Diabetes Self-Management Blog

This week, I’m sort of all over the place. Lack of sleep over the past 48 hours has made focusing on writing a blog entry something of a difficult task. I said to my wife yesterday (who’s in the same nonsleep boat) that I feel like I used to feel in college after pulling an all-nighter. It’s still as unpleasant (actually, more so) as it was then, yet these days my exhaustion comes not from a decision I brought on because I put off for too many weeks that big paper or studying for a test. Nope. This current bout with sleeplessness runs household-wide.

Why? Two days ago, my wife and I adopted a wonderful two-and-a-half-year-old labradoodle named Ellie. In fact, Kathryn would say Ellie’s the perfect dog for us, and I’m inclined to agree. She’s calm. She doesn’t shed. And she has a great personality.

But while Ellie makes her transition from living at a kennel, on a farm miles from city, to living in our house in a city with its new smells, sounds, and sights (and steps! Stairs are a whole new experience for her), we’re finding that this transition for us includes getting up several times in the night to ensure that, until we figure out Ellie’s bathroom schedule, she opts not to use the floors of our house.

I’m happy to report that, thus far, there have been no accidents. We’re not deluding ourselves, though. We expect an accident here or there during this acclimation, or the chewing up of something that we were certain was out of reach or unattractive to a dog. Yeah, it would be wonderful if it didn’t happen, but I grew up with dogs and have had dogs during my adult life (though the past five years have been dogless), so I’m not entering into this with rose-colored glasses.

The new addition to our family, however, means inconsistent sleep patterns. It means earlier mornings for me, as well. There’s the 5:30 AM walk around the block while my wife sleeps. Yes, 5:30 might seem early, but I’m going into work at least two or three hours earlier for these first few days, so I take Ellie out to see if she has to go. Kathryn has altered her work schedule, too, and goes into work later than normal, around noon, then I come home early so that we don’t leave Ellie alone too long as she gets used to being the only hound in the house (she used to live in her own large kennel [she did have lots of space] with around 30 other dogs).

So, I’ve found that this lack of sleep in my mid-30’s brings with it, for me, the added concern of now having to pay attention to my blood glucose, not just the danger of nodding off in class in front of the professor. I’ve seen that when my schedule gets out of whack, I can sometimes pay a price in high or low blood glucose numbers—more often than not they’ll be high, because in my preoccupation with dog and work and caffeine, I won’t check my blood glucose as much as I normally do. A bad habit to get into, but it’s temporary, and I know that this transition period is simply that, and soon my sense of what is normal will shift slightly and settle back into routine.

Oh, and do we hope…wouldn’t it be great…wouldn’t it be wonderful, we think, if Ellie was one of those dogs who was able to sense low blood glucose levels in the middle of the night and woke us up. Yes, it would. But that’s not why we got her. I’m just saying, though…

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Comments
  1. Yes, a low blood sugar dog is a great thing. My Border Collie, Kelly, appointed herself my protector. She would climb on top of me and bounce up and down to wake me up when my blood sugar was to low in the middle of the night. At first I thought she just needed to go out, than I realized she would just sit beside me in the kitchen as I drank orange juice to raise my blood sugar. Once we got to the kitchen she never went to the back door(we have a fenced yard).It took six months for me to realize what she was doing. She would also bring dog food in her mouth to me when I got sick.

    Kelly was dumped on the road at about 8 weeks old with her 5 brothers and sisters. I gave the others away but there was a great attachment I had to her and I kept her. Maybe the attachment was one of need for her, as well as for me.

    Sadly, she died last year(at 5 years old) because of dog food poisoning. We were careful what food we feed our dogs but the melamine in this food was put in the food through the use of rice flour,not the wheat gluten,usually reported in the news. It is little consolation to recieve a settlement from the dog food company. Check your dog food company and make sure the dog food is safe. There are lists on the internet that you can check for recalled food. We now feed an organic food.

    I do not think my life will ever be the same. To have someone so close to you that they know your blood chemistry is just unbelievable.

    Posted by Helen |

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