Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gone Fishing


I love Sweedish Fish.  I find them to be especially yummy when eaten poolside or beachside when they have sat in the heat a little while and are nice and soft.  Mmmmm!  

The pool that we go to in the summer sells them at the snack bar.   I can't resist!

That is how Sweetpea first tried one.  She never really paid attention.  I didn't think she'd like it.  She doesn't like most candy.  And she doesn't like gummies at all.  But this one.... Oh... She LOVED it!

And ever since then she's been asking for the "red fish".  

I bought a small bag.  ONCE.

She loved them.  It's ok for her to have them as the occasional treat.  Or to have when low.  But once she knows we have them.... she asks for them constantly.  She doesn't WANT to eat just a couple at a time.  She doesn't WANT to have wait if her bg is too high.

We tell her candy is not healthy.  That NO ONE should sit down and eat an entire bag of fish.  You'd get a tummy ache.

But she knows there's more to the story.

She was playing "cut the rope" on our iphones the other day.  If you don't know this game, the object is to cut ropes in order to feed the cute little monster at the bottom.  And you're trying to touch all the stars in the process.  It involves skill and it's a good game for her to play.  Guess what he eats?  Candy.



Yesterday she said, "How come he gets to eat candy and I don't?"  Well....
I told her it was because he was a monster and that was what monsters eat.  And that she DOES get to eat candy.  

"It's because he doesn't have diabetes and I do, isn't it?" she said.  

I didn't lie to her.  I told her the truth.  (Hey, Monsters might eat only candy.  You don't know!)  But she knows there's more to it.  She knows that when she gets to eat candy it's because she's low.  She knows diabetes is involved.

A few weeks ago, I was at Target buying stocking stuffers and things for our advent tree.  And they had a holiday pack of Sweedish Fish.

I stood in that isle, holding that box of fish for a good 15 minutes.  Going back and forth.  Should I or shouldn't I?  Yes, she would love them.  She would be so excited.  But oh.... not great for the bg.  Do I even want to go there?

People probably thought I'd lost my mind.  Why is that lady standing there staring at a box of candy?  Is she lost?  Is she confused?  Does she need help?

Yes.  I am lost.  I am confused.  And I do need help.

Who stands in the middle of an isle holding a box of candy like it's either gold or a ticking bomb?  That inner struggle is something that only the parent of child with diabetes could understand.  

It's yet another one of those moments when you realize that although you look like everyone else..... you're different.  Why can't I be like the other shoppers dropping boxes of candy and tubes of m&m's into my cart without a second thought?  What I wouldn't give for life to be that easy for us.  

But it's not.  And those little things matter to us.  To us, they are big things.  

It's not just candy.  It's so much bigger than that.  There is so much more that goes into that decision.  Health vs. Normalcy  

I bought the fish.

They are still in the bag.  I have not been able to bring myself to put them into the advent tree.  I just have not had the energy to fight the "in moderation and only if you are at a good number" battle.  

It was the only candy I bought.  

But they will be in her stocking.  I'm hoping that with all the craziness of Christmas that she'll be distracted.  

But I know she's going to be excited.  I know that she will know it's something special.

It would be easier for me to have walked on by and ignored the fish.  She would never have known.  

But I would have.

And it's not about what is easier for me.  For me, it's about doing whatever I have to do make sure that she feels and IS as normal as possible.  

And sometimes that means buying the fish.


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14 comments:

  1. oh goodness Hallie! this is an amazing post
    i'll have those moments where i'm at a holiday party and i'll just stand there and look at the treats. it's so hard, nobody can understand how painful it is to make those decisions. and especially for you! you have to make it for someone else.

    have a great holiday!
    Haley

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  2. From one slightly soft swedish fish lover to another... I hear you. I was doing the same thing in TX yesterday, holding a tube of Christmas candy, debating whether it was worth it to go there. I started to cop out and get the "Christmas Smarties" thinking we could use them for lows, but I put those down too. If it's a treat, it needs to be just that. He's onto me, even at 4 1/2. I didn't leave with either, but I'll be going back soon. I figure at the very least I can find some small individual sized packages of candy instead of giant containers. Easier to control portion that way, at least?
    Hugs.

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  3. Ahhhhh well said! I battle with this in my mind all the time!

    Maybe you can open that pack of fishies and just put two or so at a time on the advent tree?

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  4. "Yes. I am lost. I am confused. And I do need help." I think a T-shirt should be made and every D-Mom required to wear it when going out in public ;)

    This is one part of D that really chaps my hide. The balance between making ME instigating changes for better food choices OR allowing D to force the change. ACK!

    I personally think it goes back to the 'treat' concept that out society has collectively erased from daily life. I find I am explaining the idea of 'occasional' and 'special' to my kids more often than I care.

    I want my kids, including my CWD, to have equal opportunity. That includes candy and booze and apples and beef livers. ALL in moderation.

    I am so glad you bought them (and 15 minutes deciding is actually quite fast!) and will put them in her stocking. My guess it she will smile and feel special knowing someone thinks she can handle the responsibility. And if not, then you can whisk them away and put the yummy red fish in your secret stash of nummies.

    What? You don't have one?!

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  5. I love the post! Brianna also LOVES Swedish Fish, FYI Ikea, sells a big bag cheap :)
    It is hard to keep that balance between letting them being kids and keeping diabetes under control. I hate that with every food choice we think of the consequences.
    Kelly Harp

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  6. I stand there and do the same thing :(
    But I agree... buy the dang fish.

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  7. Even as a PWD, I too will stand there in the aisle and debate if I want to take the challenge/personal risk of introducing such treats into my life. I often tell people "I'm not responsible enough" to buy such treats. To be honest, I don't appreciate the mental debate I find myself in when faced with such decisions. Constant weighing of pros and cons. Sometimes the peace of mind is greater than the "treat" for me.

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  8. Can I tell you something funny...my mother-in-law insisted on buying my husband sugar free chocolates every Christmas and me a box of regular sugar chocolates, finally the Christmas after Isaac was diagnosed I told her that TJ (my husband) ALWAYS eats my chocolates first, then if he really wants to have something sweet he'll the SF ones. I didn't tell her this to make her feel bad but rather she started worrying about getting all the cute kid candy in SF and it felt freeing for me to say to her, "don't worry get him the real stuff." Honestly in this house and for as long as I've known TJ he's been the Snickers eater not me, he'll be the first to grab a slice of apple pie, scoop of ice cream, or a popsicle. I've since realized that it's more difficult with smaller children and d, those few carbs spike fast and make a bigger impact, but still if I want Isaac to learn how to balance his diet he has to see that sweets can be a part, just not the main dish :)
    I hope she enjoys her bag of red fish and you get a surprise of no huge BG fluctuations for Christmas morning!

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  9. Oh I am so, so, so glad you bought those fish! Go back and get some more! I can eat them by the pound. I know - that's gross.

    Whatever her bg is from eating those fish - and I bet you give them a run for their money with a great bolus - it won't matter because she will remember the fish not her bg. I want pictures of her excitement when she gets them. :)

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  10. I so feel you mama! I'm finally feeling ok with letting her just eat what a normal kid would eat right now (holiday wise). I feel terrible that she still has to look at me before sticking food or candy in her mouth, but it makes me proud that she and I have an eye contact language that makes it easier on both of us to "decide" in public or when she is with other kids...I hope we can keep it going for years to come, the eye contact and the "normal"!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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  11. Yep, I am glad you bought them Hallie. I think helping them feel "normal" and not deprived is a big job as it is maintaining their psychosocial well being. It is a balancing act 24/7/365...always. Sometimes you HAVE to buy the fish.

    (((HUGS))) to you and Sweetpea!

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  12. We just had our year anniversary over here on 12/15. I remember last Christmas was soooo hard! Do we put candy in the stockings or not??? We cried about it because it made the diabetes so real and it was so new and scary. We had just been released from the hospital less than a week before Christmas so it was NEW for us (we did let her have some candy :-). A year later I am of the mindset that a few Hershey Kisses (the treat of choice for my daughter) before breakfast on Christmas is no biggie. It will make her feel like a normal kid on Christmas morning and that's what's important to me. I will be balancing the chocolate out with a couple of boxes of tic-tacs too though. Luckily those are a big hit over here too :-) Good job on buying the fish!

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  13. I totally agree with Lorraine -
    So glad you bought them! Let the SweetPea eat fish!! :) It will make her so happy. Bolus Baby!! :)

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