Embracing Life & the Child with the Disease

The Irony

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

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. 


Comments on: "The Irony" (5)

  1. Camden got some pretzels trick-or-treating and had to trade them for straight-up candy since they had gluten! Too funny.
    I find the place where I do the most ‘educating’ about diabetes is in the candy isle though. People are often suprised that I’m buying my diabetic child big giant bags of Swedish Fish, Nerds, etc (explained after they make a funny comment on how much time I’m spending staring at the nutrition label…haha!).

  2. Bravo for handling that so well! Not so sure I would have.

    We do that same thing with our candy! The girls can only have it after meals. It has worked great. This is also the only time of year they get candy in large quantities like this. We don’t put candy in their stockings at Christmas and they receive Easter gifts, not baskets.

    Glad to see you aren’t letting D take the joy out of everything. 🙂

  3. You tell it SISTAH! As we all educate one person at a time…or perhaps hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands through our blogs we will make a difference. Only when we have massive numbers, including the general public..understand the “ridiculousness” of this damn disease will we have the monetary and public weight that we need to fund/find a CURE. It may not be in our children’s lifetime…but someday. I hope.

  4. Your response was beautiful. To the point. Just right! I’m glad the candy negotiating was a success!

  5. Too right! Yes, it would be good if Diabetes awareness month were October, wouldn’t it. But that’s already been snaffled by Breast Cancer – another subject which is very close indeed to my heart so I wouldn’t want to lose that! Your response was great. I sometimes find it difficult to take a deep breath before responding to stuff like that and don’t always manage not to bite people’s heads off! Shame, when often they actually mean well – they just don’t know 😦 Well done for educating that lady.

    @Reyna – it WILL be in our kids’ lifetime – I am convinced of that! We are SO close!

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