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Halloweenin' Diabetes.

Folks who commented on the last vlog post gave me some stuff to talk about, and this round I've tackled diabetes management and Halloween.  I was diagnosed in 1986 and have spent almost all of my Halloweens as a diabetic, so I've been trick-or-treating around the block for decades now.  (Hmmm ... that sounds a bit ... odd.  Yet I've digressed again.)

If you have any tips on managing diabetes during trick-or-treat season, feel free to toss 'em in the comments section! And share what your costume idea is for this Halloween! Chris and I are dressing up as ... well, you'll hear at the end of the video. ;)


Sort of a haunted house, it IS a haunted house.

I was diagnosed at age 5 a week before Halloween (today is my 30th D-anniversary as a matter of fact). Halloween was always a very stressful time for me. I think letting kids trick-or-treat and do all the things any kid would do is important. The candy just has to be managed and doled out in small portions - a mini-candy bar tucked into their lunchbag, as an after-dinner treat, with an afterschool snack. It's really how all families should ideally manage it because binging on a bag of Halloween candy isn't good for anyone. The only difference is that the carbs have to be counted and insulin adjusted accordingly. Making the candy taboo and making a kid feel different or singled out could potentially be far more harmful than a pile of candy in the long run.

I was diagnosed a Type-I a little over three years old at the ripe, ol' age of 19. For some reason, I never put it into perspective that you were diagnosed in 1986. You have been dealing with this since I was born!

Your blog opened my eyes to the world of diabetes blogs so thanks!

Keep on keepin' on,

My daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed 6/12/07 when she was 2 years old. Her first halloween with D, my husband went around to all of our neighbors and gave them a treat to then pass out to Olivia. A treat that we could easily work into her meal plan. This year she is probably going to be more aware and will probably want the same treat as her big sister. The rule is still the same - no eating any candy until mom and dad inspect the bag. Again, we will work it in to her meal plan or another suggestion is buying their candy from them and then they could buy a new toy or something. We also only go around the block which is more than enough candy, then we go to my in-laws and they help pass out the candy to children (which I think they enjoy more because they get to see all the costumes) Olivia is going to be a dalmation puppy (she loves puppies) and her older sister, Gwen, decided that she wanted to dress up as something "evil" (she has been every "princess" - cinderella, aurora, snow white, bell, dorthy, etc.). When she found out that Olivia was going to be a dalmation right away she knew that she want to be Cruella DeVil! Just like Kerri, I guess you can say that we put more emphasis on the costumes and games, then the candy itself!

I love it when you vlog. :P
As for my halloween costume... it's kind of an inside joke. My half-brother is 19 years older than me. Since I was a baby, he's called me Cara-boo. No idea why. He just has. So about 2 years ago I was thinking "Cara-boo, Caraboo, caribou! OMG!!! I'm a large fuzzy woodland creature!!!! (I've since given my bro a horribly hard time about this!). So this year I am wearing a shirt that says "boo", with my name printed above it....and reindeer antlers. :P I'm gonna be a Cara-boo. Not very scary, but ridiculously funny. :P At least in my head.

LOL @ Cara's costume!!! Too cute!!

This will be our first Halloween since Kacey was diagnosed 3 months ago. We were not sure how to handle it and I talked to the doctor about it and she made us feel better about still particpating in the treat part of it....but thankfully we were invited to a Halloween party! The girl giving the party has been a friend of mine since high school and she sent out a letter with the invitations explaining that one of the kids coming to the party has diabetes and so this year she was doing something different. She was asking each parent to bring 5-8 dollar store things and when the kids get back from trick or treating around her neighborhood, the "toy treats" will be set up for all the kids to buy. Their candy will be used sorta like Chuck Cheese tickets. Each toy will be tagged with a "candy price" and if you want that toy then you have to give up that many pieces of candy. Very cool idea! So we got several things...including some little mini nilla wafer packs...which Kacey loves and would rather have over candy! Its gonna be fun for her!

She is dressing as TIGGER! LOL...the reason behind this costume was...she got that nickname cuz her blood sugars were bouncing all over the place like Tigger does :P I happen to run across a Tigger costume out shopping a few weeks ago and couldnt pass it up! She was thrilled!

We're excited about it!

My son Greg was diagnosed at 4, and will be 8 (!) on Election Day. I bareley remember what the pre-D trick-or-treat was like. Greg goes trick-or-treating with his best friend and a few other kids (and Dad's) every year. After they return, Greg picks out some of his favorites and the rest gets divided among his friends...and we buy him a movie/video game/toy. He makes out pretty well on the deal considering he doesn't really like candy all that much to begin with :)

This year we're volunteering at a harvest faire, and we've been requested to do "pirate"... so I'm working on adding winter layers to my pirate-era garb. (Will end up more like a fantasy pirate than someone from the Golden Age of Piracy, oh, well...)

I was considering doing another "pun intended": a takeoff on a policewoman costume, with glucometers as hat badge and shield, and going as a "meter maid". (The other version would be the adult-fantasy French maid with oversized "strips" making up the "feather duster", but that would NOT suit my figure at all!)

Maddison (8, dx'd age 6)is going to be a "friendly" Witch. Hannah is almost 12 and will be a go-go girl (you should see her boots!)

Our local newspaper actually interviewed our family last week to run an article on Halloween and kids with Diabetes. I will forward it to you when it comes out!

They asked alot of questions such as what is "allowed" and how we manage all the sweets this time of year. I stressed that ALL holidays are "difficult" but that kids with Diabetes in the current day are much more able to eat some treats and add them to their care plan without as much difficulty or worry as years past. For us, nothing much has changed (except the stress of school holiday parties with 10 different treats at once!!)Of course we don't allow the pure sugar candies often or we save them for very active days when we need a boost. We are lucky that Chocolate for Maddison is usually easily managed, it is her favorite anyway! For the past 8 years our cul-de-sac gathers with a costume parade and pizza party every Halloween. We all trick or treat together (about 20 kids total!) Afterwards the kids run around to get out any energy that is left and trade favorite candies!

We work in treats by adding one small chocolate to Maddison's lunchbox the first few days after Halloween and one added to her carb count for after dinner. We turn in all other candy at the Endo's office post Halloween party for a special prize.

We always do the trade in your candy for a GREAT toy that the Halloween Fairy picked out for you. It has worked so well that the kids in our trick or treat group want to participate too. Happy Halloween~

My daughter's friend is a type 1 diabetic and she will be making the rounds with the group (they are all 16)so she can hang out and have fun with them. Generally when Nikki is at my house she attends to her own meal plans fairly well, so I don't do much beyond making sure there is some juice in case it's needed. Still, 16 years olds like everyone else still like to have sweets. So would it be an acceptable thing to have some of the sugar free sweets around for when they get home? Please let me know what you think.

No dressing up but I did find out my nephew is going as a mummy. ;-)

For Halloween, the "loot" was divided up in front of the parents: EACH chocolate piece got me a nickel, all hard candy went into the "low" jar and everything else was divided up for meals, especially for school lunches so I would not feel left out.

Diagnosed back in 85. Many years on the Halloween trail but it never bothered me. I have more of an issue with the Ice Cream Truck then Halloween.

Let us know what you finally decide on for your Halloween party. Your idea sounds fun.

you're probably not going to believe this... but i HATE halloween. all aspects of it. never liked it as a kid. don't like scary movies, scary things. don't like dressing up... i'm just a poop about it... i know...

can we get to a good holiday... like THANKSGIVING??

I have no experience with Halloween and diabetes (I was waaayyy too old at diagnosis!). I was diagnosed the week before my birthday so my biggest concern was my birthday cake.

I am wondering if you are wearing a polka-dot jakcet in that video though...

I think the whole 'trading candy in for a toy' idea is what I would have wanted my parents to do.

Sara - it's my raincoat. It has polka dots all over it. :)

Well I have sort of decided to do the palin thing and dress up like caribou princess . It is a joke btwn my brother and me . Since I am a former beauty queen . He calls me caribou princess . so that is what I have decided to be this year . and if anybody takes any pictures they are dead meat . LOL !!
as always a wonderfull vlog.

My son was diagnosed in August of 2007 when he was6 years old. When Halloween came around, I didn't do anything really different. Thankfully, every year prior to him being diagnosed, we allowed him to go throught his "loot" and choose his favorite candy to keep. The remainder went into a plastic pumpkin and set out on the front porch for the "Happy Halloween Ghost" to take and leave a little present in it's place(of course Mommy ended up eating most of the left over candy - but that's a different story). We still allow him to keep some of his candy and he now puts it into his "low" basket. When he needs to raise his blood sugar he gets to choose some candy from that basket.

This will be my 5-year-old's first diabetes Hallowe'en. My current plan is to let her have a small binge after trick-or-treating is done (3-5 pieces) and then let her have the option of 2-3 pieces of candy for her dessert (instead of her usual low-carb ice cream or sugar-free pudding) from that point forward until it's gone.

Reading all this makes me wonder if we're being too free with the sweets, but she only gets them if she's had a full and healthy dinner first, and she is a MAJOR sugar junkie. She's already learned to make the value judgment of, "Do I want this badly enough to put up with the extra shot?" -- more often than not, the answer is YES!

My son Thomas was diagnosed a year and a half ago at age 6, so we're coming up on our 2nd Halloween. We also trade the candy for either treats or money, and let him keep some for his "low" bag. It's not a perfect solution, but it works. Like Kerri's parents, we find a candy bar while trick-or-treating seems to be fine, given the amount of running around.

My kids are dressing up as Ellsbury (despite his absence from the ACLS) and a Hersheys Kiss (ironic? - not really, that's my non-D kid!)

To the mom who said:

"She's already learned to make the value judgment of, "Do I want this badly enough to put up with the extra shot?" -- more often than not, the answer is YES!"

I think there are more parents of kids with Type 1 and even ADULTS with type 1 who could use more of that thinking. I'm not saying we should all eat Hershey bars for breakfast every day, but I love your extremely grounded attitude about Halloween!

My parents used to buy the candy they liked from me, then the rest would be taken off to work with my Dad to share. In middle school, I'd share with friends. In high school...well...I was not so well behaved. Probably because candy was still "forbidden" and not just another carb to bolus for. I don't miss the good ol' days.

OK. I'm going to have to revise my plan of trading candy for books. That was fine for my older, non-diabetic daughter who adores books, but my 2 year old Jenna who has diabetes isn't going to be too tickled about trading candy for boring old books. I'm going to up the ante and spring for a few toys to trade as some of your readers have suggested here. I mean, it's CANDY, for goodness sake. Most kids don't really want to give up a bag full of sugar for a few new books. Thanks for the great tips everyone!

I love the idea of dressing up as a Hershey's Kiss!! That's precious!

I've been diabetic since age 9, so I had a lot of Halloween's as a D. My parents would always go thru my bag of treats, to make sure it was safe... in other words, Dad would take what he liked - including homemade fudge! They didn't really do anything special for me. I'd usually stash it, eat my favourites, and then forget about it.

I think it was more the thought of getting as much candy as I could... not so much eating it!

I was diagnosed in the summer between 4th and 5th grade and had loved trick-or-treating. My mom decided that we'd throw a huge Halloween party instead. It was my most memorable halloween ever - apple bobbing, pumpkin seed spitting, ghostly music, streamers, pumpkin carving (with adult help), and costume contests. It became a tradition and we continued to throw a party for neighborhood kids until I hit teenagehood and sorta stopped caring about halloween.

Great vid! Thanks for answering my question. Very helpful for me. I also liked the "pop-up video" aspect of the vid. Is that your inner voice talking? hehe And, also blogged about your vlog http://tinyurl.com/56mege

Halloween is always a trick...Last year I dressed up as a Sweet & Low packet, as I was (conveniently) struggling with low bloodsugars that week and I have been told on occasion that I can be sweet. haha

So Kerri, do people walk by the car while you're taping and look at it you strangely? "Who is that woman and why is she talking to her steering wheel?"

Hi Kerri,

I loved this Vlog!! I actually have a contest on my blog about Halloween Costumes. My favorite was the year I dressed as a Test Strip- how tacky but I loved it!! Anyway, I hope you have a Happy Halloween & be sure to stay away from the sweet treats(especially those snickers!)

:) Erin

I was diagnosed 2 weeks after Halloween back in '76. I was 10. I had *the* perfect stash of candy left over from Halloween that I was slowly savoring and what a blow it was to hear "you can't have any of it" after waking from my coma to find out what happened to me. I was shattered, but what was worse, was to hear that I no longer could have the maple syrup that my grandparents made each spring in their sugar camp within their woods across from the farm.
I wasn't impressed, no, but I did learn to have fun each Halloween by dressing up and going out with my friends. I would still go trick or treatin', however, I would bring my stash home, pull out the chips and redistribute my other goodies to friends or Halloweeners that came to our door. At the age of 11 - it didn't bother me at all, but that may have a lot to do with the type of person I am, and my upbringing to deal with what life gives you; and to share. I made my own fun of it, and my mom started handing out freshly popped pop corn (in sandwhich bags) along with tasty apples. Of course, this was 30 odd years ago, when back then it was 'safe' to accept home made items and apples. (we did have a few cases of razors in apples back then, but in today's world, there would be NO WAY that adults would allow their children to accept unwrapped food items from strangers - it's sad.).

I have two type 1's ages 8 and 5. The 5 year old is new to diabetes as of April. Our thing is to have the kids pick out 5 of their favorite pieces of candy and they turn in the rest to me in exchange for a small gift (price limit set at say $15-$20) and we make a fun trip to the store. This is the third year at it with my 8 year old and so far we've had no complaining or tears.

Totally loved the whole "pseudo adult" thing. LOL!

Totally inappropriate... but, I'm dressing up as Bristol Palin. We're both pregnant. I just happen to be an adult.

Sometimes the car is the only place a mom can go for a little peace and quiet!! We do the trade the candy for a toy thing with my kids (five year old dx'd at age 2 and a non-d 8 year old). But the pump certainly makes it easier to work in some candy and treats.

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