Tuesday, September 30, 2014

General Public Assumptions

I have been irritated recently with comments from people I have run across at the grocery store. There is always a person who thinks I am being mean to Duchess because she is working. What some people do seem to understand dogs really enjoy having a purpose much like us. Duchess takes a great deal of pride in doing a good job and continually learning new things. Duchess really loves to go places and likes doing new things. She loves to be active and explore things most dogs will never experience. Their is times I am sure she is tired or would rather be at home playing but I also know she gets a great deal of good things as well. Duchess really seems to love going places. The exception has been the grocery store because she has been run over by carts, surrounded by kids, tail pulled and other obnoxious scenarios have all happened. I do my best to prevent this from happening but it is hard to prevent everything.

The interesting thing is one woman said Duchess was unhappy, but the interesting thing is her tail was up and not touched behind her. If she was unhappy her tail would have been tucked under her. I told the woman her tail is up and she is fairly content but I explained that a great deal of negative things have happened at this grocery store on several occasions.  Overall Duchess seemed completely fine to me and I also pointed out Duchess tail and other body language which disagreed with what she was saying. I also told her to keep in mind that with a medical alert dog you have no idea what a night or day before might have been like for the team. The dogs genuinely love what they do. Duchess has never not wanted to go to work or do her job. She is always thrilled when I get her vest out to start the day. I know it is hard for some people to understand how much her presence is needed, but also improves my confidence in my ability to get through the day.

I am sure some people do not understand the bond we have and that we truly value having each other in our lives. Duchess is a very happy dog and people in the general public tend to jump to conclusions especially when they do not see her on a daily basis. I know Duchess will never really love grocery shopping and I am okay with that but I do know there is no other place she would rather be than with me. She loves her life and seems to love life in general.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Issue That Took Me By Surprise

I have felt so much better taking the Methotrexate for my Rheumatoid Arthritis but I am now experiencing some of the down sides of taking this medication. I know that being a Diabetic and taking Methotrexate both compromise my immune system further. After battling off my cold last week I am having my typical secondary infection systems event though I have done everything I can. I have not jumped back into exercise too soon or done anything to make the recovery slow. So I am realizing now how much the Methotrexate is affecting my ability to fight off infections and colds etc. I know this is very difficult since I work in office full of cubicles and people every where. I know I have two student interns that sit right next to me as well. One who is constantly sick and I think he shared his cold with me. With these concerns I am trying to find the best way to deal with this situation. I know I constantly wash my hands and clean my desk off to help prevent issues.

So I am looking to see if they can move the interns to another location in the office because of the fact that one tends to be sick frequently. I do not want to use up all my sick leave or be sick constantly. So I talked with the assistance director who offered to move the interns for my own safety and to reduce my chances of getting sick. I know in the long run I need to be around people who tend not to be as sick since I have done incredibly well on the Methotrexate. I know most of the RA drugs do affect the immune system so my choices are limited with how I can avoid missing time at work. I do have currently 180 hours of sick leave but I like to have around 200 hours or more normally available for my use as necessary. I am hoping this does not create a great deal of issues. I know with having sick interns by me frequently will not help me stay healthy and avoid cold etc like I normally do. I am going to request the change with hopes that will help me to stay healthy and avoid as much of the constant cold and illness's going around my office.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sick Days

There is times where I am really good at noticing the little signals my body is sending me and other times not. This past week I had some odd blood sugars on Monday which I really did not think much about. I went to the gym as normal and felt really tired normally I have a great deal more energy but I still finished it up like I normally would. I woke up on Tuesday morning my throat was sore and was stuffed up. I know the pollen level for mold was high which I am allergic too. So Tuesday night I go to the store after work and get some allergy medication. I take it Tuesday night hoping I would be feeling a little better on Wednesday morning but I felt worse so I stayed home. I slept most of Wednesday and I rested all day. Duchess even cuddles close to me all day because she knew I didn't feel well. She alerted to my blood sugars which for a sick day were really not too bad. I had to use a temp basal of 30 percent all day but it seemed to help keep the highs away which is what I wanted. I went to bed on Wednesday night expecting to go to work on Thursday.

Sadly I did not sleep most of the night and not because I was not tired but because now I was starting to get a cough. I know when my lungs start to feel tight or off that I will be going to the Dr. once it gets to my lungs I go down extremely quickly so I plan on next week needing to get antibiotics most likely for the infection. I am not a hundred percent sure I have a cold but I responded to the cold medicine and not the allergy medications so I am thinking that I do have a cold and now a cough as well. So for the first time in the five and half years I worked at UT I missed two days in a row. I normally do not get sick this much but I am really realizing that using Methotrexate is really starting to affect my ability to ward off illness which is not good especially since I like to have a large amount of time of available for emergencies as well. So I am looking at how I can better avoid catching colds etc because normally I do not get sick this time of year. I know my blood sugars were a little rough yesterday for me because I was sick and I can't wait till I feel better. Thankfully Duchess has really helped me keep things in check

Monday, September 22, 2014

CGM in The Cloud

Today Mike at Diabetes Mine wrote and article " The Hypo That Changed My Mind About CGM In the Cloud". Being a single woman with two roommates who do no understand Diabetes or want to learn makes my life a little more complicated. I know my family worries a great deal about me but I also know that my family would freak out if they saw a 40 or below on my CGM. I know they would also not get that a great deal of the time my CGM says I am low but could actually be 90 all night. My numbers are not so accurate that the devices would be much help in my situation. If you have Hypoglycemia Unawareness and have someone in their life willing to hear the Dexcom go off all night that is great. I know my family would go nuts because they would contact me anytime it went low and I would go crazy because I am not really low.

I would really need a great sensor before I would consider letting any one know how many lows I do have because I know I will hear about it to no end. So I choose not to tell my family about this option because I know I would get lectured or yelled at because I am low. I know my father does not really understand Hypoglycemia Unawareness or the fact I have more frequent lows. So I choose to keep my numbers to myself and just try my best to reduce the numbers of lows on my own. I know my family would not be the right people who handle this information. They do not see me enough to remember what bad lows are like or how to handle them. So I choose to not really keep them in the loop for my own sanity. Considering all the challenges I have I know that at the end of the day my choice to not join all the others with the CGM in the cloud is the best choice for me.

I know for some people this is really wonderful but I know me and I would feel constrained by the information the technology provides. If the Dexcom was more accurate I am sure I would not be waiting but since my family is not ready for this I am just going to monitor my own and do the best I can because I know my family will never understand why I have so many lows or really understand why my CGM is not that accurate for me. So I will continue to not educate them about this technology and just monitor it on my own. I am a very private person so having another person watching it would be difficult for me. I know every time I have a high blood sugar I feel like a failure and lows make me feel angry. So I am happy to view my own Dexcom for now. I know it is the right thing for me.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Too Much

I have been making progress and working on so many things that I am really struggling to keep up with it all. Honestly the lows at night I should have made changes earlier than I did but I have been so busy trying to master so many things Diabetes related that I lose my focus at times. This time of year is also stressful at work as well. So I have been feeling very cornered and just feeling buried in things to do. I try my best but at times all this work I do in so many areas of my life feels incredibly difficult. Even with having Duchess things are still never easy. I know I feel like I want to throw in the towel today but I know I will not.

I know today is just one of those days but some times I really would love to just have a day off. I have been pushing myself hard to work out, reduce lows, and work on overnight lows. That is a great deal to take on. The exercise thing is so much easier now but as I increase my runs that will be the challenging part for me. I am still learning how my body will handle lows that I can;t feel and running. So I will be under a great deal of pressure to figure it out quickly but I know it will be a trial and error situation. So I know the more I push myself with my exercise the more stressful things will become in the end it will all be worth the effort but on days like today it is just too much.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sleep is Eluding Me

Some weeks are easier than others. This week has had its challenges. I have had issues with overnight lows and increasing my exercise at the same time. I know I have had to try and make the Dexcom more noticeable to me when I am sleeping. I am back to the point and it goes off all night long. So I made some adjustments yesterday and thankfully last night I am finally staying above low most of the night. The issue was that we had bad thunderstorms that I could not sleep through so from 1am-3:30am I was hearing all the car alarms going off and the thunder striking the ground. Then I finally start to fall asleep then the Dexcom goes off by then I was extremely irritated because I had run yesterday afternoon like I normally do. I was not wanting to test my Dexcom said it was 55 or below so I treated it which is not my normal routine. At times my Dexcom can be really off so I it was risky just treating with out do proper tests.

I guess when I get tired enough it becomes more and more about sleep. I know I am dragging this week and really just need more sleep. Working out is extremely difficult when you are not sleeping well but at least I am still working out each day. I am hoping that next week I get more sleep because honestly I am getting cranky and I know even Duchess is tired too. I know I am very dependent on getting proper sleep to keep my blood sugars more stable. The less sleep the more wonky my blood sugars tend to be and I know the past three days they have been. I know I need more sleep but with my schedule these days I am running from one thing to the next which does not leave much time to catch up on lost sleep. Diabetes at times drives me crazy because I really just want nights where I sleep most of the night. Hoping I get to sleep more tonight because I know otherwise Friday will be an incredibly long day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Running Half Marathon

I recently asked my best friend since I was twelve if she wanted to join me in running a half marathon next year. I was very excited when she said yes. She has run several half marathons and said she believes in my ability to do it as well. I have had some negativity towards me running the half marathon from my own family to an extent. I know I have a great team of Dr.'s creating a team to help me get to my goal of running the half marathon so I feel I will be able to do it safely. The great part of having her help is that she has done this before and I can learn from her to an extent. It will be an incredible challenge but I am confident I can and will be able to accomplish my goal. I used to have bucket list that I ran across recently and realized I was happier when I was trying to mark things off my bucket list. I know I plan to go skydiving with my best friend for Birthday which is in October and it is an early birthday present for me as well. So I could not be more excited by this. I am an adrenaline junkie of sorts.

So my bucket list has a great deal of crazy fun adventures which I am looking forward to. I am actually starting to add more item and also work towards figuring out how I will be able to do some of the items. I know the half marathon was on my bucket list before so I know I am excite to be moving forward with my goal. The half marathon will be in May of next year and I have a great deal of pushing myself to do but I know once I put my mind too it I will be able to accomplish most things. I know with having Hypoglycemia Unawareness there is some danger but if I listen to my Dr. and listen to my own body I know I will be able to figure out any issues that come along. I know right now I am able to run a several miles already in just two weeks. I am slowing my pace down to allow my body to adjust to running. So far my ankles and knee's are cooperating very well with the running and the temps are not too bad at night so I can move to running more at night which I am loving. I know I will never get much support from running the marathon from those around me but I am okay with that. I know I am very strong person who has faced a great deal of obstacles in my life. So this will just be another.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Assumptions That Creates Issues

I have had several discussion over the past few months and the people all disclosed that they assumed I did less work because of my disability. I find it quite insulting that yes I do have challenges and some flexibility in my schedule to allow me to keep my job. I do not get breaks on my work and I don't get special treatment. I have to do the same job that previous person did as well. In fact I have even accomplished more than my predecessors did as well. I find in interesting that they automatically assume that I do less because of my disability but there is times my department would not have functioned without my dedication and hard work.

I find that the most people have a great deal of assumptions about disabilities. My job is still tough and even more so these days only because  the people I work with choose to make things more difficult for me to handle. I also have seen that they assume that I get more pay and special benefits but I do not. I had to fight for every penny I get today. I had to lay it out for our assistant director at the time how financially strapped at times due to medical issues etc. I have always done the best I can with what I have. I find it very interesting that they think I don't have to pull my weight as much. The interesting part is I miss less days than my healthy coworkers, I take less vacation days, I do not leave early frequently, and I have done more work than my coworkers. It may seem that having accommodations that I would get special things but for me that means if I am late because I was having a bad low that gives me the opportunity to make up the time or use my time if I want. I also know that that is my only real accommodation besides being able to make up time for Dr. appointments which really helped me to have time saved up for emergencies or sickness.

I know I am sure most people assume my life is easy and simple is actually so far from it. No matter what is going on in my life I am deal with public access issues, training, Diabetes, CGMS and other aspects of my life. Sadly that list does not include all the things I need to be concerned with. So I find it frustrating that people believe my life is easy I find it is not but the worst part of this for me is that some people purposely make my life more difficult because they think I have an edge on them or I don't have to work as hard. I know after several years of being here some people have not noticed all the weekends and long hours I work but I guess maybe they don't want to see that.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Increasing Confidence

I have been noticing that with me running now that my hearing of my Dexcom is even worse than before. I am not back to a glass bowl with rocks a cup and my Dexcom in the cup all so I can hear the low or high alarms. I know I am healthier doing more rigorous exercise but there is also the good and bad to everything. have noticed now that even if my Dexcom sensor failed during the night I am less likely to be late for work because it seems now that I am able to hear my alarms in the morning where before I was not. I also have noticed now that I seem to be able to fluctuate my meal times a little more without sever lows which is quite nice.

I have noticed the more muscle I build the stronger and more resilient I have noticed I am becoming. I know with Hypoglycemia Unawareness it really makes you more likely to have a bad lows so I am thankful for any improvement big or small. I also have been able now to get where most days I do not have a low at the gym at all. I am getting better at figure out how to keep the lows away while exercising. I am working on figuring out now how to do longer runs without the lows if possible and I know that will take some time. It took a great deal of experimenting to figure out how to handle up to 50 minutes on the elliptical without a low. Running actually for around 30 minutes I seems to find what worked really easily maybe I am finally figuring it out with some practice. I know each person is different so finding what works for you can be challenging.

I am thankful for the little things like shot bloks which have made finding ways to avoid lows so much easier. It is better than eating cookies or other bad things instead keeping it healthier and not having major spikes and drops really has helped me to achieve a great deal of goals. I am working now on increasing my distance and pace of my running. So as I increase things I know I will be battling lows again but for once I feel much more confident that I have this handled.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Show Me Your Pump

I know my first Friends for Life Conference in Orlando last year I experienced so much actually both times. I know the first conference I meet two of the sweetest little girls. I remember I was with Duchess in the hall way on my way back to my room my blood sugar was heading low so I was on my way back to my room. I meet some parents who had questions about Duchess. So I was explaining to the parents what Duchess does for me. Then one of the little girls notices my pump on my hip. She then lifts up her dress to show me her pump. Then the little girl next to her who also had an Animas One Touch Ping pulls up her dress and does the same thing. I know they felt so proud to show me that they had the same pump. I know the feeling of belonging was something I had never felt before the Friends for Life Conference. Meeting people in person is really priceless. I know I was trying to not laugh as the girls were lifting up their dresses because I wanted them to not be embarrased about their pumps. I know that moment I will never forget. It was such a fun moment.

I know with the Show me your pump from Sierra Sandison it made me think back to friends for life. I also know I can't get over how funny Mike Lawson's photo was. I know when I ever hear show me your pump I think of that picture. Sierra Sandison will be on Dr. Oz on September 11th we should show are support and share again #ShowMeYourPump pictures. I know it was really wonderful to see all the pump pictures and the positive message that was sent to the general public. The more positive messages we can send the better. 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery: Mike Lawson created a meme in support of Miss Idaho's campaign

Wonky Numbers

My blood sugars have really been wonky the past couple of days. I know I have not felt well but I did not expect them to be this wonky. At night I can be either really low or run 180 all night or 60 all night. Normally when I am working out my blood sugars are in the 130's-140 range normally but last night my blood sugars shot up into the 160's while exercising. Normally I would be dropping down into the 90-100 range towards the end of the workout. Last night I was climbing up. I had eaten dinner before I worked out but normally I do not bolus for my food it tends to help me from not going low along with shot bloks. So I was really surprised I had to bolus last night while working out. I was going at a very fast and steady pace. I did not feel high and was really surprised to hear my Dexcom go off as high. I might occassionally see a low especially in the last ten minutes of working out but now I seem to have gotten to where I am not going low but end up in the 90's and eat a snack.

I did not eat a snack last night and took around two units of insulin and still ended up in the 160 range after working out. I know I do tend to rise slightly after I finish because of the fact I did not bolus for my dinner. So I know I have to bolus but I guess I should have bolused more. I feel asleep watching television last night and I had not looked at my Dexcom before going to bed. It was running in the 150 range which is rather high for me at this time of night. I am not sure why the drastic change in blood sugars all of a sudden just really hoping it settles down. I am used to my blood sugars being a little more predictable. I know the past four or five days I have been guessing and not very well either.

I feel okay today so hopefully that is the end of the crazy of either high or low blood sugars. I know I am really tired since I could not sleep last night because I was low on and off for several hours. Once my blood sugar was normal again sleep still eluded me. I am really hoping for a much smoother day today. I know tonight I am running which means that I will most likely be running lower just as long as I have my blood sugar high enough before running I will avoid a low. My fingers are crossed. I know tonight I am just hoping for steady blood sugars that allow sleep.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Duchess Surprise Issue

I went for a vet visit for Duchess on Saturday morning. I had thought she had a simple UTI infection but instead she has incontinence at 6 years old. Which seems weird to me. I am not sure if it is that but I will know more at the end of this week if the medication is working or not. The interesting part of this is all is that Duchess was incredibly embarrassed and tried to hide from me she was having an issue. She would lay on the little spot on her dog cot so I would not see. She has not having accidents when we were out and about just little small spots on her dog cot which I wiped downed and cleaned up. So I am not overly concerned about that right now. My concern is that she had crystallized urine which could be kidney stones. The vet said that can happen from time to time but if it shows up again they will have to do further tests. I know her next visit they will do another urine analysis. I find it really odd that she is having these issues at six years old. It can go away completely but I have a feeling because she was spayed younger that was part of the issue.

My first dog Angie also had this but not until she was 12 years old but back then they did not have drugs to treat this issue. I know that the not having the hormones present seem to be a cause of the issue. I know normally I would wait till at least a year olde before spaying my dog because this issue does not seem to show up. When we spay earlier it always seems to be an issue that comes up. I could be wrong but that is what I have personally observed. So I am waiting to see what happens next. Hoping that this will go away after being taking less and less over time. I am happy they have options but I am not sure that is what she really has. Luckily she does not seem to have any other issues so I am hoping that I will see a big improvement. The issue just seems to be more of an issue for Duchess and her being embarrassed. I know her training is a big reason why. She knows she is not supposed to have accidents. The amount is very minute so I am optimistic.

I as the her care taker this has been really difficult because I want her healthy and not on a ton of pills if at all possible. I know I want the same for myself as well. I just wish that she made it easier for me to notice when she does not feel well. I know Duchess is no easy to notice when something is wrong even with my trying to keep on eye on things.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Thoughts on Ice Bucket Challenge

I have been thinking about the recent ice bucket ALS challenge that went viral. I know people want us to do the same thing or something similar. I have my doubts if it would work because of all the incorrect information spread by the media. I know in order to get the same results from a challenge like the ice bucket we need to be viewed in a more positive manner. That is difficult when the average person thinks managing Diabetes is simple and some people don't even try. It is really hard for others to view things properly if they think that it is easy. I know my Diabetes can be very difficult and always has been hence the brittle Diabetic term that was added to my medical files when I was a baby.

I know even my own family at times forgets how difficult it can be when they are not around me enough. So I know it would be incredibly difficult to get the same amount of support until we correct a great deal of the incorrect information that has been going around for years. I hear constantly from the general public oh its easy you just test and take insulin. I tell them that is really incorrect. There is a great deal of things that affect blood sugar. So getting them to understand would not be an easy task and some would choose still to not believe. Even my own family would choose to donate more money to Cancer than to Diabetes when I used to raise funds for the ADA and JDRF. They always gave more money for Cancer or other illnesses because I assume they thought it would not kill me or just thought it was really slow moving.

I am frustrated we don't get the same support and funding from people because of the blame factors of Diabetes. This always has made me angry. I know people with ALS deserved funds too but, I want Diabetes to get the same funding as well. I know we need to correct a great deal of the the misinformation that the general public thinks is fact before I think we will get the same type of response from some thing similar to the ice bucket challenge.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Excellent Visit and Good News

Well my visit with my Retina Specialist went well. There was no real changes in my eye and there was no formation of the bad blood vessels that cause the hemorrhages in my eyes. They said no Edema or any other issues showing. My eyes looked great he noticed my blood pressure was low which is normal for me most of the time.He said my eyes looked very stable and I would not have to come back for another six months. So my goal of keeping my Alc in range has really seemed to help me keep the Retinopathy stable as well. I know I take risks running my blood sugars lower but being able to keep my eyes as healer as possible is also beneficial as well. I know I make decision everyday that some would not make but I know what works for me and my life. Doing the type of work I do I need to be able to see well enough to look a computer screen all day.

I am happy that my eyes are doing so great because of all my hard work has paid off. I still have 20/20 vision currently and I could not be any happier with that. I do not see well at night but I can get around as necessary but I am looking at getting glasses for night driving. So I am very proud that my good blood sugars have helped me in avoiding any long term issues with my eyes. Even though it has been a bumpy ride I have learned so much about how keeping things well controlled does make a difference when having complication. I know I have struggled with the pressure of keeping things where I think they need to be. I also know my eyes are truly a reflection of all my hard work. I know I plan on keeping up with all the things I am currently doing.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Struggling to Educate At Times

There is times that I meet people from the general public and the discussion turns incredibly offensive very quickly. I know when you are disabled they see me as a dumping ground for insults not matter how nice I am. I try my best to educate as I can but there is some that are not open to learning the truth which is frustrating. I know I wish I could get people to understand Diabetes is  not as simple as I test blood sugar and take shots. It is so complicated and they go straight into the blame factors right away. I know I will be blamed if I die from a low even though we all know at times we will never know what cause the blood sugar to drop dramatically or rise high quickly. Even when you check your infusion sets, make sure hands are clean etc. I know it is hard to be faced with the ignorance of the general public most of the time.

I know recently I have felt that no matter what I will die from someday I will be blamed for my death if it is related to my Diabetes which makes me angry. I will be blamed for a low blood sugar if I die and they list it as a complication which is not really true in my mind. A complication would Retinopathy or other issues but not a low blood sugar. I find it interesting how my family will also have to stomach a great deal of the blame as well because I will be viewed as some one who did not try because I have complications. I know they will have to answer these awful questions one day as well. I know I hate that Diabetic patient is blamed and shammed because of a Disease that has not guarantee's. People can die from so many things but the blame factor will always incredibly disturbed me because it give me no credit for trying or doing my best.

I guess I am just angry that no matter what we do as Diabetics this stigma seems to follow. Maybe some day we will get everyone educated enough to understand that Diabetes is difficult and not easy. I have had several run in recently with people who told me that Diabetes is simple and that I should test more and I would not need Duchess. I told them they were wrong and need to learn the facts before you confront strangers. I also explained that their is not guarantee's and everyone person Diabetes can vary. So there is nothing easy about Diabetes. I am hoping I don't have any more of these run in's but I know I will. I just hate dealing with the ignorance is bliss attitude from people.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Up Coming Visit

I am a little nervous I have an upcoming appointment with my Retina Specialist. It has been over six months since I last saw my Retina Specialist. I have had one or two small bleeds which were gone quickly. I have a feeling they will do some laser treatments which is fine. I know I feel like I have made such wonderful progress with my eyes that I only go every six months know which is a relief in the beginning I was going at two or three times in a month to get the bleeding under control. The best decision I ever made was firing my first Retina Specialist he did things not in the normal procedural ways but instead in ways he preferred. I have to say that getting my eyes lasered when laying back in a chair was torturous and extremely painful. I know that my Dr. using the standard method during the laser procedure helped him get control of the bleeds and I have been doing great since. I feel like I just need to stay on top of it and keep my blood sugars in control that I will not experience much difficulty.

I know when the Retinopathy started several years ago I was so scared but I have learned so much about myself and how I can handle difficult situations. The only thing I did not handle well was telling people that I have complications which I still struggle with. Their is so much judgement but I know realizing it does not matter how they view me but really what I am doing for my condition. The people who judge me have not walked the same path or most likely only know the information passed on by the media which is incorrect. I know I am extremely nervous about this appointment in particular but I know that is probably because I have not been in the office in half a year. I guess that worries me to an extent but I feel overall my eyes have been great my vision has been good and I feel overall things are going well with my eyes. I am not looking forward to my exam but that is putting up with a couple things that are over pretty quickly.