One of the many downsides to having a child with diabetes is the paranoia that I now feel every time his brother gets sick. Both boys had colds this week and they also received their 1 year and 4 year immunizations, respectively. After Gabriel got his shots he got a fever and was miserable. He was very clingy the next couple days and couldn’t sleep very well at night. These can be normal symptoms after immunizations (especially when coupled with a stuffy and runny nose).
I really wasn’t too worried about him (other than the normal sick kid worries) until tonight. He was on the mend today: no fever, minimal nose drainage and acting like his normal self (playing and running around). I’ll admit I lost track of time tonight while cleaning and realized they needed dinner just before their usual bed time, so it wasn’t surprising that Gabriel was whiney. He was not only tired, but hungry too (even I get whiney with that combo!)
So I fed them dinner but Gabriel wasn’t doing any better, he was whineier and looked miserable. After I cleaned him up and changed his diaper he fell asleep on my shoulder. While this may be normal for some of your kids, this is not normal for Gabriel, he usually plays in his crib (with no toys) for about 10 minutes after I put them to bed.
My first thought is “DKA?” (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) for those of you that don’t know: Diabetic ketoacidosis is an acute, major, life-threatening complication of diabetes. It’s what happens when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat is used for fuel instead.
I listened carefully to his breathing, mentally counted the number of diaper changes today, tried to remember how much he had to drink and even considered using TJ’s meter to check his Blood Glucose levels to see if they were in a normal range (but I didn’t). I thought about how often he woke up last night and realized he only had one (not very long) nap today and had to talk myself down. If he doesn’t rebound tomorrow and act like his usual self again, I may be squeezing some pee from his diaper on to a ketone test strip or checking his BG tomorrow. The good news is I have everything I would need to diagnose him here thanks to TJ, the bad news is that every time he gets sick this is what my thought process is.
I realize that one night of him being tired really shouldn’t set me off on this tangent but it’s so hard not to worry because it could happen at any time, after any illness or not at all.
Here are a list of symptoms to keep an eye out for:
Symptoms can include:
- Deep, rapid breathing
- Dry skin and mouth
- Flushed face
- Fruity smelling breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
Other symptoms that can occur include:
- Abdominal pain
- Breathing difficulty while lying down
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased consciousness
- Dulled senses that may worsen to a coma
- Frequent urination or thirst that lasts for a day or more
- Muscle stiffness or aches
Shortness of breath