Raise Your Voice About Type 1 Diabetes
If you've come here on purpose to see what I've written, or you clicked on a link that Google provided while you were doing a search, please take a moment to read this. It's about my son who has Type 1 diabetes and I'd like to raise your awarness about it:
From the World Health Organization:
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.... Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
- Type 1 diabetes (previously known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset) is characterized by a lack of insulin production. Without daily administration of insulin, Type 1 diabetes is rapidly fatal.
Like any other kid: Brendon loves baseball...his favorite positions are pitcher, catcher, and 3rd base. He rides his bike. He writes notes to the girls he likes. He collects baseball cards. He loves school and especially recess where he plays touch football with a group of boys...every day!
Unlike any other kid: He is 8 years old and has had diabetes since he was 2 1/2 years old. We have to monitor his blood sugars all day long and through the night every single day by pricking his finger with a lancet device and applying the drawn blood to a test strip in a glucose meter to get a reading of his blood sugar levels. We also have to check him extra times during all activities.
If his blood sugar is too high, we have to give him insulin through his insulin pump to bring his blood sugar to a normal range (between 80-125). If it is too low (under 70) then we must give him a fast acting sugar like juice in order to raise his blood sugar. Other children need to receive anywhere from 2 to over 4 needle injections per day.
How many of you adults are afraid of shots? Imagine a child having to endure this all day, every day, for the rest of their lives. For the rest of their lives..........
With all of this monitoring and treatment with insulin, it is nearly impossible to keep his blood sugar in range. We are merely doing the best we can to prevent the immediate effect of death from a low blood sugar and future complications from high blood sugar.
He also must receive insulin everytime he eats food or drinks a beverage with carbohydrates in it. We must monitor his carbohydrate intake for that is how we determine how much insulin he must receive to regulate his blood sugar. Carbohydrates cause the blood sugar to rise.
High blood sugar, overtime, will cause complications like blindness, organ failure, limb amputations and many other body destroying complications. It is one of the only diseases that has the ability to cause destruction of nearly every organ and body part.
Low blood sugar is an emergency situation where if it isn't treated promptly will result in unconciousness leading to coma leading to death. The effects are nearly instantaneous. The cause of the bodily shut down is that glucose (blood sugar) is the only source of energy the brain receives. When the brain doesn't receive enough glucose due to low blood sugar levels, it begins to starve to death and in turn begins to shut down the body.
Brendon is lucky enough to have been born during the right time in history. If he was born before 1922 (when the discovery of insulin was first tested on a human being) Type 1 diabetes would be a death sentence within months...or if he was lucky he would die within weeks. I say lucky because to die slowly without any administration of insulin to help him survive is a miserable, painful process.
We do what we can to provide him with a near normal life. He plays with his friends, he does very well in school, and he loves to ride his bike. But, while he does these normal things, my husband and I (along with his school nurse and teachers and friends) are on constant vigil.
We can never take a moment to forget he has Type 1 diabetes. We can't take a break from his care. If we do, the effects will be devastating and even deadly.