Thursday, August 27, 2015

Will I Run Into Issues?

I know as I prepare for my trip to the west coast I know in the back of my mind one thing always has me worried. I know when you travel you tend to visit places you might normally go to. I know I have been lucky so far that service stations have not been an issue but I know it could be an issue especially in the south. I have noticed in general that a great deal of the time the staff in quite a few place are not familiar with the law which could make things difficult for Duchess and I. I know how I should react to these situations but after driving all day you can tend to go overboard possibly or just not handle these situations as well as I normally would. I know I did a road trip with Duchess about 4 years ago and thankfully we did not run into any issues but I will always worry about these experiences because I represent all service dog teams with how I do handle the situations.

I know if I do run into issues I will follow up or try to resolve the issue at that point if possible. If I find I am not getting anywhere I will purse the issue as soon as possible. I like to educate the general public when possible but at times people don't want to learn. So I know I can only do so much in some situations. I know all the people who pretend their dogs are service dogs really affect how I will be treated in some places and I know I will always be frustrated by this. I know I am feeling wonderful about all that is too come but I also know there could be challenges as well such as public access issues. I know John will also help to educate the business as well. He is very well versed in the laws and public access so he tends to help when things get tense or tough.  I also am aware I could go the whole trip without one issue. I am prepared for what may come but I am really hoping to get through with no issues.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Quite a Few Laughs

There is times that I have to laugh at some of my experiences. I know it is interesting to see how people judge you and have an idea in their mind of what you are supposed to drive etc. I know I recently bought a used Honda Civic which I love. My favorite part of the car is the custom red Honda symbols and the tires and rims. They did all these extras on the car such as custom leather seats etc,carbon fiber on the roof of the car and custom bumper. I think they were trying to make the Honda Civic look like the SI version which is fine with me. Everything on the car was done extremely well.

I was doing great on my exercise routine I went to the gym as usual and even exercised longer on Friday because I had the energy. I am really starting to feel like my old self and have had very little pain the past couple of weeks. So I had a really good work out and I was really getting used to the gym and how it works at this gym. I have enjoyed everything so far. The weird part is not that I have been going to the gym for  a bit I now have men exercising near me when I am working out. I am fine with it except for the fact they tend to distract Duchess. So I am trying to find a way to position her so she is not in the way but still able to be close enough to me to alert. She has done extremely well alerting me when I am at they gym because the Dexcom is much slower at letting me know. The weird part is at times I feel high but I am actually low but it happens occasionally.

So I finish working out and I head out to my car after I gathered all my stuff together. I get closer to my car and notice a group of men at one guys car a couple cars away from where my Civic is parked. I could see they were looking at my car. Men love my car which I find kind of funny. I notice they are watching Duchess and I get in the car and I open up my sunroof it was a warm night. So I hear the guys talking I would of never guessed that lady is the one who owns that car is what I hear. I had to laugh a little bit because I seem to get weird looks because I have a car with a great deal of custom work. Then I hear one guy saying he needs to hang out with my boyfriend because he did a great job on the car. It was interesting to hear tidbits of the conversation as I am pulling out of they gym parking lot and quite a few more laughs. I guess a disabled person with a service dog is not allowed to have a car with custom features in their minds.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tips for People Considering a Diabetic Alert Dog

I get asked frequently by people who want to get a diabetic alert dog for their children their is several issues I have seen and observed from the parents. I know most people assume that all diabetic alert dogs alert at night but that is incorrect there are some but the majority do not always alert at night. Duchess will alert but she is not very consistent and I am working on that currently but I also have my Dexcom as a back up. Duchess is really just another tool in my arsenal and not my only one. Another thing I have learned is that any trainer should really try to talk your out of getting a diabetic alert dog before you start the process because if after all the downsides they talk about and your still interested the more likely you are to succeed as a team. I have seen some children who's parent purchase a DAD for their teenager but did not ask the teenager if they wanted a diabetic alert dog and the team ended up failing only because the teenager ignored the dog and the dog interpreted it as that the job is not important. If you ignore alerts, do not do consistent follow up with training, allow petting  and not enough down time for the dog can all equal a diabetic alert dog who does not work. I can see the novelty of the idea of a companion which is one of the best parts but there is also so much work as well. I knew going in several years it was going to be work but I had not idea how much that was really entailed. I am very comfortable with that their is work but with a busy life it can be difficult at times. I know some may read this as I am trying to discourage other from getting a diabetic alert dog but that is not the case. I am trying to provide you some of the things I have learned along the way. I know most families that have the diabetic alerts dogs only talk about that good things but I feel the need to discuss all aspects.

              I know their was some things I did not know going in that I wish I had when I went through the process and I want to share that information. I could not agree more that I made the correct choice for me and I will never regret this journey with my best friend Duchess but I have also had so many unexpected issue from dealing with the public. I did expect issues from the general public and public access issues. Some of the comments from people were more than I have bargained from I stole Duchess from a child who would need it more than me. Which is really an unfair statement because I actually paid for Duchess. I know when I first got Duchess there was not nearly as many places who offered diabetic alert dog but I have also seen so many people get ripped off by companies selling untrained puppies and sick puppies. I did my research and found a great dog. So if you are looking into getting a diabetic alert dog remember research and more research. There is quite a few reputable places but keep in mind on average to get a fully trained dog is at least two years. If something sounds too good to be true it is. I have heard claims that a dog was able to tell a child was low from 9 miles away is not possible. They can from quite some distance but that is a little far fetched.

I am posting an interview at blogging diabetes about diabetic alert dogs as well.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Well At Least I Am Done For Now

I know today was a rough day in some ways. I know I made it two years without having anything done to my eyes. I had no lasers or injection for my Retinopathy. I know I was really feeling great about all the hard work. I knew deep down eventually I would have to had some procedures done again but I also still feel really defeated even though I know it is all part of having Retinopathy. I know my eye is not in bad shape and the laser procedure it to help stop any bleeds from happening in the first place. I know I am in a good place in that my eyes are not as bad as they once were and the bleeds when they happen are very small and do not tend to impact my vision for the most part. I know I honestly am hoping my next Retina Specialist is better than my current one. I know he is very well know but at times I feel like I am talking to the wall.

I tended to have to push the Dr. to get what I needed at times. I know overall that he at least was following standard procedure when it came to laser procedures. I also know that he was willing to not do surgery which I am incredibly thankful for now. I know I can't see well at night but at least I have really great vision otherwise. So I am thankful and I am also hopeful that I can go another couple of years without any injections or laser procedures. It was so nice to have a break from all the appointments and constant dilatations that I once had. I know I was blessed to only see the Dr. twice a year for two years in a row. I know that even with my great A1c that I still don't have everything the way I would like but I know in the long run keeping my A1c in check must have played a part in my brief period of time with little assistance needed.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Retina Specialist and Big Set Back

 I knew going into my Retina Specialist appointment it had been two years since my eyes have had any laser procedures or injections. I know I have been fortunate the past two years to have some time where I was not worrying too much about my Retinopathy it was just one appointment every six months. Well sadly there was some bleeding in my eyes again but this time on the left eye the interesting part it that my Dr. could not identify the cause of the bleeds. I know I had several bad lows in June. I know the injury when I feel in the tub I am sure caused the bleed. I had swelling that took weeks to go away. Then I had no new blood vessel growth but just some spots that will need to lasered again in my right eye.  I know when the Dr. said this I just wanted to cry. I know once you have Retinopathy you can only do so much. My A1c has been excellent, my blood pressure normal and cholesterol was also good. So I am doing everything on my part.

I know these moments really make me feel extremely angry and bitter. I know I work so hard to keep things where they need to be. I know my Retinopathy is not bad and some of this laser procedure is to prevent further bleeds but I feel like a failure to an extent even though I am not. I still have 20/20 vision during the day at night I am blind as a bat. I know even though I had some changes I really am doing incredibly well but it can be so easy to just blame myself. I know I need to give myself some credit because my eyes are in a good place but after two years need some maintenance of sorts. I am doing my best to keep my thoughts in a positive place. I know If I do I will be so much happier when I go back and everything is good again.

I know that in the long run all the hard work has paid off and will continue too but having set backs along the way will happen for sure. So I know I just need to keep going even though the frustration will only be until I am done with the laser procedure on Monday. I know what I am feeling is only for a short period of time and that doing this follow up will help keep the bleeds away.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Lows Are Disappearing

I am starting to feel better this past week or so I am starting to have less lows again even with exercise. I am seeming to be more level in my Dexcom graph and very little higher blood sugars which I was aiming for. I know yesterday I had only one low which was so great for me and now lows after working out which so surprising. I did my normal snack before bed when I work out and this time no lows at 3:00am which was so nice. I also in general am waking up in the low one hundred range which is great. I know if I wake up around that level I normally feel great and have a great start to the day. I also know that if I can keep the lows at bay most of the day I tend to have less at night. So now my goal is to try and keep things like they are now until I leave if possible.

I am now just trying to relax because I just gave notice at work yesterday and it was nice in some ways to say good bye. My job there was a great deal of things I liked but also a great deal I didn't like. I know I felt so much better after giving notice. I know I felt relieved to be moving on but there is also part of me that is sad in some ways. I know saying goodbye to some of my friends at work and in Austin in general will be hard. I know I am not looking forward to all the goodbyes but I know am really needing the new start to my life.  So I am hoping that the last two weeks at my job are pleasant and good. I know after almost 4 years it will be strange to not work here. I know when I am crossing the Texas border I won't be looking back but instead looking forward. I know I am hoping and praying for less lows. I know it was so nice to stay in range most of the day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Plan for My Move

I know I have been doing much better with lows the past couple of days so finally seeing some improvement with having less lows even with exercise which is great. I know as I plan my move I know I am planning on last visit with my Dr. again before I leave. I have decided to use a new basal rate just for when I am driving. I know I am hoping to keep my blood sugars in the 140-150 range if possible while I am driving to California. I know I find driving stressful at times but there is long stretches of nothing in Texas so that won't be as stressful but once I get through that there is border patrol stops and other things to deal with. I know I do plan to have food within reach and have a sweet drink to help prevent lows. I know because we are taking our time I am hoping I will feel more relaxed as I go. I know keeping my stress levels low and having time to monitor my blood sugars will help me feel more comfortable with the drive.

I know I do plan on having my Dexcom on my steering wheel as I drive. That will make the process easier for me I don't want to mess with my pump if I don't have to. I know at times like these I really wish I was one of the lucky one's who Dexcom was actually closer to what your blood sugar is. So I know frequent testing and also making sure I stay hydrated will be important. If I get dehydrated that increase low blood sugars. I know having Celiac's disease can be challenging especially while traveling but having options available with me should alleviate any issues I might encounter. I know thankfully I have learned so much over the past several years about what I can and can't eat it just leaves me making sure I have food ready when I am on the road. I know there is some places I can eat that our fast food which can be helpful and some restaurants so I have option. I know I really prefer to eat at home because I can better control what I am getting exposed to.

So I am so happy that I am getting closer to my next adventure. I know I can't wait to see what is next. I know I am really so looking forward to unpacking my things and feeling like I am at home. It has been since June that was the last time I could actually say that. I know Duchess will do great on this trip. I am just hoping she feels at home right away which she seemed to in July when we were visiting. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

I Never Stopped to Realize the Impact

I know John and I talk frequently and we were discussing things we wanted to do once I finish my move to California. I know he is used to Duchess being around in fact have never not had her with us. I know I never really realized that we have never had a date or time where Duchess was not there. It can be so easy to forget what it is like to not have her with me. I know I normally never leave Duchess but I figure that I trust him enough her tends to notice my lows so I can have a night out without Duchess being with us. It will defiantly be nice because honestly at times having some space would be really nice. I love Duchess beyond belief but at times I know I really miss my freedom I had before the Unawareness took over my life. I used to be able to go out and do things without a service dog with me at all times. I know we will be taking my glucagon kit with me for sure. 

I know it is interesting to me that at times I have forgotten in some ways what it is like to not have Duchess with me. I know I rarely ever leave her but on occasion it would be nice to enjoy life a little more. Mind you it is very rare for me to leave Duchess.  I know I am really dependent on her and I feel safest having her with me she is my little sidekick of sorts. So it really hit me when he mentioned we have never had any just us time which sadly is true. I know I am incredibly fortunate to have her and I love her so much. I know I will miss her the whole time we are apart but it also be nice for us as couple to experience some time just for us. I know dating is defiantly more complicated when having a service dog because you are worrying about your service dog, diabetes, and so many other things. I know he has been incredibly understanding about it all and loves Duchess too. I just think its time for us as a couple.