Nothing affects the online diabetes community more than the photos of blue candles. This is something that I have blogged about before, however if you are new to my blog or new to the online diabetes community you may not know. The blue candle symbolises the passing of someone due to the mis-diagnosis or the complications of type 1 diabetes.
This weekend saw the blue candle twice.
Firstly for 5 year old Kycie Jai. In January of this year Kycie started to complain of headache, her tummy hurt and she was sick. Her parents thought that she was coming down with the flu. By the end of the week she was worse, she was taken to the hospital with a blood glucose level of 1148 mg/dL, here in the UK that would read 63.8 mmol/L. The bg level should be between 4 and 6, yes you have read that right! On the way to hospital she suffered seizures. The Drs said that she had extensive damage to her brain and the family were told to prepare themselves for her to be severely handicapped if she survived. A fb page was created called Kisses for Kycie where we followed her progress. Kycie was a fighter, she fought hard. Kycie gained her angel wings on the morning of 11th July.
Just as I was hearing this sad news on fb another story flashed up. Another child who showed the same symptoms as Kycie.
David was 4 years old, he presented with the symptoms of stomach flu. His bg level was 775 mg/dL, or 43.1 mmol/L. He went into DKA within 48 hours, when he arrived at the hospital he was in a critical condition and his brain had swelled. David gained his angel wings on 12th July.
This should not be happening, the signs are there, you just need to be aware of them, so consider this a public service announcement.....
These are the signs of DKA and need to be acted on immediately:
Frequent urination / bed wetting
Nausea & vomiting
Extreme tiredness / fatigue
Shortness of breath
Pear drop scented breath
There are other signs that may go unnoticed:
Unintended weight loss
Irritability / sudden mood changes
When my husband was diagnosed in 1995 he had many of the above symptoms but we explained them away. It wasn't until his vision started to go that we took it seriously. The Dr said he couldn't understand how he was still standing, he was admitted to hospital for two weeks.
In 2009 our 4 year old son started to show symptoms, because we knew the signs we acted fast. He was not in DKA and there was no need for him to be admitted into hospital.
I am thankful every day that we knew what we were looking for, many are not so lucky. Please take a minute to learn the signs.
Fly high with the angels Kycie & David