Friday, March 29, 2013


                   I have been feeling very beat up recently by the fact that yes I have complications. I meet another Type 1 Diabetic and the meetup was not pleasant for me. They too had D for I think around 25 years but also got it I think they told me they were 6. So we were discussing Duchess and that's when the discussion turned to a negative experience for me. The man went on to tell me that If I spent more time managing it I would not be in the situation that I currently am he told me that he has not complications and felt he would not anytime soon. I had mentioned before he said this that I have always had a difficult time managing even as a baby I was having seizures and lows frequently. I have always been lower than could easily sore up very quickly and right back down which we all know increases the odds of complications. I am very sure that my parents and I have always done what we could but maybe it was not enough.

                  I was really astonished that the way he treated me was very rude and condescending in my opinion. I have know diabetics that have had it 10 years and have complications so I know that each person's diabetes is different and our bodies also can handle it very differently as well. I know dealing with complications mentally can be incredibly tough I am always asking myself constantly maybe if I had done that differently I could of changed things.  As I near 33 years of D in May I know I am proud that I am doing everything I can and that should be good enough. I know there will always be people who judge you and generally that is the general public and most of the times I hear about amputations and going blind constantly. I just was not expecting to be judged by another Type 1's who does not have complications. I really thought he would get that you have to walk a mile in my shoes because your diabetes may vary but maybe he assumes all diabetics D is easy as his is to manage. I guess I will never know but this experience really left me feeling alone and judged. Thankfully I went home and thought of the DOC and how all of you would not be judging me but most of all supporting me.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Latest Visit to Retina Specialist

                     I went back for a check up appointment with my Retina Specialist. Today has some good new currently my vision in my right eye has improved greatly because of the fact there is very little of my vision being blocked by a hemorrhage. Which equal better vision for me which I am loving. I honestly despise going to these appointments because I have a thing about anything being close to my eye's and I have been that way for years. I have been going so frequently to the Retina Specialist I was hoping the constant being really closer to my eyes I would become more accustomed to it but I think I really just despise it even more. Thankfully I will have a 3 month break till my next appointment. My left eye again 20/20 vision which is excellent. My left eye is still looking great no change in that eye if only my right eye was doing the same thing. I have to say that I am overall very happy with this appointment and hoping for even more improvements in my right eye as I go along.

                        Duchess is such a goofy dog I think she is always worried every time I got to the Retina Specialist I think it could be all the devices they use that are not what she likes. She sits there patiently but I can tell is not always happy about everything that is going on but I am sure that is because she is concerned they are going to hurt me. She is just the sweetest.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Unexpected

               I had a recent low that scared me quite a bit because I could actually some what feel it. Duchess had alerted pretty early I think around 40 minutes before while I was at work. I did test at the time I was 121. So I knew I would check back in a bit to see where I was at but I got distracted.

              I was writing up emails I needed to finish and then Duchess re-alerted but I told her I would check shortly. She sat really close to me as she does when she knows it will go low. I did have one roll of smarties to try and avoid going low but I guess it was moving down faster than I thought.

               I continued to work on my emails when my hands started to shake and my heart was speeding up. I have not felt this in several years and it sent me into a complete panic because I was really thrown off. Duchess kept bumping my arm basically telling me I need to do something now.

                The shaking was really difficult to handle I was trembling in fear because when you lose the feeling the lows are different they can be scary but they are different. I find lows when you hypoglycemia unawareness are easier to ignore because there is usually not a faster heartbeat there is no sweating, shaking or hunger like I used to have. The only thing that might be noticeable is mood changes which actually are much worse with my hypoglycemia unawareness. The shaking really rattled me because it is really quite unfamiliar these days. Even Duchess was freaked out by it she watching my hands shake.

                 I tested and it was 52 and I quickly treated my low with smarties. I know I could not wait for the shaking to stop and my heartbeat to slow. I had juice at my desk and I almost drank that instead. I think when I am low I go back to my old routine when I was young of having a juice box to treat my lows it can be oddly comforting. It is so strange how for so many years I would handle all the symptoms pretty well but once I get away from it how much more scary it can be.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quite the Character

                  I am not sure what is up with Duchess recently but she is becoming more of a character by the day. This week when I am work she comes up to me at the desk and starts making noises at me and then gets the bringsel to alert. She has also comes up and is making noises as me I have no idea what she wants but it was unrelated to blood sugars. She has been doing that frequently but thankfully she does it fairly quietly which is good since I work in a group of cubicles and so sound carries pretty far in this big open space. So I try to keep the noise down as much as possible.

                Then she has been doing this very dramatic playful way of laying down on the floor so that everyone will notice her. She is quite a dramatic girl she really loves to make a statement in her ways of doing things. She has also been changing up her routine in how she does things as well. I know I personally love how she does these little quirky things she does. It defiantly makes like more interesting. I know she has also been hiding out in my skirts or dresses when I was a the Renaissance festival or under the cloak I was wearing. It is quite funny to see a dog pop there head out from under a woman's skirt I am sure. I had quite a few laughs about that one. I have to say that Duchess really kept me on track at the Renaissance Festival over the weekend. kept me very level and I was really able to just enjoy being there which is always a nice thing at the end of the day.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Fun Weekend

                 I had a great weekend of fun with friends at the renaissance festival yesterday. The bad part is that I was so busy I did not get any new pictures which I should have because all of us added new pieces to our Renaissance festival costumes. I buy one piece at a time because some items can be quite pricey but I also love the fun of the festival. Duchess really seems to love it as well. There is bird show which features owls, hawks and vultures. Duchess loved watching the birds fly around the stage area. The birds would swoop down over the crowd and I am not sure how she felt about that but she was really focused on the birds. Then the Vultures were walking across the ground right near her and of course she wanted to go see them up close. She was seated very patiently at my feet watching the show. I have been to the bird shows at so many of the festivals I was really surprised she was interested at all. Previously she had no interest in the birds and was just laying down and not even paying attention to them. Most of the time the Renaissance festival is a large amount of walking and shopping. Everyone enjoyed themselves yesterday and the only thing that could of been better was the weather. I had to wear a clock over my costume because of winds and a major drop in temperature from the night before.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Funny Incident at Work

                  Duchess is quite the little clown at times. She make goofy noises does stranger things and really makes her presence know to others. She has a great personality and I would not change a thing. She has provided me so many laughs over the past two and half years almost three. On Wednesday afternoon Duchess was getting ready to alert but got carried away she was alerting with her bringsel and she was shaking it around in a circle and let go of the bringsel. The bringsel went flying over the cubicles and landed in Bridgett's cubicle with a big thud. She looks around the corner and says to me this must be yours as we both are laughing. It was quite funny and Duchess was a little thrown off by the fact that the bringsel went flying across the room. It was so funny and I know now that Duchess is a little more careful with the bringsel when she is trying to get my attention. I know my coworkers were really surprised to see an item come landing on their desk. 

Duchess with a Bringsel

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lows and Public Speaking

                   I for the most part like what I do. I do however teach classes. The hardest part for me is when I have a low while teaching. I don't feel the low of course so Duchess alerts which are not that noticeable which is great but when I have to stop talking is where I run into issues. My classes I teach are around 2 hours long and I always feel awkward trying to pop glucose tabs in my mouth or eat smarties etc. I have on occasion let the class have a quick break which works at times but other times when you are just starting the class that will not work. Most of the time I think the classes do not notice Duchess is even there. I feel like most of the time I don't want to share my disability with people across campus. It is a little too invasive for me. I try to maintain as much professionalism as possible while teaching.

                    I remember sitting in class recently as I could feel my tongue becoming heavy and I was slowing my speech down as I my blood sugar was going down. I was popping smarties in as I could between sentences and my heart beating a hundred miles an hour in embarrassment because I am trying to keep going through my power point slides. I think I am really self conscious still since up to two years ago I was deathly afraid of public speaking but I took one speech class in college and I know can handle it now. I always manage to still answer questions or continue through even when I am low which is not easy. I have to say most of the time I am sure I seem like I am drunk while teaching the class when I am low but it happens. I know I wish at moments like these that I could stop the low all together but I have learned some ways to deal with it. I had one time it was close to the end but I waited so long to treat my low which was not good.

                       I have one remaining class next month and then I am done but I am trying to find a way to treat lows that is easier while teaching class. I know thankfully I can keep it together enough to keep going but I want to have the classes run as smoothly as possible as well.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Firing Another One

                  I know having Duchess around has always been interesting and always will be. My current family practice Dr. for some reason thinks Duchess is a seeing eye dog even with me telling them that she is medical alert dog. I told him exactly what she does but each time I go back in they seem to think she is a seeing eye dog.  I have been planning on firing my Dr. because honestly if you can't seem to get that she a  medical alert dog there is some issues. I do not feel comfortable with getting care from someone who is not understanding about what purpose Duchess serves. All my current Dr.'s I see all have asked questions and seem to value that I have my best friend and helper with me. My fired Dr.'s staff were also extremely uneducated about service animals and my service was below par because of it.
                   Last time I was there the medical assistant would not draw my blood because she was scared of dogs so I ended up waiting an extra 40 minutes for the other gal to be free. I also seemed to wait longer in general which is strange. So overall  my experience was good. The past year and half I have only went to my family practice Dr. twice. I know my previous experiences played a part in that as well. I have to go see my family practice Dr. to deal with me being sick the past couple of weeks. I had a friend who likes there Dr. so I am going to see if they are better than my current experience. Should not be too hard to beat actually. I had better reception to having Duchess at the low cost health clinic I went to when I was in college a year and a half ago. They were really understanding and really were accepting of Duchess. I am hoping for a better experience with my new Dr. next Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Interesting Article JDRF

                I read an article yesterday by the JDRF Convenes Forum on the Psychosocial Burdens of Type 1 Diabetes. This article was talking about that only 67% of patients stay on the disease management plan where for example 88% of HIV patients stay on the disease management plan. Diabetics scored the lowest. I know this really points out what most of us already know that there is not enough support in this area. There is really lacking support most of the time from our physicians. I know that is a big part of why the DOC has become such a big part of many our lives today because we help each other through this when there is no other resources out there for many. I know I have thought for a while all the shootings were caused by lack of mental health care coverage in this country and I know the same goes for many other issues as well. I know back last summer my Dr. kept wanting me to run my blood sugars high but I was worried about my overall quality of life and the Dr. was not in the least bit concerned about it. I know I am trying to keep the complications at bay, but I need them to understand why I am managing things the way I do. I know I am guilty like I'm  most diabetics of not following my treatments plans exactly. I do quite well on my own as far as most things go and sometimes things get off track and you need to make changes.

                    I have like quite a few diabetics struggle with depression and stress from my diabetes. This does cause issues for those around me as well. So I know the treatment I received over the years for this has not been great the expectations of the mental health professionals unrealistic in some ways. I can see why diabetics end up not testing as often, skipping appointments, and other things because I also find that the physicians also play a part in this as well. I have been told over the years that I was a bad diabetic because my Alc was not perfect or that I had missed an appointment. I don't believe there is such as thing as a bad diabetic just one who has lost their way. I think because the lack of support it creates issues of wanting to follow our management plans to some degree. I also know that being called a bad diabetic over the years has never helped me but actually hurt me. I am hoping to see more of these type of discussions in the future. I think this problem defiantly needs to be addressed and look for better solutions that just calling a patient bad.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Reducing Lows

                        I have been working on getting less lows and so far I am accomplishing this but I have a feeling it is also could be because I have not been feeling well. I am still working on getting back to where I was. Having less lows is quite nice and I am hoping to continue to work to keep my lows to a minimum but I also know that lows will be a permanent fixture for me because of the Hypoglycemia Unawareness. I have noticed that most of the people who have this tend to have lows more often and I kind of think this goes with having Hypoglycemia unawareness as well. I have lows but thankfully not as much as when I was first diagnosed with Hypoglycemia Unawareness. I know all my hard work of finding ways to reduce lows or delay them has helped tremendously but I also think that I will deal with the lows until there is another option. I know Duchess will be with me for quite a while and I'm sure I will have to get another one after her as well. Hopefully then there will some other viable options to deal with the lows. I know the artificial pancreas sounds nice but I really question if the sensors will catch my lows. I have timed the lows to where I have had major drops in less than 8 minutes and that would take an incredible device to catch it but if the sensor could catch it at 10 minutes that would really help me to avoid seizures from lows. Normally with drops that fast I do have seizures. Even when I was in the middle of treating the low I still ended up having a seizures. I know after the whole DRI mess with announcing they have a possible cure it really made think about would these options work for me after having diabetes so many years but I am hoping in the end there will be a cure that works for all of us.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Being Forgetful

                      I am really not sure what is up with my memory recently but I am really starting to wonder. I forgot my insulin pump again and also to refill Duchess treats baggie which is not good but I am prepared enough that I do have a spare baggie in my backpack which I take to work with me. I am not a huge fan of this because that means I will be injecting insulin every hour until I get home because I do not have a bottle of levemir with me. I always have a package of needles in my back pack for this very reason in case something like this happens. I still can't believe I forgot my pump again. I did not realize until I got to work that it was even missing. I was surprised it took me that long to notice but the good part is that my blood sugar was 95 which was great. I know this has been such a long week and with longer ride homes and I am not sure what contributed to me forgetting besides me not feeling great.

                           I know after all the struggles to be able to use my pump I really miss it on days like this. I really don't mind the injections but not being able to bolus exactly for the carbohydrates is frustrating. I will have to adjust accordingly but I don't want any highs if possible which equal more tests. I am hoping that my blood sugars will stay some what level but I guess I will see.

Duchess on the bus this morning

Look at those eyes

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Better Workplace Environment

                     I have been hearing so many great stories of how Duchess has improved others work experience in my office. There is quite a few people in this large space. It can be hard to really see how she could affect anther's experience but she has. I think her extremely expressive personality, and her energy are all very positive aspects. I know just seeing her seems to brighten most people's day when they are at work even though they are unable to touch and play with her. I know when I originally started working with Duchess I never realized how just her presence could enhance the office environment. She is joy to be around and I love that I have her. I know this week so far has been very long with me not feeling well. She has been great in that she is very cuddly and affectionate. I know that she does affect me in great ways as well. I am blessed to have such a lifesaver with me at all times.

                     I was told by a coworker that they had never owned a Labrador retriever but after meeting Duchess they wanted one. I know it is interesting how much Duchess has affected many people's decision to get another pet or even get their first dog. She will always have postive influence on my life but the bonus it that she does as well for others.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


                      I love living in Austin Texas most of the time but honestly during (SXSW) South by Southwest interactive, movie and music festival is awesome but when you have to go to work it can make life difficult. It does usually add at least an extra 20 to thirty minutes to a normal commute home which is really less than ideal. When I can attend SXSW it is great but with all the visitors to Austin it can create some less than fun days. I still am not feeling great and just wanted to relax on my way home from work. I was riding the bus yesterday and I know the route has been alerted to help speed up the ride home. There was some younger guys on the bus when I got on at my stop and I sat down. Duchess was right by my feet and trying to get comfortable. The next thing I see is hands coming towards Duchess. She was looking at me as they were moving towards her. I luckily got their attention before they pet her. Normally I would have went into why  you do not pet service animals but I was tired and not up to it. They were very polite and did apologize for trying to pet Duchess. I do appreciate the apology and they did it twice. I think they noticed the do not pet after the attempt. I try to not leave bad impressions on people when I tell them no but I am not always up for the education opportunities on days like that. I did say NO pretty sternly but I find that seems to catch people's attention. I try not to come off as rude but I did not really speak with them afterwards I just put on my headphones and listened to some music.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Interesting Encounter

                    I was walking Duchess on the University of Texas campus last week as I normally do on my breaks. I normally have no issues with students wanting to pet her which is always so nice. I think I have had a total of three times in over a year of people who wanted to pet her but most of the students seem to be educated on the fact that you do not pet a service dog which is wonderful and I hope they continue to educate others as well. It was a normal day the weather was sunny and nice and everything was abuzz on a beautiful day in Austin. I saw a guy riding a bicycle towards us on this small pathway that goes around the edge of campus. The guy on the bicycle was looking at Duchess but I assumed because he was being cautions to not hurt or ride to close to Duchess on the pathway. The guy on the bicycle them started to lean towards Duchess and then she started to back away from the guy.  Right as he got closer he noticed the DO NOT PET patch on her vest and he the leaned back up and kept on riding. I think the bigger patches  have helped tremendously but I have never had someone try to pet her while trying to ride their bicycle. I still have to shake my head in astonishment on that a person would do that. I learned as a kid you don't pet others pets unless they give you permission because some dogs don't like to be pet by strangers. I guess this young guy had not learned that lesson.

                     In situations like that I am really glad that Duchess knows to avoid the person by backing away or moving in a different direction. I have heard countless times when she does this that she is an antisocial dog but in reality it is part of her training because I really need her to focus on me and not others. Her ability of her to do her job is what keeps me safe but education the public has and will always be interesting.

Monday, March 11, 2013


                     I had recent blood work that came back low and honestly since December I have been exhausted and I thought that my Dexcom waking me up was part of that. I know it does contribute but I honestly did not think anything was wrong. I have been so tired recently I have been falling asleep really early when watching TV but I still did not clue into that anything was wrong I assumed that the because work has been busier that was the issue. I know things have been so busy with many events and other things I think I was brushing things off. At my Endocrinologist appointment the Dr, asked me if I was having chest pains but I said no but I had forgotten that three weeks ago yes I was having chest pains but I thought it was my Asthma acting up. It can be so easy at times to think it due existing conditions instead of something new. There is a family history of pernicious anemia. Which is a vitamin B12 deficiency. It is an autoimmune disease as well. I currently have experienced all of the symptoms of pernicious anemia over the past couple of months. Such as tiredness, faster heart beat, peeling lips or feeling dehydrated, dizziness, headache and chest pains. I am really hoping its not pernicious anemia but everything my Dr. asked me about were the symptoms of pernicious anemia. Hoping my B-12 goes back up with the vitamins I have been taking for a week.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Still Difficult After 5 Years

                It is hard to believe it has been five years since I last talked with you on the phone or laughed with you. It has been five long years without being able to talk about D with you. It has been the toughest five years without you here when I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia Unawareness. I can never thank you for all the things you have taught and most of all that how important it is to be your own advocate. I know when you were in school for nursing you taught me so much about medicine and it helps me so much today. I know you would be proud of my today for working so hard even when I am burned out or when I am having a bad day. I had such an incredible person in my life and I know I always told you how much I love you and I so wish I could again today. There has been so many challenges and I know you have been with me through this by all you have taught me over the years.

                  Thank you for teaching me how to research for answers when the Dr.'s seems to not have one. I know when I was searching for more information about Hypoglycemia Unawareness that day when I stumbled upon an article about diabetic alert dogs I knew you would have supported my decision to get one. I know you taught me that you hire Dr.'s so you can also fire them when you don't feel you are getting the care you need. I also cannot thank you enough for all the sleepless nights you spent with me in the hospitals. The crazy in the middle of the night drives to the emergency rooms when I was low or very sick. I know you did not always go and do all the thing you wanted to do because you worried so much about me. I know you went back to school so you could learn as much about diabetes so you could better care for me. I could of never asked for more than that but of course your were more. I know you always made my health a priority and made sacrifices so I could have the best care. All these gifts are priceless.

                 I know I feel blessed that I am able to read medical studies and understand medical terminology which has helped me make the best decisions for me. I have learned so much from my recent experiences and continue to learn.I know one very hard aspect I continue to struggle with is the fact how the Dr.'s treated you towards the end. I know when you kidney function was increasing they blamed you that you did not take care of your diabetes but you always had great A1c's so I thought that was strange. I know they could not figure out why your blood work was so off and they kept reassuring you that everything was fine. I know I asked you if they had looked at your previous issues with your heart but the cardiologist spent very little time with you. Sure enough the day before you passed away you called me to tell me that your heart valves were all bad. Sadly you had Rheumatic Fever as a child and it was never treated so it lead to permanent damage to your heart valves. Then you told me that your kidneys were shot as well because it took them so long to figure it out. I know the last several weeks of your life were spent wearing what is called a life vest. The life vest had a defibrillator because there a very strong possibility that your hear could stop at any moment.

                 I know when I talked to you on Tuesday night you had not slept well because the life vests was digging into your shoulders and your heart was not functioning well. I did not know it at the time but on you had decided to take off your life vest to sleep on that Thursday night and slept well with no issues. I know  you wanted to have another night of good sleep that Friday night and sadly early Saturday morning your heart stopped. I will always miss you and time has not necessarily made things easier but I am adjusting to the fact are gone. In my opinion 52 is just way too young for your too be gone. I will miss you more than you will ever know. I also have learned from  your experience when I had something come up when they automatically blame Diabetes I insist on regular tests they would run on any person. I so wish I could have more time with you. Thank you mom for the unbelievable job you did taking care of my diabetes, all the sacrifices you made. I was so fortunate to have been blessed with such a wonderful mother.


Thursday, March 7, 2013


                    I have to say that changing up Duchess' training routine has changed so much so quickly. She has a renewed love of her job and she seems to be more enthusiastic in general. She also seems happier in general with refreshing her skills. I know Duchess is very finicky in that she needs to have new things to work on because she gets bored but it really makes sense because she is very smart. I do not think a dog could do her job without being able to figure things out on their own. This morning for example she was bringing me two bringsels to let me know I really need to test right away. Other times when I am having a conversation with some one she will paw at my leg roughly to let me know it is really moving you need to do something now. She is always coming up with new ways to let me know that I need to do something.

                      I have another session with her trainer coming up at the end of this week and I am thrilled to show the trainer the big difference in her overall skills and her new enthusiasm for her work. She is really doing so well I could not be prouder of her and how well she done with the increased amount of training on a daily basis but what makes it manageable is that I do short 10 minutes training periods during the day which does not overwhelm Duchess. I find also the repetition of it does really help to make it a habit for Duchess again.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Follow up with New Endocrinologist

                     I went for a follow up visit with my Endocrinologist today. I am happy to report that for the past 6 weeks my infusion sets are lasting at least two days on average. The solution is that I put on hydrocortisone cream on the spot I will be placing the IV3000 usually a day in advance. So now I do plan out my next infusion sets in advance but if it works and I am not going through infusion sets so quickly its worth it. I also have been using it on the Dexcom spots as well and no more rash or itchiness after I remove it. This is such a relief to have an answer to this issue that started back in September of last year. My endocrinologist ran a large amount of blood work which was all in range except for my Vitamin D and my B12 vitamins but I know that is also related to my Celiac's disease. So I am trying a different type of vitamins now to see if I get different results. 

                  I also mentioned to my Endocrinologist the issues I am having with my Dexcom and after following the Dexcom instructions with not great results I am hoping they can help me resolve the issue. I do shutdown the Dexcom at night now so I don't hear the beeps all night. I need to be able to function at work and being up with a Dexcom will not pay my bills. Hopefully this issue will be worked out soon. Honestly it defeats the purpose of the Dexcom if I have to shut it down all night long so I can sleep.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hypoglycemia Unawareness

                 One of the most frustrating parts of having hypoglycemia unawareness is the belief from Dr.'s and peoples is that if you run your blood sugars high you will get your feeling of lows back. From my experience and talking with others that is not always true. I have meet people that yes that worked for a short period of time but then they lost their feeling of lows or highs completely. I know each person's experience is not the same but I find that most people who have diabetic alert dogs that are adults have the same experience that I did as well. I have never regained my feeling of lows after running my blood sugars higher for months which I will say is the worst idea my Dr.'s at the time had. They used the one size fits all mentality and treatments but I find most of the information is not correct for many patients and very few articles actually talk about people who do not regain feeling of lows or highs. I find everything says running your blood sugars is the only solution. I was at the JDRF event this weekend and they were talking about projects in the works as far as research. There is an exciting project which involved encapsulated beta cells. I was asking for more information from a JDRF representative at the conference that this technology would also restore a person's feeling of lows and highs as well. Which I would love to have but also in general would have great benefits for all.I know there was another story last night about a possible cure but after 33 years I am always doubtful about it being a cure after hearing it so often over the years. I am not expecting a cure anytime soon but I still have some slight hope that in future. I know the research is getting closer to having better options but what we will define as a cure will be interesting I'm sure.

Monday, March 4, 2013

JDRF Type 1 Now Conference

                     I went to the JDRF Type 1 Now conference in Austin this past Saturday. The key note speaker was Manny Hernandez who is the founder of Tudiabetes and the Diabetes Hands Foundation. He has given our diabetic community a very great place to ask questions, get information, frequent speakers, chat but most of all a place where a diabetic does not feel alone. I know he spoke about how when you are the only diabetic you know how alone you can feel which is quite true. I found Tudiabetes shortly after my mother passed away from a heart condition she was also a type 1 diabetic. I had on and off through the years felt very alone especially before my mom developed type 1. Then I had her and so we could talk about the diabetic stuff as well. So I felt very understood and not quite so alone. When she passed away I felt incredibly alone with my diabetes and then my diagnosis of Hypoglycemia Unawareness which was incredibly scary for me. So I was googling about Hypoglycemia Unawareness and came across a post on Tudiabetes on the web. I joined that night and have been a member since 2008. I felt not alone once I found Tudiabetes. I have developed some great friendships with some fellow members which is wonderful. I have meet them in person and could not be thankful enough for how Tudiabetes changed my life.

                     Tudiabetes at the time had list of blogs and I had never realized at the time how many they actually are. I started reading diabetic blogs and in fact starting blogging on Tudiabetes posting it on my profile. I am not really active as much these days because of my blogging and reading all the blogs I have been following keeps me really busy not including all the other social media that is involved. I have been listening to some of the guest speakers they have on Tudiabetes which I have really enjoyed. There is so many great aspects on tudiabetes these days. During the months following signing up with Tudiabetes I researching something online and found an article about diabetic alert dogs. That was the start of my journey to getting Duchess. I know that Tudiabetes in many ways is a big part of where I am today. I have learned so much from the people on that website and in fact my A1c has been under 6.9 the past 5 years which is exactly where I want it to be.

                       Diabetic Social Media has transformed how I get my information and how I use this information. I find out about the latest by following some great diabetic sites, twitter and Facebook. Social media will continue to shape how I handle my diabetes and for the better. I can't thank Manny enough for creating such a great online site for diabetics and creating the Diabetes Hands Foundation which is doing wonderful things. I am big on participation on the Big Blue Test every year. It shows how much even 20 minutes can lower your blood sugar and also how this will end up helping people who do not have access to the many things all of us have. He has done so much for the diabetic community. I was fortunate to be able to chat with him in person for the first time after chatting on Tudiabetes over the years. It is so nice to actually meet someone in person Manny was as so very friendly and was such a pleasure to meet him finally. I have meet some people in person and they seemed so different online but Manny was as he seemed. Below is a picture of Manny me and Duchess.

Link to tudiabetes :
Link to Diabetes Hands Foundation :

Big Blue Test:

Friday, March 1, 2013

Training Refresher Course

                       Duchess like any service dog needs constant training and retraining to keep up her skills as a service dog. I have been working and keeping her skills up but recently things are not always working as well as I would like. She is well behaved but little things needs some tweeking of sorts. So I am doing some refresher training with a trainer tonight to maintain and try some new ways to make training more fun for her. She is getting bored in some ways by doing the same training over and over but I think trying some new ways that get the same results is exactly what we need. I know Duchess loves learning new things and I will continue to add new tricks and tasks she can learn. Having a service dog you need to have a balance of mental stimulation such as games, and puzzles to keep an alert dog sharp. She is very sharp but I can see I need to have some more mental stimulation. I am think I might see if Duchess would like to learn Rally which involves obedience and agility which does is great at already but I have a feeling would make her even better.


Duchess likes to have her dog bones on her cot at work.