Monday, November 5, 2007

Blind to the Symptoms

Shannon got me thinking about what I knew about diabetes before Daniel was diagnosed. What I knew was zero. I wish I had known more. Perhaps then I would have seen the warning signs, and Daniel could have been diagnosed without spending a night in the ICU, and three days in the hospital.

Diabetes is not usually what you think about when your kid can't see the blackboard. I am nearsighted, my daughter is nearsighted, so Daniel could easily end up the same way. He had an eye appointment, got some glasses, and the problem seemed to be solved.

Diabetes was not on my radar when Daniel kept telling me he was thirsty. He's an active kid! The weather was warm and we were walking through the neighborhood, shooting hoops, riding bikes! The week before he was diagnosed I took the kids out for pizza, and Daniel asked for a soda. I don't keep soda at home, but I sometimes let the kids get them when we go out for a special occasion. He claimed he was starving, guzzled an enormous soda, and then barely finished one piece of pizza. I figured he had too much soda in his belly to eat.

The week before Daniel was diagnosed, I called my sister in law and told her that he must be going through a growth spurt because he looked so skinny.

The week before Daniel was diagnosed he said he had to get up four times every night to go to the bathroom. I told him, "that's because you keep drinking so much! Don't drink so much before bedtime!"

I learned a lot during 3 days at Children's National Medical Center. I've learned more in the six months since. Every time Daniel tests his bg in public and someone stares, I use it as a teachable moment.

Insulin is not a cure for diabetes. There is no cure for diabetes. However, with all of us working together to raise awareness, raise funds, protect & renew legislation providing money for diabetes research, educating teachers, caregivers, family members, and the rest of the world, we can make things better.

Diabetes must be cared for 24 hours a day. In each of those 24 hours we must fight for a cure, using all scientific avenues available.

Thanks to Penny for the Unite for Diabetes logo, and for her wonderful post today.


Shannon said...

The tricky and sneaky thing about diabetes symptoms is that they easily explained away.

It wasn't until symptoms got to be extreme that I finally caught on that things should be checked out.

Amylia said...

unfortunately, it usually isn't caught until the bg levels are really high. if diabetes isn't on your radar screen. i'm glad you have learned so much and use those moments of stares as "teachable moments." I like that notion.

Did you get your wife yet? I hope so! :)

dae said...

Oh yes, I identify with that. I didn't even THINK about diabetes till I ended up in the ER, semi-conscious and having a doctor sit next to me and tell me I have diabetes.

Penny said...

Thank you for posting the blue circle, Naomi.