I’m finding that many people, including medical personnel, assume that just because I have a low blood sugar alert dog, my life should be “normal”, my diabetes should be in perfect control, and I should no longer have the trials and tribulations that diabetes entails. Oh, how I wish this were true. My dog, Rainie, has been trained to alert me when I need to pay attention to my diabetes — her presence does not change the way my body responds to the daily stresses that affect my blood sugar control. I still have to test my blood sugar (BS) before and after I eat, and many other times each day. I still must try to balance the amount of insulin I take with the food I eat, exercise, emotions, viruses, sleep, and all the other things that affect my diabetes; and regardless of how hard Rainie and I try, my life is full of ‘highs’ and ‘lows’, with emotional swings every-which-way it can. This is the life of a diabetic; and Rainie’s presence does not change it.
I am truly grateful she’s here to share the responsibilities and monitoring that diabetes requires. I can relax (some) knowing that she will alert me if my BS is swinging high or low. She will wake me up, or stop me from whatever I am doing. She will even keep me from driving by not getting in the car. Sometimes, something will happen ‘out of the blue’ that causes my body to react differently to my food or insulin – and even though I might be upset or sick or have spent too much energy digging in the garden, Rainie doesn’t care. Her job is to get me to notice what’s going on with me. Her alerts tell me, “Pay attention to your blood sugar NOW!”
My doctors look at me, and continually try to find something more wrong! They say, “You’re doing pretty well, considering…But maybe I should just try this….” Considering all I’ve experienced with 55 year of diabetes, I am doing pretty well. However, I think a lot of this “wellbeing” is due to luck, diligence on my part, and having a wonderful partnership with my dog. It is not happening just because Rainie is by my side.