Growing up with diabetes: what parents fear

All the horror stories I hear and read about…My biggest fear is my son…Giving up… When he’s old enough to make his own decisions. That would kill me too.

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Giving up is one scenario that I fear, and the other is that he will have one wild night out during college and that no one will be there to help with the low 12 hours later and will just think he is still drunk when in reality he needs immediate medical attention.

Remove both of these scenario’s and I would be relatively fearless about diabetes.


Same. Those are my two biggest fears as well. D-Education is going to be SO important for them at college. They have to have a trusted friend they can reply on during those bar hopping nights that are bound to come. The friend has to be loyal, watchful and educated themselves to some extent so that they can help when (not if) that time comes.

If I can be brutally practical about something…

Beer is the best bet. Anything else will generally have a mixer, and you may not know what carbs you are getting. Beer is pretty consistent. It doesn’t have the same sugar carbs like a Jack and Coke, it has a more gradual release of carbs. Yes, it has carbs and will raise you a little bit, but not really as much of a spike. And it’s a little easier to pace yourself.

Lots of bad things - tequila shots, jello shooters, Jägermeister, anything sweet with coke or tonic water as a mixer, margaritas, any fruity drinks like pina coladas. Compared to all those, beer is much safer.

Not encouraging anyone to drink, but just saying, beer is probably the best bet.

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@Chris, same here.
What inspires fear in my heart is thinking of my own college experience. Lots of people I’m friends with (or Facebook friends with at least) had periods of serious drinking problems in college – breaking walls, blackout drunk, etc. And now they’re lawyers or doctors or whatever, and they’re fine. I was by no means a heavy drinker and yet I still had one or two days (Spring Break in Mexico, etc.) when I was so hung over I slept till 6pm the next day. I certainly would not want ANY of my kids to engage in such unhealthy habits. But what scares me is that Samson can never mess up that way – he can never have one really boneheaded night!

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Yes, beer was my guess for best bet. Its also much harder than booze to overdo, since you have to go to the bathroom after a certain point.

You can believe my son won’t be enrolling in college until he has proven to us that he can safely manage two or three beers.

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I STILL can’t handle two or three beers. I’d still be living in my parents attic now if that was the requirement :slight_smile:

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Wine has zero effect on my blood sugar. Beer requires insulin dosing… which is a hard thing to do when as trashed as college students like to get…

Drunk dialing college students and insulin pumps wouldn’t mix well IMO… I’d give the safety factor edge to MDI with a long lasting basal (that can be forgotten until the next day)


That’s the problem though. With alcohol, no glycogen release while insulin is piling up from your basal: deadly lows.

I think the risks of that, although real, are less likely than mistakenly, inappropriately, or unknowingly dumping a bolus into your body with a pump while intoxicated, or inappropriately adjusting basal rates, or doing so intentionally then getting distracted or allowing yourself to be peer pressured into doing whatever the rowdy idea at the moment was instead of eating what you’d intended to… or friends egging each other on to do stupid things with a pump… pushing random buttons on the passed-out kids insulin pump. Etc… drunk kids do amazingly stupid things… I would personally feel quite a lot safer with a shot of tresiba.

you are giving me nightmares right now.

I am worried about his passing out drunk and dying in the night. Or, like Chris and Harold, giving up because of burnout. I guess I do have to worry about his drunken friends too…

Prohibition doesn’t seem so bad to me anymore right now :slight_smile: But it is all in the future. I need to bring him safe to that moment first! Then we can see if he’ll survive college.

That’s the nice thing about beer. It has a steady release of carbs. You don’t need to have the glycogen released from your liver, you’ve been taking in a steady stream of carbs.

That liver glycogen fear-factor thing has to do with glucagon shots. The liver doesn’t recognize a low on most diabetics anyway, so you can’t count on your liver to fix a low by itself. That’s why they give glucagon, it forces the liver glycogen release.

Your body may not respond well to a glucagon shot after heavy drinking.

But your body will still respond to sugar that is ingested.

I would be drinking - beer, beer, beer, beer…check BG. I’m low? Rum and coke! Ok, back to beer…beer, beer, beer…

The only problem is if you are passed out and can’t be given any sugar to eat or drink. Glucagon won’t work well. So the EMT’s have to give you IV dextrose instead of glucagon.

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I guess I’m the oddball here, but I have never gotten drunk, and was never much attracted to alcohol. I’m sure it had a lot to do with my upbringing.

I’m not a teetotaler, neither were my parents. They just let me know that I didn’t need to drink just to appear cool. This was before diabetes, so diabetes had nothing to do with this.

I guess things are just different these days.

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Doc, I am sure things are different nowadays, in that I think that extreme behavior is more tolerated. With that being said, my son’s generation as a whole has been making a number of really good decisions around drugs and alcohol as compared to the previous generation(s). Rates of a number of bad things are on the decline.

That leaves me with the worry, but not debilitating worry that my son will be ok.

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The problem with a wine habit, is that while it doesn’t require insulin, it will drain your wallet faster than any of the other kinds of alcohol decisions.

Point taken though.

Not necessarily! They make it in boxes now = about $5/ bottle for tolerable wine! Plus that’s how I regulate my alchohol consumption I just keep buying more and more expensive wine to avoid drinking too much…

Yeah, and that will impress your date. “Honey, I brought a nice box of wine. Let me get the box opener…”


That reminds of the time I was in the liquor store in Minnesota and the patron was absolutely nailing the clerk to the wall about why they didn’t have any breakfast wine. wtf… The clerk was completely befuddled, and so I just asked her what was this breakfast wine she was talking about.

Long story short, after listening to what she wanted, I recommended that she buy a box of sweet Riesling and a box of sweet red wine and mix them to the desired ratio. About 3 months later the clerk was laughing with me and said she came back religiously and bought two boxes of wine each week so she could have her “breakfast wine”.

Unfortunately, our local Oregon Pinot’s are really expensive compared to that, due the huge amount of labor required to trim 1/2 the fruit off the vines to make good wine. :frowning:

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Gosh. Parents of toddlers have SUCH a hard time. This must be so hard for you guys :frowning:

There have been times where I’ve had to suck juice up in a syringe and force it into Liams mouth. Fortunately, those days have passed and he drinks juice whenever we ask (even drinks it in his sleep), but there have been quite a few times early on where the only option was to force-feed him juice. One time I gave him too much, it went down wrong, or maybe it was his screaming bloody murder from being woken up and made to drink, and he threw up on the bed. Then we had to do it all over again because the juice I had force-fed him was now on the bed…

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