I am expecting family this weekend for the holiday and a celebration of my mother and stepfather's 30th anniversary of their meeting. Today was a busy day, as we were trying to finish our garden and get some grocery shopping done. Now, I know that fast food isn't the best food to pick, and I know there are better choices, but when you're in a hurry, a quick hamburger, value fry, and small diet seems like a deal. So I stopped in at the Burger King near the grocery store and ordered the hamburger, value-sized fry (of which I eat only half), and a small drink. I walk up to the drink fountain, fill the cup with diet, and go to check my blood sugars and take my insulin. Drat on the bgs: 150 mg/dl, so I draw up 3.5 units of insulin and inject. So far, no problem. Put the straw in the soda, take a drink, and..........

It is not a diet cola. It tastes like root beer or something like that.

I take it back to the counter, tell the girl behind the counter the nozzle labeled diet is not dispensing the right drink and that I would like a new cup for water. and, after thinking about it for a moment, decide I want my money back. No one apologizes, no one admits any wrong-doing, and the kids at the counter give me an attitude for asking them for a new cup, never mind the refund!

I think most people are pretty trusting. I know I generally am. If the label on the dispenser says "diet", I expect the drink I am getting does not contain a nutritive sweetener, such as sugar or more commonly, high fructose corn syrup. I remember hearing about this problem years ago, when I was first diagnosed, but I had never had this happen to me over the past 17 years. I am sure this was not done out of some sort of malice, but was a mistake by a kid who hooked the hose meant for the diet to a canister filled with sugary soda. Perhaps the person who brought out the canisters truly thought it wouldn't matter if the diet spout dispensed regular soda, not thinking that sugary sodas cause problems for some people.

Moral of the story: Don't take for granted that the drink from the soda fountain is diet, even if it says it's supposed to be. Perhaps it's best to stick with water or something you can sweeten yourself. As for me, I don't think I'll be going to Burger King for a while...if ever again!

Views: 22

Comment by Geoffrey Steinman on May 28, 2010 at 12:38am
i remember having this problem as a kid - at sit-down restaurants, they would sometimes refill our diet coke glass with the regular Coke pitcher. (back in the mid 90s, though, our ketostix had a glucose test spot on it as well - we'd just dip one into the drink, and f it changed color, we knew it wasn't diet)
Comment by AngelaC on May 28, 2010 at 7:05am
LOL, Tom! Actually, diet drinks have improved their tastes over the past 30 years. Shoot, I remember the original TAB with saccharin: Now, that was nasty!

Geoffrey: I remember reading the tip about carrying urine glucose test strips to test the sodas, and in fact, during my first couple of years after my diagnosis, I did do that on occassion. These days, though, it's very difficult to find urine test strips!
Comment by Teena on May 28, 2010 at 7:32am
Happened to me a number of times...frustrating that it seems that there are some food servers that doesn't really care. I do not know if they even understand the effects of the action. For quite awhile now I have preferred to take my soda in cans and bottles.
Comment by Robyn on May 28, 2010 at 8:56am
You can test the soda on a regular Blood Glucose strip...if it is diet it will read "LO".
Comment by KimKat on May 28, 2010 at 9:11am
Aw, that sucks. Yep, I am sure it was a mistake. It is easy to get hoses mixed up. When I worked at a cafe in a department store and at Arby's in high school, it happened a few times.

Water is alway a safe but or even better if you want soda to buy a sealed bottle from the grocery store or vending machine. At least all those are filled by machine so you know probably no error and you are getting what you brought.
Comment by Bobby on May 28, 2010 at 10:09am
Hi Angel. I'm a soda drinker big time and just found our 3 weeks ago I'm type 2! Knocked me back on my butt!!! I founf Pepsi is making sodas now that are 0 carbs - 0 cal - 0 sugar and some 0 caffeine. Thats one kind. Another is the same except it has carreine, and yet another is Pepsi MAX which is 0 carb, cals, and sugar but has caffeine and is more full bodied and tastes WAY more like Papsi. Wal mart now has it on sale for $5 for a 24 pack. If ya like soda, give it a shot.
Comment by Bobby on May 28, 2010 at 10:10am
Or just say the heck with it and throw in some rum or vodka!!! LOL I'm not a drinker BTW! LOL
Comment by Doris D on May 28, 2010 at 10:56am
My daughter got that lesson from Sonic the other day. She's a Type 1 and we went through there and she order unsweetened tea only to get sweet tea anyway. Me learned that yeasr and years ago so I just drink water now when it comes to fast food! LOL!
Comment by AngelaC on May 31, 2010 at 10:59pm
Hey all, thanks for being patient! I spent a wonderful weekend with my family, not thinking about sodas from a lousy fast food joint! Even got three surprise guests I didn't expect, which made the weekend all the more special. Thanks for the great advice and support! Teena, I have to ask: If you brought outside soda/drink into a restaurant, were you ever asked to leave the establishment? I know I usually feel safer with something over which I have some control, such as unsweetened iced tea, but I can also understand the restaurant's side, too. After all, some of the biggest profits come from the sale of drinks. So, while it's in our best interest to bring our own drinks, it's not in the restaurant's. Kimberly, I had a friend in grad school who told me the same thing. She'd worked at a "cafe" in a K-Mart or Target, and she told me she had made a number of mistakes when she was new. Bobby, thanks for the recommendation. Next time Pepsi goes on sale, I should make a note to pick up a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi Max to give it a try. Though, since I've been drinking diet sodas for 30+ years (all the way back to the TAB with sacchrin era), I have actually come to prefer the diet to the regular! Doris, I'm sorry that happened to your daughter, too! How'd she solve it?


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