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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tomorrow is our 2nd annual JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes

so how fitting that tonight Aidan was admitted to the ER for DKA. Or Diabetic Ketoacidosis? Just a reminder to Darren and I how serious this disease is, and how blessed we are that we have the means to get Aidan the care that he needs. It also reminds me how much I hope there will one day be a cure for Type 1 diabetes. Which is why I will go walk tomorrow, alone, likely in the rain, while Darren stays with the boys. I can't not go, and not support the single greatest contributor to finding a cure for my little boy. Or Darren will go while I stay with the boys.

For those of you wondering, DKA, or diabetic ketoacidosis is: an acute metabolic complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, and metabolic acidosis. DKA occurs mostly in type 1 diabetes. It causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can progress to cerebral edema, coma, and death. DKA is diagnosed by detection of hyperketonemia and anion gap metabolic acidosis in the presence of hyperglycemia. Treatment involves volume expansion, insulin replacement, and prevention of hypokalemia.

Now in English: There are many complications that can occur with diabetes. One serious complication is diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). It most commonly occurs with Type 1 diabetes and is often the first symptom of Type 1, because it can often strike without warning. DKA is caused when the body has little or no insulin to use. The blood glucose level keeps rising to dangerous levels. This is called hyperglycemia.

If the blood glucose continues to increase, the body goes into an "energy crisis" and starts to break down stored fat as an alternate energy source. This produces ketones in the blood as the fat is burned for energy. As the ketone levels rise, the blood becomes more and more acidic.

DKA progresses from hyperglycemia to ketosis, which is a build-up of ketones in the body. Ketosis can lead to acidosis, which is a condition in which the blood has too much acid. When this happens it is known as diabetic ketoacidosis. This is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately by medical professionals.

UPDATE: Darren just called. Test results are in and Aidan is suffering from DKA. His tests also came back showing an elevated white blood cell count, which means that he has some type of infection, but they are unsure of what exactly it is. This infection is what caused his sickness today and the onset of the DKA. The Dr's at the ER spoke with Aidan's specialist in Charleston and agreed he needs to be moved to a different hospital here in Columbia. They are sending a transport team for him now, it is my understanding that he will have several tests run tonight to determine the cause of the elevated white count and the type of infection. Once the transport team arrives for Aidan, Darren will be coming home to stay with Asher and I will be heading to the hospital to spend the remainder of the evening with Aidan.

Thank you in advance for you prayers.

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