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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Free Day (And Candy Corn)!

Before we get to the important things, I'd like to start out this post by saying everyone in my neighborhood had an obsession with cobwebs.  Seriously, about half the houses in my neighborhood have those things hung up on walls, bushes, you name it.  I feel like we missed the memo saying 'By the way, every October you MUST use cobwebs in your Halloween decoration.'

Seriously.  I mean...why?

Anyway; it's Halloween!  Candy and costumes and scary movies and staying out late with your friends.  It's a kid's favorite time of year and a diabetic parent's worst nightmare.  Because trust me, if my parents scolded me about eating too much candy before, boy did they get more uptight about it on my first Halloween as a diabetic.

Speaking of which, let's talk about my first Halloween as a diabetic!  I'd been diagnosed for about 3 months by the time Halloween rolled around, and by that time my parents were watching everything I put into my mouth with a magnifying glass.  So when October 31st rolled around and I went trick-or-treating at Alex Bice's big Halloween party (oh it was a big deal; every 3rd grader who was anybody was there *sarcasm*), they warned me extensively that I needed to bring my bag of candy to them when we all got back so they could help me count carbs for it and do a shot and everything.  So I did, and while everyone else got to munch away on anything and everything, I got stuck with (I remember to this day) a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, a fun sized Snickers, and a Laffy Taffy.

Now I'm not beating around the bush; I was freaking pissed.  It was Halloween for God's sake!  I wanted candy, blood sugar be damned.  And when it became obvious I wasn't getting any more, I went from pissed to sad.  Especially since Alex's party was a candy-trading hotspot, and I had nothing to trade for.  I was the saddest diabetic witch you'd ever seen (at least, I think I was a witch.  It might have been a genie).

Thankfully, I wasn't the only one to have this revelation.  My parents realized being denied candy on Halloween was cruel and unusual punishment, diabetic or not.  And thus, we established the concept of 'Free Days'.

I'm assuming most parents of diabetic children have something similar to it, but overall the concept is this; check your blood sugar, do a big fat dose of insulin, and go have fun.

That's what I've done every Halloween since then, and I've been a happy pirate, genie, or whatever I'm dressed up as.  Sure, there's the possibility I might go too high or too low, but who cares?  It's a holiday.  If you can't unwind for holidays, when can you unwind?

To be honest, I think these free days are completely necessary to a kid with diabetes.  We go through so much, every day, and are constantly worried about what we do, what our parents think, and what's going to happen.  It's nice every now and then to remember we're kids first, and diabetics second.  One day is not going to hurt us in the long run, and everyone needs a break.

So, just take a deep breath.  Have fun, eat a Twix, and don't worry about it.  That's the best advice I can give.

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