Before diabetes I was a lover of crisps (aka potato chips to my American friends!). In the UK they have always been a popular treat, generating a huge range of, sometimes bizarre, flavours over the years. Famous examples have been hedgehog flavour, squirrel flavour, baked bean flavour – the list goes on. My personal favourites used to be salt and vinegar and smoky bacon. The best crisps ever made are Seabrook crinkle cut, made in the Yorkshire town of Bradford.
The thing is, since my diagnosis I have weaned myself off them. Not sure how it happened, but I think that, in the early days at least, I was so scared of my blood sugar levels going up above ‘normal’ that I would only eat them at mealtimes, when I was injecting insulin. In time, I came to prefer other food at mealtimes, and the crisps became an ‘extra’ that I didn’t want to inject extra for. I know that, as an insulin-treated diabetic I can, in theory ‘bolus for a biscuit’ – or, in this cae, a bag of crisps – but I’ve never got into that habit. The only time I inject for food is at proper mealtimes, or very rarely if I need a correction dose because I miscalculated the dose for my meal (only happened three times in two years!).
So, crisps are now a bit of a luxury. I can’t just casually munch away on a bag on a whim, I have to consider either injecting, or letting my levels go high. I also consider the salt and fat content of them these days, as these may affect my blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I find it’s a bit like in the first couple of years after I stopped smoking. I would see someone just light up, and feel all sorts of emotions – that I was being denied something I once enjoyed, that it wasn’t fair for them to be able to get away with it and I no longer could! Of course, those feelings faded with time and now I appreciate that they probably are doing harm to themselves, at least to their wallets. Yet I was surprised that similar emotions were awoken when I passed someone cramming crisps into their face on the street…
As I was out walking, I happened to meet
Someone casually eating some crisps in the street.
Now, that’s not remarkable, I hear you all say,
For it’s something we witness almost every day!
Well, that may be true, but I think you may find
Diabetes brings thoughts of a quite different kind.
The thoughts may be angry: how dare she do that!
Just stuffing her face at the drop of a hat!
The thoughts may be jealous: I wish it was me,
Enjoying those crisps so entirely carefree!
Or, maybe some sadness: I remember the time
When I would eat crisps, oh the taste was sublime!
Now that one simple act that the girl took for granted,
For me, is a sin that must now be recanted.
The carbs in the crisps would send my blood sugar high –
It’s hard to resist, but I really must try!
But once in a while, I may admit defeat,
And casually consume some crisps in the street!