Monday, July 13, 2015

For Kycie, David, and all the other kids who didn't make it.

I could have been them. Taken from this earth far too young, before I'd even hit double-digits in age.

I can only remember bits and pieces of the day I was diagnosed. I'm not even sure what the exact day was, but it was in July of 1990. I couldn't breathe. My mom and dad rushed me to my pediatrician right away, where I started throwing up bile. I remember being hurried from the pediatrician's office to the hospital, right across the street. I can recall being a little scared, and a lot uncomfortable.

I was eight years old. All I knew was that I wanted someone to fix me, and the whole thing felt very surreal. I learned I was in something called diabetic ketoacidosis. (Maybe it was all the Sesame Street I watched when I was even smaller, but I first thought they were saying something that sounded like Spanish: quequitoacidosis. Pretty sure that is not a thing.)

Yet, it's what I found out later in life that rings true to this day, and brings pain to the hearts and minds of parents, caregivers and healthcare workers alike. Diabetes wasn't anyone's first thought when I first got sick. 

My pediatrician was deeply bothered by the fact that he missed it--my mom had talked to him a couple of weeks before about how I seemed to have the flu in the summertime. Some nasty virus was spreading around kids that summer, so nobody really thought anything of it. It was unusually warm, and I spent a lot of time outside at Girl Scout day camp, so no wonder I was drinking all the time, right?

So there I was, in the hospital, sicker than I'd ever been. Knock on wood, I will never end up that sick again.

Twenty-five years ago, I was one of the lucky kids. Even today, with all the technology we didn't yet have when I was growing up, not all kids are so lucky. What a bittersweet way to realize it's my diaversary.

Don't ever hesitate to ask for a glucose test for your kids. 


  1. Anonymous5:27 PM

    Wow... I think we need to post your last sentence more frequently.

  2. There are, sadly, so many stories of doctors who miss a diagnosis once. They make me angry. I hope there aren't any doctors whove missed a diagnosis twice -- that would make me curious.

    Un pequitoacidosis --- just a little bit DKA?

  3. I think you're absolutely right ...asking for a simple test that's cheap and easy to do isn't something people should shy away from. Beyond that, I think many of us are like you. I was somewhat lucky in that even though I was diagnosed in summer of 1976, several years before home glucose testing would be introduced, my parents already had a child with type 1 diabetes, so they'd gone through it all before. They asked me to do a Clinitest and when that came back as 4+, there was no further discussion, I was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed post-haste. Not everyone is as lucky (if that term is appropriate-there's nothing lucky about a type 1 diabetes diagnosis under any circumstance), so I always have feelings of sorrow I guess when I hear about what kids' diagnosis stories are. Thanks for sharing ... you still have a reader base!!

  4. I was 13, it was 1987, and my pediatrician also sent me home with antibiotics and cold medicine, as he said I had a sinus infection and flu. My mother, a nurse, "TOLD HIM" that she thought I was diabetic, that I was drinking a lot, had lost weight, but he said No, he was the doctor and knew it wasn't that. (A$$hat) 4 days later, I passed out at home after seeing nothing but silvery stars and was in a diabetic coma for 5 days. My pediatrician accused my mother of making me drink "Coke", as to the reason my blood sugar was over 400. What an idiot. (to be fair, his mistake paid my medical bills) The doctor on call,Dr. Joseph Richichi, saved my life, put the other Dr in his place, and is still today, a very large part of my life. Now in my 40s, and a very active mom, I will never be afraid to ask for a glucose test for my children, nor advise another parent of the same, should I ever see any warning signs. Thank you for your blog,and for sharing your experiences. Also, if you find a "buyer" for your type 1, can you let them know that I too have one that they can have for free cheap? Thanks.. Much appreciated!!! xo


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