Last week, Miss Manners completely failed the diabetic community. She suggests that diabetics should retreat to a restroom and hide when it comes time to check blood sugar. The post is here: Miss Manners missed this one.
In case you didn’t know, we have 2 amazing, diabetes sniffing, low blood sugar warning, high blood sugar alerting super dogs. A couple of days ago, I met someone while I was out and about with Raven. She was behind me in line, and asked about what service she provided. As i explained her job to her, she looked at me and said “is that all she does?”. I was taken aback for a second, and then I realized that once again, I was dealing with someone that perceives diabetes as a “not so serious, user fixable” disease. And it was one of those days that I just didn’t need the aggravation. I was buying a replacement part to fix our only toilet, and was kinda in a hurry 🙂 So here is my open letter to the “woman standing behind me at Home Depot”
For those that don’t know, or need a refresher, I am a father of an 11 year old type 1 girl. She is in the 5th grade, and we are about to enter our fourth year as a type 1 army. We are a family, mom, dad, daughter, son, 2 black labs, and 1 white maltiterripoo. We are all involved in my daughters diabetes care. I have mentioned here before that this disease is a family disease. We are all affected in some way, even my 5 year old son. This post refers to a question I asked as we start heading into her teen years. She is my daughter. When she gets in my car, I ask her if she has her seat belt on. (I ask my wife too). When we take her horseback riding, I make sure she has her helmet. Same thing when we go bike riding. And when she is home, we check her blood sugar. We make her dinner. And we add up her carbs for her. I remind her to eat her veggies. I ask her to pick up her shoes and socks. How long will that continue? My mom still checks on me and asks how I’m doing. She is my daughter. I will always check oh her and feel a sense of responsibility for her well being.
She is starting to get older. She is starting to take on more responsibility. She wants to be more involved with her diabetic care. We are allowing her some, but it is all supervised when we can. We are also providing her with tools that allow her to have a little more control while she is at school, like her CGM. She has a BG tester with her at all times, and she can test when ever she feels like she needs to, and she has a CGM that helps her make decisions based on the data she is seeing. But when she is home, we still handle most everything. She likes to add up her carbs, test herself, input the numbers into her meter, but we still keep an eye on what is happening. She is a child of technology, she flies through input screens, has the button pushing down to a science, so I always ask to verify, as the One Touch meter makes it real easy to fly right past 6 units of insulin, straight to 12 units.
Night time alerting. Most often it is the number 1 reason someone cites for wanting a DAD. And it is often followed up with “and then we can sleep through the night” as if the dog will catch the low, go get a juice box, treat the low, and then go back to bed. Or catch the high, bolus to correct, and do all of that while you stay snuggled up in bed.
On Saturday and Sunday of this past weekend, we got be a part of something really cool. Especially if you are a Star Wars geek like me. We were invited to attend the Long Beach Comic and Horror Con as special guests of the Southern California Garrison, 501st Legion. The 501st learned of Luke and Jedi, and decided to help raise money for them and Canine Hope for Diabetics. More »
Stella was diagnosed on 7/30/10. We left the hospital 4 days later, climbed into our house, rolled up our welcome mats, closed our blinds, locked our doors, and hoisted the weight of this disease onto our shoulders. It was ours. We couldn’t share it with anyone. We didn’t know anybody else with type 1. We didn’t trust anyone else with our daughter. And no one we knew (including us) understood the severity of this diagnosis. We were alone. Even our regular Doctors didn’t know the difference between type 1 or type 2. And if we couldn’t trust our Doctors to understand our issues, our daughter, our questions, our disease, then who could we trust? More »