Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Duchess and Dealing with Changes

I know recently with taking Predisone it creates situations where from day to day I don't really know what to expect. Some days are smooth other days are just rough up and down all day long. During these past couple of weeks Duchess has really played a big role in helping me to keep things where I need them to be. I changed when she alerts to highs to a much lower number and she adjusted to this change very quickly and continues to alert me sooner of any upward movements. She also has helped me stay out of trouble because I have had more lows because I am not using my insulin pump to bolus as much as I used to.

I know the longer we  have been a team the better we take on challenging times like now. She is always willing to learn new things which makes her very flexible when I have to make changes in how early I need her to alert. She has done very well with me doing less during the early parts of my Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up. Duchess has also been very vigilant with sitting closer to me while at work because it tends to move around more frequently and she is very responsive to these changes. I know I am beyond blessed to have her. During the pain of the RA flare-up Duchess helped me tremendously by just being her goofy self.

I know I have to give a great deal of credit to Duchess for helping me continually improve my A1c. She is a big part of me being able to keep my A1c the same as previously even with the dreaded predisone. The good part of the predisone is that this week in particular for the first time in months I am feeling more like myself there is some tough days still but overall there has been big improvements. The downside of the predisone is that now I am noticing the swelling which you get when taking it. So there is the good and bad. I know Duchess no matter what is going on has helped and I am thankful for everyday I have with her. She amazes me with her ability to handle very difficult times and make it look easy.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hard Work Paying Off

I went for another visit with my Endocrinologist today and overall a great appointment. My A1c had not gone up even with being on Predisone which is pretty good in my mind. I know the Dr. noticed an increase in lows but I know that is because I am trigger happy because I know how fast when on Predisone my blood sugars have risen. I know she said she was really happy that even being on predisone I was able to handle it as it was coming which is good. I work very hard at keeping my A1c in check and was beyond pleased that I had accomplished my goals except for the increased lows. I am working on that now but I also know that using my pump to bolus for food while on Predisone is not working for me so I for example the bolus should be 2.65 I will bolust the .65 on the pump and inject the two units in my arm or stomach. Which has worked well so far.

My Dr. is concerned that I am in flare-up and also that my work is making my life more stressful when they could be doing things to be more helpful. I know she said she thinks that I need to be careful because my Dr. thinks I could get my self in a very bad low or seizure if I don't watch my workload. She thinks they are putting too much pressure on me in general. I am hoping I will find another job that offers me a little more supportive environment without creating extreme demands for overtime.

I know that overall I was not really that stressed going in for this appointment because I was prepared. I did get everything I needed done and I feel better knowing I am in a great spot. There is always challenges for me with my blood sugars changing so much from day to day but I feel better know that in many ways all my hard work is paying off especially when you look at how great my eyes are currently doing. I am hoping that in the long run that my continued hard work will pay off and that I can continue to find new ways to deal with the challenges as they come.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Obstacle Courses

I used to really enjoy shopping with friends and going to try new things. I was always busy doing so much. These days shopping is not what it used to be. I feel more like it is an obstacle course with crazy people everywhere who are trying to get you. There is the kids who scream because they are afraid of dogs, there is the kids that run up and start petting Duchess without asking. Then there is the one's that our adults who are petting her as they notice the do not pet sign on Duchess who are like I know you are not supposed to be petting her but I am not doing anything wrong. Then there is the one's who like to interrogate you as to why you have a service dog and want to know all about your business in detail. Unless you love sharing your whole medical history with perfect strangers this is not something I normally choose to do. Most of the time I make up excuses to get out of having to share my personal life. I value my privacy a great deal as a shy person.

Then there is the kids that get sent over by there parents go play with that dog. I also run into the one's that give me dirty looks because they can't see my disability. I run into a great deal who think I am the trainer and want information for a friend. I also meet a great deal who think Duchess is my seeing eye dog because that is the only type of service dog they are aware of.  Then there is the kids that think Duchess is there jungle gym and try to climb on top of her this has happened three times to Duchess. I try my best to prevent this from happening. I think differently when I am coordinating my route through the malls. I see kids and I detour around to avoid them. I see a person moving towards us I try to avoid getting trapped into a hundred questions. I try to navigate through a crowd in a manner that keeps Duchess away from kids screaming and crying because they can't pet her. I also try to avoid groups of people who I can tell would want to pet her.

I am always trying to avoid the things I enjoy least about having a service dog and at times I really enjoy my interactions with others but at times these interactions can take a really negative turn as well. So when I am shopping I am always trying to find the quickest way from point A to point B so that I can avoid weird or difficult situations so that I might be able to enjoy my time with Duchess and my friends while shopping. It can be a great challenge to do so but these days shopping is and will always be an obstacle course at times.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Recent Articles about Diabetic Alert Dogs

I have been reading a great deal of article about people getting Diabetic alert dogs. The part I have issue with is that these articles do not state anything about Hypoglycemia Unawareness. Even if you have frequent highs you don't need a Diabetic alert dog but a CGM would work better. In fact one big struggle for Diabetic alert dogs is dealing with highs from what I have learned and also observed first hand. I know high blood sugars seem to really irritate Duchess and I try to avoid them anyways. I have also seen a great deal of people just diagnosed getting Diabetic alert dogs after several month of being diagnosed. I disagree with this completely because most people will not know if they can feel highs or lows as they should for a while before they can determine if that is so. I also know that you need to learn your Diabetes first before you get a Diabetic alert dog because you will not get the results you need without first knowing your Diabetes. Second when first diagnosed you have too much going on to take on a service dog and they require a great deal of time as well. I think people need to consider a Diabetic alert dog when you have repeated bad lows you can't feel , frequent EMS visits or use of glucagon for bad lows, seizures and other issues. I know I almost lost my job because of my frequent lows. So I had to make a choice to commit to finding what options I had.

I keep hearing from people that there is currently enough Diabetic alert dogs for everyone but that is not true. I know it will be much more difficult when I need to retire Duchess just because of how many people are getting Diabetic alert dogs who might not really need one. I wish I could go back to where I could feel my lows efficiently enough to get by and that is why I have Duchess. I know having a Diabetic Alert dog sounds like so much fun but it is a great deal of work. Honestly I have issues keeping up with it all myself. Especially during my recent Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up. I know Duchess is not perfect and I keep working on things to keep here where she needs to be as a service dog. I wish others would spend a great deal of time considering how and what a Diabetic alert dog will change.

I know for me I will be Seizure free for two years in September with Duchess help but I also know that I did take some time before I got Duchess. I tried every device possible from insulin pumps, and CGMS to see if that would help me. I even paid out of pocket for the CGMS but gave up after a couple of months because it was missing my lows and was not accurate enough for me. After a couple more bad incidents at work and home I knew I needed help. I know I would not be able to hold a job today without Duchess help. I used to be at work and noticed that an hour or two would slip away because I was low and was drifting off into space. This is not good when you need to be accomplishing things and also are worried about your own safety. I know there is people of all ages who need Diabetic alert dogs but please spend the time really thinking about it because it will in the end affect all of those who really need one to have a some what normal life.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Recent Dutchess Adventures

I wanted to share a recent picture of Duchess on Campus during break one day. She looking at all the students walking around campus below.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Made Two Big Goofs Recently

I have made some big goofs recently which I already knew could cause issues. I have been using pre-bolusing very regularly especially since I am currently on Predisone. So recently I was having pasta which can spike me if I don't wait at least 15-20 minutes before I eat. So I test my blood sugar is 106 and I pre-bolus. I always keep on eye on my Dexcom during the 15-20 minute period to try and avoid any lows if possible. So about 12 minutes in to my wait Duchess alerts and I recheck my blood sugar and it is 30.  I know Duchess kept bugging me several times before I paid attention. Pre bolusing has its risk for sure but for the most part it has saved my Alc from sky rocketing up because I have found what works most of the time. The most interesting part is that my Dexcom never even showed I was low it stayed in place and only dropped 10 points. I know it can be risky to pre-bolus but when eating out I tend to avoid doing so because you never know when you are going to get your food.

I also the other day I had another goof and I really know better than this. I tested my blood sugar without realizing that I had sugar on my hands from treating my last low. My blood sugar came back at 180 so of course I just bolused to address the issue. Well after I bolused I was like why didnt I clean my hands off to make sure because my Dexcom was showing 82. So I wash my hands and retest I was then 73. So I treated the low and ate a snack to prevent another low from popping up because of my errors. I know with having the predisone once I start moving up it can be difficult to slow my blood sugars down. So I am overly zealous with my bolusing. I know I have done this before and I thought I had learned but I guess with being so busy at work I let my better judgement fall to the wayside. I am now going back to double checking if I feel like the blood sugar could be wrong. I hate to bolus when not really necessary because it can cause me issues for hours afterwards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

RA Follow Up Appointment

I am thankfully only on Predisone till the end of June. My visit yesterday with my Rheumatologist was good and reviewed further my medications and why my blood tests showed up they way they currently do. I know we discussed a big reason for the negative results on two of the test is because I have a very slow moving Rheumatoid Arthritis which is good for me. With having a slower progressing form of RA it can make it easy for it to be over looked but she said with my strong family history there is no doubt I have RA but thankfully if I stay on the current medication of Methotrexate that it should help to hopefully avoid further RA flare-ups which would be good. There is some weird side effect of Methotrexate but the longer I have been taking it the more I find I am adjusting to the side effects of the drug as I figured it would. Overall it is nice that the drug in the long term is preventing further damage to my joints. Currently she thinks my joints look really good and I should be able to start doing more and more as my body lets me.

I know I still need to let me body heal from this flare up but I am incorporating more exercise back in and to see how I feel. So far I am adjusting well to a little exercise. I am hoping to be up to my normal exercise routine soon. I know right now I am still tired at times but each week I seem to get more energy back which is great. I just can't wait for my body to feel more like its old self soon. At least the pain is minimal and things are working out well. The only real downside right now is that i am losing more hair because of the Methotrexate than I would like. I don't have any big clumps of hair missing but I do find more of my hair everywhere.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some Spots Better Than Others

I know since I have been using my legs at sites for my Dexcom the more I realize how much I miss using my arms. My arms in general tended to have more accurate readings verses my legs which tends to say my blood sugar is higher than it actually is or wants to say I am low when I am actually in the 90's. I know I was hoping after a couple of months that I would be getting the same results as I did using my arms but right now it seems that is going to stay this way. I do move my sights around well and I track where it was placed so I know if I am over using areas but with the legs there is quite a few spots to use so that is not really an issue.

I know I have had some many issues with the Dexcom and reporting even close to where I actually am it can be incredibly frustrating when I see all these people who's Dexcom readings are right on target and mine are always off. I know even with using my stomach there were times that I was able to get close results to where I was at but not regularly. I know I love having the Dexcom and it has been a great tool. I know times like when I am on predisone the Dexcom is the reason I am in a pretty well controlled place right now. I have also been able to make pump setting changes in a much better way because of the Dexcom.

I know I am really hoping that I can give my stomach a try in another year or two because I had some of my best results from my stomach. I am not sure if that will be possible but I am willing to give it a try. I know my arms when I tried them last they were off a little as well. I am not sure why some people get great results and others like me do not get the same results. I really wish the technology was a little better for all not just a bunch of people. I know I have talked with quite a few people who are in the same situation as I am who results are normally skewed. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Unexpected Financial Costs

I feel very fortunate everyday to have Duchess in my life. She is wonderful service dog who loves me unconditionally which is awesome. She works hard and does such a great job. I know when I first found out I was going to get a Diabetic Alert dog I was so excited and optimistic that things would easy. I know from a great deal of my experiences being able to take Duchess where I need with me is never easy. I know the more service dogs their our in my community the easier it will become. Thankfully a great deal of the public access issues I was having are not a big of an issue but occasionally.

I know when I got Duchess I knew I needed help and assistance with things before they spiraled further out of control but I never really thought much about having a service dog in the office. I never knew the full impact of that decision would cause me financially either. I have noticed since I started working with Duchess that my strong work ethic is never recognized in the same manner as it was in the past or that when it comes to raises that I might be impacted. I know I was fortunate two years ago to get a raise but with all the drama at work concerning Duchess when she was not doing anything wrong I know will impact a great deal of things including how they view me. I know I have missed less days then my healthy coworkers but I get not credit for being here and getting what needs to be done accomplished. I have hit a wall in how much I can physically do and I know it will end up hurting me financially as well.

I know even with accomplishing more than anyone else who has had this job previously I still am not getting the credit I deserve. I know I am blessed I can still work and be able to afford to do some things I enjoy but at times I know my disability will cost me in ways that really can hurt. I know I still would not change my decision to get Duchess but I never really thought about the impact of having a service dog in a job that is not really that disability friendly. I know where my work is heading most disabled individuals are already quitting because they are unable to keep up with the demands of the work load increased which will only get worse. I know my workplace is not working to help these individual but rather doing not thing assist them.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sometimes I am Just too Stubborn

I have to admit that sometimes I am too stubborn for my own good. I was doing really well last week with my overall blood sugars while on predisone and my energy levels were increasing. I felt like this week would be more of the same but I am finding the opposite. I have been pushing myself too much and I am so exhausted that I have only been able to work from 8-4:30pm most days which is fine because I am meeting my 8 hours of work for the day. Since my work does not have the same staff level I am always trying to do so much.

I know because I have had to slow down it has driven me crazy because I like to be able to keep up with it all. I know recently slowing me down for a bit was fine but I feel like it has just been too long. Regardless of how I feel about it during a flare I really need to slow down and listen to my body because this week my hands, knees ankles and hips ache incredibly even with the predisone. I was prescribed extra pills of predisone if I had increased pain which I have been having. I have been able to keep my blood sugars really normal and really don't want to take more predisone.

So at this point I am trying to find the right balance again so that I am not missing work but still able to handle most tasks without taxing my body too much. I know I need to be more patient with myself these days regardless of what I get done. I am not so far behind that I won't get caught up but need to plan out better how I tackle things such as cleaning and running errands. I know normally I will get all of it done in one day but now I am spreading it out. Hoping that the pain is less by me reviewing what I am doing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tough as Nails

I for some reason was thinking about the past. I remember the days when nothing seemed to get to me. I was not as scared of lows or seizures and when it happened it did not create these big waves in my life. I know I felt as tough as nails and that I could take on anything. I know I have for the most part handled stress well and was able to always find a way to get what I needed done. I know the past six or seven years that changed dramatically. I am now in a place where a bad lows or seizures are engrained in my mind for moths afterwards and it creates big waves in my life and I have no real ability to handle these situations. I never was tough as nails but feeling like I was made it easier to handle what ever life handed me. I was ready for almost anything.

I know I miss my old self because I felt like I could do more and I did not feel held back by my Diabetes. Today I know that I was never really tough as nails but I achieved so much when I was able to handle my life in that manner. I realize now that I miss the ability to handle stress and be able to adjust quickly to changes. Since my Hypoglycemia Unawareness I know that I am not as tough as I once thought but I also know it is also good that I realize that I was not really being honest with myself.

 I know I could do almost anything still but with little adjustments and that is good. I know admitting that I am not at tough as nails which I have always thought of myself as being that is really difficult for me to even admit to myself let alone anyone else. I know that I have learned a great deal about myself and my Diabetes. I know that my life has never been easy and never will be because I have Diabetes. I know I can do most things still but need to realize that my body now has boundaries I need to follow.

I think it can be incredibly difficult to accept in some ways that yes Diabetes has caused some changes that no one would want to deal with. I also know that I am strong in a great deal of ways but now with a more realistic view of my reality. It is nice to think you can take on the world but realized that just being able to keep up with most things in my life is really enough. I know we are all incredibly tough just for dealing with all the Diabetes craziness and making it look to easy. Thankfully I have realized that I don't need to be tough as nails.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Stairs Can Be Daunting- Repost

I have been doing better with my Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up for the most part. There is days that are really daunting verses other days where everything is working like it should be. I know during a flare-up making it up a large amount of stairs becomes incredibly difficult but also exhausting as well. I know when I was 19 during my initial diagnosis there was this long stretch of stairs and I have never been so frustrated with the fact that my body was not cooperating the way I wanted it to. I know recently my mouse at work gives me issues even though it is an ergonomic mouse which is better for my RA. Moving it at times has been so frustrating I have to get up from my desk for a couple minutes then come back and try again at times. Yesterday was a really long day and my joints by the end of the week are always less cooperative.

For me it is very frustrating for me when going up stairs become difficult to maneuver when you are younger and  no matter how hard you try it is not easy. I know I have been moving slower and resting more and seeing results but some days even simple things like opening a bag can be difficult at times. I know I feel like I am about 80 because they could be having similar issues making it up stair, opening packages and overall movement. RA is manageable but I know for many who do not experience it I am sure my writing seems blown out of proportion with how much issues I have doing very simple things. The joints being attached is very hard to explain how much it affects our everyday lives.

I know recently dealing with the frustrations of my body not wanting to cooperate with what I need it to do has been increasingly frustrating. Especially since my work is incredibly frustrating and the medications I am on now causes mood issues which I have been experiencing. So I really have to try and keep things as little stress as possible will help but not always easy. I am feeling like things overall are getting better and will continue to.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thankful for Past Sacrafices

I have been thinking a great deal about all the Type 1 diabetic parents out there. I know a great deal of the parents from reading the blogs feel guilty about so many aspects of managing their children's diabetes. I have found from my experience as the diabetic that to me all that mattered at the end of the day was that I was able to live a fairly normal life as possible, that we were trying to keep my blood sugars as best as we could and that no matter what we kept trying till we found a solution.

 My parents I am sure beat themselves up over the highs or lows. Even though we all were just doing the best we could. I know I am thankful for all the effort that was put forth for me and I eternally grateful for all the longs nights and scary events my parents experienced because of my diabetes. I know it is such a burden, time consuming disease that never gets a break even for my parents. I know that my diabetes affected not only my life but my siblings as well. I know they all seemed to take it pretty well. Even though my parents were spending more time with me but I know a big part of that is because of my diabetes.

I know even though my dad has forgotten what all those longs nights are like now or how scary a low is now for me as an adult. I know that is a big part of the reaction to my low during my visit home in over a year ago. I know my family now has forgotten a great deal of things because they are not around it all the time like they were in the past. I understand how scary it is for me but I will never know what that is like for a parent to have a child who is passed out from a low. I am thankful for all the years that my mom was around because she never forgot what it was like for me and she above all was understanding.

She never judged me for my complaining or the need to talk about the struggles of it all. I appreciate he patience over the years when things were really complicated with my blood sugars she really made it all look easy almost too easy at times. I know most people now believe my life is really easy even though I am actually barely hanging on most of the time. She gave me the support I needed and taught me a great deal.

I know I read blogs of parents who constantly feel like they are failing their kids but you are not really failing you just care so deeply it makes things even more difficult and can create unrealistic expectations. I know my parents did much the same. I know a couple years before my passed away we had a conversation about the fact that no matter how old I was she worried everyday that something could happen to me. She always told me that her children were not supposed to die before she would. Thankfully I have been safe because she has taught me a great deal about dealing with lows but also about how to navigate the changes in my condition. I know I am safe because no matter where she was she always looked out for me. I know the parents of type 1 diabetics don't hear it enough but believe me your children appreciate you even when they have trouble telling you that.