For the first 25 years of my life, Christmas was just Christmas and to be fair, since my diagnosis of diabetes, that has not changed. I have never felt the need to change the way I celebrate the festive season just because I happen to have diabetes now. Diabetes doesn’t rule me.
I work hard all year. I deserve a break and a bit of down time. I will not let diabetes rob me of that!
Before diabetes, I’d overindulge a bit over the festive period. I might drink a bit too much. I knew that if I did, I would have to take a few steps to make sure I was safe, like get a cab (not drive) and drink plenty of water to try and minimise the inevitable hangover. That kind of thing.
I knew I might feel a bit rough the next day, but that was a calculated risk. The enjoyment of the night before would always outweigh the way I felt the next morning.
After my diagnosis, I took the same approach to both social drinking and eating. I was not going to let diabetes deprive me of the foods I loved and associated with an enjoyable Christmas. Why should I? The almost inevitable higher than usual blood glucose levels could be sorted out the next morning. The hangover would just feel a bit worse.
I do remember one enforced change.
Every year my grandparents would give me a gift of chocolates. A very welcome gift that would not see the light of December 26th! However, the first Christmas after my diagnosis in 1994, I opened my gift from them.
They had decided (incorrectly), bless them, that as a person living with diabetes, I could not eat chocolate. So, for reasons that will puzzle me to the grave, they decided cheese was the next best thing…