Valentine's Day is more than just a commercial holiday for me. The day brings back fond memories of exchanging cards with friends and most importantly, my Mom. My father died when I was an infant. Mom worked hard to make sure every holiday was special.
She would wake me up with a big, red paper heart every Valentine's Day. The center was always stuffed with various treats. Candied hearts, truffles, Hershey's kisses and miniature toys were stashed in my own special treasure chest. As I grew older, the toys were replaced with notes and plans to spend some time together. Oh, but the candy was always there.
February 2010 was my first Valentine's Day as a Type II diabetic. For 34 years, Valentine's Day meant indulging in deliciously, sweet things. Now my focus had changed to maintaining healthy blood glucose levels. And, I was pregnant. My raging hormones wanted truffles more than anything in the world. As much as I hated insulin shots, I would've traded a prick for a fix. Yep, I said a fix.
My poor husband scoured the grocery store for sugar-free sweets. He bought everything from coffee-flavored hard candy to peppermint. Nothing satisfied me. I called my Mom, crying about how much I hated being diabetic. The disease, I told her, threatened to take the joy out of my life. And yes, eating chocolate was just that important to me.
She listened, waited for my tantrum to end and said, "Honey, stop crying, have a truffle and eat some protein." Yep, it was just that easy. I sent my hubby back to the store for truffles. He opened the pack. I took one and place it on my plate next to my chicken and vegetables. He devoured the other two, while I savored every bite.
Just like that, I learned diabetes is not about denial but learning to live with a little sweetness.