Jen: When a Stomach Bug Strikes

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The other day, we had an emergency -- we were totally out of Popsicles®!

I know that sounds like a terrible, even laughable, excuse for an "emergency." But as a parent of a child with type 1 diabetes, you'll totally understand where I'm coming from. Here's the background.

The stomach flu is always uncomfortable, but for a kid with type 1 diabetes, it can be really challenging. Vomiting and diarrhea can make managing blood sugar especially difficult. So what do you do?

Well, first you call your diabetes healthcare team. Even though we've been at this for several years we often find that during illness we need the advice of the diabetes professionals more than ever. At times like these, having specific advice regarding insulin dosing and how to manage ketones, vomiting, and diarrhea are essential.

There is one option that has worked for us when James can't seem to eat anything. Popsicles®. Full-sugar Popsicles® are one of the few foods that James seems to be able to tolerate and keep down when he is very ill.

So this particular day, James caught a terrible stomach bug and had been vomiting all morning. I managed to keep his blood sugar up just high enough to be out of the danger zone, but only with much effort. He needed to eat -- but we didn't have any Popsicles®! I immediately called my mother-in-law to see if she could pick some up. When I didn't hear back from her, I started getting desperate.

The thought of moving James and risking him having a vomiting incident during the ten-minute drive to the supermarket was not appealing. But it also seemed really freaky to leave him alone at home -- it's a bridge I haven't yet crossed as James is my oldest, and I've never done it before. I felt like I was out of options.

Then, at the peak of my anguish, my mother-in-law knocked on the door with the Popsicles® and saved the day! Not only was I able to avoid the more serious complications of a stomach bug, but I didn't have to leave James alone to do it!

About the author: My name is Jennifer, and I live in Southern California with my husband, Craig, and our three boys. Our oldest son James has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I'm thankful for this opportunity -- along with my sister-in-law Kim and her daughter Kaitlyn, who also has type 1 diabetes -- to share our struggles and triumphs with our friends in the diabetes community.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the "typical" experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

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