Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Story and How It Brought Duchess Into My Life

I thought I would re-post my story for people who may have missed it. 

My life as a type 1 diabetic has never been dull. Always something going on. I used to feel like I was on a roller coaster as a kid. I would swing from high to low frequently. I was tested for epilepsy quite a few time because of all the seizures I had as a kid. Things did calm down for a bit but even as a child I remember times where I would not have the normal symptoms of low blood sugar but never thought any thing of it.

In 2008 my life took some dramatic changes my mother passed away at 52 years old. She was my best friend and biggest supporter. My mother and I shared a great deal of things in common including type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed at 18 months old and she was diagnosed at 36 years old. My mother was incredible and went above and beyond in everything she did. She even became a nurse to better understand diabetes and how she could help me. I still miss her dearly especially as things went very awry after she passed away. When she was gone things were so tough. My mother died of a heart issue. It was a surprise to us to find out shortly before she passed that she had rheumatic fever as a child and it was never treated. Which destroys your heart valves. I learned grief is like having a second job and I was so busy with it my diabetes monitoring went down sadly.

In June of 2008 I was driving home from work and blacked out driving. I don't remember any part of the drive home. Except waking up in an ambulance and a cop yelling at me. I was really scared and confused. The ambulance driver kicked the cop out and got me treated. I did start to remember some things about that drive but not much. The cops on the scene wanted me to do a sobriety test because they felt I was either high or drunk even after the EMS telling them I had low blood sugar. My roommate had showed up and thankfully told the cops I would not be doing a sobriety test. That a diabetic would fail when their blood sugar has been low like mine was. I know the incident with the cops was not good in fact a woman took a video of what happened with the cops they had been extremely rough even with my cooperating with their instructions according to the woman. I woke up the next day with bruises every where. I talked with my endocrinologist the next day and we decided it was time to got back on the insulin pump which I agreed with.

I tried to see if the pump would help reduce the number of lows I was having but after 6 months it really was not making enough difference. On several occasions after work on the way to my car I would get disoriented and get lost. I worked at a big university and that could be very dangerous. I also had passed out at work and home. I really need something more to help. I tried the CGMS but that also was not helping enough. Most of the time It would alert after I had passed out. I have had times where my blood sugar would drop 60 or more points in just minutes. That could be very dangerous for me. So i was researching online when I came across this article online about diabetic alert dogs. I knew that was probably my best option. I had had several concussions, stitches and stress fractures from lows since all the crazy lows I was having.

I did a great deal of research on having a service dog and what that would entail and I knew that might be right for me. I was losing my life as I knew it. I was so afraid to drive, and go anywhere for any length of time. I started staying home and missing out on life. I knew I wanted my freedom back. So i started the process with a trainer outside of Texas where I live. I had to do quite a bit of fundraising these service dogs are quite expensive and insurance will not help pay for one. I received Duchess my service dog in August of  2010. It has been an interesting adventure so far but I would change a thing. I really feel that my service dog is a great match for my personality and lifestyle. Duchess gave me back my life and there is just no words to how thankful I am. Especially to the trainer, my family and friends who donated money to help make this happen. There has been some great improvements since I got my dog. My Alc have never been better. I don't have as many lows and rarely get high numbers which is wonderful.


  1. This almost brought me to tears. My hubby has had many scarey lows and accident's too. He now uses a CGM which works well for him but I dream of the day when he could get a service dog. I think I want it more than him. Maybe one day...

  2. I have been so blessed to have Duchess in my life it was life changing experience. I don't worry quite as much about these events because she is with me through the good and the bad. She loves me more than I could ever explain these service dogs are amazing. Hopefully someday your husband can get one too.

  3. Wow...what a scary story. Im so sorry to hear of you losing your Mom, I cant imagine how hard that is, but I was delighted to hear you are doing so great with Dutchess! Im sure she is sent by your Mom from heaven above!

  4. It was a very scary time in my life. I have always believed that my mom played a part in me getting Duchess. Duchess has been wonderful and such a character as well.

  5. Dogs are the most liked animal by many of the people around the world
    Dad dogs

    1. That is so true. Love my DAD she has kept me safe.