Today the type 1 community is saddened by the loss of another child to type 1 diabetes. It seems like this is happening more often than ever.
Little Pearson Douglas, just one week shy of his first birthday, passed away from diabetes. Probably onset, because it’s so hard to tell when a baby has the disease. Usually the Dr. thinks it’s the flu, such is the case when my grandson was diagnosed, just shy of his 2nd birthday. He had lost weight, was so thirsty, and so sick. Finally after a week of him getting progressively worst, my daughter told their Pediatrician that she felt he had either Leukemia, or diabetes. The Dr. put a cotton ball in his diaper, thank God he peed, and the rest is history. Unfortunatley history does repeat itself over and over! Why isn’t it protocol in every Dr. office across the board to check every kid who comes in with the symptoms of type 1????? Instead we were told he had the flu!
We almost lost my grandson, after 3 days in the ICU at Children’s, we could finally breath again. I was so mad at that Dr., didn’t he know the signs? Does a 22 month old really stop walking with the flu? He literally stopped walking because his legs hurt!
I was shopping that day, just checking out of a store when my daughter called me and told me what was going on. Her husband was in Chicago on business, in a meeting, wouldn’t be able to get there for hours. I made the necessary arrangements to have my boys taken care of after school, and headed for Children’s. The next 10 hours are still blurry. What I do remember is how scared we were when the Dr. told us how sick he actually was.
DKA, (ketoacidosis) is the dreaded word that no-one ever wants to hear. It occurs when the body has a shortage of insulin, and cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. The body switches to use fatty acids and producing acidic ketones that cause most of the systems and complications. Once ketones build up in the body, you have to start emergency procedures immediately to try and get rid of the ketones. We check Joey for ketones when he has 2 blood sugar checks in a row, that are over 250. We use both urine strips, and a blood meter to check for ketones.
Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease, which means that when Joey got sick, his body attacked the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. The classic symptoms are frequent urination, increased thirst, increased hunger, and weight loss. (Some other symptoms are: rapid breathing, flushing, fruity-smelling breath, nausea, vomiting, pain, fatigue, headache, and muscle stiffness.) My grandson had all of the classic symptoms. Joey had all of the classic symptoms, but we didn’t see the weight loss because the 8 lbs that he lost didn’t really show. Joey would run in the house everyday asking for his glass of water, I thought it odd when he asked me to have a glass on the counter for him when he came in. He got up every night to use the bathroom, he even wet his bed in the couple of months prior, which was NEVER a problem for him. Joe and I would get irritated with him when he would start whining for food while we were driving in the car, he needed something to eat RIGHT NOW!
After he was diagnosed, I fell to the ground crying one night, because I realized that Joey had all the symptoms, for months. We have a grandson with type 1, how could we all have missed this? I yelled at him when he would beg for food as we were driving from the grocery store to our home, less than a 10 minute ride.
We consider ourselves very lucky to have diagnosed Joey early, we don’t think his other organs were damaged before we found out, he didn’t have to go to the hospital at all during his diagnosis, except to learn how to live with type 1. This brings me back to the reality that another beautiful child has passed away because of this disease, we need a cure, please pray with us that a cure is found soon, so we don’t lose anymore children.
RIP Pearson, Jesse, Trent, Danii, Emily and many, many more children that have lost their precious lives to type 1 diabetes.