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May 2016

Home again

Didn’t get around to doing much blogging on the cruise.

While the internet was great when it was up and I could login, it was down a lot.  Mostly when we were in or close to port.  Oddly enough it worked really well at sea.  Not bad when at sea is where I prefer to be.

The lines that existed the first day went away.  Probably as the crew learned their roles.  We could see even in our stateroom that each day the cabin steward got a bit better at his job.

I got a massage one day – at a reduce rate to listen to a sales pitch.  Also got keratin treatment on my hair.  I did buy product from them, and am really happy with the way my hair looked.  I’m used to a Brazilian blowout, which I’ve already decided I’m not doing again.  This was between a hot oil treatment and the Brazilian blowout, not near as hard on my hair.  When she got done, my color looked amazing. 

Rich REALLY enjoyed the poker cruise.  His hours were quite annoying, as I kept to my hours as much as possible.  But since that was the reason we went on the cruise that was great.

We saw bears on the only shore excursion tour we took.  We had Mount Roberts tram tickets which we used, but I didn’t enjoy.  It was so crowded and so about “money, money, money”.   Lovely display of an eagle by a rescue group that you got it – wanted donations, and lots of gift shops.

All in all, we enjoyed the cruise and I’m trying to decide which cruise line I want to try next – probably Norwegian.

The trip home was hard – our plane was almost an hour late taking off, and the port itself was extremely disorganized. But we’re home and glad to be here.

Being without the service dog

I had NO idea how much Dulce helps.  This is the last trip I take without her, and probably the last time I’m out without her.

People ask about alerts, and she does alert, but she really doesn’t has to.  Instead she does some very subtle things that keep my blood sugar stable.  She’ll slow down, even stop when we are out doing things.  I tend to push myself too much when I’m without her.  She doesn’t let me do that.

She also keeps me out of situations where I get into trouble.  Example:  the Mount Roberts tram.  They put us in a huge crush and a woman shoved into my side, right where my CGMS is.  Felt like getting stabbed.  If she had been with me, they would have put it is a less jammed situation, I’m sure. 

So it’s more of a case I read her rather than she alerts me.  Good things to know, especially for the new pup, and for anyone else I’m helping train.

I had a really low blood sugar in the Yukon

I haven’t had a need to treat blood sugar for a long time.  Before Dulce was trained.  And yeah, she isn’t with me.  Yes I’ve had lows, but it meant move a meal closer because Dulce alerted early.

I had the large Sweet Tarts with me and glucose tablets.  The Sweet Tarts are 6 carbs, the glucose 4 carbs.  It was eat a Sweet Tart, wait.  Eat, wait.  About every 4th one, it was a glucose tab.

Finally after about 3/4 of the roll, I plateaued and started going up.  And up.

Scared the Jesus out of me and made me furious.  Furious I’d left Dulce at home, furious that had made a mistake somewhere, furious I was scared and in the middle of no where.

The people with me haven’t helped:


I feel criticized because I went low out in the middle of nowhere, but people, this hasn’t happened in years and I had what I needed.  I had the sugar.  It’s just that I wanted to eat closer to the event, but I probably couldn’t have.

My husband is the reason I left Dulce behind.  He hasn’t a clue and his way with coping with things is ignoring them.


Rich cancelled both of our shore excursions we’d booked in Victoria, but I would like him to go.  We on this trip for him, because of the poker thing.

But I’m fine and I’ve told Rich:  Dulce is going everywhere now, not being left at home. And hopefully Jamie can take up the slack.

Alaska Cruise–Day 1 and morning Day 2

First, see if you haven’t already.

I research everything about TSA, and Love field is running normal the night before.  We get to Love before 7:00 am and there is a HUGE line already.  I ask the facilitator at the beginning of the line, and he tells us 30-45 minutes delay.  I immediately ask for a wheelchair.

I can run for 90 seconds at time, I can walk quite a ways but I cannot stand in line.  My normal course of events is to sit down and wait for lines to die down, but that is NOT working with the TSA publicity – Love Field would have been fine if everyone was panicking.  DFW is a whole other story.

So I have to travel quite a ways for a wheelchair, and they take forever to get me over to the line, but come to find out they have done a pre-board on us.  So they’ve done whatever TSA usually does that takes half the time.  We get to keep our shoes on – which we fine hard to believe, and they do the pat down and search everything I have on carry on.  Takes a few minutes, but I’m seated the whole time – though I am seperate from my possessions and my phone is laying which bothers me – next time put it in the bag, woman.

I had already asked the travel agent for a wheel chair at the dock, since the line has always put me out of commission for a day and a half on both cruises.

While we still have to wait awhile and they didn’t put the beverage stamp on Rich’s card, we get on board.  Biggest issue: can’t get anything to eat as we get onboard just as they do the muster.  We’re done about 4:00 pm and we have a reception with CardPlayer cruises at 4:30.  It’s laid out so I can’t get food at all – didn’t make any since because we’re in stadium seating until I find out it isn’t a meet and greet, but an announcement thing.

Then  I go to dinner which was wonderful – but I’m managed to eat a bit too much and the lap band is tight.  Restroom is too far away but they have me toss my cookies in a bus boy bin and all is good.

We also have another major issue. The minibar things are NOT labeled and placed next to the tumblers for our beverage package.  What am I to think.

So we got suckered, and I hate that.

On the good news – I’m figuring out that to eat, I have to go through the Promenade, mostly to avoid the smoky casino.  Otherwise, everything I want, from the poker room, to the fitness center, are on this elevator. 

Rich has been in the poker room almost every moment it has been open – this is a good thing.

The internet access is great, and I’ve been able to check on the dogs every few minutes.  I am also able to work with my students.

So with all things, the first few hours were frustrating as heck but now I am having a good time.  Also the cardplayer cruise people are doing a great job.

My thoughts on United Health Care and Medtronic's (Minimed)

I’ll start out that I only despise one health insurance company and their business practices more and that is Cigna – they sold my medical information to the Korean insulin pump company back in 2004, so thereabouts.

I had UHC coverage for two years, if you want to call it that.  They did cover my Medtronic's insulin pump, but not the CGMS.  Both Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna have/are covering it.

The biggest reason for my disgust with UHC, is my husband’s case.  Baylor Institute for Rehab. has been battling them for months for coverage of his recovery from his head injury.  They pre-certified the care, got him back on his feet and back to work and UHC is refusing to cover the last week.  Oh, and he recovered over 4 weeks sooner than anticipated.  Really?  If they were trying to pull anything, they would have kept him for the full anticipated treatment.

I feel badly for you if you are stuck with UHC.  I'm praying that TRS never goes to them, and will protest loudly if they do.

I think the Minimed and their CGMS system is great.  I’m using the latest, and it is a vast improvement over their earlier systems.  So there really isn’t a reason to fight over that.  I will admit that I haven’t used a Dexcom in years, but I love that fact that I only have to keep up with one box.  My doctor gave me two choices, Medtronic's or Omnipod and there are a lot of reasons for me not to use Omnipod.

However, I know that each pump and each diabetic is different, and I think it is also extremely unfair of any insurance company to change coverage mid-year.  It always never good for me – since I’m a teacher, my insurance ran September to August, so when they switched on January 1, we were stuck for the rest of the year with their decisions.

I also know that my husband has gotten great service and is happy with the hearing aid and that UHC does have similar agreements for hearing aids.  Probably other medical devices.

That said, I blame UHC but I am happy that if you are stuck with them, Minimed is a good choice.  Yeah, the TSlim is sexier.  BTW, my pump warranty is up in the fall, and I'll be talking to my endo in July with what we go with, but I am leaning towards Minimed/Enlite/Connect.  Which reminds me, I need to charge that little gadget.

Dental school kicked my butt

Three afternoons at the dental school really wore me out. I have trouble sleeping the night before and usually the night of.

Being in the chair for 3 - 4 hours really wears me out too. My student is improving but we keep throwing new stuff at her. Friday was hardest, crown prepping and making the impression was over her head.

Fortunately a great grad student stepped in and help.

It should be downhill from here. Reevaluale and two crowns this summer. Hopefully we have the decay in control.