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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Why can't I count carbs?

Scott Benner

Some days I can't count carbs, not the easy ones, not the ones that are printed neatly on the wrapper - the other ones. The ones that you measure, weigh and eye up in a restaurant. There are days when I feel like they're may be no one on this planet worse at it then I am. 

The other times, I am the man! Last night for example, Arden had a girlfriend spend the night, great girl, very polite, even brought a gift with her. She arrived during dinner because of poor planning on our part... Chinese take-out. I of course had recently given Arden a monster bolus and we had only just begun to eat when she arrived. Maybe two minutes after Arden's friend sat down, Arden decided that she was finished eating. She was excited to run and play but there were carbs that weren't accounted for. I told her that she needed to eat a little more rice to cover the insulin - Arden declined, politely and then her friends says, "I brought cookies, she could have a cookie!".

Kelly looks in her bag and pulls out the cakiest, sweetest looking cookies that I had ever seen. Without missing a beat and it should be noted that these cookies are not a mainstay in our house, I said, "26 carbs, I bet they are 26 carbs". As you can see they were...

My question is this. How can I, at times, be so spot on and at other times miss so badly? It's frustrating to say the least. I measure and count and get all of the math right and still bad results. When I finally come to the conclusion that perhaps basal rates or insulin to carb ratios need to be adjusted - we experience three perfect days in a row. 

School day breakfast

Arden has the same breakfast everyday, she is not a huge breakfast food lover and often defaults to cereal which drives her blood glucose sky high. It took me weeks to figure out the proper prebolus/extended bolus mixture but now I can keep the spike to a minimum. Except on the days when my it inexplicably doesn't work.

Last week she ate the same thing everyday. Four of the five days her BG was 170 before recess, 135 after recess and before lunch (lunch is after recess so it's perfect). Good pre lunch number, safe range for recess and the insulin was finished before the next bolus. Except on the fifth day, on that day with all the circumstances the same, Arden was 65 before recess.

I know that there are many constants with type I diabetes. I'm not looking for answers, more just sharing about it to let you know that this is normal. If you are new to all of this, you will definitly experiance moments when you feel as if you are doing everything completly wrong - you are not. Even those of you who have been managing type I for years will have days when everything feels out of control and that's normal as well.

Step back, take a deep breath and start again. Most of all, please know that all of this is normal, diabetes normal.