The juice box conundrum
It seems the diabetes community has some sort of obsession with juice boxes. I just don’t get it.
Sure, I have a healthy stash of juice boxes in my house. My son loves them, and they’re a good lure when I need to get him in the car to go somewhere. But for me, personally, I can’t remember the last time I drank from a juice box. I may have used a juice box to treat a low blood sugar once in my entire life.
Think about it. You’ve got to pull the straw off of the side of the box, get it out of the cellophane wrapper, then with your trembling hands, line it up perfectly with that tiny foil hole at the top and jam it through. All the while, being careful to hold the box gently: not so tight that juice squirts through the straw and in your face/lap/bed, but not so loose that the whole thing slides though your sweaty fingers and onto the floor. Finally, you’ve got to suck the juice through that coffee-stirrer sized straw as quickly as you can, while inevitably you create a kind of vacuum inside the box and it collapses on itself. To finish off, there’s that silly game of angling the straw and the box in that awkward fashion to get the last drops of juice from it.
And doing all of that while hypoglycemic.
Let’s not forget the possibility of having the straw fall off, leaving you to stare at that hermetically sealed beverage hopelessly teary-eyed (or perhaps vengefully plotting some hair-brained scheme to get inside). While low. Personally, I’m afraid that the box will get crushed and juice will splatter everywhere in an awful mess.
YDMV, and apparently this works for a lot of people, but I’m not one of them. To me, it’s not worth the trouble, and I find the taste of lukewarm juice to be downright repulsive. It’s one notch below pineapple-flavored glucose tablets on the “yucky-ways-to-treat-a-low” scale.
When I was just a young kid with diabetes, juice didn’t come in boxes – it came in little single-serving cans (you still can sometimes find them as drink mixers at a bar). You pull the sticky foil tab off the top and chug – the only worry was cutting your lip or getting your tongue stuck in that tiny opening. The juice always tasted the same: sour, acidic, and metallic, regardless of the fruit it allegedly came from. On a hot day, the can itself could cause severe burns. It was disgusting. Maybe that’s the reason I never really took to juice as a treatment for lows as an adult.
Or maybe it’s because it’s just not satisfying. I can probably chug 6 ounces of juice in 6 seconds, but then I’ll most definitely want something more. And I’ll end up over-treating the low (I do that anyway, but that’s not the point).
Instead, I’ve lately found myself carrying around little pouches of Fruit Snacks for the “moderate” lows (I still have the tube of glucose tabs for the severe lows, or the ones when I’m just not hungry enough to eat anything.) They taste good and they do the job rather well. They’re a bit on the carb-y side at 19 grams per pouch, but they’re contained well enough to stop me from REALLY over-doing it.
And if I really need juice, I’ll pour myself a glass of refrigerator-cold Tropicana.
(Does anyone else NOT use juice boxes to treat lows, or is it just me?)