Welcome?

If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Kycie

About a year ago, someone gave my name to a local newspaper reporter for an interview about Type 1 Diabetes. During our discussion, she asked me if I thought the public should become more aware about Type 1. I was hesitant to recommend this because I wondered if it would not cause fear in parents about a disease, that while growing in more children all the time, would not likely occur for most people.

Instead, I told the reporter she should use her efforts to create awareness among doctors and healthcare providers to understand the signs of Type 1 - both at diagnosis and when a patient goes into DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis).

I have experienced on more than one occasion when my son went into DKA, no one had a clue of what to do. When I took him to the doctor at diagnosis, I feared it could be diabetes only because I had a dog many years ago that had an adrenal gland condition that showed similar symptoms as diabetes. Doctors were sure he was diabetic due to the large amounts of water he drank and urine produced, but all tests were normal. Had I not had that dog, would I not have tipped the pediatrician off to check for Type 1? I will never know.

Last weekend, a beautiful five year old named Kycie passed away. She was a Type 1 Diabetic that was misdiagnosed in the United States. When presented at the hospital the first time, it was assumed to be the flu. She kept getting worse and went into severe DKA which resulted in permanent brain damage. She was eventually able to go home from the hospital, but the damage caused from what I assume was DKA was unrecoverable.

Sadly, Kycie is not the first child in the US to make the news for this reason. Type 1 is often misdiagnosed and confused for flu as it can have similar symptoms.  It is often misunderstood. Even well-educated physicians with the best intentions are not always aware of the details of this disease.

We are on the other side of the world. Why is this story important? The same thing can happen anywhere. It is very important for physicians to be aware of the signs of Type 1 and consider testing when these occur. A blood sugar test is a simple finger prick.

If I could go back to that reporter now I would change my answer to her question. Yes, I think the general population should become more aware of Type 1 as well as healthcare providers. Why? On the occasion that it is overlooked by a doctor, if a patient suspects Type 1 and pushes for testing, then perhaps a life can be saved.

Here is a link to the JDRF page that outlines the symptoms of Type 1. Although an American organization, the symptoms and disease knows no boundaries.

May Kycie rest in peace and her family find strength during this very difficult time.

Source: JDRF, www.jdrf.org

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