Careless. Senseless. Tragic.
I wish that the common cold virus produced insulin. If it did, my immune system would’ve kicked into high-gear and rid my body of these nagging runny-nose, coughing, stuffy-head symptoms that had been bothering me for the last week.
But even more than that, I wish that pediatric doctors were trained to recognize the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes in children*. Or, even better, if they included blood (or urine) glucose tests as standard protocol when seeing a child, making it just as routine as listening to their chest with a stethoscope. It’s incredibly easy to do, but is all too often overlooked.
If you haven’t already, please read Sunday’s post from Tom Karlya on DiabetesDad. Then read ALL the comments (there are a lot!). It is, perhaps, the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read. Kids come to see their doctor with the classic textbook-symptoms, the doctor writes it off as a common illness or bacterial infection, and then sends him or her home where they ultimately end up in Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), or perhaps even worse.
It’s careless. It’s senseless. And it HAS TO STOP.
I don’t consider myself of much of an advocate, much less an activist, and I rarely direct my readers to other blogs, but this horrifying story, which gets repeated over and over in the comments (and who knows how many other times) demands some sort of action. It does to me, anyway.
Whether the way to right this wrong is via governmental legislation, medical professional associations, or parental education is a conversation that is still ongoing. But something has to happen.
As Tom says often: “Don’t do nothing.”
*I know that this story is not unique to children. But it always seems more tragic, for some reason, when children are the ones affected – perhaps because they are less able to take charge themselves and are more reliant on others, or perhaps because they are younger, cuter, and more innocent than old farts like me. Regardless, things need to change.