Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Windy City

Dixie and I went to Chicago for the weekend. My older sister lives there. Dixie was an Urban Dog. She rode in elevators, walked the city streets, and spent the weekend on a leash whenever she was outside. (not her favorite by the way) My sister has a min-pin named Max. Dixie LOVES to play with him. It is so funny to watch, because they are such different sizes. We spent a bunch of time watching those two run after each other and play. All was well diabetes-wise. The only real issue was that I was down to my last bottle of test strips, and wasn’t expecting any from the mail order place until mid week. I came back from Chicago with two strips. The strips were in the door when I arrived home. Whew!

I have an appointment with my endocrinologist on Friday. Those appointments make me crazy. I’d like to be able to go in with confidence, and not worry the entire week. I worry that they will tell me that I have suddenly have kidney failure, am going blind, etc. I know that those worries are totally unsubstantiated, but I have them anyway. I really like my endo (at the International Diabetes Center), but I don’t find appointments that useful, except for getting lab work done. (A1c, micro albumin, liver check, etc.) Speaking of lab stuff, I am a big chicken when it comes to blood draws. You’d think that with all of the poking that I do everyday, I would be used to that kind of thing. I’m not. I’m the world’s biggest chicken.

MN Nice asked about the public access test that I mentioned in my last entry. It is one of the standards that dogs must pass in order to be in public places, and to be called a certified service dog. Dixie does know the difference between home and public behavior, and acts accordingly. She will be silly at home, but never out in public. (except maybe at school when she plays with the kids) When we’re out, people will ask why they can’t pet her. It’s really about her ability to remember her public behavior versus home behavior. If people started just coming up and petting her, she would seek out affection from people. Although some people wouldn’t mind, many would if a big, black dog stuck her head in their hand.

The other question was “does she go with you when you drive.” The answer is yes. She rides in the car to go to work every day, rides to wherever I happen to travel to. She likes the car. She generally hops in after a day at school and crashes immediately.

Keep asking questions! I'm happy to share about Dixie!

Monday, January 22, 2007

No Delivery

So my diabetes was coasting along. That’s almost a warning sometimes.

Friday night I changed my pump site. Yeah, yeah, I know. “You should change your site in the morning or afternoon so that you can monitor yourself all day.” I don’t. It’s just a better time for me. Maybe it’s years of scar tissue. Or maybe it’s because I don’t change as often as I should. But when I inject a new pump site…it seems to take a while to kick in and start working. During the day, it’s hard to test and stay carb free that long. I end up doing CCBs. (crazy correction boluses) and then dropping big time a couple hours later. So I have learned that I do best changing it at night. I might creep up a little the first hour or so, but in the morning after I’m back in the good range. It’s just one of the mysteries of my diabetes. Anyway, I changed my pump site on Friday night. Went to bed about an hour later. At 1am, my Cozmo is buzzing like crazy. I wake up and fish it out of the pump belt. It says no delivery-blockage detected. (or something like that. I was so tired that I don’t really remember, and I’ve never even seen that alert before.) I stumble to my supplies, get a new quick set, and find a different spot. Can I just mention that AGAIN, I am frustrated with the stupid quick serter and it’s unpredictable behavior? I have switched back and am using my old one…the new ones just suck and I can’t use them. I’ve mentioned before that the THREE new ones that I ordered from stupid minimed don’t have enough room for the quick set to nest in it, so it falls out when tipped. My old one has developed a hesitation after pushing the button, but at least it stays nested. Of course my blood sugar clocked in at 288. I gave a serious CBB. Next morning woke up to Dixie’s barking and hitting, and a number of 38. She doesn’t usually wait for the number to get that low, but come on, she gets tired just like we do. Especially after a week of work. Dam diabetes.

Last week’s average was 95. I should be happy about that. But it meant a lot of lows mixed with some average numbers. It’s a better place to be than up high, but exhausting sometimes.

DIXIE TIDBIT: (I’ve gotten some feedback that people want to know more about Dixie. I’m going to try and include and bit about her each time.)

So people ask “do you bring her with you everywhere?” The answer is yes and no. She comes to work with me every day. I try to be apart from her sometime during each weekend. That means that I might go to the grocery store or out to lunch without her. It’s good for her to develop some independence. The trainers that worked with me said that being apart is good practice in case something happens and we HAVE to be apart. (If someone I love was in an accident, if my other dog had a vet emergency, etc.) If we were never apart, Dixie wouldn’t know what to do. So we are apart a little. It’s hard to leave her! She really wants to be with me all of the time. I really think that she wants to know that I’m o.k. Because Dixie has passed the public access test, she is able to go to any public place. This includes malls, stores, movie theaters, church, clinics, schools, etc. It doesn’t mean that people have to “let” me bring Dixie into their homes. Dixie wears her vest whenever she is in public (but never at home), so that people know she’s a working dog and remember not to pet her. It’s too distracting for her to be petted like crazy out in public. She has an ID badge in her vest that shows people that she has passed the public access test. I’ve never actually been asked to show it, but it’s in there, along with GU for me.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I LOVE using my new excel logbook, courtesy of Kevin at parenthetic-diabetic. It’s awesome. I have just been keeping it open on my computer, and when I test (or slightly there after) I put my number in its spot. Last week’s average was 121, and the weekend average was 100. It’s been a long time since I had an average. I use 4 different meters, so I have always approximated the averages. I love seeing the graph, and being able to follow trends. I use a Mac, and have felt limited with the programs that I could effectively use. So Kevin… THANKS for sharing!

It is freezing cold here in the Twin Cities. The temperature right now is 12 degrees, and the wind-chill is way below zero. We also finally got snow last night. Dixie is in seventh heaven. She loves to go outside and run around. She rolls in the snow like she’s scratching her back. She puts her nose in the snow like she is hoovering, and comes out looking like she has a milk mustache. It’s very cute.

Dixie and I had our first Agility class last night. I decided that it would be a fun way to keep up on her obedience work. It was fun, and she seemed to love it. I took her vest off, and she ran around with the other dogs just like a puppy. I might be biased, but I think that she was the best one in the class. ☺

I didn’t have kids at school today. We had a workshop day with many different speakers. It’s kind of a hard kind of day to have a big, black dog. I’m carrying around my backpack with my laptop and school supplies, but also with rawhides, blanket, and water bowl for Dixie. I felt like I was juggling whenever I went from one room to the other. We didn’t have many breaks…so I had to just sneak out a couple times to let Dixie outside. She is really well behaved, but needs a break just like the humans do. (have I mentioned that she LOVES the snow?!) About 1:45, she did her thing. She got up from the floor, sat on her haunches and hit me with her paw. I know the signal well. I got out my tester and checked. Blood sugar was 73. Not super low, but I still had a little insulin left on board from lunch. I had an airhead candy, turned my basal down for a 1/2 hour, and Dixie went back to her spot to lie down. Someone sitting behind me leaned in to ask if Dixie had just alerted me. I said yes. She said it was really cool to be able to watch that. We’re glad to be able to teach.

(I wanted to put a photo from agility class last night, but none of them really turned out. So I've attached a photo from Halloween because it's so darn cute. Dixie went as a skunk)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Full time employment

Dixie had a busy day yesterday. I didn’t have a new pump site, I wasn’t in a marathon, but man, were my blood sugars low. She had to alert like crazy.

It started in the morning with a wake up visit from Dixie. She woke me up earlier than I would have liked. I tested and was 67. I grabbed some powerade and went back to sleep. Got up about a half hour later and was a cool 105. I had a small breakfast and bolused for 25 carbs. By lunch I was down to 71. Had some soup and a salad with a roll. I didn’t measure the roll, but guessed that it was 35 carbs. That plus the few carbs for the roll and soup brought the total bolus to 45. Seemed right. Guess it was an over calculation because by 4:00, I was down to 62. Had some more powerade. I was getting ready for dinner around 7:00 when I felt really horrible. I actually sat down on the kitchen floor because I thought I was going to pass out. I tested and was 55. Not really low enough to feel as horrible as I did. With those many successive lows, I think that I just wore my body out. Of course before bed I tested and was up to 189. Gave a little correction for that number and clocked in this morning at 77. Better way to start the day. Dam diabetes!

I really wanted to participate in the OC Challenge. I just couldn’t imagine taking pictures of all four meters that I use each day. One meter stays at work, one upstairs, one downstairs, and one in my bedroom. I could never organize it all. My last A1c was 6.3, and I really would like to have one in the 5s. I’d also like to not have tons of lows. I’m working on it. Maybe next year. I think that it’s a great idea and a great support network to share.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Hello 2007

Happy New Year. It’s 2007.

I have had a great week, diabetes wise. Just last night I was commenting how my highest blood sugar the last five days was 128! I feel a real sense of accomplishment. I made it through the holidays without feeling like I was chasing carbs with insulin. That’s what usually happens.

Moving into a new year, I’m thankful for: good friends, family, technology (that makes living with diabetes a whole lot easier), good health, Dixie, and a job that I like.

1 . JOB- A student with autism that I work with at school was so excited telling me about his Christmas. We had a chance to work alone, since the other student in our reading group was gone today. After a long discussion about our presents, we decided to skip our reading “lesson” and “just” read from Calvin and Hobbes books. He loves reading aloud and has such great expression. When it was time to leave, he left the room and then shortly reappeared. He smiled and said “It was fun today. Just you and me. See ya.” I’m fortunate to be able to connect with kids that way.

2. TECHNOLOGY- I just signed up for the Deltec Cozmo update for my pump. Apparently they will set me up with a new pump and new software! I can’t wait to get the new pump with new features. I love having the CozMonitor to attach to my pump. I'm hopeful about the development of continuous monitoring.

3. FAMILY- my sister helped me pay for Dixie. My mom gave me a new nutritional scale. My father wears his dam diabetes shirt with pride. I am lucky to have all kinds of family to support and love me.

4. FRIENDS- I have been blessed with people who support all sides of me. People who know what dam diabetes means.

5. DIXIE- I’ve written about Dixie. She has changed the quality of my life. She gives me confidence to be in control of my diabetes. I almost lost her this summer. Read the story of Dixie’s adventure here. (see Day 6 of the story) I got her back and am blessed to have her in my life.

6. GOOD HEALTH - Amen for that. Amen for one, and only one, complication. (hypoglycemia unawareness)

Good-bye to 2006. Hello 2007.