Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Sticking together.(Health)

Byline: Andrew Webb Journal Staff Writer

Children with diabetes and their families band together against the disease

New Mexico is known for its hot, dry summers. So when 11-year-old Vicky Dussault started drinking more fluids than usual in August 1997, her mother didn't worry about it.

Not at first, anyway.

But when one of the other mothers at a Girl Scouts meeting asked if Vicky had been losing weight, Northeast Heights resident Cindy Dussault started to take notice.

She initially thought Vicky's excessive sleeping, fatigue and cramps might have been caused by mononucleosis, and the girl was rushed to the hospital.

But the doctor had devastating news: Vicky's blood glucose level was at 684 units. Normal levels range between 80 and 180.

"All at once, it was just so many different emotions," Dussault said.

Vicky was diagnosed with type 1, or juvenile, diabetes. Within a few hours, a small army of diabetes educators and physicians had explained the disease and its complicated treatment to Vicky's parents.

"By the time you're done talking to all these people, you feel like you should have six college degrees," Dussault said. …

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