Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Increased Alerting Ability and Work

Duchess has been doing extremely well handling it all. I know my stress does really mess with my blood sugars. Especially when I am the only person in my work who processes the paper work and I have been only one her for the past 10 days to show up everyday. Every person including supervisor and manager have all called in sick. These situations only add more havoc to my blood sugars. Thankfully Duchess is very well aware of the recent flinging about that has been going on. She is really funny in that she moves her dog cot really close to my desk so she can sit closer to me so she will know sooner if I am starting to drop quickly or move up quickly. This is always helpful when she can give me extra time and when she is sleeping she also will wake up sooner as well.

She has always been a great alerter but recently she just keeps getting better. I am not sure where she came up with the idea to move her dog cot but I have to admit she is a very intelligent dog. She always finds ways to get what she needs done. I have not had a lot of highs recently but quite a few lows but most of the time quick adjustments and temp basals have kept me on track. I am not looking forward to the end of the fiscal year where I work even longer hours and be unable to deal with all the stress. My work instead of hiring other people who actually do work instead of attending meeting they hired another executive level person who will just assign me more work. The good thing is that I have Duchess who keeps me safer through a great deal of scary situations but most important I have been seizure free for a year and a half. I am hoping to avoid and bad lows during the closing of the books for my department.

I have been thinking a great deal about how much my current job affects my person safety. Due to the high stress which my body reminds me regularly is not helping me. I know that I am always trying to do things to reduce stress but most things do not work the way they used to. So I am stuck with my body doing what it wants and I need to do things differently to reduce bad lows at work but also to find a better work life balance because that does not exist in my life currently. I need to also think about how all this affects Duchess and how much these emergencies cost me financially as well. At the end of the day none of this has been worth it. I know I am glad I am looking for some thing better because staying where I am at would be detrimental to Duchess and I.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Update on Duchess

I am happy to see the normal Duchess again we our getting closer to resuming her normal activity level next week. I decided that I wanted to play it safe and give her more time to adjust her activity up slightly until I feel she is ready to go back to our normal. I have been able to still get things accomplished with a little more planning. I was still able to get everything done but at a much slower pace. Duchess seemed to need this time to heal and I could not be more pleased. I am not even sure how she injured her legs in the first place. There was not big event where she got her foot stepped on or ran into anything to where she could injure herself. I know if this ever happens again I will be more prepared to take her to the veterinarian sooner because I know he will take the time to walk around with us to see if he can she what I was noticing. At first I did not want to go because I was not completely sure if they would be able to treat her if they thought nothing was wrong.

Thankfully they spend the 10 to 12 minutes walking around with us and was able to see what I was trying to describe. In the future I might also try and tape it if possible to also make things easier. This is the first time Duchess has ever injured her legs and had any real injuries. So I know I feel lucky I have been able to avoid most things but sometimes things come up that you were not expecting. I know I am really happy that next week she will be back to her normal walks and activities and I know both of us are looking forward to it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Drastic Drops in Basal

It is that time of year where all of sudden my insulin needs drop very quickly. Every night recently I have been awoken by my Dexcom going off and having to treat several lows and every morning I adjust my basal a couple of units until I find where I should be. The bad part is that I am working a great deal of overtime and need my rest. So everyday I am trying to look at the graphs on my Dexcom and adjust from their which has helped.

I know normally when my insulin needs change dramatically it can be around 6-10 units less of basal so normally I am really tying to adjust it quickly but not too much or too little. I am not a fan of being too high or too low so trying to avoid that if at all possible. I have had several times where I was low for an hour or more which is less than ideal especially when you are trying to work or get things done. I have been adjusting my day and night as things are changing in the hopes to avoid bad lows or other issues. These times can be scary for me but the good thing is that Duchess has been on high alert watching me like a hawk so I could not be more pleased in how on top of things she is.

Even with recent injuries she is still able to keep up with my crazy blood sugars and seems to be extremely sharp right now with giving me plenty of time to treat and deal with low blood sugars. She has also been great about alerting me early when my blood sugars start to rise. She has been great the whole time I have been on predisone. She has really helped me to keep things where they need to be. She is a big part of the reason my A1c did not rise while taking predisone. I am currently not fan of predisone right now because I feel like my face and neck are constantly swollen which does happen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Complications Have Taught Me

I was so bummed that I missed out on the Diabetes Hope Conference yesterday. My coworker is out on vacation so I am covering for her and it was too tied up to be able to join in. I was able to attend last year so I am sad I missed it this year.

I was thinking about what I have experienced from complications. I have learned a great deal about how Dr.'s treat patients when having complications as well. I have found there is a great deal of judgement from Dr.'s who do not work with Diabetic patients frequently. They tend to view you as a failure and treat as you are not going to listen to them or follow instructions properly. I think that there is so much stigma attached to Diabetic complications that a great deal of Dr.'s I have meet tend to treat me the same as they would previously. Even though I follow instructions and do what i am supposed to. I also have had issues when I tell them my A1c number they tend not to believe me and I have in the past had copies of the blood work. When I pull out my A1c number they seem surprised. I know my Retina specialist kept insisting that because I have Retinopathy that I have to also have high Cholesterol and high blood pressure but I don't have either. That part makes me angry because the Dr. does not seem to get that Diabetes varies from patient to patient. The results for me will not be the same for everyone.

I think a great deal of the Dr.'s I have meet think because I have complications I have given up years ago and don't care. I don't think they are taking in consideration of what it is like for a patient with a chronic illness that sometimes we do better than other times not because we are not trying. I know for me I have had my bumps even with good A1c's and I have to work even harder now because I have complications and don't want them to progress further so I keep my blood sugars tightly controlled. I think they are not considering that after many years patients get tired, agitated, frustrated and list goes on. I know I wish my Dr.'s knew that I want and deserve to be treated like any other patient and they need to put aside any judgement of me as a patient. I need them to work with me to keep me as healthy as possible.

I know as the patient I have seen where patients with complications are not given the standard tests because they assume it is related to Diabetes but by the time they found out there is permanent damage done by the time they finally do the test they would have run for a healthy person. I know as a person with complications I do not let my Dr.'s slack or not do what they are supposed to. I will fire a Dr. so fast because I am paying them to help me and if they are not doing enough I need to find someone who will.

I have learned that I need to continually make sure that I am getting what I need from my Dr.'s and that I need to make the most of the time that I do have. I try to be the best patient and I expect the same of my Dr. So I am very picky after some of my experience the past couple of years because of seeing in person what can happen when the work Complications is in your medical file. I also know when you read your medical records which all patients should do. I like to see read what the Dr. is saying as well. I know now that I am and have been making sure that I get the care I deserve regardless of having complications.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What I Have Learned From My Hypoglycemia Unawareness

I still find it hard to believe that I have not had feelings of lows for over 5 years. I have learned so much about Hypoglycemia Unawareness over the past 5 years. Here is a list of things I have learned

1. The feelings of lows will never come back regardless of how hard you try.
2. There is the occassional low you might feel but that is when your blood sugar is quite low like 30.
3. Running your bloods sugars high with no lows will not solve this problem not matter what length of time..
4. Some people running high do get some feeling back but that only lasts so long.
5. Dr.'s I meet seem to know very little about Hypoglycemia Unawareness except run the blood sugars high.
6. I have found that Hypoglycemia Unawareness equals frequent lows even with my best efforts
7. There is not a great deal of information in general on Hypoglycemia Unawareness online.
8. Most of the Information online does not seem to work for most of the people I know with Hypoglycemia
9. Keeping lows at bay is very complicated.
10 I get confused much easier than in the past because I don't always know it is dropping quickly.
11.The signs of lows don't completely go away but change to things like confusion, irritation and obsessiveness in my activities at the time of the low.
12. Every person with Hypoglycemia Unawareness all experience different symptoms of lows and have to learn the new one's. It can take a while to find what it a symptom of a low.
13. My blood sugars tend to fluctuate dramatically from day to day and with little patterns at times.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Public Access Issue

I thankfully have not had many recent public access issues in the past year or two which is great. I did have a guest visiting from out of town and so I was taking them to my favorite barbecue place. I always enjoy the food and the atmosphere of the place. So I had not been back since last summer to this place but had no trouble in the past. I went to add my place on the list to get a beeper because the wait would be close too two hours which is common. There is never enough parking because they are so popular. So I walk up to add my name and the hostess tells me that she will seat me in the outdoor section because I had my dog. I told her I would be sitting in the indoor section and that she is a service dog. I also that our state and federal laws support me being able to bring my service dog with me. So she radios for a manager to come but no one shows up she finally puts our name on the list ten minutes later which means around 25 people are now in from of us in line which made me very angry because I already knew it would be a long wait.

I did get a little upset because the hostess did not seem to be understanding the law and that it was not optional. So we waited and the beeper finally went off. So we get up to where you turn in your beeper so they will seat you. The hostess then tells me I will be seated outdoors. By then I had been in heat over two hours and wanted to be in the air conditioned area of the restaurant. I told her no that she is a service dog and that I will be seated indoors and if not then get her manager immediately. She then gives up and seats us as I had requested. I wish I had kept my cool but once we got to the second instance I knew it was not going well and I was getting furious. I know the staff is all very young.

I am calling the location to report the incident and that to have them educate their staff. The difficult part is that people do bring their dogs with them and they are seated in a patio area but Duchess is not a pet so I don't feel the need to be seated outdoors if I wanted to be inside. All I know is that the issue needs to be deal with promptly by the restaurant. I am hoping that they just educate their staff. Duchess was behaving extremely well so I was surprised by the response to her being a service animal. I also know that when they did seat me they also sat me away from all the other diners which is not very polite either. I was so very upset that my favorite place caused so many issues. I am going to have to take my business else where if they don't address the issue. I am hoping that I can still take all my guests their but I guess I will find out by their response to my complaint.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Diabetes Life Hacks

Diabetes Blog Week Topic:

Click for the Diabetes Life Hacks - Friday 5/16 Link List.
Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Tell us everything from clothing modifications, serving size/carb counting tricks to the tried and true Dexcom-in-a-glass trick or the “secret” to turning on a Medtronic pump’s backlight when not on the home-screen (scroll to the bottom of this post). Please remember to give non-medical advice only! (Thank you Rachel of Probably Rachel and Kelley of Below Seven for this topic suggestion.)

Diabetes Blog Week
I use a great deal of tricks to help keep things in place event with skin issues. I use the Optiflex tape which works great to keep my Dexcom in place and has not skin reaction and use Bard adhesive to help it stay put as well. I do have to cut a square piece so the sensor is not taped down. I have found it works great for a week with not issues of peeling or having to tape several times. Also when I can't hear my Dexcom until it is 55 or under so now I put it in a cup but have added a bunch of coins so now I hear it earlier than the 55 or below alarm. I know because of my high stress job that at times I have trouble waking up for the Dexcom alarms just because I am so exhausted. So adding the coins has helped for now but I do plan of changing it up so that I don't zone out the sounds.

I have also found that using Hydro cortisone cream in an area I plan on using in a for an upcoming site change has really helped me to avoid the raised rashes and other itchy skin because of my glue and adhesive allergies. I also make sure I clean my skin with alcohol before I put a new sensor or site in but I always wait til it dries before using. This really helps me to make sure I don't get infections or other issues. If you have skin issues I always recommend trying several products. I called my medical supply company who sent me several samples of different adhesives and other tapes I can use. So always worth asking because trying products before  you buy is always nice.

I have also been eating Kind brand Dark Chocolate Chunk granola bars to help tie me over when my blood sugar does not want to stay in place. I also love the fact that when I read the label I know what every ingredient actually is. It is a nice feeling to know you are not eating some chemical ridden items.  It is gluten free and tastes great and the bonus it has chocolate of course. So I love these new bars. The Kind also has several different gluten free protein bars which I love as well.

Diabetes Blog Week

Thursday, May 15, 2014

How I Survive The Bad Days

Diabetic Blog Week Topic:

Click for the Mantras and More - Thursday 5/15 Link List.
Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we've done that and we can help others do it too? (Thanks to Meri of Our Diabetic Life for suggesting this topic.)

Diabetes Blog Week

I normally on bad days like to remind myself that I am human and that I can try something different next time that might make the bad day easier. Normally I try to use my experiences from a previous bad day to help improve the day by using what made my blood sugars come down quicker if I was high. If I have a bad low for hours I normally will eat a set amount of carbs to bring it back up but not  so it shoots up high.

I know on bad days I like to use all my tools to the full extent using temp basals, Dexcom, and Duchess to make it easier if possible. I also know if I have been low for a while at times just doing nothing for around 30 minutes can really help to bring it up or using more protein can also help bring up and get it to stay level for a while.

I know if I am high I will normally try to take a walk to bring it down and also clear my head because it can be so easy to get mad that you are high. It also can be so easy to blame yourself when you did everything right but are not getting the normal results. I also try to remember some days you can only do so much so you have to grin and bear it. Just as long as I can keep things in a decent range most of the time then I feel I am doing great because Diabetes is like Russian roulette you never know what you are going to get at times.

 Diabetes Blog Week

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I have to Admit

Diabetes Blog Week Topic for Today!!

Click for the What Brings Me Down - Wednesday 5/14 Link List.
May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope? (Thanks go out to Scott of Strangely Diabetic for coordinating this topic.)

I like to feel like as a blogger that I am very up front most of the time about what is going on in my Diabetic life in a great deal of ways but honestly I have not been the past six or seven months. I know I mentioned back in the beginning that I was dealing with my Depression and that I had talked with my Dr. and had decided to go back on anti-depressants which I am in no way recommending please speak to your physicians for the correct actions or recommendations for your case or familys cases. I am not a fan in fact has been my goal the past several years my goal to stay away from them but this time I could not seem to pull my self out of the black hole of depression.

So I had to make myself cave in and go back on them for a year is the agreed amount of time that my Dr. and I set up to treat my depression. I have dealt with depression I think for a great deal of time with my Diabetes but I had my first official treatment for depression after my graduation but I know I had been depressed for around a year before it really before very obvious to my family. I did not know I was depressed and I know it can really sneak up on me like this current time I really had no idea it was me being depressed until some one said something to me and it clicked. It was not referring to me but it seemed to bring me to the realization I need help.

I know I have withdrawn from tweeting, DSMA and other Diabetic activities in the past six months even with treatment. I am working on some other changes in my life to help me get back on track normally I rebound from my depression pretty quickly but there has been a great deal of stressful changes at work, home and life in general so this time it is taking me longer. Thank you for the people who still take time to read my blog even when it might have a more pessimistic views because I have been depressed. Thank you for understanding this is where I am at.

I feel like a complete failure because I had not commented earlier about where I was at with my Depression because as a good blogger I feel I should be able to tell you all where I am at. I am sorry for failing to share with you the whole pictures which is important. Mental heath is a part of Diabetes and in order to manage your diabetes you need to be managing your Depression as well. I know I am not afraid to talk about my Depression but it can be daunting in general.

What I am currently doing to help pull myself out of my rut is doing things that I used to enjoy. I am trying to get back into exercising because my Rheumatoid Arthritis flare-up has calmed down. I am also trying to give myself downtime and try to do things that will make my life better. Normally this tends to help me get back to where I need to be. It is not easy when you have a high stress job, overtime, Dr.'s appointments and other stressful issues like a service dog with an injury all can make things more difficult. I am getting their and I am sure pretty soon I will feeling more like myself again. Also working on some long term fixes which should help reduce the depression. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Diabetes Blog Week Post

Click for the Tell Me a Story Wildcard Link List.
Write a short story personifying a diabetes tool you use on a daily basis. A meter, syringe, pump, pill, etc. Give it a personality and a name and let it speak through you. What would it be happy about, upset about, mad about?  (Thank you Heather of Unexpected Blues for this topic.)

Diabetes Blog Week


I sniff around her feet and legs and then notice the strong acid like scent. She scurries around and then paws quickly at my leg. Then I look down and let her know I am testing. She watches patiently as I test 62. I give her a treat which she happily eats as I am eating my skittles with no rush because these days I am not really cluing into that I should be moving quicker to treat my lows.

Duchess lays back down and seems to relax as she waits for my blood sugars to start creeping back upwards. She watches me carefully as I sit waiting for things to come back up before I resume my work.


I smell a strong fruity smell as I near I become anxious and I move quickly. I bring the bringsel and sit at a distance. I test I am an 160 she comes closer only to get the treat and moves further away from me. I take a bolus to correct the high. She stays far away and seems agitated by the high blood sugar as it takes time for it to start to come down. She gets up and down and seems completely disturbed by the high blood sugar. I continue to work and watch my Dexcom for downward movement.

As my blood sugars start to come down she come closer to me again and seems quite relieved that yes she can finally relax the high is going away. Highs create anxiety and distress to her when she is used to having lows more frequently. I know I tend to stay in range as much as possible. I know that she is much happier when I do.

I love having my diabetic alert dog Duchess. She has kept me seizure free now for a year and a half. Nice to be seizure free and have your best friend by your side.

Diabetes Blog Week

Unexpected Injury

I ended up at the vet's this past Saturday after noticing on Thursday that Duchess was leaning her body to the left when she walks. I noticed since the previous week she was pulling when walking at times but I was not sure of the cause. Then I had noticed that she was pulling when my co-workers noticed I knew something was wrong. At first I thought maybe she had done something by moving wrong and that it might get better but I noticed that it was not. She seemed to lean more to the left and I knew something was not right. So I called the vets on Friday and I told that my service dog was having issues with leaning when walking. They were fully booked but because of her job they thought it important to get her examined right away.

I know I was really worried how the vet will be able to see what I was noticing when I was at the visit. So we took her outside and he watched her walking until he noticed her leaning to the side. So we went back in the office and her examined her legs on the left and right side. When he was examining her I could see that it must have been hurting her. She is not a big fan of going to vets more than I am a fan of going to the Dr.'s office.

So the veterinarian thinks either she has a soft tissue damage or possible issue with ligaments tendons etc. The other option which I have a feeling is not correct is hip dysplasia she had a hip xray before I took her home with me and she had not sign of hip dysplasia. The diagnosis of a possible injury threw me off because there was not incident of a noticeable injury or big event I could tie the recent incident too. So now Duchess for the next two weeks is on limited exercise and walking when ever possible. So if she does have an injury it will give it time to heal the injury. The hard part of having dogs is that they can't really tell you when they are hurting but I am glad I noticed the injury pretty quickly and she seems to be doing better one the pain pills and anti informatory medications. I am hoping that this is the end of the issue but I will see over the next two weeks.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Diabetes Blog Week- Do I Need a Diabetic Alert Dog?

I am participating in Diabetes Blog Week. The topic for today is listed below.

Click for the Change the World - Monday 5/12 Link List.
Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)

I know for me a big button issues is concerning Diabetic alert dogs? Do I really need one is a big question. I have seen over the past three years a large amount of people getting incredibly expensive pets who were meant to be Diabetic alert dogs. When you are first diagnosed the chances of needing one within in the first couple of months of diagnosis are slim. Most people can feel lows and I know some bloggers who have dogs who don't have Hypoglycemia Unawareness which is not good. A person has no need for a Diabetic alert dog unless they have Hypoglycemia Unawareness. A big reason I can hold a job is because I have Duchess I don't really feel anything when low and I am constantly battling bad lows or seizures over the years. I know my Hypoglycemia Unawareness I know really started to impact my life when I was a teenager my junior and senior year of high school I had passed out several times. I know my Dr's at the time new it was serious but they never really told me I had hypoglycemia Unawareness. They wanted me to go on the pump which I did but I did not like it back then.

I know a great deal of teenagers with Hypoglycemia Unawareness who need alert dogs but there is a great deal of people perusing a Diabetic alert dog with the philosophy that there is currently enough dogs for everyone. Which is not true and I know the more demand the more the prices goes up as well. I fully support people getting a Diabetic alert dog once you have tried pumps, CGMS and other options first. A Diabetic alert dog should not be your first choice but your last option. I tried every option available to me before I realized that I needed to try some thing else. I knew that if things continued that I would not be able to hold a job without issues. I currently have issues from my workplace because of people not wanting a service dog at work but at least I am able to continue to earn a living and live my life the way I want too as a productive member of society.

I know it seems like so much fun taking your dog everywhere but it has major downsides. I just had two or three incidents of public access issues this weekend. There will always be struggles with access because of lack of knowledge of the laws. There will always be issues with dealing with people at times as well. I feel like I live in an obstacle course in a great deal of ways. There is always issues and I think that you really need to really take all the money, time, gear for service dogs and other expenses into consideration as well. It should never be a spur of the moment decision but should be some thing that is fully researched and considered before you get a Diabetic alert dog. They change your life but realize you will change your life as well. So it is never an easy transition either.

I feel blessed to have her but I think the Diabetic alert dogs are best left for the people who can't feel lows and who live life on the edge like I do. I know my life is safer now because of Duchess and I also know that she is a great help for me. I know that if I can feel lows that I really don't need a Diabetic alert dog and should look at a CGM to help assist me with lows. I know nothing worked for me but having Duchess and I take the rights seriously. So please take the time to review if you really need one before trying to purchase one because you could be saving yourself thousands of dollars and time.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thoughts on Diaversary

As I am celebrating my 34 years this weekend. It is a great reminder of all the sacrifices that they made to keep me healthy. My parents above and beyond over the years. I know my Mother in particular is a big reason why I am able to manage all the complications and other issues that have shown up over the past couple of years. I know at these times she would have been immensely proud because when things started to happen I started to research. Read studies, research treatments, find other alternative treatments and tried to find out how other diabetics were over coming there issues. I know she would have been proud that I did not let these setbacks determine my future but instead founds ways to make a negative into a positive experience.

I know I had my times where I did not do what I was supposed to as a Diabetic and even lied to my Dr. or nurse because I was tired of trying so hard and not getting the results I wanted. I know through it all I have learned a great deal from my good and bad experiences. A big part of the reason I am a great patient today is because I have founds ways to make them understand where I am coming from as a patient and this better helps them to understand why I make the decisions I currently do. I know through all these years I have learned a great deal of lessons and but also gained a great deal of empathy as well. I know these years are a big part of who I am today in a great deal of ways.

I am determined this year to make my Diabetic anniversary a positive one instead of like last year where i really indifferent to it all. I know I have a right to feel that way but I want to be more positive about the things I have done right regardless of the all the things I have not so well.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Diabetes Hope Conference May 20th

I have just hit 34 years as a Type 1 Diabetic. I have not done anything to truly celebrate as of yet but I do have a friend in town who is also a Type 1 Diabetic and we will celebrate. I know this year I am thankful that my eyes even with Diabetic Retinopathy I have lost no vision which in my mind is a great accomplishment. The only downside is that the lasers procedures on my eyes mean I have lost the majority of my night vision but I can wear glasses at night to help. So I am doing well with it overall just some adjustments. I am not sure what I will do yet to celebrate but I am sure to update you soon. I know this year my Diabetes Anniversary   seemed to sneak up on me.

Even though I have complications I am doing great and it has not really stopped me from enjoying my life. Life goes on regardless of complications. I have learned a great deal from having complications and I know most people are sacred to talk about them but for some of us it will be our reality and having the support of others can really mean a great deal. I wanted to remind others of the Diabetes Hope Conference on complications which I attended last year online. I recommend everyone attend  you will learn a great deal and it is wonderful for all of us to discuss the difficult stuff because there is always some one out there dealing with this alone. Please see the link below to register for the conference.

I know over the years I have made a great deal of mistakes, made great accomplishments and learned a great deal. I know I am pleased every year to see more and more people discussing complications. It can be a very lonely place when everyone will not discuss or talk about complications. That is why I originally started my blog is because when I was diagnosed with Hypoglycemia Unawareness I was incredibly sacred and wanted to find others experiencing the same thing but I searched for blogs and information and could not really find anything. So I decided I need to blog about my life and what I learn in hopes that I may help even if its just one person because I know that would of meant the world to me when I was searching several years ago.

Thank you for all of your following me on my journey through the good, bad, scary and the great things. I hope to see you attending the Diabetes Hope Conference on May 20th.  Register Today and Join us on May 20 at 11am

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I went to a going away party for a higher level accountant at my University that I worked with. We worked a great deal together last year during the closing of the books for the fiscal year. Duchess and I were wishing her well in a new Job in Texas. We were discussing some work related things and I know she has been here at the University for over 10 years so her leaving will make things more difficult but she had good news that they have already hired someone to help my section this year which will help tremendously. We ventured off of to discussions about our personal lives.

I started to discuss how difficult having Duchess with me at the University is for me at times. She said she was completely surprised by this. She said she assumed that it actually would be easier for me in some ways. I wish it was in a great deal of ways. My overall experience has been tough because of lack of knowledge of Diabetes and because my disability is not obvious. Some people seem to get it if you have a service dog then you need one which is true most of the time. I know most people assume that I get less work and such but I actually miss fewer days, do more projects and cover when others are gone. So I technically do a great deal more than many people realize. In fact at times I feel like I am chained to my desk because I am always working through my lunches and thankfully I have Duchess or I would not get a break.

I know a great deal of people would assume as well that with all the educated people around you that you would not encounter general lack of knowledge when it come to Diabetes but I have found it to be the opposite. I know some of these people are researcher, professors and professionals but they don't always seem to really understand. So from my experiences I have concluded that I will always spend a great deal of time educating others about Diabetes regardless of the type and all the misnomers out there about Diabetes. I do that a great deal already but I also have learned that you can't educate them all. I also have learned that no matter where I work there will be issues because many places are just not ready for service dog in the workplaces but are learning as they go. I know the University does try but also has failed in some ways along the way. I am happy that at least I have a job but I will always wish for a more friendly workplace for service dog teams.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DAD's and What I Have Learned

I know when I started to get Duchess my Diabetic Alert Dog I was so excited but also scared in many ways. The process took quite a while and there was going to be some huge changes in my life which I knew would happen. What I wish I knew when I was looking for a DAD would be numerous things below is a list.

1. How difficult it can be if you decide to take your DAD to an interview because most employers don't want to hire disabled people. I had best of luck having Duchess wait in my friends car while I was in the interview which worked out for me. I could not let them know I had medical Issues.

2. My workplace would not be accepting of my service dog at work. I know in general there are very few service dogs and that makes the process even worse in many ways. Texas is not a very service dog friendly state.

3. I would have issues in College with professors who questioned why I had Duchess until they saw her alert to a low that I had no symptoms of except the professor could see  a change in my eyes. After that things were better. I had to get exceptions to have extended test taking time in case I had a low during a test which did happen. They pulled my medical records and it was never an issue.

4. I spend a great deal of time training and retraining Duchess. I knew there would be work but I had not idea of how much work it would entail.

5. How difficult dealing with the general public can be at times. There has been some incidents of really nasty conversations because they did not believe I was disabled.

6. There is a very delicate balance of work and time off to keep a DAD working. Took me a while to find our balance when I started back to working.

7. That a Diabetic Alert Dog can have bad days like we do. There is days that Duchess does better than others. For the most part she is great but at times she wants to do other things than her job.

8. Having a dog at restaurants or malls etc can be difficult to manage with big crowds and such with worrying about the dogs safety. Duchess has more pairs of boots, vests, leashes etc to help keep her safe and taken care of. So many things need to be taken care of.

9. Grooming standards need to be followed so I brush frequently and bath her frequently so it does take up quite a bit of time but worth the energy spent. Keeping products available if she get wet while going places. A great deal of pre planning.

10. How it felt the first time Duchess missed a low. A DAD will miss some lows but It is so unexpected how you feel. I proceeded to have her smell my hand and arm and she then realized I was low. It can be so easy to forge that yes at the end of the day Duchess is still a dog.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Great Reminder of Why You Don't Wait

I am normally very good about testing especially when I am low. Recently I have been really very oh I have plenty of time to react to the low. It is like I think I have quite a bit of time to deal with the lows. I know some times I do have more times than others to deal with a low blood sugar. The bad thing with not feeling lows for me is that fact that there is nothing constantly reminding me like a fast heart beat or a need to eat. The only thing I get occasionally is I might feel a little sleepy. So there is no push for me to react quickly. I am working on this issue but for me the longer I have Hypoglycemia Unawareness the more I have adjusted to not having a push to get the low blood sugar taken care of. Most of the time I have been really good about getting things taken care of quickly especially since i get into a foggy state pretty quickly. I know me having Duchess can leave you feeling pretty confident when you should not always be.

I am now pushing myself to react sooner. On Friday I had a meeting which Duchess was alerting during the meeting but because I did not want to stop I kept going. By the time the meeting was over I was 45 and I had to leave for the day and had to run to catch my bus from work. I had to run a pretty good distance hoping to catch my bus home. Running after I shoved some fruit slices in my mouth as I was running is probably not the best thing to be doing but I would have to catch a different but which would make the ride home much longer. So I decided to run for it and I did catch the bus. I did spend the next 40 minutes fighting off lows in hopes that my blood sugar would go back up. Thankfully once I got home I was able to eat and keep things a little more steady.

I know I need to be a bit more careful and I need to respond as quickly as possible when Duchess alerts. Thankfully I am normally pretty good at it but on Friday I was not as responsive as I need to be. I did treat Duchess for her alerts but she knows full well that my blood sugar was still moving down. I normally would test but got caught up in my work which tends to get me from time to time. I guess in such a fast paced world we live in sometimes we need to put the breaks on and take care of it right away. I know I guess I need reminders from time to time and I got my reminder.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Diabetic Version of "The Office"

I heard from my boss recently that the Diabetes police not full time reside in my office. I know someone recently complained that if I stopped eating orange slices or fruit slices that I would not have Diabetes according to them. They felt like with a bag of candy on my desk at all times was inappropriate for a Diabetic. My boss explained to them that I treat my lows with the fruit slices. The person said I heard they should only ever use glucose tablets. I did use glucose tablets over the years but now my stomach has issues with the chalkiness of the tablets and I throw them back up the last couple of times I have tired,. I always have some in case in my purse but don't use them frequently because it causes me stomach issues. I also find with all the lows I have now it can be pricy using glucose tablets. So these days my normal is juice, fruit slices or skittles all of these seem to not irritate my stomach.

I find it interesting that people really care so much what I am eating but these same people are pigging out on high fat fast food or eating donuts etc but have time to criticism some one like me who eats vegtables and fresh fruit everyday at work and rarely eat candy. I also find it irritating how they are entitled to criticize me but I am not allowed the same because they are not Diabetic. I feel like I work on what I call a Diabetic version of "The Office". Which honestly is not a place I really want to work. I know the wall they put up in my cubicle has helped a great deal but they always seem to come up with something new to complain about.

I know the person told my boss I could get off insulin if I ate better and I would start to lose weight the interesting thing is that this person is overweight I am not. My boss told them I was not a Type 1 Diabetic and explained about Type 1. I still think they will be back in my boss's office to complain. I know working with so many people who do not know anything but the myths about Diabetes creates issues. I know the ignorance is bliss even with trying to educate them they still believe the badly written information they read several years ago.

I know working with a service dog is complicated but also seems to draw even more criticism from people as well. I work at a University and you think the people would be more educated but they really are not. So I spend a great deal of time trying to educate but I know you can only educate some of them and the rest will continue to criticize because they have not idea what it is like to be a Diabetic.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Irritated By Transmitter Replacement

I got my notification from Dexcom about the fact that my transmitter would be nearing the 6 month time where I will be needing to change out the transmitter. I was then contacted by my medical supply company that I should replace the transmitter. I wanted to know more information about the cost and he said most companies were not charging the person money for the replacements. I said okay they call me back and sure enough my Insurance hits me with a $50.00 bill for a new transmitter even though Dexcom supposedly ran the replacement as part of the original cost. I guess they did not when I purchased mine. I am frankly extremely annoyed with the G4 at this point because of how fast the transmitter runs out. I am also am annoyed that I was not let know when I originally purchased the Dexcom G4 that the transmitter life was only 6 months.

I also know after using Predisone that it seems to have some effects on my Dexcom as well I am finding that the newer version for me has really been worth all the extra money I have spent at this point. I am not getting the same results I did with the Dexcom Seven Plus. I wish when you purchase the G4 that they automatically include the transmitter as part of the original cost and when it goes out you call and they ship a new one. That would really makes things so much easier for the patients who use the Dexcom regularly. I know with insulin pumps the part goes bad they ship you a new one and with the cost of the G4 I think they should cover it and not make the patient responsible for the cost. I know when I first started the Dexcom Seven Plus I was an instant fan of Dexcom but now I am questioning at times why I even bother when the results are not what most patients get and the costs in many ways keep going up.

I know I keep hoping I will get the results of some people I have meet who use the Dexcom where it is very close to the actual blood sugar. At times my is there but most of the time is quite a ways off. So it is not as useful as I once hoped it would be. I know I have also not been a fan of the Customer Service the past year when I ran int some issues either. I know I was accused of reusing sensors the funny part is that I was not reusing them but they said I was causing the issue but later after the Dexcom representative in person discovered that my stomach was not a good site for the sensors so we had to move to my arms and legs. So it turned out it was not me causing the issue but just one of the people who has to use alternative sights. I know Dexcom is better than the Medtronic from previous experiences. So I will stay with Dexcom but I am not thrilled right now.