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May 2014

Secondary purpose of a DAD

We are at the gym and while i was talking to the front desk guy she kept sniffing at a drawer.

He opened it, starting going through it and found that someone had left a half opened can of pineapple. He thanked her and told her she was a good dog because it was starting to spoil. He didn't want it left there.

Not her primary purpose of course but if she makes someone else happy, good!

Sent from my Windows Phone

@MonarchDental you need to fix your dentists

I went to a Monarch Dentist here in Dallas three weeks ago.  I had a broken tooth.  She insisted I had to have a root canal RIGHT NOW.

Well, I have diabetes, and I want to make sure that my blood sugar is stable before I go in.  I also want to know a bit more about you before I let you work on me.  I also don’t like having the dog with me if I know I’m going to be hurting as she didn’t like it.

$720 later, I have a root canal and a new crown.  I don’t know if I needed the root canal or not, but she was very gleeful when she found a pocket of infection, so I’ll give it to her.

I do know I needed the tooth repaired and it is.

HOWEVER, I was scheduled to have the crown put back on and an exam done on Wednesday morning.

Like a good patient, I arrived 10 minutes early.

The assistant saw me fairly quickly, but dropped the crown THREE TIMES!  Complaining the whole time because it was so small.

BTW, this is my biggest problem with every dentist I have ever had.  They claim my mouth and teeth are two small, like I can do anything about it.  Send me to a pediatric dentist if you can’t deal with it.

I wouldn’t put it in my mouth and keep there until it got cemented because it kept getting dropped.  Yes, I even dropped it once, and it was very loose on the tooth since most of the tooth was gone.

The assistance dropped it 4 times total.

I didn’t see anyone else for at least an hour because I asked for the restroom at 11:30.

The hygienist finally came, was very nice and professional but that was at least an hour after my appointment.

The dentist finally shows up at 11:50 and starts ranting over the tooth that needs removed.

I kept telling her that someone was supposed to call me with a treatment plan but no one did.

She never DID finish the exam, as I couldn’t take it any more, knew my blood sugar was dropping and it was noon.

Though her probing did get the missing tooth to ache.

So my solution – GREATLY recommended:

I went to the Emergency Tooth Extraction Clinic at Baylor Dental School.  It opens at 7:00, they take 15 patients and tell you to get there early.  I got there at 6:30 and was patient 14.

I got done in time to get to the gym at 1:30.

No one claimed my mouth as too small or complained about anything I can’t change.

They did have to work to get the tooth out, but no one blamed me.

In other words, they were professional.

They didn’t scare me either.

I would go back again, in fact, I’m thinking about seeing if I can be a regular patient of theirs. 

Diabetes Blog Week–Change The World

Most of the people I know who have service dogs feel the same way I do:

Accessibility needs to improve

Acceptance needs to improve

And people shouldn’t fake.

I’m lucky.  I’m a skilled dog trainer who recognized that one of her dogs is affected by my blood sugar and with the help of an official trainer, I was able use that in a constructive way.  I have had other beagles who were affected by my immediate health condition, BTW, so she isn’t unique.

I was going to have to return Dulce to her breeder if I couldn’t have gotten a handle on it.  Because of a child in my classroom, I had got out of the habit of testing my blood sugar and was keeping it too high.  This started in January, I got her in May and I have NEVER had a dog that was so difficult to live with.  I noticed that the higher my blood sugar, the more hyperactive she was.  When I got done with the school year and started normalizing my blood sugar she started calming down.

When I have normal blood sugar, she is your average, easy going beagle.  If it goes down or up, it affects her.  Down makes her anxious, up makes her hyperactive.

How did I know this?  Well, I trained scent dogs for local police departments for almost 10 years, and it wasn’t hard to put together.  Once I saw the pattern, I started logging it and there you go.

BTW, if you start noticing a pet in your household is reacting to your blood sugar, email me and we’ll figure out a way to make it useful.  Besides it will make them much easier to live with.

For me, since I am an experienced dog trainer, the scent thing is a piece of cake.  But as always, training people is the hard part.  

I will tell you that it will slow you down, especially if it is a small, cute dog, breed to be a people pleaser (that would be Dulce and any other show dog).  People have to stop and tell you how cute she is (yes, and I have a cuter one that doesn’t care what my blood sugar is).  They have to tell me about the beagle they had as a child (nice, but I’m on my 8th). 

They have to ask if she really is a beagle, and is she really 4 years old, she looks like a puppy.

The ones I do like are the ones who ask, with baited breath, is she a diabetes alert dog.  Those are the people who heard about them, had seen one and needs to know where to get one because of a relative, friend, or worse yet, an immediate family member.

It’s worse now that I allow Dulce to visit – when I taught school we couldn’t at work – but people are thrilled to death to pet her, especially at my doctor’s office.

Diabetes Blog Week–Introduction and What Brings Me Down

Almost missed it.  Good news, the topic of the day fits where I have been perfectly.

I have been in a really bad place the past few days.  I got some bad news on Friday and I had to process it.

It’s back to – if you don’t hear from me things are really bad.

I know that if I focus I can get myself so that I can be productive as a programmer / web designer.  I know that eventually the right thing will come up. 

The problem is, that I get easily discouraged.  It also bothers me that the teaching door is firmly closed.  However, the two positions I had found involved  driving a long way to work and I know I don’t enjoy that either.

I am going to work on the things I love – creating things, sharing what I have learned about diabetes and my health conditions – thus I am going on with the website Diabetic Recreational Athletes, or for short.

Dulce won’t go on job interviews, user group meetings or Microsoft training any more but she will go where she is already welcome – the gym and stores.  They really missed her at the gym the three days I took off and she has always alerted well there.

Good compromise as I read how one young diabetic thinks everyone should have a diabetes alert dog.

I would like to help make that possible too.

Teaching wasn’t a good fit.  It worked well until the past 6 years.  I really had a hard time managing my health and diabetes.  They loved to move our lunches around, they loved to decide to completely disrupt the day by adding assemblies, pep rallies and the like.

I worked all day in a room filled with pigeon debris for most of the past 6 years.  I know that it affected my breathing.  The only saving grace was that the children were only in the room for 45 minutes at a time.

The same people who ignored that, keep piling more and more things on me, even though I told them I couldn’t handle any more.

One of the final last straws was assigning a student to me, and then telling me that I had to make sure he ate breakfast – the woman who not only can’t eat breakfast anymore and has to drink something warm to get it down until about 11:30, but also it makes me physically sick to watch others eat then.

The last few days was involved grieving losing teaching but not losing that job.

I’m ready for fun and making things.

Retiring Dulce

While her alerts are great, dealing with her and the public is just too stressful.

Tara writes about how stress Duchess has been for her and I honestly do not have the health issues that she has.

Still will always still work when we are together but that is the type of dog she is.

Pill Pack

Really loving them now that we have all the prescriptions setup.  they have my next pack arriving Wednesday and it starts Friday.  Perfect.  I run out of my last medication on Thursday.  I don’t have to keep up with it now.

My current insurance plan switches to Caremark and I am looking forward to not dealing with it.

Released from Insomnia Treatment

Today was my last visit with the Insomnia center.  It has been good. Yes, I sometimes still have a few bad nights, but I know have tools to deal with them, prevent them, and keep them from adding up.

I wish I had known about the center sooner, but there you go.  If you are having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, it is worth it to look into.  I don’t do well on sleeping pills, and I have a lot of sleep disrupters already, so going to a program that avoids the pill and helps me with the disrupters is all good.

I do urge others who have trouble sleeping to try it.  It didn’t hurt <smile>  They actually screen you to make sure it won’t make things worse in other areas, and it is billed and treated as a health issue.  So I still kept going to my counselor to work on other problems.

By the way, as a teacher, seeing a counselor who works with children is a good idea – for me, it’s often a reality check – as she works with both groups.  She also uses me as a source, as I have insight to the school system she doesn’t have, and will reserve extra time for me to help her and other patients.  All good.

It’s also a good idea to have someone you trust when you are loosing weight and dealing with those issues.

I also don’t do any type of mental health drugs so having someone to talk to  --- especially when diabetes care gets overwhelming is good.  She doesn’t always get it, but I can usually make her understand it.

Short-term Insulin: Long-term Results for Type 2 Diabetes - Diabetes

When all else fails and our blood sugar is still too high after trying the pills for diabetes, many of us go on insulin, although usually with reluctance. But by that time most of the beta cells of our pancreas that store and release insulin into the bloodstream have also failed


I actually tried this and ended up staying on insulin.

At the time of diagnosis, my cousin was working with Type 2s at a VA clinic and having good results. Instead of going off, I found my control was better with less side effects.  It wasn't until I wanted to lose weight and couldn't that we went to the pump.

Even better control with the pump.

Went without Dulce today

I don’t do it often, but since I was at the Microsoft building today and feel very safe there – they keep us well supplied in carbs, security is really good and it just gives the impression that if I did go low there, people wouldn’t freak out.

I forgot to bolus a few times – something I do a lot, and trying to get better about – so I left the place a tad high.

It was all good though, and I glad she had the day off.

Scale Victory–at the bottom of a decade

Defining a decade as a weight between say 140.0 - 149.9  especially since my Aria scale weighs that finally.  I’m .8 pounds from entering a new decade.

I’ve whined before how my weight works – I’m usually in a 5 pound range depending on how efficiently my gastro-intestinal system is working. 

My scale also weighs about 5 pounds higher than any doctor’s scale I’ve been on including the scale they used the day I had lap band surgery.

And I’m coming up on the anniversary of that.

I choose the lap band because I knew mentally and physically I couldn’t handle a drastic weight loss – when I got the surgery I was gaining 10 pounds a month over more than a six month period  (no, I’m not kidding or exaggerating).  In fact, in light of that fact, one of my counselors pointed out even if I’m not losing weight, I’m STIL not gaining that 10 pounds a month.  I’m not sure that is really true, BUT

The deal is, the lap band is accomplishing what I wanted – allow me to lose weight at a rate my head and body is comfortable with.