I have to admit since becoming a parent taking care of myself has been last on my list. Last week that caught up with me. I went into DKA with glucose level of 548 at the hospital. My children witnessed me getting sick, and being taken to the hospital from our home. I haven't been doing what i should have been for myself. Constantly putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own. Not checking Bs when i should have, not having the insulin i needed due to money issues, etc. My mom brought the kids to the hospital to see me. They were scared. My daughter wouldn't come near me. My step son had neevr been so worried. I don't know how to explain to them what happened or why it happened... I need ideas as well on changes and how to keep up the glucose testing so my blood sugars can get under control again. Also, does anyone have ideas about how to get insulin when you don't have the money???????

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Wow. Juliet, I'm so sorry to hear that happened to you! I'm assuming you have health insurance? Have you looked into ordering your insulin through the mail? I've found when I mail-order my test strips, they are far less expensive! Let me look into this for you......I know how hard it is to put yourself first as a parent but I also know, and I guess you know now, after your visit to the hospital, how important it is. I wake up every morning to my boys who want milk and a graham cracker and to watch cartoons and I haven't even tested my blood sugar yet. I've learned that I get a lot less grouchy when I wake up before them so I have time to test my blood sugar, do my shot and have coffee before they start needing me. As a mother with diabetes, you must put yourself first at times. You must.
I think this is the number one reason why I have trouble right now. I have a six and two year old. And it seems that I have no time for myself. Especially since I had my second child I have a very hard time.
I think that is one of the most difficult aspects of being a mother with a chronic illness, putting yourself first. Because it feels unnatural to put your needs before those of your children and so sometimes, we ignore our own needs (testing bs, eating&exercising) and then its like a domino effect and we don't know how to make necessary and healthy choices. I have a 6 and a 3 year old and I feel very fortunate that I have a supportive husband and family. I wish I had some kind of magic answer about how to make it all work........I think knowing that you're not alone can help!

One month after you posted this, I went into DKA and spent four days in the hospital. I am a dad to a 7 year old, 4 year old and 2 year old. I had not been taking care of myself like I should have been - not checking blood sugars, not eating right, etc.

It scared me, my wife and my kids. My 4 year old daughter now asks me every day if I've taken my blood sugar and I have!!!!

My two year old watches me take my shots and thinks he should take them also (I usually just 'poke' him in the belly with my finger).

My seven year old asks why I take shots and I explain to him that my body doesn't use sugar and energy like his does and I have to take my shots to be healthy. My wife and I have talked to our 7 year old about if daddy gets sick (low blood sugars) and what to do in an emergency, etc.

I'm just getting ready to go on the pump, so that will start lots more questions!!!
You need to take care of yourself, not only for your children but for YOU!! I'd be honest with your children about what happened. And if you need supplies, call a local hospital to find out about getting some insulin, or even an insulin manufacturer. You should not be without it, or strips, and I know there are ways to get it cheap or free. Please do so.
Hi Juliet, I have a daugter 7 and a son 4. I know just how you feel. My husband and I started talking to our kids about diabetes at the age of 2. I understand not finding the time to eat, test, or take insulin! What I realized is that if I can't take care of myself, how am I going to take care of my kids. I started testing all the time, and I involved my children, I would let my kids set up the moniter and then they would take turns pricking my finger. I also let them push the plunger after I put the needle in. They would always ask if it was time to test again, so it made it hard to forget! We also taught them that if I was acting a little strange, we talked about the symptoms of highs and lows, to ask me to test. I can't tell you the number of times they would notice a high or low before I did. I think explaining to your kids that sometimes you say or do things when your high or low that you have no control over also takes some of the fear out of it when it does happen. If you are seeing a Dr. they might be able to help with the insuln. Or in some states they have services that help in times of need, with medications. What state do you live in? I'll see what I can find out.
Hello Juliet:

Its been a month since you posted, what did you decide to do, to explain?

In your place, I would NOT explain anything, unless/until it came up. There are things which as an adult I will NOT burden my kids with, not if I want them to have a happy, secure life. I want them to be kids not fixate, worry about the next time. I wrote about that with GHOSTS of lows they have seen

In the same way you don't tell them about your sex life, your sinus infection, whatever... don't give them more information than they require. If you think they have hidden fears, worries about your episode, you have to dig them out, and give those fears some "light"... they cannot grow once revealed/exposed.

You can tell them mommy made a mistake, and you didn't take good care of yourself. You can tell them it was an accident, they dont need to worry about. But given its been a month, what did you tell them?

I am new here so I just saw this post, but had to take the chance that the discussion would continue. This is the main reason why I came here. Though I am sad to hear about ALL of the hardships here, I am so relieved that I am not alone.

I have two children 9 and 4. I am a stay at home mother so my family is my main priority and responsibility. I too find that with having small children(somewhat small) that all of my attention and energy seems to be spent on them and not myself. I wasn't logging my blood sugars like I use to, carefully counting my carbs and when I had lows, most often I didn't have a moment to sit and gather myself together. It was like doing shots of juice and on to attending their business. I did keep checking and taking my insulin, but I know that I needed to do better, especially with the lows. Any amount of activity dramatically affects my blood sugars by going lower and I've gone low just having a tickle fight with my kids...seriously.

I recently had a low while home alone with my two children that incapacitated me. Though they tell me I was conscious, I don't remember anything. I was there an hour by myself with them until my husband arrived home to find me on the kitchen floor. It took him another hour and a half before I started to come around. My first words were to my daughter who at the time of my low was asking me for something. I asked her if she got what she needed and she said yes and started to cry a little. I cannot tell you how gut-wrenching it was. I dreaded that there would ever be a day when that would happen. I grew up with a father who had Type I that had many many episodes of low blood sugars that we had to help him fix and so many where he had to be taken to the hospital.

So speaking as a child of a parent who has Type I and then as a parent who has Type I, I talk to my children but I also take cues from them. My daughter is far more aware than my son, but they both are curious about my equipment. But I don't think that I am doing them or myself any service by insulating them. They need to cope as do I.

But I need help...that's why I am here. I feel so guilty that my children went through that experience. I think they have gotten past it much quicker than I have.




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