Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why I am the way I am

I am weird. I know that and am quite comfortable with it. I have never fit in with the status quo, and am happy to do things differently than everyone else; if it works for me.

I am learning that this is also true in the way that I deal with Elise's diabetes.

And I feel the need to explain myself a little.

From day 1 of Elise's dx, I have thrown myself into the world of diabetes. I've read books, blogs, websites, message boards. Tried to absorb every word to help me understand this disease. I read all that I can about nutrition and meal planning, learning about complex carbs, protein, fats, good versus bad carbs and glycemic indexes.

I calculate every little carb that goes into Elise's body. I am armed with a calculator, pen and a piece of scratch paper every time I prepare food.

I use a scale. All the time. Everything Elise eats (that has carbs) is weighed. And I take that scale with me everywhere I go. Yes Meri, even to Chick-fil-a.

I use carb factors every day, every meal and every snack. And yes, if that piece of bread has 7.71g of carbs, I add the 7.71 to the 3.10g of soynut butter, to the 4.14g of grapes to get approximately 15g of carbs for Elise's snack.

And I am so okay with the fact that you are now staring at your computer screen in complete disbelief that there is someone out there who could be that anal retentive about things. And you might be saying to yourself, "oh my gosh, this woman must be a nightmare to live with!"

Why is this post starting to sound like a Talking Heads song? (and you may ask yourself, where is my beautiful house?)

Anyway, I do all this because I just might be a little bit insane. But also because it's how I am. I want to do it well, or not do it at all. And for me, when it comes to Elise's health, you bet I am going to do my best to make sure I have good control over her numbers.

I try to do it in a way that is laid-back and not overly intense. I know it sounds so over-the-top and control-freaky, but I really try to make it not seem like a big deal.

I haven't been exposed to that many D-Moms, so I have no idea how other people handle things. I've just aways done it this way and never given it any thought. It wasn't until I had lunch with Laura and Nate the other day that it dawned on me that there are other ways to figure out carbs.

But you know what? I'll keep doing it the way I'm doing it. Because it's working. I realize I have the luxury of only having one kid and not working outside the home. My view on all this might change if we ever expand our little clan.

So for now, I will stick to my weird ways... because I love that old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". And you will keep doing it the way that works for you. And what is neat is that this disease isn't one size fits all and we have to be resourceful and creative about how we treat it.

Even if it puts us up for the Anal Retentive Mom of the Year Award.


  1. Oh no you dont I hold that title the anal retentive mom of the year award LOL !!! You keep doing it your way and everyone has their own way of doing things so dont appologize for how you are doing things . Many hugs to you and yours .

  2. I love you just the way you are - with your scale and all!!

    Ummm . . . I already miss you guys!! Is that weird and scary for you?? It's only been a week!!

  3. The great thing about the fact that each one of us probably handle things a bit differently, is that when we D-Moms do get together, we will learn from each other. I have learned so much from meeting other Moms and what works for them and their kiddos. I liked you the moment we met and I'm really happy that you are the way you!

  4. Anal retentive, so BE IT! These are our babies! I also feel like I sometimes have to explain myself to people. Thats ok. What works for me may not be of interest to you and visa versa. There isnt a wrong way or a right way. Just your way, their way and my way. :)

  5. I love who you are! The fact that you scale, even when out to dinner makes me love you even more. No kidding Joanne.

    Honest to god truth...I have never thought of you as anal are awesome. I know that...and that is why I am drawn to're are not a freak because you scale. You are a wonderful mom and I'm sorry I took my teasing too far. :( I'm kinda' stupid that way.

    Love you like pumpkin pie!
    (And trust me...that is sayin' a lot. :)

    Word Verification: chins...I have two extra chins from eating too much pumpkin pie.

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  7. Ooops - I accidentally deleted the last post.

    I think you're awesome, Joanne! I don't think you're THAT odd! Ha ha - just kidding! It don't carb factor but I DO count every little thing and add to the whatever decimal place and yeah, nurses and doctors have laughed at me, I'm sure, thinking that I'm too OCD or I'll change in time. Maybe. Maybe not. I'm right there with you - wanting to do the best job I can (ok - honestly, I want to be perfect) for my girl. Sometimes I'm too tired and feel like I'm not doing a good enough job - but I bet we all feel that way.

    I also have thrown myself head first into this "D" world. In fact, I've been composing a post in my head most of the day about that very thing....

    I think you're great, just the way you are! And I think that's what's great about this little "family". We understand that we're all different, our kids are all different, and that's cool! Rock on, sister!

  8. You guys are awesome! For the record, I've never felt anyone makes fun of me for the way I do things. I just wanted to write this post because for some reason I just thought everyone did what I do and it was so interesting to me that everyone has their own way. What can I say, I'm easily amused!

    And Laura... I miss you too! I keep trying to figure out a way in my head how we can hang out soon!

  9. When Addy was dx, the ICU doc leaned over the stretcher and pointed his finger at me...I remember his words exactly:

    "I don't typically advise folks to be obsessive about stuff. I think obsessions are generally unhealthy. But, you MUST be obsessive about your daughter's diabetes. Her life will depend on it."

    That moment was thick with the raw, blaring reality of what this disease can do to my little girl.

    We all deal with the ins and outs of this flippin' disease differently...what matters is that we ARE dealing with it. We ARE facing it head on. We ARE doing everything we can to take care of our children.

    One person's right doesn't make it right for everyone else. And that's okay :)

    Keep swimming...just keep swimming...that's all we can do!

  10. I'm fairly anal retentive about my own diabetes (I carry my logbook and stuff in an actual fanny pack everywhere I go). I could see myself doing that sort of thing if any of my kids get dx'ed.

    The scale sounds like a little much, but hey, we need to take control of an essentially random and chaotic world. However you feel you need to do it, so be it.

  11. Great post Joanne
    I too, use my scale everyday. I make almost everything we eat, so I figure out the carb factor and have Tyler weigh his food to get the carb amount. I love our scale to go.

    I have studied nutrition for over 30 years.. (ok, just aged myself) I am a nutrition nerd. Since Tylers dx, I have been even more into gluten free grains, trying different ones to see the effect on his b/g. I am creating flour mix for when he wants muffins, waffles etc. that have the least effect on his b/g.
    We are also looking into food allergies as b/g triggers. We have a few more 'out of the box' nutrition ideas we are researching and implementing...
    We are all called to pave the best, unique path for our children. Our journey's will all look different reaching a similar vision.

  12. As you call tell Joanne we all love you!
    I think it's nice that we all do things differently and that we're all able to offer tips and advice to each other!
    You're doing a great job with the way you do things and I think the rest of us are too with the way we each do our own ways!
    PS...don't forget your scale when we all get together, we're all expecting you to be the official carb counter for that weekend! :)


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