March 8, 2010

Love Ya / Mean It Sarah

LY/MI Sarah.

Sarah is one of my good friends over at CWD. Our daughters are the same age and as a result we tend to hang out at Friends for Life. Sarah wrote on D kids eating like they would if they didn’t have type 1 and ‘just’ cover it with insulin.

Sarah took this to a different level and I am so very impressed by how well she expresses a long term holistic approach that is so very hard to see in day to day variations. No where in this does Sarah suggests it is easy. It isn’t.

She wrote:
I think that the truth about food and D is far more nuanced than most of us really like to admit.

I'm a very big advocate of letting D kids be kids first and people with a chronic metabolic disease second. I have always allowed Maddie to have regular kid food. I want her to have a healthy attitude about food. I want her to able to enjoy social and communal eating. I want her to enjoy preparing good food and trying new things.
I hope that through being a broad omnivore she will come to have the sort of relationship with food that should she decide as a teen or an adult to follow a less carby, less refined diet than the average person, she will be doing so from a place of knowledge rather than with a sense of deprivation.

What I'm getting at, is that I believe that it would be easier to maintain minimal glycemic variability in an adult through eating a lower carb, high veg. high fiber, lean protein diet. But I believe that the path to this diet is through exposure to lots of foods and developing a smart palate, not through limiting a kid's food choices now.

That certainly isn’t ‘just’ giving insulin. I find there is vast complexity to balance. Balance is beyond science. It is an art form. An art that families living with type 1 can appreciate but few others even know exists.

In fact the better families are at this odd art the more invisible it becomes to others. Here Sarah eloquently points out that the art of balance goes well beyond carbs, fat, activity and insulin. She brings into focus a longer term idea of balance. Even when we get all the day to day stuff right, there are developmental, emotional and maturity complexities to consider that are difficult enough without a chronic condition. Sarah - "nuanced" is an understatement.

Type 1 care is a daily juggling act with implications that touches far more than any one blood test. I salute all of you who practice the art. Its beauty is seen in the joyous lives people living with diabetes and little external sign of the effort their normal takes.

Love Ya / Mean It Sarah. You're and artist.


  1. What a really beautiful post. Living successfully with diabetes is truly an art form. Integrating all the science into the foundation of our real lives is how we learn to balance. Sarah's kids are really lucky to have such a wise mother. She is helping them build a fantastic foundation to support them healthily for the rest of their lives. Bravo!

  2. Great post, Bennet. Sarah indeed has it right. Nowadays, kids have that freedom and choice that really wasn't around before pumping become common - I grew up with the meal exchanges and had to pretty much go off a base from the insulin doses in morning and evening. Glad that kids have the opportunity now to enjoy those "eating like a kid" without going overboard or being unhealthy. Of course, exactly correct in saying: Food is so incredibly nuanced, as is everything about diabetes. After 26 years myself, everyday is an adventure!

  3. Love the post Sarah and love your commentary on it Bennet. I truly believe this, with my heart and soul, parenting G through the crazy maze of food. A healthy does of reality and real life thrown into the diabetes. I find the more choices I give my 7 year old, the more she is comfortable making good choices on her own. I would love to raise a child with diabetes, not a diabetic child.

  4. Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!