The other morning as I scrolled through my social media newsfeed I read…
“My 14 year old brother died of kidney failure after living his life with diabetes.We are looking for help to pay for his headstone.”
“Teenaged boy dies from undiagnosed diabetes”
I saw blue candles. I didn’t read any more. My heart cracked a little more.
Sadly, these stories are not new. I have been hearing and reading them for almost 16 years.
Did I hear them before March of 2000? No.
Why? Well, one reason is most likely the lack of social media in my life at that time. I was not able to turn on my computer and read about it. I didn’t have the technology.
The other reason is I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t know.
Before March 17, 2000 I knew next to nothing about diabetes. I knew a lady who had it. She took a needle or two. She drank diet pop and people said that she didn’t take very good care of herself.
There was a young boy with diabetes that my mom knew when I was growing up. He didn’t do anything different but some days he just sat on the couch rather than playing with the rest of us kids.
That was the extent of my diabetes knowledge.
I didn’t know that without insulin injections that woman would die. I didn’t know that she had to balance her insulin, food and diet or she could pass out…or die. I didn’t know that the little boy was probably low and his body was recovering from a lack of sugar and too much insulin. I didn’t know that this was a very serious disease with very deadly repercussions if ignored.
Since 2000, I have changed…a lot. The world has changed…a lot. Sadly, children and young adults are still dying because no one recognized the symptoms of diabetes.
The symptoms are still tricky. I thought my toddler was teething or had the flu when in fact he was dying before my eye. It doesn’t matter that the symptoms could be a mirade of other ailments. We have to put the possibility of a diabetes diagnosis on the radar of doctors and the general public.
They have to run through the gamut of cold? Flu? Diabetes? A simple urine or blood test will rule out diabetes. That is not being paranoid or over-protective. That is the only way that we can begin to save more lives.