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August 19, 2003

Sick Days

Question from Shelby Township, Michigan, USA:

Before my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes (at the age of 14 months), we always had to deal with ear infections since she was born, and just before she got diagnosed she had a very bad virus. We wonder if that had anything to do with her being diagnosed. Now, she is doing well, but I begin to worry come fall and winter weather because she is always getting sick. Last winter she had to get surgery on a lymph node that had to be drained, and after that whole thing, she got the stomach flu. I can not tell how worried I get. She got her flu shot in the fall. When she starts school, do I need to be more worried about her catching different sicknesses? We are debating weather we should let her go to preschool because of it. I know I probably need to relax, but after going through everything we went through in the hospital for those three days for the inflamed lymph node from a virus, I can't help but worry.

Answer:

Well, I think you’ve already answered your own question. You should relax more. All young children have frequent virus infections and ear infections are very common. Admittedly, lymph node infections are not so common, and diabetes may make this more difficult to treat but, on the whole, there is nothing unusual about your daughter.

Exposure to viruses at pre-school, etc., is an important part of the body’s ‘learning’ how to deal with these. Of course, when your child has diabetes, you will notice infections more because they can disrupt glucose control.

KJR