This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
Growing up we were a normal all-American family. When Halloween came around we’d all get excited about costumes and trick-or-treating. I remember one year I was a gypsy, one year I was an acrobat, one year I was a black cat… Anyway, I get asked sometimes how we handled the loot from trick-or-treating with two of us kids being type 1 diabetics.
Most of the time the loot is nothing but carb packed sweets, no self-respecting diabetic or parent of a diabetic would touch that crap, right?
Honestly that really depends on the diabetic or their parent. If you can portion it out and only eat a little bit at a time and bolus properly then you’ll be fine. But that’s not how it went down in our home. In our home we went trick-or-treating and had fun and got our loots. Then we came home and traded with mom. She would get our candy (we, of course, got to keep what was not food, and what was OK to eat for diabetics) and trade it for diabetic friendly stuff, healthy treats, toys, etc. I actually looked forward to that because usually what we got from the trade was more awesome than the loot from trick-or-treating… and mom got a bunch of candy just because she had diabetic kids, LOL, win-win.
There are a lot of reasons why we worked it the way we did.
1.Back then we didn’t do the whole carb count, bolus based on BG, etc. We had set times and doses for insulin and that was it. So diets were much more strict and there definitely were foods that were evil, bad, no-no, never!
2.Why in the hell would you not let your kid be involved with normal childhood activities just because they are diabetic? It’s like rubbing in their face that they are different. It’s making them feel sub-human.
3.If you let your child do what all the other kids do and then take away their loot but don’t give them something in return then you are a meanie. 'Nuf said.
The point here is that my parents didn’t want us to feel different, bad, sick, sub-human, restricted, deprived, or anything negative because we were diabetic. So they did the best they could with the knowledge and tools of the time to give us a normal childhood while keeping us healthy. And I think it worked out just fine.
Happy Halloween, y’all!