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Sweet and Sour
It wasn't too long ago that Charlie was a picky eater. Even if we offered him run-of-the-mill kid food like peanut butter or hamburgers, he would cover his mouth with his hands and make a face as if we were asking him to try pig intestines.
For months and months, we begged him to try new foods. And for months and months, he wouldn't budge. That is, until now. It's as if a switch turned on and he's suddenly a food connoisseur. That is why last night was absolute hell.
We did Chinese take-out. My big mouth had to go and ask him if he wanted to share sweet and sour chicken with his sister.
"It's like chicken fingers, only better," I said.
"Sure, I'll try that," Charlie said.
"You will?" I was a bit astonished.
Who are you and what have you done with Charlie?
We got home and Charlie loved every bite of it. We eyed it up and figured the carbs to be equivalent to a similar portion of chicken fingers. We didn't give him the sweet and sour sauce as we had no clue what sort of sugar we'd be dealing with. Instead, he dipped the chicken in a bit of ketchup (yuck!) that we were able to measure out.
But Charlie wasn't done trying new foods. He wanted to try a string of my lo mein.
"Mmmm," he said, giving the thumbs up.
"What else can I try?"
Seizing this incredible moment, I dug through my lo mein excitedly, looking for foods he would never try in the past.
"Sure. Mmmm! Not bad."
I glanced at Susanne with equal parts joy and concern. We weren't how many extra carbs he was eating. He would eat anything. It was amazing.
"Dirty sneakers? Rusty nails? Michael Jackson's Thriller on vinyl?"
"Sure. Sure. Sure."
The fun ended there. He was high all night long. From the deep-fried chicken, we guessed. Diabetes mocked our attempts to correct his blood sugar, keeping him at about 325. 4 am came around and we realized we never got up again to see if he came down.
Susanne said she was afraid to see what his blood sugar was.
I spoke softly to the meter while it counted down from 5. Like a gambler betting it all on this one roll of the dice, I plead with the little piece of medical machinery. Please, please, please. Let me see a 1-something. Give me a 1-something.
And then I put it down on Charlie's dresser and tell it to F off, placing blame on something other than myself.
"We did this," Susanne says, after jabbing a needle into Charlie's butt. "We didn't wake up."
"We're the worst parents," she continued, in the bathroom, as we get Charlie to pee in a cup to test for ketones.
No ketones. The one bright spot of the night.
When we tucked Charlie back into his bed, he looked at me and said, "January first or January second."
I thought maybe he was still in a dream. I had no idea what this meant.
"What's that, Charlie?"
Picking right up with a conversation we had about seven hours earlier, Charlie said again, "January first or January second."
"That's when we should buy my hockey skates and my new ice hockey stick."
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)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)