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Hundreds of Multi-Colored Straws
Have you ever wondered what children with type 1 diabetes dream about? After a full day of finger pricks and site changes and counting carbohydrates, the subconscious has plenty of material to work with.
I can tell you about what Charlie dreams about.
It’s not at all too uncommon for us to have nights in which we are feeding Charlie juice throughout the night to keep his blood sugar up. When Charlie was a baby, this was an absolutely dreadful thing to do. I would get behind him and pry his mouth open while Susanne literally forced the straw into his mouth. I remember how we begged him to open his mouth and I remember how he defiantly sad “NO!” while screaming and shaking his head the whole time; A miserable experience.
I have written about how, through the years, Charlie would pantomime in his sleep when the juice box was removed from his lips; playing an invisible saxophone with his eyes closed or kissing an invisible girl.
These days, feeding Charlie a juice box in his sleep couldn’t be easier. It’s a process that lasts no more than 10 seconds. His subconscious is so conditioned by it that he immediately opens his mouth and starts slurping.
He can be in the deepest of sleep, but all it takes is a whisper - “Charlie, you need to drink” – and it’s automatic.
After a particularly frequent night of this juice box routine, Charlie had a dream.
He dreamt of straws; Hundreds of multi-colored straws surrounding him and poking at his lips. With so many straws, Charlie didn’t know which one to choose. Which was the one with the juice? Would the wrong choice send a huge boulder tumbling toward him like in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark? Would the wrong choice launch dozens of arrows at his throat?
Which was the one that would save his life?
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)