November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The American Diabetes Association is launching a nationwide campaign called Stop Diabetes, which is encourage people make a commitment to help stop diabetes. It mission of the American Diabetes Association is to end this disease. For those of you that have followed me either on Twitter or Facebook, my compassion for the issues with diabetes is old news. For those of you that are new to me, diabetes is a very important topic in my life. In June of this year I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I was not overly surprised by the diagnosis because both of my parents have diabetes and my grandparents had diabetes. As a result of this diagnosis I had a huge awakening about myself and my son’s life. I realized that I had to start taking better care of myself, because my son, who has a number of different health issue, is going to need me to help him for as long as it is possible or necessary. As you may already know my son has epilepsy along with numerous other medical and learning which sometimes comes along with epilepsy. So he needs me to be capable of helping him.
So as a result of this awakening I did a couple of things. First, I am not a fan of doctors in general, but I have had several appointments for the purpose of getting more healthy and to control my diabetes. Secondly, I am also a big fan of medication. But since I do not want to be a victim of the complications that can come with diabetes, I am faithfully taking my medication. And last, I have struggled with my weight for my entire life. I always joke and say I was born at 150 pounds. Throughout my life I have tried everything to lose weight, including all of the possible diet programs, medications & surgical methods that have been available for the last 35 years. I have had some success but it has never been permanent. But as a result of this new awakening, I have committed my self to alter my eating habits and to exercise (I am also not a fan of exercising.). So the good news is I have lost 36 pounds this year. I am already starting to feel more healthy, but I still have a way to go. Let’s just hope I can keep it up.
If my diagnosis was not serious enough, our family was next hit with a HUGE shock near the end of August last year. Looking back I should have put 2 and 2 together, but instead found myself and my son in a medical crisis. Over a weekend in mid August, I noticed that my son had a lump on his neck. After inspection I saw that I could see a line running down to his chest. I then realized it was the lead wire to his VNS implant which was for his epilepsy. I had never been able to see this before. I concluded there is either something wrong with the VNS or my son had lost some weight. So I weighed him, and we found out that he had lost 16 pounds since his physical in June. I was a little surprised because I didn’t understand how that is possible, especially since he is a slim guy to begin with. So on Monday, I made an appointment with his pediatrician for later that week. The other incident that I did not recognize is that my son on several occasions in the last two weeks had wet the bed at night, which was totally out of the norm for him.
Then on a Tuesday, my son kept calling me at work saying he did not feel well. Typically I would get two or three calls or text message a day. But on that day he had called me at least 9 times. A couple of times I talked to him, but the rest of the time he left messages. He said he did not feel good and had thrown up. Finally I left work and talked to him as I was driving home. He sounded awful. He complained that nothing tasted right. He begged me to pick up some Pepsi. He also said he was very thirsty. When I got home, I could see he was very sick. His face was kind of ashen and as the evening progressed he started throwing up continuously. He was drinking massive amounts of water and then would immediately throw up. I thought he had the flu, but when the throwing up would not stop, I decided to take him to our local emergency room.
Once we were there, they put him on IV fluids and gave him medication to take away the nausea. They suspected that he had a virus. Just to be safe they took a blood test to check his depakote levels, which is the medication he takes for epilepsy. When the doctor had the results he gave me some unexpected, shocking news. My son was diabetic. I was stunned. I never expected it, especially since he was dealing with so many medical issues. I think at that point I was in shock. The local emergency room then transferred us to St. Paul’s Children’s hospital so that the endocrine specialists could treat him. At Children’s I found out that his glucose level was 740, which is extremely high. It took Children’s 3 days to get his glucose level, and ph level closer to be in a more normal range. While there we were also immersed with information about dealing with diabetes.
I will be honest with you, I was still in shock. My son was a Type 1 diabetic and would be dependent on insulin for the rest of his life. I also realized that this diagnosis was going to cause major changes in my son’s life. This was really tough to accept. But I had no choice. It hit me that my son needed me even more than ever before.
Well that was a long story, but you can now understand why diabetes is such an important topic for me and my family. And you can understand how important it is to me for the medical community to find a cure for this disease. So please support me and my family.
So, please take a moment to learn more about the American Diabetes Association’s campaign to Stop Diabetes. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/bC2epK. The campaign is encouraging people to share, act, learn, and give.
Many people have joined the movement to Stop Diabetes, including myself and people like Bret Michaels. The goal is to reach as many people as possibe.
Do the diabetes math: 24 hours 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Diabetes requires constant care in order to prevent or delay its serious complications, such as heart disease, blindness and nerve damage. But there is help. Get the resources you need to help successfully manager your diabetes or help a loved one manager their diabetes.
The diabetic epidemic continues to grow at an alarming rate. More than ever your help is needed to support research, education and advocacy efforts. Please make a donation to the American Diabetes Association today. More information about how to GIVE can be found at http://bit.ly/aDOIO9.