My Baby is a Diabetic
The dietician thoroughly instructed me concerning his diet. I was taught the value of each food and its effect upon the body. A diabetic is allowed practically all foods, but in limited quantity. As some vegetables contain more carbohydrates than others, these are eaten in smaller portions. Fruit with natural sugar may be eaten, but canned fruits with syrups and extra sweetening have to be avoided completely.
Meat for a diabetic should be baked or broiled to eliminate as much fat as possible, and of course, only lean meat is eaten. Carbohydrate sugars have to be limited, and as candy, coke and other sweets contain such a large quantity of sugar, these cannot be worked into the diabetic diet, without the exclusion of essential foods.
The diet of a diabetic child and a diabetic adult of course differ, as a child is still growing, and the necessary body-building requirements must be supplied.
Byron's food is weighed according to grams. He has a good diet consisting of 154 grams of carbohydrates, 58 grams of protein, and 54 grams of fat each day.
The urine tests are very simple to make. By the combination of five drops of urine, ten drops of water and a clinitest tablet, the amount of sugar present can be determined. These tests are made four times daily before meals and at bedtime.
I had been told that I would be thoroughly trained to care for Byron before he was dismissed from the hospital, but I was not prepared to give him a shot of insulin. I was given a syringe and grapefruit to practice on, but using a grapefruit is one thing, and giving the shot to your baby is another.
When the day arrived for me to give him the first shot, I was a nervous wreck. In fact, I was so upset, my heart was pounding, I was weak and shaky, and even nauseated. I doubted that I would be able to get to the hospital.
The shot itself is not hard to give, as it is merely a matter of injecting the insulin under the skin. It is not necessary to inject the insulin into the muscle or vein, but regardless of how I try to convince myself that it is not bad, it will never be easy for me to give the shot to my child. It is hard to realize there can be so much motion in a small child, and it is hard, sometimes impossible, to give the shot correctly. We were very fortunate that Byron responded nicely to NPH insulin, which is long-lasting, usually meaning that the patient requires only one shot each day.
After three weeks in the hospital, Byron still was not adjusting to the diabetic way of life. He was not eating as he should, and his insulin dosage could not be established. The balance between his food and insulin seemed to be impossible to regulate. He ran temperatures for no apparent cause, and in general was not responding as expected.
About this time we considered calling in a diabetic specialist. After discussing this with the pediatrician, he very readily agreed, as Byron simply was not reacting as a normal diabetic.
At the beginning of his fourth week in the hospital, a specialist was called in. He thoroughly examined Byron, X-raying for a pituitary tumor, which, I am thankful to say, was not present. He explained that when a child had such a tumor, it could cause diabetes. His diet was checked and his insulin shots changed.
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