Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Disease that hates holidays

When I think of Christmas, yummy gingerbread men cookies come to mind. Thanksgiving equals pumpkin pie. Easter conjures up images of chocolate bunnies, and you can't have Hallowe'en without mountains of teeny-tiny chocolate bars. For most of these holidays, food is not the primary thing, but it is one of the things that brings everyone together.

And I'm learning just how difficult diabetes makes celebrating these holidays. There isn't much that you can put inside those little plastic eggs besides candy or food. When putting Elise's Easter basket together, I racked my brains trying to think of fun little presents that weren't edible. I wanted to set up a good, ol' fashioned egg hunt for Elise, but the problem is, I couldn't find anything that was small enough, but not dangerous or edible to fit inside the eggs.

Of course, even if Elise didn't have diabetes, I don't think I'd be putting candy inside those eggs just yet. After all, she's 19 months old and only has 4 teeth. But it would have been fun to put little goldfish crackers, or grapes; both of which she loves. Unfortunately, Elise doesn't quite get the concept of saving things for later yet.

What I ended up doing is buying her a bunch of fun presents (toy keys that make sounds, bubbles, a stuffed animal, some toy musical instruments and a few other things), and quasi-hid them. And by each item, I put a plastic egg to lure Elise over to the gift. In the days leading up to Easter, we practised hunting for eggs, and she's pretty good at it! She had fun, and I enjoyed watching her discover all her new presents.

But at the same time, it made me sad. And I don't really know why. I think it's for the same reasons that the other holidays make me sad. When I'm making gingerbread men cookies for Christmas, will Elise ever know the fun of eating the candy instead of using it to decorate? Will she ever anticipate all the candy she's going to get this Hallowe'en? What about licking the bowl after I make a cake? How do you dose for that?

I think above all, I'm angry that Elise never got to experience any of these things. I feel like part of her childhood was ripped away from her. Maybe these things are a big deal to me because they were a part of my childhood, but it won't really matter to her. I hope that's the case, and Elise never feels like she's missing out as she grows up.


  1. Big hugs to you today! It is SOOO hard to deal with this disease during the holidays! Christmas was tough for us- we love to bake all the traditional stuff and we didn't do this year what we usually do. We cut way back on the candy for Easter this year and only did things that it was easy to count the carbs on. Jada got a huge pack of tic-tacs, which I think are less than 1 gram of carbs per serving. She loves them! We have decided to "use" this disease in our family to help everyone eat a little better. We have always eaten fairly healthy, but ya know- there's always room for improvemet!

  2. :( Every holiday and every celebration revolves around food which makes it so complicated & frustrating... My sister was 7 and my brother was 11 when diagnosed; I don't know if that makes it harder or easier knowing a life before JD. Probably neither. It sucks, sucks, sucks either way. It sounds like you are doing a great job trying to make it the best you can and just take it one holiday at a time.


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