My name is Christopher and I am 11 months old. I was born profoundly deaf, and every one told my mom and dad that I would be developing differently than hearing children. Because of this, my mom and dad didn't recognize the signs of my getting sick. I got an awful diaper rash and thrush and the doctor told my parents that it was just a yeast infection. I started falling asleep at odd intervals for about five minutes at a time, then waking up and acting like I was drunk, then falling asleep again. Again, my doctors told my parents not to worry. I would spit up all the time, too, and my doctors said it was typical, I might just be colicky. I wasn't gaining weight, and I wasn't losing weight either. The doctors told my parents that some children just gain differently than others. I couldn't have a decent bowel movement, and wouldn't be able to go for days at a time. The doctors said some babies just do that. I would always want to be held, or would rock back and forth when my mom put me down, and I would make uuh, uuh, uuh noises. The doctors said this was my way of gaining a sense of balance because of my deafness and not to worry.
Then, last Tuesday morning, after a day and a half of random labored breathing, my dad decided it was time to go to the Emergency Room. Luckily the ER physician really listened to all my symptoms and told my dad he was testing me immediately for diabetes. My blood sugar was up over 400 and I was full of ketones. I was immediately put on an IV and given insulin. That helped a lot, then I was Medi-Vac'd out to Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. Mom and dad couldn't go with me in the helicopter, so I got there before they did. All the staff in the PICU were great. I made lots of friends, and was very forgiving of everyone for all the pricking and stuff they were doing to me. I slept for a day and a half, and when I woke up, I was a chubby, happy baby. Mom and I stayed at the hospital for six days, then got to go home. We hit some traffic on the way and my blood sugar dropped to about 56, so mom and had to do some fast thinking and get my blood sugar back up right away!
I've been home for three days now, and I am a different baby. I like to play by myself for a while, and when I'm with my parents and big sister at the dinner table I'm very social. I giggle and laugh now, and don't mind riding in my car seat. Life is good.
Please pass my story on to everyone. Diabetes does not run in my family. Maybe if it had, my doctors would have recognized the signs before my symptoms got so bad. Tell mom and dad to be pushy and, if there is even the slightest thought that your kids may be diabetic, tell the doctor to do the blood test.
Christopher and his family receive e-mail at LaedeLamb[@]aol.com
Published June 13, 2002
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