Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i want a dog. not just ANY dog...

so a little over a year ago i glazed over the thought of a diabetes assistance dog. i stumbled upon the information somewhere; i had never heard of such a thing before. i, probably like most others, had heard of seeing eye dogs, or medical assistance dogs for people who had seizures, but not much else.

Diabetic assistance dogs have been specifically trained to identify, and more importantly, act upon the subtle scent changes that hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) creates in body chemistry—changes undetectable to their human companions.     www.dogs4diabetics.com

picture from www.pawsibilitiesunleashed.org

i kind of brushed the thought aside because i couldn't find much information about it at a local place. i recently stumbled upon the blog of molly, a DOC member. she has a service dog named dixie, and i loved reading all about their life together! you can read some good stuff here, here, here, here and here. (seriously, lots of 'real life' information!)

i've learned through her blog and other online research that the dogs can detect when your blood sugars are too low or high, they alert you by giving you a tap with their paw, they can get help if you need it, among other things that you may need.

one reason that i am really interested in this is because i don't 'feel' my highs the way i feel lows. i feel low -most of the time- i test and correct. sometimes i test and find that i'm WAY too high and it could have been a few hours since i last checked my blood sugar! this makes me nervous because i know in the back of my mind the complications that can result from uncontrolled blood sugars (i just don't think about them on a daily basis). also, i've thought about asking for a CGM (continuous glucose monitor) but i'm not sure about that expense - i know a dog is an expense - and as i've learned from some other PWD, they're not always accurate. not that a dog is perfect and is always right, but i'm just exploring options here.

my current problem is that the only place i can find close to where i live requires that you raise $10,000 before you can get a dog! granted, there are some programs to help raise money, but you have to do a lot of it on your own. can you imagine?? to me, that's a very tall order. i don't have that kind of cash laying around. don't they know how much we spend on diabetes on a daily basis (not to mention other unplanned medical events)? there are other organizations that i've found through researching that provide diabetics with service dogs for a very low fee, some even just $150. why can't i live down the street from that place?

i would really love to start the journey to finding a dog that could help me. of course, an assistance dog is by no means a cure (it is also a pet, a family member, it's own expense), but it would so great to have someone there to remind me to check my blood sugar during a busy work day, or on a long car trip, or after lots of activity when i don't feel a low coming on ... the list of opportunities are endless.

anyone know of a place 'round these parts? or have 10 grand layin' around?

1 comment:

  1. Glad that you stumbled upon my blog. I've had Dixie for 5 years now, and when I take time to reflect... I realize just how much she's changed my diabetes life. She, unlike a CGM, isn't able to give me an exact number. But she's never wrong when alerting. She keeps me in a very tight range. She was an expense (and a LOT of people helped me fund her) but I wouldn't trade her for anything. Good luck in your search. :-)