Friday, June 29, 2012

Being Your Own Medical Advocate

                   After a couple months of fighting with my Dr. over which Insulin pump I should be using I finally won. The Dr. finally signed off on it this week. I will be the proud new owner of Animas One Touch Ping here shortly. This experience is a great reminder that we need to be our own advocates when it comes to our needs as diabetics. I know the Dr. wanted me to go with Medtronic and tried to tell me that they really prefered it because they felt it was better than Animas but frankly I am the one paying for the device so it is my choice. I know when I got hypoglycemia unawareness I was told they though it was silly for me to get a diabetic alert dog because it was unnecessary. I disagree a hundred percent because under that Dr.'s care I was wondering for hours not remembering anything and I was not supposed to be not concerned by that. I did everything the Dr. told me to do but nothing was working and so I had to make the decision for myself. I did talk my decision over with my family and they agreed I needed to get a service dog.

                   The most interesting things I have learned since I got Duchess is that most Dr.'s are not open minded about diabetic alert dogs. Most of them think they don't work or are not worth the money but I beg to differ completely. I have tried all the medical devices with not luck so that left me with one option a diabetic alert dog. I know my current Endocrinologist is not a fan but I don't care. The Dr.'s is not there when a low has almost taken my life but Duchess has been and she continues to keep me safe. In some parts of my life I am not very insistent with things but when it comes to my health I am a very challenging patient. The reason why I am challenging is that I am educated on the latest advancements, i am familiar with medical terminology, i want the latest tests and I will fight for what ever I need. The saddest part is that the Dr.'s who are supposed to be looking out for you as the patient can be just more concerned about their own pocket books. I was blessed my mother taught me so much about the medical field and how to fight for my rights as a patient. I have had so many times that I have used what my mother taught me. I know to get my diagnosis of Celiac's disease it took a while to get a Dr. willing to run the correct tests and finally tell me what I really already knew. I know it's not easy but in the end I feel like I have control of what happens in my own medical care by fighting for what I know is right.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Relationships and D

            I was talking to a woman after work the other day. Her husband it a type 1 diabetic and she was with her husband on a trip recently. She was heading into a different shop than her husband. I guess at the time they had been walking for quite a while and he was low and had hoped she would notice. She did not really notice and he ended up having to run into a store to get something for his low. She said he used to more aware of when he was low but that has been changing over the past year or two. I  know the low had scared her and she was thinking of how great it would be fore him to have a companion for his as well. I found it really surprising that he expected his wife to notice that he was low. I know for me it has never been really easy for people to notice when I was low. I am not sure if other people's lows are really hard to notice too, but I have had a conversation when my blood sugar was 17 and no one noticed anything was off. I have always take the approach that I need to be responsible for it as much as possible and be proactive as possible. I know each person has their own approach to dealing with lows. I am very independent and have always been that way so I'm sure that's why I prefer to handle my lows on my own if at all possible. There has been times I did need help and was able to get the help needed as well.

            Having diabetes and relationships can be difficult because its really hard to negotiate situations like that woman experienced. I am so very thankful that I have Duchess to help me maneuver through my lows and awkward situations lows can create. I know there will always be the really embarrassing moment I had back when my hypoglycemia unawareness had completely taken over my life that I don't think I will ever forget. I know most of my relationships in the past I did not ask them to help me with my lows even to get juice or whatever at the time I was using to treat the lows. I think I may be almost too independent for my own good from time to time. I am lucky that Duchess does not mind helping.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Office Encounter

              Working at a big University is a really great place to work in that most of the time there is a large number of well informed and educated people around for the most part. I am still astonished yesterday by an encounter in my managers office. She just moved into the same building as my department is in which will make things easier for all of us employee's. The office she is located at has some of the higher level positions from several Directors to Financial Manager etc. I had been over to my bosses new office several times. She had a temporary work area over there over the past month and I have been introduced to many of the higher ups and I think because of Duchess they all seem to know my name now which is funny because without her I am doubting they would of paid as much attention to who I was. Duchess has opened many doors for me professionally and personally which I would of never expected. I have been asked to do special projects and so forth.

               I was leaving my bosses office when the executive assistant for the Chief Financial officer approached me. She said I have some questions for you real quick. She looks down at Duchess and said is she done training yet? I said she is a fully trained. The look on the executive assistants face was interesting enough. She then replied I assumed you were training her for someone else. I said no she is actually mine. Then she said we having been talking about Duchess for about a week or so now trying to figure out what she does. I told her that I don't share that information with people because it is not professional and is quite personal.

              I am still thrown off by it all. Why is it so hard to believe that I have a need for a service dog? The funny thing to me about this all is that people are not sure how to take the fact that I need a service animal at all. Most of the time they pity me when no pity is necessary. This is my life good or bad it's my life and I'm okay with it. I do the best I can and this is my reality but why can't our society accept that I have a need for her. I know that  invisible disabilities are often so misunderstood.and that's why it's my personal mission to educate the general public as much as possible. I think I have a large amount of work ahead of me. I guess the best part for me no matter if people accept it or not I am blessed to have my best friend Duchess. She has made quite and impression on who ever she meets. I know from Duchess prospective she probably loves these encounters because she always knows when I'm talking about her.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interesting Saturday

             I had the most wonderful day last Saturday. I went a little are in called Barton Springs and right next too it is a little area many people take their dogs to play. I was their just relaxing letting Duchess play in the water. One of her favorite activities is playing in the water. She loves to play for hours chasing balls. The funny thins is when she has her vest off and can play with her ball you would have no clue that is a working dog. She does not really understand one thing like that another dogs tennis ball is not hers. She is lucky that other dogs don't mind sharing. I always bring extra balls when I take her so she in case she steals another dogs ball. I was throwing her tennis ball. She runs up and then steals this younger guys labs ball as usual.

             I end up talking with the owner of the black lab she ended up chasing back and forth at the park. The conversation would of been a conversation most people would have of their labs chasing the ball back and forth at the water. His dog was named lucky. He was quite a beautiful lab and loved playing with my overly playful Duchess. Duchess of course was just happy to have a dog to race to get the ball with in the water. The owner and I chatted away as our dogs were playing in the water as I was wading in water throwing the ball to the dogs. He then looks downs and notices my pump site. I was wearing on the hip area and had disconnected from it because it is not waterproof as I would like. It  is of course noticeable but he was very polite in asking and did not change our conversation in anyway. I did tell him I was a type 1 diabetic and was using an insulin pump and had disconnected while I was in the water.

         I had such a great time just chatting with him. He did not seem to mind the insulin pump or that I was diabetic. We played with the dogs and chatted the afternoon away while the dogs chased each other in the water. He he did ask me some very general diabetic questions. It was nice really in general to talk about the dogs and just have fun for the most part not focusing on the diabetic end of things. I did speak about my diabetes here and their because it is a big part of my life. The conversation eventually led to me talking about how Duchess was actually my service dog when she came running back to me and pawed my leg eventually. Even in her downtime she will alert if she notices. I checked my had to go quickly check my blood sugar which lead to me explaining she was my alert dog and my blood sugar had dropped and she had caught it.

          I am not sure he was not expecting that part because I was like most people at the water having fun with their dogs. I did tell him about Duchess and her job and how I needed her to detect my blood sugar changes for me. He was fascinated with how she could sense the changes for me and how she could help me. I really was not sure to expect from people I meet. I was surprised when he asked me if he could have my number. I am not sure where it will go but I have had fun so far. Always nice to have new friends and especially when Duchess can have a new friend too.

Monday, June 25, 2012

So Many.

           I know I feel so lucky these days to have health insurance. I did not have health insurance while I was recently in college. The insurance they did have did not cover any diabetic supplies so it was not worth the cost. I ended up using the patient assistant programs to get my insulin for free and other programs to help supplement my health care needs. I went to low cost health care clinics and so forth this was not easy with a low cost health clinic. I normally could spend over two hundred dollars on one appointment at the low cost health clinic. The care I received was not as thorough as needed but it was what I could afford at the time. I know there has been some very generous people who helped me when I was in college by donating insulin pump supplies they did not need. I know now everyday I am thankful for the fact that my health insurance does cover all the devices I need but even with insurance I am still am paying out quite a bit for a new insulin pump which I am in the process of getting. I could not imagine trying to pay out of pocket for an insulin pump. I'm sure most people could not afford one without health insurance.

                         One Touch Ultra 50 Diabetic Test Strips

           I know there has been times in my life where I could not afford to test enough even with insurance or the coverage for my insulin was slim to none. Sadly not all insurance plans are created equally. I know these years did not help me as a diabetic. I know how hard it can be to pay for test strips out of pocket when they can be so expensive even for just 50 test strips even with buying them on Ebay. I have done this quite a few times and it was much cheaper than in the stores. There is also places like amazon that also sells test strips as cheaper prices if you watch for them. I really wish that diabetics never had to worry if they had enough money for insulin and test strips. It seems so crazy today how many people have trouble being able to afford these items. I know there are charities that provide test strips but there is never enough test strips for all. I really wish that we never had to choose between bills or supplies like so many diabetics do. I have seen people in my diabetic meet up group share old supplies they did not need to help others in the group which is wonderful for those people. I am feel so fortunate to be able to get a new insulin pump that I need. I have so many troubles with long acting insulin's if I use them more than a week or two. I know not being on a pump is not really an option for me currently and also because I have an increased amount of lows on long acting insulin. I know its a pipe dream but it would be so nice if there was a universal health care system that addressed the needs of everyone and not just the insured.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Burnt out in General

           I have started anxiously counting the days till my vacation. I have worked six months straight without taking a day off besides holidays. I am getting pretty burnt out and getting ready for my vacation is not helping. The past two months I have been averaging 10 hours of overtime a week and sadly my exercise has been affected. I am usually really good with keeping up with it but I have fallen off the bandwagon recently and I am having a hard time getting back on. I was trying swim suits on for my vacation and that in it's self if motivation enough. I know that sitting at my desk and only been walking is not helping me. I know I have gained a couple of pounds which is less than ideal when your getting ready to go on vacation.

             I have done great this past week I have started back to running at least 5-6 days a week. I have to say that even Duchess has been really loving the running in the evenings and running in the mornings on the weekends. I feel great and my blood sugars seem to like it as well. I have been walking the past couple of months but can get tiring after working 9 or 10 hours days. I am also heading to diabetes burnout as well to an extent. I think I am just burned out all together after fighting to get the insulin pump I want and with juggling over time a half hour lunch I really feel burned out just in general. I am dealing with my diabetes burn out by taking a small pump vacation and this does help me in some ways. I am also really hoping the four days off including a holiday will help get rid of my general burned out feeling. The diabetes burnt is not that bad but this pump vacation is really helping. I am really anxious to get my Dr. signature on the paper work for my new pump would really help as well. I am really looking forward to my wine country vacation filled with sleeping in and wine in some nice weather.July is getting close.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Opportunities I did not know were there all along

                 I have always been very shy most of my life and I have always been scared of public speaking. That is until I took a class last summer in public speaking. I have to say that this class taught me quite a bit about myself in that yes I can handle public speaking and that I am not that bad at it. I did a speech on why people should not fake their pets are service animals and everyone said they thought my speech was wonderful. It felt good to hear positiver feedback on speeches. I was fortunate enough to earn an A in the class,which I was not sure I could do. Shortly after summer semester I started to look for a job and I found one that required some public speaking through teaching classes. I was fortunate to get that job and I really am starting to enjoy public speaking to an extent. I have also done some other speaking at a local company where I was invited to speak about disabilities and service animals. Through these opportunities I have been able to start to move beyond some of my shyness and actually having Duchess has also allowed me more opportunities to do more even within the diabetic community as well.

                Duchess is a great icebreaker in many ways which also has made me come out of my shell and also gives me a opportunities I might not of had before. The funny part of Duchess she has even helped me more men which is really the opposite of what I was expecting honestly. These opportunities have even followed me into my work as well. I have been asked to more things because Duchess and I have been able to make a good impression once people give us a chance. I never dreamed of the changes in my life and I would not change a thing. I really needed to move beyond my own boundaries and I have made incredible progress. This progress is taking me places I never thought I would go and I am actually starting to enjoy public speaking especially in my personal life the most but on work level as well. I owe so much too Duchess for opening my eyes to opportunities and to my speech teacher who I owe for giving me the encouragement to continue on taking public speaking opportunities.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dose of Reality

              I was talking with my best friend today on the phone and she was asking how things are going? I said things had been very busy at work with working overtime and trying to keep up with my exercise. She then asks me how things are going with Duchess? I responded that things are really going great. Then she asked a question I was not expecting. So are your blood sugars better enough recently to handle a day without Duchess. I know the answer to the question, but It is really hard to admit it to myself.  Sadly no, I am very dependent on my life saving angel Duchess. She has kept me safe and honestly when I have been apart from her for even just a couple hours it has been really hard. She makes me feel safe. When my severe problems with lows started I remember being afraid to leave my house for fear I might get lost or something could happen to me. I was staying home unless one of my friends dragged me out of my house. I never felt safe or secure with where I was. I constantly would lose track of time at work because I would go low and not know it. My lows were taking over my life and everything was impacted because of my these terrible lows.

               It's not terrible depending upon my dog to help me with my lows but It has taken a while for me to really accept that yes this is where I am at. My life has changed so drastically over the past four years it all seems to blur together. I am not sure why I have struggled with things on one hand but I have always been a very independent person. This really has made me accept that yes sometimes I do need help. I come from a long line of very stoic strong women in my family and I must have picked it up along the way. I know as I spend more and more time with Duchess she is always a great reminder to me as well of my strengths and my victories as well too. I know I can do this, but with the help of my best friend Duchess.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Made My Decision on New Pump

            I am a very educated consumer especially when looking at insulin pumps. I spend a large amount of researching insulin pumps before I make my decision. I am coming up on my 4 years with my Medtronic 722 insulin pump. I have like my pump pretty well but I am not really all that impressed with the Revel insulin pump Medtronic currently has out. I am liking the Animas ping currently because of two reason I really like the screen and its waterproof. My guy friend has dropped his quite often and it is still function just fine. He is not gentle on his gear like I am so I know that it will fair just fine over the 4 years. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about their customer service and I have not been as satisfied with Medtronic over the past year or so with their customer service. I feel like Medtronic is not offering the same quality of pumps some of the other companies are in my opinion. I know they have a wonderful reputation but I am ready for a change. I know the CGM I tried and was not impressed at all. I know there is talk of Dexcom working with Animas on an integrated CGM which is what I am looking for. They also offer a low upgrade fee to the newer pump when It comes out which I want. 

            I went to an Endocrinologist appointment about two months ago and was inquiring about getting a new pump. I have been only seeing this Endocrinologist since March of this year. I am not a big fan of her actually. I really like her PA and her nurse who happens to be a type 1 as well. The educators are really fantastic but what I found out during the visit only made me mad. I told them I was wanting an Animas Ping but the Dr. said too me there is no reason to need a waterproof pump. I like to go swimming and other activities like floating down the river but don't like being disconnected for hours from the pump either. I really don't do well with Lantus or Levemir. I have horrific low most of the time. I am looking for a pump that if I accidentally get pushed in a pool is not a big deal ,which almost happened to me once. The Dr. then says that she prefers Medtronic pumps and there is no reason to look at any other brand of pumps when she can get a pump expedited from Medtronic quite easily.
            I was blessed growing up with a mom who was a nurse. She taught me a great deal about the medical field including all the kickbacks and etc that physicians get from companies to prescribe their drugs and equipment. I sadly think that is the case with this Endocrinologist. I am still insistent that I am going to get Animas Ping because honestly I am paying for it and a Dr. should not been pushing me to one brand just because they prefer it. I had the company fax the paper work weeks ago and still not paper work back. I have called numerous times the Animas representative has stopped by the office trying to get a signature but nothing. I am nothing but furious because I have a right as a patient who is paying for the pump to make the decision. Last time I checked a physician opinion can be important, but I am the person who should make that decision.I am honestly furious because a this is a so rediclious how they believe I will cave and just go with Medtronic but they are wrong. I guess we will see how this ends soon enough.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Some Privacy Needed

          I was grocery shopping yesterday at a local grocery store. I was checking out my items at a self check out and a man approaches me. He looks down at Duchess and comments on her patches that say Do Not Pet. He comes over in a very stern voice and says to me what does the dog do. I said she is a medical alert dog and her replies for what medical condition. When I'm not really in the mood to discuss what Duchess does for me most of the time I reply that she helps alert me to low or high blood sugars. He then has a puzzled look on his face. He then asks why would you need a dog for that. I am getting rather annoyed at this point because his tone during the conversation has been very intrusive and I am not in the most social mood. I had two bad lows that morning and was trying to get in and out of the grocery store as quickly as possible. I reply back that I can no longer sense when I am low or high and he responds I'm a type 2 diabetic for several years and have never heard of there being dogs for that. I told him that the diabetic alert dogs have been around for several years but have recently become a more popular option. He then says thank you and walks away.


            I love to educate but it really depends on how people approach me. If I feel like they are being judgmental I will end the conversation quickly with an excuse or that I'm running late. I sometimes feel like they are requesting way too much personal information. I don't go around asking people why the limp or why they use canes but why do people think that because I have a service animal I automatically need to share with them my whole medical history. I have found that when people approach me with a judgement responses it usually results in them insulting me in some way. I have been told I stole my dog from a child who would need it more than I would. It's funny if a kid needs as dog it's okay but not for me apparently. I find those interactions are hard for me to take.


            I recently helped a student out at the University of Texas with a project. It was a month in photographs. She followed me around for a month from lunches, happy hours, work, exercise and other activities which was much harder than I thought it would be. I found that It made me some what uncomfortable on one hand but on another I wanted people to see how I live a normal life just like everyone else does. I am realizing I am comfortable with sharing some aspects of my life depending on how it is asked for and what purpose it is serving. The longer I have had Duchess the more sensitive I am to the inquiries by the general public because you never know in some ways how it is going to affect you or your future in some aspects. I know Kerri Sparling does not reveal her daughter's real name and I am now really realizing why in some ways it can be good to not disclose everything but what is just necessary. I try to be open but when you get insulting responses it makes disclosure much more difficult.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I Miss Having the Symptoms of Lows

               I had a low that would not go away for several hours yesterday when I was at work. I kept eating glucose tabs and candy to get my blood sugar above 80. I hate when that happens and I can never exactly figure out why all of a sudden my body just wants to hang out at 45 for an hour or two. I so miss the days when I would feel the tremble and my heart beat pick up. I would feel panicky, sweaty or anxious. I know most people hate these feelings but when you have no symptoms anymore you really miss them. I have had hypoglycemia unawareness for over 4 years now. I do get lucky occasionally to where I will feel my heart beat pick up slightly or my lips start to sort of go numb but not enough to rely upon it like I used to.

               I now usually get a brain fuzziness that I have trouble realizing I'm low or possibly my breathing is slightly off but if I busy I miss the symptoms completely. Most of the time I get lucky if I notice anything actually. Highs are the same way I really have not symptoms what so ever. I don't get thirsty, hungry, moody, or fast heart beat like I used to. The part that is the scariest for me is that need to treat a low is gone. The most interesting part for me is over the past four years I really have to push myself to treat a low right away. It's really funny part is that I know I need to treat it right away but without the adrenaline rush I tend to take a minute or two longer really to jump into gear at times. I am of course working on this because that could end up being dangerous. I am extremely lucky in that Duchess goes above and beyond with her persistence in reminding me that I need to check my blood sugar because it's moving quickly. It is so helpful that she keeps on me about my blood sugar at times. I am really shocked at how much I used to rely upon that adrenaline response to react so quickly when I was low. I feel so blessed to have Duchess to remind that yes I need to test right now on the days that I seem to forget how important is to test right now and not two or three minutes later.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New things

            Duchess has always been such an interesting character to say the least. She has added much more humor to my life. I still find it funny the way she does things sometimes. One interesting thing she does is to make interesting noises because she is not allowed to bark during work. There is always a new noise she makes and honestly I have no idea what they mean. I know most people are curious as to why she makes so many different noises and she does this while still being quite enough at the office. I think it's her way of being a dog but still complying with the rules and standards of what a service dog would need to follow.

            Duchess has also being using some new creative ways to alert me to my changing blood sugars recently she has been bringing me my glucose tabs without me instructing her too. I think she is connecting that I use them for lows. She has also been trained to bring me my test kit on command. She is quite funny in that If  I don't respond quick enough she will throw the test kit at me not that I don't deserve it.

Attached is a link for my interview with Tony Rose I had recently.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Very Educated Parent.

                 I was going a short shopping trip to my local grocery store yesterday evening. As I was walking down the aisle I see a father and daughter. The little girl asks her dad why I have my dog in the store.
The father then tells his daughter that is a service animal. Then the little girl asks the father why someone would need a service dog. He starts telling her about dogs for blind, epilepsy, mobility, and other medical conditions. Then the little girls stares at me for a couple of minutes with a very puzzled look. She then asks her father why I would have a dog because she does not see anything wrong with me. The father then starts telling her about hidden disabilities. He basically says to her not all conditions are visible and someone can appear fine but have a very serious condition. The little girl then looks at me again. She then says to her father how do you know that she has a disability. He says when watch a service dog team you can see the bond. He pointed out to her how my dog was staying very close and she was always watching me. He told her a trainer of a service dog would not been as bonded with the dog like I was with mine.

                 I was then going down the aisle past the father and daughter. I said to the father thank you for educating you daughter so well about service animals. I can't tell you how much it is appreciated. I continued walking down the aisle looking for some gluten free flour I needed. I was smiling so big after this experience. It makes my life so much easier when parents teach their kids about disabilities and service animals. I have run across this a couple of times at stores in the past but never a person who actually had all the correct answers for the their child. I could not of been more pleased.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


            I spent a larger part of my teen years feeling like a complete failure as a diabetic. Actually quite a percentage of my early twenties as well. I know two factors deeply affected my diabetes care. Those factors are my doctors and my ability to afford all my supplies. I remember as a teenager I would swing my low to high and back again not because I was not trying but I'm sure my hormones were not helping either. I think after a while of being told I was a bad diabetic I determined I was and moved on from it. I think the Dr. was well intentioned but had the opposite of intended effect. They made me feel like if I was over 140 I was a complete failure. Even with an A1c of 7.1 I would be criticized and lectured. I knew if the Dr. lectured me, so would my parents. I became this vicious cycle. I know I talked with my parents about my dislike of the Dr. we eventually switched to a family practice Dr. who had a different approach until he moved his practice. With that Dr. leaving we went back again to an Endocrinologist. Same thing again. I really did try but I was sick of being told I was not doing enough. These Dr. expected perfection when they only criticized instead of trying to work with me. They were so cold and just blamed me instead of trying other ways to get better control. I have recently been told that I was a complete failure again because the Dr. thinks an Alc for some one with hypoglycemia should be 7.0 to 7.5 but I disagree completely. I know that you can develop more complications in that range and I understand they want me to stay higher to avoid lows but I feel better being below 7.0 which I have been for the past four and half years. I work really hard in fact they used a CGM on me for a couple of days and I had days where it was in ideal range all day. I was so angry but this time I continued to do what I normally do and decided to ignore the Endocrinologist. I am currently looking for a new Endocrinologist who get's that I am actually trying to maintain good control and not need to run higher for the Endo's sake.

             I was fortunate growing up that my Dad's insurance plan covered so much of the expense which was wonderful but once I was on my own plan at work it was not good. I had several jobs in my early twenties that the coverage was so bad that I could not afford to use my insurance. I had to make choices most diabetics would not want to make. Affording enough test strips and all the other supplies was difficult. I really wish I had know back then about the all the patient assistant programs back then when I really needed them. I hear so many stories of people struggling to pay for all their medical supplies. It really makes me angry that people are not always able to get what they need to take proper care of themselves. I think it really says a lot about our health care in the United States. Even with decent insurance now I am still having to pay a larger amount out my own pocket for my new Insulin pump. I know right now I have too many issues with long acting insulin to do shots and so my only option is an insulin pump.

Monday, June 11, 2012


             A couple months back I was at a lab waiting to get some lab work done before an up coming Dr.'s appointment. I was sitting their quietly in the waiting room was packed. It was early around 8 and I was fasting. There was several things I needed to be fasting for including my A1c. I over heard a conversation from two seats over. Their were two women. The conversation was like this.

    Women in blue shirt - Spoken in loud voice - I wonder why that women has a service dog?

     Women in teal shirt - I wonder if she is blind?

      Women blue- I don't think she is blind she signed in at the counter.

      Women teal - Mabey she is deaf? I can't figure out why she would need a dog she looks completely       healthy to me.

       Women blue- I wonder if she has epilepsy. I just noticed that the vest said medical alert dog.

       Women Teal - I bet she is a trainer most likely there is really no way that women is sick she is way too young.

        Women blue- That must be it. I wonder if she would tell us about the dog? 

                 I finally chimed in that I can hear quite well and not I was not deaf but they must realize that people can have illnesses they can't see. My illness does warrant needing a service dog. I told them that I have a chronic illness and that is not always polite to ask about a person's disability. I told them that when they make a fuss over a dog that it can make a person feel different when I really am like any other normal person. The women responded that they had never thought of things in that light. They thanked me responding so politely. I try my best to respond as nicely as I can but the general public can make that difficult from time to time.

                 I get stopped frequently by strangers and they seem to want to know everything but I think I need some privacy from time to time. I love to educate but it can be tiring from time to time. I think these women would of been surprised what my issue was and I have a feeling they would of told me that if I lost some weight the issue would go away which we all know is not true.

Friday, June 8, 2012


              Today was one of those day's that my dog really amazes me the most. She was not feeling very well and was throwing up and I thought about calling in sick to work. The amazing part is that she still wanted to go to work.So here we are at work today. I have plenty of time to call in sick to work. I believe I have around 60 hours of sick leave which is great for situations like today. I know it would be weird for most people to call in sick to work because your dog is sick but when your dog is your service animal there is always the possibility that you could be calling in sick because you need to take of them like they take care of you. Now that were at work she is resting comfortably underneath my desk and seems okay. These dogs are incredible. She is truly my best friend and honestly has been there for me when most people would not of know what to do. Her ability to help me for example getting help when I have passed out or having a seizure she has done this twice so far for me. I owe her more than I will ever be able to repay. I try my best to give her things her first home did not.

               Duchess did not have the normal beginnings that most service animals do. She was picked up in Oklahoma City by a rescue group. She had bad burns from being left in a kennel during the summer months in Oklahoma City where I must admits get quite hot. They had to shave her back twice to allow the burn to be treated and then another time to make sure he coat would grow back in properly. From the info the kennel had they couple said they were divorcing and no one wanted her. Such a sad start for a dog who loves me even with all my fluctuating blood sugars. She loves her job and she seems to love our life together. I do try to spoil her because of her rough beginnings. I know she knows I love her and she is spoiled rotten but she really deserves to be. Most of all she is such a job to be around. Life has defiantly been more interesting since I started my adventure with in my opinion the best dog any could own.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things I did not know

           Life has given me so many blessing and I feel grateful to have those blessings. When I decided to get Duchess I knew my life would change but I don't think I was truly prepared for certain aspects of having a diabetic alert dog. I know the constant stares, pointing, and the weird noises people make at Duchess. I have had people (adults) bark at her which in my mind is crazy. I have never been able to figure out why. I am not sure if they are trying to get her to bark which would not be good because service animals are not allowed to bark while on duty. The hardest part for me is how people's perceptions of you change. I have noticed that people will either ignore you or they stare and make a huge fuss when they see Duchess. The other obstacle is the stigma's people have about disabled people. I hope that I can help change that stigma.
The Tower that I work in. Love the campus I work on.
          I read an interesting article about three  months ago that said on average that disabled employee's miss less days than their healthy co-workers which I found to be interesting. I know I started my current job in December of 2011. I have not missed one day of work and have only had the holiday's off. I do have vacation but I have not used any. My co-workers on average have each used at least a week or more of time off just since I started there has been numerous people out sick but I the immune compromised person but have not missed a day. I have always been that way technically and I don't see that changing anytime soon. The funny thing is that most employer's would not give a disabled person a chance even though statistically they can be great employee's. I know even with having a service dog I am willing to get the job done even if that mean's working over time. While some of my co-worker are out the door the minute it's 5pm.