What a Year it’s Been!

Where has the year gone?! Seriously!

Last year on June, 5th (aka a year ago today), I got Moyer. Moyer is my dog…though some refer to him as my son. He’ll be two at the end of next month. It’s amazing how the last year has flown by and all that’s happened.

Granted 2011 was far less crazy than years past. No major medical diagnoses, no new piercings, no new tattoos, no new states of residence, etc. Last year in March or April I was supposed to get my diabetic alert dog, as you can tell, that hasn’t quite panned out. My sister brought home a 10 month old husky in February of last year. As soon as I notified the organization, I was disqualified. I had been on the list three and a half years!!! I was heartbroken. BUT, I decided I’d train my own dog…with help of course. So the hunt for another ensued. In late May last year a puppy came to work that I loved. His name was Mugsy, a little bull terrier mix. I convinced myself…and my family, he would be a great dog to train. I have since met this dog…I’m pretty sure he would not have trained very well, at least for alerting me. The day I was supposed to get Mugsy, 10 minutes before he was supposed to be mine, I got a call that they had given him to someone else. That weekend was Maddie’s Matchmaker Adoptathon, it’s a weekend in June where they waive all adoption fees in most of Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. It’s a great event and it gives a lot of animals new homes. If you are looking for a pet in the area, this year it’s THIS coming weekend 6/9 and 6/10.

I had Sunday (6/5/11) off work so I went on a hunt across most of the East Bay. My sister felt terrible about disqualifying me and about my losing Mugsy, so she helped out too! She thought I wanted a tiny dog. I wanted a normal size dog. I ended up with a HUGE dog. All afternoon there was nothing that quite fit. They were too small, too young, too old…just not right. So, on my way home, in a last ditch effort, I stopped by the brand new shelter less than a mile from my house. There was only one dog left. Her name was Emma, she was a lab and pit bull mix. In the last “dog suite” there was another happy (HUGE) black dog, but he was being petted by his new owners. I asked if I could meet Emma, I went out on a walk with her and one of the volunteers. This volunteer was special, and I am grateful for her everyday, she was a cadaver dog trainer for the government but had taken a leave of absence to deal with a dog hoarder issue out in Livermore. We got to talking about why I was looking for a dog…to add to my herd of already three. She said that either Emma, or a dog named London would be great. It turned out that the big black dog had NOT been adopted! So we went back to the shelter and took him,Londonwas his name, prior to that it was Jake (apparently shelters change the names frequently), for a walk. Emma was strong headed and needed a constant reminder of who was in control. London was much more mellow and easy going, though he walked through every puddle and loved romping through every bush. The trainer and I talked, and I thoughtLondonwas a better choice…she agreed.

I rushed home and had the dreaded discussion with my parents. I said I found THE dog! He was right around the right age for training. He was very trainable and people focused. But he was big, like really big. My father grumbled, my mother reluctantly agreed. Then came the big test, meeting the aforementioned herd. At the time, 12 y/o Sophie (a Keeshond), 6½ y/o Rawley (a Miniature Rat Terrier) and 14 month old Kaya (a Siberian Husky). We started the walk with my mother walking Sophie, my father walking Rawley and I had Kaya. The trainer/volunteer had London, she walked with him and our three then approached him. There were NO problems! Rawley hates the world, so he grumbled, but he was fine. The trainer, other volunteers, my parents and I all talked when we finished the walk, I said I should be back, but we needed to discuss a little more. So my parents and I walked home. My father was NOT happy. He didn’t want a huge dog…and he didn’t want a fourth dog. My mother was resigned. And I begged. They said I could get him! So I drove back to the shelter. The trainer started to cry…they started calling him London because she was from the UK and they had bonded. She was so happy I was taking him, as she already had 5 dogs and didn’t need a 6th. I was SO excited. And Moyer was too.

I went straight from the shelter to my work, inFremont, to pick up my paycheck so I could go get some supplies for him the next day. My father refused to pet or talk to him…or me for a couple days. My sister was shocked. My mother remained…and still remains resigned.

Last night I mentioned it’d been a year since Moyer came into our house at a rare family dinner. My father commented on what a horrible day it had been. I said he liked Moyer now though…he excitedly said he LOVED Moyer now. Every so often my mother asks if I can trade him…since he is so big. He sits in dinner chairs and lays his head on the dinner table. But, she loves him too…deep down, I know it! She’s even started to say of all the dogs, if he were a bit more mature, he’d be the best all-around dog. And she openly admits he’s the most loving.

Moyer is also known as Moyer the Destroyer, Moo, Moyster and Big Lug. He loves paper and has even eaten a lab slip, a prescription, bills and almost a $5 bill. He no longer bites EVERY dog’s tail that walks by him. He doesn’t wrestle nearly as much (THANK GOODNESS! He knocks everything over). He’s chipped one of my teeth. He’s split my head open. He loves his dental treats so much he sniffed out a brand new bag and consumed the entire thing…and then threw it up. At dinner he likes to sit at one of the empty chairs that’s away from the table, and stretch his neck across and lay his head on the table…yes, it’s bad table manners, but it’s SO cute and he’s only allowed after everyone has finished eating. He stretches his upper lip when he gets excited and smiles at you when you come home…if you don’t let him tackle you…which he knows he’s not supposed to do. He LOVES ice, opening the freezer door is the only thing that’ll get him up in the morning. He loves to sleep, especially like a person…with a pillow, laying length-wise on the bed. He goes to bed at 8pm and doesn’t want to get up til 10am. He’s a bit boisterous and occasionally injures those he loves (primarily me)…only because he’s so excited to see you. He thinks he’s a lap dog. As much trouble as he still gets into, he’s grown up a lot over the last year. And he’s a love…he’d be happy if you just sat with him and talked to him all day.

It’s been a good year. And I’m sure we’ll have many more…he’s been informed he’s not allowed to die…ever.

I apologize for my ridiculously long and somewhat embarrassing post today. I didn’t start out meaning for it to be all about Moyer…it just sort of happened. Maybe I’ll be more on topic next time!

A picture that’s up in my work 🙂


Diabetes Hero – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

I admire every diabetic and every parent raising a diabetic.

Though, there is a special place in my heart for parents of diabetics. I’ve been sitting here for the better part of an hour trying to decide to whom this post would be directed. After that first sentence it finally clicked…parents raising diabetics.

I honestly have no idea how you handle it all, I think each and every one of you is amazing. My parents tried to pray away my diabetes when I was diagnosed, thankfully I was 18 and only went along with it for a few months and only went one day without insulin.

Even after having diabetes for nearly eight years now, I don’t know how I’d handle raising a diabetic child. I can figure out how to deal with feeling like crap because of a roller coaster day and still function…but it kills me to think of anyone else handling it. I’m quasi-paranoid as it is about my sugars, I’m sure it’d be quadrupled if it was my kid.

Those who raise diabetic children amaze me; I am in complete awe of them. Having never been a diabetic child I’m not 100% sure what it’s like to be a kid with diabetes. Learning to inject myself and carb count while in elementary school…it truly amazes me.

And let’s not forget the kids with diabetes. Their resilience is amazing. (I need a synonym for amaze/amazing). There are a lot of days I’d just like to stay in bed all day because I feel like crap from my blood sugars (or Crohn’s) and some days I do stay in bed for most of it. Some days it’s just too hard to go out and take a hike with Moyer (the best dog in the whole world…even if he does chip your tooth and/or split your head open) – it’s frustrating on those days. If I were a kid, I’m sure I’d be even more frustrated to not be doing everything my friends do any time they do it.

Not that diabetics aren’t capable. But diabetes sometimes changes the way you do things or how you do them. Kids should just be able to be kids. Everyone says it, so I know it’s nothing new…but it’d be nice if everyone saying it could somehow magically make it true!

Saturday Snapshots – Diabetes Blog Week 2012


What They Should Know – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

Most people I regularly interact with know I have diabetes and know I need insulin to survive. They also know insulin is somehow related to my food intake. (They commonly think I need insulin when I am low)

I don’t particularly care that they know. I’d really prefer they understand.

Understand I’m not giving myself an injection to be obnoxious or cause a disruption. Understand when I’ve been high and low it’s exhausting. Understand I’m not being lazy when I’m taking things slow. Understand that I’m not incapable of doing the things most other adults are capable. Understand I don’t want to talk about it all the time, I live it all the time, I don’t need to discuss it.

Even if you don’t know something, that’s fine so long as you show some understanding and respect. Don’t assume you know, I’m happy to answer any questions, just don’t be an arrogant ass.

Fantasy Diabetes Device – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

A new pancreas?

Perhaps an insulin that didn’t require you to carb count. You inject it before you eat and it somehow is able to generate the proper amount of insulin for what you’re ingesting. Your body can figure out how much it needs without you giving prior notice, I think we should be able to do the same.

It would make life so so much easier. It’s hard when you think you’re going to eat something and then you turn out not to be so hungry. Or you take your insulin and then the restaurant’s kitchen has a backup and you can’t eat right away. Or you can’t decide what you want to eat. Or you just want to munch.

It’d be convenient in about a million different circumstances.

One Thing to Improve – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

Where can’t I improve? Nowhere.

Where would I really like to improve? Everywhere. But, let’s be realistic. I should pick one or two areas to work on at a time.

#1 – Timing

I’ve gone off my insulin pump. For the most part, my control has improved. Unless there’s a day where I forget to take my Levemir until 4pm…like a few days ago. Now I’m finally back to a semi-normal long-acting dosage time. But, man, it sucked. I was doing really well at taking Levemir right around 9pm, then I tried splitting the dose. It really didn’t help my morning lows. In fact, I started to get morning highs. So, I’d really like to get on a regular schedule with that. Or, I’d like to go back to my pump, though I’m not sure I can afford it right now. Until I make that decision though, it seems like I’m settling in at taking my long acting right around 7pm. Let’s hope I don’t forget anytime soon.

# 2 – Carb Counting/Dosing

Being on Apidra and my insulin pump allowed me some grace. Actually, a lot of grace.

I could take my insulin after I ate if I wanted…so, like when I’m eating at my boyfriend’s parent’s house and I’m not allowed to give myself a shot at the table and I’ve started our meal low I could take my insulin after eating with no problem. Now, there’s a problem. It’s a problem I had quite recently in fact.

If I miscalculated my bolus and saw I needed more insulin, I could easily punch it into my pump with no problems. Now with a slower insulin, by the time I see I need to correct, it’s too late and I’ll have to be high for a while before coming back down.

I could eat with my pizza and pasta loving boyfriend…without issue. Now, it’s a lot harder. I have to remember to double dose, figure out the percentages.

Really, I guess both my areas for improvement mean I need to stop being lazy and forgetful. It’s a lot easier said than done. But, I can do it! (Maybe one day after saying that enough, I’ll be successful)

One Great Thing – Diabetes Blog Week 2012

Once great thing? Well, I guess there’s a better day to ask this question. You know when you have those days where you feel like there’s nothing you do right? Yeah, today is one of those. I guess it’s the perfect day to try to find something that IS going right.

I do a really good job of…

Monitoring my blood sugars. If my Dexcom comes back with something funky, I’m pretty good at checking. To be honest, this is a newly developed strength. A couple weeks ago I was not doing this, I was trusting good ol’ Dex far too much. I corrected for the 300+ Dexcom had alerted me of, only to find out I really was around 140. Since then…I’ve been an all-star checker. Also since then, Dex has been right on, like within 20 points.

My hope is I won’t go back to trusting so easily what my Dexcom reports, even though it has been so correct. Not only does it help prevent my scarfing down whatever is in front of my face when I realize I’m not that high, it makes my endocrinologist happy.

I have a new endocrinologist. Not that I was all that fond of my previous endocrinologist, but it was a functional relationship. Now I’m in an all new one, developing trust, figuring out how we are going to work together. I have to get re-approved for my Dexcom. I have had some insulin changes due to the lack of my new insurance regularly using Apidra and Levemir. And I now have new coverage for my pump and supplies.

I have to be on top of checking my blood sugars. I have to prove I know what I’m doing and can take care of myself without being hovered…again. …I miss my Montana Endo.