Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All Freaky on Mr. Frito-Lay

Okay. I must admit that this diabetes thing has really made the inner monster in me come out ferociously at times.

I was asked just recently about the early days of C's diagnosis. No warm, fuzzy memories. Fear, consumption, the unknown...that's what comes to mind. But, here's a memory that I can look back on, and if not laugh at, at least rustle up a little chuckle.

It was in the very first days at home after the hospital stay and after we got "all educated" on this crazy new way of life. It has to do with the counting of carbohydrates. Now, this is, for me, one of the great annoyances of this disease. No longer can we just put a bowl of chips out for all to munch from, but we need to count each one and know exactly what our little 2 year old (at the time) would be eating. Talk about irritating. But all you parents out there who go through this, day in and day out, can certainly relate. Well...I wonder if you can relate to my inner monster that slipped right out of me as I wrestled with this new routine. (If you can relate, I'd love to I won't feel so alone in this area!)

Anyway...we were having Frito Corn Chips...nothing abnormal about that. But I was still learning about carb-counting and nutrition guides and grams and so on. I turned the bag over, and for the life of me, could not figure out what the guide was telling me. Half of this confusion was due to the new-ness of diabetes. But the other half stemmed from the tremedous lack of sleep I was experiencing.

Clearly, it was written at the top of the nutrition guide: Serving Size 1 oz. (28g/32 chips). But then, down the guide it read: Total Carbohydrate 15 g. Ug...28 grams or 15 grams? Which one was it? Through my clouded eyeballs I could not get a grasp of this. My little one wanted fritos and I was bound and determined to let her have them, diabetes or not. So…I decided to call Frito-Lay. I got the 800 number off the back of the bag. After the initial punching of millions of buttons in order to talk with a live person, there he was, Mr. Frito-Lay, himself.
“Hello. My name is [Mr. Frito-Lay]. May I help you?”

“Yes. Hello. I have some questions regarding the nutrition guide on a bag of Fritos.”

“Yes ma’am. What seems to be the problem?” (Grrrr at the word “ma’am”)

“Well, I’m confused about the grams. At the top of the guide, it says a serving size is one ounce at 28 grams for 32 chips.”

“Yes, ma’am, that’s correct.”

“But then down at the Total Carbohydrates it says 15 grams.”

“Yyyyes, that’s correct.” His tone was beginning to sound patronizing.

“Okay. But I don’t understand. 28 or 15…which is it?” My voice began to quiver.

“Ma’am, I can see that this issue is very important to you, but I can assure you that the information on the nutrition guide is correct.”

I began to sweat. In the background, C was beginning to fuss.

“Okay…You don’t understand!” My voice started rising and my eyes were filling with tears. Then, I let it all go.

“I don’t know what to do! My baby! She wants fritos and I don’t know what to do! Is it 15 grams or 28?! I need to give her a shot! I don’t understand this! She’s diabetic and I don’t know what to do!” By this time, I'm sobbing.

“Okay, ma’am? Calm down, please calm down?”

Sniff, sniff, “yes,” I squeeked.

“Okay, ma’am, you hold on and I’ll go ask someone about all this. Now, hold on, okay?”

“Okay,” sniff.

I sat there, head down over the high chair tray, holding the fritos bag. C was content playing with my hair. As I grabbed a tissue and blew, a voice came back on the phone.



“I’m now understanding a bit more clearly about what you’re asking. You need to focus on the 15 grams of carbohydrates. The serving size of one ounce is about 32 chips and it should weigh 28 grams…that’s the weight. One of my co-workers, here, knows a little bit about diabetes and explained it to me. I hope this helps.” There was no patronizing tone now.

Big breath…”Yes…yes. Thank you.”

“Well, thank you for calling Frito-Lay. And if there’s anything else we can help you with, please call again.” Click.

I’m a grown woman. College-educated. Masters degree even. Obviously, I wasn’t thinking clearly. There I sat. I slowly counted out 32 chips for my daughter. As she happily munched away on them, I prepared her injection.

(Sorry Mr. Frito-Lay. I didn’t mean to get all freaky on you.)

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh this made me smile and made me tear up at the same time! I remember when Tristan was first diagnosed... it was overwhelming to say the least. As I was reading, I could just imagine what you were feeling. We have all had experiences that we look back on now and think "What was I thinking?"... it happens. :)


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