From North Prairie, Wisconsin, USA:
My 12 year old son has had type 1 diabetes for about three years, and about other day, out of the blue, he will feel like he is floating and say he feels like his arms are detached and almost like he can't feel his body when he walks. It lasts for about five to fifteen seconds. I had told his diabetes team about it, but it just kind of fizzled away, and there was never followup. Now in the last few days, at night, he was standing next to me and felt that way again so I had him check his blood sugar which it was 248 mg/dl [13.8 mmol/L]. He does have an appointment for him to see his pediatrician now because it is starting to scare me. Do you have any insight on this?
I wish that my response were a helpful one, but I do not think that it will as insightful as you would like.
I think that you are wise to check his glucose reading during one of those "spells" to see if there is some pattern that you can see develop. If the episodes are indeed momentary flashes, then they likely are not worrisome, but scary nonetheless, I imagine. Does he complain of any changes to his vision during the episodes, like a blurring of vision or a "fading" of vision? If so, and if it occurs quickly after standing up, for example, it might represent a transient lag in blood pressure, usually very benign. Any dizziness? If so, then it could represent something like an inner ear disturbance. Neither of these "left-field guesses" would likely play a role with the diabetes.
Sorry to not be able to help much but you should persist in your rapport with your son's physicians.
Original posting 18 Jun 2001
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