Like Mother, Like Daughter
By Deanna Glick
My daughter can put away three large slices of pizza, and she's not even three years old yet. We have been blessed with a good eater.
Don't get me wrong. Our Sweetie Pie loves her treats, often requesting brownies as her stroller wheels into the local caf. She's discovered that favorite frozen warm weather concoction known to her as "popsculars." But when it comes to eating Cheerios or Rice Krispies with guests who spoon granulated white stuff atop their bowls, she proclaims, "I don't need sugar." She eats most of her meals and craves healthy snacks. She's not picky. She doesn't like potatoes and she was probably the only baby in the history of human life that didn't like bananas (she eats them now). But she's also one of the youngest salad eaters I've ever known, grabbing for my lettuce, tomatoes, and Italian dressing at less than a year old. Oh, and she's been eating onions and salsa since then too.
The suspicions I had before becoming a parent have been confirmed: for the most part, kids eat like their parents. If you have chips, candy and soda in the house, they will eat them. And if you have fruit, vegetables and rice milk, they'll consume those. Or not. Until they are too hungry to turn them down.
Despite the success with my little ones healthy eating habits, I still worry about her health. And there's that pesky 4 percent chance she could develop type 1 diabetes as her mommy did almost 16 years ago. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if her increased thirst on a given day or a leaky diaper from a gush of pee are symptoms of diabetes. And when a friend wondered if it was normal for her to eat three hot dogs sans buns in one sitting, I pondered for a few minutes. Is that the same insatiable hunger I had that led me to consume ungodly amounts of burritos and bread and still lose about 8 pounds during the months before my diagnosis? And what if she's diagnosed with something besides diabetes and then we'll be a double chronic illness household?
Sometimes, I feel like there's just no room for any illnesses besides diabetes. Even a cold caught at school that other parents shake off as no big deal can find its would find it's way into my compromised immune system, cause infection and send my otherwise controlled blood sugars on a roller coaster ride. I tend to get nervous when I see runny noses and hear icky coughs at play dates for exactly this reason.
But when it comes to my little girl's health, I'm usually able to regain my strong voice of reason. My eyes regain their focus and see a 30-some-inches tall, 29-pound little girl with a poochy tummy and thick thighs who goes without food or drink for a few hours when immersed in animals and airplanes at the museums downtown. But what if she were diabetic? She wouldn't be able to do that. I'd have to make her stop and eat. I could no longer give in when she refuses a meal or begs for a brownie.
This is what I call a case of pre-worry. And it's really a waste of my precious time with my family. And so I stop. And I realize we've been blessed with a healthy daughter. For now, at least. And I allow myself to enjoy it.
dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.
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