Who would ever expect to meet resistance when trying to get a five year old to eat a little bit of candy?
This particular five year old is a type I diabetic. Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus is the full medical name we were given for his condition when he was 13 months old. What most people think of when they hear diabetes is actually type 2, the adult onset variety. About 90-95 percent of all patients have type 2 diabetes, which often responds to drugs or changes in lifestyle. There are no drugs, diets, or homeopathic remedies that can restore insulin production when the cells that produce it are all dead, as they are with type 1.
Pizza is evil stuff for a diabetic. A combination of high fat, protein, and the complexity of its carbohydrates result in it taking six to eight hours to fully reach the bloodstream as glucose. Most carbohydrates do this in a very short time – between five minutes and an hour. The insulin we give him takes about four hours to fully process. His insulin pump with its ability to deliver a large bolus as small doses over time is the only reason we can let him eat pizza. It would be a nightmare with injections.
His blood sugar was at 99 at 1:00 AM. This would normally be a great number, around what you would expect for a normal person. For a diabetic, it is a little bit lower than you want to see, but not anything to panic about if they haven’t had insulin in the last four hours.
He still had about half an hour left of the six hour extended bolus we gave him for the pizza, plus the remaining effects of the insulin he had already received over the previous four hours. For his tiny body, that’s plenty of insulin to drop him into coma range from 99. I estimated that I would have to get 15 carbs into him in order for his blood sugar to reach normal.
By far the fastest and most accurate way available to get 15 carbs is 10 pieces of Mike and Ike candy. I was only able to get him to eat one piece. Even though I woke him up, he just didn’t want to eat anything. I had to resort to making juice from concentrate and giving it to him in a sippy cup. He resisted even that, and so I have to stay awake and test his blood sugar again to see how he’s doing.