Got questions about navigating life with diabetes? Ask D'Mine! Our weekly advice column, that is — hosted by veteran type 1, diabetes author and educator Wil Dubois.

This week, Wil preps for Mother's Day on Sunday with a question about D-parents and how they get involved in the care of their kid(s) with diabetes. He also tackles a query about missing an insulin dose. Read on...

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Anonymous, type 3 from Colorado, asks: Who works harder: D-Moms or D-Dads?

Wil@Ask D'Mine answers: You realize there's no way in hell I can answer that without making pretty much everybody mad at me, right? And you also realize I don't have first-hand experience, right? I'm adult-diagnosed, and my kiddo doesn't—at this time—have diabetes. (Of course, I'm not immune from worrying about what crappy genes I've cursed the little guy with, but that's a subject for another day.)

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Because of those facts, lots of people out there will be quick to say I'm not qualified to have an opinion. I disagree. I do have diabetes. I do have a mother, and my father was still alive when I was diagnosed. Working in healthcare, I do work with lots of families; and because I've written about diabetes for a decade I do get more calls, emails, and letters from D-families than I can count.

So I self-certify myself as qualified to have an opinion. And not only that, I'm just far enough out of the loop to have a neutral one. No doubt if I were a D-Dad, I'd think D-Dads are the harder working of the pair.

On that note, let's start with the D-Dads. We don't really talk about the fathers of D-Kiddos much in the Parent Meetingcommunity, but they're certainly out there. And here's what I've observed about them: D-Dads are utterly amazing. They are smart, loving, dedicated, protective, energetic, nurturing, and career-icidal. So, basically everything D-Moms are. In fact, in my book there's only one thing wrong with them: They seem to be in short supply. Yep. In my observations, the vast majority of the rearing of D-Kiddos seems to fall on the fairer sex.

I don't know if it's a matter of maternal or paternal instincts, the patterns of our culture, or the income disparity between the earning power of the sexes in our economy. I doubt it's the first one. Men are certainly capable of loving their children as much as women are, although, as a male, I'm ashamed to see the number of men who walk out on their families. (Also on a somber side note, I'm shocked at the number of divorces I've seen in the D-Family pool. Maybe the extra stress of a D-Kid is the straw that breaks the camel's back of a relationship that might not have been quite strong enough on its own, but my advice to D-Parents of both sexes to avoid being exes is: don't forget you have a partner. Taking care of the kid can seem to take all the air in the room, but only if you let it. You need to take care of each other, too.)

Sorry, my mind wandered off course again. Where were we?

Oh yes. Culture. Well, historically, men were the breadwinners and women were the homemakers. Although the idea is a bit outdated in these modern times, and not too realistic in this economy—I don't personally know any one person who makes enough in any one job to support a family, but then again I don't know any U.S. Congressmen, either. Still, I suppose some people might fall back into traditional cultural patterns when faced with a "who works, who takes care of the kid?" situation.

And speaking of who works, that takes us straight into money. If the man makes more than the woman, and that's not always true, but national statistics show us this is still the rule, then it would make financial sense for the family to keep the higher salary, and that could lead to a D-Dad working three jobs to try to support the family, plus the huge costs of supporting diabetes while D-Mom stays home with the kiddo. I'm sure some families make that choice, but I'm not sure that alone explains the missing men in our community.

Maybe they aren't missing at all. Maybe, for whatever reason, D-Dads just aren't as active in social media. Research does show that women use social media more than men do—by 62 to 74%. Still, those numbers don't explain the lack of men in this space. Maybe D-Dads really are as common as D-Moms, but they are being the strong silent types about their role.

I hope so. But I kinda doubt it.

So, to your question: Who works harder? Hopefully they won't take away my membership in the Guy Club for saying this, but I gotta go with the evidence I can see, and I see more D-Moms carrying more of the burden of care. There are some really hard-working D-Dads out there, but from what I see, overall, the D-Moms work harder.

But whether you agree with me or not, tomorrow is Mother's Day. Everyone has a mother, and many of us non-hard-working guys are married to women who are mothers. Mothering, with or without diabetes in the picture, is hard work with little recognition.

So, Gentlemen, do something special for the mothers in your life tomorrow. Not flowers, candy, or jewelry this year. Instead, to show you care and understand, I suggest you fill in for them at "work." And let them take a day off.


Glengary, type 2 from Kansas, writes: I take two shots of basal insulin a day. If I miss my dose of insulin at 5 p.m., and it's ten-past 9 p.m., what should I do?

Wil@Ask D'Mine answers: This is one of those "do whatever it is your doctor told you to do" kinda of questions. Of course, the problem is that most doctors never address this issue at all, so I'll have to.

Basal insulins, in theory, last 24 hours. In point of fact, they generally don't, but they last at linjectionseast three-quarters of a day or more in most folks. This causes a problem when you miss a shot and take it late, because you're at risk of "stacking" the late shot on top of the next shot. Stacking can double the effectiveness of the insulin for several hours, setting you up for a nasty low blood sugar.

Hmmmm.... That's rather boring and technical. How to describe it better?

OK, well, it's crude, but let's pretend your body is a toilet (come on, admit it, we've all had days when we feel that way). Let's say that for whatever reason your anthropomorphic toilet didn't flush quite right. The water in the bowl is waaaaaaaay up at the rim. What's likely to happen the next time you flush it? Right. The damn thing will overflow and flood the bathroom floor.

The same thing happens when you take a late basal shot. The next shot overflows the pot.

In your scenario, your shot—if you take it—will be more than four hours late. I think we can be pretty sure that will overflow your toilet the next day when you take your next shot. Of course, if you don't take anything at all, your blood sugar will go high because you won't have enough insulin in your body. I'm not sure how to plug that into my toilet analogy, but it probably has something to do with the water valve or a plunger. Anyway, you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. So what should you do?

The answer is to split the difference. Literally.

It's not perfect, but a workable solution is to take a percentage of your missed dose. You're gonna do a half-flush, like one of those new dual-valve water-saving toilets (up for liquid waste, down for solid waste). Because you take two doses a day, each shot "controls" 12 hours, even though they last longer. I recommend that you divide your dose by 12 then subtract the number of hours you are overdue.

To illustrate, just making some numbers up, let's just say your missed shot was 50 units (don't freak out type 1s, this is a common T2 shot). Fifty divided by twelve is 4.17. You're 4 hours late, so 4 times 4.17 is about 16 and a half. So reduce your dose by that much. Instead of 50, you'd take 34 units.

Again, it's not perfect, but it reduces both the stacking risk and the damaging effects of doing nothing.

Plus, you won't have to call a plumber.



This is not a medical advice column. We are PWDs freely and openly sharing the wisdom of our collected experiences — our been-there-done-that knowledge from the trenches. But we are not MDs, RNs, NPs, PAs, CDEs, or partridges in pear trees. Bottom line: we are only a small part of your total prescription. You still need the professional advice, treatment, and care of a licensed medical professional.
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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.