Sunday, July 12, 2015


Maybe we've got the wrong word. Those of us in the DOC (Diabetic Online Community) often discuss the promise of a "cure". A supporter of JDRF, our family walks for a "cure". Don't get me wrong, my beautiful young man needs that cure, and in its absence for now, better and better technology to manage a life threatening disease.  You don't know how desperately I want that cure for him. But I also desperately want that no one else joins our "club".

As in a lot of medicine, treating the symptoms and the disease after the fact is standard. Our walks, our drives, our focus needs to be on prevention and causation. Though getting the word out about the symptoms and recognizing Type 1 Diabetes is critical, preventing it from happening in the first place is paramount.

Yesterday, a beautiful family lost their only daughter. Diagnosis of T1D came only after her brain had begun to swell causing irreparable damage. The doctor thought she had had a virus. Though she and her parents fought hard and well, supported and followed by thousands, she lost that fight, a fight she should never have had to fight if we knew what caused T1D. We need a cure, but we also need eradication.

Think that the medical community will know if someone presents with T1D?  Think again.  Many older patients will be thought to have Type 2 Diabetes by doctors and sent home with T2D medications, not life saving insulin.  Just this week, I read on Facebook about a mom whose 23 year old presenting with excessive thirst, frequent urination, and blood glucose that read "HIGH", was sent home with a T2D diagnosis and she wrote about it on a T1D Facebook page.  T1D moms urged her to fight back - T1D presents with sudden symptoms, T2D more slowly.  Surely, her son was T1D (though we were sad to say).  She pushed, and got T1D diagnosis, though the doctors did not at first agree.  T1D is an urgent situation.

Younger children will be thought to have a virus or flu.  Two other posts today, one of a four year old in a similar situation to poor Kycie, brain swelling, unresponsive. One of another small child who lost the battle.

Until the day that they can find that cause, it is critical that parents and pediatricians are on the alert for T1D.  Though still considered rare, it takes less than 50 cents to test at each sick visit.  Fifty cents that could save someone's life. Tell those you know with young children to either buy their own meter or demand a quick blood draw at sick visits. It is that important.

Update:  Today, a 4 year old boy died of undiagnosed T1D.  He was sent home because they thought he had a virus.  By Friday, he was in critical condition.  He died today.  It didn't have to happen.  A fifty cent blood test and these two beautiful children would still be here.

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