The story of a boy living with Type 1 and his family's journey to raise and train a diabetic alert dog.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Crate Alert

Bo was trying to tell us he smelled a high this morning from his crate. I was getting ready to bring Austin to school and Bo was whining rather loudly from his crate. This is not typical behavior. Thinking nature was calling, I put him out on his tether, while I ran inside to gather my lunch. After a minute, I went back to find him waiting for me in the garage. I took him off the tether and brought him inside where he alerted with a paw swipe. Austin checked and he was 185. This alert allowed for Austin to get a correction before school that we otherwise would not have caught. The experience has got me thinking about working on teaching Bo an alert signal to use when he is inside his crate.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

One Year Anniversary

October 13, 2012
One year ago today we brought Bo home and began our journey to raise and train him to be a diabetes alert dog for Austin. We set out on our journey with high hopes grounded in the reality of knowing our success was dependent on many factors outside of our control. Factors like if he was responsive to D.A.D training and public access training, if he would turn out to be temperamentally stable, and if he and Austin would form the bond needed to make them a successful team.

October 13, 2013
Today, Bo is alerting to highs and lows. He is alerting at home, in public and has even alerted several times in a vehicle. He is alerting remotely and for third parties. Recently, he has started waking from sleep to alert. He is not perfect but he is demonstrating steady progress and a willingness to do the job we are teaching him. We remain committed to daily training and hopeful for his successful passing of the Canine Good Citizenship test and public access test at some point in the future.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

This Is Not About Sympathy, We Do Not Need Sympathy

Today we join members of the Type 1 Diabetes community in posting a day in the life of Type 1. This post is not about sympathy; it's about raising awareness of Type 1 and advocating for a cure.

This is our story but it's not unique. It's the story of thousands of families across the country and throughout the world whose children live with Type 1. Read it and share it and let your network of friends know these children did not do anything to cause this disease. Let them know, no amount of exercise or nutritious food will take this disease away from them. Let them know, the prevalence of Type 1 is increasing and researchers don't know why. Let them know, insulin is not a cure. Let them know, we need a CURE.

This is the face of Type 1 Diabetes.
A Day in the Life of Type 1 
October 5, 2013
1:30 am - I wake to check Austin's blood sugar. He is high 218. I give insulin.
3:30 am - Daran wakes to check Austin's blood sugar. He is high 196. He gives insulin.
6:49 am - I wake to check Austin's blood sugar. He is 159. We leave alone.
8:29 am - Austin check's before football practice. He is 131. He eats a snack.
10:35 am - Austin checks after football practice. He is 140. He leaves alone. Exercise will kick-in.
11:13 am - Austin eats lunch and he gives himself insulin to cover what he eats.
11:23 am - Austin decides to eat an apple (not part of his lunch) he gives himself more insulin to cover the carbs of the apple.
11:35 am - Bo alerts to me. Austin checks and he is 159. He leaves alone, he has insulin on board.
12:46 pm - Bo alerts again. Austin checks and he is 123. He leaves alone.
1:00 pm - Bo alerts. Austin is 190. He gives himself insulin.
1:57 pm - Bo alerts to me. I check Austin and he is 86. He eats a snack.
2:19 pm - I check Austin to make sure the snack raised his blood sugar. It did. He is now 108.
4:30 pm - Bo alerts. I check Austin and he is 139. I leave alone.
5:05 pm - Austin eats dinner and gives himself insulin.
5:55 pm - Austin eats some more food than what was on his dinner plate. He gives himself more insulin to cover the carbs in that food.
6:39 pm - Austin eats again and again gives himself insulin.
7:36 pm - Bo alerts. I check and Austin is 103.
8:04 pm - Bo alerts. I check and Austin is 64. Austin takes glucose to raise his blood sugar.
8:19 pm - Bo alerts. I check and Austin is 102. He gets a snack.
8:44 pm - Bo alerts. I check and Austin is 126. He gets a bedtime snack. His target bedtime blood sugar is 160.
10:15 pm - Austin is in bed. I'm still awake. He calls out to me to check him one more time before he falls asleep for the night. He doesn't feel high or low. Bo has not alerted He just wants to be sure his blood sugar is at a safe enough level for him to go to sleep.

Austin makes living with Type 1 look easy. The reality is living with a disease that infiltrates every aspect of one's life is exhausting and down right difficult. He is strong and he is brave and he never asks for sympathy. He does ask for one thing and that is a CURE. We are hopeful a cure will be found in his lifetime. Until that day comes, he will live with Type 1. Help us advocate for a cure by raising awareness of this disease. The more people understand Type 1 is an autoimmune disease and not a disease that can be fixed by diet or exercise, the closer we will get to funding and finding the cure.