Gratitude and Blood Sugar
6 years ago, a text from my youngest son Brian popped up on my phone. Not unusual, he generally checks in with me just to say hi. He was starting a summer marketing internship in San Francisco, part of his ASU Honor College education. He was 21, tall, handsome, healthy and fit.
The text: “Mom, I’m losing weight, craving sugar, feeling exhausted, dying of thirst and peeing all the time, I think I have diabetes.” Twenty-Four hours later I had him back in Scottsdale in the office of my internist.
The Lab Test: Blood sugar 450.
The Diagnosis: Type 1 Diabetes (the disease formerly known as Juvenile Onset Diabetes)
The Plan: Insulin, injected urgently and repeatedly for the rest of his life, to stay alive.
My mom developed diabetes in her early 50’s. She was not obese or sedentary; she required insulin from the beginning. She seemed to fall into the small group of adults with type 1diabetes. She lived with me and my boys for much of their childhood. She was Nana and nanny while I finished my medical education, launched my practice and worked long hours to make it go. My boys, especially Brian, because he was the youngest, learned firsthand about diabetic comas and insulin reactions. In her later years many times Brian would find Mom glassy eyed and disoriented and would know to run for the orange juice to help raise her blood sugar and hope it worked. Then there were the ambulance calls, hours in the ER and days in the hospital to deal with the effects of “brittle”, hard to control diabetes on a loved one.
That’s why Brian knew what was happening to him. That’s why he knew what could be his future: doctors, ERs, hospitals, and unthinkably devastating consequences of a lifetime of diabetes.
But we are going to change that destiny for him and for all like him.
I became involved with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. They are our best hope for funding vital research finding the cure for Type 1.
Exciting new ideas and technology are worthy of funding….like the newly FDA approved artificial pancreas that measures sugar and injects the right amount of insulin, just like the pancreas we take for granted. Also, biological breakthroughs like encapsulation (allowing the transplanting of healthy pancreas cells without the requirement of toxic anti-rejection drugs) need to be refined and made available and this takes money.
JDRF helps to fund these and other innovative and frankly crazy sounding ideas, some of which will turn out to change the future for many of our children.
I am so grateful for my son’s life and for JDRF for being determined to make Type One into Type NONE.
The third week in November marks our annual Silent Auction. There will be over $20,000 in all of your favorite cosmetic noninvasive procedures and skin care products. Call us or drop in from November 16 to November 23 and tell us what you want to pay for your favorite treatment. If you have the highest bid, you win! And so do all those with Type One.
All proceeds go directly to JDRF! LOOK GOOD AND DO GOOD! What could be better?