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November 27, 2014
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Charlie's Shadow


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Whether Charlie is walking from his classroom to art class or sitting at an assembly or standing in a badly formed line for a fire drill, he's always being followed. Mrs. D is never more than a few feet away, her eyes locked upon him.
Even photos of Charlie from the kindergarten Halloween parade capture Mrs. D in the background, dressed like a bumblebee, grasping Charlie's black rocket-designed diabetes bag in her left hand.
Just two days before the start of the school year, Mrs. D had no idea that she would be spending the year shadowing a little boy with diabetes. She accepted her new role with enthusiasm and has been an absolute godsend since day one. She became Charlie's very own personal health aide and even moved her desk right into Charlie's classroom. This meant no walking down to the nurse's office to be tested or to get insulin.
The arrangement is this: She calls Charlie over to her desk at 10 am to check his blood sugar just prior to snack time and then calls Susanne to go over the carbs and the amount of insulin to bolus. Charlie is home by noon, so one more check at 11:15 am and a call home to Susanne gives us added peace of mind.
We haven't really addressed Mrs. D's role beyond kindergarten. But we like her. We really like her. So much that we don't want to give her back. I don't just want her for kindergarten and first grade. I want her forever.
When Charlie is 16, I want her incognito in a trench coat and fake mustache; sitting behind he and his girlfriend in the movie theater, counting how much popcorn he eats.
At Charlie's wedding reception, I want her to lunge in at the right time so that it's her face that gets smudged with sugary wedding cake and not his. I want her on the honeymoon in Antigua, testing his sugar in the middle of the night while he and his new wife sleep.
When Charlie is 31 and his dream of being a professional hockey-playing, fire-fighting, pastry chef who plays the accordion fails and he turns to a life of crime, I want her driving the getaway car. I want the glove compartment stocked with granola bars and juice boxes for those nasty post-felony lows.
When Charlie is 86, I want her testing his blood sugar before and after he plays bingo. Those bingo moves can be strenuous for an old timer. Yeah, I know that would make her almost 140 years old. I don't care.
I just want her.

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Megan Holmes
Megan Holmes Megan was diagnosed in 2009 with Type I. As an RN, she was familiar with the medical side of her diagnosis; learning to be a good patient on the other hand, was and continues to be the challenge of her day to day life.   (Read More)
Michelle Kowalski
Michelle Kowalski Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes.   (Read More)
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