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Feed Me!!! Diabetes and the teenage boy

We all know how much growing boys eat. Or at least how much people say they eat. My son, my one and only boy, taught me how wrong my estimates were.

It seemed like the minute he turned eleven, the bottom fell out of his stomach, and the floor, and the earth below. A simple relatively inexpensive family dinner with three adult meals and three kids' meals turned into an outrageously expensive affair when just to sate the boy's hunger a tiny bit, he had to get an adult meal which then was unfair to his bigger sister and just downright mean to his little sister.

So, what did his eating schedule look like? Three full adult-sized meals with snacks almost every hour to an hour and a half in between. I swear the only words that ever came out of his mouth were "I'm hungry", "Can I eat", and "I'm starving".

The boy could then and can now at almost fourteen eat two pieces of peanut butter toast as a snack to hold him until dinner. And then an hour later eat two pork chops, mashed potatoes, and asparagus at our favorite restaurant. Only to turn around and eat a snack within an hour of getting home.

It might not be so bad (other than the grocery bill) but you see, my son is a diabetic and for every carb he eats, he needs insulin. We soon found his two vials of insulin per month barely lasting three weeks. Using an insulin pen to fill his pump wasn't ideal and was actually frowned upon by the manufacturer, but we had to do it to make sure he had enough through the month.

Now, this is my first and only boy and I couldn't remember what my much older brothers were like so I turned to my son's doctor - a pediatric endocrinologist for answers. Her take on the situation - his rate of growth, rate of voice change, and weight increase proved that for our son, it was all completely normal. And we need to not only increase his insulin dose but also needed to increase the number of vials we got each month.

So, what did his growth look like? Between November 2018 and July 2021, he went from just over 5 feet to 5 feet 7 inches. He went from 80 pounds to 135 pounds and he went from a size seven shoe to a 12.5 shoe. And he's still growing! Facial hair is appearing and his voice is super deep. So yes, all that food was used and his appetite hasn't really slowed much so I'm sure there will be much more growth. Just wait until he hits high school!

Being diabetic and a teenager has a unique set of issues but we've been lucky. His diabetes is well under control, he's the envy of diabetic teens and pediatric endocrinologists everywhere, and he's growing like a weed. So except for an outrageous grocery bill and constant insulin dose changes, we're pretty damn lucky.

Until Next Time...

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