As a parent of a child with Type 1 Diabetes, I have had to become many things–a nurse, a dietician, a mathematician, and more. The math, believe it or not, is almost always the easy part because there’s only one possible answer to 2+2. I have memorized carbs for many of my son’s favorite foods, but when I use a recipe,
especially one that I am making for the first time, I have to add up all the carbs in the recipe and divide by the number of servings to determine the number of carbs in each portion. Once I do this, I can add the food, serving size, and carbs per serving in my son’s Omnipod PDM.
Every once in a while, however, the numbers fail us. My husband learned the hard way that nutrition labels can be very confusing.mrhe label on many pancake and baking mixes, for example, will list the calories, fat, carbs, and protein in dry mix and prepared mix. However, the serving size weight applies only to the dry mix. On Mother’s Day, my husband and my son made pancakes for breakfast. They weighed the pancakes and calculated the carbs based on the prepared carb value provided by the label–they came up with 72 carbs for three pancakes and delivered insulin to cover that many carbs. When my son’s BG tanked 45 minutes later, I realized their error. The actual carb count was about 17 carbs per pancake. My son ate three, so he should have administered insulin to cover 51 carbs instead of 72.
Lessons like this are tough ones to swallow. It sucks to realize you’ve made an error that causes potential harm to your child. Really sucks. But, those mistakes become valuable learning tools and they remind us that diligence is necessary 24/7 because diabetes never takes a break.