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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

Filtering by Tag: Health

Empathetic parenting: Pros and Cons

Scott Benner

Empathetic parenting has benefits but comes at a price...

empathy - noun em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\

1:  the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it

2: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also :  the capacity for this

Below are some excerpts from a Quartz article about the benefits and risks of empathy as it relates to parenting and caregiving. I thought we all would benefit from reading the findings. I pulled some interesting passages but encourage you to click over to Quartz and take in the entire article.



Caregivers of people with chronic illness develop chronic inflammation and elevated stress hormones over time
— Quartz

Kids with empathetic parents have well-documented advantages: less depression, less aggression, more empathy themselves. Parents also report better self-esteem when they make the effort to understand their children’s feelings.

But inside, it’s tearing them up.

It’s not selfish for parents to make time for those things—it’s actually critical for their own mental and physical health.
— Erika M. Manczak

Empathy requires us to push our own feelings aside to focus on someone else’s, an effort linked to increased stress and higher inflammation. Empathetic parents may also be more willing to sacrifice their own health for their children’s sake, forgoing things like sleep, exercise, and other activities that could mitigate the stress of caregiving.

In adolescents, parental empathy was significantly associated with both better emotion regulation and with less systemic inflammation.

For parents, being empathic was associated with greater self-esteem and purpose in life, but also with higher systemic inflammation.
— American Psychological Association

Take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test

Scott Benner

from: American Diabetes Association

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States, and more than a quarter of them—eight million—do not even know they have it. An additional 86 million have prediabetes, which puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of these complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death. 

Who should participate in Alert Day?

Everyone should be aware of the risk factors for type 2 diabetes. People who are overweight, under active (living a sedentary lifestyle) and over the age of 45 should consider themselves at risk for the disease. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and people who have a family history of the disease also are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can often be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. 

Click on the image to take the test 

It's my party, I'll reflect if I want to

Scott Benner

Life expectancy for an American male is seventy-five, I just turned forty-two. What that means is, barring any unexpected endings, I have thirty-three years left.

Yesterday Cole and Arden took me to see a movie for my forty-second birthday, when we exited the theater it was pouring rain. I told the kids to wait by the door and I would bring the car to them. I sprinted to my car, it was perhaps seventy-five yards from the door. As I was running I passed a gentleman in his fifties, he was walking to his car and getting drenched in the process. Cole and Arden jumped in when I arrived at the door and Cole said, "You are faster then people would expect". I smiled at his kind, if not slightly backhanded shot at my weight but all I could think was, "Ten more years and I'll be that guy walking".

It's funny but after my mid twenties I never thought about my mortality once, I was carefree about my age until Arden was diagnosed just after my thirty seventh birthday. Now, everything that aches, my right knee, both of my ankles, my throwing elbow, the stiff neck I can't shake - all of it makes my think about Arden or more specifically, about Arden's diabetes. Lately, I've been extra tired. I'm not ill and nothing has changed about my schedule, I think that seven years of late nights full of blood glucose wrangling is catching up with me. Last night I tried to get some sleep. I told myself that Arden was going to be fine, gave myself permission not to sleep with one ear open and it worked great. I woke up this morning around seven thirty completely refreshed with a streak of warm sunlight on my face. The first thing that I saw when I opened my eyes was my beautiful wife. I laid in the quiet for a few minutes and thought about how pretty Kelly is and how lucky I was that she said yes on the day that I asked her to go on our first date. But that glow only lasted for a few minutes.

A muffled BEEP, BEEP rang out...

My heart sank into my stomach, that sound is the unmistakable cry of Arden's DexCom after it's fallen onto her bedroom floor. The beeping made me feel instantly sick for two reasons. First, the only way that thing could have fallen is if it had been vibrating all night and second, two beeps means Arden's BG is over 180. All night plus two beeps, equals this isn't going to be good.

I walked into Arden's room and tested her BG as she slept. The night before Arden's BG was falling before bed, she had a few slices of an orange and a cookie to combat the fall and her BG found a balance at 89. Thirty minutes later that number was 95 and her DexCom indicated that the number was drifting, ever so slightly up. I remember thinking, "Good, I'll take a 120ish number tonight, I'm exhausted". It was not twenty minutes later that I gave myself permission to pass out, and I did. I slept all night like a baby while Arden's BG slowly rose over the next two hours before it settled in at three hundred and ninety-one. I don't have words for how 391 makes me feel.

Am I too old to care for my daughter properly? Too tired, too out of shape? Have the health and food choices that I've been ignoring over the past two decades caught up to me, is this my penance for those... I haven't exercised regularly since my twenties, I hardly eat and I haven't had eight glasses of water in a day, maybe ever. Funny thing is that up until recently it didn't matter because nothing could stop me and I could power through anything. I've sat up until two, three, four, even five o'clock in the morning if that's what was required to keep Arden's BG where it should be. I've had nights like last night in the past where I slept through a DexCom alarm, but I don't think last night was a repeat of those nights. I think my age is catching up to me and even if it hasn't, how much longer until I'm that guy in the parking lot that has to let the rain soak him? How much longer until I'm exactly as fast as I look like I should be?

I've never been in great shape, never really cared about it enough to put in the time and work that fitness requires. I don't honestly know if I have it in me but I'm going to try because I can live with a belly and I may not care about a double chin, but my heart can't handle Arden's BG being 391... that beeping cuts right through to my soul.

Everyone Poops

Scott Benner


Link is to Barnes and Noble

The Children's book Everyone Poops takes away the stigma of talking about bowl movements with your children. Both of my kids read this weird little gem when they were potty training and I hope that you did as well, because I got some shit to talk about.

The first time I thought that I was imagining things, the second time it seemed like a coincidence. I ignored the fact that Arden's BG seemed to fall after she, well, pooped. Then one day a few weeks ago Kelly mentioned it to me and last week I saw someone on FaceBook ask the question. Today, we are going to get to the bottom (pun intended and it won't be the last one) of this most vexing, strange, yet natural type I diabetes question.

Everyone poops, but is everyone's BG effected by having one in the chamber?

I'm considering making an addition to the endless questions that I ask when I can't figure out why Arden's blood glucose won't come down. In the past it was, did she eat something I don't know about, maybe I mis-calculated carbs, do we have a bad site and the rest of the usual suspects. I'm getting close to asking, "when was the last time you made a number two" to that list.

My parental detective work can only take me so far. I need help. I need to know the answers to a couple of more scientific questions that I'm hoping you may have some insight about.

  • Does our waste material still contain carbohydrates?
  • If yes, are the carbs being leached from the intestines?
  • If no, what is it about having a belly full that could raise BGs?

This is the only hypothesis that makes sense to me but I am more then willing to believe that I am, you'll excuse me for this but, full of crap. I have witnessed this oddity consistently over a long enough period of time to say that we see higher BGs when it's been awhile since a BM. Moreover, these BGs always seem to drop rapidly after the completion of a belated constitutional.

So that's it. If you've noticed this phenomenon please leave a comment and share your observations. If you haven't, please keep your eyes open and report back with the skinny (thought I was going to say poop didn't you?).