How do you get through the holidays


(AML127) #1

The holidays have been anything but happy for me since diagnosis in 1985. It’s a struggle with bgl control with meals and unpredictabie mealtimes. It’s an emotional struggle. And it’s always a reflection of how diffeeent I am from all the other family members. It’s also an additional financial struggle to buy gifts and such on top of my monthly medical expenses that are overwhelming. During the holidays I also see how little my family considers my disease and isn’t willing to make any accommodations to be helpful. They just don’t get it.
Any advice? Am I the only one who struggles with this and during the holidays specifically?


(BookwormNerd13) #2

Yeah, the holidays are super tricky. The main struggle for me is dealing with the food, and I do find that my bg levels are worse during that time. One thing that helps me is that since my family tends to have the same or similar foods for holidays every year, I write down how much insulin I do each year and how well it worked (too little, too much, etc). Then the next year I can learn from the previous year’s mistakes until I find a balance. But don’t expect perfection… let’s face it, that’s never gonna happen. It’s ok to mess up.
As for how different you are… I actually find times like that are great for educating my family about my condition. For example, Christmas dinner is one of the few times a year I get to see my little cousin (she’s 13 years old now), and she always asks questions when she sees me doing my insulin before dinner. I like to show her what I’m doing and explain it. She gets so excited now, she actually helps me by “double-checking” to make sure I drew up the right amount! When people ask questions, use it to educate rather than thinking of it as something negative. And if you see someone staring or giving you an awkward look, you can say, “you know, I don’t mind if you watch. Do you have any questions?” That way they feel more comfortable with your condition and it’s not awkward or stressful.
Hope that helped! Good luck :slight_smile:


(linda) #3

I love how you said this I have a hard time with finding words to say to my daughter i will definitly share your words with her.


(AML127) #4

@gcre

I’m so glad that I could be helpful. If you need to talk, I’m here and will help anyway I can. Good luck sign your daughter.


(joe) #5

@aml127 I don’t expect any person on this earth to make accommodations for me., if I see the candy frosted cookies made of pure lard and concentrated pure refined sugar I have 2 choices - to eat, or not to eat.

@Gcrepeau2012 hi Linda, there are times when I take a “diabetes holiday” they aren’t difficult, you just do the best you can with bolus and then you eat that ridiculous cookie if you want to and make no apologies about it. for diabetes holidays I make temporary rules such as “keep it under 300” and it can be a good mental break if you need one. the kids HAVE to be kids once in a while so let them. they won’t break.


(AML127) #6

@joemy issue with family not making accommodations refers to them telling me we are eating At a certain time and I take my insulin accordingly. Then when that time comes I’m told no we aren’t eating now we are waiting for ‘so and so’ who is running late. So I attempt to go ahead and eat to avoid a low bgl. But instead an called rude and instructed to wait for the other family members to arrive. I am on time and can it help others being late. And cannot help family members wanting me to put my disease on the back burner because others can’t be courteous and be on time. I find it rude on the late members part not mine the diabetics part. So I no longer go to those family dinners and dinner to celebrate. I stay home where I can have food ready and eat when I need to.


(AML127) #7

Thanks!!! Good luck to you as well!


(AML127) #8

@joe
my issue with family not making accommodations refers to them telling me we are eating At a certain time (and I take my insulin accordingly.). Then when that time comes I’m told no we aren’t eating now we are waiting for ‘so and so’ who is running late. So I attempt to go ahead and eat to avoid a low bgl. But instead of being allowed to eat I am called rude and instructed to wait for the other family members to arrive. I am on time and can it help others being late. And cannot help family members wanting me to put my disease on the back burner because others can’t be courteous and be on time. I find it rude on the late members part not rude on mine the diabetics part. So I no longer go to those family dinners or to celebrate. I stay home where I cook my own meals and can eat when I need to…and I’m not rude


(BookwormNerd13) #9

Happy to help!! If you or your daughter has any other questions, please don’t hesitate to message me. I’d be more than happy to talk to you or if she wants someone with T1 to talk to, I could facetime/skype with her and chat about T1 or life in general! :slight_smile:


(AML127) #10

@bookwormnerd13 hey! Thanks so much! I definitely don’t have a daughter. But otherwise l, I’d love to chat


(joe) #11

@aml127, I can’t argue but I can offer alternatives.

I never, ever bolus until the meal is on the table. there’s a million crafty ways to do this, but it’ll only really matter if you want to be at the table at meal time.

being upset because you are trying to change your family and they won’t change, is like being mad at a orange tree for not making apples.

if you don’t mind me saying so - put your energy where it will go to good use, if you like the way you have it then I am sorry for the suggestion.and I’ll take it back.


(BookwormNerd13) #12

Aaaaah I tagged the wrong person sorry :rofl:


(vmccord) #13

I am so sorry you have to deal with this situation. It’s not fair. Two of my favorite writers/therapists-that-I-don’t-have-to-pay on the planet are Carolyn Hax and Amy Dickerson. Both of them write a great deal about situations like this and so I really recommend both their columns.

What you describe is more a function of relationship rather than diabetes. We could replace T1D with something else and easily have the same dynamic. At the end of the day these people, whether they are family or not, will not change. The only thing that you control is your reaction to them. You already know what’s going to happen so work with that rather than what people say. I’m pretty much an introvert and my option is to just not go to these familial events and realize there will be push-back and guilting around the event, but that those are preferable to confrontations during the event. And then I work like the dickens to not fall into the “splaining” and “excusing” that is my default when dealing with the push-back.

I really recommend these writers for a daily dose of boundary maintenance. I read Amy on the Denver Post website and Carolyn on the San Francisco Mercury News website.

You are 100% entitled to take care of yourself as you see fit. You owe no one an explanation.


(AML127) #14

Lol. That’s ok!

[https://discourse-cdn-sjc1.com/business4/user_avatar/forum.typeonenation.org/bookwormnerd13/45/103_1.png] bookwormnerd13http://forum.typeonenation.org/u/bookwormnerd13 Member with T1D
December 19

Aaaaah I tagged the wrong person sorry [:rofl:]


(AML127) #15

Thank you so much! I’ll try to look them both up and do some reading.
You’re exactly right. Any disease could be plugged in- mine just happens to be diabetes. It’s a huge issue for me that they simply don’t care about me. She only cares about the formality of all attendees being there and at the table at the same time.
And I’m pretty much an introvert now also. I used to be the exact opposite, I was totally an extrovert. But now I stay away from people and deal with the ‘guilt trips’ for not attending…especially from ‘family’.
Thanks for the advice!!! Merry Christmas!!!


(AML127) #16

Thanks for the suggestions. I just want a little understanding. I totally handle my disease myself and am very self sufficient. I simply don’t need to be made to feel even more out of place from ‘family’ or different than I already do on any given day. Thanks again!
Merry Christmas!


(MichelleP) #17

Hey aml127
I hear your frustration, anger and dejection. Sometimes conversations don’t get you where you want to be. Have you considered writing a letter to family members (send them all the same one) explaining how you feel which can often be easier than looking them in the eye. Try not to blame or accuse - this only puts people on the defensive and explain the stress and complexity of managing your disease.
Best of Luck - remember you and your diabetes has to come first!


(Amanda) #18

I also hear your frustration. You just have to make sure you stay on top of your diabetes and you may have to make sacrafices. Good luck!!!


(Jennifer) #19

Hi! I’m new to this forum and just found this thread! Does anyone have any ideas how to do Halloween and trick or treating for a child with Type 1? My 7 year old was diagnosed last December and this will be our first Halloween with knowledge of her Diabetes. We made a decision early in the year to cut out candy from the family diet (unless her blood sugar goes low). We could never figure out how to control her sugars with it (it seems like the insulin doesn’t respond well to sweets). I’m thinking I may hold back a couple of pieces of chocolate, but would like it for her not to keep the rest of the candy.

Someone gave me the idea of having her “cash in” her candy for another large prize/toy. Does anyone else have any ideas on how to deal with the massive amounts of candy? I definitely do not want her to miss out on trick or treating. She’s only young once. :slight_smile:


(joe) #20

@jherron007 Hi Jennifer, I eat Halloween candy and memorial day parade candy (no reason, except I just do). Yes, insulin can be a tricky . Yes high or low is possible but with candy around, a possible low is easily fixed. I think it’s tough for a kid to feel punished by either forbidding candy, it’s bad enough that they are “punished” by having to take insulin for carbs. a hour or 2 of “high” blood sugar isn’t going to be the end of the world, The nice part of trick-or-treat is that you are walking, making insulin work a bit harder and faster than typical.

candy-for-other prizes seems like a great deal too.

I think the most important thing is to give her just a little bit of control over this and how she wants to deal (insulin to cover carbs, or other).

good luck I hope her costume is awesome and that she has fun!