Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tractor Tires and Spiders

Last week, I met up with Scott, for a good old fashioned d-meetup. Dixie didn't come. She was  battling a sore back, and spending a couple hours on a concrete floor didn't seem therapeutic. Unhappy about it, she stayed home.

I left my house and was cruising down the highway. Suddenly, a giant tractor tire flew off the back of a truck and was hurtling towards my car. I swerved into the next lane (THANK GOODNESS there wasn’t a car in that lane at the time) and swerved back. The tire missed my car by about a foot. It went sailing down the side of the road and cars behind me dodged it as well. 

What was the first thought I had after I survived the trauma? Not, “Holy Sugar. I’m lucky that tire didn’t hit my car and kill me.” It was “Oh great. Now I’m going to be high from the adrenaline surge.”

Really. Who thinks that way?! I was nearly smashed by a flying tractor tire, and the only thought that came to mind was about my impending high blood sugar.

I shared the story with Scott, and he told me a similar one about testing his basal rates overnight, walking into the bathroom and seeing a spider, freaking out about said spider, and then knowing his basal testing was a wash because of the adrenaline rush.

Dam diabetes. It infiltrates everything. Every. Little. Thing.

We laughed. Because what else can you do?  The two of us, sitting in a restaurant, laughing because we both understood.

There was a lot of talking and a lot of laughing. Scott and I discussed the possibility of improved diabetes management if we had an I-phone with Siri. I told Scott, imagine being able to just say, “I’m eating 2 cups of white rice. How many carbs is that?”  I actually tried this with a friend’s phone. Only it was Thanksgiving, so I asked how many carbs in a cup of stuffing. The phone pulled up a whole list of carb possibilities. With that as a d-strategy, maybe Scott would be able to ditch the clipboard. :-)

Are you using Siri as part of your d-management plan? If so, please share!

Happy Holidays!

Molly and Dixie

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Dixie,

My Dearest Dixie,

Do you still remember when we met? I was nervous. I had never spent much time around big dogs before you. I had dreams of what I hoped you would do for me, but scared that it was too much to dream for. I think that you were just as nervous about meeting me as I was about meeting you.

Even though I had waited about a year to finally meet you, the couple weeks before I finally went to North Dakota that August seemed to whiz by. I started to have real doubts about what I was doing. What on earth was I thinking? How would I be able to manage having a dog with me every day at work? How would my friends react to me being connected to a big, furry companion all that time? What if I was expecting the impossible? What if this didn’t work?

I needed it to work. So I packed up three weeks of stuff and went to North Dakota.

You were little. At 42 pounds, you looked like a little puppy compared to all of the other big dogs that were at Great Plains. The trainer brought you to me after I spent time working with other dogs. I know it sounds cliche, but the minute I saw you, I knew you were the one. You carried yourself with such grace. I could tell that you were not full of yourself. You were confident, but very reserved.

We spent the first afternoon working on basic obedience drills. Then we were to watch a video. I asked you to lay down and stay. About 15 minutes into the video, you stood up. I asked you to lay down. You stared at me. I asked you to lay down. You took your paw and lifted it, letting it drag down my thigh. I thought I should probably check my blood sugar. I did, and I was 68. I won’t forget that number. The second the meter beeped, you lied down at my feet and sighed. I ran to the trainer to tell what had just happened. You caught my first low! And after I pet you and said, “yay, Dixie” you looked at me, as if you were saying, “ok, so that’s what you want to know! I get it!”

The first night I brought you back to the little house to spend the night, I worried. It was raining. You didn’t want to eat anything. You hid under a twin bed while I slept. But while I slept, I felt your paw slide down my back. I woke up and tested. I was low again. You knew.

I spent the next three weeks training with you. Some days we worked at Great Plains, and other days we went to the nearby larger town to work on your public access skills. It was exhausting work, but by the end of the three weeks, we were a team.

It took me a while to understand you. Thank you for being patient with my “human-ness” during that time. You knew what you were doing. I was the one who had a lot of learning to do. It took time for me to believe in you. In hindsight, I wish that I could have just trusted you. Instead, I spent time doubting you. It was so scary to believe that a dog could understand what was going on in my body so much better than I could. And so I, mistakenly, spent too much time trying to catch you missing lows. So that I could prove to my cognitive mind that you were “just a dog.”

Oh, Dixie. You aren’t just a dog. You’re a server. You put me above all else. You make living with diabetes so much easier. You have become quite picky about the range that you want my blood sugars to be in. You quietly do your job every minute of every day. You save me.

People used to question that you really worked. I would get half-smiles from people who pretended to believe. That used to bother me in the beginning. Now I just smile. Because I know what you do, and the people who really know you see what you do, and that’s all that counts.

When I reflect on what my life was like before you, I don’t want to go back. I don’t take the time that I have with you for granted. I believe in you. I trust you.

Oh, Dixie. I love you. More than I ever thought I could. I am blessed.

Thank you, Dixie. You are my shining star.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Can Do This

Diabetes is a frustrating, difficult disease. What keeps me going is all the people in my life who encourage me and stand with me to battle this disease day after day.

Kim came up with the idea to share our stories. Because we can do this.

So, here is my first official vlog.

I wanted to share a few things about living with diabetes for nearly 36 years.

You can do this.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dixie's Alert

Many times, after Dixie has alerted me, I wish that I had thought to record it. But, as it turns out, I'm low when she alerts so I'm not always at maximum brain power to remember to turn a camera on her.

Yesterday, however, I did.

I was sitting in a recliner. Dixie half jumped, and put her front paws in my lap. Having my Iphone in hand, I turned on the video camera.Then , I try to just pet her (and clean the sleep out of her eyes) so you can see that "sweet talking" her (petting) doesn't distract her from her job. I can't just "pet the alert out of her."

You'll see that holding the phone to video while blood testing is not that easy. Yes, I know that I spilled test strips everywhere. (and cleaned them up once the filming was complete) And I apologize for the camera jumping around while I was trying to poke my finger.

Dixie hates making eye contact with me, or anyone for that matter. When she does, I know she means business. After the stare, she does her two other alerts. First she paws me, and then she gets her nose under my arm/hand and pushes. You'll get to see all this. And no, I didn't have symptoms. I had no idea I was low.

People ask me all the time, "how does Dixie alert you?" Well...this is how.

Thank you, Dixie.