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Jackson was diagnosed on July 2, 2012, 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday. He had all of the symptoms but didn't know it at the time. One week before his diagnosis, he had his yearly check up with his pediatrician and everything seemed fine. Over the following week I noticed he was looking thinner, his shorts were falling off of him, but I just figured he was maybe thinning out some, running around with his brothers. He woke up on July 1st, ate breakfast and played for a little bit with his brothers then went to lay down, on his own. I just thought he didn't feel good, he wasn't running a fever so I wasn't really concerned. I didn't get concerned until I went to change his shirt and saw he was breathing funny. I called the on call nurse who had me count his breathes and didn't seemed to concerned. He slept most of the day then, around dinner time, began to vomit. I called the on call nurse again who told me to try giving him small sips of Pedialyte, gradually increasing. That didn't work so we decided to take him to the ER at an Army hospital. They gave him some Zofran to help with the nausea and he started drinking. The ER doctor ordered some labs and wanted a stomach xray because his stomach was severly distended. After waiting about 30 minutes, the ER doctor came in and told me that my baby was diabetic and in DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis, meaning his body could not use sugar as a fuel source because there was no insulin or not enough insulin. Fat was being used for fuel instead, creating ketones. High levels of ketones are posinous. My heart sank. My first thought was if I was going to bring my baby home, but I never verbalized that. I then started asking questions...could this have been prevented-no, how did he get it-best guess was he got a virus that attacked and virtually killed off his pancreas. What I shock. Here I was thinking he had a bad stomach virus, they would give him some IV fluids to keep him from getting dehydrated, and we would be sent home. Instead, the doctor was arranging transportation via ambulance to the children's hospital and he was admitted into the PICU. After 2 days in the PICU, my happy baby was back. He spent 2 more days in a general admission room then was sent home to a world of unknowns. It has been a roller coaster these past 6 months, no day ever being the same as the last, but I am so thankful to have my little sugar baby. He has endured so much in his short 2 1/2 years and he still manages to be a happy little boy. What I wouldn't give to take this away from him even for just 1 day. That is why our family will be doing JDRF walks every year, raising money to help find a cure. Please help us find a cure!
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Mrs. Charlotte Hughes
Nish Phillips Hilley