Update: Being a Mom of a Toddler with Type 1 Diabetes

It’s been a month since my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  So far…it’s been rough.  My daily routine consists of  us getting up and immediately pricking to check blood sugar level.  Then we’ll eat.  Then she’ll get her insulin and then we’ll repeat for every meal.  I’ve never experienced a more overwhelming situation. 

In Short:  To determine the correct amount of insulin to dose her every piece of food she eats must be counted for the amount of carbohydrates within it.  For example- for breakfast she’ll eat 1 cup of Apple Jacks and about a half of cup of milk, and a waffle.  I have to be sure I’m only giving her a cup of cereal to know the amount of carbs it contains.  Everything must first be measured- then counted carbs- then subtract whatever she doesn’t eat.  It can get extremely complicated…especially for a picky toddler.   Now I say complicated-  It is- VERY complicated, but…now that I’ve been doing it for a few weeks it’s becoming a routine and that part is getting easier day by day. 

The most asked question I get:  “How is she doing with the needles?”  It sucks.  I’ve pricked myself and it hurts.  Obviously it’s not an agonizing pain but it sure as hell doesn’t feel good.  She doesn’t like “doing her finger” but she has quickly adapted to it.  She can get out each thing that we need to check her blood sugar.  She’ll grab the meter, the strip, and the “poker” herself and she’ll even put the strip in the meter correctly.  Now the insulin needles is a different story, it’s the size of the needle that gets her.  I try my hardest to entertain her and keep her from looking but it’s not an easy task.  And it’s certainly not an easy task to go through 3 times a day.  I don’t cry every single time I give her a needle- I want to, but I stay strong and sing the Alphabet hoping she’ll relax.  She’s much better with the needles now than when she first was, now she’ll fuss a little but once it’s over she’s fine.

Basically when your child is diagnosed- It’s like YOU have just been diagnosed with diabetes.  In fact it would be so much easier if it was me.  I only wish it was me over her.  She can’t tell me “Hey mom- I’m starting to feel dizzy I think my blood sugar is going low.”  My only hints are abnormal behavior and fussiness.  LOWS ARE THE WORST.  I’ve never felt so scared then the first couple of times her blood sugar had gone to 46 and 53.  You just want to freak out and call the doctor but you can’t- you have to remain calm and immediately get some carbs into her body.  After that you feel like worst mom ever- why didn’t you realize it was going low?  Why didn’t you check? 

It’s like trading blood for peace of mind.  As awful as that sounds- it’s pretty darn true.  When she started routinely having low blood sugars I would check her before a meal AND two hours after a meal.  Sometimes my instincts were correct and I’m glad I checked, but a few times she was in range and I could have saved her precious finger from one extra prick. 

Your brain is constantly on alert status.  I’ve been exhausted.  I could sit at home all day and still be exhausted.  It’s the fact that my brain is constantly thinking- ok do I need to check her or is it time for her insulin or how many crackers should I give her if we go for a walk. 

Appointments, Phone Calls, Insurance OH MY!  What do you do when your insurance only covers 5 test strips a day and you are using 8 a day?  Suddenly I have situations arise that I have no other choice than to figure out how to get what she needs.  Whether that means calling the pharmacy, doctor, insurance 12 times a day or not- you have to be a problem solver and figure it out.  The phone calls are long, tiring, and consist of me repeating information over and over.  She’s had 5 appointments since we’ve been discharged from the hospital.  It’s definitely a daily struggle of new hurdles to leap over and new hoops to jump through. 

It’s been hard for me, but I’ve accepted that my daughter is a diabetic.  Am I sad?  yes.  Am I angry?  MORE than I’ve ever been in my life.  But I know that right now I have to be there for my daughter and I can’t let my own emotions get in the way.  Overall things are better than they were two weeks ago, and what more can I ask for right now.  I will do whatever it takes to: be there for my daughter, learn new things and ways to care for her, raise money and awareness, and hopefully one day soon research will find a cure for my princess and the three million other Americans who also suffer from Type 1 Diabetes.

My Princess is still my same sweet gorgeous baby girl and I’m blessed to have such an amazing daughter.






  1. What a beautiful little girl. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Candice, I am so sorry about your daughter, but she is doing so much better with the needles than most other kids her age would. She is brave and beautiful.
    There is so much research in this area, they should definitely find a way to make life easier.

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