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

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Determining if an Alert is Ahead of the Meter or False

Bo leashed-up with Austin.
This morning while Bo was leashed-up (tethered) to Austin downstairs, I heard Bo whining. I stood near the top of the staircase and listened for a minute. His whining was persistent. Austin told me Bo was not alerting to him but knowing whining can be a pre-cursor to an alert, I asked Austin to unleash Bo. I wanted to see if Bo would come to me and alert. No sooner had Austin removed the leash and Bo had found me in my room and alerted.

I checked Austin and he was 123 -- an in target range number. Austin had insulin on board that was working on breakfast carbs he had recently consumed. Given this information, it would appear Bo's alert was false as opposed to being ahead of the meter. However, two hours earlier Austin had been playing in a basketball game. We know exercise has a delayed effect on blood sugar, so it was possible that his blood sugar was trending down. Like we always do when Bo alerts outside his reward thresholds, we told him were were going to watch. Austin leashed back up with Bo and I took a seat on the couch next to them. Twelve minutes after his first alert, Bo broke place and came to me on the couch to alert. This time Austin was 87.  I rewarded Bo, gave Austin a 17 g (uncovered) snack had Austin leash-up again with Bo before I went back upstairs. 

Not long after leaving them, I heard Austin telling Bo 'all set' and 'we are going to watch.' This didn't make sense, as we were not watching. I called to Austin asking if Bo was alerting to him. He said he was and he thought we were watching. (This is what can happen when you have a 12-year-old boy who is immersed in a video game with his friends.) I went downstairs to re-check and Bo greeted me with another alert. This time Austin's blood sugar was 70. It had been 17 minutes since his alert to the 87 and since Austin had eaten 17 g of carbs. Our pup was smelling a downward trend in Austin's blood sugar. 

I've learned it's important to watch false alerts to determine if they are in fact false or if they are ahead of the meter. Our criteria for qualifying an alert as being ahead of the meter is a blood sugar in reward range within 15 minutes or less from the time of the original alert that was out of reward range. Typically, Bo re-alerts within 10 mins of his first alert when he is ahead of the meter. 

Do you have a process for watching false alerts? What does your process look like? What are your criteria for determining if an alert is false or ahead of the meter? 

1 comment:

  1. We had a similar situation yesterday. Ranger alerted, Hayden was 151. We gave the watch command. 10 minutes later he alerted again and Hayden was 187 and trending upward rapidly. We corrected and Ranger relaxed. I think the hardest part is the waiting during the "watch". Ranger has learned persistance!