Welcome! I'm Shawna, an on-location natural light photographer from Kent, WA serving the greater Seattle and South Sound area. My passion is for birth photography! In birth or family sessions, I strive to capture details and the spontaneous moments that truly reflect the beauty in your life, and that you will treasure for ever. Sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy my musings, or better yet - pop me an email and introduce yourself. I love meeting new people!

Two months later.

er admission

Two months. Two months of life. Two months that would not have been possible 90 years ago, and would have been unlikely even 50 years ago. Two months of our new normal, thanks to ERs, insulin, and very accurate and convenient glucose monitoring.

morning insulin dose


In the two months that we have been part of the the Type 1 Diabetes community, we have heard of several children who did not make it to diagnosis. It looks like the flu. It looks like a hot, sweaty, thirsty summer kid. It looks like not-quite-right.

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four days before diagnosis, very thirsty, having to pee and not wanting to walk
In their memory, and in appreciation of Bella's second chance at life, I am sharing the symptoms so that maybe some one will put together the puzzle pieces for another child and save a life.

  • Extreme thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Sudden vision changes (blurry vision)
  • Sugar in urine (yeast infections)
  • Fruity, sweet, or wine-like odor on breath
  • Increased appetite
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Drowsiness, lethargy
  • Heavy, labored breathing
  • Stupor, unconsciousness
three days before diagnosis, water by her side and refusing to stand up to play


Bella ended up with every single one of these symptoms. Some kids never have to experience DKA like Bella did, since a few of the early symptoms (chugging water, wetting the bed, blurry vision, yeast infection) are enough to bring a kid to the doctor, and a perceptive doctor knows what to test for. We had an exceptionally warm summer with new activities, and they masked Bella's warning signs.

in the weeks before, she suddenly needed naps

Knowing the symptoms is a start. I knew the symptoms and still didn't see them in my own child. The first day she chugged water, I thought to myself, "Holy cow, she's chugging like she's diabetic," and then I pushed it out of my head as impossible. When someone commented on it weeks later, I said, "yeah, that has me super worried because it is not a healthy symptom."  I could have spared her a month of pain if only I had taken her in, but who brings their kid to the doctor for chugging water on a hot summer, and she seemed fine, so I shoved it to the back of my head. All of it. The weight loss, the lethargy, the headaches, the yeast infection, and even the vomiting and labored breathing and sweet breath until the last minute. It takes everything in me and a good long look at my now healthy child to not hate myself for missing her diagnosis.

two days before diagnosis, no energy at all. the following night she started vomiting from severe DKA

And still doctors miss these blatant signs and send kids home. Some kids make it back to the ER, and some do not. Urge your doctors to take a simple sugar test if you have to go in for flu-like symptoms. It takes seconds. It saves lives.  Remember the symptoms. Drinking, peeing, weight loss. By the time it gets to vomiting, sweet breath, and coma it is a serious problem that needs immediate ER attention. Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent, but few people know the warning signs. Knowing these symptoms could save your child's life, or a neighbor's, or someone at school.  We were lucky and have a second lease on life. The more people who know, the more lives will be saved.

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Comments
1 Comments
צילום ילדים  – (July 21, 2015 at 12:18 AM)  

The sleeping one is so adorable. Thanks for sharing these photographs with us.

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