every two hours, it may be every three hours, it may be twice I don’t know. They’ll they’ll help you decide. You see where they’re at. You look at what’s going on what they’re going to be doing next. And then you do a correction of corrections needed. That’s it.
Stacey Simms 26:31
Go, I’m going to add a layer to that. Yes, please do. For those who are addicted. I don’t know anyone like this. I certainly have never been like this anyone who’s addicted to their Dexcom. So if you’re listening to more thinking, how am I supposed to check every two hours when the Dexcom or wherever three hours, whatever the most no more thinking how am I gonna check at those intervals, when my Dexcom is blaring every five minutes, okay, stay with me, people consider turning your Dexcom high alarm off, and then look at your child’s Dexcom High Alert off, and then only looking at it as recommended by your care team. It will take away an enormous amount of stress. Even if your child goes high. And you bolus it’s not going to happen right away. You know this, it takes a long time for insulin to work, right. So you’re not really doing yourself any favors by checking it every five minutes. I know it’s hard. Ask your doctor. But that has helped me more than the years when I was glued to it listening for this a lot.
Moira McCarthy 27:34
And you know, I think that’s really wonderful advice. Because there’s nothing wrong with freeing up the family to enjoy a good time. If it’s so important to you that you keep them in a certain range and you want to watch it all day, then go ahead. But I think what you suggested and what you just said you do is such a good model for your child, because as you care for your child, you’re modeling how they should care for themselves later. And the reality is in this long, long, long, long, long lifetime marathon diabetes, you need to just chill a mile here and there. And by doing this and saying to your children, we’re going to turn this off, this is okay. Don’t worry about it, you’re fine. You’re modeling that for them. And you’re giving them the confidence and the courage to know that they can be okay. If they’re not doing, you know, 150%. So I love that answer. Stacy, you get a gold star. Yeah,
Stacey Simms 28:34
it’s funny to think about, but that’s actually how we use Dexcom. And how everyone use Dexcom intil. Gosh, I’ll probably get the year wrong. But until, let’s say 2015 Because Dexcom share did not exist, right? So at school, our child would like many others basically used his Dexcom receiver as a no finger stick monitor. Right. So at the time of day were Benny would normally have done a finger stick, he just looked at the receiver showed it to his teacher. And that was it. We started using it like that. So I think it makes it a little easier if you come home from the hospital, like a lot of families do attuned to every alarm. These things may seem like an astronomical ask, but you really can do it. And I would also add with the grazing, we you know, we were grazing experts, because I had a two year old with type one who was diagnosed. I mean, a few years after Lauren, so you know, was not on that very regimented timing. So Benny could pretty much eat all day, like a normal two year old. I mean, obviously not all day, but you know what I mean? Several times a day, and we just had to give them fast acting. So it makes it it does make it a little more difficult, right? It’s not but it’s not something you do every single day, either. So I think that you know, you’ve got to kind of let go a little bit, but it’s not harmful and it can make these ladies have these wonderful memories. Alright, and finally, this question, I’m a little stymied by this one. What’s the Christmas present for a child with die? beedis
Moira McCarthy 30:01
Okay, a good Christmas present for a child with diabetes is what they put on their Christmas list. If you want to give diabetes related gifts for Christmas, that’s all good and fine. I knew someone who gave their child quote unquote, their insulin pump for Christmas and like, their heart was in the right place, and the child felt great, but it just made me a little sad. I guess if your child puts insulin pump on their Christmas list, though, that’s different. But even then I think I’d say no, Santa doesn’t need to bring you medical stuff, we can just get that went whenever you need it. There are toys and animals and things like that. If someone’s interested in actually, diabetesMine is having me do a list of them that’s going to run in late November, early December. We can link that on this after Oh, that would be great. Like
Stacey Simms 30:54
the American Girl doll stuff and road kid kits. Fabulous.
Moira McCarthy 30:59
And then I don’t mean that there’s anything wrong with that stuff. I just think that you should give your child gifts that they want as a child, not as a child with diabetes. Yeah,
Stacey Simms 31:09
I think a lot of that depends on how your family celebrates and what gifts you’re giving. We are We joked in our family for Hanukkah, when I was growing up, you would get everything from the toy that you really, really wanted to the dictionary that you did not ask for to the socks that you need it right so if your gift giving is like that mixed up, and it’s you know, if your family expectation is that kids will get super useful stuff in all the kids not just the kid with diabetes, then I guess I could see it. But I’m with you, I think unless it’s something really fun like one of those add on what your list is going to be made up but like, what are those stuffed pancreas like? silly things like that. And yeah, accessories for dolls and fun stuff. It’s just like a useful medical thing. I think you’ve got to be very careful and know, the child like especially a parent to a kid is one thing but if you’re like the fun and or you’re the family friend thinking this will be a big hit. I just be a little careful. One of the things I saw in another group was you know, there’s a newly diagnosed child which they get the family and the most popular response was don’t get them anything quote diabetes related, get them fuzzy slippers, and a gift certificate for babysitting or you know a trip to the movies and get them something fun and engaging.
Moira McCarthy 32:22
Get them something normal and and pushing back on what you said I still even if my family did that stuff, I still wouldn’t give my child like a box of syringes. So core. I like if you’re giving your kids toothpaste for Christmas, because that’s what you do, then give your kid with diabetes toothpaste for Christmas treats the same way you treat your other kids when it comes to gifts.
Stacey Simms 32:42
That’s a good point. I think if anybody ever gave Benny any diabetes related gifts, and no one would ever mind my family would have ever done that. But
Moira McCarthy 32:49
one time in our family Yankee swap, I used a syringe box, like for the gift and whoever opened it thought it was syringes and we’re like, I don’t get it. And I’m like, Oh, for goodness sake. It’s just a box.
Stacey Simms 33:03
Open it up. Is a Yankee swap like a Secret Santa.
Moira McCarthy 33:07
Yeah, kind of but you you could take gifts away from like a one white elephant. I don’t know. I’m sorry. That’s a white Jewish lady. It’s like we’re from different worlds, Stacy.
Stacey Simms 33:21
Oh, you New Englanders.
Moira McCarthy 33:24
Bless my heart.
Stacey Simms 33:26
We do have one funny story. So on Christmas day in Gosh, I’m looking back already. This was this is eight years ago. So on Christmas Day, we started the Dexcom. The very first time we ever used the G four platinum. Vinnie was nine. Oh no, the g4 Platinum pediatric. So Vinnie was nine years old. And we were sitting around a Christmas day at my mom’s house like you do. And we said, let’s start the Dexcom. Why don’t we will put it on we had been instructed on how to do it. Of course, again, I don’t know if I can emphasize this enough. We do not celebrate Christmas. I don’t think I would do this. Christmas. So but we put it on and I will never forget because that was you know, Christmas Day. Gosh, so yeah. Merry Christmas kid. That was the big horrible insert or two.
Moira McCarthy 34:14
But then it could have Chinese food before the movie, right?
Stacey Simms 34:18
Really my house.
Moira McCarthy 34:21
I know you.
Stacey Simms 34:23
That’s great. So normally at the end here, we talk about where we’re going in the diabetes community. Of course, you know, there’s no diabetes events going on now. And I’m really, really hoping they come back next year. But I mean, I’m doing some virtual events. I’m reaching out, but I cannot wait to be in person again more.
Moira McCarthy 34:39
I feel you. I can’t believe I was just thinking about this the other day because my Facebook memory was, I guess right before the pandemic I was in Buffalo, New York speaking at a big diabetes event at this time and they were all these pictures and people posting about interesting things they learned and how happy they were going to be and I was like, oh, I want to go back somewhere. I think we’re We’re gonna see things start bubbling up I do believe friends for life is going on this summer I’m hoping I’ll be there I haven’t heard yet but um I know that’s probably happening and I think JDRF is going to start doing some smaller half day programs in the near future knock on wood so I hope we’re in the same place to Stacey that’s what I hope not only we get out and speak but you and I are in the same place.
Stacey Simms 35:22
Yeah. Oh my god,
Moira McCarthy 35:23
it’s all about us.
Stacey Simms 35:26
Why not? I was kind of pausing because I don’t remember when we saw each other live to look that up. At the end of the show.
Moira McCarthy 35:33
I think it’s been at least two years Stacy that’s really weird.
Stacey Simms 35:37
It has to be it has to ah, I miss you.
Moira McCarthy 35:40
Me too. We talk every day practically. I miss you as a as a human life form.
Stacey Simms 35:50
Well, the next time we get together we can we can do a Yankee swap.
Moira McCarthy 35:52
Yeah. And and a white elephant, white elephant.
Stacey Simms 35:57
Well, if I don’t speak to you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and your adorable grandchildren. And give Lauren my best and tell everybody we said hi. Same here
Moira McCarthy 36:07
and make sure those kids yours know that I still think they’re awesome.
You’re listening to Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.
Stacey Simms 36:21
I will link up some information, including to an episode we did with adults with type one and their take on Thanksgiving. I’ll put that in the show notes along with the transcription for this episode, you can always go to diabetes connections.com. Every episode starting in January of 2020 has a transcription. And there’s lots more information there. I got to tell you more. And I make it sound pretty easy now, right? But those first couple of years, it’s so stressful because you’re trying to have a nice holiday. You’re trying to project confidence, you know, we’re doing great. Diabetes won’t stop us. And then you’re freaking out, you know, what did you eat? Should we pre bolus what’s gonna happen now? Am I gonna be up all night? You know, it’s, well, you know, who’s got the carb count? Is it accurate? Spoiler, the carb count is never accurate. It’s never accurate. I hope you know that. We’re estimating everything, even packaged foods. Even somebody who weighs in measures, everything is a total guess, on carbohydrates. So just do the best you can. And it’s you got to get through that I think you’ve just got to get through that experience. There is no other teacher like experience and diabetes, you’ve got to make mistakes, you’ve got to kind of be upset, you gotta be worried you got to get through it.
But if you let yourself I think as a parent, you really can get to a place where you’re like sure marshmallows on sweet potatoes, we can figure that out and go from there. And if you hated my advice to turn the Dexcom off, let me know I would love to hear from you. You can yell at me all you want. Let me know if you try it though. And if it works for you, I don’t want to cause more stress. I promise.
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And hey, listen, I’m all about using the technology in a way that helps you thrive with diabetes. So when I say turn it off, it’s not a knock on Dexcom. It’s sharing how we use it to help us make great choices. Live well and be happy. I stand by that you know we have been using the Dexcom system since he was nine years old. We started back in December of 2013. And the system just keeps getting better. The Dexcom G six is FDA permitted for no finger sticks for calibration and diabetes treatment decisions, you can share with up to 10 people from your smart device. The G six has 10 Day sensor where the applicator is so easy. I have not done one insertion since we got it but he does them all himself, which is a huge change from the previous iteration. He’s a busy kid, knowing that he can just take a quick glance at his blood glucose to make better treatment decisions is reassuring. Of course we still love the alerts and alarms and that we can set them and turn them off how we want. If your glucose alerts and readings for the G six do not match symptoms or expectations use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. To learn more, go to diabetes connections.com and click on the Dexcom logo.
A couple of quick housekeeping notes we will have a regular episode next week. Our regular episodes are on Tuesdays. So we will have one for you next week. We will not have an in the news edition of Diabetes Connections. Thanksgiving week though. I will not be doing that live on Wednesday and there will not be an episode Friday the 26th I will say if anything really big happens if we get an FDA approval, you know something like that. I’ll probably pop on and give you an update. I you know, I know we’re all waiting for something so I can’t promise I won’t do it. It’s not it’s like the news person in me I was in you know, I’ve been doing this since I was 19. So if something breaks, I’m gonna have to jump on. Even if Slade is like, you know, making turkey behind me. We’ll figure it out. But right now again this week, the week of the 16th. We will have the regular in the news on Wednesday, which will become an audio only podcast on Friday. The following week. We will have a regular episode, but there will be no in the News episode Thanksgiving week. All right. With that thank you to my editor John Bukenas from audio editing solutions. Thank you so much for listening I’m Stacey Simms I will see you back here for in the news this week until then be kind to yourself Diabetes.
Connections is a production of Stacey Simms media All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged