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Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes


One Family's Story

This is the story of a family's whirlwind of an experience with their 6 year old daughter's Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes. The mother, Deb, is the strongest, most amazing woman, and after everything she has been through wants to help prevent her experience from happening to other families.

I met Deb through an online message board filled with mothers of every age. I've been a part of it since my own daughter was about a year old, in 2002. I'd been on and off the site over the years, and the most recent event that brought me back was reading the posts of Deb about her beautiful little girl Mary Kathryn. She's let me share her words with you here.

This is so important for parents to read, but I must warn you to have tissues handy.

02/02/09 7:22 AM

My little girl, Mary Kathryn died yesterday...

She had been feeling droopy for about the last week. I thought that it was just the start of some kind of bug that was going around. But, by Saturday, she had gotten so weak that I took her to the ER. Come to find out she was a diabetic. It had come on suddenly and no one else in our family has diabetes. She had started drinking more, but I thought it was because she was just sick. They were never able to get her stabilized in the hospital and due to the fact that she was so dehydrated it caused her brain to swell and herniate. She became brain dead at that point and lost to us. My precious baby, Mary Kathryn Elizabeth, I don't know how I can make it without you!

03/12/09 7:33 AM

I'm posting this article here. I wrote this piece on Monday evening of February 23rd. It's something that, at the moment, I felt compelled to write. It was published in our local paper on Saturday, March 7th, in conjunction with an article that the editor did as a follow up on Mary Kathryn's organ donations. I've also shared this article with Lit and she wants to use it for her community newsletter that she publishes. I have had so many people approach me in just the last few days since this was published, thanking me for making them aware of this disease.

This is my article:

A Journey Through Grief

Losing a Child to Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes

The sole purpose for writing this article is to hopefully spare every other parent from going through the needless trauma that our family has suffered from the sheer lack of education about Juvenile Diabetes. The medical community readily admits that first time presentations of patients suffering from Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes (SOJD) is commonly in a hospital ER setting to be followed up by a stay in ICU. In our case, it was the Pediatric ICU at Huntsville Hospital.

If you don't have a family history of diabetes, the last thing that you, as a parent, might consider to be a childhood malady would be (SOJD), also known as Type 1 Diabetes. For 6 years, our daughter had been the picture of health. She had the normal childhood illnesses ear infections, sinus infections, stomach viruses and such nothing out of the ordinary. So, as an experienced and I thought, educated, parent of 4 children, when our daughter, the next to the youngest child in our family, started exhibiting symptoms that very closely mimicked stomach flu, an illness that our 8 year old child had a couple months earlier, it was no wonder that I didn't consider the notion that this illness was anything else. Unfortunately, it was something very sinister and deadly.

The last week of January, Mary Kathryn, our daughter, had started acting the best description would be, droopy. She just didn't seem herself, but aside from drinking more liquids, nothing seemed too out of the ordinary. After all, she was just in kindergarten a lot of other kids that I know come home from school and seem tired. Preferring to lay on the couch instead of going outside to play then too, it is January who wants to go play outside in the cold anyway? So, I didn't think too much about it.

The next day the school nurse called to say that Mary Kathryn had come to her office because her tummy was hurting. The nurse checked her temperature, which was fine. I asked her if she thought I should come and get my daughter and she didn't seem to think that was necessary. I told her about Mary Kathryn drinking more fluids and the nurse asked if we had had her blood glucose levels checked and I said no. And I asked if higher fluid intake could relate to a viral type infection and the nurse said yes. I spoke to Mary Kathryn's teacher and asked her to keep an extra close watch on Mary Kathryn and call me if she thought I needed to come and get her. The next contact that I received from her teacher was that Mary Kathryn seemed fine and to be feeling better.

On Wednesday of that week, Mary Kathryn got up feeling more sick and complained about her tummy hurting. Fearing that she had contracted a stomach virus from school, I kept her home that day. For the most part, she would rest on the couch. She ate some jello and fruit, apple and grapes, her favorites and she was drinking a lot, but she wasn't running a fever so I kept waiting for the inevitable trips to the bathroom to help her with and got the Lysol disinfectant ready.

Thursday was a repeat of Wednesday. She never vomited, but she kept complaining that her tummy didn't feel well. When I got up on Friday I thought, surely she's coming around the corner today with this sickness, but when she wasn't any better, I reminded myself that my 8 year old was sick on the couch for 5 days with the stomach flu before he finally got better, so I assumed she was going to be the same way. But on Saturday, she was so weak that I sat and held her most of the day. I gave her anything she asked for Popsicles, Coke, apples, Jello, water all in hopes that any of it would help her to start feeling better, amidst all this, almost constant trips to the bathroom. By late in the afternoon, I had gotten scared that something else was going on. She was just so incredibly weak, I knew that I had to get her to the hospital.

I arrived at Guntersville Hospital ER at around 6:30 p.m. We didn't have to wait long to be seen by the triage nurses. They asked what was going on with Mary Kathryn and I told them that she was complaining about her tummy bothering her, but she was so weak and her breathing was labored. I also told them that she had started drinking more fluids and going to the bathroom a lot. They exchanged knowing looks and ordered a blood glucose test. When the results came back, they showed that Mary Kathryn had SOJD, Type 1 Diabetes. I was shocked we didn't have a family history of diabetes. The doctor told me that didn't matter. Having a family history of diabetes only increases the risk to other family members it doesn't guarantee that if you don't have a history of diabetes that that means you're home free and can't get diabetes.

Because of the immediate medical needs of my daughter, she was transferred to Huntsville Hospital's Pediatric ICU. We arrived at that hospital by 10:30 p.m. I had to wait for an hour while the nurses and doctor got her situated in her room. By the time the doctor was ready to speak to me, my husband had also arrived at the hospital. The doctor explained that what was going on with Mary Kathryn at the moment was called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Because Mary Kathryn's pancreas had shut down, her body had no way of making insulin, which is what the body needs in order to metabolize sugar in the body so that it can be used to fuel the cells. The only way to flush out excess glucose in the body is for fluid to bind with the glucose so that it can be flushed from the body. Which is why Mary Kathryn's thirst had increased and also why she needed to use the bathroom more. Another side effect from DKA is that the patient can't drink enough fluid that the body needs to help flush the glucose out of their system so the body also starts robbing fluids from fat tissues, muscle tissues and even the organs of the body. As it turned out, Mary Kathryn was extremely dehydrated because of her condition.

I stayed by her bed in the ICU as every intervention, on Mary Kathryn's behalf was made by the doctors and nurses. I would hold her hand and talk to her. Every time her big brown eyes would open, I would stand up next to her and tell her that I loved her. She'd ask, "When can I go home, mommy?" and I'd say "soon". The last time she opened her eyes, I stood up next to her and whispered in her ear, "Mary Kathryn, I love you" and she said, "I love you too, mommy". Those were the last words she ever spoke. She would later become unresponsive, she went into a coma, and later we found out that because she was so dehydrated and during the process of hydrating her, plus trying to stabilize her blood glucose levels, her brain swelled and herniated causing brain death. From the time I found out that my daughter was a diabetic, until the time that she died, was a period of less than 18 hours. And the medical community readily admits that first time presentations of patients suffering from Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes (SOJD) is commonly in a hospital ER setting to be followed up by a stay in ICU. Most patients live, but there are others, like my daughter that do not.

You might ask, "Do you blame yourself?" My honest answer would be "yes". I've tried to blame myself every way imaginable. After all, I'm a pretty educated parent, right? But, here's the sad truth, I can't even take the morbid pleasure in kicking myself because I'm an idiot, because some doctors have missed it in their patients and some of them have missed it in their own children. Well, okay I concede that I'm not as smart as a Medical Doctor, but it's my fault I should have gotten her to the hospital earlier. I am at fault there, right? You might think so, until I found out that patients have shown up at hospitals in worse shape than my daughter and with higher blood glucose levels than she did and they lived. So, I'm left with no one to blame except for the lack of information out there and the silent epidemic that no one wants to talk about.

Photos Above

1. Age 2 1/2

2. Mary Kathryn's Hugs & Kisses Home

3. Age 4 (almost)

4. Swimming at their boathouse with Mommy as the lifeguard.

5. Kindergarten

6. Mary Kathryn's Artwork

7. Mary Kathryn and her cousin.

03/12/09 9:28 AM

I really don't want any other parent to go through what we have...it IS so unfair. If I had only had this information, things may have turned out differently for us. That is something that I will truly never know, but if this account will help anyone else, I want everyone to know it!

As everyone has said, this did happen so incredibly fast. But also to emphasize how deceptive this disease can be, I'll share another story from a well respected doctor in our community. He had a 12 yr old patient present to his office complaining with a sore throat. By all appearances to him, she had a sinus infection, so he gave her an RX for antibiotics and sent her home. On the following Monday, he found out that she had been admitted to the hospital over the weekend with Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes. Talk about someone kicking themselves...he has! He immediately went about educating himself about this horrible, insidious disease, so that in the future, hopefully, he won't make this same mistake.

Frankly, I think it all comes down to making a blood glucose test a standard protocol at the dr's office. With as many new cases of Type 1 diabetes being DX every year, it seems almost criminal to turn a blind eye to this particular "snake in the grass". Enacting this protocol would have a double benefit, 1st obviously being the patient's health in not getting into the state of DKA that Mary Kathryn experienced and 2nd, it would certainly be a lot cheaper on the Ins. companies, in that they wouldn't have to pay the high costs of ER and ICU admittances. All of this compared to the fee for a $12.00 blood test at the dr's office. Just my 2 cents worth...

03/13/09 7:33 PM

Please share the story with everyone. I just sent out an email to everyone on my list and asked them to do the same and to ask their friends to do it as well and so on. I'm also trying to get the article published. Parenting has already agreed to take a look at it and I've contacted O magazine (Oprah's mag) as well...still waiting to hear from them on submission protocol. So, we'll see. I've had a blogger...someone that I don't even know, that wants to post it on his blog and send it to all of his blogging buddies for a wider coverage.

I'm sorry, but I think my experience was so unnecessary...in this day and age, it's reprehensible that the manifestation, signs and symptoms are not widely known and talked about. I was in my doctor's office last week with one of my sons and as I was waiting, I looked around at the pamphlets discussing all types of health issues...Type 2 Diabetes being one of them, but there was no pamphlet about Type 1 Diabetes. Is that crazy or what? This is the proverbial "snake in the grass" and we're pretending it's not even there...

03/27/09 1:17 PM

My local paper is going to carry this follow up to the previous articles about my daughter. This one deals more with the signs and symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes as I'm constantly being asked what they are. I was talking with a nurse earlier in the week and I was giving her instruction on the signs and symptoms...that felt kind of odd to me, but I was glad to tell her what I know. Anyway, feel free to send it on to any of your friends that might have a need for the information.

Education and Vigilance Needed for Juvenile Diabetes

In sharing our story with other parents, some of the most common responses they have given to me are, "Your story scares me to death." "How can I, as a parent, know when I should be worried about a symptom?" "Because of what has happened to you, it makes me want to take my child to the ER every time they have so much as a sniffle!" A parent's first line of defense against Juvenile (type 1) Diabetes is education coupled with vigilance.

Let's get educated. Unfortunately, Juvenile Diabetes can mimic other common childhood illnesses, so it's very important to pay attention to the symptoms that your child is exhibiting. If your child exhibits any of these symptoms do not hesitate to take them to your doctor.

Recognized Signs and Symptoms of Juvenile Diabetes

* Rapid Weight Loss - is often the most noticeable symptom.

* Extreme thirst - is not unusual in children, especially in warm weather. Also, once children are old enough and tall enough get water themselves it can be difficult to monitor their fluid intake.

* Frequent urination - this becomes more obvious to parents if traveling with children, but just around the home it can be difficult to spot.

* Eyesight or Vision Changes - should not be attributed to too much time in front of the television or computer screen.

* Sweet smelling breath - may be noticed by parents, but can just as easily be attributed to something the child has eaten.

* Increased appetites - may be evident, but of course children are growing and can have large appetites.

* Lack of energy or even drowsiness - unless excessive, may go unnoticed. Many children now lead very sedentary lifestyles and lethargy may simply not be noticed.

* Heavy, labored breathing - another symptom which can be masked by any number of respiratory problems which seem to be more prevalent in children (i.e. asthma).

In this busy life that we lead, we have to be aware of what is "normal" for our child. Does the child typically rest or seem tired during the day? Do they normally drink a lot, or is this something new? Is the child dieting and purposely trying to lose weight? This is where parental vigilance comes into play. Don't just dismiss unusual behaviors as simply a child being a child.

The doctor that treated our daughter told us that Mary Kathryn had been having difficulty for 3 months. The doctor could tell this by some of the tests that she had performed. Upon reflection, after the doctor revealed that information to us, I could remember that Mary Kathryn had started drinking more during that time frame. Not substantially more, but just enough for me to notice and dismiss it as something that wasn't alarming. After all, I usually sip on something frequently throughout the day so I thought she was going to be like me.

In Juvenile Diabetes, there DOES NOT have to be a family history of the disease. It strikes suddenly and without apparent warning. However, once there is a diagnosis of Juvenile Diabetes in a family, the risk to other siblings is increased and those children should be monitored.

Within a few weeks of Mary Kathryn's death, I had purchased a Glucometer, the blood test strips and Ketone Urinalysis strips to have on hand. I purchased all of these items at WalMart for just under $50. None of the items require a prescription. I've tested our whole family and will continue to do so, because you just don't know. You can also have your doctor perform this test in his office. It's quick and inexpensive and will let you know almost immediately if there is a problem.

Education is our only weapon in combating this disease. It is so important that we try to bring about a change in how this illness is diagnosed. With all the medical advances that have been made in the world, it is unfathomable to me that there is not a more proactive way to combat this illness. Whether it's a need for more information in the doctors offices or mandated blood tests to help with early diagnosis I don't have the answer. All I do know is, that not so much as a whisper about Juvenile Diabetes, the signs or symptoms of this disease, has ever mentioned to me during routine doctor visits or at any other time. I was aware of other kids having Juvenile Diabetes, but I assumed it was because one of the parents had the disease or there was a family history of it somewhere in their family. Obviously, it was just a lack of education on my part.

It's my hope that this article will further help educate parents about this disease. In the end as parents, our most precious gift is our children. Our wealth is not in the amount of money we have or our possessions, it's in the lives of the children with which we've been entrusted. Whether they're our own children or those that we've been fortunate enough to have been allowed the time to share in their lives, children mold us every bit as much as we try to mold them and they leave an indelible mark on our lives that will forever remain.


Please Print and Share!

Deb has created an information sheet to be used in her local schools and doctors' offices. You are welcomed to download the .pdf and print them for distribution in your community. We can all help raise awareness of Sudden Onset Juvenile Diabetes.

This link will open an 8 1/2" x 11" document ready for printing.

Related Websites

Required Reading for Parents

Angels Taken too Soon

Shannon Lynn Collins
April 02, 1992 - July 03, 2011

Addison Parker
September 28, 2006 - August 18, 2011

Daniella Meads-Barlow
June 19, 1994 - November 8, 2011

If you have lost a child to Diabetes and are looking for a place of support, you are welcome to visit Blue Candle a private section of the Children with Diabetes Forums. Deb is the moderator there.

"I am thankful that in my days of despair, when I didn't have the strength to pray for myself, others were praying intercessory prayers for me. Others, who had walked my path before, stepped forward to help guide me through and let me know that I could survive..just as they had. It's the strength derived from those friendships and prayers that have kept me going, without a doubt. That's why this 'Blue Candle' forum is here. To help other parents who have lost children to this disease and help shepherd them through their grief."

~Prayers for peace,



JUVENILE DIABETES by awarenessgifts on Zazzle.


"Last week I searched the web looking for a clue as to why my daughter was drinking so much, losing weight and suddenly had become so weak. I read your blog and immediately took my child to the ER where she was in severe ketoacidosis with a blood glucose of 513. THANK YOU< THANK YOU. You saved her life."

-carolyn s

Posted in guestbook July 12, 2009


This Page is Dedicated to Mary Kathryn

Mary Kathryn with her brothers Chris, Alex, & Patrick.

Mary Kathryn with her brothers Chris, Alex, & Patrick.

Share Your Story

Suzanne on May 22, 2018:

Thank you for sharing your story. I never knew anything about this. I'm here because I googled "sweet smelling breath" because my grandson's mama just texted me about this "oddity". You can bet we will b e keeping a very close eye on him...and following up with his ped if this isn't resolved in the morning.

Jane Staiger on May 28, 2017:

I picked up my 4 year old granddaughter from pre K--she was standing by herself watching her friends play. I asked her why she was not with them...she said she had wet herself. She was embarrassed. She was so upset. I thought she had a urinary tract infection and decided to take her to her pediatrician. Thank God I did! When I told her what happened about the wetting...she asked if she could to a finger poke to check her blood. I said yes. She then asked Ashley if she could go to the bathroom again, Doctor put a 'hat' over the bowl and Ashley was able to urinate in that. Doctor then tested the urine. She turned to me and said, "I think Ashley has diabetes, get her to the hospital right away." I thank God for her doctor's quick thinking and testing. Ashley was admitted to the hospital with a glucose reading of over 500! Without the doctor doing those simple tests, Ashley could have gone home, and laid down and never awoke!! We have no history of diabetes in the family. This took place in 2001, it is now 2017 and Ashley is a healthy college student studying to become a nurse!! Be vigilant, if something is not feeling right...get it checked out. Be aware of the symptoms of type 1 diabetes...it a lifelong struggle for those with it. God Bless!!

jolina-perezhodgman on March 29, 2014:

I am so touch with your story, I almost lost my child too SODJ. I am so curious how much was her BG when she arrived at the ER? My son was 1800 with PH level of 7, we were at the ER the night before and the worthless PA-C did not do any lab work on him and send us home , 13 hrs. later I took him back to urgent care and from there he was transported to ER again. It's just a matter of hrs. my son would have been dead. I could not imagine losing a child, my heart is with you.

Matthewsmom on September 16, 2013:

I am so sorry for your loss.

Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on August 07, 2013:

It's tough when kids get diseases like this. My son developed JRA in high school. He missed most of his senior year, but was able to graduate with some home schooling. He is now on disabilility, but at least we still have him!

Beverly Rodriguez from Albany New York on June 30, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this touching story. I will be keeping an eagle eye on my Grandkids.

MaryKathrynsmom on June 02, 2013:

@KathyMcGraw2: Thank you, Kathy! It's ever so important to get this information out there, because all too many people DO NOT know about type 1 diabetes..the signs and symptoms! We're all in this together and can prevent so many deaths of our precious babies, in just sharing these key points! Thank you ever so much in helping!

Kathy McGraw from California on June 01, 2013:

My children are all grown now, but this hit me, especially the part of thinking Mary Kathryn had the stomach flu like her brother. How would anyone know? I downloaded the pdf flyer, and will give a copy to family and friends. Thank you for sharing this story.....

MaryKathrynsmom on May 21, 2013:

@x10dit lm: I'm glad that you were and caught it soon enough. Please share our story so that other children might be spared what we've had to endure. I appreciate your help! :^)

MaryKathrynsmom on May 21, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you for sharing your story as well. I'm so thankful for you that you had a good result. Really! Please help get our story out so that there will be no other Mary Kathryns...

MaryKathrynsmom on May 21, 2013:

@sherioz: Thank you, Sherioz. Please help us get the word out about this disease.

MaryKathrynsmom on May 21, 2013:

@anonymous: Thank you for your kind words, Tina! Please share our story with everyone that you know.

x10dit lm on May 19, 2013:

My son was diagnosed with Type 1 last year. A completely random coincidence led to a nurse running a urine test. I didn't realise how lucky we had been until I read this lense. Thank for sharing your story.

anonymous on April 26, 2013:

Wow I am so blown away from your story that it prompted me to write my story about my son who was saved thank God by a doctor who did a glucose test on him. My heart goes out to you and your family for this terrible loss. It is still hard for me to understand that 22 years after he was diagnosed with Type 1 that we are so uneducated in diabetes in this country. My prayers are with you always and I would be honored to have you as a facebook friend so that perhaps with all of us joining together we can help other families. I am also type 1 diabetic so this is very personal to me but there are many things out there now that can make managing our diabetes much easier. Stay strong on your mission as will I.

sherioz on April 02, 2013:

This is an amazing article and so valuable. As a new grandmother, anything that can raise awareness in such a meaningful way is appreciated by me.

anonymous on March 25, 2013:

My heart goes out to you, and to all parents who have dealt with this in any way. As a mother to a little "Mary" myself, I just can't imagine what you have gone through and the strength it took to get through it. I will pray for the healing of all of your hearts and I hope you are able to reach as many parents as possible with this important information. I don't know enough about diabetes, but I know it runs in my family and I am thankful that you have passed on this information so that if I am ever faced with the same situation I will have a better idea of how to deal with it and what to do. God Bless your families.

MaryKathrynsmom on March 21, 2013:

@anonymous: Heidi, I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss! I know how you feel...really! I have a group of friends on facebook that have lost children due to their onset event or other complications of Type 1. We're all at varying degrees of healing and if you need a place to go to talk with people who really understand what you're going through, let me know. You can PM me on facebook, I'm Deborah St.John, if you would like. You have my thoughts and my prayers for peace during this horribly difficult time! {{{hugs}}}~Deb

anonymous on March 21, 2013:

I lost my 7 year old son, Gabriel, on Jan 18th due to a cerebral edema from SOJD. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

anonymous on March 14, 2013:

Thanks, great information,

anonymous on March 14, 2013:

I have just read about your little girl, Mary Kathryn, I'm so sorry, hope you know that one day you will be with her in Heaven,she's with God and your family that's passed on already.

anonymous on March 11, 2013:

nice lens

MaryKathrynsmom on March 01, 2013:

@pauly99 lm: So true, Pauly99. With increases incidences of Type 1, there should be no stone unturned in trying to find out what triggers this disease...environmental, genetic or whatever. We need to make people aware, we need to know the cause, we need to go to every link to get a cure! Please share our story with all of you friends and contacts on your messaging lists. We have to get our kids past their dx, so that they then can live for the cure! :^)

MaryKathrynsmom on March 01, 2013:

@anonymous: Jamie, thank you so much for your sweet post. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and I'm so glad that your son, although having to deal with this terrible disease, is safe and with you. Please share our story with everyone that you know. Just that simple act of sharing this with your contact list can save a life. It already has! :^)

pauly99 lm on March 01, 2013:

I'm at work and I could barely get through the story without breaking down. I know of someone that has SOJD and although he lives today at age 40, it is a struggle. A couple of transplants, blindness only to regain his sight, waiting on another transplant, bloated at times and skinny at other times. Hopefully if not a cure, we can get a handle on what causes this for future generations.

anonymous on February 26, 2013:

My heart breaks for your family....your sweet little girl was taken too soon. My son, Alex was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 10 yrs old. He is now almost 17, but struggles daily with this disease. My family had a history of diabetes, so I was well aware of the signs when my son got sick. Maybe that makes us lucky, to have other family members with diabetes????? Sometimes I think so when I hear of stories like yours.....more needs to be done to prevent other kids going undiagnosed until it is too late. I pray every day for a cure, but until then, there needs to be more awareness and education, for everyone, not just doctors. Juvenile Diabetes is a mean, nasty disease, and it will take its prisoners regardless. I will think of your Mary Kathryn and say a special prayer for her. I hope that your family heals from such a loss. She is your angel in heaven and she is with you always!ake take its prisoners regardless. I will say aprayer

MaryKathrynsmom on February 19, 2013:

@pawpaw911: Thank you, Pawpaw. Please share our story with everyone that you know!

pawpaw911 on February 19, 2013:

Amazing story. So very sad, but very important to share. I can't imagine the pain.

drmork on February 12, 2013:

Great lens! Nice article; I learned a lot. Thanks for sharing!

MaryKathrynsmom on February 07, 2013:

@Paula7928: Thank you, Paula. Please share our story so that others won't have to experience what we've been through. That's all I can really hope for...an experience I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

MaryKathrynsmom on February 07, 2013:

@missesq10: You're welcome! You're so right, education is the key!

Paula7928 on February 05, 2013:

What a sad story. I am sitting here in tears. I feel so bad for the girls mother and family.

Tonto Murray on January 24, 2013:

Great lens. My daughter also has Type 1. She is an active, happy 15 year old and she is our special light with a great empathetic personality. Blessings

MaryKathrynsmom on December 28, 2012:

@emmotis: CWD is a FABULOUS forum! So very supportive and educational. I can't say enough good things about it!

missesq10 on November 16, 2012:

My brother was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes when he was 8 years old, it can be a very scary experience...but education is key and inspiring words won't hurt either. Thanks for sharing!!!

CristianStan on November 11, 2012:

Diabetes is a dangerous thing, but it's even worse when it happens to innocent kids

emmotis on November 06, 2012:

Dear Deb. My heart goes out to you. My son is now 10 and was diagnosed at the age of 9 with diabetes. I will tell you that you are not to blame. The term diabetes is just another term, and the symptoms, although might be there, don't come together to form the word diabetes. I recently joined the Children with Diabetes Forum and couldn't be more grateful. Please know that your support on that site is so much appreciated. God Bless You!

anonymous on November 04, 2012:

great lens :)

MaryKathrynsmom on November 03, 2012:

@anonymous: Nana, google "What is the normal range for blood sugar" and there's an ABC news article that comes up. Read that article...I think you'll find it to be very helpful.Good luck and keep me posted!

anonymous on November 02, 2012:

Dear Deb,I finished reading your story and can't stop crying. I can't imagine what you and your family have been going through after losing such a pretty princess so unnecessarily. It is so heartbreaking, I can't even express in words. I have my own worries now which got bigger after reading your story. My daughter is 9 and her behavior has changed drastically for the past 2 years. She hasn't had physical done for the past two years as we can't get her insurance and we are low income family, but healthy families keeps rejecting us as not qualifying. Anyhow, diabetes runs in both my and my husband's families, and my husband has symptoms of it too, although he is in denial. My daughter's tantrums became totally unbearable if things don't go her way and it happens when she comes home from school, and when she is tired. She is unimaginably rude to both of us, calls us names, shows total disrespect to both of us, says she hates us, etc. She is a very poor eater, but loves to drink a lot of orange juice and water. I am really worried that some kind of health problem must be that causes her misbehavior, but obviously I can't take her to doctors, as she doesn't have one. I love my daughter more than anything in the world (she is our only child), and it breaks my heart seeing how she has been changing and I have no solution for it. If I buy the glucose meter with strips and test her blood level myself, what should be the figures, what is normal, and what is high/low? When should I worry? May God take good care of your little angel in the heaven and bless you and your family to give you strength to support each other!

Bobski606 on October 13, 2012:

I'm so sorry for your loss. Diabetes runs in my family, my mother and both grandmothers have it, and I remember growing up as a child getting my blood sugar tested every time I said I felt poorly. Thankfully neither of my sisters nor myself have Type 1 diabetes and we are vigilant about our lifestyle to prevent type 2 from creeping up on us. This lens is doing a great job of getting SOJD out there and into the public.

anonymous on October 01, 2012:

That is a tragic story, my heart goes out to you all, people are so quick to say you are neurotic mothers when you think something is not right with your child, makes you afraid to make a fuss when they are off colour. My daughter who is 7 isn't right at the mo, recenently had some bloods taken, glucose came back at 2.8, have to wait for the rest to come back so whilst waiting I bought a glucose tester and 2 hours after eating she had a result of 11.2 ? How can she be too low then too high, is this pre diabetic or something else ? Please help, will be doing another test today before eating at around the same time as the blood test was done at the doctor then do another two hours after food. She is very tired, floppy, emotional and irritable one minute then fine the next, like a roller coaster .....?

anonymous on September 30, 2012:

Ketones in urine are about 2 hours behind whats happening - get a blood-ketone meter - more science - less magic...novacares(dot)com/dmom(dot)php meter is free but usually the strips are expensive

MaryKathrynsmom on September 11, 2012:

@nap4momma: Nap4momma, thank you for your support. Your sweet words warm my heart and again helps fuel me to continue in my quest for awareness of this HORRIBLE/DEADLY disease!

MaryKathrynsmom on September 11, 2012:

@anonymous: Stacie, your experience is almost the same as that of another dear friend of mine. The most revealing thing about their particular story that is truly remarkable, is that that child's father is an ER doctor. He missed it in his own child! By the time they got their child to the ER, she had a BG of 1100 and was DKA. I often wonder why their child was spared and mine was not...but that's this what it so elusive and deceiving about this disease. It truly is the silent killer...the silence is from the medical community and their unwillingness to put Type 1 out there in the forefront in educating the public!

nap4momma on September 10, 2012:

As a nurse and also as a mother of a child with a life-threatening illness, this story breaks my heart. What a wonderful article written from a woman who has done her homework and walked through it! I am so very sorry for their loss. But what a legacy she is creating in memory of her precious child. This will benefit many children. God bless!

anonymous on August 15, 2012:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. my heart breaks for you and your family. this disease is horrible and goes mis-diagnosed way to often. My daughter was 10 and and had been having symptoms for months before being diagnosed. she began drinking all the time, as well as getting up in the night and some times barely making it to the bathroom. I took her into her pediatrician who could not seem to find anything wrong with her. I watched as this disease was tearing through her and could do nothing about it. I did not know any thing about Type 1. I knew something was wrong but just did not know what. she to became not herself. she broke out in a rash I took her to the er and and they said it looked like strep/scarlet fever rash. but when they tested her for strep it was negative. we were sent home with a strep diagnoses anyways. she began to lose weight and we were back at pediatrician and he said oh, puberty. some kids gain, some lose weight during. I knew no way. she constantly had flu like symptoms and had this strange rash on her face, they tested her for everything. from strep to mono ( yes mono) but NOT DIABETES. they could find nothing. she lost a total of 20+ lbs over these months. when other friends and family started askin about her weightloss I knew something bad was wrong. everyone thought we had her on a diet as she had always been my fluffy girl.. one night I spent all night on line, everytime I would enter her symptoms of weight loss and etc. cancer was what I was seeing. the next morning I told my husband, we are going to Dr., and they are gonna tell us what is wrong. we went in they ran blood work and came in to talk to us alone and told us we needed to get to the hospital. we wanted to go over the desk and knock the Dr. out. are you telling me after months of her being ill and me back and forth looking like an overpotective mom, you diagnosed her that fast.... Furious doesn't even come close... all the rashes and symptoms subsided but mental scars will be forever. I am truly touched by you story and think it is wonderful and so thoughtful of you to share during your difficult time. God Bless

MayanC on July 30, 2012:

Diabetes is a challenging condition for adults. For children the challenge is 10 times harder. My best wished to every little girl and boy and the their parents too.

MaryKathrynsmom on July 25, 2012:

@anonymous: Your words touch my heart! They also speak truth...no one is promised tomorrow, but that's even more sad in relationship to this disease! After Mary Kathryn died, I cried and grieved and innocently thought, "If we could have just gotten her past her onset event, then she would have been safe"! It wasn't until several months later, when i befriended parents in the diabetic community, that I came to realize that there is NO safe place with regard to Type 1! Parents can diligently monitor their children and then STILL have them snatched away from them due to a diabetic low or another contributing factor! HEARTBREAKING! So, I do what I do, to help bring about awareness of the signs and symptoms and hopefully, in my small way, try to bring some meaning to the senseless thing that has ever happened to me and my family! {{{hugs}}} to you and your sweet Avery!

MaryKathrynsmom on July 25, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you for your sweet words, Christy.

anonymous on July 25, 2012:

My sweet Avery was diagnosed on February 18, 2009 and my heart absolutely breaks for you Deb. I am awake at 3:38 am with dangerously low blood sugars in my girl. This is an unfair disease to everyone! As I help to begin our local support group your sweet Kathryn will be honored and never forgotten so that we can fight this disease together! We are never promised the next minute of life with this disease but we will praise God for every minute He gives us!!! We love you and your family!!

anonymous on July 23, 2012:

My heart is breaking for you and your family. I just want to thank you so much for sharing your story and for getting this information out. I have a rampant history of Diabetes in my family but never realized how very dangerous Type 1 Diabetes really is. Blessings to you and your family as you heal from your sweet one's passing. You are truly wonderful for taking your pain and making it into something that will help others. Thank you again!

anonymous on July 17, 2012:

@MaryKathrynsmom: Whenever I am asked about my daughters disease I expalin it to the fullest (the people think im crazy) but afterwards they like me did not understand the differnce in the two types of diabetes. Sometimes I think if only it was typ 2 WOW what a difference right. But there is a reason why this was brought into our lives and hers we may never understand it,

anonymous on July 17, 2012:

@LaurisB LM: Your story give me inspiration! My daughter is 17 now she was 16 when diag. I worry for her future and what lies ahead for her and to here your daugher was 12 at diag and is now 41 gives me hope for a future for her. I know people live long lives with this disease but it is hard to not think of "what if" faith and prayer keep me going. Thanks for sharing.

MaryKathrynsmom on July 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Ginger, we don't know what we don't know, until someone teaches us. Don't beat yourself up...thankfully, everything worked out for your family and I'm so very glad! Thank you for sharing your story too. We never know what might resonate with another person. By sharing your story, I have no doubt that you have helped save a life!

MaryKathrynsmom on July 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Lisa, thank you for sharing your experience. Thankfully, you knew something was wrong, despite the assurances of your medical personnel. Wow!:^(

MaryKathrynsmom on July 17, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you TBlaser. I do everything that I do in the memory of my sweet girl! I would never want another parent to experience what we have because of ignorance of this horrible disease. So I try to tell everyone that I can, as often as I can! Please share this site with everyone that you know and by doing that you can help my loss have a purpose.

anonymous on July 16, 2012:

My heart goes out to you and your family. This is every parents fear once they realize what is going on with their child. My daughters symptons were very similar to yours it has been just over a year since her diagnosis she was 16 at the time and been to the dr. a few times over several weeks and even had blood drawn (I have hyper thyroid and graves disease so I assumed thats what she had it is genetic) but came back normal it was not her pediatrician he was on vacation at the time but I pushed for the tests. About a week later with the same symptons but more severe I went back and her regular ped. and he said "Im ordering every test imaginable, but before you leave I want to check her urine ...." I wasn't sure what he was doing and then it clicked when he came in the room after and said " I think we have found the culprit her sugar was 486 here is her order to go to Wolfson's Childrens Hospital go thru the ER and leave now" At that moment the wind was gone from my sails and our life changed forever that date stays with me 04/12/2011. She was one of the lucky ones, she had lost over 18 lbs (that she did not have to spare) was and still is very athletic. She is doing great now and instead of hating this disease I pray for everyone that has it and their families and the ones who have suffered as you have. Had I known of the signs I wouldn't have let my daugher suffer for weeks and think she didn't want to go to school or whatever. This has brought our family closer ALL of the family on all sides. My prayers are with you and THANK YOU for posting this.

anonymous on July 15, 2012:

My son Josh was diagnosed at age 11. He is now 19 and about to start his second year in college. I would like to share my story in hopes to help educate others further.Josh was in the 6th grade and his teacher had been complaining that he was being disrespectful and not paying attention in class. He was even drifting off to sleep! I had a conference with her and tried to work things out between the two of them. This was out of character for him and I knew it. A new school year had just began and this new teacher did not yet know him.I also noticed that he was getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. He had never done this before-- he is a VERY deep sleeper and had never wet the bed. I remember changing his sheets one day and thinking they smelled a little like urine but they weren't wet. He had been drinking more fluids than usual.We had a regular well-visit scheduled with his pediatrician the following week so I thought I would just wait and discuss these symptoms with her. I told the nurse upon our visit what he had been exhibiting and that I wanted his blood glucose tested. The NURSE asked if I had noticed any rapid weight loss or if anyone in the family had diabetes. I explained only Type 2 ran in my family, and he certainly hadn't lost any weight. She dismissed it and said "he's fine". I went into denial, believing that the medical professionals I trusted the care of my child to knew more than I did. For the next two weeks, he exhibited the same signs- drinking more fluids, going to urinate during the night, and being lethargic at school.The last symptom I checked for was when I had him blow in my face and immediately it smelled very sweet, like Juicy Fruit gum! I made another appointment with the pediatrician's office and told them over the phone I wanted him tested!Got to the office and they did a urine test. Said it would be a few hours to get the results back from the lab. Two hours later they called to tell me there was sugar in his urine, and they had already contacted the children's hospital in our town and gave them all our info and we should get there ASAP!Upon arrival to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital they tested his blood and his blood glucose was 460! No keytones though which was good. He was admitted and we had a 4-day hospital stay while they stabilized his blood sugars and educated us on how our lives were about to drastically change!I think the moral to my story is Trust Your Parental Instincts. I knew something was wrong. In my favor, I had read quite a few medical articles and knew a little about the signs and symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. If I had blown it off after my first visit with the peds nurse our outcome could have been very different. Do not rely only on what the doctors/nurses tell you. We have rights as parents. If they had refused to test him again and blown it off I would have taken him to our family physician to be tested!

anonymous on July 15, 2012:

You are AMAZING!!!! Our daughter who will be 5 in August was just diagnosed T1 a little over 2 weeks ago. We were fortunate that she is very active and when she was inactive for a day, sleepy, and not really hungry for a day I took her into the Dr. the next morning. Like you, we have NO FAMILY HISTORY. I thought maybe she had Bronchitis or Walking Phenomia. This diagnoses blew my mind. We immediately went to the Vanderbilt Children's Hospital ER and they admitted her. We spend the night in PICU, then the next day we were moved and after one more day we were home. But not without a complete life style change. We are still struggling with the shots daily, finger pricks are better (she does them herself with a little oversight from us), but it's tough and it hit us like a MAC Truck. The odd thing is that once I told people I found out several people that we know are also T1....I never knew! Lots of help and support has been offered by our friends, but it's still tough. Reading your story makes me realize how lucky we are that we did catch this pretty quickly. I am so sorry for your loss!!!! You and your family are in my prayers! And kudos to you for standing up so that other may see the sign sooner. You are AMAZING!!!

MaryKathrynsmom on June 27, 2012:

@kimberly ann po: kimberly-ann, I'm so glad that your family was one of the lucky ones. I really would not want any other parent to experience what we've gone through and that's why I try to bring about awareness of the signs and symptoms. I wish I had known them 3 1/2 years ago...

kimberly ann po on June 26, 2012:

I am the mother of a type 1. She was 7 at diagnosis with a blood sugar of 1600. I felt guilty and still do for not realizing how sick she was. Her illness came on slow for 2 years. I thank God everyday that she is here and is 19 yrs old now. I feel just sadness when I read stories like this. My heart goes out to the family and friends. I hope that with your strength, someone will be informed.

anonymous on June 26, 2012:

Thank you so much for sharing. When I read this I broke down and just cried.in april 09 our daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes like ur daughter. We spent a week in Huntsville pediatric icu to. She is now 4yrs old.we have been trying to get the word out about juvenile diabetes awareness and the symptoms. Thank you so much for sharing your story. And I am so sorry about your daughter.

LaurisB LM on June 17, 2012:

Thank you for writing this very important story. My daughter was diagnosed when she was 12. She is 41 now and healthy and living a normal life. She adjusted well to dealing with diabetes, but I remember only too well the year before we knew what was wrong, and then the week when she was really sick before I finally rushed her to emergency in a state of panic. We were so lucky, but I have always thought what a waste that she went through all that when a simple blood test the first time I had taken her to the doctor would have told us what was wrong months earlier.

anonymous on June 06, 2012:

@Anna2of5: Thank you Anna2of5. She was! She was so giving and kind...such a sweet light in our lives! One of the things that helps me go on is to know that she has saved so many lives, figuratively and literally. Her light will never go out and her name is known all over the world...perhaps more so than it would have otherwise. Is that worth her loss to us? NO! But it does help to know that her spirit lives on through our awareness initiative in her honor. There will never be another like HER!

Anna2of5 on June 06, 2012:

My 14 year old came down with this a little over a year ago. Fortunately he is ok, I will never look at this disease the same way again. Thank you to Deb for sharing and to you for Posting. she looked like a beautiful vibrant girl. Devestating.

MaryKathrynsmom on May 30, 2012:

@anonymous: Maybe that's so. But no amount of sugar that someone eats will GIVE them Type 1 diabetes! This is what ALL THE CONFUSION IS ABOUT! There is NOTHING THAT YOU (the figurative 'you') CAN DO TO GET TYPE 1 DIABETES AND THERE IS NOTHING THAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT IT!!!!!! Please READ the signs and symptoms and understand the disease! THIS IS NOT TYPE 2 DIABETES...which to some degree CAN BE PREVENTED. Not coming down on you mnriver, BUT PLEASE UNDERSTAND this disease, because SO MANY...LIKE YOU AND ME did not and DO NOT! Please share this page with everyone that you know!

anonymous on May 29, 2012:

There is so much sugar in everyday products it should be made criminal.

MaryKathrynsmom on May 22, 2012:

@Millionairemomma: That's why it is so important to share this information!

Millionairemomma on May 19, 2012:

I was totally unaware of the dangers of this! Thank you so much for sharing!

MaryKathrynsmom on May 02, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you, Tamzin. All I ask is that you share this site with everyone that you know. We are making a difference and that's the reason that we continue on! NO parent should have to go through what we have, just because of the lack of awareness.

anonymous on April 30, 2012:

I'm so sorry for your loss, and would just like to add there isn't always an increase in appetite. My daughter was showing all the symptoms except when I researched everything said that "increased appetite" was a major symptom, so I thought that it must've just been a virus as she was rapidly losing her appetite. It was only after she was rushed to the hospital in a coma that it was found to be juvenile diabetes.Thank you for this site and and the courage to share your story. My daughter's life was saved just in time and I feel so grateful and emotional to realise exactly how close I came to losing her.

elizabethknows lm on April 28, 2012:

This is a story that needs to get out there more. I am so sorry for the families lost as well as other people that have lost their children to this.

MaryKathrynsmom on April 13, 2012:

@anonymous: You're right, Kristin...it should be that simple. It should be common knowledge about the signs and symptoms of T1...but sadly, even today...it is not. Approximately 80 people A DAY are diagnosed with Type 1! If that's not an epidemic...I don't know what is! AND STILL...the SIgns and Symptoms of T1 are not commonly known!!!! Mind boggling! :^( BTW, these numbers have increased in just the 3 years that my daughter has been gone...by DOUBLE!

MaryKathrynsmom on April 13, 2012:

@Cari Kay 11: Thank you, Cari Kay. Please share our story with everyone that you know. :^)

MaryKathrynsmom on April 13, 2012:

@anonymous: Oh, Jonneen! I'm crying at what you've written! Bless you and your precious child...I am so glad that he's been saved! I'm so glad that what happened to us, did not happen to you! Please hug your boy for me and PLEASE, make everyone that you know aware of the signs and symptoms of T1 so that there are no other Mary Kathryns EVER! {{{hugs}}}

MaryKathrynsmom on April 13, 2012:

@anonymous: Your prayer is everyone's prayer that has been impacted by T1. I hope for your child and other children, that that cure is found quickly! But until then, it is ever so important for people to know the signs and symptoms, so that those children live past their onset event and LIVE to see that cure!

MaryKathrynsmom on April 13, 2012:

@Christene-S: Thank you so much, Christene! This lens has given me a focus, when I didn't have one and a reason, as well as my other children ofcourse, to move on. With your immeasurable help, thankfully, lives have been saved and for that, I am forever in your debt! Love you my sweet friend! :^)

anonymous on April 13, 2012:

how very true about glucose testing in doctor's offices could diagnose T1 easily and quickly. That is how my now 14yo daughter was dx at age 5 on her last day of pre-school. She had a routine physical..she had almost no symptoms. I will forever be grateful to her GP (not even a pediatrician) for doing that simple test. I wanted to wait until Monday to bring her to the ER, because she didn't seem sick, but I was told we had to go then because she could become very sick, very quickly. I hope that something so simple will save other lives too. God Bless.

Kay on April 13, 2012:

Absolutely brought tears to my eyes. These are the best pages on Squidoo because they really do help people who are hurting, confused, feeling alone and just overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing her story! Deb is in my prayers because she's faced what no mom should have to face. Give her a virtual hug for me!

anonymous on April 12, 2012:

God bless you for this article, I believe it may have saved my sons life. He was recently sick and the Dr prescribed prednisone. I then began to notice his frequent thirstyness and urination. I wrote it off as a reaction to the medication. After 5 days of taking the steroid I assumed the symptoms would stop but they didn't. Due to the high pollen count at the time I was giving my son claritin as directed by my dr. he was still drinking and urinating frequently which I once again noted as side . About 2 days ago I really noticed the increase &amp; decided to look online for a diagnosis. This is when I came across your heart wrenching story. I had decided I was going to make an appt tomorrow but had to pick my son up from school because he wasn't feeling well. I went to drop him of at a relatives home so I go back to work when I mentioned what had been going on. His diabetic uncle took his sugar on the spot it was too high for the meter to read ! I am now at chkd where my son is alive and stabilized. My heart goes out to you and your family and I would personally like to say thank you for this article which helped save a life.

anonymous on April 12, 2012:

My son was diagnosed at 18 months with type 1 diabetes. I am praying and hoping for a cure because this impact his life in every way !!!! Being that he is only 4 a pump isn't an option. I am so frustrated at times because the more i try to do all the right things it seems he is never regulated!!! He copes very well with all the finger pokes and shots, but as a mom my heart breaks for him everytime he has a poke or a shot !!!! Why does he go so up and down and all over with blood sugars?????? I my area we really dont have very good pediatric endocrinologist... so that makes my journey even worse!!!! I just want someone to help my little boy and cure this awful disease!!!!!!!

Christene-S (author) on April 10, 2012:

@MaryKathrynsmom: This is wonderful news. :) So happy for your family!

MaryKathrynsmom on April 10, 2012:

On a side note, today we adopted our 4 yr old foster daughter, Charity Grace. She's been with us since Good Friday, April 22nd 2011. It wasn't long after we lost our precious, Mary Kathryn, that I felt the desire to have another child. I physically could not have one, so we looked into other means. I was not interested in an infant...for multiple reasons, and was not interested in foreign adoptions as so many children need homes in this country. So, for us...if it was God's will, then HERE is where we would get a child and here is indeed where we did! We started our adoption process, the adoptive parent classes in March of 2010. We completed everything required and on April 22nd, 2011, our daughter was brought to us. Against all odds, we received this amazing blessing and have just today completed the process that will make her ours, permanently! Everything will be totally finalized, when she's baptized in our church on Sunday, April 22nd, 2012! God is so good! :^)

oiloflife on April 04, 2012:

You covered the subject very thoroughly. Excellent advice.

MaryKathrynsmom on March 31, 2012:

@goo2eyes lm: Thank you. You're right, it could happen to any family and the sad thing...is that it does! Far too often! :^(

goo2eyes lm on March 28, 2012:

i am also sad knowing that a kid, your kid was a victim of juvenile diabetes. it could happen to any family. what can i say, i am speechless. she gets the real blessings of God and the angels and my squidangel blessings. let us pray for her.

MaryKathrynsmom on March 25, 2012:

@anonymous: Thank you J-Ellen. Please share our story with everyone that you know, so that we can continue to save lives!

MaryKathrynsmom on March 25, 2012:

@SunshineLollipops: Thank you for your sweet words. I'm so glad that things worked out well for you grandson. Please pass our story on to everyone that you know. Type 1 is a dangerous disease on all levels, prediagnosis and beyond. Awareness of signs and symptoms can save lives at onset and vigilance on the care of our diabetic children post diagnosis. Insulin is not a cure...it's life support until the day that there is a cure! Stay safe!

SunshineLollipops on March 24, 2012:

I am so so sorry for your loss! Your story hits close to home as my ten year old grandson was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes last fall. He was admitted to Primary Children's Hospital where he stayed for several days. He was one of the lucky ones that was stabilized, his parents were educated and he was released and sent home. It has been quite a life changing event for my daughter and her family. There is no history of diabetes on either his mother's or father's side so this was quite a shock. I am happy to report he is doing well. Insulin checks and food calculations are routine in their household now and life is feeling a little more normal. Your daughter is beautiful as are your sons. I can't even imagine your grief. May God bless you all!

soniazahan on March 24, 2012:

Thanks for sharing important topic!

anonymous on March 23, 2012:

I'm so sorry to read of your loss. I have a big ache in my heart for you right now; no words can express how the loss of your sweet child has impacted your life. I pray that you continue to find comfort and that you find grace to convey grace to others.

Bradley Baker from Stephens City on March 21, 2012:

my best friend has itand congrats on your purple star

MaryKathrynsmom on March 19, 2012:

Thanks to everyone who has been commenting on this lens in the last couple of weeks. I know my new friend, MIchael Zorich on FB has really helped to push our lens forward as he advocates for his Type 1 son and the issues that face parents of children living with the disease. At any rate, because of the recent interest again in this lens, we're currently ranked at #4 in Health and #93 overall...on a site this large...THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING!!!!! Thank you ALL!!!!! For helping to get the word out about the signs and symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes!!!! LET'S CONTINUE TO SAVE LIVES!!!!!!!!!

MaryKathrynsmom on March 19, 2012:

@anonymous: I totally understand what you're saying with regards to the confusion between Type 1 and Type 2. I'm sorry, but it sickens me that SO much emphasis is placed on Type 2 awareness, I mean come on, you can easily see at least 1/2 dozen Type 2 awareness commercials in a days time on TV or in periodicals. Can you recall when the last time was that you saw something about Type 1? The deadlier of the 2 diseases?!?! Misinformation is rampant. More times than not, when someone decides to write an article about Type 1 there are errors even in what they're putting out there as 'truth'. MIND BOGGLING! :^( Sorry...*rant* off!

MaryKathrynsmom on March 18, 2012:

@anonymous: It could be any parents child...still so easily misdiagnosed and so much unawareness. Please share our story with everyone that you know!

MaryKathrynsmom on March 18, 2012:

@anonymous: Karyn, thank you, thank you for your kind words. It has taken a while, but to some degree I have finally come to terms with my guilt...rightly or wrongly so. By focusing on something positive (working on awareness)...and of course time {the healer of most things} I've been able to move on. Help spread the word!

anonymous on March 18, 2012:

As a mother of a type 1 diabetic I thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story. So many people think only of type 2, or say "it's only diabetes" not understanding this is a dangerous disease. Having almost lost my daughter to this disease twice I thank you. My heart breaks for the loss of your daughter.

anonymous on March 18, 2012:

Dear Deb ~ God bless you ~ My heart breaks for you ~ May your little girl rest in peace ~ It could have been my daughter ~ She had been sick for so long ~ Doctors dismissed all my concerns ~ Even when they suspected Type 1 Diabetes, they said "let's give her a flu shot and monitor her" ~ She kept getting sick ~ even had the flu months after that shot ~ It was only when I threatened them 7 months later to take her to the e.r. and refuse to leave and call the media if they didn't give me answers as to what was wrong that the dr. did the simple blood test and said "it doesn't look good ~ You need to see an endocrinologist" ~ Almost three years later, though I thank God my daughter is alive, I'm still so angry ~ Those SOB's could have killed my little girl!

anonymous on March 18, 2012:

Every time I read this I cry. I am so sorry for your loss. Our child was diagnosed at 18 months. We were traveling and he kept soaking through his diaper. He also exhibited strange behavior (one night he only slept for 1.5 hours and alternated between crying and racing up and down the stairs). I kept saying to others "I think there is something wrong" but they kept dismissing it as he being sick, going through a growth spurt, behavioral issues or I wasn't changing his diaper enough. I had next to no understanding of diabetes except that I knew the children drank and went to the bathroom frequently. I googled it and made the decision to contact a friend that had a glucose meter. We were admitted to the hospital within an hour. He was in DKA. The only reason I caught this was because my child was in my care 24/7 and unable to act independently. The fact that we were traveling as well helped me to notice the changes in his behavior. My heart breaks for you. You did nothing wrong. Nothing at all. Even at the ER our doctor was about to send us home for diabetes training at home because my son didn't look very sick. He looked happy and healthy. Then the blood tests came back and they realized he was DKA and very very sick. I'll never forget the look on the doctor's face when he saw the results and the blood gas levels. If even trained professionals get it wrong, it is no wonder it can be missed by parents. I hope you have found some peace in this and understand you are in no way to blame. My heart breaks for you.

MaryKathrynsmom on March 15, 2012:

@Skylermeyer2012: I think it's safe to say, that any parent that has lost a child prays that it doesn't happen to another parent. That's why I've tried to spare others through awareness. Thank you so much for your sweet thoughts.

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