Monday, October 13, 2008

Daycare and Diabetes

Baby L isn't a baby anymore. He just turned 18 months, and by golly, he is going to daycare next week.

I am so thrilled about this. I can't get any work done anymore when he's awake and eager to do something. He's too mobile, too into things, too toddler for me to focus on work stuff. He'll go for two days so I can finally have some concentrated work time that is during daylight hours. (And working during his nap won't be a coveted luxury anymore). 

But I do wonder about the likely increase in illnesses for him and whether it might trigger something in him that might make him develop type 1 diabetes.

Am I crazy? 

Sure, as far as I know, it's unclear exactly WHAT causes someone to develop type 1, just that some people are genetically inclined to do so. And that some sickness might stress your system so that the insulin-producing elements in the pancreas are overwhelmed and stop working. 

(I know this isn't a technical, scientific way to explain things. This blog's never been about the technical or scientific. If someone wants to enlighten me in the comments, feel free).

There are researchers doing genetic tests locally where I could sign Baby L up to determine if he's likely to develop diabetes in his lifetime. When I first heard about them, I was like, "where do we sign up?"

Then I considered that while it would be a huge relief to find out he didn't carry the gene, what if he did?

Would I worry about his diet and whether he ate birthday cake at someone's party, even if he hadn't been diagnosed with anything?

Would I subject him to random blood tests, poking his fingers and causing him pain and annoyance just so I could calm myself that his blood sugar levels were in range?

Would it be like he was already a diabetic, even if he only had the gene to become one? And is that really fair for him? To be saddled with a regimen before a diagnosis? Even if the diagnosis never happens? Or happens when he's say, 20? Or 50?

So I haven't had him tested (yet?).

But I think about this every time he gets another cold or ear infection. And he's only going to get more once he's in daycare. (And keeping him from daycare isn't the answer. He's gotten a few colds and ear infections already.)

Have you had your kid tested to find out if they have a gene to develop diabetes? Would you? 


Anonymous said...

Hi there - I linked to your blog from sixuntilme and have been enjoying reading through a bunch of your posts. I'm Type 1 and have a 6-month-old. Was wondering if you ever found lifesavers in a roll. :-) That's also my sugar of choice for lows and I would be devastated if I couldn't get the rolls. I live in SoCal and there's one grocery store here that carries them. Have you tried online? I found them at and just thought I'd pass it on.

Look forward to reading more of your blog! Rachel

Lyrehca said...

Rachel--you left an anonymous post (always feel free to leave an email address so I can answer questions directly!) so I'm posting here.

I *did* recently buy a roll of LifeSavers, and have found them on amazon, but I'm now a convert to the juice box. I can buy them in bulk at my local superstore, and they tuck into my purse just fine.

Considering how much crap I tote around in a diaper bag for Baby L these days, carrying a juice box instead of a roll of candy isn't much more to handle.

Thanks for writing!

Kassie said...

I've thought a lot about enrolling my boys in a study, with the goal of seeing if they have the known genetic markers and/or antibodies. But so far I haven't heard of anything they can do to prevent T1 development if they are flagged, so I haven't signed them up.

Of course, I feel a little bad about that because they can't really find a prevention without identifying and testing things on people who seem predisposed to the disease. Just as I am grateful to those camp folks I knew who were pumping insulin back when it meant a much larger unit and a metal infusion set, I'm grateful to those who are willing to enroll their kids in these studies while I hem and haw about it.

I never check the kids' blood sugars anymore - unless for some wacky reason they want to do it. I have purchased urine testing strips for those occasions when I was worried about too much drinking/peeing.

Flmgodog said...

I have not had Izzie tested but it really freaks me out. Everytime she drinks a lot of water or even gulps down the juice it scares me. I know in reality she drinks the juice down so fast because she hardly ever gets juice.

In the back of my mind I always think the worst.
The big teaching hospital just an hour and a half from us has studies all the time but I have yet to enroll her in any.

In regards to daycare, Baby L (he's almost little boy L) will probably get sick quite a bit. Izzie has caught everything it seems. She was good over the summer when their weren't quite so many kids. I rationalize daycare sickness as it will build her immunity for later when she is in school.

Dr. Grumbles said...

research indicates that day care is a positive influence on social. cognitive, and emotional development.

Hope he enjoys the new setting!

Eva said...

I don't know anything about Type 1, but the food issue of what they serve there would be a concern for me. Sometimes those places serve total crap and that's not good no matter your genes (this is coming from a person whose kid goes to a place that seems to serve a lot of candy and ice cream, though they're pretty good about avoiding paprika for my little girl and serving decent crackers and tortilla chips and things). If you can pack food or have some say I'd look into that (I pack food for when she'll have meals there).

Katie I. said...

Lyrecha, have you heard the latest research suggesting that kids who don't get sick and are "too clean" may be MORE likely to get T1? (Here is a link to one of the stories: I am currently expecting my first child and plan to stay at home and delay day care for quite a while, so I'm wondering if I'll be doing her a disservice by NOT putting her in day care so she can get a bug once in a while!


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