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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Writer's Workshop: Someday my nephew will say I used to have diabetes

Today Mama Kat's writer's workshop asks if you had the time and money...what charity would you help raise awareness for? This is not a difficult question for me. In fact, it's very easy.

Regular readers know that my sweet nephew was diagnosed with Type 1 Juvenile diabetes in December.

Type 1 diabetes just happens. It strikes suddenly and makes them dependent on injected or pumped insulin for life! Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
There are no early warnings or text messages from your pancreas saying--"Hlp! Ur bdy is attacking me!"
The causes are not yet entirely understood, but scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved.

In order to live, my nephew must take multiple insulin injections daily. Before every meal and snack he must test his blood sugar by pricking his finger, often six or more times per day.
He must balance his insulin does with his food intake and his daily activities. He must always be prepared for serious hypoglycemic (low) and hyperglycemic (high) sugar.
Both of which can be life-threatening.

It is estimated that more than 3 million American children may have type 1 diabetes.

Every year more than 15,000 are diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S.

That means 40 children and the lives of their families will dramatically change today.

Signs to watch for include: extreme thirst, frequent urination, drowsiness or lethargy, increased appetite, sudden weight loss for no reason, sudden vision changes, sugar in urine, fruity odor on breath, heavy or labored breathing, stupor or unconsciousness.

These symptoms, most likely, will occur suddenly.

Find out how you can get involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation by clicking here.

8 random thoughts:

Dan said...

Good for you for supporting your nephew. One of the hardest parts is the preteen and teenage years. (Puberty is he** on glucose control)

I am a long term diabetic myself, so I know the pain of the constant sticking. (And wait until your fingers scar up from the pricks and you have to move to other areas for blood samples.)

I have a friend who has twin daughters, both of whom were diagnosed as diabetic at the start of fourth grade. In talking to the girls, the hardest part is being "different" from their friends, but at least they have each other for support.

Good luck to your nephew. And here's to hoping pancreatic stem cell work finally gets going again.

BTW, you might want to get your nephew a copy of Jay Leeuwenburg's book "Yes I Can! Yes You Can! Tackle Diabetes and Win!" It's Jay's story of being diagnosed at age 12 and still going on to play football - becoming an All-American and NFL All-Pro. It really emphasizes that with self-determination and self-reliance you can do anything in spite of the diabetes. It was instrumental in convincing the twins that they could pursue gymnastics in spite of diabetes.

Unknown Mami said...

Your nephew is gorgeous and I wish him health. Thank you for all the info.

Your humor shines through even though the subject is so sober.

septembermom said...

I love his smile. Thank you for writing this important post reminding us all that we need to do something about finding a cure. Awareness and action are everything when it comes to making a difference.

Jeanette said...

I hope they can find a cure!

Erin said...

That's so scary for a little one. Heck I had a hard enough time poking my finger 3 times a day when I was pregnant, I couldn't imagine doing it when I was that young!

Becca said...

Poor guy! I cannot imagine how difficult that process is for him. Best wishes to him!

He is such a little cutie!

Summer said...

I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant, and it is the hardest thing to deal with.

I know how scary it is...

Thanks for bringing up an important issue!

Jenners said...

Well done. I hope the title of your post comes true someday very very soon.

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I'm a 41 year old (gasp) freelance writer, school cafeteria manager, wife and mother. I have three children and one anxious and overweight beagle. I use my blog to make others laugh, to share some cool crafts, to document my lunchlady adventures and to lament about the challenges faced by us all on the journey called life. Thanks for visiting. Please leave some meant some comments.
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