I was thinking back to some of the things I have received during my seven years living with type 1 diabetes and it dawned on me that while I have gotten a lot of items from people in my life that are 'diabetes' related, a lot of the things just didn't get used or create any form of excitement like any other gift would. 'Tis the season that your friends and family are roaming around the malls and big box stores looking for something for you, the person with diabetes. You know you're bound to get one of these things in your stocking if you don't clarify quickly that just because you have diabetes does not mean the world has to revolve around that fact. [Looking for a way to get that message across, just share this post]
1. Sugar Free Candy/Chocolate
No, just no. Here is the thing, while this seems like the perfect little stocking stuffer for that sugar-free person in your life, it actually is a better gift for your enemy. A majority of these candies or chocolates are laced with fake sugars that well, let's just say, has you running to the bathroom.
I cannot count how many times I have been given sugar-free candy or chocolate in the past seven years, but I can tell you that I only had to try it once to know that this stuff isn't as charming as we would like it to be.
So, as much as Sugar-Free shouts, 'BUY THIS FOR SOMEONE WITH DIABETES' resist and buy them a real chocolate bar, they have insulin and they will enjoy it a lot more.
2. Diabetic Lotions, Creams and Magical Spells
If a person with diabetes feels the need to buy special lotion, let them buy it on their own. Nothing says, "you're special' like receiving lotion that is specifically designed for your medical condition. I have never used any of these creams, lotions or magical spells before, but I can only assume the ingredients are similar to any other lotion and that the charm is in the marketing. Take a trip to Bath & Body Works and get them some nice smelling lotion if you feel inclined, it won't do us harm, even if it is candy scented... and I am sure we will love it more than 'diabetics' dry skin relief' lotion.
3. Diabetes Education Related Books
I wanted to specify that I mean certain diabetes books because a lot of my peers with diabetes have amazing books both children's books and adult books that could make an amazing gift. HOWEVER, one year I actually did get this exact book, "Diabetes for Dummies." I apologize if the person who gave it to me is reading this. Although, I think it was given as a joke. However, if you've got this book in your hand in the book store and your humming and hawing over getting it for the person with diabetes in your life (especially if they were just diagnosed) PUT IT DOWN.
Once again, if the person with diabetes is so inclined to read more about the disease they live with 24/7 they can find it. Get them an inspiring book, diabetes related or not. Get them a newspaper, anything BUT, a book telling them how to control their diabetes, how to cure their diabetes or how to eat with their diabetes.
4. Diabetes Magazines
This follows along the same guidelines as the diabetes education books. Diabetes magazines do have some good information in them, but my guess is that most people living with diabetes rather read a magazine about their favourite hobbies and not their disease that is currently kicking their butt over the Christmas season. The point is that magazines about diabetes is once again something the person with diabetes can search for on their own... why not embrace the person with diabetes' talents, interests, love for juicy celebrity gossip, rather than forcing them to read articles about going low.
5. Diabetes Compression Socks
Nothing says sexy like gifting a pair of diabetes compression socks (with grippers, I must add!) This gift basically points out two things, the person has diabetes and needs help with circulation in their legs..... which is a common thing for people with diabetes, but why bother bringing that topic around the Christmas Tree. Instead, give them some exciting Christmas Socks, something happy and cheerful, and let them take care of the compression socks on their own....