What is it about sleeping that makes children thirsty? It's one of the enduring mysteries of parenting. Moms and dads remember, with fondness or angst, those middle-of-the-night cries for water ... and the inevitable trips to the bathroom a few short hours later.
Our son Joe was no different, but as he neared his fourth birthday we noticed those overnight calls for water increasing. Not surprisingly, so did trips to the bathroom. By August 2007, Joe was waking at least six times every night. We suspected something was wrong (perhaps a urinary infection of some sort) so we brought him to the clinic.
We described the symptoms and the doctor immediately ordered a blood glucose test. The results were shocking. He had nearly 10 times the normal amount of glucose in his blood. Her diagnosis: Type I diabetes. For some unknown reason, his little body had attacked its own pancreas and killed cells that produce insulin, the chemical responsible for turning carbohydrates into the energy we use to function.
We packed our bags and spent the next three days at a Sioux Falls hospital, learning how to treat the disease. It meant finger pokes to check his blood sugar six to 10 times and at least four insulin injections daily. Around Christmas 2007 Joe began using an insulin pump. A small catheter site changed every three days replaced the insulin injections, but the finger pokes will never go away.
This year we are participating in the Walk to Cure Diabetes at the Sanford Research Center in Sioux Falls on January 25. Nationally, more than 500,000 people will participate in walks this year, with a goal of raising $89 million for diabetes research. South Dakota Magazine has formed a walk team, and our fundraising goal is $1,000.
Today doctors are closer than ever to a cure. Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls recently began a human clinical trial for a drug they believe can regenerate insulin, and our doctor believes there will be a cure by the time Joe finishes high school. Please consider donating to Joe?s team. Every penny helps, and it may help find the cure even faster.