Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Juvenile Onset Diabetes

One of my nieces is in the ICU at Children's Hospital with newly diagnosed Juvenile Onset Diabetes. My sister says her kid had been losing weight since summer, and then this weekend began having vomiting and lethargy. She took her to her pediatrician on Monday, who thought it was just gastroenteritis (and that she was breathing fast because of asthma), and sent them home with instructions to push fluids.

My sister's "mother's instinct" kicked in, and instead of going home she took her child to the ER, where they found her blood sugar was over 500!, and that her bicarb was <5 (really bad). My niece is doing fine now, with fluids and IV insulin, but there is a long road to hoe ahead, with insulin injections, and fingerstick checking, and diet changes. Their family will never be the same.

Thank God the diabetes was found in time (those of you who know me know a sister of mine died from mis-diagnosed juvenile diabetes in the late 1960's; and I had hoped medicine had advanced some in the last 40 years). Any positive thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

I think I'll be checking urines and blood sugars on all my "sick kids" in clinic, even more often than I already do now. It's so easy to do. And juvenile diabetes is a really bad diagnosis to miss.

16 comments:

Kells said...

Thank God for your sister's mom instincts, I'm so glad she followed her heart on that.

I'll be thinking good thoughts for your niece.

Best,
Kelli

Peter said...

Thanks, Kel.
Sorry for the rant, but it was all such a surprise.

Anne said...

Oh man. So glad your sister trusted her instincts (you'd THINK that the fact that your niece had been losing weight since summer would have suggested to the pediatrician that something more long-term than gastroenteritis was going on...). Having had an insulin-dependent diabetic cat, I have a small idea of what it's like -- not the same as a child, of course, but still. Sending lots of good hopes & wishes out to your niece!

Ivy said...

Sending "be well" thoughts to your niece from Cardiff.

Artichoke Heart said...

It really must have been very frightening and shocking for everyone. Sending you and your family good thoughts from South Dakota.

Suzanne said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your niece and family. I'm so glad your sister followed her instinct! xo

Justin Evans said...

Two of my nephews, brothers, have Type 1 Diabetes. 6 yrs, and 18 months. My sister-in-law just received pumps for them both and they are amazing.

Tell your sister she is not alone and there is a lot more awareness these days, even with substitute teachers in Florida being jerks.

C. Dale said...

Yes, thank God for mother's instinct.

Esther's Writing Works said...

Is it bad med school teaching, money, time, or what? Medicine seems to be deteriorating by leaps and bounds from pediatrics to old age, all the while jumping forward technologically. Without mothers and other advocates, the system can kill us. Caveat emptor/let the buyer beware ...

Thanks for sharing your niece's story, Peter. May she have a complete recovery.

Esther

Peter said...

Thanks all for the good thoughts.
Everything seems to have settled down a bit.

Justin: wow, two nephews with Type 1. And one at 18 mos. Pumps are amazing, aren't they. I hope they give my niece one. They see the Endocrinologist today.

Was the substitute teacher too uncomfortable having a kid with a pump in class? I've heard of some schools making kids with DM go to "special ed."

Peter said...

PS: Yes, "Juvenile Onset" is outdated terminology (Type 1 is the current); but it was so much more descriptive.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

Best wishes to all of your family.

Justin Evans said...

Peter,

The sub thought the pump was a cel-phone when it beeped. The kid told him, the other students told him, but the sub actually ripped it off of him, in an attempt to confiscate it.

Can you say "Lawsuit?"

jeannine said...

Oh Peter, what a scary situation. So hoping your neice is much better now that she has been properly diagnosed. Makes me wish there were more doctors like you!
Thinking good thoughts!

Laurel said...

Oh Peter! I'm having to deal with gestational diabetes myself right now, and I can't imagine being a child, and having to live such a regulated life. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family... and thank god they caught it!!!!!!

Laurel (who will now stop whining about pricking her finger forever)

Peter said...

Justin: That does sound like a lawsuit. Eeesh.

Jeannine: thanks. You are so sweet. (though "sweet" mught not be the best word right now? ~grin~)

Laurel: Sorry to hear about your GDM. Three of my four living sisters have had Gestational DM (and one died of type 1)so I guess it really runs in the family.

Best wishes for you and baby!