I don’t know how to start this other than to say that it’s not an upbeat positive post, it’s negative and scary. I wasn’t sure how/if to share this with anyone else, but keep feeling the need to express the story. That’s my disclaimer.
Molly (C’s Diabetic Alert Service Dog) came home a few days ago. She’d been with her trainers for an entire month. She goes to work with three different super-trainers who work on obedience, public access and scent work in order to make sure we’re on track, see where we need help and give pointers. We picked her up from T who told me this story.
T and a friend took Molly and some kids to a restaurant for public access work. The kids wanted to eat outside, but the adults stayed in with Molly for practice. After eating, they went to the outdoor area to talk to the kids. There was a couple there and the man walked over to tell T that they give money to support a service dog organization. T explained that Molly is a Diabetic Alert Dog and what her role is. The man proceeded to tell her that they had just lost their son to type 1 diabetes the previous week. He died in his sleep apparently from a low blood sugar despite having five roommates in the house. He was 24 years old and using a pump. He asked T if she would bring Molly over to meet his wife, which of course she did. T told me that the woman hugged Molly and just cried on her for quite some time. Molly didn’t budge and just provided this mother with the therapy she needed in that moment.
I can’t imagine how this couple felt meeting Molly. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be in T’s place. She told me that Molly had touched a number of people over the month that she was away, but this was by far the most significant. I can’t figure out how this story makes me feel. Does it scare me? More than I can imagine. For obvious reasons, but also it scares me that I could run into this couple or another just like them and be faced with it in person.
C overheard the conversation and asked me about it later. I asked if it made him worry and he said no because B (our old Animas rep) had diabetes for “a really long time and nothing like that’s happened.” I wish that were enough for me.
This disease is not just about chasing numbers and trying to achieve your goal A1c. It’s about keeping your child (or yourself) alive. It’s praying that everything you’re doing works without ending in tragedy. I know this isn’t an isolated story. I have heard way too many of them. We cannot afford to live in blinders thinking that in this day and age our kids will end up just fine. It’s not a fair to the families who’ve done all they can and who’s kids weren’t ok.