Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This post is not about collectibles or vintage items. Unfortunately it is not a happy or fun post, but one I feel in my heart is very important and I urge you to continue reading.

I’m sure those of you who follow my blog have noticed the link on the left to website Children With Diabetes. I am part of the group because I am a mother of a child with Type 1 Diabetes. There was a post yesterday on parents forum about a death of a four year old little girl from undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. I know nothing about her other then she is from Alabama. But my heart is broken. This is not the first time there has been a post about a child dying before being diagnosed. And many of the parents I know on that board have had extremely sick children before their diagnoses. A few of the children have been in a coma and it was touch and go.

I know from my own experience that I initially ignored the symptoms because I could explain them all away. Pediatricians and doctors sometimes don’t see it at first either because the symptoms can present like the flu or a very bad virus. In our own case, they thought my daughters symptoms were due to a urinary track infection. I asked them to test for diabetes too because it runs in our family and honestly, I knew in my heart.

I don’t know the whole story of this little girls death. But I don’t think there is any fault to the parents or the doctors. Sometimes things just happen so fast, and not all the pieces of the puzzle are together. And had I not known just a little bit about type one diabetes, I’m sure I would have missed all the signs and our outcome could have been very different. Even knowing what I did, I waited to take my daughter to the doctor, not realizing how life threatening diabetes is.

So I know I posted the symptoms before, but I feel compelled to do it again as knowledge is power.

Type One diabetes use to be called Juvenile Diabetes because it was believed that only children from about 5 to 12 got the disease. It is now called Type One as it known to strike anyone at any age. (My niece was diagnosed at 18 months old and my nephew at 7. My friends mother was diagnosed at 44 years old.) This can happen to anyone at any age. We happened to have a family history of it. But many don’t. You can carry the gene, but never get type 1 or you can get type 1 and not have the gene.

Type 1 diabetes does not have much in common with Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease where the pancreas is attacked (possibly by an outside virus) and the cells stop producing insulin that is need to convert food to energy. It does not happen because a person is overweight or eats too many sweets. Most type 1 diabetes are extremely thin upon diagnosis.

When my daughter was diagnosed with Vitiligo at a young age, our doctor told us to watch for other autoimmune diseases. Since then, she has been diagnosed with the type 1 diabetes and with Hashimotos. So having another autoimmune disease can increase someone’s chances for getting type 1 diabetes.

Symptoms too look for include:

Frequent urination (in babies the diaper may have an odd sweet odor)
Extreme thirst and a dry mouth
Weight loss and increased hunger (my daughter had a huge weight loss and was eating so much it was unbelievable)
Oddly sweet smelling breath
Yeast infections
Irritability and moodiness
Dry skin
Blurred vision

If Type One diabetes is left untreated it can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis which can cause coma and death.

Some have a slow onset, others it happens very quickly. And it can go from bad to worse rapidly. So never hesitate to check things out either with a doctor or go to the ER. The worst you can be is wrong, and that’s a good thing.

Thank you for bearing with me and reading this long post. My hope is that you somehow file the information back in your memory but never have to use it. I’ve struggled with the “why God” gave this disease to my daughter. She didn’t deserve it. No child does. After the anger passed, I realized maybe we’re supposed to learn something from it. Or do something with our knowledge. I don’t know Gods purpose. But on the off chance that this silly little blog can educate someone and the information is passed along in a time of need, if feel I have to tell our story again. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

Please pray for that little girl’s family.


  1. Holly, how thoughtful of you to post your knowledge and share it with others. I am a type 2 diabetic, and my mother was one. I knew the symptoms, and yet, it took me forever to figure it out. The more the word is spread, the more lives can be saved. The more it is said, the more people that will hear. I am sure you have had your share of challenges with your child. It is so kind of you to spread the word. Thank you for your post, hugs, Kathleen

  2. oh holly.......what a beautiful post. Thank you for posting could save someones life.
    I am so sad that the little girl tragic.

  3. Holly,
    Thank you for sharing about diabetes again...keep it up as you said,"Knowledge is power!" I, too, am saddened to hear about the sweet little girl you spoke of...prayers being sent for she and her family. And a special prayer for a cure!!

    May I add, a bit of happiness? I have an award for you on my blog..visit me!
    After your post, you deserve it even truly are a wonderful friend!!


  4. Holly, your daughter is blessed to have you. The symptoms are easily dismissed as other things I can see that now. Thanks for bring this to my attention. It never hurts to be more educated.

  5. Thank you for sharing this information with us... other then being thristy and peeing (can we say that LOL) alot, I have no idea of symptoms...thanks. I will file those away in my mental file cabinet.

  6. So very sad for that sweet little muffin and her family. Thanks for reminding us of all of this, Holly.

  7. Hugs my friend. Thanks for posting the information.

  8. thank you for posting this, it runs in my family as well, but i never thought about how much its on the rise.