Yes, I CAN have chocolate!

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 😉  ) DisclaimerThose 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. 🙂


About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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9 Responses to Yes, I CAN have chocolate!

  1. It’s crazy that people who spend a significant amount of time with us don’t notice that we can have what we want, just intelligently.

    I was at a baby shower and people were serving cake to us at the tables and the lady serving loudly exclaimed to the table, “Rachel can’t have this!” and didn’t even offer me any 😦 And I get substitute candy in my stockings, this year it wasn’t too bad because I got super cute earrings and everyone else got chocolate.

  2. Keiran says:

    I don’t remember if it was you I was talking to about this, or mom, but I’ve seen it w/the work assistance student we have here (as well as the reverse). When we had brunch the other week, the supervisor came by to tell him it was there if he wanted some. “There’s no sweets, so you can have some!” And he said no, he’d already eaten that morning. “What? Not even the fruit? It’s not sweets! You can have it!” I had to bite my tongue not to say anything to her, but there is a definite “Sweets = you can’t have, everything else = fine, eat up!” mentality.. not realizing that a) you can adjust for sugars to be able to eat them and b) how foods metabolize and turn *into* sugars, so you still have to watch what’s eaten to know how it’ll affect you, and it’s not a free-for-all if it’s “not sweets”.

    • Shannon says:

      Yea and what’s ironic we count CARBS not sugar for the most part. Nobody would ever even think that. I have people ALL the time say “Oh really??” when I say that. Most people never even look at carbs, because they don’t have to. But that’s what I program into my pump and that’s what breaks down into sugar.

      • Keiran says:

        I knew, but I’ve had a few diabetes education classes. 😉 I’ve gotten a little better at watching my carbs, but I know I need to pay better attention than I do.

  3. I’ve been hearing this for as long as I can remember, since I was a kid. One of the most vivid examples of this kind of thinking, though, was last summer when there was the whole Ice Cream Social debacle that blew up in the diabetes online community after a local newspaper columnist tried to say CWD couldn’t eat ice cream. Some people never learn, and can’t be trained otherwise.

  4. Pingback: Diabetes on the Tube | No More Shots for Shannon

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