Spring into Spring!

Spring is in full swing! It’s the time for Easter celebrations or if you do not celebrate Easter, there always seems to be a spring class party for the kids. This time of year makes me happy because the sun is shining, the temperatures are warming and the world seems to be emerging into a more green and colorful place. I wasn’t always so happy at this time of year though.

Easter for me as a young child was filled with candy, sugar and few cares. Then I was diagnosed with T1. Things changed and fast! No more sugar for me. The pump was not an option for me at that time. I was always told how much easier I had it than others just a few years before when urine testing was the only option and they had to boil syringes. This did very little to make me feel better!

I was the one that they were hesitant to serve a cookie or candy to in class without asking if I could. I knew they were trying to be helpful, but I just wanted to be handed the treat and eat it. I always accepted the cookie or candy, not to attract too much attention. More than that, I did not want to hurt the feelings of the party moms or teacher. I rarely ate the treat. I would talk, laugh and maybe have a nibble. If I was talking, they might not think I was the forlorn kid that couldn’t celebrate like the others. Hmmm, talking too much might be part of my problem today!

I remember eating the Sorbee candy available at that time instead. My mom was so grateful that finally there was any kind of candy to eat so that I could be normal. I realize that the sugar free candies have come a long way, even the Sorbee brand.  If I close my eyes though, I can still recall the taste and how the texture made my mouth feel. That became my Easter candy. Life with diabetes meant that I went through times where I didn’t mind so much and other times where I could take down a Snickers bar faster than you can imagine! I might suffer a bit more that day and usually the next, but at the time it seemed worth it.

Then a miracle came! I got the insulin pump. I was in my twenties! What was the best part? I was told that I could eat anything as long as I accounted for it! Freedom was mine at last! I celebrated at every party and found joy in celebrating Easter and springtime again! I was striving to be normal. To me that meant eating anything I wanted, despite how much insulin I had to give. I do not discount this advice. Although now an even healthier and wiser me, chooses NOT to live solely by it.

“Normal”, everyone with diabetes was searching for this, especially the parents of T1s. I know it pained my mother to depths I can now only attempt to discover as a parent myself. Now, I’m still health conscious, a parent, I’m still a T1, but I do not want to be “normal”! Have you noticed what the normal population looks like? Have you noticed how healthy the “normal” population is? The majority of the people that eat like I did when I first got my pump are usually in terrible shape physically and emotionally, without having diabetes! I know there are exceptions to every rule and there are plenty of kids out there surviving on more sugar than is good for them and they are still slim with healthy checkups, for now.

I saw some side effects of eating anything I wanted as long as I gave enough insulin for it. Overloading on too much insulin was hard on my body. For me it was hard on my weight. I could still keep my A1Cs in a great range though. I saw the early warning signs of other things that my body might change into and I got scared.  The rest of my body was slipping into “normal”.  I realized that by cutting back on my insulin, I lost some weight. I could still have the treats and not feel deprived, I just started to eat the way, I was told early on in diagnosis. Today, I try to help my child do the same thing. I am blessed beyond belief that she has not been diagnosed. I try to let her be a part of the party and eat the junk like the other kids. She deserves it. Even if she had diabetes, she still deserves to be a part of it. At home however, we eat about as healthy as I can come up with. That is not always creative. That’s ok too. She is eating a well balanced diet and fewer sugars and carbohydrates than most other kids. She doesn’t feel deprived though. We all are a little healthier. Diabetes taught me a valuable lesson! “Normal” is not always the wisest choice. Balance is best! So, today I’m off to volunteer at her school to help with the pizza party for her class. I even have a few jellybeans in my hand as I am leaving the house. Tonight though, we are having grilled chicken, broccoli, edamame, some salad and water. It’s still a balancing act, but Now I know life with diabetes can be done and I can enjoy Easter. I will eat some candy, no doubt. I will also be sure that the rest of my meals are as healthy as possible with fewer carbs, so that my Total Daily Dose is still on the lower side. So let don’t deprive your loved ones with diabetes. Just take the extra step to ensure that the rest of their diet is as healthy as possible. I want to live as long as possible and be as healthy as possible for my daughter. I want to see her hunting eggs for a long time. I will still snitch a jellybean every once in a while!

One thought on “Spring into Spring!

  1. EEEEWWWWWWWW! Broccoli and spinach! The chicken was good though. Thanks a lot for talking about the jelly beans. I am going to go get some. That reminds me, I better go hide the jelly beans before you and dad eat them all!

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