I would say the number one misconception about diabetes is that we cannot have sweets. And to be honest, I thought that was true before I was diabetic. However, anyone who IS diabetic knows that is not true – we can eat pretty much anything we want, within reason. The only exception is our pancreas is on a permament hiatus and won’t cover the food, so we have to manually give ourselves enough insulin to cover it. BUT we can still have it.
Last Christmas, one of my co-workers passed out chocolate to everyone in the office. Everyone but me that is. She never said anything to me about it. One of my other co-workers, who is a friend of the first one, came to me one day and said that she didn’t give it to me because she knew I was diabetic. What? That makes no sense. We have department “parties” to celebrate holidays and birthdays and everyone has seen me eat cake with the group on many occasions. But her initial thought when passing out the candy was “I can’t give this to Shannon, because she can’t have sugar.”
It happened again this week with another co-worker. We have a floor in our building where our training center is, and it’s always stocked with candy. This particular co-worker asked another one if she wanted to go downstairs to get some chocolate. I wasn’t offended that she didn’t ask me at all. When she came back up, though, and sat in my office to eat her M&M’s, she said “I’m sorry I didn’t get anything for you. I know you can’t have chocolate.” She is a very nice person .. and I know she did not mean anything at all by it. But come on.
I know it’s silly, but the misconceptions get to me sometimes. I know people mean well…. but I’m talking about the same group of people that just saw me eat bday cake earlier in the week. It’s like it is so ingrained in non-d’s heads “NO sugar for you!” (again with the soup Nazi voice — you’re welcome, Christina!)
So if you’re reading this and you’re a non-D… please know that we CAN have sugar. In moderation of course, but we can have it. Pretty much the only thing I avoid is a regular soda (unless fighting a low) and I never eat regular ice cream (unless it’s a bite out of my husband’s bowl ) Disclaimer – Those are just my personal preferences, and I could technically have either of those if I really wanted it. And I don’t eat sugar (candy, sweets, etc.) on a regular basis by any means .. but when I want some of it, I bolus for it, and then I eat it. My first endo told me not to ever deprive myself of sweets. She said it would just make me crave it more. So that is how I’ve managed the craving over the years. I wouldn’t sit down and scarf down an average sized serving like someone else might do.
But I can have a piece of chocolate.