This post is part of a series called Where's Wuby? Wednesdays where I'll post a new story about Ruby, or diabetic alert dogs in general. Ruby is a service dog trained to detect high and low blood sugars in Faith and notify me. She has changed our lives and dramatically improved Faith's blood sugar control.
If there was ever anything you wanted to know about these dogs, or how they work, ask away and I'll try to answer the best I can; or if you are just as amazed as me at how God created these animals, I hope you'll enjoy reading about the incredible experiences we've had so far with our Ruby.
Today I spoke at a local high school to a group of about 300 student council members from all over the area. I loved being able to educate about type 1 and share Faith and Ruby's story. I've told these stories so many times that I can usually get through them without getting too emotional. There's one story that still gets to me every time, though...
It was early one morning, we were all still in bed - and would be for a few more hours. I had just checked Faith and she was a little on the high side, but good.
A short while later, Ruby jumps in my bed to alert. I remember thinking, UGH, Ruby just let me sleep!, but realized that she seemed VERY agitated. Much more so than a normal alert. The next second I hear JC screaming for me to come. I was in the middle of repainting the boys room so I had all four kids bunked in the girls room.
At this time, Faith was on the Animas Ping insulin pump. If you're not familiar with how these work, it has an insulin cartridge inside of it that is similar to a syringe. A piston inside the pump depresses the syringe to administer the insulin. That cartridge is held in place by a screw cap.
A screw cap is NO match for a very meddlesome two year old.
We could lock the buttons so that Faith could not program the pump to give her extra insulin - but we never dreamed she'd disassemble the darn thing!
I ran to JC to find him standing there holding the CARTRIDGE from Faith's pump! When Ruby had left the room to come wake me, it woke JC. He looked up and realized that Faith had pulled her insulin cartridge OUT of her pump and was squeezing it - pushing a VERY lethal amount of insulin into her body!
I snatched Faith up out of her crib and checked her blood sugar. She was still at a good number. I couldn't tell how much insulin Faith had given herself, so I put the cartridge back in and reloaded it to find that she'd squeezed at least TWO units into her little body. Two units was enough to kill her several times.
Ruby was still acting very bothered. Now knowing that Faith had shot herself with insulin, I began to push juice down her. I checked her again - and even though only a few minutes had passed, Faith was getting VERY low. I couldn't get sugar in her quickly enough. I was having to give her such a large amount in such a short period of time and it seemed that it was about to come right back up.
I had no choice.
I grabbed the glucagon and gave it to her in small doses.
A few minutes later her blood sugar stopped plummeting.
Eventually, her blood sugar started to come back up.
Tragedy prevented thanks to Ruby and JC. If Faith had finished squeezing that cartridge there would have been NOTHING I could do to counteract that much insulin.
If Ruby hadn't woken us...
It's terrifying to think of this scenario without Ruby, and this is the one story that I still can not tell without getting choked up. Praise the Lord for sending us this miracle of a dog!