Tag Archive | parent of type 1 diabetic

Junior High, here we come!

Junior High.

If you are a mother, your stomach probably turns with reading those two small words.  Junior High is considered one of the hardest years in a child’s life…and I can imagine why.  I get to see the physical, emotional and spiritual repercussions from hormonal fluctuations more so than any parent of a typically ‘healthy’, free of chronic illness child.  With Type 1 Diabetes I have been given a pretty darn clear picture of the toll it takes on your body minute to minute and often times catch myself putting it all together in an ‘Ah-Ha!’ moment from simply dissecting Blood glucose trends among other obvious observations.  I get to see my child growing up from a whole new perspective and gain much more appreciation for what it is their bodies, minds and beliefs (to some degree) are going through. It opens a whole new world.

This intro brings me to our next chapter in life…Junior High.  With only mere weeks away from sending my child to what some may consider the ‘depths of hell’ I am on edge.  I am in preparation mode.  On top of the typical supplies needed for school I am gathering the supplies needed to keep my child alive while in school.  In addition to figuring out her schedule, which friends are in her class, when lunch will be, new policies or rules, making sure her required vaccinations are up to date I am mapping her daily routine for easy access to quick carbs, preparing each classroom for lows and emergencies, packing back up supplies to be left with the nurse, preparing my education materials for all faculty and staff for our meeting on meeting her immediate medical needs in emergencies, setting plans for her service dog to attend to help watch over her, prepping myself for the separation and the fear that goes along with it, preparing for IEP plan to include her medical, testing and service dog needs. I am going minute to minute revising, planning, prepping, revising more, adding, changing, managing, etc everything to make transition into Junior High as smooth as possible and my daughter healthy and prepared.  It isn’t easy.  It isn’t fun…It is nerve-racking, heart breaking, faith invoking.

I normally would be having fun picking out supplies, clothes shopping, care free, prepping my child for changes and expectations during Junior High and being care free.  Add to the typical challenge each child experiences, the need to manage a chronic serious disease such as type 1 diabetes and you can imagine the exciting things we should be feeling/doing really does take the back seat.  Doctor orders are for her to manage everything on her own because she is capable of doing so and knows the ins and outs of her pump, orders, T1D, etc. and at any point if needed we can change this if she feels overwhelmed (which I really only hover and educate and help make big decisions at this point).  From day 1 we have been educating her on this disease, its effects, spotting trends, correction factors, insulin to carb ratios and reasoning behind them, how to count carbs, etc…from day 1 we have set a standard and have kept that standard…it doesn’t mean she hasn’t tested this or protested this standard…she is a teenager…and teenagers know everything, right?

As scared and hesitant as I am I cannot help but celebrate this separation.  This is something pretty big for us, much responsibility for her, but also something that means a lot to her.  She is witnessing her conquering diabetes and doing WHAT she WANTS…not what diabetes defines. There is much to celebrate when we can move past road blocks thrown our way and learn to live and work around them.  There is much to celebrate when you see your child excelling in her care, her independence growing (but not too quickly) and her walking with confidence.  Much to celebrate when I know she has friends surrounding her that love her, care about her and will be watching out for her if ever she needs helps.  She has a group of friends who probably know more about emergent care then some parents…friends whose parents support this knowledge and help harvest and embrace it.  There is much to be celebrated when you can just live, even when type 1 tries to hold you back…much to celebrate when nothing stands in her way.

This year will be a milestone in her life.  Independent at school, Junior High, her service dog attending with her and she is main handler in control.  This is a huge shift in her life and in her schedule.  A huge shift that her endo thinks she will best care for herself than a school nurse ever could, a huge shift that she will have her life saver with her so this mother doesn’t worry about her walking around in the 30s on the verge of seizing, passing out, etc unknowingly (which is typical for her) because of hypoglycemia unawareness.  This. Is. Huge.

Now if only I can survive the teen years.

Balance?

Balance

Balance seems to be so over-rated.  Does anyone ever truly find balance that lasts?  Balance is like a fine juggling act with flaming torches and sharp samurai swords when it comes to living a life with type 1 diabetes…impossible? No, but very, very,  very difficult! Yet, unlike juggling, you don’t sign up for this Diabetes ‘act’.  It is thrown at you without choice, reason or rhyme; that alone makes finding balance nearly impossible…if you weren’t prepared for the journey, finding your way is a daunting task.

The past month (give or take) has been the hardest period we have ever had in trying to find ‘balance’ again.  Literally anything we once knew was completely thrown out the window.  Comfort-gone, schedules-don’t exist, sleep-what is that, safety-yes please!  I fear I have been chasing ‘balance’ forgetting what I was even looking for.

I have spent countless hours looking for our new balance. Unlimited amounts of tears, energy and focus. Yet, through it all, every single day I would turn up empty-handed and heavy-hearted.

Then it hit me! Who needs balance? It never lasts, something always throws it off and you can spend way too much time recouping from a small shake in your balancing act.  So I have decided we don’t need balance, we need swag.

I dub Diabetes swag an art form.  It is full of flexibility, ever-changing schedules, flying by the seat of your pants, great ‘guesstimating’, forever learning, always growing, vigilant, diligent, less than required sleep functioning, advocating, smiling, making jokes instead of breaking down, and always being able to scoop yourself up after being knocked down (no matter how long it takes).

I like thinking about getting my swag back rather than finding yet another level of balance in my life…YUCK! I find that looking for my diabetes swag is much easier and attainable…and to be honest, way more achievable and rational when it comes to living life with Type 1 Diabetes.

I like that.

I don’t mind saying I have ‘D’ swag…because, well, as parents of type 1 diabetic children, we do! I think we are a tribe of resilient humans wired to face difficult tasks on a daily basis without hesitation…

For example:

  • Dirty diaper changing while teaching your other child multiplication facts, while handling a low of 45 all at once.  Challenge accepted and completed!
  • Site change with one hand while feeding the baby. HOLLA!
  • Carb counting while on the phone with the endocrinologist making changes to the basal rates while cooking dinner (nothing burning and all edible). BOOM!
  • Shopping with 4 kids (1 T1D, 2 of them under 3 years of age) and a diabetic alert dog for groceries, getting everything on your list. correcting a high while catching the 1-year-old twisting out of the straps jumping from the cart while tying a shoe of the 3-year-old trying to get the 9 year olds attention long enough to help lend a hand as the T1D complains of increasing tummy pains from high and the dog ‘pawing’ your leg (not missing that alert for high) even when your hands and mind are running 100 mph.  BAM!

So I ask myself…Did I really ever lose my swag?  Did it ever leave my side post seizure in midst of our new chaos mess we like to call our life?

NO.

I still have my ‘D’ swag, and in fact, I do believe my swag meter has been jumping off the charts.  I never gave (give) up, kept (keep) going and did (do) whatever it takes to keep our home running, kids learning, sports attended, appointments checked off and T1D at bay.  I have done it even when I didn’t want to…even when it seemed (and it does still seem at many moments) like too much.

D Swag. It never leaves.  So why do I need to spend extra energy looking for something that never completely truly exists?  Because society says balance is real? Because other people look balanced?

Screw balance…I got D swag.  And any ‘balanced’ person on the face of this earth would not know what to do if they lived any ‘T1D’ life for a day (and no, I do not wish this on anyone…ever).  But balance can’t exist when really any tiny grain of sand can throw it off.  Can a grain of sand throw off ‘D’ swag? Heck no! We just roll with it!

Are things normal for us yet? No.  Have more answers come our way? No.  Any more sleep and less scary moments yet? No. But darn it, I face it all with my ‘D’ swag I was inaugurated with at diagnosis.

Why is ‘D’ swag so important? Well, because when you face tough moments daily that can literally change your child’s health and safety sometimes ‘D’ swag is all you have.  Diabetes is a mystery and often times just filled with great educated guesses…and sometimes just surviving day by day is possible only because of the talent T1D parents develop (‘D’ swag).

Maybe this is the lifeline I need. Maybe this is the epiphany I have been waiting for.  For today, this is all I need to remember to keep going.

Screw balance.

Who am I and how did I get here?

Ever wake up one day and feel completely numb, powerless and very much in a life/death struggle?

I believe I am in the midst of a battle just like that now.  I feel weak, tired, bitter, angry and powerless.  I don’t like it. I like control, I like strength, I like certainty, I like progression.  All those things I ‘like’ are absent from my life at this exact moment…it’s true.  I cannot seem to find any shard of the old ‘me’ lingering around.  She seems like such a stranger.

I read some of my old blog posts, and catch myself wondering ‘who the heck is that woman?’ I don’t even remember being so full of conviction and wonder how the heck I was so strong?

I long for that.

I exist only to exist…I am numb, tired and aching for that comfort I once felt.  Life is uncertain, life is unpredictable…and a year ago I sure didn’t expect to be where I am today.  Odd…because back then I was sure I would be some where even greater.

How crazy.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not in this deep depression, feeling only darkness.  I am just ‘lost’…I have just lost my essence of strength for the time being, and that is completely normal, I know this.  But I do feel powerless right now.

I look around and think is this really me?  Is this how I am going to be? Worn down, tired, scared, bitter (but hopeful)?  How did I get here?

I know I navigated through many circumstances to get to this exact spot.  I also know I am meant to be in this exact spot for some reason, but it doesn’t make it any less painless.  Knowing this doesn’t make right now okay.  I can never be ‘okay’ with my right now and what we are facing.

*sigh*

deep breath.

I have a lot to be thankful for.  My husband, my kids, Elvis the most amazing D.A.D, life in general, many small blessings, good friends…there is a lot out there.  And trust me, I am beyond thankful for it…but being thankful for those small things doesn’t help the bitterness fade (just yet).

I don’t like what we are facing.  I don’t like not having answers.  I don’t like seeing my daughter struggle and her ability to even feel safe start to vanish only moments after feeling freedom from the world.  It isn’t fair.  I am complaining…It isn’t fair! I have wondered ‘why her’ so much lately it is unreal.  Really, WHY HER?  Why do we have to be facing a rare mystery? Why do we have to worry about massive crashes into hypoglycemic crisis without warning, why us?!?!  WHY can’t I take it from her?

I have talked about nights holding me prisoner in the past…multiply that by one million and you might get the idea of my fears right now.  What would I ever do without Elvis right now watching over her literally day and night??? What if he wasn’t in our home?  what if???

Why do my other children have to see this epic fight?  Why does Jared have to feel scared for his sister pretending to put on a brave front?  Why does he deserve this added pressure? Why should he feel obligated to be his sister’s keeper, that is massive responsibility for such a young boy.  Breaks my heart.

My heart is beyond shattered.  I am desperately trying to pick those pieces up but I feel like every time I gather them they fly out of my hands.  I am endlessly trying to catch each shard before it shatters into a million other pieces.  I don’t like this feeling.  I don’t like this spot.  I don’t like our choices right now.  I don’t like watching people go through this.   I don’t like not having control.  I don’t like not being able to somewhat ‘plan’.  I don’t like this one bit…I HATE it.  I hate pretending like it is all okay, because right now, it doesn’t feel okay.  I am not okay with this hand we have been given.  It feels impossible…the ultimate test of faith is watching such a struggle and even just remotely entertaining the slightest sliver of faith.

Strength, where have you gone?

“At least” bitterenss will fade

Today is going to be one of those ‘venting’ posts.  Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to be positive and completely okay with the trial you have been given, you have those moments of struggle.  Well, for me, that moment is here and full-blown.  In these exact moments, even my own knowledge as to why we are given what we are, can’t reason with my emotions; nothing I hear, know or see can make me okay with it.  I admit I absolutely dread these moments; and always pray when they come, that they don’t last long…because each time they present themselves I fear that I might not bounce back to my once former strong self.

I am bitter.  I am angry. I hate diabetes. YES! I hate Type 1 Diabetes with every fiber of my being…the same diabetes that I also profess to be thankful about in the strangest of ways.  That is right, T1D, I hate you and today, probably the past week or possibly even month, I am finding it hard to hold onto that silver lining.  I feel like T1D is a thief that robs all the good.  I also know it leaves different aspects of good…but it most definitely robs us of our immediate safety net. (This is me trying to reason with myself not to hate it, and to remember the things I am thankful for….it isn’t working today).

The longer we live with this disease the more I am able to witness it robbing my daughter of these small insignificant moments that really add up.  For example, dance.  Dancing is her life. Dance is her passion, her hobby, her strength, her outlet…and yet Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t care.  It interrupts anyway.  I can see the physical change wash over her entire body and I know instantly that she is once again victim to its nasty cold grasp.  During practice I can see an ashen color wash over her body and see her fight within herself to keep going even when it is physically becoming impossible. Her comprehension fades, her ability to move coordinated disappears, her eyes gloss over and her movements become lethargic and weak, she just looks lost. It is heartbreaking, and in that exact moment I want to rush to her side and fight for her.  I see that inner struggle, I see it shutting her down when she is trying her hardest not to let it (even if it is for 15 minutes)…and then I feel enraged.  I feel PISSED! I am angry that it has the nerve to make her fight so hard, even during a short 2 minute dance routine.  It literally won’t even let her finish that one small routine.  No one should have to fight so hard, every day, to do something they completely love…but my daughter does.  Many other children do.  (so why is it education is lacking as a whole in world when it comes to Type 1 Diabetes?)

I hate that she has to fight and really all anyone can do around her is stand guard…and wait.  I can’t necessarily fight it for her. As a mother, when our children are in a fight, we want to jump in and aide them in each battle.  But imagine having your hands tied, your voice muffled, and your heart stilled.  Imagine feeling paralyzed, not being able to fight, and having to watch that inner struggle daily (several times a day). It is a mother’s worse fear.  All you can do is wait.  Hope.  Pray.  And wait.  Physically I cannot fight this battle, physically I am powerless.  Physically, I cannot touch it.  Nothing in this world is worse than watching a battle for life take place and physically you cannot do a single thing.  I can check BG, I can give a juice, I can educate, I can administer glucagon shot, we have Elvis to catch everything more quickly and I can make adjustments daily to her regimen…I can even hope that all I do is good enough. I can do multiple tasks, and do them flawlessly…but physically cannot fight this battle for my own child.  T1D threatens her life daily…THAT enrages me.  It ticks me off, it fills me with hate.  And these small insignificant moments, when they come, make me bitter.

Today, I am bitter.  Yesterday I was sad; and Sunday I completely hated diabetes.  Some days it wipes all of my strength away…it robs me.  Sunday was one of those days.  I loathed diabetes Sunday, even at church, I hated diabetes.  I was cursing diabetes and the entire negative it has brought into my amazingly strong daughter’s life. Nothing I would hear, see, do, or you could say could have changed that.  I was full of hate and it was here to stay (for now).  I know life really isn’t fair…it isn’t.  There is nothing fair about life on days like that.  Reason? You couldn’t reason with me to save your life on days like that.  I am sorry but don’t even try.  I didn’t want to be around T1D, but I wanted to soak in my daughter and have her around always.  I didn’t want to go to church or even try to focus with it looming over our heads…but I made us all face the day.

It was complete meltdown city.  Kinzie was full of hate and directing it all towards me. She was refusing to get dressed for church, refusing to eat, refusing to listen to her D.A.D., refusing to be nice, just full of hate, too.  She was kicking, screaming, crying and completely hating T1D. Blood glucose was sky-high out of this world (for her, 300s are rare and kick her butt) ketones rising refusing to leave.  We were all on edge and pretty sure all full of hate. So I did what any mother would do.  I stood my ground.  I stood strong. I took all the hate she had bottled up and directed towards me and pushed it down, every inch of the hate stinging as it hit my ears, my heart and my soul.  But I stood strong, and on the outside looked unmoved by the hate (crumbling on the inside with every sob, scream, cry, word, look, stare…I knew this wasn’t her…I felt hateful too but I can also understand where it was coming from). I continued on.  Goal: to attend church; not to let diabetes win while we all sit at home in our loathing filth of hate towards it.

She refused to get ready, so I made her.  I made her leave the house hair undone, dress was a mess, face stained with tears…we left. When moments hit her like this, you cannot reason with her either…I blame that on my gene pool.  She was devastated.  I was sad, and my husband angry.  As we drove to the church her cries became louder, her screaming, huffing, hateful words continued to flow.  I didn’t like it, I didn’t want to hear it, but I had to.  Once there, the family went inside while I remained outside to throw her hair up in a pony tail (yes, I was nice enough to tuck the mess it was, up away).  As I was doing her hair she continued to cry… ”can’t I just go to your classes today? I don’t want to leave you! I don’t feel good! I don’t want to be here!!!!!” Calmly I listened.  Calmly I replied “Since you started going to class by yourself, I don’t go to my classes.  If I do, I leave often to walk by your class and check.  I do it so I will be available if you need me.  I miss my class so you will be safe.  I walk the halls, so if you need me, I will be there. I sit by the hall, so I can keep watch.I always keep watch. I do it because I love you.”  And silently tears streamed down my face, it hurt so much…I do it all because I love her dearly…but all the love in the world can never take this from her and give it to myself.  Oh how I wish I could let my body be tormented by this disease so she could have that freedom back.  And then it came…the moment I didn’t expect.  She was still facing away from me as I was finishing her hair. “Whaaa? You do mom? Oh mom! I didn’t know you did that! I love you! I don’t ever want you to think I hate you, I don’t hate you!”  That ended her crisis.  She was back.  My daughter was back.

“Mom, can we wait a minute out here so I can gather myself?” she asked. I replied with a “Let’s walk into the building and we will go straight to the bathroom and wipe your face and sit in the mother’s room for a bit and just breathe” (simply because I wanted to at least walk inside that building on time…goal accomplished, we were drained, but it didn’t keep us down).  And we did just that.  We survived 3 hours at church, feeling rather run-down by the events that just took place.  She physically not feeling well the entire time, staying sky-high, with corrections only to hit a 60 the last 5 minutes we were there…and again…I felt the hate creeping back inside.  So not fair, I hate having to watch T1D in action, but thankful I can watch it, because it means my daughter is still here with me.

Guess what? We won…we went to church, we went feeling completely and utterly defeated, but we were there.  Kinzie bounced back and had a wonderful attitude and faced the rest of the day, feeling completely yucky, like a champ. For us, during these times, this is a huge thing…because we can easily stay home and say ‘it was just a rough day. Next time we will go’.  But those words never left my mouth.  Determined to go, I pushed past the hate in all directions, ketones and BGs (even though on the inside I was sobbing she was feeling so terrible)…I stood strong. I know how I handle nasty days is what she will learn, how I handle scares, she will learn.  I don’t want her full of fear or ever use T1D as an excise not to do something…she can do anything, even on rough days.  Even things we don’t really feel up to in the moment…I have to set that tone.  She wasn’t going to witness me giving into T1D because it decided to give us a nasty bout.  Nope.  Life happens, even when numbers get ugly, hatred rises to the core, ketones refuse to flush out, and her body taking a toll…life happens.  And we will live life, every moment and not succumb to this nasty creature we have come to know too well. We faced church, extra checks, me by her side and Elvis on the other side.  We faced it, all together as a family.  Jared naturally helping out with the younger kids, as he knew mom was focusing on getting BGs down and ketones flushed.  He flawlessly takes control where he knows I slack. I adore him.  I am thankful for him…I admire him so very much.

I have to admit I know these moments will always come and go.  I have also accepted that what we (or Kinzie) face will always be here…no amount of praying will ever make it go away.  The good comes with the bad, and in moments like this the bad just covers up the good only to try to swallow us whole.  Don’t let it.  Kinzie is a fighter, she has always been a fighter, and she is far stronger than any single person I will ever meet…as are her siblings; they are all amazingly strong warriors. I also know that bitterness only dwells momentarily, and that when we bounce back, we will bounce back stronger. I also have come to realize that it is okay to have days like this, it is normal…and it is part of the packaged deal.  Tomorrow is always a new day, tomorrow will always bring new perspective.  My perspective today is “at least” I am thankful I get to witness the bad too, because I appreciate the good so much more, it truly is sweeter.  “At least” I have my little family, and I get to hold all 4 of my children.  “At least”….when the silver lining is faded…there is always “at least” until you can pull through those moments to land on the brighter side.

Give Thanks…

I am reminded this morning why I feel so thankful and how much I stand in awe of every mother who has a child with very specific needs in order to live.  Sometimes I get complacent in our daily routine and schedule and forget to recognize the blessings and miracles that we are surrounded with daily.  Living our life, we tend to forget that even when life goes on, things are happening all around that we should stop and take notice.

We have had Elvis for over 3 months now…which feels like a lifetime.  He belongs here, we feel as though he has been in our home forever.  It feels normal to have him by our daughter’s side in all that she does.  In the car, out to eat, at dance, at church, at the physician’s office, during school…I don’t think we would remember how it felt before he came into our home (turning it upside down for the better).

I look at Elvis and I see God’s intentions with amazing creatures he has blessed us with combined with amazing talents and passion people are blessed with.  Elvis is a combination of them both, beautifully intertwined sent to us a the simple miracle I never knew I was praying about.  In my mind, a miracle constituted as a cure…never realizing a miracle can be many different things.  When you ask, you are answered; even in ways you never dreamed about.  I cannot help but start my day with a heart full of thanks and admiration.  Give thanks for the things we get complacent with.  Give thanks for the things we tend to over look, the things that are our ‘normal’ and the things we don’t even realize are blessings in disguise.  Type 1 Diabetes started out as a curse…and some days it weighs heavily on my heart; the curse it may be sure has brought many blessings into my life, allowed me to witness tender mercies and receive mighty miracles.  Give thanks…even when you think there is no thanks to give.  The secret to a great outcome is how you attack the challenges you are given.

I stand in amazement every day at his capabilities, I witness handfuls of alerts day and night, and it never gets old. My heart swells with every alert…but sometimes I don’t think I remember how much of a miracle he is for us because it seems as though he has always been with us.  As days go by, I tend to forget. I wanted to share with you my posting on our ‘Just a Girl and Her Dog; Journey into T1D with a D.A.D.” page:

“Loving our Elvis especially after a night like last night ♥. Went to bed around 10, she was 130s with 30% temp basal decrease for 4 hours…1145 I was waken up by a series of loud monstrous barks…Elvis. Go in her room and he is trembling and giving me “touch”. Without a doubt I knew she had to be going low fairly quickly… 79.  There is no way I would have even been checking her for several hou…rs, with a temp decrease and a solid nighttime number I would have never expected her to be low that soon, heck i didn’t expect her to go low at all! At the earliest I would have checked would have been at 2 a.m. Type  1 Diabetes has no reason or rhyme….it is sneaky and silent. Every single prayer I sent up to God about keeping my daughter safe as we fight this battle, came back down to me as an answer in this tiny (now big) amazing dog.  He was sent to our home as a great blessing…perhaps even the miracle I prayed about. I may have been praying for a miracle in the way of a cure or her being misdiagnosed and just had the flu…may not have been the miracle I pictured; but he is most definitely the miracle we need until a cure is found. No prayer goes unanswered, no fear goes uncomforted, no battle is fought alone…this is proof enough. How can I deny God when I witness what I do on a daily basis (even before Elvis came, we survived many moments by strong promptings and guidance). Give thanks everyday, for the simple things. Your child’s smile, their warm hug, the stories they get to share with you, their courage, their charity, their talents, their sweet spirit. Every single day truly is a gift; I am reminded that daily.”
You might think 79 sounds like an alright number, factor in the quick drop, the temp basal rate decrease and that she had been in bed for less than two hours.  And the fact that I never set my alarm clock, because he takes watch now.  Then factor in the part where this amazing creature had worked that entire day, never taking a break.  I stand in awe of God’s bigger picture.

Miracle: i.e. Elvis

I haven’t posted in a long time; things have just been very busy at our home and in our lives.  Everything is going well.  Life is life. Today’s post is going to be on our amazing Elvis boy.  I haven’t had time to really write about him since he came into our lives at the end of September.  In the few short months we have had him I have been able to find a sense of peace and hope that I never thought I would be able to find.

Elvis is nothing short of a miracle and an answer to so many of our prayers.  I truly think that he came here to our home with a purpose to fulfill, already knowing our needs.  I prayed so much about our dog before he came, I knew this was the decision we were suppose to make, I knew that I was supposed to go with this company, and I knew everything would work out.  I had faith.  I know many people who were praying right beside us that we were matched with the perfect dog and that we would be able to find that peace and confidence again.

Thanks to many of our family and friends, strangers, acquaintances, businesses and a whole lot of faith we have our Elvis home and he is doing a fantastic job.  This journey is a ton of work, and we knew it would be, we were prepped for that before we began this journey.  So we willingly put in the time for this little guy as he does for his girl.  Everything is worth it.  He is now alerting to her with correct signals for highs and lows. So not only do we now know when she is out of range, we are able to know if she is low or high before we even check…and that is so helpful.  He is correct over 80% of the time.

The older kids spent the night with their Aunt last night, well, Elvis too of course…where his girl goes he goes.  Last night he woke kinz up telling her she was out of range (which is a miracle all in its own, because she never wakes up to his alerts…she treats and they go back to bed).  Early in the morning hours he alerts again (ending this alert in a bark so Auntie would come in and fix his girl).  Low. So they treat and go back to bed.  Over an hour later, he wakes his girl again, refusing to let her sleep.  She is trending low again.  They correct it.  Yay for Elvis doing his job even when mom isn’t around!  Pretty amazing to watch happen, it never gets old.

So kids come home this morning.  Kinzie is telling me about her night and is excited she woke up and that Elvis worked so well away from home, helping Aunt keep her safe! Good boy!  He then ‘touches’ kinz and stares (touch is his low alert).  We check and she is 90.  A great number when you think of it, perfect…until you factor in he is telling us she is low (and really, if he is adamant, we listen, he knows) and the simple fact that she has 5 units on board from breakfast! Good low boy.  So we down an entire coke (yes, that much…because of how he is acting and all the other factors going with it). He never really relaxes and is keeping kinz close to him and he is watching her like a hawk…so I know to be vigilant as he isn’t satisfied with that correction.

A while later we all get more ‘touches’ and he is becoming more adamant we check and correct right away.  70s.  yes, even with that coke, we continue downward.  We have her drink a juice and sit down next to her boy.  He continues to not be too happy about things and continues to tell us she is going low.  We know by now to listen to him…he knows.  The nose doesn’t lie.  So we check a while later with more ‘touches’ now being thrown to anyone a nose length away…and she is still 70s, actually a tad lower.  So we juice it again and she munches on some frosted flakes.  Elvis finally relaxes at her feet about 10 minutes later.  So we just now recheck again (over an hour ago this happened) and she is beautifully in the 120s.  She is safe, he is satisfied and we are thankful.

I can’t even describe how amazing it has been to have him on our side.  I can’t even put into words what it is like witnessing his alerts every single day…I do not think they will ever get old.  Since we have had him, her low percentage has gone from 12-9% to under 8% always.  That is a big difference.  He has not missed A SINGLE LOW ALERT…NEVER. And lows are what matters the most.  He has missed MAYBE a handful of high alerts, maybe…and that is usually after having a day full of stubborn highs and he knows we are trying to fix it.  And he doesn’t alert when she isn’t out of range…that has happened maybe a handful of times (and they usually are for a reason like getting use to his potty alerts and such…he is young, we are new…it’s ironing out everything and finding our groove).  He is nothing short of amazing.

I want to thank every person who has been on this journey with us one way or another.  Witnessing what we have and being able to use all tools we possibly can until there is a cure means the world to us.  D.A.Ds may not be for everyone…but we knew this was for us.  Without a doubt, I now know it all played out like it was meant to.  I have this peaceful feeling within my heart, knowing I have another great help by my side…by Kinzie’s side.  Have you ever witnessed a miracle? I have…his name is Elvis…he is a diabetic alert dog.

Elvis…has entered the building (or house)

So I haven’t had time to even really sit down and write.  In fact, I have so much to say and not enough time to say it all so much of it must wait for another post.  We got Kinzie’s diabetic alert dog on Saturday, Sept. 29th.  We surprised Kinzie, as she thought she was getting him on Sunday.  It was a big surprise and a very amazing thing to witness when she first met her little life saver.

We had a week of intense training with our amazing trainer, and our first week couldn’t have been more perfect.  We are in complete awe of this little guy, the organization we are pairing with and we absolutely adore our trainer (she has such a pure heart, her passion is her job).  Our training week was crazy, busy, fun, eye-opening, hard work…oh, you name the emotion, I am sure we experienced it.  Kinzie just attached to her trainer right off the bat (which never happens…so we were all taken back by it).  We cannot wait until our next training session.

Elvis has been quite the super star around here…although he is a puppy and he will show us he is every once in a while, he is a true hard-working pup.  He loves to work and lives to please.  He has been spot on with alerts, and his obedience is great.  He is dedicated to his girl like no other, and already bonded to her.  Kinzie is so in love with her little watcher, she snuggles him, loves on him and works with him daily.  She is doing an amazing job.  The kids all love him, and he loves them.  He is already naturally alerting at night which wasn’t expected for months to a year…he has surpassed our expectations, as we knew we would have work to do alongside our trainer.  We couldn’t be more pleased.

To sum up our days since he has been in our home, all I can say is it has been inspiring.  It is a challenge that we are up for.  We are all completely amazed with Elvis’ capabilities and cannot wait to see what our future holds with him as he progresses.  I knew making this choice, it was the right one; but living this choice, it is the perfect one.  Kinzie and Elvis are the perfect match. I will share more on our journey…but for now I must attend to a little puppy alert. oh, how I love him!