I find it particularly interesting that November is diabetes awareness month, the day after Halloween.
I’m standing in the local grocery store last night at about 6pm picking up some Halloween candy to give away to trick ‘r treaters. I unconsciously started looking at the carb counts of all the candy that I considered buying. My thought was that if there was candy leftover, I wanted to have “fun size” packs of candy that were around or under 15 carbs per serving. As I picked up some 100% all sugar candy, I saw the carb count of 27 per little pack, I said “NO” out loud and put them back. The store clerk who was trying to get me to buy all the leftover candy at regular price so he would have to move it and asked what I was doing. I told him I had a diabetic child and was just conscious of the carbs per serving. A lady who was browsing nearby said, “Go pick up some pretzels then, it’ll be better for him.” I totally froze in my shopping and just glared at her. I was a tad offended for more than one reason:
(1) No, individually wrapped Reese’s peanut butter cups are 9g carbs, a Hershey’s Kisses are 3g each, even a Snickers is just 12g. Livestrong.com says that a typical serving of pretzels is 13g carbs. Now I know all the sugar and fat difference in candy or chocolate vs. pretzels . . . but it’s Halloween which is the exception, not the norm.
(2) She automatically ASSUMED that my son was diabetic because of his weight and/or poor eating habits.
(3) I was just wondering who invited her to jump in my conversation? (I know this is rude and snarky, but seriously did cross my mind.)
After a long, dramatic pause for me to turn on my filter before I spoke, I simply said, “He is a type 1 diabetic, not a type 2. He is not overweight & can eat whatever he wants, we just have to plan for it in order to give him enough insulin. Plus, pretzels are just as high in carbs as this candy.” Then I smiled, looked at the store clerk and said, “I’ll buy some Kisses with almonds instead.”
I suppose that’s why I find it so ironic that Diabetes Awareness Month begins the day after Halloween. So when a parent of a child with diabetes (like me) lets their children trick ‘r treat and then actually eat some candy, people don’t think ridiculous and UNFACTUAL things about us or our children.
I told my kiddos that we are going to do this Halloween just like any other in years past (BEFORE dx) . . . one piece of candy after a meal, not after every meal, but must be after a meal. And occasionally I’ll let them have it for a snack here and there since the fun size candies fall within Ryan’s snack carb guidelines. Not ONE of them argued with me. Everything was normal. And we left all the candy out all night on the kitchen table. When we ate breakfast this morning, they just scooted the candy away from their seat enough to put their cereal bowl and milk glass on the table and sat and negotiated out candy trades while they were eating breakfast.
So, although I find it ironic, I’m thankful for the opportunity to EDUCATE about Type 1 Diabetes.