WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) Landon spends his days like any other 7-year-old: playing baseball, cheering on the Texas Rangers and spending time with his family. But three years ago, when Landon’s mother Aletha noticed something was wrong with her son, she took him to urgent care in Graham, TX before receiving the gut-wrenching news.
“I got a call from Landon’s pediatrician and he said…I need…there’s a triage team at Cook Children’s hospital, Landon needs to be there now!” says Aletha. “He said I can’t give you the official diagnoses but Landon’s blood sugar is 957, he has type 1 diabetes.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and is less common than Type 2. It’s often diagnosed in children and young adults and happens when little to no insulin is being made in the pancreas. This causes blood sugar levels to build up within the body along with other serious symptoms, and Landon had all of them.
His mother says, “He was lethargic, he had lost a lot of weight, he had begun peeing the bed, excessive thirsty, he would drink a whole big bottle and we’re talking three years old!”
Registered nurse and certified United Regional diabetes specialist, Laura Gutierrez says if untreated, diabetes can lead to serious complications overtime.
“Some of the long term complications of uncontrolled blood glucose are going to be things like, eye disease, heart disease, kidney disease, slow healing of cuts and wounds as well.”
A normal blood sugar count after fasting or not eating for at least 8 hours is 100 or less. After eating, a normal blood sugar count should be 180 or less. The day he was diagnosed, Landon’s blood sugar count was over 900.
He’s now being monitored 24/7 with his DEXCOM G5 mobile glucose monitor and fierce support system. However, Aletha says Landon’s disease comes with no breaks. Afterall, there is no exact cause and there is no cure for type 1 diabetes.
Not only is it physically and emotionally demanding to manage type 1 diabetes, but the financial burden of healthcare and insulin costs can be astronomical. For example, the retail price of a traditional vial of insulin can cost an upwards of $300 or more.
Yet with the love of his mother and big sister and the strength of a close knit community, they’re confident there’s nothing Landon can’t get through.
If you’d like to learn more about the Diabetes Self-Management Education Program at United Regional, click here