Diet soda please.
Hello, I am a mom of a six year old with Type 1 diabetes and I allow him to drink diet soda. That is how I feel I should introduce myself whenever I bring up the subject of diet soda with other moms. For the record, it is our choice for my son to drink diet soda. He drinks water, milk, hot chocolate, low carb fruit drinks, and some diet soda. That being said, if he did not have Type 1 diabetes he would not be drinking any soda at all. We were a lemonade family before diagnosis, and sugar free lemonade isn’t cutting it for him anymore.
Now after that disclaimer, onto the point of this particular post. When we go out to dinner at a restaurant my son orders his own food. He is quite adept at it for someone who only goes out about once a month. He orders his meal then he always says, “And a diet soda for me please.” Plain and simple. The boy orders what he wants. Now getting what he wants seems to be the issue for many servers out there.
Once my son’s drink is placed in front of him I quickly take a sip. I can tell the difference between diet and regular soda so I am the taste tester. Most times it is correct, he is given a diet soda. It’s the times when it has not been correct that make me nervous. A 12 ounce cup of regular Coke has 39.9 carbs in it. If my son unknowingly drank that soda without giving himself any insulin that soda would raise his blood sugar to over 500. A normal blood sugar is between 80 and 120. Something as simple as the wrong soda can raise my son’s blood glucose to dangerously high levels which could lead to vomiting, coma or death. Seriously. I’m not kidding.
Now some people say that he should tell the servers when he orders that he has Type 1 diabetes and that he absolutely must have a diet soda. We have taken that route yet. I allow my son to order and if the wrong soda is placed in front of him I simply tell the server that he ordered a diet soda and to please get him a new one. Sometimes my son will tell the server, “I have Type 1 diabetes and I drink diet soda,” but if he does do that then that is his choice.
I choose not to tell the server because in my experience it doesn’t help. They have no idea what Type 1 diabetes is and some will even argue with me that there are no carbs in regular soda (I’m not kidding, someone actually told me that). If I am out to dinner with my family I want to enjoy the meal, their company and not have to spend 15 minutes of my time arguing my choice of drink for my six year old son.
Bottom line, there are enough medical conditions out there that require special exemptions at meals. Servers need to do their job and do it well. Sometimes giving the wrong soda may not be a matter of taste, it may actually be the difference between life or death.