Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Pancreas Boy and the Case of the Vanishing Pancreas

Yesterday was a day of revolving door meetings with nurses and and doctors regarding the whosits and whatsits and howsits of diabetes.

The who: Pancreas Boy

The what: Type 1 Diabetes

The how: autoimmunity?  trauma?

There are 2 main types of diabetes. Phillip's is the most common in children, yet the least common overall. The suspicion is that during the battle of skateboard v pancreas- the blow that the pancreas took started a chain reaction that ended up with Phillip's immune system targeting pancreas cells as damaged and starting to get rid of them. Now if we could just nail down these premises for targeted cancer therapy.....or hell I'm gonna go out on a limb and call for the actual cure of diseases.

The docs went back and reviewed his previous scans and saw the deterioration and that was why we were monitoring his sugars. The questions are why now? and what is the mechanism?  We may not find the answers, but will get him into a couple more scans to see what's going on. None of this stuff affects the course of treatment- all that is standard for type 1 diabetes. Studies have shown that in cases where the pancreas has been pummelled- sometimes it results in diabetes, sometimes not.  Since it is a pretty rare occurrence- again not a lot of data on that. 

Pancreas Boy faces each and every challenge and keeps us in stitches- fortunately not literally.  Yesterday his IV was sore and creating difficulty for him. That is to say that when he bent his arm to play video games - the darn machine kept beeping. We discussed with the nurse either moving it or getting rid of it altogether and she put in the call to the doc for approval. We then transitioned the conversation to taking blood glucose levels and that Phillip could do it himself and even give himself the insulin shot.  Phillip apparently reached an intense moment in Angry Birds Rio and missed the transition. He hardly paid attention as the nurse removed his IV.  SO when she asked him if he was ready to poke himself he dropped the game and looked to me in utter panic- I don't want to do it.  Phil gives him a confused look and asks why not- he did it earlier.  Phillip shakes his head and says- no the guy in the ER did it.  At which point we all realize he thinks we want him to start a new IV on himself. Phil doesn't miss a beat and says well- if you're not ready- you're not- how about taking your glucose level? Yeah I can do that- that's easy. I even gave myself a shot already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Boy - you guys really know how to party. Our prayers are that the kids get healthy, stay healthy, and the parents stay healthy and get a break. God grant you the serenity to change the things you can and accept the things you cannot change. Samantha will be at the Mayo Clinic in May. Our love to you all - Mom