All six members of the Nuttall family were sound asleep, except for Jedi, their black labrador retriever.
Jedi jumped on and off the bed Luke shared with his parents, thumping onto the mattress in an attempt to wake his parents. When that didn’t work, he hopped on top of Dorrie Nuttall, startling her out of sleep.
“This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more. This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy. Saving him from highs and lows and from ever feeling alone.
5 minutes before I took this picture we were all asleep. No alarms were going off, no one was checking blood, no one was thinking about diabetes, and it’s in those moments when our guards are down, when we are just living life, when we let our minds drift from diabetes, that it has the upper hand-and things can get scary very fast…but thankfully we have a Jedi.
Jedi jumped off the bed, then back on again, though I felt him do this I didn’t wake up. Then Jedi laid on me. I woke up. He jumped off the bed and half on and would not budge when I told him to get back up. I got out of bed, he bowed, Luke’s CGM said he was 100 steady. So I told Jedi we would watch and see, he bowed again (Bowing is his low alert), I told him to get up on the bed, he held his ground didn’t budge, he refused. Then I knew he meant business and the sleepy fog started to wear off and I began to think clearer. I suddenly was fully awake and I knew there was an issue. I pricked his finger and got this, 57 is way too low, and by Jedi’s behavior I guarantee he was dropping fast (he is still recovering from a stomach bug and anything under 70 is low).
Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range. He has never woken up on his own for a low in over 4 and a half years. We are his safety net, he goes to bed every night, and although he doesn’t know it he relies 100% on us to keep him safe overnight. That’s why we check his blood sugar overnight, every night, and we have every tool, every monitor, and have spent everyday of the last 3 years training Jedi to alert to highs and lows, because type 1 diabetes is relentless and we need as much help as we can get.
This is a picture of a Jedi saving his boy. Amidst a disease that does everything in its power to make life so much harder, this is a picture of loyalty and love and perseverance. A reminder that we will not let diabetes win, that we will never give up, and that we will always fight for our children.
Good low Jedi, yes it’s time for a late night puppy party.
(I had already given him a glucose tab to raise his blood sugar before I took this picture / there was nothing else I could do, so I took one second to take this quick picture – because in that moment while you’re waiting for your child’s blood sugar to come up like you’ve done thousands of times before and you’ll do thousands of times again, it’s very easy to feel alone in a world that doesn’t understand all that somebody with type 1 diabetes goes through on a daily basis.
So in that moment I decided I would take a picture so I could later share this story, because if we don’t share our stories how would anybody ever know that this is what my son and millions of others go through every single day.
Most people don’t know that we often see multiple lows and highs every single day no matter how hard we work or how diligent we are, it’s not easy trying to be a pancreas. That Luke’s had thousands of shots and finger pricks that started when he was just 2 and will never stop unless there is a cure.
We need awareness about a disease that most of the world doesn’t understand, we need to help show the world why we so desperately need a cure.)”