Graduating from High School with Undiagnosed Diabetes: A Mother and Daughter Share Their Story

This two-part article was written by Angela Meeks, the mother of 18-year-old Lilly, who was recently (and unexpectedly) diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

Picking out the perfect prom dress, matching shoes, nails done perfectly; graduation announcements, senior pictures, planning a graduation party – all of those things seemed so important.

My daughter, Lilly, now 18, has been healthy her whole life. She was a little overweight, but other than that completely healthy.

It All Started with a Toothache

Lilly had a toothache, so we went to the dentist. She had an abscessed tooth and was put on amoxicillin for 10 days. By day three, she developed a yeast infection. All of this I marked up to being normal. I took her to the doctor, and she was given a pill for the yeast infection. Two days later, she broke out in huge boils – one under her armpit and the others on her inner thighs. They were painful and quickly became infected, so we went back to the doctor where she was treated for MRSA with a prednisone and antibiotic shot and given oral antibiotics.

The following day the boils burst and started draining, which is what they were supposed to do, but she felt nauseous and sick, so I took her to the ER. At the ER that day, they looked at the boils and said to follow the doctor’s orders and take the antibiotics given from his office the day before. They said I needed to give the meds seven to eight days to start working. The next day was her high school graduation.

She was tired and saying the boils hurt, but she went through the ceremony. Everyone said she looked like she didn't feel well. She was so tired that we went home, canceled her graduation party and she slept. The next morning – June 1, 2014 – she woke up and she didn't know who or where she was. She was breathing uncontrollably hard like she was in labor. Then she started talking gibberish that made no sense. I called 911, and they took her the hour trip to the hospital.

Learning About DKA in the Worst Way

The doctors came in, checked Lilly out and told me she was in severe DKA. I’d never even heard of it. What was he saying? He explained to me it was diabetic ketoacidosis, and I thought: But she's not diabetic. She's never even had a high blood sugar. Her labs four months ago were completely normal. Her sugar was 635.

Her breathing slowed, and the staff moved faster and started to intubate her. I was horrified as they put her to sleep and started putting tubes into her mouth. The doctor told me she was going to be admitted into ICU, that she was very sick and the next few hours would be critical. The words echoed in my head and heart.

I sat in the hallway and cried with my oldest daughter until they moved her to the ICU room. It was terrifying waiting to hear something. When I was permitted to go back into the room with her I sat and cried, praying that God would bring her back to me.

Click here to read Part II.

Photo: Pexels

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who, in addition to 3rd party partners, may contact you with updates, products and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy and terms and conditions.

More Articles

Fluid retention, also known as edema, is a problem that affects many diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes...

Some of us might be thrilled if we could manage our blood sugar by sitting in a hot tub or sauna, instead of working up a sweat biking, or using...

Cooking and baking with the ancient cereal grain sorghum has health benefits for people with diabetes, and those with weight control issues....

When it comes to certain foods, there are always questions as to whether or not a diabetic can have them without...

With its slightly nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional punch farro is an ancient whole grain worth a place in our pantry.

Farro...

More Articles

Matcha tea is a rich, creamy, full-bodied beverage with amazing nutritional properties that address several diabetes health concerns.

The...

According to information available through the National Institutes of Health, there’s an estimated 462 million people in the world who are...

Salads are good example of foods that type 2 diabetics can enjoy with relatively low guilt. With the right greens and other elements added, salad...

Remaining gainfully employed is important to many people. Those who live with any form of diabetes may find that some lines of work are more...

Learning that you have diabetes does mean making some lifestyle changes. One of the areas that needs attention is your diet. Most people find that...

One of the more challenging aspects of life as a type 2 diabetic is managing your diet. There’s often the temptation to avoid certain foods...

The green, heavily ridged acorn squash is plentiful in the marketplace this time of year. Though, Acorn squash has a high glycemic index rank of...

A 1300-Calorie diet is a way of eating that limits your daily calorie intake to only 1300 calories a day. This is considered a low calorie diet,...

Maca Root is an editable root vegetable, and is known as Peruvian Ginsing. It is a relative of the radish and turnip family, and is remarkable...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

People who use insulin pumps purposefully break their skin, the body’s main defense against bacteria, to receive continuous doses of life-saving...

Everyone from grandmothers to physicians tout oatmeal's wholesome goodness and health benefits. But, is oatmeal good for diabetics? Limited...

A common complication associated with diabetes is swollen feet. The swelling can...

Bilberry tea sounds like the favorite drink at a Hobbit cafe, but the mild sounding bilberry comes with a tall list of powerful health benefits....

When is diabetes not really diabetes? When it is Diabetes Insipidus. Diabetes Insipidus is a rare disorder not related to diabetes mellitus,...