Previously Healthy, A Child's Story

This is a wonderful story about a very young child who was misdiagnosed, and then diagnosed with type 1. So well presented, with great pictures. Sad story, but well worth reading! Click on the link below to read the complete story.

Previously Healthy
When I meet Darice Oxendine in her home, she holds two small shoes in her palms. The sneakers are white, rimmed in zebra print, the inside bright pink. I think of Hemingway’s one-line poem: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

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I don’t really understand the story, since it seems to assume that diagnosing type 1 diabetes is profoundly challenging, so everyone has to be screened, but in fact, with the extreme polyuria, polydipsia, and weight loss that characterize the disease, even the most inattentive people would have to see that something very odd and extreme is going on. Also, whenever I have encountered diabetic ketoacidosis, the distinctive nail polish smell has been overwhelming, so how even a general practitioner could miss that is beyond me.

When I developed diabetes I was only 18 months old and although my mom knew something was wrong and she took me to the Dr. they just said that I had the flu still even though she had taken me in previously when I really did have the flu the week before. It wasn’t until I was unresponsive that I was finally taken to a large children’s hospital that knew exactly what was wrong with me but it was too late to keep me from going into a diabetic coma.

This all happened in the early 90’s but it still a prevalent problem today where small children who are not yet able to describe their symptoms are diagnosed with the flu or strep throat, etc. and sometimes no one figures it out until it is too late to either keep the baby out of a coma or even dying. I do think that every sick child that comes in to Dr.s office should have their BG checked just in case, it is a cheap nearly painless and immediate way to ascertain if it is just a virus or possibly diabetes.