Thank you to everyone that listened to the interview yesterday. For those of you that missed it, it is available here: Conversations in Care – A Girls Best Friend
I had a blast doing it, and a HUGE thank you to Tami Neumann of Conversations in Care for having me on. And if you are new here as a result of hearing us on the interview, welcome! Please feel free to look around.
Something that I meant to touch on, but completely spaced out about yesterday, was when she asked about what families should know before getting a DAD. I mentioned a few things, but there were a couple of specific ones I meant to talk about.
There is more testing than ever with these dogs, not less. We test every time a dog alerts, along with our normal testing schedule. We wind up testing 12-15 times a day on a NORMAL, AVERAGE day. We test when the dog alerts to verify the dog is correct, and to reward properly. Sometimes the dog will alert, and the BG reading will be 120 or 130. A perfect number. But now we know we need to keep an eye on Stella. She may be coming down. These dogs are known to pick up on BS movement 30-40 minutes before the meter or a CGM will verify it. So we know we need to test again in 10-15 minutes.
And I really wanted to mention a few things about night alerts. I hear a lot of people say they want a DAD so they can sleep through the night. We have a very good night alerting dog (kind of the holy grail of alerts) and yet we STILL check our daughter 3 times a night at a minimum. We check her when we go to bed (around 10pm) again at midnight and again around 3am, then we start all over when she wakes up for school at 6. The only thing that might interrupt that schedule is if Raven alerts in between those, or if we are having some type of BS issue (like dealing with a low that requires us to check 15-20 mninutes after treating). Raven is a BACK UP system, to catch us in between checks, or if we sleep through an alarm (which in the type 1 world happens occasionally. We are the original “Walking Dead” zombies). We don’t forgo any checking because we have the dogs. They are not responsible for our daughter’s life anymore than her 5 year old brother. They are tools to make things a little easier for mom and dad.
These dogs have off days like everyone else. And some days, we put them through the ringer physically or mentally. If we take the dogs on a long hike, or if Stella is having a roller coaster day with her blood sugars, the dogs may need a rest. Or they may sleep right through an issue just like us. They are a tool that makes diabetes management a little easier.
Hope that helps. And if anything else that we talked about sparked more questions, let me know.
And if you are so inclined, we are participating in the JDRF walk and would love if you could skip a latte this week, and donate what you can: JDRF Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes