Sunday, January 30, 2011
Many of you know what the blue candle means for a family of a type 1 diabetic. For those of you that don't, it means that a life was lost to this disease. This week, five lives were lost. Five. It never gets easier to hear that someone has lost a loved one to diabetes.
Diabetes does not discriminate. Regardless of sex, age, race or gender, diabetes can take your life. The people that died this week ranged in age from 18 months to 27 years old. There was a woman in Australia who died after going into DKA while her parents were on vacation. There was a 24 year old and a 16 year old. There was a 9 year old little girl...her story I will never recover from. She took her own life because she couldn't handle the stress and depression this disease brought to her. She should be riding a bike and dreaming of butterflies. She should be studying for a spelling test and learning how to make transitional sentences. She should be anxiously awaiting the new Justin Bieber movie and making plans to go see it with her friends. She should not be dead...by her own hand...because of this fucking disease. And lastly, there was an 18 month old baby whose doctor MISSED the diagnosis. The baby died from complications of DKA...unexpectedly to the parents. This is what brings me to write tonight...
I started this blog with the sole purpose of raising awareness for type 1 diabetes. It has morphed into all sorts of topics and become a therapeutic escape for me. It is still a means of me raising awareness first and foremost though. I am sure people who do not live with diabetes read my status updates on Facebook and wonder why I publicize deaths from diabetes and probably get sick of hearing about it in general. They probably wonder why I change my picture to a blue candle. Well...the reason why is to prevent something from happening to them like it did to the family of the 18 month old. For some reason, type 1 diabetes goes unnoticed...by the media and by a lot of doctors. A lot. I will do everything in my power to spread awareness about this disease. Death can be avoided in the beginning if someone recognizes the signs: frequent urination, frequent thirst, lethargy and weight loss are the most common. I can tell you so many stories about children I know personally that were misdiagnosed or the diagnosis was just skipped over. These children ended up in DKA and in the ICU for days, sometimes weeks. I find it infuriating that something so easily taught can be forgotten or left behind or just plain ignored by a medical professional.
So, here I am, on a Sunday night, on my couch, with no kids...and all I can think about are these five people. These five people from my very large extended family. All of a sudden, anything that I thought was so important today just doesn't seem so important anymore. I just can't wait to hug my little angels tomorrow when I see them again.
UPDATE ON MEREDITH:
She received her second pancreas transplant tonight and is so far, doing really well. Fingers crossed and prayers being sent your way, Meredith!!
Posted by Kimberly at Sunday, January 30, 2011