My friend Denise, who I have known forever (10 years) texted me this question the other day.
I’ve known Dee long enough that I can be free in my honesty with her. Other people, well those people I tend to be more delicate with, when it comes to certain phrases.
This however brings up one of those concerns that I fell I need to bring up. People write about this topic from time to time. In fact I last humorously spoke of “sugar free” candy two years ago. In an ironic twist of fate, that same day Kelly had the same idea. This is what happens when you get into the holiday season, like minds think, well, they think alike. I know there are other posts out there that talk about this as well, but I am to lazy to search and honestly trying to find the phrase “sugar free” in a diabetes related blog is like like looking for Waldo, so close, but so far. (OH MY GOD YOU CAN DO THIS ONLINE. I AM SO NOT FINISHING THIS POST ANY TIME SOON!)
Anyway, I did find Waldo, so it’s all good. But what I was saying typing “sugar free” into a blog about diabetes has one basically looking at any post termed with the phrase sugar, and no one ever writes the phrase or word sugar. That is just madness. I did ask for help though and Kerri came through. Poor Kerri’s sister.
The conversation between myself and Dee just brings about the logical conclusion that people tend to have about people with type-1 diabetes. That being either we need to get them something else, the equivalent of a candy bar or what not. First of all, instead of looking for an equivalent to not make the person with type-1 feel like they got something or to feel awkward, why don’t they just change the gift to an apple, coffee, wine, etc or something else that everyone can enjoy without trying to single out the the one person because they have a medical problem.
Maybe it’s just me. I love the thought, we need to do something else for this person because they have diabetes, but they could truly change their entire gift idea and avoid the problem completely. That being said, even if you don’t choose to change the entire gift option, I would honestly be happier with someone saying “Here you go Brian, we got this for you. We know it’s candy, but the alternative would have been bad, and well you know what to do with this.” or something like this. Having the thought about taking into account the type-1 is the first step, the next is further researching the gift (like asking me), but ultimately it comes down to giving us the decision of, can I eat this now or should I save it for late?
Obviously right now, could be one of those hmm, I may need a candy bar moments. There is a time and a place for anything and whether or not we should or could be eating this stuff. Being half educated or half aware sometimes is not enough. I like the thoughts and all, but go the extra step further to be able to know the entire picture, not just some of it.
This brings me back to the title of this post. Halloween is coming. Use your best judgement on all things, whether it is for yourself or someone you care about with type-1 diabetes. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of candy (my opinion not medical advice) every once and a while. Don’t try to limit or give Halloween a negative idea in the minds or eyes of those who have type-1 because of the NO SUGAR FOR YOU mentality.
Let me handle the rest.
However, if you are on the fence between candy or sugar-free candy. Do me a favor. Eat it yourself. Here is the only label I could find. Read the very last line. Excess consumption may have a laxative effect. Ya know what, if you want to try something fun and exciting, eat a bunch of sugar free pretzels or peanut butter cups. Make sure you clear your schedule though and tell me what happens.
Why would you inflict that upon ANYONE???
Seriously, leave it to me, leave it to the person with type-1, or the parent of the person with type-1. I promise you, they will be eternally grateful that you gave them the choice as opposed to your giving them something that they might not be as thankful for. Plus there are the entire negative health effects or fears of artificial sweeteners. But let us not get started on those just yet.