Today’s our final Wonderland Wednesday post in honor of the Wonderland Wishes Collection. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know more about these authors and/or their books. Today’s “noella” spotlight… Mine! The Second Noel.
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Why Write about Diabetic Alert Dogs in a Christmas Novel?
The message came from a reader who had slowly but surely become a friend.
You need to write a book about parents of a Type 1 Diabetic child and the frustrations that go with it.”
She went on to describe the fundraising efforts she and friends had made to purchase a (very expensive) diabetic alert dog.
These amazing animals are trained to catch when the blood sugar changes and alert the person so they can test.
Because her friend’s child kept crashing while asleep, the friend and her husband had to wake up every half hour or so to check on the child. Sleep deprivation is not a safe state in which to make life-saving decisions.
How much insulin? How little? Here’s an internet image that shows just how little difference there is in the amount between life-saving and a potentially lethal dose:
So, the dog arrived, and the parents could sleep now, right?
Nope. They’d been scammed by unscrupulous people who promised everything and nothing in the same “breath.”
And so the family continued to live in a state of constant sleep deprivation.
Until speaking with my friend and doing a little research, I wasn’t aware how difficult Type 1 Diabetes really is. I knew “all about” type 2. Ahem. But so much information about Type 1 is written about adults managing their own care with insulin pumps and things like that.
Some kids can have them. Other kids, not so much. When kids are growing like the little weeds they resemble sometimes, they can be hard to stabilize. And when those numbers aren’t stable, many doctors won’t even consider a pump.
That means lots of shots. Lots of measuring. A million decisions a day—or so it seemed to me, and I’m not even living it. I almost cried reading about kids who have a “favorite stick spot.” Seriously? Kids should not have to have a favorite spot to be injected! Ouch!
As one mom shared:
What it would be like to feel a moment of panic, whenever one of your other children wets the bed, is extra thirsty, or is starting to look a little skinny.
How challenging and life-threating sickness is now, with near constant checks for ketones, and high blood sugar, and making sure he gets enough to drink no matter how much he fights it.
Read the whole article (well worth the time) over at Carb-Counting Mama.
Can you imagine living that life?
Can you imagine setting your alarm for every half hour at night so you can make sure your child will rouse? How is that healthy for anyone? But with a dog, they’re trained to notice the changes and alert someone. Someone asleep. Someone who can help without fear of over or under-dosing.
Now imagine thinking you’ve gotten that relief, only to wake up to your child unconscious because that dog wasn’t properly trained.
Not all diabetic alert dog companies are scams.
Ones like Diabetic Alert Dogs of America are wonderful companies who train their animals well. If you want sweet images and videos of dogs being trained to help diabetics recognize the change in their blood sugar levels, I strongly recommend following them on Instagram. I hope one day to have earned enough to be able to provide an alert dog for a diabetic child—that’s just how much this service has impacted me.
If you read A Bird Died, you might remember Breanne Homstad, the fireman, Mark Keating, and a date…? Well, in The Second Noel, I put them back on the fundraising circuit, and you find out what happened on that date. Not to mention why they haven’t spoken since!
Yes, this story is a romance, but it’s not just boy meets girl and a sappy interim until happily-ever-after. It’s the love of a boy for his dog—and his new mom. The love of parents for their children and all they’ll go through to keep those children safe.
I hope you enjoy our little “noella” collection.
I’m confident that there’s sure to be a book for everyone’s preference. Some are sappier than others. Others are twists on familiar themes, and still others are about real issues we see or read about in everyday life—and how Jesus can impact them at Christmas.
Merry Christmas, and happy reading!
Oh, and if you wouldn’t mind sharing this image below somewhere online… well, I wouldn’t complain! 🙂