This post is mostly about mommy, but I swear it does tie into T1D.
With a child having T1D, it has changed some of the foods that are consumed in this house. Meals are basically the same as pre diagnosis, other than I try to push protein first before fruits and veggies to keep him stable. However, for our family, liquids have been the biggest change.
I know that MANY families serve their kids 2 options, milk or water. I actually was raised in one of those families. My husband and I however always also allowed diluted juice with out moderation. When I say diluted, I mean in 8 oz maybe 1 was juice and the rest water. It actually tastes pretty gross this way but Johnny liked it so we allowed it, whenever he requested it. However now that we are diagnosed we were advised by the DOCTORS and NURSES to offer crystal light or other sugar free drinks to avoid the carbs. I didn't think much of it and started offering crystal light instead of the juice but still diluted just as much.
(Disclaimer... I am not a doctor, I have not done ANY research for facts to back up the rest of this blog. Take it for what it is, my personal experience and what I concluded from it.)
Having all this Crystal Light (aspartame) in the house it was just a matter of time before I started drinking it. I typically stay away from it because it causes me to retain water and the last thing a 30 week pregnant mama needs is more swelling in my feet. However, one of the flavors I bought for Johnny he didn't like, so I thought I will drink it instead of "waste" it. (This is stupid logic since it is cheaper than the cost of the fruits and veggies that go bad each week in my fridge because I don't get around to eating them.) So I started having some with dinner as a nice break from water but with out the caffeine of soda or tea. It's pretty tasty stuff. So I started drinking it while making dinner too. Then I would have it starting at lunch, and soon after it was all I drank all day when I was home. About 5 days into this new habit of mine I was having a very difficult time in my life. It was during this time that I wrote my previous blog. I was an emotional wreck. I was beyond stressed out in all aspects of my life. How was I going to care for Johnny and his diabetes like this FOREVER? How was I going to give any attention to a new born when my whole day revolves around Johnny's blood sugars? How was Johnny going to survive if I did let some things slide so I can give attention to Jocelyn when she is born? How am I going to hold 2 small businesses together while raising a newborn and a T1D 3 year old? How were we going to be able to continue on with our life? I was drowning in my own fears and anxiety. I started researching anxiety and found that 25% of mothers of toddlers diagnosed with T1D are also diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder with in a year of their child's diagnosis. I honestly felt I was well on my way to this. Finally one day, I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't answer my phone, I couldn't deal with my employees, I couldn't talk to my mom and could barely talk to my husband. I actually cried all day, about EVERYTHING. I finally talked to my mom and said I don't understand why I am like this. My life was just as complex and difficult last week and I was fine, so why am I freaking out this week?
Then it hit me!!!!!
My mom lived with me in Texas for the first 2 years of Johnny's life. She is a cancer survivor and an extremely hard worker. So when she started acting funny when she was living her I had to get to the bottom of it. She was paranoid about everything. Jumping to conclusions about me not wanting her around, she thought she had cancer again, she was fearful of the weirdest made up situations it was crazy. Finally I started noticing that she would drink 10-15 of the individual servings of Crystal Light a day! I told her she couldn't live with me and drink that stuff because it was making her crazy. I actually threw her "stash" out which might have been 100 different packets in multiple flavors. Oh and guess what, she was fine within a week.
When I brought Crystal Light back into the house after Johnny's diagnosis, I remembered this but knew that Johnny wouldn't drink even 1 packet a day with how much we diluted it. I really didn't think about myself ever drinking it. But now that I am thinking of it, I am drinking a TON of it. I immediately stopped drinking it and in 48 hours I was back to my old self.
I am going to provide 2 links. 1 for Aspartame, and 1 that feels the side effects are real. Read them and make up your own mind. For me, I experienced first hand the symptoms and feel it is directly related to Aspartame.
Why is this on my blog regarding life with T1D? A couple reasons... what if I didn't dilute this stuff and let my kid drink it all he wants? My kid would be craaazzzy! I wouldn't suspect the aspartame since my doctor said to drink it (he didn't say at the quantity I was drinking though, lol) What if I didn't realize the connection. I no doubt would have gone to my doctor and been put on anti anxiety meds, depression meds, or a combination of them. My hope is one day, someone who is in my shoes, might read this and just try eliminating it from their (or their family's) diet to see if it helps them. (Disclaimer: I am pro medication to treat ALL chemical imbalances, anxiety, depression, bipolar or any other illness. I fully support everyone in doing what they need to do to live a happy life.) One day I might still need those medications, but this week I just needed to cut out aspartame.
So is it odd that I still drink diet soda? Ya, I guess it is. The difference is I have 0-2 a day instead of 6-10 glasses of Crystal Light. Is it crazy that I am still going to let Johnny have it? Eh, I guess so but again he is drinking a small amount. If I see in the future this becoming a problem, then I will absolutely toss it all and never look back.