Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween 

Duchess loves to dress up every Halloween and does not mind wearing her costume all day like she will be today. She loves to see all the costumes of the kids that will be coming to our home tonight. She loves to help me give out the candy. I think her second favorite holiday is Halloween. Christmas I know she loves because I get quite a bit of time off and she gets quite a few new toys.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Frustration over Prescription Drug Coverage

I finally was able to get my test strip issue sorted out and I will continue to get 600 test strips a month because I was granted a one year exception. I have to reapply yearly for the exception which is fine. I went to log onto my pharmacy page to re-order some supplies and in big red letters a note stating they will no longer be covering Novolog, Apidra insulin, they also will not longer cover Accu Check test strips, Bayer and Freestyle test strips as well. My issue now is that fact that my body was not responding to Humalog insulin and I had to be changed to Novolog.

That was discovered during my insulin pump site issues last year around this time. I had been on Humalog insulin for years but go to find out sometimes it can be good to change insulin brands. Learned something new that day. I am really upset because I had so many issues with my pump sites and I can't afford to change my pump sites every couple of hours. I am going to talk with my Dr. to see what options I have and if I can switch back to Humalog without issues. I am hoping a year was long enough that my body will be more responsive again with this insulin.

I can tell my insurance is hitting all diabetics hard we are limited to only one covered insulin Humalog and only one test strip brand One Touch. I am find this quite silly because they stated it was to keep costs down but in actuality these are the most expensive brands and the other items I was using were less expensive. I am not sure what I can do in this situation but I am hoping my Dr. has some ideas. I am so reliant on my pump it is really not an option for me to go off the pump right now if the Humalog is not working properly. Thankfully my family lives in Washington State and can drive to Canada to purchase insulin for me if I need to go that route but I find all these recent changes to be very frustrating and not saving money for the company.

The only thing they have not hit yet is my insulin pump supplies and I will be pissed if they only cover a certain brand of pump supplies. Thankfully my Dexcom sensors do not seem to be an issue either but who knows with the direction that my insurance is going in.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alerts at Night

I am starting to feel like things are starting to settle down a little more after starting to feel better after my stomach bug I had this weekend. I have noticed this year Duchess is back to alerting at night again if we only work a normal day with not overtime. I know I am sad that I will have continued overtime monthly but hopefully not as much as I have had in the past couple of months. I have also noticed the more playful version of Duchess is back again it is like I have a 6 month old crazy hyper dog that I used to see all the time when off duty she is slowing make her appearance again. I love her personality and her quirkiness but when I get really busy  things change. I know she is better than last year's over time but I am still trying how to get her to alert consistently during the night which is getting better the less hours we are at work and the more play time she gets.

Duchess as a service dog needs play regardless of what is going on she thrives off her ability to play and have fun. I do my best during overtime but at times their never seems to be enough time to get her all the play time she needs. I try my best to balance but at times it can be very hard. I know during these times things are more difficult for her as well because I am trying to balance too many things and not enough time. Thankfully Duchess is very forgiving. I just wish I had a more balanced life in general because it really would help make her life and my life better. I am pleased that even with the long hours she always does such a great job but really wish she still alerted at night consistently.

Duchess did surprise me recently by her alert by sitting on me because my blood sugar was low and it really got my attention. She really could of pawed at me or done something a little less in your face but from time to time she wanted to get my attention quickly which makes sense I was at 40.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Flopping Around

I had another busy weekend planned as usual. I was supposed to be working on Saturday morning around 9am. I woke up at 8:50am and don't remember turning the alarm off on Saturday. So I rushed getting ready to get to work. I was really tired and did not think much of it at the time. So I worked for several hours then went shopping and returned home. Shortly after getting home I was pretty low 40 and I stayed there for hours. I kept treating the lows with no real results. Finally around 8pm I got my blood sugar high enough that I could drive safely. I was really tired and did not want to cook dinner. So I went to Chipotle for dinner, I get home and start to eat my dinner but all of a sudden I felt like my stomach was not going to let me eat, So I stopped eating and put my food away in the refrigerator. Then I hear my Dexcom start to wail loudly that I am below 55 again. I try treating my low with skittles and smarties but they made my stomach even more upset,

I am feeling desperate at this point to get something in my system to get my blood sugar up. Then I remember I have juice boxes in the fridge and sure enough that seems to be working. I drank around 5 of them and my blood sugar is finally 70 which was nice. Then my blood sugar starts dropping again dramatically. I have had my insulin pump basal off since I was unable to eat dinner. So I continue to drink juice on and off till around 2am when I was able to reconnect my pump without any lows thankfully. I go to sleep then at 4am my Dexcom is wailing at me I was 400 I guess I had not heard the alerts before this point. I think I had rebounded after being low for hours. I was low from 4pm to 8pm then low from 8:30 to around 12:30pm. I honestly was relieved that two and half hours later my blood sugar was back in range.

It was such a long evening of attempting to keep my blood sugars in line but sadly that did not seem to come easily. I am still having issues with my stomach for the rest of the weekend. I am not sure what is going on but I would like avoid it if at all possible. Thankfully yesterday I was back to my normal blood sugars and was able to get what I needed done. I did have a fast moving high that I was able to stop by two hundred and a couple of low but it did seem tor respond to the smarties and skittles.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dealing with the Guilt

I was thinking about my last bad low in September today and I realized quite a few things. I have a habit through out all my years as a diabetic to apologize profusely anytime I have a bad low. I am always filled with such embarrassment but also a huge feeling of regret that someone else had to feel the burden of taking care of me during these scary times. Most of the people who have experienced these scary lows with me have always been so nice about it when I am apologizing over and over again.

I know regardless of what caused the low it will never be easy to deal with the feelings that come with it. I know I hate the fact that at times I have needed help over the years but I know it happens. I am always thankful for the help and the caring of the people around me. I guess being a diabetic has so many sides and it is never easy. I am not sure why I always so weighed down by these experiences. I know weeks after bad lows or seizures It always seems to haunt me in many ways. I know my mind tends to focus on the need to know what caused the bad low.

I always feel guilty after the bad lows even though I know that you can't always prevent these types of lows. I know there is normally so many factors that can play a role in these bad lows. I always try my best to find answers when possible. I know I am always trying to avoid these lows.  I know today I was some lows that were not really going away and it always brings back these not so fun feelings. I still feel bad that my roommate had to help me over the past couple of months and I am not sure I will ever not feel guilty afterwards.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Should you let your DAD Alert to Others

. I am still incredibly happy that I have allowed Duchess to alert not only to me but also others. I am still amazed she alerted to people who did not know they had diabetes. She is very good at her job and I feel like sharing her has never ever caused me any issues but in fact only makes her abilities even stronger. I work constantly to keep her as sharp as possible and if there is others around me who are off and I ignore her I find that creates more issues. The issues can be decreased alerts, more aggressive alerts because she feels I am ignoring her. I know Duchess is a dog who thrives on treats so ignoring her when she is alerting seems to have more negative consequences than just allowing her the freedom to do what she was trained for.

I can understand why some people do not allow their DAD's to alert to others because it can cause issues for their dogs. Just like diabetes things may vary from dog to dog so I am okay letting Duchess do what she does best and that is alerting. I know at "The Friends for Life Conference" I went to back in July I allowed her to alert and she became even sharper. I know she alerted to all  my new diabetic friends while we were hanging out and she seemed happy to be earning more treats. She came back home even sharper than before the conference. So I have experienced the positive side of allowing this behavior.

I can say it enough of how proud I am of Duchess when she can handle alerting to more than one Diabetic and makes it look so easy. She loves challenges and faces obstacles better than I do personally. She loved my new friends I made at the conference and alerted before anyone knew they were going high or low. She gave them more time to make better decisions. I love that she does not seem fazed by so many smells at such a large conference. I know going to the conference I was really nervous about the outcome with so many diabetics at the conference but she did quite well. I think all DAD owners have to make the call if allowing them will work for the team.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ugh Prescription Issues

I went to refill my prescriptions last week after my Endocrinologist appointment. I called the company when I only received 500 test strips for 90 days because now my insurance will only covers testing 6 times a day. I used ten test strips last night alone for a bad night of lows. They said my Dr. put I only test 6 times a day but I test more actually so I am not sure why they would put that. Then I was told my insurance now determined all diabetics only need 6 test strips a day. I don't know very many diabetics who could survive on that few of test strips and maintain good control. I know my Dr. wrote on the prescription that I needed 600 test strips a month. So I had to call my Endocrinologist office this morning asking them to call for a special exception so I might be approved for more than 6 test strips a day.

I am shocked that my insurance wants diabetics to be in control but yet is only willing to allow a number of test strips which does not equal the ability to test frequent enough to have good control. I know this has been very frustrating on how much they charged me for the prescription when it was only a months worth and they are unwilling even with the special approval of the test strips to send the remaining amount that I am missing from my normal test strip amount. So I am really unsure how I am going to come up with the extra test strips except fill a prescription for the  next two months which makes me really mad when I paid for a 90 days supply. My work wants us to use the mail order primarily but when I am having this much issue I would rather pay more at the pharmacy and call it good. The customer service is never good at the mail order and it can make it difficult.

I am hoping to get the test strip issue taken care of because they won't do refills at my office unless the pharmacy contacts them that we are out but that will only create more issues for me because my only prescription is through the mail order.  Hoping to get things back on track with the mail order pharmacy today.

On the testing front. The Big Blue Test is currently going on right now. I hope you all join me. The Big Blue Test is that you test then get active for at least 20-30 minutes and then test again. Then post results on app or on webpage your results. By participating you providing Insulin to other Diabetics who need supplies and education. I participate every year. Hoping you all join me you can do it as many times as you like.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Thoughts of How Difficult it Must Have Been

I was thinking this weekend about all the times my parents went through those awful drives to the hospital when I was younger. I know there were times when I was throwing up everywhere or my blood sugars would not come back up not matter how they tried. I remember being at my friends birthday party but I would not eat or drink enough to raise my blood sugar so they had to call the EMS. All the times I had bronchitis and needed to stay at the hospital.

 I know now how difficult that must have been for my parents. All the long nights spent at the hospital and trying to take care of my brother and sister as well. My parents honestly made it all look so easy. I know I was blessed to have the most patient caring mother. She did so much and made it look so easy. Even now as an adult I don't think I can make everything seem so easy and handle big obstacles like they are nothing. I am not really sure if deep down she was carrying the weight of the situations with her and I really hope not. I know today my mom would really extremely proud in how well I have handled all the crazy things my diabetes has thrown at me.

I know these times really make me miss her even more. She also managed her own diabetes on top of mine which is no easy task thankfully her blood sugars were much more stable than my crazy one's. I know during the hard times having someone as knowledgeable as her was incredible to have. Thankfully she thought me how to research and find what I need to know. Most of my decisions are still impacted by what she taught me and also how to handle Dr.'s. I know she taught me a great deal and I owe her so much. I know I hope she knew how much I appreciated all the wonderful things she did for me.

 I know the days when I was diagnosed with complications were incredibly scary without her. I know I wish I had more time to tell her how much all her efforts to keep me healthy as a child was appreciated. I know all the parents with children with diabetes we do appreciate all your efforts even if you don't hear it enough. I think it is easy to forget to say thank you enough when your parents make the process look so easy. So to all the mom's and dad's out there you are appreciate and loved for dealing with such a difficult disease.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Getting Back to Normal

I have to say now that things are some what slowing down at work my blood sugars are going back to normal. I have a day where I was cruising all day around 110 which I can't complain about. I am back to seeing patterns again in my blood sugars which is a relief. I know my Dr. was reviewing my numbers yesterday and pointed out that my Dexcom did not detect a pattern during the recent download. She said she understood why the past couple of months have been so difficult for me. I know they now told me anytime I am unable to figure out a solution to download my pump and Dexcom and sent them to her for review. They will call me back with suggestions. They even said I could drop in and they would download which ever was easier. Nice to know if I need help in between appointments they will review what is going on.

I know my Dr. and PA both said my case is never easy and can understand why it has been a struggle for me over the years. I know my appointments are always long because it take a while to review and decide what to do and at times its not always the right settings. I am really glad that for the most part I am able to get things where I need them to be but at times their is no easy answers usually. I am so great full that I have a good medical team that is willing to help me out when I need it. Most of all I really love the fact that my Dr. asks me questions about how my life is going in general and any issues I may be experiencing.

They seem to really understand my need to be under 6.5 to keep more complications at bay where my previous Endocrinologist listed me as uncompliant because I would not run over 7.3. I am all for being safe but I also am for being able to live the highest quality of life I can. If that means running at under 6.5 to get that I am all for that. Thankfully my Endocrinologist gets that and is willing to work with me on keeping me on the right track. The really nice part of the office is also that they are very supportive of me having Duchess and honestly there has only been two Dr.'s who supported me on having Duchess. I

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Facing the Reality of The Situation

Before Appointment

I am still not sure why I do this to myself every time my Endocrinologist appointments comes up. No matter how prepared I am I never feel prepared enough. I know my previous bad Endocrinologist appointments where I was called a bad diabetic plays so readily in my mind. Even though I have had almost six great years of A1c's I spent so much time wishing for. I still can't free myself from the night of dreams about blood sugar spikes and bad lows I will have to discuss.

I know I always fear my A1c results because of all the times I feel I failed when I really didn't fail but just had more work to do. I should be fairly relaxed because I know my current Endocrinologist always listens to me and tries to work with me on improving. I know moving beyond bad experiences is never as easy at it seems. I am working on it but it takes time. I am just full of nerves as I wait for my appointment. It always drives me crazy all the worry and the stressing and most of the time everything turns out to be just fine.

I know this appointment I know will be a little more difficult than the past few in some ways because some of the things I normally do are no longer working. I know my Dr. can help but I am very stubborn and hate to ask for help. So I have to admit this time I am completely overwhelmed and have to wave my white flag for help. I feel better because I know I will be addressing the issue  but I feel very defeated in general these days.

After Appointment

Well I went to my appointment and I did mention some of the issues I was having my A1c is not at it's all time lowest which is not really where I wanted my A1c. I know all those terrible lows in the past couple of months have played a part in where I am currently at. I know my A1c is not really reflecting where I am at. My Endocrinologist made some changes to my basal as I knew they would. I normally feel more peppy and like myself but these days I rarely go out or do anything that I love. I am attempting to sleep a great deal more than usual. It took me a while to figure out that I was depressed and I needed to do something about it. Normally I do certain things and it seems to get me back on track without needing medication.

Sadly this time I knew that was not working. I have dealt with depression on and off for years but I also know that I am more moody recently and seem unable to deal with most things. If I had time off from work I honestly do not know what I would except for sleep. None of these things are really me. I am sorry if my depression has crept up in my blog. It really took me a while to figure it out and finally a friend said something to me. No matter how many times my depression becomes an issue I always just consider it part of being a diabetic. I honestly feel like this is very difficult for me to blog about and I want to dance around the subject but sometimes you just have to talk about it.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What I Wish I had Known at The Start

I have learned so much from my Journey with Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy. I know there is so many things I wish I had known in the beginning. Even though my last couple of appointments have not been great experiences his knowledge of what works is really great and the Dr. shares this information. I have found the more I know the better I am prepared. So I though I would share some things I have learned.

1. My best tip I have received so far is to sleep with two pillows propped up at an angle. The main reason behind this is because most hemorrhages happen overnight so if you are lying flat the blood will flow into the your vision. I have been doing this since Last October and things are much better.

2. The interesting thing about eyes if you have retinopathy you have it in both eyes not just one. I know I have one that has hemorrhages but the other has had not issues and in fact I have great vision. They are always monitoring it to make sure I don't have any issues in that eye.

3. If you have higher blood pressure that can create more issues such as more hemorrhages. ( I have not experiences this but good to know if you do have high blood pressure or other issues). Higher cholesterol, anemia and kidney issues can also cause more issues if not properly controlled.

4.  Almost every online websites says that the laser treatments are not painful but that was not really true for me. I have found them to be painful and the drops they put in for pain just burns. So most of the time I just grin and bear it and take Advil once I am done with my treatments.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Figured Out Some Answers

I went back for a laser treatment with my Retina Specialist on Monday. I really was still upset by my previous visit and was expecting more of the same. I had a different nurse this time from the two I might normally see. Thankfully when this nurse was there he seemed to be more knowledgeable about my case in general. What I realized is that the nurses he has are playing a big part in how my visits go and what is said to me as the patient. When the nurse I see the most is there he questions are more general such as how is your general health and he does not become pushy that some thing has to be wrong. He also seems to know my case quite well and can give me insightful answers to my questions.

The appointment from last week he seemed to not remember my case and seemed thrown off by my questions. I know he was shocked when I asked about when we were going to schedule my surgery for? He did not seem to recall that I was given all the information about the surgery but also the offices typical procedures for scheduling and arranging the surgery. I know he thought I was crazy but yesterday told me that in the future a surgery might be necessary for my right eye. I knew that already but it was interesting the difference in attitude and discussions about my case from the previous visit.

I know am going to try and only schedule the visits when the nurse I like is working in hopes of avoiding rude comments and questions that are not necessary. I am good patient and I work hard at keeping my blood sugars under control so I find it offensive when a Dr. outright tells me I am lying about my A1c's. I am not sure what to do about my visit but I do have a great relationship with my Endocrinologist. I am thinking of discussing the negative visit with them and seeing if they can discuss with him about how not to talk to Diabetic patients. I have to give my Endocrinologist office credit they really work with me and I feel like they really go the extra mile for me. I know how much I really appreciate their help even more after my Retina Specialist experience.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Overstepping The Boundries

I have been frequently disappointed in quite a few of the Dr.'s I have seen over the past two years. That is except for my Endocrinologist who does so many things right and tries to work with me to make my life more manageable. I really appreciate when I meet a physician who takes the time to get things right or at least tries. I was really discouraged after my recent visit. I am overly aggressive with my blood sugars as it is but when a Dr. is constantly telling you that you will get more it is never appreciated. I have had my A1c in a range where I should  not be developing further complications if I stay in the range I currently am. I work very hard to make my life work for me but I do not appreciate Dr.'s who says to the patients that so and so percent develop this complication so you are too. I think my Retina Specialist does not seem to get your diabetes may vary.

He keeps telling me almost all his patients all have this complication as well. I tell him my blood work and test are all in normal range. I am not sure what to tell the Dr. but next time I am going to say something. I have never been a text book case and never will be so comparing me to information in a text book or medical journal will not get you very far. My case has always been complicated and I am sure will stay that way. I really just wish he would not be so rude and pushy about that I have to have another complication.

I feel like my life is already crazy enough without saying to me constantly you will develop x,y and z complication. I think Dr.'s need to be a little more sensitive in how they address these issues. I know my retina specialist does not seem to believe my A1c is what I am telling him. I told him at my appointment that I will sign a form so they can request copy's of my lab results from my Endocrinologist. I am really offended that he thinks I am uncontrolled but at the same time my eyes are doing great which does not add up.

I am really tired of dealing with specialist when they think they are experts in other areas. The Retina Specialist needs to just stick to the eye's and leave the other items to my Endocrinologist. I know a specialist should ask if my blood sugars in control, blood pressure etc but not start trying to diagnose conditions patients do not have.

If there were more options for Retina Specialist I probably would switch but at this point I will educate him and let him know he comments are not appreciated. Hoping that will make for a more pleasant experience. I already hate going the Retina specialist as it is but the comments are too much.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Good News and Irritation

It was an interesting appointment to my Retina Specialist yesterday. During my last appointment we discussed the fact that we would be scheduling a time for the procedure in October. So I figured that is what we would be doing. I go in and they did more full exam including new pictures of my eyes. They really are looking so much better than a year ago. Which is wonderful. So the Dr. decided that we will see how my eye progresses further and decide at a future date if surgery is necessary.

This of course if a big relief in some ways but I also know that means more laser procedures are in my up coming future. Overall my eye is really looking great and I know keeping my blood sugars as controlled as possible will help in my overall eye health. I was disturbed by some off hand comments by the Dr. yesterday in the office. I see my Endocrinologist at least 4 times a year depending on what is going on with my blood sugars normally and some times more. He was asking about my general health and kept insisting I have to have other complications. I told him all the blood work, tests, and such all showed everything was normal. My kidney function is at a normal level and has never shown any signs of issues in the past 33 years. I do not show any signs of  Neuropathy. My blood pressure is normal, my cholesterol is normal  and everything seems great. He kept insisting that because I have retinopathy that I have to have high blood pressure.

I do not have high blood pressure. I know the nurse checked my blood pressure and told me the numbers. He came in the room saying mine was high. I know what normal blood pressure is and it was not high. So I reminded him that my mother was a nurse and the nurse recorded my blood pressure as she told me verbally. So I was pretty furious when he told me I needed to get on blood pressure medication. There is no reason for me to be on blood pressure medication for normal blood pressure. My Endocrinologist is the one who make that decision. I am not liking how my Dr. is trying each time I visit now to suggest I have other complications.

I know others complication can happen but every time I visit insisting that something is off is not right. I already and a little overly crazy about keeping my blood sugars in check. I really don't need a Retina Specialist trying to handle my Diabetes when My Endocrinologist is extremely competent and thorough. I am really hoping he lays off the comments on Monday when I have another appointment to do a little laser treatment. There is a small area they missed last time. I am really getting irritated because of how insistent there must be more wrong. I think some Dr.'s think one complication means text book that you must have others. I know my Diabetes has never been text book and never will be. I know statistics fit some patients but not all. I just wish he would figure it out.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Time is Nearing

I have my appointment this afternoon with Retina Specialist to schedule my Vitrectomy surgery date. A Vitrectomy is the removal of the Vitreous Humor which is the gel substance between the lenses in the eye.  I am never a fan of surgeries and I have had several already. I know the surgery is supposed to make my eye more stable and decrease the chance of bleeding. For the most part currently my eye has had very few hemorrhages over the past 6 months. I know tight control has also played a part in my eye dealing well with Diabetic Retinopathy. I am hoping for less visits to Retina Specialist once i have my surgery either in October or early November. I want to be done with it before all the holidays which require travel.

I am really surprised how well I have been able to handle the bumpy road since my first hemorrhage in  2012 hard to believe it has been over a year and my vision is quite good and the fact that my left eye has had no issues so far. I am hoping to keep it that way if possible. I know they keep telling me that they see no signs of Retinopathy in my left eye and I want it to stay that way. I am happy I will be able to get this behind me soon but I am sure the recovery will not be fun like most of my previous surgeries.

I think once I know the surgery date it will make it all the much more real for me. I know I will be extremely nervous because your eye is so important. I know every time I have surgery I am full of nerves before I have to go in. I know this upcoming surgery is difficult because some of my family members don't want to know when I am having surgery. So I really appreciate all the supportive people who read my blog because there is not much support from my family these days. I know even if I lived close to my family they would not be present when I was having my surgery. I also don't bother mentioning bad lows to my family either. They tend to criticize me because they think it could of been prevented. Funny thing is that I had quite a few trips to the ER when I was little because of bad lows.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Limitations That Are Necessary

  I am realizing the longer I work in my current workplace the more I need to establish guidelines and restrictions on work hours. I realized recently the night I was at work til almost 10pm that was too long of a day for Duchess. It actually was quite a long day for me as well. I know that night I did not sleep well either because of really bad low blood sugars which keeps Duchess up as well. So looking at these types of situations I need to not only protect my own health but also Duchess as well. Duchess is a very active playful service dog who needs downtime and the opportunity to be a dog every evening for several hours. She works really long days and it can be so easy to forget what issues these hours can create.

Thankfully Duchess is very flexible and reasonable. I think because she is so flexible it can be so easy to forget how much needs to keep he happy. I know after that 14 hour day she was very upset and rightfully so. I know I am working on adjusting my work accommodations to include that I am unable to work 7 days a week. Duchess can work 6 days and that is pushing it but she honestly needs a day off just as much as I do. I know my personal limitations and Duchess has her's as well. I used to be able to handle everything and make it look easy but sadly Hypoglycemia Unawareness does not play fair. So I have to accept that yes there is really certain things I need to avoid.

I know last year when I had my last Seizure in September of last year I was working 7 days a week. I am sure that took its toll and I have learned my lesson about my personal limitations. This year I have learned about Duchess's limitations as well. I knew the day I was working the overtime that I would be their for a couple of hours but did not expect to stay that late. Next year I am putting a limit on the time for both of our sakes. Thankfully Duchess is very vocal in many ways and was able to communicate her frustration to me. I did discuss the current issue with the disability office and they supported my decision to limit the hours if it impacted Duchess and I. I know I am no good for the office if it is going to cause more issues.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Buyer Beware

I saw an article recently that I knew would be coming soon. Families who bought dogs from a man who did not train the dogs and claims they are trained. There is these outrageous contracts that the group can come and take back the dog at any point. When I purchased Duchess I knew the contract I had signed did not allow them to come and take Duchess back. In fact when she retires I get to keep her. I can say it enough if you are looking into getting a dog please do your research. Ask questions, contact the better business bureau, talk to other families, visit the location several times, talk with the trainers extensively. Then keep digging to find any complaints you can find. I have seen so many families scammed by greedy people wanting to take advantage of in particular parents with young children.

There was a group that was being sued and this is another example of the same. Dogs who they were claiming were trained only difference is that one group is saying that 8-10week old puppy was trained which is not true. A service dog requires at least 18 months or more of training. Putting a vest on a puppy does not make it a service dog. In fact this is another great example of  what harms other people who have a well trained service dog who behaves appropriately. I believe one of the families at the Friends for Life Conference I believe had purchased the puppy from this company. This is the same dog that popped in the lobby of the hotel which makes all the great service dog teams look bad. I am sure the family was completely overwhelmed receiving an untrained service dog.

I know the process to get a service dog is a very long tedious process but remember if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. I also know that not all Diabetic alert dogs will alert at night as well. So it is also good to keep expectations with in reason. I know I have learned so much from my process but I really wish no family ever had to experience scams or poorly trained service dogs.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tired of All the Complaints

I knew first hand that having a service animal at work would never be easy but I really never realized how difficult it could be. I am still dealing with complaints from others in the office pretty much anytime she moves these days. I am not sure how to fix this issue but I really feel that I work with a big bunch of whiners who have nothing better to do with their time. I usually busy with my job and have very little time where I can even stop. I find it interesting the new complaint is that Duchess smelled like wet dog. She was wearing he dog rain jacket on the way in but in Texas when it rains it pours. So I always try to keep her under the umbrella and have her wear her jacket.

The rain jacket does work quite well but she will get wet. I do have a towel I carry to do a quick dry off when we get into work to keep her dry. The sad part is that when they do get wet they smell slightly. I have tried the smelly dog sprays but Duchess seems to be allergic to them  and so that is not an option. So I always do my best to keep her groomed well and bathed frequently. I have a feeling that this complaint is from someone who does not own a dog or have a pet. There is so many smells but I know Duchess had a bath on Sunday evening and so it should not of been an issue.

I have learned one thing is that no matter what I do my coworkers or others in my office will always complain to just complain. I do not find these to be real complaints but I always hear from the disability office because the other service dog on campus does not get these complaints but the big difference is the fact that we work in a bunch of cubicles. The department also seems to better handle any issues that arise and I know that really lets others know what will happen when they complain.

So I know also the people who work in my office are really the issue. I am constantly brushing washing and grooming Duchess to follow proper service dog etiquette. I take my right to have a service dog extremely seriously. I just wish my coworkers could lay off the complaints every two minutes because most of them turn out to be them just complaining. I know education is the key most of the time but my office seems to not be working. I know they make my job even more stressful which is not appreciated.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Interesting Conversation With New Dr.

I went to a Dr.appointment yesterday with a new Physician. She was reviewing my medical history and asked me if I was going to be having children. I told her no but she insists that I can have a health child even with the complications I currently have. I am not sure that I buy that completely. I have thought long and hard about my decision to not have children. My top two reason to not have children is because of my seizures and very bad lows. The second reason is because I already have complications. I know most people believe me to be selfish because I choose not to have children but I also know that anything happens to me. I am not sure what would happen to my child and I would not want to burden anyone else. I know losing my mom at 52 years old devastated me and I still miss her everyday. I would not want my child burned with that kind of loss. I know this decision is very personal for each woman and I also know having a service dog complicated my life dramatically as well.

I always wanted to be a mother and a huge part of me still does but I know I must be realistic in my expectations. Things in my life have not followed the path I thought it would. I need to adjust my expectations with these changes as well. I have been blessed to have Duchess but adding a little one in addition to a service dog would be so much work. Keeping up training and having a baby would be extremely difficult and takes so much time. I am not sure how I would balance it all. I think in an ideal world a baby would be a very welcome addition but my life is far from this point. I am glad I am very realistic and that I am able to evaluate my condition appropriately. The decision is not easy but I am comfortable with my decision at the end of the day but I really wish others could understand my reasons.