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October 2012

September 2012

Learning to Trust the Dog

After Thursday it will be very hard to get me to go out with out Dulce.  Blood sugar wise, I’ve had a fairly decent school year.  I’ve been very good at control during the day and I’ve learned, once again to tell demanding student – please wait a moment, I need to test my blood sugar (did that at least once yesterday).

Thursday I was having one of those diabetes days.  Blood sugar was high no matter how much insulin I did each check, and in fact, she indicated as we were packing and sure enough I was at 220.

I corrected.

As we headed out, I thought it would be a good idea to get the gym out of the way on the way home.  I was also working on her stay on the mat behavior while working out, so I didn’t give her picking up the leash much thought 15 minutes into the workout as she will sometimes offer that as a behavior when we’re training.

The third time she was adamant about it, I checked and was at 90.  Time for me, personally to quit the work out and get some carbs in me before we had a bad evening.

10th year Anniversary with Diabetes

Sometime this month is my 10th year diagnosed with diabetes.

We’d had a day off, probably a staff development day that I’d already done in the summer.  I took the day to get some medical issues taken care of, my glucose tolerance test and a mammogram.  Not sure why they didn’t get done in the summer but there you go.  September is the start of a new insurance year for us teachers.

I went to a lab in Irving, and had to drink some foul sugar filled liquid every few hours.  As the day went I got madder and madder, but I thought part of it was being near where my best friend was killed and going to see his memorial site – it was less than a mile away from the lab.

By the time I got to the mammogram site, I was so mad I wanted to hit someone and didn’t care who.  I wasn’t very nice to anyone there, but they were okay.

Don’t remember the weekend much, but to this day, remember that feeling of anger when I first got up and persisted as the morning went on.  By the time I saw my first students, I knew there was something seriously wrong with me and that I couldn’t handle the classroom.  I had a call out to my doctor’s office while they were trying to reach me through the front office.  I remember they sent a sub up to me to tell me that my doctor’s office needed to talk with me and see me immediately and that the sub was taking my classes until I was done.

They immediately booked me into a diabetes education class and hooked me up with Metformin.  I figured out pretty quickly that Metformin was doing the job and switched to mix insulin.  That didn’t do it either so we ended up with a mix and with a sliding scale.

Two years later I was on a pump. 

Now, I’m on my third insulin pump, soon to go to a 4th, liquid metformin, and using an diabetes alert dog.

For 8 years I had pretty good control and then skidded off the wagon due to some environmental factors.  My blood sugar was so high I was considering checking myself into a in-patient mental facility until I realized that it was the blood sugar. 

It’s taken two years to get me back on the wagon, and the dog does a pretty good job.

Diabetes Dog Update

I was asked for an update today so sent out the following:

I think well. 

From a medical standpoint my official A1C was 8.1 when I started working with the dog   à I got a Bayer A1C At Home test and it read 6.7 yesterday.  I sent that to my doctor and he was quite impressed.  Since I have spent two years over 9.0 and we were both upset about that, I’m doing much better.  We’ll know better when we get his lab results back, I see him in October.  It’s always best to compare lab results to lab results.

The biggest issue is that everyone wants to pet her.  I explain to them that it is against district policy and against service dog rules and they still pout.  Sometimes people get to her before I can get I also mention how tired she would be at the end of the day.  That helps some.  The cheerleaders wanted her to come to the pep rally and I thought that would be too much noise.  They were disappointed.  I also had students who wanted her to come to the game tonight which I also think would be too much.  I also don’t take her into the cafeteria.  Usually no call for me to be there but yesterday needed some lunch.

She spends her day in the cage, it’s next to my desk.  She is restless when my blood sugar is high – this hasn’t been a good week between meet the parent and a late meeting last night, I haven’t been to the gym, so I have been a tad high.

I’ve found out how she alerts when she is in a cage at a meeting – at the AP Kickoff she kept rattling the door.  They told us they would have food and they feed us cookies and brownies from Jason’s.  I’m learning to bring my own food.

I have a few students who are allergic or afraid of dogs.  She doesn’t seem to bother them.  One student in particular is one of my favorites and I thought he was teasing me about being afraid.  He really is, but as long as he doesn’t see her he’s fine.  The others are even less vocal about it.  Most of the day the kids don’t see her.

Bathroom isn’t an issue.  She usually doesn’t go at lunch, usually goes during my planning period.

I’ve taken her small cage to student assemblies.  For staff meetings I’ve just taken her, and she settles down fairly quickly, unless my blood sugar is high.

So far, she’s been to Conrad for the kickoff after school, and to Buckner after school.  When I have to go somewhere else, I do tell them she’s coming.

Still Disappointed in #BayerA1C–Correction

I got a coupon in the mail for 1 A1C test.  I had a box of 2 tests, neither of which worked.  I expected coupons for two tests.  However, I will run over to Walgreen’s and get a test, get on the phone and see if I can get the test to work.

Will probably have to pay for one kit, since I think they only come in twos.

Walgreen’s DID give me the kit for free!  I am going to wait until we get home from dog agility as temperature of the kit should be under 77 degrees.  It might be that when we get home tonight.

Alerting in a Cage

When we are in public, especially at a workshop or meeting, Dulce is usually in a small cage. This is mostly for her protection. She is very small and it easy for her to get stepped on.

She just alerted while in the cage. I was pretty sure had at night a few weeks ago, as I woke up with a wicked high, but wasn't sure she had woke me.

Basically she pulls on the cage door, just as she pulls on the leash.

Smart girl!

Sent from my Windows Phone

Sad Today–Soon No Microsoft High School Liaison

I found yesterday that Microsoft has decided not to have a High School Liaison any more.

That makes me sad.

I don’t need him everyday.  And I don’t need him for JUST computer science.  In fact, I got an email from the acting specialist in charge of Instructional Technology asking about software for Digital Art and Design.

I can help some, the Microsoft High School Liaison could help more.

I am also going to need him as my Game Programming class progresses.

DAD changes the parameters

It’s because I’m a drug dog handler and I know what to expect in the drug dog world.  You train a dog to find marijuana, and it finds marijuana.  Train it to find meth, and it finds meth.  Okay, you get the occasional prescription drug by mistake because its related chemically, but you get what I mean.

So I train my drug dog to alert on blood sugar over 240.  She does really great at finding samples I’ve collected at over 240.  Then the silly dog starts alerting when I’m 180 and I need insulin.  <huh?>

She has been doing it for the past four weeks.

Pulled it off again tonight.  We’re finishing up dog class – she starts tugging at the leashes -- and to be honest, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I was low, but no, in the 180s and short 3 units according to the meter.  Probably dehydrated since we were doing agility and I was running two dogs in the Texas summer heat.  Took the insulin, drank some water, sat in the car for a bit to cool off in the A/C and felt much better.

And yes, I’m praising and accepting those alerts, and scratching my head every time she does them, because honestly, SHE’S RIGHT, but it isn’t what I trained.

And she’s yet to alert when I didn’t need insulin or sugar.

Very Unhappy with @BayerA1CNow

Apparently the average temperature of a house in Texas is too hot for their A1c Test.  They are supposed be sending me a coupon in the mail for a new set of Tests since both failed.

I wanted to see how working with Dulce had affected my A1c, and I won’t be able to find out until I get the coupon for the new tests, if they do arrive.

I won’t be doing business with them again.

The worst part was the customer service rep – she kept asking a question and then kept reading her script without waiting for the answer.  I might as well have been talking with a recording.