Halloween: Diabetes Hell Night?

Shopping for candy isn’t something I normally do - except for buying chocolate for my bride. But every year on our anniversary (Oct 30) I usually pick up a bag or two for the trick or treaters. I don’t give much thought to the irony of a Diabetic poring over all the possibilities in the candy aisle. It is one of those chores that just have to be done. I try to focus on the spirit of giving, the fun I had on Halloween and great memories of growing up. But this year I wasn’t feeling all that hot, which put me in a bad frame of mind. Hence this blog.

I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 30, but I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like to be a kid with diabetes. How do they handle watching all their buddies scarf down all that loot and the sugar buzz they get? How do they handle the classroom Halloween party when their difference from their buddies is highlighted? What do their friends do to help them feel included in the fun when they can’t partake of the belly-busting goodies? As I pondered these and other similar thoughts, that is when I concluded that Halloween is Hell Night for Diabetics.

It is hard to find a similar event that inadvertently targets another group of people living with a challenge. Could it be Valentines Day if you have taken an oath of celibacy? Maybe recovering alcoholics struggle with New Year’s Eve or St. Patrick’s Day? Do vegetarians feel left out on Thanksgiving?

I’m sure that they all feel left out, but this afternoon I heard a discussion about the merits of giving “healthy food items” to the tykes instead of Snickers, Lollipops or Sweet Tarts. It’d help slow the diabetes epidemic, the speaker claimed. I’m not so sure. All it will do is get the giver branded as the neighborhood wierdo.

when I was a kid I did everything all the other kids did. I just ate a few candies here and there. it lasted me a whole year. great way to have something for lows. back then Chocolate didn’t affect me as it does now, but I always had a good view on things.

plus back then a neighbor who happened to be my best friend’s mom would have me come in and give me something that was sugar free. (those wafer things). I loved those so I never felt weird about being pulled into the house to be given something different.

I don’t remember much of the halloween parties, but I remember after me and my friends were done trick or treating, we would all go over to someone’s house and trade candy and I for some reason always wanted the skittles, smarties, m&m’s, and tootsie rolls or tootsie pops. I just never ate them that night or over the course of that week. I’d eat a few then save the rest for when I would go low. to this day that’s how I handle candy, I hoard candy in my purse for a few days then take it out when I need it. My friends are usually shocked that I never have the urge to just eat it.

As the mother of an eight year old, let me tell you how our Halloween went. My daughter was diagnosed in September 2009. This was our first Halloween. My daughter loves loves loves trick or treating. She dresses to the nines. She didn’t eat a lot of candy this weekend. She has taken her “favorites” out of the bowl of candy and is guarding it like a pit bull. She knows that she can’t go crazy with the candy. When she and her friends were trading candy, she actually said that since she is diabetic, she gets the first pick of candy. I think it was being sneaky, but she said that they all understood. (Seriously think she was being sneaky.) She is not above such things. LOL. We don’t get kids at our door on Halloween because of where we live. The kids did get some Halloween pencils and erasers from one of the neighbors. Although I thought it was a neat idea, Becky said that it wasn’t worth walking up the sidewalk.

The Halloween party went off just like any other party. My husband was in attendance and kept an eye on her without being obvious. It was the other parents who made the big fuss. They apologized for the food that they brought. My husband said that was awkward, but it all worked out fine.

I have learned in my short stint as a mom, that kids will be kids no matter what is happening to them at the time. I don’t see my baby girl giving up trick or treating any time soon.

Have you ever thought of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups? I was told by a diabetic counsler that it has the best ballance of protein and sugar.