Friday, November 7, 2014, my oldest son, James (12 years of age) left home to go on a long awaited hunting trip. Our hunting location is about 3 1/2 hours away from our home. For weeks James was very excited about the trip and that’s all he would talk about. When we were finally on the way he seemed rather quiet and I asked him if something was wrong, he said he was feeling a little tired but really wanted to hunt. When we were about 20 minutes from our hunting location, James asked if we could skip the evening hunt, get a hotel room and hunt in the morning. He then advised his asthma was acting up but he was OK. We had his inhaler, rescue inhaler, and a breathing machine if things really got bad so I was not too worried about it; we’ve dealt with his asthma many times before.
When we got our room I gave him a breathing treatment and he said he felt much better (later I learned he was not much better but he really wanted to go hunting so he was trying to tough it out). He didn’t eat that night and all night long we would get up to urinate. I had also noticed he had been drinking water and everything he could get his hands on for the last two weeks. Also, he had lost 30 pounds since school started, but he was also playing football and running track for the school. I didn’t give much thought to the changes, I thought he was serious about hydrating himself because of all the physical activity. ( All these symptoms seem to have a reasonable explanation but do you know which disease he is suffering from? I didn’t)
By morning he was weak and a couple of times his eyes would roll back and he would slump over and as fast as that started, it would stop and he would be fine other than fatigue. I decided to cancel the hunt and get him back to Houston. On the way home he was drinking a lot of water and said he didn’t feel good. As luck would have it, every time he would feel worse we would be in the middle of a small town. I stopped at a store and asked where was the nearest hospital and was advised it was about an hour away and in the same direction we were going. I decided to take him myself. I was driving on the open road easily in triple digits.
I slowed down when we entered another small town and found a restaurant which was closed but they had an electrical outlet by the front door. I used the outlet to power the breathing machine and give him a treatment, it didn’t help much. We were back on the road and getting to Houston as fast as we could. When we finally arrived in Houston he was awake and talking as if nothing ever happened. It was the strangest thing to see him go from one extreme to another, I even began to wonder if he just didn’t want to got hunting but didn’t want to tell me.
We decided to go home and I told him if he felt strange to let me know and I would get him to the hospital. Once we were home he watched TV for a short time and then said he was going to take a nap. He went to his room and I was telling my wife about the ordeal. About 20 minutes later James came from his room and didn’t even look like my son. He was gray, his eyes had dark rings around them and somehow he even appeared several pounds lighter. I grabbed him and put him in the car and headed to an Urgent Care about 10 minutes away. On the way there he lost consciousness several times. I would rake my knuckles on his chest and shout out his name to try and wake him up ( I don’t wish this experience on any parent ).
Just as we arrived at the Urgent Care, he was up and talking again but sluggish…I wondered what the heck was going on? one minute he seemed to be incoherent and the next he was talking again.
The Doctor at the Urgent Care saved his life. At this point I still thought it was his asthma and so did the Doctor. She gave him a breathing treatment and James said he felt better but he didn’t look better. I had already made up my mind that I was going to take him home and put him to bed, I was ready to take off several days from work to care for him. The Doctor said she felt like she was missing something and didn’t want to let him go. She asked me if he had fallen or if I noticed anything different about him.
This is what I replied with, ” He’s lost about 30 pounds since August but he’s been playing football and running track for the school, and for a couple of weeks he’s been drinking water like crazy and urinating a lot, he is obsessed with water ” The Doctor immediately had a urinalysis performed. James’ blood sugar level was 572! The normal level should be between 70 to 170. My son was slipping into a diabetic coma. If that Doctor had not asked me those questions, I would have taken my boy home and put him to bed which would have been fatal.
He was transported to Texas Children’s Hospital and we stayed there 4 days. James is a Type 1 Diabetic, this is a life long disease which requires insulin, there is no substitute.
So how do I prep for this? I’ve been reading on different ways on how to store Insulin. Thankfully Insulin is not a controlled drug and can be bought over the counter but its very expensive without a prescription. Its even sold at Petco because some dogs and cats are diabetic. I guess while everyone is raiding the grocery stores as the SHTF, I’ll be raiding Petco, sorry Fluffy, my boy comes first.
If insulin is kept between 30-40 degrees it can last up to two years. How do I keep something 30-40 degrees if there is no electricity? How can I do it quietly? So many things to think about. My preps have taken a new direction, I’ve always said you can’t have enough guns and ammo…but I do. Now I have to invest on whatever it takes to give my son the best chances in a SHTF world. It’s like I’m starting all over.
If anyone else is in this or a similar situation and would like to share ideas with me please feel free to reply or PM me.
Please take note of the symptoms for Type 1 Diabetes ( Juvenile Diabetes ). I’ve learned too many kids didn’t make it to the emergency room, they took that nap because they were tired and never woke up.
I’m sure we are all dedicated parents but if you have been busy with all the Christmas shopping and holiday stuff, take a day off from that and spend it with your kids and enjoy the moment.
My first guess after the thirst was diabetes insipidus, with insulin and a kid diabetes mellitus(?sp) or dm1. Crazy thirst and tired nothing else maybe rabies. Aside from my first guesses, it would scare the crap out of me as a parent. If you live in texas how far is it to go to mexico? In as far as going and buying more insulin in mexico and bringing it back to texas. That still leaves the storage issue. I’ve thought about this myself, both of my sons have had to take acyclovir for shingles, I looked into buying online from out of the country through the mail, but I don’t want some federal agent knocking on the door trying to prosecute me for importing illegal drugs into the country. Because hey, that is the kind of sense they make of someone trying to be prepared.
My daughter struggles with RA. Needs to keep her meds refrigerated. I have never thought about that, great post thank you!
It would be easy in the winter time, but what about summer? Something I need to work on, maybe we can share ideas.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.