Friday, May 27, 2011

The D Word

Diabetes. We've all heard that word. Most of us have a clue that there is more than one kind. When my oldest (and at the time ONLY) son was in the PICU and I waited for the confirmation of his diagnosis, I *knew* there was 2 or 3 types of diabetes. I wasn't sure which was worse, I didn't know what their differences are, and until that day, I had never heard of a child having it in any form.

I learned all about type 1 (autoimmune) and type 2. I think it's fair to say that most of the population is aware of those two. Nobody really knows the difference, though, unless they are faced with it. Usually, you have to be faced with type 1 to even bother with learning the differences. Or so it seems to me.

I had heard of "pregnancy diabetes" (gestational diabetes). Much later I learned of a less common form of diabetes, ladent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), sometimes referred to as type 1.5. I wanted to be "in the know" of these so I learned about them all. I have a good grasp on this diabetes thing.

My second son started showing those tell-tell signs of the dreaded D. He went from skipping naps 5 out of 7 days to sleeping 3 to 4 hours in the middle of each day. He went from being potty-trained to having accidents every day and every night. I lost count of how many times I filled up his sippy cup in one day. I decided to check his blood sugar. Two hours after his bedtime snack, while he slept in his Buzz Lightyear bed, his BG was 161. I panicked. An hour later I wiped his hand to make sure it is clean and checked again. 143. The next morning I checked while he was fasting. 104. All of these numbers are too high. Between then and the next 2 days, however, it stayed in the 80s.

I got the news yesterday that his A1C was 5.8 and there was no indication of type 1 diabetes. I was instructed to check his fasting BG once a week for a month and report it to the pediatrician. I am to consult Brandan's endocrinologist at his next appointment, for my second son. At his physical in July he will have a complete work-up done to test his thyroid, antibodies, etc., etc. I was/am relieved that he doesn't have it. Not now, anyway. I still wonder why he has the symptoms, if they are symptoms.

~*~*~*~*~*~ BOMBSHELL ~*~*~*~*~*~

Our wonderful, terrific, pediatrician called me today, from her cell phone, on her day off. She went to the lab to analyze Logan's urine herself. She saw that it was watered down. She thinks he could have a condition known as Diabetes Insipidus. IT IS NOT DIABETES. His pancreas is fine. It has nothing to do with INSULIN or BLOOD SUGAR. It's the kidneys that aren't getting their job done. Fluids are not being processed through the kidneys and into the bloodstream correctly. It would completely explain the drinking and peeing all the time and the fatigue. There are several sub-categories to this disease, which I will get more into when I find out which, if any, my son is afflicted with.

I have been instructed to make sure he has something to drink at all times over this weekend. Next week we will schedule to spend a night in the hospital. He will have a water deprivation test done to confirm the disease (yep, there's that ugly word disease again) and a MRI to determine what has caused it. The most likely cause is an underdeveloped pituitary gland.

So here is my tidbit for the day: The word diabetes is derived from the Greek verb diabainein, which means to stand with legs apart (as in urination) or to go through. Insipidus comes from a Latin word meaning without taste. In contrast to diabetes mellitus (DM), which describes the excretion of sweet urine, diabetes insipidus (DI) describes the passing of tasteless urine because of its relatively low sodium content.

We learn something new everyday, don't we? Oh, what fun it will be to explain these diabeteses (is that a word?).


Within a couple of hours after posting this I got another call from the pediatrician. She consulted Brandan's endo and she (the endo) feels that Logan is in the beginning stages of Type 1 Diabetes. This has not been confirmed either, but it's practically inevitable. Turns out, the 5.8 A1C was not a good thing. It shouldn't be above 5.5


  1. Oh Trish...I feel for you...the unknowns are frustrating and scary. Funny, I remember vividly the day I was going to take Joe into see his Pediatrician, the day he was diagnosed with type 1, I was hoping for "Iatrogenic Diabetes Insipidous"... not sure how I feel about the Pituitary issue. Please keep us up-to-date.

  2. oh my goodness. Trish... BIG HUGS> frick :( this is an awful situation. I cannot beleive these symptoms could be early stage type 1. I guess the really positive part is you know something about diabetes this time, and can catch symptoms early. I will never truly know how diabetes came on in my son because I didnt even know what a glucometer was, let alone know how to test intermittently for his sugar levels. ok im not making alot of sense. please keep us updated.

  3. chills after reading your edit.
    ((HUGS)) hope all is okay.

  4. I'm so sorry Trish...Hang in there Momma and know that we are all here for you!!

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