Diabetes Awareness ’09

It’s that time of year again boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen. Next week is National Diabetes Week, and, starting Sunday, July 17, there’s tonnes of awareness to be done.

Diabetes Australia has a brief note about the upcoming event, and really doesn’t go any further into it. All that is definitely on for next week is the 2009 Walk to Cure Diabetes, run by JDRF.

Needless to say, the most important part of any awareness week is you. Get out there, talk to people about Diabetes, donate to JDRF or Diabetes Australia. And pray that, one day, a cure will be found.

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A Time For Reflection

Devoted readers,

I apologise forthwith for the lack of updating of this page, but my life, as Kate and Lance’s, has been filled to brimming with events and occurrences. My dearest nephew has been in horrible pain, and Kate is trying to cope on little sleep and a life almost devoted to D and PN.

Please, send your wishes on to them, and pray that relief will soon be at hand.

I want to reflect back on what has been a trying time for Kate and Lance. Their tireless work throughout this year to prove to doctors that PN can exist in a young child has resulting in help from many of you, for which I thank you all. I will shortly write a more detailed post, when I am not knee-deep in Carbon Nanotubes and trying to sort out plagiarising students.

We hope for a cure to come swiftly to aid all of us, and hope for the best for Kate and Lance.

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May-day, May-day

Devoted reader,

I apologise profusely for my slackness in keeping the world updated with the progress of life with dearest Kate and Lance-a-lot, but I am troubled.

I’ve had significant issues in getting in contact, with only one short phonecall to Lance last month, and quickly catching Kate before she shot out the door yesterday. All I can tell you is that they are alive. Admittedly, though, Lance sounded in good spirits when I spoke with him 🙂

Meanwhile, there’s not a great deal I can tell you at this point from a diabetes perspective, but, there is another event close to my heart coming up soon:

Next week, May 11-17, is ME/CFS Awareness Week, and Dan and I plan to go along to the event organised in NSW, the Creative For A Second art tour.

As always, donations to both the ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Society and JDRF are greatly appreciated by all people involved.

I hope to be able to update you with more soon!


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Oh won’t you wait…. just a little bit longer :)

Hi all, Janek here again.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to post here, I’ve been busy, Kate and Lance have been tied up with life, and no one’s had a chance to post 😦

But we still love our readers! So, expect more very soon when we get a chance to post again 🙂

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Turkish Research

A short post from me this morning… I was doing a little research yesterday, and stumbled across reference to this article:

Peripheral neuropathy in children with insulin dependent
diabetes mellitus

Fiçicioğlu C, Aydin A, Haktan M, Kiziltan M.
Istanbul University Cerrahpa şa Faculty of Medicine.
Turk J Pediatr. 1994 Apr-Jun;36(2):97-104. (Link)

Peripheral somatic nerve function was studied in 38 unselected diabetic children and 31 age and sexmatched
healthy controls. Thirteen of the 38 diabetics had abnormal peripheral somatic nerve function tests (more than 3 SD below the mean for normals). Five of the 13 diabetic children had only abnormal peripheral nerve function (early asymptomatic neuropathy); seven of these 13 were abnormal both in neurologic examination and peripheral nerve function (asymptomatic neuropathy). Only one of the 13 patients showed neuropathic symptoms as well as an abnormal neurologic examination and impaired peripheral nerve function tests (symptomatic neuropathy). Both motor and sensory peripheral somatic nerve abnormalities were related to poor glycemic control (HbA1c) and duration of diabetes. Individual peripheral nerve tests correlated with HbA1c (fibular motor, p < 0.001; sural sensory, p < 0.05) or duration of diabetes (fibular motor, p < 0.01; median motor, p < 0.01). These results emphasize the importance of metabolic control and duration of diabetes in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. The findings suggest that peripheral neuropathy is common in young, insulin dependent diabetics. Being easy to conduct and sensitive, regular followup of nervous function test results may help to achieve good metabolic control and prevent diabetic complications.

In other words, of 38 randomly selected Type-1 diabetic children, ONE THIRD had some degree of Neuropathy. If your doctor doesn’t believe you that children can have it, print out this blog post and take it with you.

If anyone has access to the Turkish Journal of Paediatrics, I would be very greatful for a full version of this article, my University only has back to 2002.

With love and jelly-babies,

Janek xx

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A rant on modern medicine

I’m sorry I’ve been a little slack in keeping everyone up to date here on Kate and Lance’s blog, but I’ve been a little caught up in a few other things and have just found some time to sit down.

Things have not been going well for my sister-in-law in the north. She and Lance have been racing around trying to find an answer… any answer for Lance’s pain, which no doctor seems willing to believe is Peripheral Neuropathy. It’s at times like this we wish that modern medicine would stop thinking that every person fits into the categories written about in their textbooks.

Life is not identical for each of us. We are not exposed to exactly the same conditions as any other person every day, and even then our bodies respond to things differently. Allergies and intolerances are a prime example of this, and the varying degrees people may be afflicted with such debilitating illnesses as Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Fibromyalgia, as well as even things such as stress, anxiety, and depression, means that no doctor can just look in a book, point to a word and say “You have this!”.

It is imperative that Western Medicine remembers to think laterally and logically, combine all factors, and think about the exact conditions that the person is presenting with. If a child is crying every night and requiring 24 hour care to try to ease his pain; if a child can’t feel a pin being forced into his foot; if a child has continual burning sensations in his legs, then that child is probably not making it up and attention seeking.

As you can tell, I am seething from the news Kate has been telling me. It is disgraceful and disgusting some of the medical advice she has been given, including “just ignore it”, “it’s growing pains”, and “it can’t be neuropathy, he’s too young”.

It is good advice for all persons to remember, don’t just take your doctor’s word each time. Ask for a second opinion if you don’t believe what they’ve said is the case. Go to another doctor in your town, or, if you have to, travel. Find out who is the best person for your symptoms who might be able to help, and demand to see them. Do not just accept defeat and that you’ll just have to put up with anything.

Be bold, be strong, and be well.

Janek xx

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When life gets you down, Mrs Brown

Things have been a little less than positive in the -a-lot household recently, with a combination of the joys of Peripheral Neuropathy, visits to doctors, more tests than you can poke a stick at, and the odd extremely hot day (we do love our Australian summers, with temperatures regularly over 40 degC recently in Kate’s town – that’s 105 degF for you imperial folk), Kate and Lance have been caught up in the whirlwind of it all as the year begins, so I’m here for a quick update.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing really to update you on. Research has been quiet of late, with no real discoveries noted, but that’s not unusual for this time of year. In fact, there’s nothing really for me to say at all, except that Kate and Lance are both alive, I promise!

They will return shortly 🙂

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