Today I decided to type this up because I think it's worth sharing. Tuesday I had something happen to me that was very overwhelming at the time. I was walking on the track at the football field in our little home town trying to get some exercise. I looked down at one point and realized there was what I thought was vomit on the field from the last local football game. I don't know why and I hadn't thought about this in a very long time, but it brought me back to the year that Braden was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2011. We had struggled with him being sick a lot that fall and starting to wet the bed during the summer months which he had never done before. I had brought him into the doctor three times during that time period and he kept getting put on antibiotics to clear up any infections that he may have had. One fall day I took him to a football game after school and all of a sudden he said he didn't feel good and started throwing up right there at the game. I immediately took him home and when he still wasn't feeling better the next day I took him back to the doctor. Again, they said it must be some type of infection and gave us more antibiotics and to leave him on them for a longer period of time. The rest of that week, he remained sick, didn't go back to school and continued to get worse. As a worried motherI kept looking things up on the internet to see if maybe I could diagnose what was going on. Because of the bed wetting, Type 1 Diabetes did come up and it was on my radar but we had no family history and honestly most of the things I read chalked up bed wetting to having a hard time adjusting to school - he had just started kindergarten and had not been away from me much at all, etc. But as he continually got worse over the weekend and then the continuous drinking of water came into the picture, I was starting to realize what was going on. I remember Sunday morning he drank 40 oz of water the first hour he was awake and when we went to the grocery store that day he begged for me to buy him a bottle of water even though we were only 2 minutes from home. I was pretty sure at that point after everything I read and what his symptoms were that it could very well be Type 1 Diabetes. I even remember telling the doctor that I thought it was diabetes and he said yes it sounds like it could be. I called the doctor and asked if I should bring him to the ER and he said no just wait until morning. Little did I know how sick my child was and how lucky we are that he is still with us today. He was in DKA. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a problem that occurs in people with diabetes. It occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead. Byproducts of fat breakdown, called ketones, build up in the body. By the next morning my little boy looked like a boy who was completely malnourished. His body was trying so hard just to stay alive and this had literally happened overnight. We were diagnosed the next morning and we spent four days in the hospital and life has literally not been the same since for our entire family.
So why share this story now. One of my friends encouraged me to share this story with a picture of my son when he was diagnosed and I thought I should but I didn't. For one thing I hate looking at the pictures of him in the hospital. So what then, what changed my mind now. Over the weekend on one of the support group pages for parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes there was a mother who was crying out for help because she felt a second one of her children was developing Type 1 Diabetes. She tested her child's blood sugar and it was high so she called the doctor and ended up taking her child to the ER. The doctor there refused to test for diabetes and sent the child home even with the mother's insistence. A mother who definitely had experience with diabetes with another child at home with Type 1 diabetes and knew what signs to watch for. The child got much worse over the next few hours and by the end of the weekend was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes by a different doctor.
So I'm sharing this story and my story to raise awareness!!! Type 1 Diabetes is a scary, scary disease and can come on very quickly. It is an autoimmune disorder. It does not have anything to do with what our kids eat or drink. Most children are very healthy, active children when they are diagnosed. We need doctors to be more aware and not be so afraid to order a simple little blood test that in our case and this mother's case would have prevented our children from getting so very sick.
So going on that walk at the football field that day and being reminded of our experience made me cry - literally for the whole half hour that I was walking that day. Anybody driving by probably thought I was crazy. But it also made me mad that this mother had gone through what she went through when she really knew what was going on with her child. I'm sharing this to make more people aware of the signs of Type 1 Diabetes so no other child or mother should have to go through experiences like this.
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Sudden vision changes
- Sugar in urine
- Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
- Increased appetite
- Sudden weight loss
- Drowsiness, lethargy
- Heavy, labored breathing
- Stupor, unconsciousness
And all this from a walk on a track one day..........