Type 1 Diabetes

DKA

My father was 68 years old when he passed a few days ago. He had Type One Diabetes for almost 60 years. Sixty years of urine test strips, insulin injections, fingerpricks. Sixty years of low blood sugars and high blood sugars.

This is a portion of his death certificate.

Three little letters that mean so much. D. K. A. And why was my father, a diabetic who for years had his A1C never higher than 5.8, in DKA? Because nursing homes and even hospitals don’t know anything about insulin dependent diabetes. His nursing home didn’t get his insulin from the hospital when he was transferred there. They had him wait a day to get it. A day. An entire 24 hours without insulin. And no one batted an eye. Not a doctor, not a nurse, not a medical assistant. No one.

This has to change. It has to change starting with educating the public, medical school, with each other. As diabetics we have a responsibility to explain our disease every chance we get. I owe it to my dad to try to make sure those  three little letters aren’t on another person’s death certificate.

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6 comments

  1. Stacey D.

    I am so truly sorry your family had to endure something like this. It is unacceptable for the hospital and nursing home to allow this to happen to your father. If you need any help spreading a message, please let me know. Many hugs to you.

  2. Laddie

    I am convinced that I will be killed if I am ever in a nursing home. Either I will be given a Type 2-titered correction dose of insulin or else deprived of insulin. I am guilty that I have not educated my husband and children to understand my insulin regimen and I need to change that.

    I am so sorry that this happened to your dad.

  3. Rick Philips

    Molly, It is truly awful. I hate things like this. All I can think is that being in a hospital or nursing home is the most dangerous place in the world for a person with a chronic condition.

    This item has been referred to the TUDiabetes Blog page for the week of November 7, 2016

  4. Dawn Lee

    Thank you for speaking out, and I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter is frequently in the hospital for other reasons and their lack of understanding is scary. Just this week we had a nurse explain that they use the same protocols for both T1 and T2.

  5. Elizabeth Snouffer

    Dear Molly, Words cannot convey my sorrow for you. You father obviously fought hard and long and his death was preventable. I won’t forget him or you and I believe very strongly his story needs to be heard to a much broader audience. I’ll do what I can. So sorry. With deep sympathy – Elizabeth

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