So you decided to get a Diabetic Alert Dog (DAD). You’ve seen all the amazing things they can do, you know they can help you manage your diabetes (or your child’s diabetes), and you think you understand what it takes to share a household with one.

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Sorry for the dramatic headline, but I see posts like that every single day. Most often it is relating to an alert from a dog. See, this happened to me too, just this past weekend. 20150815-DSCF1638

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1920563_889170107777889_8138000872323637805_nToday was one of those days. A “perfect storm” in the diabetic world. And I blogged nervously through the whole thing on our Facebook page. I feel the need to put it all in one place, and explain a little more what is happening as we go through the day. The image above was our starting point. We use a technology which enables us to remotely watch the data generated from my daughters Dexcom. For more info on this, click “CGM in the Cloud”.

Our daughter uses an Animas pump to provide her insulin delivery. And the insulin we use is Humalog. For us (different people have different results) we find that we only get 2-2.5 days of use out of the Humalog during the summer before we require a site change. The heat causes the Humalog to lose it’s effectivity. Today was day 3. Why? Because she had great numbers last night, and woke up at a nice 139. We thought we would be okay. After breakfast, Stella started to climb. And climb. And climb. We waited a reasonable amount of time to see if she would come back down. She didn’t.

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10496961_851824471512453_4865614828018179791_oRaven is our rock star night alerting dog. On most nights she wakes me up at least once to alert to an out of range blood sugar, and generally it will be a high. But last night was a little different. More »

20140322-IMG_6709Raven is an amazing night alerter. What exactly does that mean? That means that after a full day of excitement in a house with 2 children,  3 dogs, type 1 diabetes, a running partner, and all that goes along with that, she is still capable of picking up diabetic scent after all the lights are turned off, the house has gotten quiet, and we have all gone to bed. More »

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My girls. I look at this image, and at first it is sad to me. I see and focus on the bringsel on her hip, the alerting tool that a dog will grab when her blood sugar is out of range. I see a CGM on a pouch on her hip. And I see a backpack, with another CGM receiver connected to a cell phone that relays her BS levels to me, with lifesaving tools like a bottle of Gatorade, glucose tabs, and a glucagon needle, her blood sugar meter, and a myriad list of other things for her diabetes. I can’t see it here in this image, but I know that on her left side is a pump that has a tube that is inserted into her abdomen, that provides her with life sustaining insulin.
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904122_600075823353987_450448929_o 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.

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20130812-P1020145Laurie told me an amazing story that happened today. See, both our kids go to the same school. But Stella starts at 7:45 and Dash starts at 8:30. They both finish at 3:15. So in the mornings, Laurie takes the kids and Major to school. They wait with Stella until her bell rings. Then once that happens, they head back to the car and wait for Dash’s start time.  More »

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