The Discovery : April 2011, Brian 20 at the time, took me to Florida for my birthday. He had been complaining about his low energy, frequent urination and constant thirst. Mostly, I brushed it off.
Sharing a hotel room is quite enlightening. That was when I realized what he meant by a lot of water, a lot of peeing. He would get up 5-6 times a night. We couldn't walk by a water fountain or a bathroom without stopping. He was getting calf cramps. He also smelled sweet. You could literally get a fruity sort of smell when talking with him. That was when I started worrying about diabetes.
We returned home late on a Saturday night. Had a family discussion on Sunday. Mom took him to the doctors Monday. His sugars were through the roof. The Endocrinologist appointment that was set for Tuesday morning never took place. Mom found Brian on the bathroom floor, vomiting and unable to dress himself. Emergency Room.
His body was really toxic, kicking off acetone (ketoacidosis), no potassium and totally dehydrated. The doctors stabilized him. What a relief!
Today, he monitors his sugars, calculates carbohydrates and adjust his insulin pump. Brian manages. He is responsible. He never gets a day off.
(Picture 1 - Brian and I this year. Diabetes managed and in control.)
(Picture 2 - Brian and I April of 2011 just before diagnosis. Same location.)
Laymans Description: Brian's body had too much sugar, but because he wasn't producing insulin it couldn't use the sugar to feed itself. That's why he was run down and had no energy. His body started to "eat" itself. (producing keytones etc. ketoacidosis) But at the same time, his body realized that there was way too much sugar in the blood and needed a way to flush it out. Dry mouth, intense thirst and crazy urination. He becomes a walking diuretic and effectively starts the dehydration process. It's crazy. "I sing the body electric".
Find a Cure: The Diabetes Research Institute is a cure focused research center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The Institute’s principal focus is the biological replacement of natural insulin function to restore blood sugar control. DRI scientists have already shown that insulin independence can be achieved through islet cell transplantation. Very exciting.
It is hard work but together we can make a difference. Maybe you know someone with type 1, or maybe you have it, or maybe you don't ... but you want to help. Please consider donating.
I run for a cure for all the pancreatic challenged.
I run for Brian.