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.