Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Losing a Customer

                    I am still in the process of dealing with Dexcom. They have again come back to less calibration as a fix for the issue. I have an issue with the solution because in the middle of the night last night I tested I was 135 which is fine for me overnight. The dexcom kept saying I was 220. I was told not too calibrate too much. So I entered that I was 135 in the Dexcom and it said on the graph I was 190. So I went back to sleep for two hours then it goes off again saying I was 250 but I was 128. So I leave it alone without calibrating again as instructed. So I go back to sleep and it goes off again. It says I was low but I was not low but 95. I think this is really crummy the only way I get sleep is too turn the device off and that defeats the whole purpose of having the device. I am unable to use the graphs because most of the time the information is skewed because the Dexcom is not accurate to where I actually am. I am less than enthused by their response to my issue. I really do not understand why they don't just replace the receiver and let me move on but they keep trying to delay what they should of done months ago. I have so many people I know who have better accuracy but mine is so much worse and not better. I am tired of companies not backing up their products if they are defective just to save them money but instead they might be losing a customer. I am sure they don't care but they should. I am so irritated that everyone else gets better accuracy and I get the opposite. I have even been told by Dexcom they have not heard this complaint before but yet they do nothing.

                       I have a feeling that the loss of one customer is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things but I would of thought they would want to try and keep customers by addressing issues. They have solved all issues with Dexcom sensors quite easily but this does not seem to be their specialty. Technical support told me everything was fine but I don't think that is true. I know I love my Seven Plus that is why I was so excited to get the G4. The seven plus I never had these issues. I could enter that I was not low on my Seven Plus and it would adjust accordingly and leave me alone this one does not even with repeated entries. I am about to give up completely. I have a real lack of confidence that I will be able to get resolution from Dexcom. I am ready to say good bye because eventually I will not be able to get the Seven Plus Dexcom sensors which I am reordering this month because the G4 is not worth all the lost sleep.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Articles about Possible Cures

              I read an article recently about another possible cure. I know I read these articles much different than I did when I was younger. I like to think that I am a little more realistic of the time frames for a cure. I have been hearing for years that we will have a cure withing the next 5 to 10 years but it has never come. I still have hope but with a little more realism. I have dealt with diabetes almost 33 years and I would love a cure but my definition of a cure might differ from others. For me a cure would be having an insulin or medication that does not cause lows or highs and that is only taken once a month of a device that I can have a more normal life. To me that would be a cure but for others they would prefer no medications at all. I would just love to not to have to use all the devices and pay for all the absorbent cost of the devices. If I was able to have a little more freedom and now lows to worry about I would be happy. Right now my decisions in some ways are ruled by my lows even with having Duchess. I will never forge the bad lows or the embarrassment these lows have caused over the years. I know how close I have come to a very dangerous place because of these lows. I know a cure is really not quite here but I have a feeling it is much closer than even just ten years ago. I am always a big supporter of research but it takes time. If a cure never comes I am also okay with that as well because honestly I have spent so many years being a diabetic at this point it would almost seem strange to not be a diabetic.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Observations on Campus and in General

                    Since I have been working at the University of Texas I have been able to observe some things that I have found quite interesting. I know I currently do not consider myself disabled currently but I am sure the State of Texas does because I need Duchess. I have found some interesting things through observations as I am walking around campus. I love people watching. I have noted some really sad things recently. I was observing a student that also had a service dog I am not sure what for. Normally when you walk through a certain area of campus groups are raising money, inviting people to join clubs, advertising up coming events and talking about issues that concern them. I noticed that the student with the service dog was not offered the same opportunities as the other students walking around in the same area. It really made me sad that they really did not offer the student the same chance as other healthy students. I know the general public can really miss the boat when it come to understanding. Many of these students live very normal lives with some obstacles but should be able to do most things like any other person. I find the treatment of the student and the service dog incredibly sad because the student truly has just as much to offer. I know there was a study about workplaces and the disabled. The study pointed out that the disabled worker missed less work than their healthy counter parts. I know that has held true for me and my workplace. I do have more appointments but that also means I miss less work. I also make up my time as well.

                     I have noticed that many people treat me differently after I got Duchess. It can be quite socially isolating in some ways because people either are too nosy or they ignore you completely. The good part for me is that I have great friends and co-workers. I know life can really through you some tough obstacles but I was really surprised how much inaccurate information can affect a person. As diabetics the old notion that we are unable to have sugar or have to have a special diet still plagues most of us. I am was really suprised how old judgements of people with disabilities still exist today. I was really saddened by this and I will continue to try and educate people as much as I can. I know the report I read talked about how when most of the baby boomers retires that the workforce will need to look at how to better accommodate the disabled in order to fill the gaps of a smaller workforce which I think is necessary in so many ways.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lessons Learned about Dental Health

                  I know I feel behind on my dental care when I went back to college. I knew I would pay the price one way or another and I currently am. My teeth are not in bad shape I had to get a couple of fillings for the first time in my life and there were changes in my gums. I know I currently  have two blood disorder and vitamin B12 deficiency does cause bleeding of the gums in some patients. I notices some changes last month and a half with finding out the B12 deficiency. Three months before my gums were looking so much better but not now they have went backwards. I have followed all the requests of my dentist and have working to get everything back to where it needs to be. Sadly I was told today I will have to continue to come back every 4 months until my gums and teeth have continued to improve to a healthy level. I already feel like I have way too many appointments these days. I do make up all my time missed for appointments so I know it does not affect my work dramatically but I am always worried about my work using that as a reason to get rid of me.

                The funny part is that I currently floss twice a day brush frequently and use mouth wash all in hopes of helping. I feel kind of defeated in some ways. I have so many conditions that currently do affect my dental health from anemia's to diabetes. I am sure if I continue to follow up things will improve but it can be frustrating how fast things can change in several years. Well now I am back to where I only see my Endocrinologist every three months which will really help and the same for my retina specialist. Hopefully I can get things back on track fast. I have another cleaning in 4 months. I think I am going to also start using a water pik and see if that improves things as well. I am currently doing everything I can but not seeing the results I need. I have always known that dental care was important but I did not realize how having two years of not going could cause so many issues. I have learned some valuable lessons that I need to consistently have dental insurance and regular follow ups. I almost regret going back to college because of the stress of not having insurance and all the issues that popped up but it also opened so many opportunities as well.

                  The good news for me so far is that at least Duchess's teeth are looking good and that is amazing since she will be 5 years old in July. I know they said eventually I will have to have Duchess's teeth cleaned which means they put her out to get it done. Hopefully her visit will go better than mine have.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


                   I have been trying to get Dexcom to help me solve my issues with my receiver but sometimes this process is frustrating. I recently purchased a new computer and I thought oh I will download a new update onto my new computer but low and behold there is no software currently capable of being used with windows 8 which I have. When I purchased the computer I never even thought about if the Dexcom would be compatible with their software. So I had to start up my old laptop which I was having issues with and try to download onto that computer. Then I had to resent the information to Dexcom again. I am not sure what the results will be. Last time I emailed it and heard nothing back until I called them and they told me everything was fine. I find it funny because everyone I know has had a much more reliable product than I have. They also have had less false alerts which I am facing daily. I am currently dealing with the local representative which honestly has not impressed me much with her customer service. She thought she was done after telling me to only calibrate twice in a day and that would solve the problem. As I knew that did not change anything. So I feel very lucky that my Dr. has been bugging the representative to get my device where it needs to be. I know we both have asked that they replace the receiver for the device but the answer is always no. So I resent the data again for the second time this morning. I am going to be interested to see what they tell me now.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

College Students

               I have found over the past three years that people are not very smart sometimes. I am not sure if they think I am deaf  but they continually continue to talk about me when their right behind me or right in front of me. I know yesterday I was on my afternoon break with Duchess and we normally walk around campus to give her a break. The two college students were talking really loudly about how Duchess had the do not pet signs on her vest. The one girl asks the other one why would that women not let people pet her dog. The one girl replies that maybe she is a service dog. They said that would make sense if she was a service dog with a do not pet sign. The one girl said she thought it was mean to Duchess because I would not let people pet her but the other girl said it really makes sense to me. I have heard that if you pet them they can become distracted from their jobs. They both then go onto discussing service dogs. I know the one girl kept saying I really just want to pet her she is so beautiful. I am a little impartial I think she is beautiful as well. The two girls followed behind me for quite a while they even commented on how people should let everyone pet their dogs but I disagree. I have learned from my own experience that a dog may look friendly but they are not always. Sometimes the dogs have issues from abuse or a negative experience. Looking at a dog's body language is key but most people do not pay attention. Duchess loves to be pet but I know she will stop working and even if she was able to I would not always says yes because honestly I would never get anythings done.

             I know the funniest part as we are walking and the girls shortly behind Duchess always seems to know when she is being talked about. She perks up walk to a prance and struts her stuff. I know she always gives me something to laugh about. I could not stop watching her change her posture as she heard the girl talking about her. She is such a goofy dog but I would not have it any other way.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Lows for Hours

               I had a very long evening last night I started to go low around 8:20pm and was low til around 10pm then I went low again til around 3:00am. The Dexcom going off over and over again. I had over 300 carbohydrates during this low which is about as much as I would of eaten in three days all in one night. I had glucose tabs, M&M's, juice, peanut butter & crackers, peanut butter and toast, Greek yogurt, hummus and chips, smarties, coke, leftover spaghetti and other left overs. Nothing seemed to be working but I did not want to give a glucagon shot for a low. I did not go below 40 but I stayed there for several hours and it is not unusual for me to have one's like this occasionally. I was lucky in that it was in the evening when I had everything done for the day and the low was not preventing me from accomplishing anything. The low because it went till late in the night to say I slept well was an understatement but I was up and moving bright and early this morning and quite cheerful considering everything. The most frustrating part of this long low is that my heartbeat was faster than normal because I was low which honestly is not something I am used to these days. I normally like to start off Monday with a little more sleep but I guess I will have to just have an extra cup of coffee this morning.

                 I know times I really feel awful for Duchess because she is on constant alert most of the night. She I could tell was really getting tired at one point she was squishing me laying on top of me because she wanted me to address the lows I was having. I know she was giving me that look of why are you not taking care of this and why are you making me constantly alert you. I know I always worry about wearing her out with these types of lows because they can last for hours. I know that must get stressful for her but I do try to give her extras special alerts during the longer one's such as cheese or her favorite peanut butter biscuits to keep her alerting up. I found that last night Duchess did not leave my side for several solid hours even to go to the bathroom eventually I finally got it to go back up and made her go out but she is so very dedicated and concerned during these events.

If I had only Save these for last night it would of been a more enjoyable low for hours. Love these gluten free cupcakes

Friday, April 19, 2013

Getting Better

                   I could not be more pleased I am finally seeing some results from having the B12 shots so far. My blood sugar overnight was on target with my old patterns. I used a lower temp basal overnight like I used to. I am using less insulin through the day as of yesterday. This morning when I ate my breakfast my blood sugar was not soaring up like an out of control freight train which has been for the past two days. Overall I am on my way back to where I was and that is such a relief. Looks like I will be on B12 shots for many years to come but it is so much easier to deal with than the crazy blood sugars I have been dealing with so far. I cannot wait to get my energy back because I have so much to get caught up on. I have put off some things but I am sure I will get caught up on that soon. I know I have been keeping up with Duchess exercise but I am not where I was last year. Normally around this time of year I would have been back to my running. When it is cold I do not run as much so I tend to really pick things up in early spring and I am sure I will be back to my normal here soon. It feel so nice to know that things should be calmer for a while. I know Duchess would appreciate a little less of the crazy blood sugars.


Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Little Clown

   I really have to give Duchess some credit because of the past couple weeks of dramatic fast moving blood sugars and constant changes. She has not seem fazed in the slightest and I could not be more thankful even though I am stressed about it she seems like she keeps going with no issues. She really had helped me dramatically when my blood sugars were swinging upward very quickly she always let me know so early that I could stop my blood sugars from soaring up as high or dropping as low which is really great for keeping my A1c still in a good spot but also keeping me safe. She is such an amazing friend she knows when I am stressed and I have noticed during these times she becomes more of a clown to distract me from all the craziness that I have experienced and she always finds ways to make everyone smile. I know we have some new employee's in the office I work in and they are all amazed at Duchess. I have caught a couple of them stopping to watch Duchess sitting there next to my desk being quite and waiting for my blood sugars to move.

                 Good news so far. I have noticed the my blood sugars have mellowed out some and are now closer to where I was before. I am not having as a dramatic swings upwards after eating which is wonderful. I am hoping with some more tweeking I will be back to where I was once the B12 shot has had time to work. I am sure the B12 shot has played a part already in calming down my blood sugars already. Hoping for better blood sugar days ahead. I need the break.

My Story and How it Brought Duchess Into My Life

I thought I would re-post my story for those who have not read it previously.

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Possible Discrimination at Work

                  I know I will pay the price for having two seizures at work in one way or another but I am never quite sure how it will pan out. I knew from my really bad past experience that I will end up paying some kind of price or left with less options than some. I normally at this time of year start over time to get everything done by the end of our fiscal year. My job we are always behind and so I really need this time to get a handle on things. I work very hard but honestly my job is a little daunting and I do manage to do my best. There is just never enough time. This year I have noticed my co-worker has been offered overtime but as of yet I have not been. I know they even had a meeting about changes in the overtime process basically new rules and such for my department. I know my co-worker told me about the meeting to give me a heads up about it before i was supposed to have the meeting. I know they told him that they would be meeting with everyone but I still have not had a meeting and that was at the end of March. I know my department is extremely poor at communicating things except if you make a mistake they always communicate about that. I have a feeling I am not going to be offered overtime this year which is really going to hurt me financially. The reason I took this job is because they offered overtime every spring and summer.

                 I know if I do not get offered the overtime I will have to pursue this because honestly I need the same opportunities as my co-workers do. I really hate having Diabetes because it hurts my pocket book to begin with them it is preventing me from earning more money which I hate really hurts. It always seems like even though I miss the least amount of work verses my healthy co-workers they will always doubt my abilities. I already feel I have to jump through a billion hoops with my diabetes and then to have to deal with always worrying about discrimination or other issues. I know I am always trying to educate but sometimes it can be a little much. I will speak with my manager about my concerns and also contact the disabilities office to run interference if necessary but I am not sure what the results will be but I guess time will tell. I know UT does not have a great track record of dealing with diabetics. The type 1 I meet a a recent mixer also works at UT and she has had difficulties as well.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Frustration with Dexcom Customer Service

               I went to another visit with my Endocrinologist today. Well good news they said I should have a B12 injection to see if I feel better. I am hoping I feel great and I can get back to thing as they once were. I am really hoping my blood sugars calm down as well with having my first B12 injection. I still have to follow up with my family practice Dr but at least I will be closer to feeling better. I know I have not been feeling great for months but hopefully this will fix things.

              I got an email back from Dexcom that told me I should not be using Hydrocortisone cream with the Dexcom because it has not been tested. I was told I could use the Benadryl spray because it did not seem to affect the function of the Dexcom Seven Plus. So not I will be itching at the site constantly and have to put hydrocortisone cream after I remove it when I have a big welt. I am going to continue to look for other barriers to stop this issue. I told my Dr. about the response from Dexcom about my issues with false alarms of blood sugars constantly saying I'm heading low or high when I am actually between 90-120. There advice is only calibrate the device once for a low and once for a higher blood sugar and they think that will change things. I know everyone love's the Dexcom but not me after my crummy experience so far. I think they are great when dealing with sensor failures or issues with insurance but complicated issues not so much. I know my pump site issues Animas was making an effort to help me and they gave me quite a few free different pump supplies and barriers until I found the solution. So I really give them even more credit after looking at my experience with Dexcom. Animas called and checked back in with me. Dexcom only helped me with an email which is not really an solution.

             I was really hoping they would loan me a different receiver so I can test out to see if it was just an issue with my receiver but I was told no. So they are not very willing to back up the device from what I can tell but thankfully my Dr. said they will be addressing Dexcom directly because they feel that there is an issue with the device and not the sites. At least someone else is backing me up. I am hopeful that I will get a resolution but not without a fight.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Discussion at Grocery Store

                I was leaving the grocery store on Sunday and was approached by a gentlemen who wanted to know what Duchess's job was. Since he asked in a very polite manner I decided to tell him that she detects the high and low blood sugars I can no longer feel. He was sharing with me that his wife was a type 1 diabetic and has had increased number of low blood sugars she is not feeling. I know how scary that can be for everyone around a diabetic. I know he asked me about what it was like to have Duchess with me and I normally discuss the good and the bad. I do this because I don't want people to think it is easy and no work because I do have to spend time keeping her training up. I have made some mistakes along the way with Duchess as any service dog owner could make but I am learning which is the important part. I know I find if funny now that I have had Duchess for a while now that more and more people are actually guessing her job correctly which is interesting because when I first got her most people had never heard of diabetic alert dog but I know there has been so many more stories, articles and bloggers talking about their alert dogs.

                I know the husband seemed worried and wanted her to start looking into her options of what she can do to prevent the bad lows from happening. I told him honestly some of the scary lows are not always preventable whether you can feel a low or not I think it can just happen. I know he was really amazed to see a diabetic alert dog in Austin. There is several currently and I was the first to have a diabetic alert dog in the area. So I am hoping with me blogging, talking,educating and spreading the word maybe somebody who was having a similar experience to mine will find what a life saver a DAD can be or find other options as well. The man was extremely polite and it was nice to meet a spouse who was willing to learn as much as possible about the options for his spouse. I am hoping he finds what he is looking for. I know one thing for sure is that Hypoglycemia Unawareness is by far the most scary thing I have experienced so far. It can really make you feel so very vulnerable and not safe. I am hoping he lets his spouse know that there is options because when I got diagnosed I did not find many options.

Friday, April 12, 2013

JDRF Mentor Meeting

                   I went to a meeting last night for a program through the JDRF mentor program which also had an opportunity for social interaction as well. It was such a great evening for learning about this program which I do plan on joining. I thought it would be a great opportunity to share what I have learned over the year for people just diagnosed or a couple years in who need some help. I had meet quite a few of the volunteers for the program at the Type 1 Now conference over the past two years. I did get asked if most people know Duchess's name and not mine but I said I was used to it. I am know at the diabetic girl with the alert dog but I know she is very memorable. It was nice to talk to other diabetics and parents about type 1 I always feel so much more empowered after these type of events. I am looking forward to being more involved in the program. I have been looking forward to being more involved in the JDRF as my schedule allows. I know there was a woman who had type 1 almost 50 years and I thought there was nothing she could learn from me but I thought it was funny that she wanted to know how I was able to get my Alc below a 7.0. I of course told her that I have been slightly pre-bolusing for my meals for the past 5 years and I have found less rise. The key to the bolusing before hand is finding the right amount of time before so you don't go low. I have figured out mine and it just took some time starting with 5 minutes before and moving up slightly till I found the time that was safe for me. I have also achieved days where I was a flat line but that is not everyday but I aim for that as much as possible.

                   I am hoping that when I get the opportunity to mentor that I really can help them figure out ways to handle all the crazy things D can throw at you. I know I am always learning myself and I hope to make more D connections in the future.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Journey into the Past

                      I have been thinking a lot about lows recently and I am not sure why I am thinking about lows so much but they have been on my mind. I think since they have been a constant part of my life during the past five years it seems normal to me but not normal for others. I know diabetes may vary and I know mine certainly does. I have been thinking about lows I had as a kid that no one noticed for quite a while but the weird thing is that it never occurred to me that I should of mentioned it to my parents or my Dr.'s back then.  Most of my childhood I have memories of lows that went on for a while but I was not cluing into the fact that I was low. I have a feeling my brain is trying to play tricks on me as always. I remember back in 2004 that I had a bad low where I do not remember several hours of time and I was late picking up my sister from work. I know at the time I did not think it was a big deal and that time I had no feeling of that low because I did not notice the increase of lows I was not feeling. I was also in the midst of struggling with my eating disorder and blamed that I had not eaten enough that day. I know my mother at the time didn't think anything was off either because there was not a lot of these lows. So I went on assuming that everything was fine. I find it interesting that I missed that I was slowly but surely losing my ability to feel lows. I am usually pretty observant of changes but honestly my Hypoglycemia Unawareness sneaked up on me very slowly in ninja like manner.

                     Hindsight is always 20/20 but I am still shocked five years later how I easily missed that my ability to sense lows were going and I had not clue. Well at least I am in a much safe place today because of my best friend Duchess and my CGM. I am really also surprised that I missed how much my B12 being low was affecting me. If my friends did not mention the comments I had made I am not sure I would of figured that out either. I am not as observant as I thought I was possibly or mabey my diabetes is keeping me busier than I realize.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Swings from High to Low and Back Again

             It has been a frustrating start to the week because since the end of last week I have had these crazy swings in blood sugar. I am running my basal at a 40 percent increase all day just to keep in some what of a normal range but everything goes out of control when I eat. I either drop quickly or have an incredibly fast rise. I am thinking this is relating to my vitamin B12 deficiency. I was told I had to wait till the end of the month before they will rerun the blood work and see where I am at. If I am not feeling better I will start B12 injections. Lack of B12 can cause insulin resistance in some diabetics. So I am trying my best to keep my self on track but I hate being over two hundred at all.  I have been pre-bolusing for meals as usual but that does not always stop the huge rise in blood sugars. I also have been trying everything I can to keep things in a stable form but at least I have the pump and the temp basals which right now is helping quite a bit. I am really glad on days like these that my pump site issues were some what resolved. My Dexcom has been great in that at least it is catching the quick rises in blood sugars that I have been having.

              I know all the crazy swings are not only hard on me but Duchess as well. I am trying my best to keep things as level as possible but I am can't wait till I can get this B12 deficency taken care of so I can go back to my old patterns which I am able to better manage than this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Discussion with Friend Yesterday

                    I had a friend call me last night who I catch up with every couple of months. I know our schedules tend to be mirror opposites so we only tend to get together occasionally. She was talking with me about how different things are now from 5 years ago. She knew me when things were really falling apart and I was having so many lows that I feel really out of it at times. That is also the start of my journey to get Duchess. I was fortunate to of stumbled upon that information back then because I really question if I could hold a job with all the issues I was having back then. I know it was like my life stopped. She said it is just amazing how much freedom Duchess has given back to me. I couldn't agree more. I know the lows were so daunting that I was afraid to leave my house and get lost again. This happened a couple of times luckily I ended up being safe. I know I was following all the things my Dr.'s were suggesting but it was not working nor were they really listening to me. I know they hated the idea of a diabetic alert dog and thought a CGM would be better. It was back when they nothing like they are today and I thought it was worthless for me. I am glad that I was started back then to do what I thought was appropriate for my own safety and security. I know the Dr. back then did not want snacks when I was on the pump but we were constantly tweaking the settings and were just not there yet.

                       I gave the Dr.'s a couple weeks to figure out the pump setting but every time they did I had an EMS involved low so from then on I have been adjusting my own settings because honestly I am the one who has to live with the device 24-7. Needless to say when I started to take things into my own hands I found that my A1c was improving my amount of lows were reduced and I had things better controlled.
I know my friends and I discussed how my evolution into being my own advocate through  my experience and how I am ever more so now as a blogger. She says she can't believe how much I have changed through my journey. I know she says she wished more people worked as hard as I do. I know when she told me I was a hundred shades of red but I was flattered it was so very sweet of her to say. I am glad I am not where I was 5 years ago and I hoping to have even more improvements as I continue on.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Strange Things We Do When Low

                  I was having a conversation this weekend with a friend and we were discussing the crazy things you think and do during a low. For example shortly before I had a seizure last July I was talking about that my friend needed to turn in work to my supervisor. I still laugh at that one because they are not going to know who my supervisor is. I know they were talking about a time they were in college and they left everyday at 5:30 am to head to school they had a decent drive. He had taken a nap and then woke up and looked at the clock and called his friends to ask where he was because they were going to be late to school because he thought it was 6am.. It was actually 6pm and his friend had thought he had lost his mind. I know I had a low when I was 7 or 8 and my parents were getting ready to go out with friends. I had no idea I was low but I knew something felt off. So I started going through things that might cause things to be off. I thought that I had not changed the calendar in my room from the previous month was causing everything to be off. Then I thought everything was wrong because my room was not clean I know my mind can go to the strangest places when I am low. It took my  parents a while to see that I was low but I really glad they figured it out because I had no clue. In fact most of my life unless I was shaking most people are unable to tell I am low.

                    I know my friend also has people not really noticing when he is low which can be problematic for most diabetics. I know since my Hypoglycemia Unawareness diagnosis I think it has only become even more difficult to tell that I am low. I remember being 17 one afternoon and I was still working. I had no clue or sign I was low eventually I did start to show signs of being low but my coworker brought me a coke and everything was fine. I know I feel a little less crazy with people who understand the strange thought processes while you are low and crazy actions as well. I know my friend and I had a great laugh about some of the times we were low and the strange conversations we have had. I know I have had some interesting conversations over the years with EMS as well but I guess thats all part of being a diabetic. I know you have to have a sense of humor being diabetic because you can get into yourself into some awkward situations.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Not Thrilled about Upcoming D Anniversary

                   I have been thinking about my upcoming D anniversary of 33 years in May. I really can't believe it has been that long. At times it really does seem that long and longer but other times I am like wow it really has been that long. I have never been big on celebrating my D anniversary but I have noticed so many of the DOC who do. I guess because my family never made it a big things I guess I never have either. I do think there is a place for celebrating all your hard work and effort that has been put forth. I know I have gotten quite a bit of criticism over the past 5 years because I am not complication free like they are. I know I have seen on some forums that there are people who said they never took care of themselves and have no complications and people want to know what they did to achieve this, but look at me as a big failure who has nothing to add to discussions because I have complications. There is one guy I recall said he did not test his blood sugars for 10 years and he does now but things are still complications free. I find it funny even with effort I do get complications but others do not. I know how your body handles diabetes does play a part in if you are more likely to get complications early in.

                       I am not really thrilled with the fact that my 33 years D anniversary is coming up at all. I am not sure why I feel this way this year. Last year I was some what excited about that I had made it 32 years. This year I might try to do something fun to celebrate my D anniversary. I know on that day Duchess is taken to the dog bakery and given a big treat for all her work. I might as well do something for myself maybe a nice lunch with close friends who have been around me during the D experiences. I have not decided what I will do but maybe that will change my view of my upcoming D anniversary in May.

Also please take a moment to sign a petition below it is about getting standardized TSA screenings which we really need. I know everytime I fly it is different. This also asks for further training on diabetic devices. Please take a moment and sign.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

So Easy to Blame One's Self For Bad Lows

                   I am trying today to keep myself looking forward. When I have yet another bad low I tend to blame myself and try to figure out what went wrong. Sometimes I do find things I should avoid doing and have learned some things along the way but yesterday's low there is nothing I think I could of done differently. The interesting things is that I have made no changes recently and there was nothing out of the ordinary the day before really that would of thrown things off. I do not tend to have a lot of late night lows but this one really threw me off because it was around 4:30 in the morning and normally my blood sugar starts to rise during this time period from my experience. If I am going to go low during the night is it usually between 2:30am and 3:30am. So this was quite strange and I did everything as I normally would even went to bed around my normal time. I have a feeling this is just one time I will not be able to figure out. I am okay with that but it can be frustrating. I am back to work today which is good.

                   So far my blood sugars have been good and no issues so far. Hoping things will stay quite on the diabetes front for a while. These low events can really wear me out after a while but I am so very thankful that I did not have a seizure but was just a low. Seizure patterns can take a while to break so a low is much better for me. The good part about this time is that Duchess alerting has not been affected which can happen after a bad low. It can be extremely stressful for DAD's when a salutation gets bad and other assistance is needed. I now Duchess seems to think she failed me and I have learned I have to stress to her that she did a a good regardless of what happens. She is her normal self and even sleep very close to me last night. I know she is on high alert all last night because of what happened. The bad part is that means she did not sleep much so it will be a really long day for Duchess.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Another Moment of Scariness

                  I start to come too and my roommate is helping back into bed. He is bring me juice but I want smarties. It seems to vary per low. I am still really foggy but I know this all too well. I was low. I see the bright orange container on my bed for glucagon shot. I must have been very out of it. Normally I leave the bedroom door open slightly so she can get help but the door was closed. I am not sure what transpired but my Dexcom read LOW from 4am to 6:30am. I don't remember my Dexcom going off at all. I know I could see the look of worry from my Roommate as he helped me but he had remembered everything I taught him. I know most people tend to freak out and forget but he was really calm. I am thankful that my roommate is so nice about it all. I know some people would be like that it is too much to deal with. This morning he told me that he thought I was such an incredibly strong woman who goes through so much. It was a very nice compliment from a very nice person who has done so much in my little emergencies as they happen.

                 Duchess was right next to me with the saddest look on her face. She really hates sever lows that are scary like this. My roommate told me that Duchess was so upset when he opened the door she almost ran into him. She was all over the place when they took out the glucagon kit.  It is such a sad statement that my Dog knows what the glucagon kit is. She has seen it used at work and at home. I know she has figured out that I get better once it is given but I also know on these times she feel like a complete failure. She was trying to alert but was locked in the room. I am going to be more careful in the future about that. She from my experience will go to my roommates room and scratch on the door. I will never say she is a failure because she has kept me safe so many times.

                  I am looking back over last night and yesterday for clues. It was a normal day except for a longer ride home on the bus. We had a bad storm come through. I did not do anything different. My Dexcom shows me cruising through the night at 126 from 11 to just before 4am. Then I bottom out around 4 am. I am not sure what I could of done differently. I did not change anything but as usual. I do not have a clue as to why this happened. I know I will be thinking about it because the scarier the event the more it clings to your thoughts and memories.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Evaluation of My Options

                     After all my issues with my Dexcom recently I am trying to think of some other options for night alerts. I am seriously looking into getting a dog that I can train for night alerts and let Duchess sleep more at night. She does alert but can miss some occasionally because honestly she works longs hours. I do not expect her to be able to do it all there is some dogs that do alert at night as Duchess did when I was in college but she has not done as well since I have been back to work. I know everyone else's experiences with the G4 has been great but they have not been the best at resolving the issues. I went to My CDE yesterday and they are going to ask Dexcom for a loaner receiver to make sure that is no the issue. I have thought that all along but Dexcom keeps insisting that there is nothing wrong with my receiver. I am hoping to resolve this issue but if not I will get a dog for night alerts and train them to be a back up dog and for night alerts. Plus I think Duchess would really enjoy having a friend who she could play with. I know dogs are pack animals and I'm sure she would love the company. I am not used to having a dog that would stay at home so there would be some adjustments. I have not made up my mind completely but I need to evaluate all my options to make sure I am well covered as far as my night alerts.

Monday, April 1, 2013

One Year Already

                      It really does not seem possible that a year ago I started blogging almost 5 days a week for a year. I started out a year ago with the plan to attempt to blog for a year and then see how I feel about it after a year. I was not sure if I could swing coming up with enough topics to blog that frequently about but I have found so many great things to discuss and to tell my story. I know when I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia Unawareness I could not find any stories online about it and that scared me because everything my Dr. was trying was not working for me. I was reading studies, reading books but I was not getting what I needed. I know after getting Duchess I knew I had to share my story to give others more information and hope. I felt incredibly hopeless at times through my journey and it was so scary. I know finding Duchess and making certain changes has helped shape my Hypoglycemia Unawareness into a manageable thing with moments of scary. I don't think I will always avoid seizures but I am still going to try.

                       It really has changed my life in so many ways especially since I don't carry as much weight on my shoulders because I am able to share the good, the bad and the ugly. I know I have also found other blogs and other stories which I really enjoy as well. The overall experience of writing my blog has changed how I manage  my diabetes in many ways as well. I feel more empowered and stronger because of it all. There is so many things I have experienced because I have been blogging. I have been able to talk on forums, write letters, educate others and many other great opportunities. I have changed my life dramatically in a really wonderful way. I still am honored that people take the time to read about my life with Duchess and our adventures.