Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Start

Wow. First Blog. Sound the bell.

I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1975, a month after my sixth birthday. I went to my pediatrician's office for my "back to school" physical. The doctor did a random whiz quiz and came and told my mom that he thought that I might have diabetes. It was a tiny clinic and didn't have a lab. We were sent over to Minneapolis Children's Hospital for a blood draw. My mom said that if I was a good girl, we could stop at the local drug store for a chocolate ice cream cone. They did the draw. My mom was told that I did have type 1 diabetes. I was immediately admitted to the hospital for a 5 day stay. I didn't actually start taking insulin for about a month. I was probably still honeymooning. I never got the chocolate ice cream cone.

I spent about 15 years taking two shots a day. I didn't start blood testing until I was about 12 years old. My mom had signed me up for a research study. As part of the study, I was given an autolet and a bottle of Chemstrips. I was asked to test my blood sugar at regular intervals. When the study was over, I went to turn the equipment in, and my ped. endocrinologist told me that I would need to continue blood testing for the rest of my life. I remember thinking that she must be joking!

I made it through high school and college. I remember that my highest A1c was 9.9. During college, I developed a horrible allergy. To insulin. My endo tried doing desensitization several different times. It never worked. I have been on a dexamethasone cocktail since then.

Now, I'm a special education teacher. I work with elementary kids with disabilities. Last year, I got a service dog named Dixie. She is an amazing dog who alerts me when my blood sugar is low, or dropping. I got her because of my hypoglycemia unawareness. She is only two years old, but is such a gifted dog with amazing talents.

That's me, or a start to me.


Kris said...

It's good to start. and then you must go on. For those with type 1 diabetes going on means taking thousands of little steps every day. For the people who live with these type 1's, we are trying each day to help in little and big ways.

One fun way to help is to play the "dam diabetes" game. Whenever things are going crazy, regardless of all the just right things she has done to manage, we look at each other and say, "dam diabetes!" When we are camping and it's hot and the pump site catches and needs to be replaced, we look at each other and say, "dam diabetes!". It's not much, but it's something.

Kerri. said...

*Ringing the bell again*

Hi there, Molly! Welcome to the Blogosphere. Thanks for your comment on Six Until Me. this morning. I'll add you to my blogroll. :)

Allergic to insulin? That complicates things. What do you do to take care of your diabetes, in lieu of insulin?

And fantastic looking dog there. I've read a lot about the hypoglycemia detecting dogs and it's fascinating. I can't wait to read about your Real Life experiences.

All the best with your blog!

-- Kerri.

Shannon said...


I read an article about dogs trained to detect lows. I'd love to read more posts about your dog!

Take care,


Scott K. Johnson said...

Hi Molly!

A very warm welcome to the OC.

I'm going to spend a little time catching up with stuff here, and from what I've seen so far it will be a fun experience!

Wow. I'm sure that being allergic to insulin just throws a whole mess of things into the mix for you.

Are there side effects of the dex cocktail? I don't know much about any of that.

Sounds like Dixie is working great for you. What a special bond! I think we'll see more and more service dogs working with diabetes in the future.

Can't wait to read more!

Kat said...

Hello! I have type 1 diabetes and may be getting a service dog in the next year or so. Where did you get your service dog? I am looking at Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota. Do you take your service dog with you to most places? She's adorable :).

Molly said...

Dixie is from Great Plains Assistance Dog Foundation in Jud, North Dakota.
When I got her, I had another dog and Hearing and Service dogs of MN wouldn't place a service dog since I already had a "pet dog." They also weren't training dogs for diabetes alert.
Yes, Dixie goes everywhere with me. Work, shopping, movies, airplanes... you name it, Dixie's probably been there. There are times that I leave her home, but not very often.
Feel free to ask more questions and I'd be happy to answer them.