Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Full of Surprises

I was really surprised that I answered a phone call yesterday from My Dr. Office and to my surprise it was my Endocrinologist. He was sending in a refill for my insulin pump supplies. It is usual these days to have a Dr. actually call the patient. I really expect the staff to contact me, but I really love the attention to detail my Dr. has and the Physician assistant I see regularly. They really surprise me sometimes with how much they care and how well they manage having so many long term type 1 Diabetics in one office. I know I am still surprised by how hard they work to get me what I need. I know I am truly blessed and I wish I had found this Dr. years ago because my life would have been much simpler if I had.

I know with all my other non D related issues I am experiencing I can always call my PA and she will recommend a Dr. for me to see. The office staff is friendly and caring as well. I am pleased that with their help my health is always improving and most of all they listen to my concerns as the patient. I know a great deal of Dr. do not spend the time to discuss this with patients. I know I love the fact that they ask me how I am doing besides my Diabetes which is nice because my Diabetes does not define me but it is just something I deal with.

I also love that they really take the time to understand what Duchess does for me. I know they have recommended that other patients who have issues similar to mine that they look into getting a Diabetic Alert dog. They give all the patients looking into it my contact information so I give them the good and the bad of having a service dog. I love that I can help others on their journeys as well. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Some Times Just Ordering is Complicated

Normally I can go online to Express Scripts and Animas and order my supplies. Recently I spent over two weeks emailing Express Scripts because there was no option for me to reoder my insulin. I guess they are hoping I will use Humalog even if I have an allergy to that insulin. I never knew you could get hives and bleed out your infusion sets from a drug allergy but that is what happens for me. So now I am told because I have an exception on file I have to call in and waste a whole bunch of my time talking with Express Scripts now. I was really pissed off because I just wanted to know how I could get my prescription refilled and it took me weeks to accomplish this task. I did mention that I was almost of my Insulin due to length of time I took to get my insulin refilled. The good part is that I ordered that day and it shipped that day overnight to my home thankfully. I know I could call my Dr.'s office if I came close they usually have samples.

The Animas issue has been with trying to order online as well normally I go on put the items in the cart, answer insurance questions, enter credit card and request to bill insurance. Every time I entered in my credit card information the system would error out contact system administrator. So I finally got tired of trying the website and call Animas. I find out that they recently did changes to the website and in the process my card on file lost some of the number and the item I was trying to order was back ordered. So it was those issues that prevented me from ordering. It also had my previous Dr. listed instead of my current Physician . The system also in general was giving most customers issue and most people are having to call in orders. So after all my fiasco's with re-ordering this month I am glad I will have all my supplies ready for my upcoming trip in December. I know sometimes have a chronic illness and dealing with the issues of just trying to get your supplies can really test one's nerves. I was never rude and up set when I talked with the customer service I really just wanted to know that my order was on its way.

Friday, November 21, 2014

It was So Much More

I went to receive my Lilly Journey Award at the party my Dr.'s office was throwing last night. I arrived and the room was really full of people. There was 30 25 years medals presented and 12 50 year medals to be presented. I noticed as I walked in the room that by far I was the youngest person receiving a medal in the 25 year category. I guess I was really surprised by this because I have meet quite a few people diagnosed like I was at 18 months old. So I was a little surprised. I had a really delightful time talking with a man and his wife. He was relieving his 50 year medal. They asked how long I had had Diabetes and I told them 34 years. The man says to me their is not way you are even 30 years old but I am in my 30's so it was a very nice compliment.

I meet quite a few people and their was also Dexcom representative, Fifty 50 Diabetic Supplies representative and  Eli Lilly Representatives. I was shocked that Eli Lilly executives were their last night to present the medal to us. I just thought Amy my Physician's Assistant and My Endocrinologist would be the one's presenting the awards. They did a video presentation and then the awards were given. I know when I received my award my I was extremely proud and honored. I was struck with a incredibly deep sadness at the same time. I was thinking of my mother as I was receiving my award and thinking how proud she would be of me today. I know I was able to meet so many patients it was incredible to be in a room full of incredible people who are fight the same disease. I know my head is still spinning after last night from all the interactions.

I went home last night and cried. I was really missing my mother who also was a type 1 if she was still alive she would have meet her 25 year anniversary as well. I know I will always miss her she was such an incredible person who did so much for me and I eternally grateful to have her as my mom. I know I just needed to cry in happiness and sadness last night. I know I will be thinking a great deal about my mother as the holidays approach but I know she was with me last night when I received my medal.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Feeling More Relaxed

I am happy that today is much less stressful after all the co motion at work has settled. There was a great deal of fluctuation yesterday in my blood sugar because of all the changes at work. I am okay with the change because it is meaning that my job is becoming more manageable  as things will change. I know that working out every night this week has really seemed to help me cope with all the craziness. I know the next couple of months will be more stressful and I plan to continue to make sure that I am able to continue to exercise as things continue to be stressful. I have noticed that before this year I would have been having a great deal of lows right now because of all the stress but this time I feel relaxed and focused. It is really nice to know that my exercise is really helping me to handle things better.

I know after this week a good distraction is just what I need. I am really looking forward to my Lilly Journey Award presentation by my Dr.'s office tonight for my 25 year medal. I know it seems strange to be getting it now with my 35th year Diabetes anniversary coming up next March. I am still amazed with the fact that my Dr. office is making this such a bid deal but it really also makes receiving the medal a little more special. I know all of Diabetes work hard to keep things going day after day so tonight will be a nice reminder of this. I know I am also looking forward to meeting other long term type 1 Diabetics at the event. I am hoping they continue to offer more events for to attend. I have to say I do love my Endocrinologist team.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Shocking Changes

I know yesterday events are still in my head. I never expected my boss to be laid off yesterday along with a supervisor for another part of Inventory. I know my boss and me have had issues along the way but we always were able to work it out. I just never dreamed that this would happen. I know we added new people to our department recently which I have benefited from greatly so I am happy they did so. I am still in a state of shock and I am not sure how to process two people who have been here much of  the past three years. I know them being laid off has me incredibly concerned with my own job as well. We did have a big meeting for all staff to discuss any questions or concerns but honestly I was so shocked I could barely put together all the questions I had.

I know I felt the stress coming on yesterday and I knew working out would help me to clear my head for at least an hour or two. I know it was cold out but going to the gym was the best decision. I left feeling overall better and a little less like I had an elephant on my back. I am still upset today and I know I was upset because it is the holidays and anyone losing a job right now is not good. Thankfully they told us during the meeting that they will get paid for the next 60 days their normal paychecks while on Administrative Leave. The University will get them first priority in finding a job with in the University with another department. So hopefully they will be able to find employment quickly. I know I am hoping that I will be able to not feel like I am on the way out because people were laid off. The HR said we had too many employee's which means they don't have the budge to pay for all our salaries. I feel blessed to have my job today but I am still concerned. They assured us that the lay offs were done but I am not sure I believe that.

The interesting thing about all the shock my blood sugars really stayed steady and my night time lows were a minimum. So even though I did not sleep much and there is a great deal of changes I have to say at least my Diabetes was not causing more chaos this morning and yesterday. I normally would expect big drops and or big surges up or down. Thankfully my Diabetes was okay. I know working out probably really helped me to keep things more level.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Double Checking

I normally know if I have a high blood sugar I need to make sure my hands were clean. This weekend I was busy rushing around and tested. It said 226 but my Dexcom was saying 148. I bolused and then it finally dawned on me that yes I should have gotten out some alcohol wipes out and cleaned my hands before I bolused. Sure enough I was really 148 and not 226. So I ended up eating something because I did not want to crash. I was not hungry so I was not the happiest person having to eat more because of my mistake. So I checked my blood sugar on Sunday and It was high in the morning saying I was 294 but I decided to double check before I bolused. Sure enough I was actually 132 instead of 294 which made me very happy. It is so easy to just bolus but I know I feel better if I feel normal but the meter is telling me something different.

I know I am glad I did not rage bolus during both of these times because I would be eating quite a bit of food if that was the case. I am glad its a new week but a great reminder if you think your blood sugar is not making sense wash hands and retest. I know if I do use alcohol I let it dry completely before pricking my finger that way I do not skew the results with the alcohol. I am glad that I am doing more thinking before I act especially when it comes to my blood sugars. That way I give myself time to evaluate what might be going on or if I need to send more insulin in. Thankfully my blood sugars were overall not too bad and thankfully my blood sugars were not bad overnight. So I was actually able to sleep. I know I really need that sleep to avoid bad lows.

Friday, November 14, 2014

World Diabetes Day

It feels like this year that World Diabetes Day is here so quickly. I know this year I have felt a little overwhelmed by it all in some ways but I think we all do during this one month especially. I know I have been blogging for several years now and I still can't believe I have been doing it this long. I know I am inspired by you all and I really appreciate all the support over the past couple of years. I know I feel like I have a family of sorts. I know since my own family seems to truly of forgotten about things it is nice to know others truly understand and that is priceless.

I know after my recent seizure I realized I need to forgive myself because at the end of the day I am human and I will make mistakes even with 34 years under my belt. I know my family seems to think I won't make mistakes but I know I do from over bolusing, to rage bolusing, and other things. I know at times I may not register in my own brain that yes I need to treat my low or that I need to eat more. I know I will always do my best and at the end of the day that is enough. I know I am still learning as I go and I think we all are no matter how long we have had Diabetes.

I know we all tend to get so wrapped up in how things went wrong that sometimes we forget that things are not always that simple to figure out. So I know I am glad that I am able to say to myself that I did the best I could and I am moving on. I am looking forward to being able to join in the Twitter chats later today.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Little Uneasy

There is a great deal of the time I feel incredibly frustrated dealing with my own family. I know because of the distance between my family and me they tend to not always be aware of the moments of scary that I have from time to time. I know my Dad last time I was home got all pissed off because I had a bad low when I was at his house but yet had no gluten free items either. So I know this time I am sending a box of gluten free items in advance to his house so I have the items I am used to for this reason. Last time I stayed at my grandmas house and she was really helpful in that she bought plenty of gluten free items I could eat. Grandma always has ice cream and other things I could eat on hand. So this time staying with my father has me worried because he fights me on the fact I have Celiac disease. He thinks its a lifestyle choice but it's not. My whole family back home thinks the lows are my fault even though I am doing the best I can.

This combination of factors really makes me nervous about going home for the holidays. I know when people are not around to see the low and the moments of scary they tend to forget. I know they were all there as I was growing up but they seemed to have forgotten what it was like. I know with them forgetting no matter what I am doing I will be blamed that is a great deal of pressure for me to make sure I don't have a bad low but I am not sure I can prevent them all. I know after my recent seizure I am likely to have another possibly so I need to be as on top of things as possible. I know my experience last time has left me feeling overwhelmed. I know my family does not want to talk about complications or other issues. I do not let them know about bad issues when they happen because I feel like they just lead to harsh judgements. I do talk with my sister about some of my bad lows or seizures but not all of them. So I feel a little vulnerable when I visit home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reactions From Public

Some days I have to laugh at the reactions I see from Duchess being in stores, malls and airports is quite entertaining.  There is the people who make a huge deal that they are afraid of dogs but they are also coming right up next to her. Then there is the people who bark at Duchess which is quite strange that an adult would bark at a dog. I know I expect that from children but not adults. Then there are the people who are allergic to dogs who ask me to leave the store, but I generally tell them to shop in different aisles from me and Duchess. I always try to be accommodating as possible. There are times though I actually think the people are making things up as a reason I should not be in the store. I do see some people who see her and think that they can do a walk by pet and think it is acceptable.

The one reaction I hate the most is the screaming children who when they see her make it a huge deal. I am not sure why they have that reaction, but people in public tend to make things more difficult for a service dog team when they scream and yell. They tend to draw attention which I know I don't want. Most of the time my goal is to get in and out a place like a normal person would. I know people do not mean to cause issues when I am out shopping or getting things done but making a huge fuss tends to make things more difficult for us. I know Duchess and I am are used to all the fuss, but honestly I would love the opportunity to feel a little more normal. These days life is already stressful enough but having just a little less is always appreciated. When a service dog is around I know it can be exciting and interesting.

I have some tips on how to interact with service dog teams

Avoid asking about disability because that is truly a very personal question and in fact these days I normally do not answer those questions because I have meet quite a few who knowledge is not accurate about Diabetes.

Do not attract attention to service dog teams. The dog is there to assist their handler. Most handlers love to not have attention drawn to them. They are trying to live a normal life.

Do not try to distract a service dog they attention is needed for the tasks they were trained for. Such as kissy noises, barking, screaming, and other loud noises.

Do not pet a service dog without permission. Some dogs like Duchess can become distracted at times and she needs her space to be able to do her job appropriately.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Discussion in the Grocery Store

Service Dog Stop Sign WORKING - DO NOT PET While Working 3 x 5 inch Black Rim Sew-on Patch 

I was at the grocery store on Sunday shopping and was approached by a woman. She came over to tell me she loved the line on her patch " I don't pet you while you are working". I know she was laughing at how catchy the patch was. I told her that if I can get the general public to think before they pet they might realize that they really need to keep their hands to themselves. I know the woman said she could not understand why people do not follow the instructions. I told her the children are the best at following what the patches say, but the adults are the issue most of the time. She said that did not surprise her. I know she said she wish more people knew that disrupting her does not help her when she is working. I could not agree more. I know the more people that leave her alone the more it allows me to just concentrate on what I am doing and less on what other people are doing. I know so far this patch really seems to be stopping people in their tracks which I am thankful for.

I then was at another store close by that I pick up certain items at which is a larger grocery store chain. A woman at check out commented that Duchess did not seem happy. I told her that a grocery store for her is an obstacle course in a great deal of ways. She has been hit by carts and people bump into her and she has had kids bug her. I know that even for me grocery stores are my lease favorite place to take Duchess because of all the hazards we both can face. Things like dogs paws being stepped on, things falling off the shelves, carts and other issues like wet floors. All these can really make shopping not so much fun. I know I used to not hate shopping at grocery stores the way I do today. I also know that thankfully I am able to limit the trips to the store most of the time which makes us both happier.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Just Thankful

I know every Diabetes Awareness Month I always struggle in many ways. I know my mom was also a Type 1 Diabetic too so this month is very difficult. When she passed away she was the only Diabetic I knew and I was completely lost. I thankfully was goggling some information about Hypoglycemia Unawareness online when I came across TuDiabetes which really saved me in a great deal of ways. For the first time I meet a large amount of really great Diabetics online and I had a place to vent about all the diabetic stuff I was facing. I was not alone and I had a great place to share what I had learned with others as well. I do not visit TuDiabetes much these days because of my blog and my latest adventures are keeping me incredibly busy.  I know I am thankful for advocates like Manny Hernandez who created TuDiabetes.

Karen , Duches and I at FFL

I am thankful for all the people I have meet since I have started blogging and the friends I have made at conferences. I am blessed to have you all in my life. I know I have learned a great deal from everyone. Life with Diabetes can be so crazy and I know mine always has been. Thank you for listening to my moments of scary and dealing with my crazy skin allergies to my Dexcom giving me issues over the past couple of years. I know I much stronger than I have ever been because I know I am not alone in my fight with Diabetes and that is truly priceless. I know I have had so much fun at this past Friends for Life Conference. I look forward to it every year because I get to see my great friends. I know I wish I could attend more of the conferences but I know I am just thrilled even if I only get to see everyone just once a year.

Kelly Duchess and I  at FFL in July

Thank you to all who have been following me along for all my adventures and triumphs. It has been great being able to share my experiences. Thank you for allowing me to share what I have learned from complications. That has been the hardest thing blog about but I would not change a thing. I know a great friend who shares loss similar to mine had to deal with voice messages and I am proud she was able to get through it. I know dealing with a loss of a parent that has Diabetes can be difficult. I know talking with Kelly at FFL I know she really understood. So nice to meet others who understand.

Duchess Sleeping on Kelly's purse at FFL

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One of Those Days

Today has been a day of low low low. I woke up and looked at my Dexcom it was low solid from 12pm to 4am when I finally heard my Dexcom wailing. I went to work hoping for my blood sugars to even out. So far sadly that has not happened and the other part of the time my Dexcom thinks I am 50 when I am actually 90. So it has been an irritating morning with bad weather and bad blood sugars. Even Duchess looks exhausted and its early in the day. I know my blood sugars have been really affected by the time change even though I am trying to stay on the same schedule.

Hoping my Diabetes will give me a break. I am hoping I will be able to work out tonight but if the lows continue I am not sure I will make it to the gym. I am going to give it my best shot. Even if I only make it through a portion of my normal workout.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I Am More Than a Type

I get frequently asked what type am I ? Instead of saying type 1 I am going to say several things. I am an incredibly stoic person for one. I don't normally lose my cool during emergencies and tend to extremely focused during those times when I had to help others. I get this from my mother who was a nurse and great grandmother. I come from a long line of incredibly strong women who tend to not complain and just deal with what it at hand. I know no matter what happened they never gave up they were very strong even though they faced a great deal of adversity. I know I have faced some as well in my own life and I know I will always be a better person because of the lessons I have learned. I know some people may assume I am cold, but that is really the furthest from the truth. I am incredibly caring but you really have to get to know me before you get to see who I really am. I am incredibly shy and I know some people have seen me when I was really stretching myself to be more outgoing.

I am a perfectionist who is way too serious but also very sarcastic person as well. I am a runner who has dreams of pushing myself to finish my next big adventure. I am an adrenaline junkie who has driven a real race car, drove a combine, and who is sky diving this month. I love to zip-line and try new things. I am the person who loves to feel the adrenaline pumping through my body even though I know it will affect my blood sugar. I am the person who loves to push the envelope at work and who pushes to changes things that are not working.

I am the person who will help a friend out because they need my help. I am the person who loves to challenge myself. I am the daughter who's dad tells her not to do something, but I do it just to prove him wrong. He does not always support my idea of doing exercise for long periods of time because it is dangerous but I don't want Diabetes to win. So I do it anyway. I love  a challenge and love to figure out how I can do it. I will always be the person who wants to do more. I will always be the person who loves to give myself the opportunity to achieve great things event though no on will believe it is possible.

I am not define by my Diabetes and never will be. I will always be the girl that is strong and does not give up because that is always who I have been. Diabetes will not stop me it will only be something I have to deal with. I know some people may find me inspiring I will always see myself as a person who is just trying to have a normal life regardless of Diabetes.I will always struggle with lows but I will not let it define who I become because I can change how I view things regardless of how others view me. I am not a type but I am a person with a chronic illness who is trying to live a normal life.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Need for Annual Eye Exams

I received an email last week from USRETINA. They are offering some free screenings this month of November Diabetes Awareness month. I know my own experience with Diabetic Retinopathy thankfully has been well taken care of. I have lost zero vision except for my night vision. The loss of the night vision is due to laser procedures to address the Retinopathy. I know there is no symptoms of Retinopathy until it shows up. I know when I went back to college just before my Retinopathy showed up. I know the first year I was able to afford to see the optomologist without insurance but the second year of college sadly I had several extra books for class and other unexpected expenses come up. So I could not afford to get my eyes screened. Then I started my job and I was on probation so I limited how many appointments I could go to.

So I had scheduled and eye exam and then the week before my Retinopathy showed up. I know I was told to not worry that it was not moving very quickly and I know my Alc was 5.8 at the time so I know I was well controlled. I know I am glad I choose to do what I needed to do for me. I know my Endocrinologist at the time wanted me to run my Alc much higher but I also know that my choice to run it where I was comfortable is also why today I have lost no vision and currently my eyes look great. I know I am fortunate that I was able to get the care I needed. I was excited that this month they are offering some free screenings.

The website that has links to the locations for where the free screenings is on the below links. Please feel free to share with others. I know there are people who like me wanted to get screened but did not have the means to get access to this kind of care. Annual eye exams are really important the sooner they can address an issue and prevent further damage. I know I wish they had this available when I was in college because the low cost health clinics were very expensive.

Pensacola, FL USRetina, a national association of retina surgeons and practices, is backing a collaborative effort across multiple retina practices and health systems to provide at least thirty free diabetic retinopathy screening events in thirty days during Diabetes Awareness Month in November. US Retina announced the national initiative as eye care professionals and industry representatives gathered from around the world at the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference in Chicago. 
“My colleagues and I are on a mission to reduce and eventually eliminate the leading causes of irreversible blindness in this country: diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration,” said Sunil Gupta, M.D., USRetina Co-founder and CMO. “Payers, primary care providers, and retina specialists are all joining the cause, and this is only the beginning. We want to encourage a national conversation about the practical steps we can take to eliminate Diabetic Retinopathy as a leading cause of vision loss, much like the United Kingdom has done.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all patients with diabetes receive an annual eye exam for Diabetic Retinopathy. Unfortunately nearly sixty percent of diabetics go untested each year, leading to unnecessary vision loss for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. The risk of going blind can be reduced by 95% with early detection and appropriate follow-up care.
USRetina practices are teaming up with the diabetes care experts at IRIS: Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems to provide free diabetic retinopathy screening events in communities across the country using automated retinal imaging cameras and an advanced cloud-based grading platform. 
“It all starts with ensuring patients with diabetes receive their annual eye exam,” said Jason Crawford, CEO of IRIS. "With the right technology and solution, patients can be easily and accurately assessed for the presence of Diabetic Retinopathy at the point of care, with the results returned to the patient’s primary care