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Part of That World
"You suck on it for a while until it gets soft and then you bite into it."
"This one you just chew."
"Don't bite into this one. You'll break your teeth."
It's so sad. Am I the only one who has to instruct a 10-year-old kid how to eat candy?
When you grow up type 1, I guess that happens.
We hitched a ride with Charlie's hockey coach for a game about an hour away in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Charlie hopped in the back of the minivan with two of his teammates whose mouths were pre-stuffed with glazed donuts.
I could tell that Charlie was enticed.
About five minutes into our trip, I heard the familiar maraca shake of Nerds candy coming from the back seat. Twisting my neck around, I see Charlie holding the small box of grape nuggets and grinning like the devil as if he just discovered Penthouse magazine.
"Dude, where'd you get that??" I imagined him whispering upon first setting eyes on it.
When he's in a non-diabetic kid's environment, it's hard not to see Charlie as a wide-eyed Disney character bursting with curiosity; soaring above the clouds on a magic carpet ride to see how the other half live; longing so desperately to be part of their world. Cue music.
Look at this stuff, isn't it neat
Wouldn't you think my nutrition's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the boy, the boy who has everything?
Look at this fridge, treasures untold,
Sugar-free Jell-O and ham that is cold?
Lookin' around here you'd think, sure, he's got everything.
I got gadgets and gizmos aplenty. I got lancets and test strips galore.
You want continuous glucose monitor sensors? I've got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal, I want more.
I wanna eat what the people eat, I wanna go to a greasy diner,
Order me some of those (what do you call them) oh, fries.
Eating low-carb you don't get too far,
Mouths are required for munching, slurping,
Chewing each bite of those (what's that word again) pies.
Out where they snack, out where they feast, out where they stay all day at 101
Living pump-free, wish I could be, part of that world.
Unfortunately there would be nothing magical about a post-hockey blood sugar of 400. As the two other teammates piled into the minivan and stuffed their faces with junk, Charlie stuffed his bloodstream with insulin. Later there would be ketone checks and probably a site change. This made it abundantly clear that he was not a part of their world. We negotiated what he could eat. He was starving. The high blood sugar made him thirsty. Despite it all, I heard him laughing and having a blast in the back of the minivan with his two friends.
Living pump free, wish I could be, part of that world.
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)