Are we crazy? Probably.
Maybe you read about our plan to purchase a diabetic alert dog and you think we are crazy. That’s fair. If I’m being totally honest, I still question the sanity of spending more money on a dog than all of our vehicles combined as well. But before you show up at my door with a straight jacket, let me explain how we made our decision.
Why not raise money to buy medical devices instead? We are currently working on multiple levels to get insurance coverage for medical technology called a Continuous Glucose Monitor aka CGM for each of the kids. Michigan is one of the last remaining states to deny coverage for this device for diabetic patients on Medicaid so we are confident that with patience and persistance we will one day get coverage for a CGM for each of our children. If we were to purchase three CGMs without insurance the cost would be approximately $1,000 per month (after start up costs). In 2.5 years time (assuming the price does not increase) we would have spent $30,000. A diabetic alert dog will cost approximately $30,000 but it will be able to “work” for much longer than 2.5 years and will cost less than $1,000 a month in care.
What about both?
What if we get approved for a CGM after purchasing a dog? This would be an ideal situation! A CGM is a device that uses a sensor under the skin to read and send continuous blood sugar levels to a receiver. The reading is accompanied by an arrow pointing up for rising blood sugar, down for falling blood sugar, or straight across for stable. Studies have shown well trained diabetic alert dogs can often detect rising or falling blood sugar levels before a CGM. In some cases as much as 30 minutes before a CGM! If a dog alerts to a blood sugar issue the owner can start paying closer attention to the CGM readings and take action before feeling the adverse physical symptoms of a high or low blood sugar. Dehydration, illness, technological failures and other factors can also cause CGMs to give inaccurate readings. An alert from a dog accompanied by a seemingly normal CGM reading would prompt the owner to do a finger prick blood test instead of relying solely on the CGM.
With the best technology and man’s best friend we can provide more comprehensive care for our diabetic children.