A Special Accommodation I Could Love

June 28th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

 I got to participate in an amazing thing this weekend; I was invited to attend a graduation. 

Not just any graduation. 

Half of the graduates had worked their entire lives to get to be able to work for the rest of their lives, and it required a more skill and training than most jobs any of us hold.  The other half of the graduates had worked alone for as long as they could remember and had spent a lot of time feeling afraid or at least apprehensive of what went on inside their own bodies.  Those graduates, too, had to put in a lot of hard work and learn a lot to be able to work for the rest of their lives with their partner. 

I think all of the graduates loved nearly every minute of it.

Dogs for Diabetics.

When my friend and I arrived at the ceremony, I was 104.  I had had a juice box in the car on my way there because I felt I might go low and didn’t want to be low in this room with all kinds of dogs trained to sense and alert when I was low. 

So I’m sitting there, and the guy across the aisle from me is talking to his dog and trying to get his dog to sit still.  It was kind of funny because I think the dog was alerting my low; I felt somewhat embarrassed and thought I should have said something to the man. 

I wasn’t low, though, according to my meter.  I was just headed there.

My CGM has been a help to me—I can’t say otherwise.  It generally has been accurate on what my blood glucose was twenty minutes ago.  These dogs on Saturday are twenty minutes ahead of me.  They know what’s going on before any gadget I carry with me.

How amazing.

If you are a pumper and have ever been in a space with other pumpers, you know how you react when you hear someone else’s pump beeping or alarming.  I often forget and have a few incidents of surprise false alarms before I remember what it is like when we’re all doing our own thing. 

Afterwards, it makes me feel kind of alone, that having been with so many others like me was such a surprise.  It’s a little sad when I realize how infrequently I get to experience that similarity in my life.

After the ceremony I was chatting with a few people and three dogs near us were alerting a low to their companion.  Everyone started looking around and asking who it was; the dogs can sense someone’s low within 50 feet!  The man who was low was happy to announce it was him, and all the dogs got a treat.

The dog in front of me during the ceremony alerted her companion, a girl maybe 13 or 14 years old.  When the girl saw her dog alert her, she immediately checked her blood glucose, gave her dog a treat, and ate some sugar.  I guess that’s what she does now; she catches her lows before she goes low because her dog is there to help her catch them.

How cool is that?!

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  1. Peggy says:

    How cool is that? Just about the coolest thing I can think of. It’s fascinating.

  2. Angela says:

    Amazing stuff!!

  3. Kathy Allbright says:

    I am so glad you got to experience the graduation. This organization brings diabetics and non diabetics together, family style. There is so much love and support at D4D, that you actually feel very special/lucky having Type 1.

    You can go to the ABC’s of D4D (www.dogs4diabetics.com) for more information about the program and volunteering. Keep up the great blogging! You are an inspiration.

  4. Becky says:

    Thanks for showing me this post! That’s really great. I have also heard stories of dogs that weren’t trained doing the same thing… on many different occasions. We’re just in the investigating dogs stage, but wonder if maybe we could train one ourselves? Hmm. Love your story!! Maybe I’ll see if we can attend one of those :)

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