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Harrigan and I were on CBS 6 Virginia this morning. Thank you Tori for a great interview!! Click the link below to see the video.
Harrigan is a Diabetic Alert Dog (D.A.D.) A D.A.D.’s main role as a service dog is to alert to changes in blood sugars before they become dangerous. These dogs can tell from scent if a person’s sugar is running out of the normal range or if there is a change happening to quickly. When they notice these changes, they immediately alert the Type 1 diabetic who is then able to check blood sugar levels and make the correct adjustments.
In 2009, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and shortly after started on an insulin pump. This was a very big adjustment for me. It required a number of changes. First was adjusting to and accepting the fact that I now had a chronic condition that would affect everything I did from this point forward. Then, it was making changes, one step at a time. Diet was a key, making sure I ate “good carbs”, cut out lots of fat and increased my veggies. I started an exercise routine and lost weight. I even make sure that I get enough sleep. I often joke that I am healthier now than before I was diagnosed!!
Even with all the hard work, medication and determination, my sugar runs into extreme highs and lows. I have often dropped down to the 50′s (very dangerous) without knowing it! Then I can run for hours and even days on highs. This is why I have gotten a D.A.D. Harrigan has alerted me to a number of highs and lows, but the most amazing part is the prevention of serious drops. Just a few days ago, Harirgan alerted me to a low, but when I checked, my numbers were fine. Knowing that he sensed something, I set my alarm and checked again 10 minutes later. In that short time, my sugar had dropped over 30 points. I was able to eat a small snack to prevent a dangerous low. Since Harirgan has entered my life, I am more confident that I will not hit these lows. I am not afraid to go to sleep at night, where a low means I may not wake up. I am also not worried about driving and passining out. This little guy really is my HERO!!