Halloween is the beginning of what many see as the season of indulgence. Candy and costumes lead to turkey and trimmings, to presents and feasts, to binge drinking and late nights. How is a diabetic, or anyone else, supposed to navigate this wonderful, at times intimidating, celebratory season of family and friends?
October is my diagnosis month. At 14 years old, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just a few weeks before Halloween. I remember thinking, at least I'm too old for trick or treating. My younger sister had been diagnosed six months earlier, however, and at 10 years old, she still loved to trick or treat. To ease her pain, my parents got creative and shifted the emphasis of Halloween off sweets and onto scary: Haunted houses, hayrides, and parties with bowls full of smushed tomatoes for witches hearts and cold grapes for eyeballs became our annual tradition. My sister and I still said no to most of the sugary sweets, but we were the first ones to say yes when the doors of the haunted house opened.
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