Thursday, June 3, 2010

Another Face of Diabetes

I usually protray the faces of diabetes as being "normal" looking. If you look at our Faces page you will see children playing, adults working.  You will see people that could be anyone on the street. Today I want to show you another face...

This face will not be pleased with me for exposing it but nonetheless, I want you to look closely.  This face with diabetes is terribly pale.  There are dark circles below the pale blue eyes.  Those eyes look hollow. If you look closely, you will see the shirt worn by this person with diabetes.  The dark stain at the top is either from vomit or more likely from the water that his hands were too shaky to hold.

This face with diabetes reflects the rages of diabetes.  He is high. He is hypergylcemic.  He is ketonic.  His body is running off of its own muscles and tissues to stay alive rather than the glucose brought to it through food.  His cells are starving as he vomits and urinates any liquids that enter his body before they can be used to hydrate or fuel his body.

This face with diabetes is the result of no insulin for only a few hours.  Despite multiple pump alarms to say that insulin levels in his pump were dangerously low, the reservoir was not refilled.  Despite a mother telling this child that he needed to drop into her house and get more insulin before he returned the next day, the insulin reservoir was not filled until it was completely empty. 

Thankfully he chose not to eat or things could have been much worse but it took eight hours to bring blood glucose levels back into close to normal range.  It took over eight hours to bring moderate ketone levels down to trace.  Had he have gone eight hours without any insulin, well the results could have been disasterous. 

Insulin is what keeps him alive.  After only a few hours without this life-giving hormone, this young man was terribly ill.  If left for a longer period of time he would have been fighting for his very life.

Diabetes is serious.  In case we may have forgotten, it rears its ugly head and provides faces of hyperglycemia.

Please support the Ecole Notre Dame du Cap Walk for Diabetes on June 18th.  Donations can be made online on the website.

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