Checking my daughter's blood sugar

The entire time I was pregnant, I never thought I'd be so worried about my daughter getting T1. I was diagnosed when I was 6 years old, and got pregnant when I was 29, so, according to the ADA chart, her risk of getting T1 is 1 in 50. Here is the link to the ADA page on "Genetics of Diabetes": http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html And here's the excerpt from the page that I used to calculate her risk:

Type 1 diabetes: your child's risk

In general, if you are a man with type 1 diabetes, the odds of your child getting diabetes are 1 in 17. If you are a woman with type 1 diabetes and your child was born before you were 25, your child's risk is 1 in 25; if your child was born after you turned 25, your child's risk is 1 in 100.

Your child's risk is doubled if you developed diabetes before age 11. If both you and your partner have type 1 diabetes, the risk is between 1 in 10 and 1 in 4.

Lately I have worried quite a bit that my daughter will get T1. I don't know why I'm so worried. Yes, it's an awful disease and it's very difficult to grow up with it, but it's not like it's a terminal illness. We have great options available these days that makes treatment so much easier than it was years ago, and we know more. Back when I was a child, we didn't even know what carbs were. We just thought that, if you had T1, you had to follow a low-sugar diet. We followed the ADA exchange diet for years. We also thought that an A1c under 9 was just fine. We didn't know that it should really be more like 7 or below. Now, we have pumps, CGMs, and know about carb-counting and A1c's, so we're much better off. So why am I so worried all the time?

Some days the worry overwhelms me. This past Tuesday, for example, I went to my weekly new moms group, which is a Bible study and a playdate (combined!) that my church offers. I love the other moms in my group-- they are great resources and we've really formed a supportive, cohesive group. None of them, however, know about my T1, because I'm very private about it. Anyway, I noticed my daughter was eating a few cereal pieces from her "snack trap" when she set it aside and made a beeline for another child's sippy cup, which was partially buried under some diapers in the child's diaper bag. My daughter grabbed it and obviously wanted water. I picked her up and gave her own sippy cup to her, and she CHUGGED the water. Then she pushed the cup away, took a breath, and then grabbed it and chugged some more. I panicked. My heart pounded and I started sweating, and the room felt like it was closing in around me. I just knew. I knew without a doubt that she must have T1. It was the worst feeling. I left the group before anyone else, took her to the car, put her in her car seat, and got out my meter, while I was wiping away tears. I took her shoe and sock off of her left foot and lanced her heel. She cried, but not for too long. I think she just didn't like me holding and squeezing her heel to get a drop of blood. My heart pounded the whole time. Then the number appeared: her bg was 107. Perfect, since she'd just eaten some carbs. I was so relieved. I couldn't believe I had let myself get so worked up over this. She was just a little thirsty, probably because she'd been eating and playing. What an emotional roller coaster.

I decided that I can't take this wait-and-see-for-the-rest-of-your-life stuff. I need to know if she has the genetic makeup that puts her at an increased risk for T1. So I emailed a coordinator for the TrialNet Study, and am waiting on a package from them, which will include a blood test kit. I plan to get a lab to draw blood from my daughter and then have the kit sent to TrialNet and wait for the answer. I need to know. If she's at risk, then at least I can prepare myself and start researching the drugs available that might prolong the honeymoon period. If she does not have the genes, then I can let myself relax a little.

If anyone has input on the TrialNet study, I would love to hear about your experience with it. I hope it can provide me with the answers I'm seeking.

Views: 35

Comment by Rebecca on April 29, 2010 at 1:26pm
I have entered my children in the TrialNet study.. I am type 1 since the age of 35 and my mother was a type 1.

We had their blood drawn for 3 years straight and they tested negative. They told us we could continue to test them until they were 18, but we decided not to continue. Getting your childs blood drawn can be pretty difficult for them and it is hard to explain to them why when they are young.

I hope you can get into the trial and put to rest your fears about your daughter becoming diabetic.

One time my daughter was extremely crabby before dinner and I thought her blood sugar was low, so I tested her blood sugar. 102 - perfect! I won't do that again. If I have some doubt, I will take her to the pediatrician.
Comment by Hope on April 29, 2010 at 5:31pm
I have two young kids, and periodically freak out too. My son was peeing through his diapers recently and I totally panicked. Waited until morning and then tested him. It was a long night for me, but he was fine. I checked my daughter when she was younger too. Now that my daughter is older I have stopped because I don't want to upset or scare her. I know it will always be in the back of my mind, there is no way around it. Funny, but I did not worry about it when I was pregnant either. For me, it's the fear that something bad would happen to them because of me....something I passed along. I shutter every time I read a story about families with several diabetic kids , or with one diabetic parent and a diabetic child. I know my parents have suffered watching me go through this,and neither of them even has diabetes.
Comment by Monica on June 19, 2010 at 10:15pm
Well my 3 year old got diagnosed in April and yes he was jugging water like crazy!!My heart began to pound and i knew it i got my monitor checked prayed like the world was ending for those five seconds and it came back with HI not even a number...i felt like i was going to have a heart attack!! This is his almost third month with it i am still praying for a miracle!! But u know what i realized what can i do i need to take care of him and deal with it,,i never thought in a million years he would get it but he did and i need to be strong for him.

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