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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Unexpected Issue

                       I have been working with getting Duchess back up to her best alerting level. We hit a plateau of sorts recently which I was not expecting. I have another friend who's dog did the same thing so I started to do more scent games which is basically a hide and seek game. Duchess really loves to play this game I have been doing the games at work and home to get her more motivated again. She has been back up to alerting as much as an hour in advance of a low again which has been wonderful. Even having Duchess two years there is always surprises and how they each handle situations or even new noises. I learned when we were shopping this weekend that she is afraid of the flying model planes. there was a guy flying one around trying to get people to purchase them but she even with watching it was still afraid which is not the normal for her. So I do plan on going back to see the planes until she is able to better handle the planes.


                       I could not of been more proud of Duchess because she really has handled the extra hours of scent training work and has really gotten back to where she was previously. She is a very hard working dog who has handled a great deal of long hours and scary situations. I am hoping after a couple more weeks of extra training I can start to go back to the the old amount of training.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Total Relief

              I have almost made it two days on the same infusion set. What a relief I was really getting concerned that I would not find a solution. This has been one long rocky adventure so far but at least I have a solution for the issues. I have realized that the inset infusion sets still are not working and I can use the contact detach, inset 30 or the comfort infusion sets. I am perfectly fine with those choices and just glad to not be changing out my sites several times a day. Almost all the bruises are healing up so in a few more days I will look like myself again. I have never been so frustrated except when I am high and am unable to figure out why. I do have to say that with all the bad infusion sites I was having the Dexcom was priceless in that I was able to see by the arrows how fast it was moving which made the decision to pull the infusion sets sooner and keep my blood sugars lower which was wonderful. So who knew Insulin can cause this much issues with an infusion set but hopefully any person who has the same issue now will have the answer.

                         Product Picture        Product Picture

              I have to admit Duchess was a good sport about the constant alerting to keep my blood sugars in range. Duchess would alert before the Dexcom as usual and then the it would provide me how fast it was moving which was helpful. Overall I think it would of been more frustrating without the Dexcom. I did find that I have become better about testing for possible causes of the issues such as scar tissue and other little things. I know some of the testing I did personally speed up the process to finding a solution. I did fine quite a few articles from people who went off the pump because they thought they would not find a solution. I am glad I stuck with it and continually searched for the solution who knew that a sales representative from Animas was the one who came up with the solution.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Information about Purchasing Diabetic Alert Dogs

                       I have heard so many horror stories about families paying at lease $20,000 for a diabetic alert dog and it not working. First their was Heaven Scent Paws which was sued and can never train or work with diabetic alert dogs again.Now their is another company out there doing the same thing. Both of these companies have preyed upon people's desperation for a diabetic alert dog. I always have to warn people to be careful and ask a great deal of questions before agreeing to purchase a diabetic alert dog. I have learned a great deal about what can happen watching people who paid large sums of money who ended up with a dog that did not do the job they were trained for. I have to say that when you get a diabetic alert dog and do not continually work with the dog they will stop alerting. The diabetic alert dogs have a very delicate balance necessary to keep them working. There is so many things that can affect if the dog will alert or not for instance if you let the dog be in charge they will not alert, or if you let the dog do what it wants it will eventually decide it does not want to work anymore. Even with a well trained dog they do have off time periods which I have experienced with Duchess which I increased training and changed the routine we have in order to get her more motivated.

                      I have learned that if you let a diabetic alert dog get too much attention from people they can craze attention from strangers instead of focusing on you the handler. That is why I have a strict no pet policy because Duchess is defiantly one that would crave that attention. I do have to say that applies to some of the service dogs and not all of them. I have of things to do before you purchase a dog from a company. I know many families have trained their own service dogs but they spent a lot of time getting their dog fully trained if you have the time that is a great option. Please be aware that sometimes having a teenager with a service dog can be problematic there was a girl who got a dog from the trainer who trained Duchess who experience some major issues. The kids in the high school kicked and pulled the dogs tail and terrorized the service dog. So there is a need for the school to be willing to protect the dog and not ignore the situations like this girl's school did. Dealing with schools and service animals can be difficult from the stories I have read so keep that in mind as well if you are planing on having the dog with your child in school.

1. Make sure they use a positive reinforcement training methods
2. Talk to families who have received the dogs from the company.
3. Look for reviews of the company.
4.Ask to be able to visit kennels before you purchase.
5. Spend time with trainers of the dogs and talk with several times before making a decision.
6 Ask what type of follow up support is provided because you will run into some issues. I had phone support for a year and ability to do refresher training at no cost for that year as well.
7. Ask what the policy is for dogs who do not work well or what options are available.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Possible Solution to Infusion Set Issues

                   Looks like the consensus opinions of various Animas CDE (certified diabetic educators) is that my insulin is at fault. So today I am switching over to Novolog to see if that wills solve my infusion set issues or not. If that does not work they want me to try Apidra insulin but I have some reservations with doing so. I already have had dramatic drops of my blood sugar without adding another which is faster but it could be good because of the lower time duration. I want a solution but want it to be a safe one. So I am really hoping the Novolog is the solution without having to change things with an insulin I have never tried before. So far it seems to be going okay but I am not holding my breath. This has been one horrible roller coaster ride so far. I have been taking photos of infusion sites after I pull. I have logs of time of insertion when I pull, what my blood sugars are at time I'm pulling, picture of Dexcom graph at time of pulling and where I the new insertion site is. I am so over loaded with information I am feeling so burnt out. I am tired of looking at my Dexcom graph seeing but another infusion site going bad. I feel like I am in information overload. This past month of dealing with this has been beyond stressful all the while dealing with audits at work which only add a whole other lever of stress.

                      I am seriously in need of three days with no infusion set issues where my Dexcom is quite and things in generally running smoothly after all my constant research for a solution I'm just seriously exhausted. I have been beyond blessed with people such as Scott Johnson, Kathleen Weaver, Dexcom Field Representative Lisa and Field Represenatives, CDE from Animas who have all been working to help me. I feel like I need a vacation but that is not till December. I will update you on Friday if this turns out to be a solution or not.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Nothing but Apprecation for the Help

                       I have never felt so connected to any group as much as the diabetic online community (doc). I know I have been having big issues with my infusion sets recently. Scott K Johnson has beeen such a helpful and wonderful person who decided to help me out. He posted my blog on his Facebook in hopes of finding some one with a possible solution to my issues. Thanks again Scott for all your help it is so appreciated. I have seen such wonderful helpful people on the doc and I have loved getting to know some of the members of the doc. Thanks again for helping make my days so much easier and feeling like there is a group of people who care.

                       I have gotten several ideas in chatting with some of Scott's friends about my infusion set issues. The medtronic pump actually pumps the insulin in a much slower rate than Animas One Touch Ping does. So I tried the combo bolus in hopes that it would help. So far it has helped add a couple more hours of time before my infusion sets go bad. The next thing I plan on trying is tonight I will be switching from Humalog to Novolog to see if that is part of the problem. I am very willing to try anything but I am hoping that switching the insulin is a possible solution. I also have Animas sending me some angled infusion sets that I have not tried yet. The interesting thing about this problem is that I have meet so many helpful people along the way. A couple weeks ago I meet with my Animas and Dexcom Representatives. I meet with both to get help with infusion sets and get the Dexcom training done. The Dexcom representative was friends with the Animas sales Representative in Fort Worth. Luckily when he heard my story he contact me and has been trying to help me find a solution as well. My Animas Representative has been on vacation for a while so this has made the process take longer. Honestly my whole life most of the time I get unusual situations with my health and I am the exception they describe some of the time. My mother was the same way. So my health issues are never easy and very complicated for the Dr.'s to deal with. Still hoping there is a solution out there. Thanks for all the support it is always appreciated.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Update on Previous Blog " Bad Article"

            I wrote a blog about a boy in Houston Texas getting a Warren Retriever puppy called Prixsee. I knew the dog would not work out for several reasons. The parents on video said they were getting the puppy to reduce the number of finger pokes the kid had in a day. Every diabetic alert dog team I knows test quite frequently not less. I have never tested as much as I do now having Duchess but I'm okay with that.The only way you would test less is if you trust the dog to always be accurate but the problem with that is the dogs can actually alert you 40 minutes before you even hit a low or heading high. Treating way too early is not great either. I also know the parents were supposed to receive more training as they went along which they did not. Currently Warren Retriever's is being sued by it's clients for dogs who do not alert and who are ill. They were asking for 20,000 for a puppy when I got a dog trained for two years for less than that. The parents I don't think where truly committed to all the requirements of having a service dog. The video and article again show how easy it might look to own a service dog even with a fully trained dog I continually do training with her. There is no easy way to getting a good service dog except researching before you purchase. Asking yourself if you are committed to training, bathing, proper food, toys and treats for your service animal. There is so many other items your service dog will need as well.

                  I do feel bad for the people but I think this situation could of been avoided if they had spent more time researching if something sounds too good to be true most likely it is. There is a great deal of people who want one but don't want to put the work in. A good trainer will try to weed out clients if they have not thought about all the aspects necessary. My previous blog was Bad Article. They also blame the dog in the article which is wrong because the dog was not trained properly. Hopefully Warren Retriever will be out of business soon unable to rip off more families with young children.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beyond Frustration With Insulin Pump

                       I called Animas yesterday to try and help me solve the issues I have been having and all they could say is that there is that I am not following protocol on one thing to do with the cartridge but I know that has nothing to do with the site issues. I check the cannula, around the cartridges and in the cartridge for bubbles, look for bubbles in tubing, changed insulin out, do bolus to make sure site is bad. I do various checks through out this process and examining the packaging before I open. I have had no luck with this and currently my local Animas representative is on vacation until next week. There is one infusion set I have not tried and I am hoping that is the one I can use but I guess we will see. I still can't believe the representative was so rude because honestly I think she had no clue what was causing it. She told me she had been pumping for ten years and had not heard of this issue before. I know that every person's case is different and some people do better with certain things and others might not. I know the representative told me she was writing in the notes that she had solved the problem but I told her she had not solved it. I normally do not hand up the phone but the woman had been rude and did not even try to figure out the issue all she wanted to do is blame me for the issue, I had asked the representative if they could send me an inset 30 that I had not tried because the representative was on vacation and of course she said no they could not send me one because I had not been trained on that infusion set.


                        I was beyond frustration yesterday and wanted to throw my pump against the wall. When I started on the pump I never had to deal with anything this frustrating or time consuming. I am thinking of going back to shots for a while and seeing that will give my body a little break from all the holes and tape I have been using. My stomach now has little bruises everywhere from all the places I am trying to put infusion sets. At this point I can't stand my pump and normally I love having it but right now it is just another thing in my life that is clearly not working. I am not getting enough help with this issue and I feel like the only one trying to solve the problem is me. I have been looking for other experiencing the same issue. I was told by two people they ended up not going back to the pump because the infusion sets were just not working for them. I am hoping that's not the case but I also do horribly on Lantus and Levemir. I can only get by for several week so I must continue to find a solution to the problem.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Duchess and Surprises

                I was on break at work this week and I was walking Duchess as I normally do. She has so much energy we need to try and burn some of it off. I was walking near and they had just let out the classes for the college students. I was not paying that much attention when Duchess was startled for a minute. There was a young woman with a service dog that was not very well controlled. The dog started barking at me and was trying to get away from the young woman. I told Duchess to leave it and she kept walking. The woman was embarrassed and told me that the dog was in training. Duchess followed all commands and looked like a well trained do should. I am so proud of her because she as time has gone on even better at dealing with the unexpected and always seems to be able to maintain her focus. I am always so proud of her in these moments because she did not react, did not make a sound, followed all commands, and made it look easy. I work with her to try and make these events like nothing is happening. She has always been great about not responding to barking dogs and loud noises.

                I have learned last night that Duchess does not like grim reaper statues or figures. There was a larger one at CVS and she would not go near it. So when this happens I make her go back to what is scaring her so she can move beyond the fear of what is bothering her. I pulled her closer to the and lifted up the costume so she could see it was not real but just a plastic figure. I let her sniff it and she seemed much more confident about things after. I purposely went by the grim reaper on the way out to see how she would react and she kept on walking unfazed by it this time. 

A great night for me straight across all night. Not too bad for having Dawn Phenomenon. Hoping my infusion sets last at least a day this time.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Renaissance Pictures


Renaissance Festival Pictured for Wordless Wednesday

My friend Amy and Duchess in the car as we were head to the Renaissance Festival

Duchess my little fairy dog

Waiting for the Dead Bob Show to start.

Screech Owl at Birds of Prey Show

My friends comment on Facebook is very fitting. Duchess does not love shopping as much as her and I do.

Outside the store where I purchased my new purple skirt

I'm sure most people now know my favorite color is Purple

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dexcom G4

                 I was so happy to hear that Dexcom approved the new Dexcom G4. I was upset because I had just purchased the Dexcom seven plus but luckily I emailed Dexcom and received a very great message back. I will be receiving not only the rebate I got with purchase of my Dexcom but also will get the G4 at no cost to me which is wonderful. I am excited that I will be getting my new pink Dexcom soon. I love that they now have colors. I do end up waiting a little longer because I just received it in September but it will work til I get my new Dexcom. I was really surprised that I would get the latest version at no cost to me. I still hoping that we will soon see an Animas pump with the Dexcom integrated with it. I love my one touch ping but would be nice to have only carry one device. I have been very creative where I can hide them but it can be challenging.           
                 Overall the Dexcom has been great so far. Duchess does beat the Dexcom every time by quite a bit but I knew she would. She was a well trained and seems to keep going. The nice thing about the Dexcom is that if there is an event I want to go to for a few hours I can do it and not be quite as worried in some ways. I feel like Duchess gives me a feeling of being safe. The Dexcom is still not fast enough to catch my dramatic drops but it does catch some lows. Duchess is really hard to beat in that she can alert at least 40 minutes before I go low normally. Most CGM's can't compete with that. I have already started making changes to my basal with great success so far and this has been a great tool. Looking forward to testing out the accuracy of the new G4.

.Some brief facts about the New G4

in research is shown to have an increase of 19 percent in accuracy, 1/2 inch thick, lightest CGM on the market, 20 feet range for the transmitter verses 5 currently, comes in blue, black and pink, customizable sounds and alerts, usb port for easy access to download results.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Renaissance Festival

                        This past weekend Duchess went to the Texas Renaissance Festival which is actually the largest in the United States. There is always a larger crowd and always a great time. This year was Duchess's first trip to a renaissance festival this large. She wore fairy wings as her costume. I wore my traditional renaissance festival costume. I sadly did not get my pictures off my camera yet but I will put up last years pictures. Duchess did really well and actually seems to love the costumes and the interesting people. My dog loves to people watch. She especially loved the monkey. elephants, camels and llamas at the festival. She was funny she kept watching the elephants with such fascination. There was a character at the festival in a fox costume every year and she kept looking at him. I just let her sit there and observe the guy in the fox costume. I have to give her credit as usual she was on top of my blood sugars the whole time I was there even with her observing people and looking around she still never missed a beat. The hard part for me when I go to the Renaissance festival is how to reduce my basal rates appropriately. There is so many shows I go to and so much walking. The trip to the festival is around a 3 hour drive and we all stay till it closes.

Photo: Dutchess is really bored.  Are we there yet?
Duchess in the car on the way. Are we there yet?

                           Even with such a long day Duchess did such a wonderful job. Of all of the events we go to this seems to be the most fun one for her so far. The dexcom was handy also in helping me with the ongoing issues with pump sites. I have been averaging about 8 hours with the change of infusion sets but I am still unable to figure out the issue and no one seems to have any new ideas to try. Hopefully I will get that straightened out soon but at least I did receive the replacement one's from Animas quite quickly which was good. The bad part is not that the Dexcom G4 just came out and I want that one. So I might be returning this Dexcom and getting the newer one. If its more accurate I am even more interested.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Intrusive People

                  I was at the mall the other day when approached by a person who wanted to know about Duchess. They came up and did not even say hello but started out what does your dog do? I told the person politely that I preferred not to say. The guy continued to follow me as I went to another store. He asked why won't you tell me. I turned to him and said because It is my personal health and does not need to be shared with perfect strangers. I do not walk up to you and ask about all your health issues but why is it okay for you to do so with me? I know you are just curious but I am not always in the mood to share my personal information. I hope you understand my need for privacy with this matter. He then turned and just walked out of the store all angry and mad. I was not in the mood that day to deal with sharing personal details with someone who was showing me no respect. I know many service dog handlers will not discuss their disabilities at all which is their choice. I try to share to educate but if your are not polite I am much less inclined to do so. Their is a public perception that all service dog teams will spend the time to talk about their dogs and conditions but that is not always the case. The longer I  have had Duchess the more I feel the need for some privacy. I feel like I am back in elementary school being that diabetic girl again. I also find their has been quite a big of judgement from people when they do find out I am diabetic.

                   There is so much bad information about diabetes in general most of the time the public can have a very negative reaction to it. That is why I try to educate but times honestly I don't want too. I am a very private person in some ways and I like to feel like it can be nice to be just another person at the mall even though I have Duchess with me. I try my best to live a normal life even though it can be difficult when people are rude and intrusive. I am sure as I get used to this I will find the best ways for handling these situations.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ugh Still Infusion Set Issues

               I was hoping I could say that the contact detach infusion sets would be making a difference. Last night the infusion set stopped working and I had to pull it. I am not usually making more than a couple hours to less than a day on all the infusion sets. To make sure it was just not a bad box of infusion set Animas is sending me another box to see if that might have been the issue. I am hoping to resolve this issue soon I am driving myself crazy having to constantly keep changing the sites. I clean the sites before I put a new infusion set on and I move my sites around. I have even placed them in places there has never been infusions sets. So I am at a complete loss as to the cause of the infusion sets not working, I am hoping it was just a bad box of infusion sets so I can move on from this and go back to using them but if not there is only other infusion set I can try. There is the angled sets that I can try next but hoping that's not the case because that would mean most likely that it is scar tissue related issue. This has been so far the most frustrating part of having an insulin pump so far. Normally I can figure these issues on my own but this time even Animas does not really have an answer for what could be going on. I have researching looking for some possibilities.

               I need a break form all the site changes. The only thing I have not had to change so far is the Dexcom which is nice. Hopefully I will see and end to all the crazy site changes and find a solution to this very frustrating issue. I know even Duchess is getting tired of all the moving up them going back down issues. Most of the time I have been catching them early enough to where most of the time I am under 200 when i realize it is a bad site which is good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Perfect Timing

            Recently things have been so busy and I am trying to not miss much work if possible. I have been having infusion set issues for several weeks and still had not gotten my Dexcom training yet. So I was trying to get both things accomplished well it turned out that the Dexcom representative was in Austin yesterday and the Animas representative had already scheduled a time to meet me. It was nice they both agreed to meet with me at one location so I could take care of all the things I needed at once. I am not trying the contact detach infusion sets to see if that improves the time the sites are lasting. I was really excited to get started with my Dexcom it was really easy to use and I love having the graphs because already I noticed some patterns I had not noticed before. So hopefully I can make even better basal changes. I am loving the Dexcom so far but did adjust the warning for highs and lows already because it was driving  me crazy last night. I had some lows overnight I was unaware of because I also have the dawn phenomenon where my blood sugar rises over night so I think I was unaware of the drop. So now I can address that with some simple changes.
               My A1c has actually been great over the past 4 and half years so I don't think I will seem much change in that but if I can reduce the highs from bad sites that would be helpful. Duchess will usually alert me to that as well but nice to have a back up method as well. Overall I would recommend the Dexcom to anyone it easy to use and seems to be another great tool to use. I find it provides that extra information which can be helpful. I have had times when I was hooked up to a CGM from my Dr.'s office where I stayed in the 90-120 range all day which is good but having it all the time I think will make a huge difference.Hoping to keep improving things with the Dexcom.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Thoughts on Complications

              Recently I have been thinking about complications. It has been quite a wild ride over the past couple of years to say the least. I know I have struggled with coming to terms with the complications not because I feel bad about them but because other people judge me. I know they may not mean to but they do. I grantee you that most of the people judging me would not want to walk a mile in my shoes. I have tired my best but sometimes during my teen years things did get out of control and then I got back on track and then would get off track again. I do wish I could of done things differently. The hardest part of all of this was the years where I was so poor I could barely afford to feed myself and event attempt to manage my diabetes. During that time I had not idea their were assistance programs that could of helped. I had insurance coverage but it was not very good. I had insurance but could not afford to use it. All these thing did not help. I have always managed even the two years recently where I was in college I managed my health by going to low cost health clinics which helped. The worst part for me is the guilt I feel for not doing everything perfectly even though I know there is no such thing as a perfect diabetic. I honestly have always beat myself up over any high blood sugar I have had. I like to think diabetes it to blame. I know some people develop complications faster than others. I will never understand why some people's bodies handle it better than others.

              Honestly I know my diabetes has never been easy and I currently feel like I did the best I could with what I had and at the end of the day that is good enough in my mind. I know I have been going through the grief process with the latest issue preoperative diabetic retinopathy. I know I have been had quite a few emotions but at the end of the day my life still goes on regardless and I will continue to do the best I can. I know you go through all the steps of grieving which makes sense. I have been through a lot but I am still fighting and will continue to fight  I have had nothing but excellent A1C's that I am incredibly proud of and I will continue to strive for those regardless. I wish sometimes people would understand why diabetes is so complicated and that no case is exactly like another. I know they seem to believe that it is easy and I know mine has never been. I know I had scared my parents more than I ever wanted to over the years from lows and illnesses. I wish people would not judge but understand it is never easy and sometimes sadly our best is not good enough even with the help of professionals. I  know the years of dealing with the dramatic swings from high to lows over the years was never easy for my body. I know my case has always been considered difficult and I know it still is. I do have to give my parents so much credit because they did a wonderful job managing it but I sadly has bumps along the way.

There is an article here I am talking about my struggle with discrimination and diabetes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Retina Specialist

                    Today I went back for my first laser treatment with my new Retina Specialist. It was so pleasant not to have to have my eye's dilated twice because the Dr. was running behind. I get really bad headaches from the dilation. So having to do it twice is really miserable. I was surprised when I went into the laser room to see how they were going to laser my eye. Instead of being laid back in a chair and having the lens above my eye this time they had the laser used sitting up. My chin was on a chin rest and they placed the lens in my eye so I could not close my eye. The laser treatment was not too bad considering. Last time they lasered me twice because they said was blinking too much and not holding still enough. They complained my eye's watered too much. This time my eye's did not water as much I was fairly comfortable and they procedures was not nearly as painful because they seem to be following what is considered standard procedure. I was not surprised they used this method I thought my first laser procedure would be like today's but at the other place it was not. I am so glad I followed my gut on changing Dr.'s. In fact most of the blood from the hemorrhage is healed up already I say in about a month all of it should be gone which is wonderful. The staff was great and the place was not overly crowded and they answered all my questions.
                      Looking back now I wish I had switched sooner I would have avoided the hemorrhage in the first place if they had followed standard procedures instead of wanting to just operate. I have learned a great deal from this experience and will continue to trust my gut feeling in the future.