Friday, December 28, 2012


                 Christmas was so wonderful with my family. I was over joyed to be able to play with my nephew and all my cousins children. I have not seen some of my family members in over 11 years. I tend not to go back to Washington State I am not a fan of cold or wet so I have not visited as much. I did get to get caught up with most of my family members but when their is 30 some people all at Christmas can be a daunting task. I have enjoyed seeing all the places I used to go to as a kid which is fun. I also have been enjoying that my nephew enjoys going out and doing things with his Auntie. I was really surprised he could say my name most of the little kids seem to have trouble. I know my nephew has a picture of me and tells everyone that's My Tarra which is adorable. I have had some issues with higher or lower blood sugars than normal even with accurate carb counting but I'm sure being two hours behind Texas has not helped in that area at all either. I have had a great time so far and I will be flying home on the 30th of this month. Hoping for many more great days with my family. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas as well.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Getting Family to Understand

                    I knew my trip home for the holidays would have challenges but not as bad as it was. I know Celiac's disease can be confusing and it is difficult to navigate at times even for me. I have had it almost two years and I am pretty comfortable with following the diet. It will never be easy but I have learned how to navigate restaurants, potlucks and traveling when having it. I know my father seems to think that Celiacs disease is a fad diet and not related to health at all. He said it was all my mothers fault. So nice of him to blame my dead mother for it. I really do not care who passed it on but I am thankful that I feel so much better now verses then. My father has this idea in his head that I can go eat a hamburger because it really could not have that much gluten in it anyways. That is really not true sadly. I really wish I could just eat a hamburger like I used to and be okay.

                    I know my dad made reservations for Chinese food for Christmas Eve like the family used to every year. I was really unsure how I was going to handle this because the only Chinese restaturants I had been to had a gluten free menu. I looked at the menu online and figured if I would see if they could modify the dish if possible. I went and sure enough the cashew chicken I wanted to eat had a white sauce but I asked if they could not use flour. The lady asked if corn starch was okay to use to thicken the sauce and I told her yes. So they made my cashew chicken thickened with corn starch and honestly could not tell the difference. Over all a very sucessful adventure with no reactions from eating the Chinese food. I have been trying my best to explain to my father that yes Celiac's is a disease and what it does affect such as the digestive tract.  He just does not seem to get it but I should not of been surprised. My mother was always the one who understood the health related issues.

Duchess checking out the neighboorhood from Grandma's house.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Inspired by Other's

                  I have had the pleasure of meeting a really wonderful person who I ride the bus with two days a week. She not only know most of the people in the neighborhood but she goes out of her way to get to know them. I do not know many people who know most of their neighbors these days. She struggle with diabetes like the rest of us do. I know she had said a few weeks back the Dr. wanted to put her on a second pill. She told the nurse she wanted to try and see if she could work more on her diet to avoid a second medication. I know she spends quite a bit of time walking, and swimming. I know I really respect all her work she does to try and keep her diabetes in control. She is out there everyday doing it and does not complain. She is very upbeat and does not seem to let it faze her. I think type 1 and type 2 are both difficult but we are defiantly better working together as a team.

                   My grandfather is a type 2 diabetic and did not even bother to tell us when he got diagnosed but I think he knew we would be pushing for him to take better care of himself. He currently does not do anything of things he should for his diabetes. I wish he could be more like my friend. My friend on the bus she does work at it everyday. I know we all have our bad days but it is nice to talk to someone in person who understands as well. I know she was disappointed that they were talking about a second pill but I have to give her a great deal of credit not giving up and to keep on trying to improve things. Diabetes will never be easy for any typed of diabetes but I admire her stamina and persistence. I know when I have a bad week I love to share Kerri's  you can do this video's. I think it is also great to remember that we will all good and bad days.

Thank you my great friend. I appreciated all your help this morning. I have enjoyed getting to know you and I am honored that you take the time to read my blog. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and I will see you when I get back.    Kerri's you can do this video

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lows and Highs

                    Today was a rough start to the day. I got up and I was low treated it and ate a gluten free bar. Then started to get ready for work. Then the Dexcom goes off again I am low and it keeps going lower. I had lowered the basal -20% and then I increased it to to -40% but was still going low all the way too work. I have to walk a distance to get to my building on the University of Texas campus. So I put my pump on suspend and still ended up going low. I have been low for around 3 hours today and It is less than ideal. I have gone through this quite a few times but I think the holidays are not helping. I end up over doing and it catches up with me.
              Then I shot up to 200 shortly after my last low. I am hoping that things will calm down the rest of the day because I am really tired and it's only 10 in the morning. I am happy to report that at least I am not low now. I know I get stressed before I fly out of town because I hate to forget anything. I am not a light packer. So tomorrow should be much smoother after I am done packing.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Best Explanation

                   I have been rushing around this past weekend trying to get as much last minute details taken care of before I leave on vacation. I was out and about doing some last minute shopping but I can only do so much because frankly I don't know how to pack light at all when I travel it is something I am working on. I also have to pack for Duchess who has lots of stuff she needs as well. When I was out shopping I was at a Hobby Lobby looking for decorative plastic bags to put my coworkers fudge I was making.  There was these two young kids with their mother. The little boy see Duchess and asks his mother why would their be a dog in a store. The mother said it's a helper dog. The boy did not quite understand what that meant so the mother further explained that their is certain functions that I could not longer do myself that the dog helps me with. The little boy and girl look at their mother and say that is so cool. This is one of the best explanations I have ever heard from a parent and the kids seemed to really understand. I know through all my experiences I really wish more parents would take the time to educate the kids as to why I do have a service dog with me. I know recently my main issue has been adults who do not understand that Duchess is a service dog. Then speak with the manager and then I get bugged while I am trying to shop. I know I will never have a normal shopping experience again but would be nice not to deal with security or management constantly.

Friday, December 14, 2012


                    I am so ready for some time off from work and I know the break is so needed for Duchess. I already have my suitcase out and have packed some things already. Duchess is funny in that she has flown so much she will actually put the toys she wants to take with her on the trip in my suitcase. She also will pack her dog boots and her raincoat tool. I feel like I need to pack a suit case just for her. When I travel with Duchess I always have doggie bags, dog boots, rain coat, dog jacket, treats, toys and clean up supplies. I try to be prepared for any weather condition because she goes everywhere with me I try not to track in dirt and mud so I try to have all the things I might need. Duchess normally does not wear a dog jacket but Seattle is going to be in the 40's and it has been mostly in the 70's recently so this will be a big drop in temperature. I am trying to make sure she is comfortable during our trip. I also bring along a blanket or mat to lie on the floor of plane so she can rest while we fly. I know to make my trips easier I copy all of the airline published requirements for service animals to fly so I can educate if necessary. I had a trip they kept telling me I needed a Dr.'s note to fly because they assumed she was an emotional support animal. I also have the procedures for TSA printed as well. That way I can say something it they try to change the procedures.

Duchess at the airport this past July giving me those eyes. I think my blood sugar was moving around at that time.

                    I am feeling ready for my flight now if it was only Wednesday evening and I would be on my way.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wonky Numbers

                         It has been an interesting week of basal changes to say the least. It seems recently once I get the basal down then my body decided not so fast I am changing again. I have been doing my normal routine when all of a sudden I am moving up or moving down. I have been fighting to keep the lows at bay. I have been using the temp basal rates to help with the issue and it seems to be working. I seem to of solved the strange rise in the morning but the afternoon lows have been pretty tricky my basal changes have not quite worked out yet but I am sure I will get it soon. Trying to have things as balanced as possible during the holidays to avoid any nasty surprises such as a bad low or seizures. I know Duchess has been working alot more recently with the wonky blood sugars and I want her to not be so taxed if possible. The nice things is that I will have a week and half time off coming up and hopefully I can get back on track then.

Best to not have an overly tied alert dog if at all possible

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Party

                     I was at my holiday part yesterday and most of my department did not go. Some prefer not to attend the events. I  like to go and chat with people I normally do not get a chance to very often. I was sitting with another department and someone asked me what it is like having Duchess. I of course spoke about all the great parts of having a service dog but I also had to include the bad. I was telling some of my stories of my interactions with the general public over the past two years and they were really astonished at how rude some people can be. I know when I started out I thought the same thing but I am starting to handle the situations better the longer I have here but it still will bother me how a perfect stranger can be so rude, I talked about my weekend experiences at target and how the guy wanted to bring his cat and dog next time. I know they all said they have seen so many people in Austin trying to take their pets everywhere but they did not realize how difficult things could be for me because of all the fake service dogs.

                      They also were telling me how nice it was having a service dog in the office. I know they said they felt less stressed. I know Duchess can have a very calming effect and also is quite entertaining at time even for me. She is usually chewing on her bones or sitting on the floor playing with a toy. She has a very big personality that even see's but. even more so when she is off duty. Nice to know that everyone seems to benefit from Duchess's presence I know I do. I know after my scary seizures at work I think most of them know that how much I need her.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


                     I have been feeling very left out in some ways recently. I was diagnosed with Celiac's disease over a year and half ago. I do tend to not eat out as much and prepare most things from scratch which is good. My friends were pretty good about things for the most part but I stopped getting invites to go out to eat and such. I know I do have restrictions on what I can eat but most of the time there is some things I can eat. fast food is not usually an option but I have even been to a festivals and was able to find things that were safe and had no reactions from what I choose to eat. It has been so isolating in some ways but I also feel so much better. I just never thought I would not be so hard to handle at times. I know giving up gluten is not easy but things are getting easier with more and more restaurants offering gluten free items. I am hoping things will get better but it has been a rough road of learning and researching. I know it is so easy for cross contamination to happen. Most of the time just touching an item containing gluten and touching a gluten free item can contaminate the item. This has happened to me at a restaurant before and I was sick for several days. I don't want my friends to have to worry about it and I have learned some great places that we can all eat but it did take me a while to even eat out after my diagnosis.

 I am still learning a great deal about Celiac's disease and how to avoid cross contamination. I know a friend invited me to Thanksgiving and it worked out well there was plenty I could eat and nothing was cross contaminated which is what I aim for. My friend has another friend who is also gluten free and they sent me txt message with the ingredient lists to make sure that it did not have gluten. I really appreciated all her effort to make it safe. I know most people are overwhelmed by it and I can see how that could deter them from wanting to go to lunch.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Shopping Adventures

            I was out shopping like every other person this weekend. I always get stopped frequently because of Duchess as usual. I got stopped by a couple who wanted to know who Duchess is being trained for and if she was a seeing eye dog. I told them that she was a medical alert dog and they were kid of surprised. They did not ask much more than that I think they were slightly embarrassed because she was not a seeing eye dog. I have never meet so many people as I do today until I got Duchess is really quite a beautiful dog. It can be quite deceiving because she does look like a puppy until you lift up her chin she has grey hairs on her chin which so her age. She will be 5 next year which is hard to believe.

              I was in the Target shoe department this weekend looking for a pair of boots for my trip to Seattle. I was trying the boots on when I was approached by security. The security guard looks at Duchess and say she is a service dog correct. I said yes she is. I guess a shopper thought she was a pet and approached the security guard and told him he was planning on bringing his dog and cat with him next time. Since now they allow pets. Which is not the truth. I actually hear this all the time from random people oh I did not know you could bring you dog to the store with you. That would not work out well at all. The store would have dogs running around getting into things. I know Duchess was behaving quite well that day in Target so I was shocked the person assumed I was bringing my dog with me. I think the security guard new when he approached me that she really was a SD he says she has a big enough patch with her job on her vest. I know he was surprised the guy did not notice the patches but I know most people tend to ignore the patches as times.

                 I tend to go low when I shop at Target for some reason and I go there frequently. I was dropping pretty quickly when I was shoe shopping and Duchess was on top of alerting  as she always is. She did not miss one which is good. She made me very proud of how much her alerting is back on track even in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.



Friday, December 7, 2012

Changing Minds of Family Members

            I have an up coming trip home and have not been back in quite a few years. I know some family members have not meet Duchess yet. It will be interesting to see their reactions when they see how well she does alert. I know some family members feel that Duchess has no reason to be with me but I highly disagree. Mind you they do not read my blog or know about all my bad lows or seizures. I have found when I do discuss them they seem to think things are the same as before. I know seeing Duchess in action is impressive at times and she is very accurate. I am hoping that she can make them see how much she is needed. There is a big portion of my family such as my brother, sister and my grandmother who really support me having her. There is so many things that have changed I know until you actually experience some of the lows or seizures you might have trouble digesting how much my life has changed from 4 years ago when my hypoglycemia unawareness took over my life. I think hearing my stories is scary but living them is even scarier for me. I know some of my family members have seen me recover from so many issue over the years I think they take it for granted that you can't count on that. It seems to me that my lows have done nothing but get more scary recently. I am out of the seizure pattern but no completely out of the woods. My diabetes has never been easy to control and it seems the longer I have it the harder it is getting.

             I am hoping meeting and getting to know my angel Duchess will persuade my other family members to see how amazing she is. I know my father will be the one who does not support me having her but I think that won't change. He seems to think if I moved home that all of this will go away but I know other wise.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Equipment Frustrations

            There has been a real love hate relationship the last couple of months with my Dexcom and my insulin pump. Last night my Dexcom was driving me crazy. It kept alarming when I was actually 90-120 range and not low. I finally got so frustrated i decided to do a temp basal which ran me in the 130 range last night all so I could sleep. This current sensor this morning is now where is saying I'm high when I am actually in the 90-120 range. I love some parts of the Dexcom but other times I get frustrated by the fact that it can be off and keep beeping at you. I did enter my blood sugars to correct the Dexcom  but that did not seem to help. Hoping my next sensor will cooperate more. I know the new Dexcom should be here soon. I am looking forward to more accuracy when it comes to the sensors.

            I have been doing better with my insulin pump but every once in a while I will have issues again with the sites but nothing like before sometimes I will only get a day out of a site but so much better than a couple of hours. I am thankful my insurance will cover the extras supplies I do love the insulin pump but the site issues can drive me crazy at times. I now have to carry more supplies around just in case I go through them quicker than normal. Overall the pump issues are much improved. I love what the technology can due but sometimes when they don't work as well as they should I start to feel why do I bother to an extent. I do know why I bother especially with the insulin pump. Number one reason for me is that I have more control with temp basals, less lows and more flexibility when it come to my schedule. I know yesterday I did not take a lunch and ate at my desk as I was working. If I was on injections that would of caused havic because I did not eat lunch til 3pm. So the pump does have it benefits but times it can be frustrating.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Night Lows

             I don't normally have lows at night but recently I started to have lows at night. I have the Dexcom and Duchess at least. I know my long days at work is not easy for Duchess so I try to have another option at night even though she will alert. I was awoken by Duchess in a complete sweaty mess at 1:10am. I felt like I had a shower in sweat which is really less than ideal. I tested and it was 38. My Dexcom was showing I was 98. So it had not alarmed yet. I had my skittles by my bed and I normally eat them at night if I do go low but I really wanted juice which is unusual for me. So I start to get out bed and my legs buck underneath me. I hit my head on the floor. I now have a bruise on my forehead a scratch on my nose and a swollen cheek bone. I also had cuts on my feet. I did eat the skittles as I was lying on the floor. Then I got the strength got up and went and had some juice because I really wanted juice. So I then proceed back to bed and bolused for the juice which was over what I needed to bring me back up. Then I go back to bed only to be awoken by Duchess at 5am because I am 180. So I decided to change my site out.because it had been 2 days since my last change. I did not end up with much sleep last night but in actuality that is normal. Hoping tonight to avoid hurting myself further.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Check up with Retina Specialist

             I went back for an eye check up and it looking much improved. There is thankfully not irregular vessels in my left eye and no signs of change everything looked like a normal eye should. Basically not signs of retinopathy.The Dr. was very pleased. The right eye which has had some hemorrhages is looking better. He said the last hemorrhage is almost cleared up and should be completely in the next two weeks or so. I am very excited by this. There is still some abnormal vessels but far less than last time. I think I will need another laser treatment in January but not doing too bad. I am taking everything one day at a time and this was all very good news. After all this adventure with the previous retina specialist I am so glad I went with my intuition when it came to my eyes. I feel like the Dr. is wonderful and the staff is nothing but caring. Even though it has not been fun it has been a good experience overall excluding the first retina specialist. I am quite pleased at how much they care. I have called with a question or two and they always get back with me. I know this could of been a very different experience if I stayed with my previous retina specialist. I probably would be having surgery right now.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Unexpected Issues

                     The most unexpected part of having a diabetic alert dogs is how I felt the first time she missed a low. I felt so very angry which is not what I was expecting. I know realistically that she is dog and is not perfect just like me. I know the expectation for her to be perfect is never realistic or fair. In fact I struggle explaining to my family that she can miss one her and there. They don't seem to get it. I am extremely satisfied with Duchess she has done for me more than I ever expected. She has saved my life, given me back my freedom and loves me beyond what any person can expect. I am still shocked that I felt that way. I know this happened shortly after I got her and I called the trainer. She told me that all of her clients who get a dog end up with that angry feeling the first time. I know I increased her scent training to make sure she was going to continue to alert. Normally after you get a trained diabetic alert there is a short period of time around a week where their alerting goes down after you get back home. I'm sure it has to do with the change in homes and adjusting to their new life. I guess it is part of the journey I did not expect. I am not angry now but it is fascinating to me as to why we all feel this way. I know when I got Duchess I had to release some control over things to her in some ways. She knows things I can no longer feel. So I am very dependent on her and more than I will ever like to admit. There is so many little things that I never expected the good and the bad.
Even with all the unexpected things I would not change a thing.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Holidays and Low Blood Sugars

                   The holiday time is always so hectic it is hard to believe tomorrow is December 1st. I have learned a great deal over the years when it come to my diabetes and the holidays. I always try to go overboard with everything and that has its consequences. I have had several emergency room visits for bad lows or seizures over the years. I have been learning to slow things down a bit to avoid having these issues. I love all the parties, shopping and baking but it can catch up with me. I am glad that I won't be doing most of my shopping till after I get back to Seattle to visit my family. This will take off a lot of pressure to get everything done while balancing a demanding job. I know Duchess is not a fan of the extra commotion during the month of December. I have done some shopping already and they have been shipped to my grandma's house and I think she already wrapped the presents for me. My grandmother is great and loves to wrap presents. One less thing I will have to worry about. My mother always did so much at Christmas and made it look so easy. Since my hypoglycemia unawareness diagnosis I know even more so now that some times I need to slow down. I am going into this Christmas with less personal expectations for myself and it feels much more manageable.I am looking forward to all the get together s with friends and family but without the rough lows.


Thursday, November 29, 2012


                  I missed yesterday was diabetes siblings day. I have two siblings my older brother and my younger sister. I know diabetes did affect my whole family. In fact everyone in the house followed the diabetic diet because it is health for everyone. At least they learned to eat fruits, vegetables and whole grains as they should. I know it was not always easy for my siblings I know it was scary for them to seem me experience lows and in fact at one point my brother had to give my a glucagon injection. They watches me have seizures and all the other difficulties. I know when I hit my twenties I  had my mother tell me that she had spent more time with me and doing more with me because she knew how tough diabetes was. I know my siblings experienced the jealousy but I know my mother always squashed it with you are lucky you don't have to worry about diabetes like Tarra does. I know that answer was not easy for them either. I know now as adults they say they feel silly for feeling that way but they also acknowledge now how hard diabetes can be. I know my mother spent more time with me but I know that was out of fear back when I was diagnosed in 1980 they told my parents I would not live past age 27. I know that played a part in how I was treated.

                  I have some amazing siblings who were very forgiving about the time my parents has to spend helping me with the diabetes related things. I know both now are happy with what they have learned about healthy eating when feeding their own children now. I am lucky because I am not having children but I can always spend time with my niece or nephew. I know my siblings have been very supportive during all the complication issues and my diagnosis with hypoglycemia unawareness. I know my brother in particular really understood my need for Duchess and I will never forget that. He has always been a supporter of me doing what I need to do to stay safe. I have been blessed with a great family and my siblings have a great deal of patience, willingness to sacrifice and understanding.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Alerting Patterns

                 The interesting thing about having a diabetic alert dog is that there is a pattern to Duchess's alerting. For example when my blood sugar starts to move she tends to try and sit closer to me. Then here eye's start to dilate the lower or higher it goes. She also will try to bump my hands or want attention as her little way of letting me know that things are moving around. The longer I have her the more she also has become vocal about the movement of my blood sugar. She is quite a funny dog because she is not allowed to bark in public she makes up these interesting noises. It seems every week there is a new one. She is so smart she finds ways around the things she should not be doing. She loves to communicate so she finds a way. Duchess also loves to cuddle when I am low or high I think the training is part of the reason. They love to find the smell. I will never understand though how they teach the dog to know how dangerous a low or high can be. There is always a sense of urgency.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Feeling slightly Burnt Out

                I normally would have been wearing my Dexcom the first day after I was done dealing with my cold. I had stopped cold medicine on Thanksgiving and was starting to feel better. I thought it would be nice to not have another device beeping at me through dinner so I left it off. The next day I justified that I had done without it for a week during my cold why do I need it today. I have done that justifying all the way through until today. Now here it is Tuesday and I finally started up a sensor today. I love the information but at work the device is so loud. I guess I have been feeling a little burnt out by it all but avoiding the Dexcom is not going to help. I have been testing my normal 14-16 times a day as usual but I guess after all my fiasco's with the infusion sets and adhesive issues you can become tired of it all. I know that Duchess has been alerting so well I guess I figured why bother but I know this time of year can be tricky with all the parties and such. So I am glad I started up my Dexcom again but at times it also drives me crazy.  I am looking forward to getting the new G4 Dexcom in December. I am hoping that the accuracy improvements will only make the experience even better.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Feeling beat up

                    I went to the movies Saturday night like many other people over the holiday weekend. There were quite a few great movies out. I was getting settled into my seat with my friends. Then as usual the people who are running late are scuffling into the theater. They was a group of women who sat close to me and Duchess. They were talking pretty loudly between the three of them. I think most of the theater could hear them. They had to walk past Duchess and I to get to their seats. I was not surprised that we became a topic of their conversations. I am used to that to an extent from most people. I was a little a taken a back at how harsh they were. One of the ladies starts off why would they ever let anyone bring their dog into a theater. The other lady states I think the whole idea that anyone would ever need a dog to help them is preposterous. Then the other lady in the group goes on to state I think there is such a growing number of people who are using these dogs as a way to get attention. All these comments I really take offense too. It is really hard to understand sometimes the ignorance of others. I know having service dogs in public is hard to understand for people but these dogs give us so much.

                   I know Duchess gives me hope, opportunity and my life back to an extent and that is priceless. I am still astonished that people do not understand the need for some to have a service dog to help. I do not do it for the attention but for my own safety. I would give anything to have my life the way it was in some ways. I also have had  a lot of wonderful things happen because of Duchess so there is the good and the bad but it has never been about the attention. I have spent my life avoiding attention related to my diabetes. I really want to live a normal life like anyone else. I know I am unable to change the ignorance but sometimes the comments are a little tough to take.

Friday, November 23, 2012


                  I had a pretty great Thanksgiving with some great friends. I cooked at home a ham and some dessert with me. Most traditional Thanksgiving sides have gluten in them for examples dressing, gravy, green bean casserole, and rolls just to name a few. Having celiacs disease and adding holidays into the mix has been a great challenge. I am lucky that my friend Amy's friend also has Celiac's and so she is used to making things gluten free. I always am so worried about getting exposed to gluten by cross contamination which happens so easily. I did come away without being exposed to gluten and that is a successful holiday. I did have some issue when I was drinking wine which had me stay about 70 which is lower than I would like so even with eating a big meal I still was low several times. I did dose lower on the insulin trying to avoid going low but sadly my body had other ideas. The funny thing is the night before I had a drink or two and my blood sugar stayed around 90 through out the night which was ideal but diabetes is as always full of surprises. I am hoping everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well.

My friend Agustin, Duchess and I watching a The University of Texas Longhorns game after dinner.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Local Article on Fake Service Animals

              There was a god news article last night on a local Austin news station about fake service animals. They article discussed how people are purchasing vests and Id cards online in order to take their pets to stores, restaurants and hotels. The website even tells them how they can take their dogs with them to hotels, restaurants and stores. Nothing makes me madder than companies encouraging people to fake having a disability to take their pets with them. I Love Duchess and like having her with me but I really wish that my life was the way it was before. Taking a service dog everywhere with you is work and is not easy. I guess I will never understand why taking you dog everywhere with you is glamorous or appealing. I have struggled so much with public access issues especially with my local grocery store. That issue was caused by someone bringing their pet into the store with a vest on and the dog did damage to some food and displays. The sad part is that people assume it won't hurt to take my dog to the store but it really does make my life more stressful. Service dogs go through rigorous training and are exposed to things a normal pet would not be so they are able to deal with being in a store. I still can't believe people would actually fake to avoid fee's.

             I know so many people who need their dogs and they do not see it as glamorous or fun but just essential. I wish more people could understand the implications of faking. I know there is numerous in Austin and the number keeps growing. These bad behaving dogs are leaving a mess behind them and I end up paying the price with explaining laws and information or a confrontation. None of these things are fun but I will continue to educate in hopes that the fakes will be asked to leave. I do ask much as I can to get the fakers out of the stores and I have confronted the people as well. I helped a local store learn the laws and they were able to keep a pet that was being said was a service animal out of the store. They learned watching Duchess's behavior in the store verses the dogs and they noticed large differences. This helped the store to determine it was a fake also with my tips I gave them. I am hoping in the future people will leave the dogs at home so that people who really need their service animals can live a normal life without all the hassles.

KEYE-TV - :: News - Top Stories - Kit For Sale Online Lets Your Pet Impersonate A Service

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recent Visit

             I went back to my Dr.'s appointment today and it was pretty much in and out. They were pleased I have been seizure free two months and counting. I do still have some lows but I know some of that is related to having hypoglycemia unawareness. I tend to stay on the lower side of things most of the time I do not usually go above 200 normally which is good. I having went to a CDE and dietician recently to address my recent issues because I feel like that my PA does not have time to go over all of my concerns. I know she has made some slight basal changes back to what I had them set to previously but the PA disagreed with the basal changes. I am glad that I was making the correct basal changes. I know the CDE and I talked about the possible need to eat several small meals a day instead of larger meals to create less issues with blood sugars but I will know more after my next visit which is coming up soon.

             It feels good to know that my overall adjustments for my pump settings have worked well. Every fall my basal night insulin increases dramatically. I use more insulin at night then during the day. The joys of dealing with the dawn phenomenon. I have been able to have no night lows and wake up around 130 most morning which is what I am aiming for. I am pleased that I only have one more 6 week appointment and then back to my normal 3 month appointments again. It feels so nice to be seizure free and a whole lot more relaxed in general.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Refreshing Experience

                  I had an interesting visit to target this weekend. I was walking down an aisle as usual and there were two kids with their mother shopping. The mom turns to her two boys and says that is a working dog and we do not pet. Then she says to the kids also do not ask to pet her dog because it is rude when she is just trying to live a normal life. I had never thought I would hear that from the general public. I was so pleased to hear a parent education their children but also educating them on my need to not be bothered. I try my best to live a normal life but when kids and adults get overly excited in the stores because Duchess is their it can make it difficult. It was so refreshing to hear as I was shopping. There also were two other parents who also told their kids that you do not pet service animals. I was stopped by another person when I was in the book aisle. He turns to me and says why are you not allowed to pet your service dog. I told him that a service dog can become distracted and then stop working which has happened to me. It took me weeks of work to get her back on track. I did not let people pet her at college but, they were just reaching down and petting her. Now I will block people because I know sensitive Duchess can be to being pet.

                     I don't mind answering that question for people because it brings understanding of how sensitive the dogs can be to distractions and interactions with people. Duchess is highly focused on her job but has a limit to where she would rather get attention from other people instead of working. I am okay with Duchess being that way because if I let people pet her they will continue to try and pet every service animal which could impact others.

Photo: On our way to TRF. Happy birthday, Tarra!
My good friend Amy and Duchess at the Texas Renaissance Festival

Friday, November 16, 2012

Team D

                I have always wondered why diabetics do not support each other more. I was on the Wego Health panel and it was brought up. I know with cancer they all seem to be so supportive and joined together but why are not all the types of diabetics. I know their our some slight differences between the different types but that does not change the fact they are diabetic. I know more and more research is showing that type 2 is autoimmune related as well. I have seen the negative stigma attached with the diagnosis of type 2. My grandfather is a type 2 diabetic and he has gotten pretty beat up because they are blamed for it. I have also seen type 1's and type 2's battling it out on diabetic online forums and comment sections of articles. It is really unfortunate this is the case. We all are struggling with our blood sugars, keeping up on exercise, eating healthy, getting proper dosages for meds, insulin or insulin pumps. Most of the time our goals are very similar but why must there be such a defined line between the type's of diabetes. The more people supporting each other the better the community is as a whole. Diabetics in general can do more as a community supporting each other regardless of type. I think we all can learn a great deal from each other when working as a team.

                    I wish that in the future that we can truly be type D together as one. I am including the link for the Wego Health Panel for anyone to listen too. I wish they we all could get along and become a stronger team. I know the results of us being one team really could have fantastic results.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Need to Work on Some Issues

                   I have recently been struggling with being moody with Duchess and I can on occasion when I am really stressed, I try my best to avoid being moody with her but I struggle. The struggle is that when I'm in the middle of working I am always so go go that I forget how much my diabetes can come back and cause major issues. I am very driven and really have a hard time stopping what I'm doing to take care of my diabetes even though I know I should stop immediately. I have been struggling with this balance for the past three years. I do give her treat as usual but my tone is not always the most friendly. I have also found the past three years when I have lows that I am struggling to maintain a positive mood in general. I know it was rare that I would become moody when I was low but not it is becoming more routine. I find it difficult to do so and I don't want to say something at work that can be misconstrued because they don't get I'm low.

                    I know that if I don't keep my responses positive and upbeat that it could possibly cause issues with Duchess's alerting ability. So I try my best but recently it seems it is more than I can handle. I am hoping with some time off from work during the holidays will help me to get back on track with my responses and look for a solution of options for handling it. Duchess has been excellent at her alerting so she has not been affected from what I can tell so far but if I keep it up I have a feeling their will be consequences. I know I love the graphs of the Dexcom but that also can drive me crazy at times. I had to relearn a lesson again yesterday evening. Duchess alerted I gave her a treat and did not test. I told myself I would test in a few minutes and that turned into 40 minutes. Duchess kept alerting I ignored her and continued on with what I was doing. Duchess then comes over I was sitting on the couch with my laptop. Duchess comes over and sits on top of my computer and me. I kind of got the hint that I really should recheck sure enough I was 32. So it looks like I need to always listen to Duchess honestly she has never been wrong. It is so easy to forget how quickly you can go low.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WDD 2012

               Another World Diabetes Day is upon us. I know my times as diabetic over the past 32 years things have changed dramatically and for the better. I am truly amazed amount of blogs, advocates, and speakers there are for the diabetic community. I know the number will only continue to grow as we all try to fight to find a cure that we all need. I know that my blog has really transformed my life in so many ways. I started blogging on a regular basis this past May and now I don't feel alone in all the craziness I call diabetes. I am constantly trying to educate the public by speaking and blogging. I am hoping all of us spreading the word will lead to many great things. I know my journey has been so dramatically changed just by becoming involved. I am including a link for some WWD events. There is so many ways to become involved such as volunteering, and educating the public. There is also other opportunities out there.  I know I was very shy about starting to blog but I would not change a thing now. I have learned so much from all the bloggers and diabetic online community. Thanks for being part of my adventures with Duchess.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shades of Gray

                    I was speaking on a health pannel through Wego Health about various diabetes topics. We started discussing Hypoglycemia Unawareness. There were two of us on the health panel dealing with it. I know the other panelist had talked about how he did not currently drive because of the extent of his issue. I am thankful that I have Duchess because of her I still am able to go places without the constant fear and I can have back the parts of my life I had lost when I first started dealing with hypoglycemia unawareness. I have never been as scared for my own life until I had experienced not being able to feel any lows. I do currently have times I can detect a low here and there but never enough to rely upon it. My body currently has different ways of letting me know I am low and I am always trying to reteach myself to look for the symptoms but the issue is how easy they are to miss. When I used to get shaky when I was low there was not question I am low or my fast heart beat it left me with not question that I was low.

Photo: On our way to TRF. Happy birthday Tarra!
On the way to the Texas Renaissance Festival

                    A person on the panel brought up to me that if you run your blood sugars higher for a week or two that your feeling would come back. I have tried this method and with no results. I never was able to get back the feeling of lows to what I needs sadly. I have read study upon study that all say the same thing run high for several weeks and it will come back but honestly they never discuss when it does not. I find that to be frustrating. I know that for many doing exactly that running for several weeks and they are feeling the lows again. I on the other hand did not. I find that not all standard treatments of diabetes work for me most of the time they do not. So I am used to find what works for me. I know diabetes is not black and white but really has shades of grey. I feel like most of the time my has been mostly gray but it was refreshing to hear from others that they have experienced the shades of grey as well. I know I have struggled with my Dr.'s trying to use the standard protocols for my care when I actually need to not follow standard protocol. My diabetes is individual and not text book and that goes for my diabetics. I really just want care that matches what I really need.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Interesting Trip to TRF

                   I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend with my friend Amy. We got there a decent hour and started our day off. This time there was a much bigger crowd than opening weekend. I knew it would be an interesting day as always. There will always be a number of people who are very uneducated about service animals. The day started off with the usual comments like " Oh I didn't know you could bring your dogs here" or " I am bringing (their dog's name) next year" I am sure they did not realize that no dogs are allowed only service animals. I got the normal can I please pet your dog pretty much all day long. I also got may I ask what the dog's job is or what is your disability. I was not always in the mood to discuss what Duchess does with perfect strangers. I would occasionally tell people but they had to approach me in a very polite manner. It's was my Birthday and I just wanted to enjoy the festival. I so wish that for once I could have a normal day at a festival but I know that will never happen. There is times I feel like I am a side show act at the circus. I know I have not option currently other than Duchess so I do my best with the circumstances. I had several rude comments as usual from people because I would not let them pet Duchess.
Henna Tattoo
                    Then there was a child that the parents left attended and the kid of course was all over Duchess. I do not like people's kids near my dog because she has been hit, kicked, and her tail pulled by little kids so I try to avoid them as much as possible. I like children but I don't like them hurting Duchess. This little kid would not leave her alone he was around two years old. I decided to move away from the kids and then the kid decided to run after me. I was trying my best to avoid the kid and finally the parents noticed that there kid was harassing Duchess and I. I was surprised that parents would let their little child run around by themselves with so many people. It would have been so easy to kidnap the child. My friend during this all was trying to find the parents who ended up were quite far away. I love having Duchess with me she is my best friend these days but I do not always enjoy the comments, reactions or treatment from the general

Duchess and Amy

Friday, November 9, 2012

What I have Learned Throughout This Year

               With it being National Diabetes Awareness Month I was reflecting back upon some of the things I have learned this year or needed to relearn this year. I have a horrific time when I am high in that I am very harsh on myself when I should be more realistic and forgiving with myself. I am going to be working on this more into next year as well I'm sure. In order to avoid seizures I really need to monitor my stress level to the best of my ability. I have been able to do better by taking my breaks at work and making sure I get out of the office because when I don't it can be very over whelming after a while. I also need to think about what Duchess needs because getting out and taking a walk or playing is really essential to keeping her alerting at her best. I have learned that educating your co-workers can be good for everyone involved. I know my co-workers felt more in control when they had my instructions on what to do during seizures or lows. I can be a shy person at times and telling everyone what to do during emergencies is not always easy. I did limit who attended the training meeting and was more comfortable I also did not tell everyone which provided me with some sense of privacy that I feel I need.

                  I learned that I really should not define myself by my A1c I have know this for years but I have to continually remind myself. I am not a bad diabetic if I have a bad day and my numbers are just one part of the whole equation that I call diabetes. I have learned the hard way that yes my Dr.'s can tell you are a bad diabetic because they think your A1c is too low and that does not make me a bad person either. I know I have learned that the general public will always give my flack and lack of understanding because of all the mis-information out there. There are some people willing to learn the correct information and others choose not too. I am working on continually education to the best of my abilities to help all the diabetics out there. I have learned again that trying my best is really good enough. I do have some complications but just as long as I am continually trying my best that is good enough.I know that each person's bodies handle diabetes differently and some better than others. I also have learned more and more how amazing the Doc community is thank you for all the advice during my pump infusion set issues.


I'm joining a Health Activist Roundtable on Diabetes with @wegohealth this friday 12-1pm EST:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Looking at Costs

                    When looking at getting a diabetic alert dog you have to look at the costs. At the time my insurance did not cover CGM at all. So I found that out of pocket for the CGM would be pretty comparable and not as reliable. Costs to consider when purchasing diabetic alert dogs is initial purchase costs of the dogs depending upon if self trained or program trained dogs. The vet costs such as shots, heart worm prevention, flea control, brushes, supplements for joint health, and proper dog food. Then there is the cost of treats, toys, leashes,brushes, dog bath products, collars, bowls, mats, dog beds and chew toys. My service dog does got through leashes quicker since they are in use most of the time. I buy a specialized hands free leash which makes it easier when I am carrying things and have Duchess with me. Then their is the cost of vest which I like to have a back up vest as well they usually run from 40-150 dollars for certain vests. There is also the expense of doggy bags to clean up after them as well. Duchess has allergies and so needs to be on a grain free diet which ends up costing me about a $1.25 a day to feed her. Each dog may have different health concerns so cost can vary dramatically. Then the yearly vet visits we have scans of hips or other issues that can be present from her long hours of work. Having dog pet insurance is recommended can range from 24-55 a month depending upon plans. Most service dogs like Duchess have seat belts in the car and also harnesses as well. Then boots for snow, ice or hot pavement. There is also costs depending on the climate where you live as well.

                        Diabetic alert dogs are an investment for sure and they can be quite pricey on a yearly basis but have so many benefits as well. The costs are more than I thought it would be even with calculating the expenses before I started the process. I will spend quite a bit for my CGM even with insurance but not have nearly the accuracy that Duchess provides me. I need the accuracy because my blood sugars can move so quickly. In fact during my last seizure at work. I caught that my blood sugar was dropping quickly and was drinking juice when I started to seize. So I realistically need Duchess to give me that little edge that a CGM does not provide. Overall I am quite comfortable with the costs but it can a shock to someone if they have not done their home work of the figures before they start their journey to get a diabetic alert dog.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Disruptive Ride

              I work in Downtown area in Austin and my work has limited parking. They charge their employee's to park. The yearly cost is around $450.00 to park or 35 a month. I am not a fan of paying my employer to park and then there time that because of an event that you have to park else where. I find it easier to use the bus passes they pay for all the employee's and students to have. I normally do not have too many issue I take a flyer bus which has less stops and goes directly to UT. This bus most people leave Duchess alone but not today. I had this man come over and sits downs next to me right near Duchess. I ask him to please not pet her. So he pulls his hand back. I am listening to music on my iPhone like I normally do in the mornings. I then notice that he is trying to stare at her and trying to get her attention. I gave the man a dirty look but he still did not get the point. So I asked him to please do not distract her. The man continues to make noises at her. Some one else on the bus that rides regularly told the guy to leave her alone.  I sometimes wish people would understand how easily a dog can become distracted by them trying to pet her or get her attention. She is well trained but loves attention. If I let people pet her she will not work.

              I depend on her more than I like to admit. She is amazing at her job but with people trying to do things to distract her it can be very frustrating for me. I am trying to keep her alerting at the level I need. The CGM I have does not provide the alerts the way Duchess can so I rely on her to warn me or get help if necessary. It is such a delicate balance I am always trying to keep myself safe and Duchess focused is not as easy as I initially thought it would be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Walking a Fine Line

                      I have been really struggling recently with a very very bad habit of ignoring Duchess at times when I am busy at work. This week I have Federal Audits at work and things need to be done quickly. I know I need to check if she alerts but I have been really cranky and ignoring her to an extent because of all the things I need to accomplish. I am walking a very fine line right now because if you ignore your service dog they can stop alerting possibly or it can decrease their enthusiasm for their jobs. I am trying to be better but I know recently I have felt like such a pin cushion from all my previous pump site issues and then the constant testing. I am really feeling over whelmed by things because there is so many things I need to get done. It is so easy at times to forget how diabetes does not always wait and you can have a bad low or with me a seizure from time to time. I am trying my best to get things back to where they should be.

                      Duchess has been wonderful dealing with my mood this week and really keeping on top of it even though I am not as receptive as I should be. I am amazed at how fortunate I am that she loves her job enough that she continues to work even though I am making it difficult. I am hoping that tomorrow will be better,

Monday, November 5, 2012

So Glad she is Back to Her Old Self

                I have always loved Duchess but the longer I have her the better our relationship becomes. I honestly fell in love with her the minute I meet her at the kennel on my first day of training. I could not believe how intelligent and smart she was but most of all how much she loved working. I have to say she is far the happiest dog I have ever owned I think the job really gives the service dogs a purpose. I know Duchess has not been herself after all the seizures and hospital stay I experienced from July through September. I feel like the past two weeks she is back to normal again. She is more affectionate and more playful I believe because I have not had a seizure in over a month and a half which is wonderful. I am out the seizure pattern which is what I was trying to accomplish.

Duchess back when I was hospitalized in August.
                  I think Duchess was on high alert for several months during all the seizures and so she was not as carefree. I love seeing her back to her old self. She is a very warm and loving dog even when she is on high alert but it nice to she her a little more relaxed. I know these scary events our hard on the dogs even with training. They love their owners so much is amazing. I have also seen time and time again how Duchess will alert a great period of time before my Dexcom will so glad I have Duchess to help me maneuver my crazy life with diabetes. I know would not be as safe without her.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Never Expected all the Disapproval

                      As a service dog owner I try to always stay informed and educated about service animals and the law. I belong to some service dog groups where I can get tips on where to get the best service dog items I need. Also it really nice to meet others who has a service dog as well. I also belong to several  diabetic alert dog groups as well. I was reviewing some post in the service dog group and come upon a post by a member stating that diabetic alert dogs only perform one task but actually that is wrong. The group is not very accepting of diabetic alert dogs in the group which I am discovering the longer I have been in the group. I am really shocked that they think the diabetic alert dogs are not considered service dogs or that they have limited task they perform according to other disables individuals. The current law states that the dog must perform one task that the disabled person cannot perform that affects their daily lives. I know some people are pushing to make it three things and of course Duchess performs more than three things as well. Her task our to alert to low or high blood sugars, bring test kit, bring glucose tabs, and get assistance when I have seizure or a bad low. I am looking to teach her to dial on a dog phone 911 if no one is around. Normally I like to stick with my diabetic service dog group online which is

                     I know in life you will always meet people who do not like the idea of certain types of service animal. I know I have been criticized in the past by strangers and even friends because they could not understand why any one would need to have a service dog. I have had nothing but really scary situation the two years before I got Duchess which equaled many visits with EMS at home, work or friends houses. I always thought that the general public would possibly understand my need but the opposite is true. I have gotten lost for around a six hour period of time when I had a friend call me to ask where I was they were waiting for me. I was supposed to meet them and had not shown up. I have had 3 concussion the past 5 years from lows, fractured my toe, had stitches in my lip and has numerous seizures. I know each person diabetes is different and so it does make sense. I know my biggest supporter has always been my grandmother and my really close friends. I know with my disability being invisible it makes it difficult. In fact our building manager came to the front desk of my office to find out why I have Duchess. The front desk woman was at the training when I told them I want some privacy when it comes to my issues and not to share with everyone. I know she told him that the question was inappropriate and to contact the disabilities office if he needed information.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Glue and Adhesive Issues

              It looks like my first Dexcom sensor with the IV 3000 has worked quite well in fact there has been not itching from the site with the IV 3000 which is wonderful. I also used the Benadryl spray under neath the IV 3000 and there was not welts or redness when I removed it. So thankfully the glue/adhesive allergy has been handled pretty quickly and I seem to of found a solution. I am still struggling with the infusion sets I can get to about two days on some of the infusion sets but I have a feeling I will be switching to Apidra most likely at the end of this month after my next appointment if things do not change. I am averaging about a day and half currently. I am thankful after having sites lasting 4-5 hours so there has been big improvements. Hopefully I can get back to making it two days again soon. I also no longer have any bruises or welts left over so my stomach is back to looking like normal. I was and am still thankful for all the doc members who offered help and advice.

Duchess and my co-worker at office Halloween Lunch.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Duchess is Ready for Halloween

                                                                Happy Halloween

Duchess my little bumble bee

                                        Duchess is such a fun dog she loves to dress up in costumes. In fact her first Halloween with me she had a queen outfit with a crown and everyday after work she wants to put it on when we get home. She likes dressing up for the Renaissance Festival and loves to see the kids Halloween costumes when they come to the door trick or treating. She seems to be liking her Halloween costume today. She has worn it all morning and does not want to take it off. I know most service dogs do no seem to mind costumes I think because they are constantly wearing their service dog vests.  Now if I can keep my hands off the candy things will be great. I caved and bought some candy. It did take me a week or two to eat but normally I try to avoid it at all costs. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Working on Balance

                  I have loved the past two weeks I feel like Duchess is so much happier now that we are back to our normal schedule ans so am I. I have a very stressful job and I handle some very complex tasks which I love but sometimes it can be hard with all the diabetes plus my work. I am always trying to find a good balance between work and time off. This has been even more difficult with having Duchess and I honestly never thought much about it until I started into the many months of overtime. It is not something you think about until you get your service animal and how much rest and time they need to just have some fun and be a dog,. When your working longer hours it makes doing all the little things she needs and keeping up with all the stuff I need done. I know I will do thing slightly different next April when my overtime will start again. I have some plans on what toys I will bring to work with her and how I will manage our breaks at work. I also need to spend more downtime  working on fun ways to work on keeping up her training.

                    There has been so many things I have learned from having Duchess that I had never thought of before I actually had her. I know there was no surprise how much she would change my life but the depth of my relationship is not something I knew until I had bonded with her. I hate to leave her even for an hour or when I have my occasional night away from her. I love Duchess more than I can describe and I honestly love her strong personality that keeps things light and fun. I am hoping the longer I have her the easier it will be to find the right balance for both of us at work.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Dr. Phone Call Yesterday

                     My current Endocrinologist is driving me crazy. I am switching in December when I have my appointment with my new one. I thought everything was going pretty good after my visit on Tuesday when they understood why I wanted my A1C at a certain range but yesterday I got a call that they want me to come in two weeks so they can download my pump information. They want a two week appointment because I dropped .2 on my A1C which is not a large drop. In fact for me around this time of year that is typical for me. When the weather starts to change my insulin needs seems to change rather quickly. I do my changes and things seem to level out vary quickly. My recent change to Novolog also contributed to the drop as well. I am extremely sensitive to changes of insulin and always have been. When they called they acted like I was such a terrible person because it dropped. I hate being treated like a child. They now want me to call every time I go below 70 so they can drop my basal rates.

                     I am not going to call the Dr. every time I am below 70 because they seem to forget I work for a living and that calling them is the last thing I would do. My job is very stressful and I have the work load of about two or three people. I do not have the time to do that. I feel lucky my work is not trying to get rid of me because of all the appointments I go to as it is. My endocrinologist must think I am made of money want me to come in one or twice a month. That get's really expensive not including the supplies I need. I am so glad I am done with this group. Will be nice to get away from being treated poorly because they think I am a bad diabetic even though I try hard to avoid lows.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Interesting Appointment

              I was meeting with my PA yesterday at my Endocrinologist's office yesterday for my monthly follow up. I have been assigned to have monthly follow ups until I have stopped having seizures monthly. We were talking about how frustrated I am with the infusion sets again. I started having issues again with the infusion sets not lasting as long. The Novolog was working great for a couple of days then same issue again. I am going to be switching to Apidra in the next two weeks if the issue continues. I am not too happy about the recent change but at least I am currently averaging a little longer between changes. I am hoping the issue goes away so I will not have to switch insulin's. Hoping things improve soon. This morning I started to itch all over my stomach near my Dexcom site and now my infusion sets looks like I may have a possible adhesive issue.

               The PA and I were discussing the all the higher numbers I have been experiencing because of the infusion sets and she was not worried about it. I worry because my A1c has been under 6 for almost two years. I try to keep things as controlled as possible. Mind you my Endocrinologist wants all patients with hypoglycemia unawareness at 7.5 A1C's but I refuse. I have complications and putting me at that high will only increase me to develop more. I know my PA said to me this month will not kill my A1c she thought I would be below 6.5 which is the areas where you avoid further developing complications for the most part. I am glad to hear they are finally getting it. I work way too hard to let my A1C sit at 7.5 and cause more issues if i can avoid it. I know my previous Endocrinologist wanted my A1C under 6.5 funny how much they vary on their opinions of where you need to be when you have hypoglycemia unawareness. I think it has taken so much work for me to get my endocrinologists and PA to listen to what I am saying.

                Last night at home I was cleaning out some of my supplies where I keep them and I found an empty test strip bottle which fell to the floor. Duchess say it hit the floor and ran over to retrieve it. She thought it was the greatest toy. She was moving it around on the floor and chewed on it a bit. Funny how much animals love cardboard boxes and trash sometimes.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reflecting Back on Time

            I have been spending quite a bit of time recently reflecting on all the diabetic devices I use today. Back in 1980 when I was diagnosed there was urine testing, beef and pork insulin. There were no meters, pumps, home A1c tests, or all the gadgets we have now. I know even with all my recent struggles with infusion sets I still would not give up my pump. I love that my Dexcom can help me make better basal changes. I could not survive these days without all my meters at my finger tips. All these devices are such a part of my life these days as I'm sure the next new one's will be as well. I love that thinks are getting better over the years but that sadly is just not enough. I know the statistics are staggering and so many people deal with the issues diabetes brings and make it look so easy. Sometimes I am bitter how much other health issues get for research funding because diabetes unlike cancer is a slow killer I think it does not garner enough attention to the issues. The issue is for me that after 32 years will I ever see a cure? Will diabetes ever been seen by the public as something that needs to be cured?
              My advocate sides wants us all to push to get diabetes to be seen as the disease that needs a cure now not twenty years down the line. I want people to see that yes we have insulin but that will never be a cure but just something we require to live. To have people understand that test kits, pumps,cgms, and other things are great but all can have issues. None of our treatments are easy or simple as many people that our not well educated about diabetes seem to think they are. Life as a diabetic is fairly routine with occasional very serious detours. I am hoping we the diabetic community can garner enough attention to make people realize that we need a cure. I am hoping as more and more diabetics spread the word that change will follow. I know the diabetic community seems to be doing more and more each November hopefully we can continue to push for what all of us have been waiting for so patiently.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Still Amazed Everyday

                        I have had times when I was in public shopping or going to movie's and Duchess would alert me. I test and I was in a normal range. Most of the time she is telling me another person is having a low or a high blood sugar near by me. The interesting thing is that she is trained to alert to my scent but also can pick up others scents as well. There has been time I ran into some type 2 diabetics who  but they said they were fine and did not believe that Duchess could know their blood sugar. I find it funny how people react when I approach them to ask if they are diabetic and most people are not sure how to take it. I thought people would like to know but some people I think like to ignore it. Duchess goes with me to all my local type 1 meet up group once a month usually and she handles all the smells quite well.


                        Most of the time half the table is above 120 and the other half is below 90 which is what I have Duchess alert at for me. When at the meet up she will tell my friends at the table if they are low or high and she has never been wrong which is amazing in it's self. She even alerted others when at a diabetic conference earlier this year and people were just amazed. It is interesting even with all the other diabetics around she does not miss my lows or highs which goes to show how focused she can be on her job. All I know is that I am still to this day is amazed at Duchess abilities and ever more so at her love of me.