I Love My Daughter

My heart is aching right now for her.

I didn’t do enough.

We don’t have the test results yet, but I am pretty sure we will hear this week that she has diabetes.

Diabetes runs in my family.

I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with all 3 of my babies.  I am now “pre-diabetic”.  My sister is the same, had gestational diabetes and is now pre-diabetic.  My dad has diabetes.  My mother-in-laws father had diabetes severely that he did not manage well at all apparently and he lost his leg from it.

My daughter has been dealing with extra weight for several years.  I have tried and tried and tried many different things.  I have talked about health and nutrition, not fat & skinny.  We have talked about the risk of diabetes.  I have exercised with her.  I have bitten my tongue and assumed it would bother her at some point and she’d want to do it for herself.  I have bribed her to exercise. She has lost privileges when she refused to exercise.

One time last year she was angry at me for my latest attempt to help her get healthy – I told her that she could not have her ipod each day until she exercised.  Her solution to that was to go “turtle speed” on the treadmill for 15 minutes.  I am talking true turtle speed.  She watched TV as she did it and went as slow as the thing could go.  Then I changed it to 1 mile instead of 15 minutes.  She was so very angry.  Then I told her she was going to lose her electronics and not get them back until she lost 3 pounds.  Yea, I dunno if that was a good call or not.  It never actually happened.  She did speed up a bit on the treadmill after that threat.  My logic was that electronics were not helpful, she was sedentary or at least very slow when she had those with her – I thought it would motivate her.

She just LOVED her home-ec teacher last year.  I wanted to strangle the woman.  She told Kid1 that me taking her ipod etc until she lost 3 pounds was not ok.  I don’t remember now how she put it, but basically she acted like that was terrible child abuse and kid1 would be scarred forever because I dared to talk about her weight.  This woman has no children.  Is she there every single time we go clothes shopping and kid1 ends up sobbing in the dressing rooms because none of the clothes she likes fit her?  Has she dealt with this year after year? Is she concerned, as I am, about her health – or just her happiness in this moment.   What about teaching her how to live a healthy life?  Isn’t that my job as a parent?

Yes, I have heard again and again… be careful what you say.  Don’ mention a child’s weight, they will be scarred for life.  “You’ll give her a complex.” I have heard many times!  (What the heck is a complex anyway??)  Phooey.  I have long thought that was bologna.  As a parent it is my job to teach my children how to be healthy.  What kind of mom am I if I DON’T speak up?  I have been kind.  I have been careful which words I have chosen when we talk about her health.  And that’s is what it is.  Health.  Not fat.  Not skinny.  She is awesome.  She is the kindest, most loving, energetic, sometimes hyper, fun person I know.  But she is at an unhealthy weight.

So I have been concerned about this for years, never really expecting her to become diabetic, but worrying and being creative and trying endless new ways to inspire her to exercise.

Our latest attempt has been pretty successful actually.  As soon as she gets home from school, we go for a walk.  It’s probably only a little further than a mile.  And we aren’t real fast.  But we go.  Every day.  That’s the deal.  We have gone in the rain, and in the wind.  One day it was just too nasty so we “just danced” on the wii.

She HATES it.  The first 2 weeks consisted of her non-stop complaints about her ankles hurting, or rocks in her shoes.  One day we stopped 8 times for her to fix her shoes.  It was just because she was hating it so much.  Maybe she needed a break.  She huffed and puffed.  It got a little better and there were a few days mixed in there that we had nice conversations instead of moaning.  Seriously, some days the whole entire time she just complains about how mean I am and how horrible I am and how stupid this is and blah blah blah.  I told hubby – she really hates me for this.  You know what?  I don’t care.  I am proud that we have stuck it out this long.  I keep hoping it gets easier.  I think it will.  Like I said, she doesn’t think I’m the devil EVERY day now, still most though :)  It’ll be ok, it will get easier for her and I’m really praying she’ll feel proud of herself and that will motivate her to keep going.

Last Thursday she said to me “It’s working mom! I lost 4 pounds!”  She was full of anger again on our walk on Friday though.  Small victories right?

About a week after we started our walks she had her yearly check up.  She has stretch marks on her sides.  I never heard of that being a sign of diabetes but something concerned the dr greatly because he gave her a big stern (but kind) lecture on the dangers of diabetes.  I swear I did not put him up to it but I was happy to have someone else saying the things to her that I have been harping at her for years.  And he ordered blood work to check her blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

We planned to do it on a Saturday morning since it was a fasting blood test.  We put it off cuz we were busy for 2 weekends.  I felt guilty so we checked her blood sugar with my glucometer.  It read 216!  As soon as I saw it I felt ill.  I hugged her.  Kid 2 told me to knock it off I was scaring kid1!  lol  But I was scared! I have never had a reading that high!  The next day, 2 hours after supper, our whole family did the prick test.  We had a normal, pretty balanced supper with apple crisp for desert.  Mine was a little high – 156.  Hubby’s & Kids 1 & 2 were OK.  Kid1’s was 225.  Not cool.

So today, as soon as hubby got home from work, we went to the medical center to get her bloodwork done.  She was late for school which she loved.  I’m quite sure we will be hearing from the doctor by the end of the week.  Then everything changes.  I’m glad we are finding out now.  But this child is stubborn and defiant.  She will need to understand how serious this is and get that it is REAL.

And just in time for the holidays.  I guess we will learn quickly how to make some sugar-free cookies for Christmas!

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zoe
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 22:35:28

    Update: The Drs Office called today and said she was “borderline” and they want her to retake the test. They are sending new papers in the mail. Hubby talked to them since I wasn’t home. I’m going to call them tomorrow and get more info on the results and make sure they know about the high results we got on the glucometer. So the news was better than I expected actually. So far at least, Those high blood sugar levels still scare me though and are definitely not ok!

    Reply

  2. Jenera
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 01:23:02

    There are two important factors here: you are concerned about her weight because of health issues that have a presence in your family so if someone (teacher, friend, otherwise) has an issue with that, they are missing the point of your concern. Second, being concerned this early is obviously going to pay off because you may be able to prevent it to some degree while giving her a better chance to be able to fight it early and throughout her life.

    Reply

  3. Jill
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 06:38:43

    We had the same scare this summer with my elder daughter, and diabetes runs on both sides of our family. That teacher was so out of place. You are the best mom- I think everything you did was perfect. When mine got retested thankfully she was fine but the borderline test result scared her and she ate very carefully. Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer for your daughter. xx

    Reply

  4. Laura
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 13:18:55

    I wish I had a mom who had helped me with health and nutrition growing up. I think that is a tremendous gift you are giving your daughter and I believe she will recognize it eventually. Personally I had to figure it all out on my own and over the years that lead to a variety of unhealthy decisions. Now I’m on track and I try to encourage my son to eat healthy too. Teenagers! GAH!! Mine won’t listen either.

    I also had warnings from the doctor about being pre-diabetic in my late 20’s and the good news is that with diet and exercise I nipped it in the bud. It can be done. It doesn’t even have to be terribly extreme, just consistent.

    I believe if she starts with the healthy changes while she is young then these habits can stick with her for the rest of her life and she can spare herself the pain of learning these lessons later in life. So I say stick to your guns. You are awesome!! That teacher doesn’t know the full story so she needs to keep her mouth shut.

    Ok a couple more things then I will quit rambling. Have you thought about taking a cooking class together? Something geared toward healthy eating? Or even just experimenting together a couple times a week with a new healthy menu item (maybe eventually someday SHE can even cook dinner by herself and give mom some respite from the kitchen)? I’ve found that my picky kid actually loves to cook and if he cooks it he’ll eat it. EVEN if it contains *gasp* tomatoes -LOL! Also, have you thought about going to a gym together? My son and I used to go shoot hoops at the gym when he was little to burn off calories for both of us. Now he’s in a bazillion sports but during some of his off seasons I do try to get him to the gym with me. Maybe the two of you could take aerobics, spinning or zumba or something together. It could be great fun and a good bonding moment. It could even be fun shopping for new exercise clothes together to get her in the spirit (Target has awesome prices on that sort of thing). Get ’em while they’re young. That’s what I say. I didn’t get fit until I was 30. Ugh. It’s kind of sad that I feel better at 36 than I did at 20. I missed what could’ve been some great years in my 20s, but I am now looking foward to even better years to come.

    (sorry this is so long)

    Reply

  5. Laura
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 16:32:53

    Ok – me again. I actually just got back from the gym (where I spend my lunch hour pretty much every day) and I got to thinking. If your daughter is really into her electronic gadgets there is no place better to enjoy them than at the gym. I’ve been reading some very fast paced action type books lately on my Kindle and I swear to you I go even faster on the elliptical because of the intensity of the story. I even bumped my resistence up to level 14. Or there are times I load my iPod up with my favorite songs and jog away on the treadmill to some great tunes. Maybe your daughter could be motivated (not bribed – LOL – I’m calling it motivation) with a new song downloaded from iTunes for every week she works out 3 times, or a new book or magazine that she can ONLY read while working out (you keep it locked in your car in the interim). There were some days I didn’t even want to go to the gym and the only thing that got me there was knowing I could read my book during my workout. Anyway, just thought I’d toss some motivators out there and see if any of them are helpful. I mention these as a former couch potato and a former chubby teen (I did lose the weight during my sophomore year but got fat again around 18) I hate to see any kid suffer with this. I have so totally BEEN THERE but I didn’t have a mom who knew what to do to help me. She thought just being supportive and loving me “as is” was sufficient. While I certainly appreciate that, as an adult I can see that I actually could’ve used a swift kick in the behind. I am so glad you are helping your daughter!

    Totally shutting up now. I promise :-)

    Reply

  6. snarkatussin
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 01:52:51

    As a teacher, I can say that staying consistent with the nutrition and health angle, as well as the joint exercise is key. All kids complain, but when you’re consistent, the hope is that they will eventually buy in.

    I agree with the previous referral, too; regarding the electronics. I’m not sure what kind she has, but have friends who’ve had great success using the “Couch to 5K” app for the iPod, which pairs up the workout with music on your list. Also, it’s 30 minutes, 3 times a week, which could be a great supplement/change during those days.

    Lastly, have you ever tried to plan meals together? I use the MapMyRun site to track calories sometimes — I like that I can input all of the foods I eat in a week and get a good idea of where I need to add/take away. It may be a nice way for her to see and understand what she is eating and how it affects her body. (I’m sure there are better/easier sites for this too.)

    Good luck!

    Reply

  7. Zoe
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 11:34:12

    Wow. I love you guys! You have no idea. Tears is my eyes… Thank you so much for the support! We have not repeated the bloodwork yet. We will do that this week. And we will keep walking. I am determined to see it through. I am waiting for her be proud of herself for doing it instead of hating me for making her. I am determined to get to that point with her so I guess that’s MY motivation right now. Ha. Some great ideas Laura. I did bribe her with an itunes gift card once – but she gave up too quickly. I like the idea of a new song weekly, thats a smaller goal that she would probably try to obtain. A new magazine is a great idea! She always wants those Teen gossip magazine and I never buy them. (Teen Beat or whatever it’s called these days!) She does help me cook quite a bit and we have been talking a lot more about what’s healthy, portion sizes etc.
    snarkatussin – I’ve heard of the couch to 5k thing. I will check that out too. Thanks for all the ideas!

    Reply

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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