Tuesday, 4 September 2007

When a child can't remember....

Filed under: , , , , , ,

In the fall of 1985, a very scary thing happened shortly after I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. One morning I woke up and I couldn't remember things I would normally remember. I couldn't remember the name of my neighbor's dog. I had a fanatical love for Cookie. Of course I would remember Cookie! A diabetic child would never forget such a sweet name for such an adorable dog! One more thing -- I had a pounding headache.

My mom brought me to the hospital, where my endocrinologist met us. They ran test after test and nary could an expert explain my memory loss. They confirmed I was experiencing amnesia, which turned out to be temporary because I was back to normal the next day.

How many people have experienced this same phenomenon? I surmised that this was my body reacting to the Humulin insulin I had started only a month or so before. The insulin must have been competing with my body's own attempts to generate insulin thus thwarting my blood sugar down into a dangerous hypoglycemic state. A study published in 1991 shows that hypoglycemia results in a lesion in the left temporal lobe. I have one of those lesions now, but it wasn't discovered until 2000. Oh yeah - and my peduncle is perfectly asymmetric. What does that mean anyway?

Why weren't doctors informed of this potential reaction to insulin in 1985? A study 6 years later is a few years too late. And how many more newly diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetics experience the same thing? My parents were scared out of their mind and nobody (including specialists) had any idea what to do with me.

No comments: