It’s the time of year for sweet treats and I’m looking forward to having a few myself. Of course, they are the kind of treats a dog can eat. No people treats for me.
One day Mom and I visited a donut shop near us that has been voted the best one in our area for a few years, according to a poll taken by the local newspaper. It’s called Knead Donuts.
A sign on the door displays the shop’s hours from opening until they run out.
From what I hear, they are on high demand and sell out quickly.
I’m on a strict diet to stay in shape and there are rules a service dog must follow like ‘no table scraps.’ That’s okay, though. I get plenty of awesome duck jerky when I correctly alert my mom to a low blood sugar.
But today, Knead Donuts gave me a doggy donut.
I’m certain we’ll return to this dog-friendly shop for more tasty treats.
We’ve been in Tennessee about five months now. With all our combined health issues, I knew that the transition from one type of healthcare to the next would not be easy. We stored up our prescriptions and supplies just in case things took longer.
It takes many different supplies to keep my medical equipment running properly. If I run out of one (and I did) it messes up the whole system and blood sugars get out of control quickly.
In California, our healthcare came from one system, with most offices and services located in the same building or not far away. With our new insurance, my healthcare is spread out around our city. I have more freedom to choose which doctors I see, but not how my diabetes is cared for.
I’ve been longing for a new diabetes treatment system, but my insurance keeps denying the request. I refuse to give up. I’ve been with the same system for 27 years and its time for a change. I’m ready to go tubeless!
“Mom, your blood sugar is getting high.” Aiden is concerned because my blood sugars have gone crazy while trying to work out new insurance issues, I don’t have access to my doctor as readily as I had before.
Every diabetic knows that they are the one who best knows how to regulate their diabetes. We cannot be put in a box, even by insurance. I feel like David up against Goliath, but I will continue to fight for the kind of treatment I know will benefit me best and keep me healthy for years to come.
In the words from one of my favorite sci-fi movie spoofs, “Never give up! Never surrender!”
On August 9, 2021, Christy and I celebrated the fourth anniversary of our GOTCHA day.
What’s gotcha day? I’m glad you asked.
Gotcha day is the day every client at Dogs for Diabetics longs for. It’s the day every client dreams of, and works hard to achieve.
There is a process to go through in order to arrive at gotcha day. First, one must apply for a diabetic alert dog.
Once accepted into the program, they receive extensive training to prepare for living with a service dog. While in training, they attend once-a-month meetings (which used to be pot-lucks at the training center, but COVID has stopped in-person meetings – we Zoom now until further notice).
I get to meet other client teams at these meetings and those on the waiting list where clients become members of the Dogs for Diabetics family. A great community for diabetic connections and lifelong friendships.
But there is a waiting list once all requirements are met. Some clients wait a long time because D4D trainers want to match dogs with client lifestyles and personalities.
Christy waited nine months then…GOTCHA! I came running into her arms and we became a team.
Gotcha day is when a dog is placed with a client. It’s one of the happiest days of my life.
Airplanes have had them for years. Cars have had them since 2013. I’ve had one since 1996. I’m talking about my personal little black box, an insulin pump.
It’s smaller than most cell phones, often mistaken for a pager. (What’s a pager and why would someone need one? They only use them in restaurants, buzzing for you to pick up your food.)
My little black box or the “insulin pump” has become more sophisticated since I first started using one to keep my diabetes in control.
Through the years, with every upgrade and change comes another great feature. Today, most pumps come with a continuous glucose monitor that communicates to the pump if your blood sugar is high or low.
I happen to have a dog whose nose is faster than modern technology. But with a combination of both, my blood sugars are monitored quite well.
Sometimes too well.
You see, the pump is programmed so well, it beeps or vibrates for notices other than high and low blood sugars.
It beeps to tell me to check my BG or blood glucose (sugar).
It beeps if I miss a meal bolus (insulin to cover food intake).
It beeps when the insulin reservoir is low.
It beeps when I need to change the set (tubing, reservoir attached to me subcutaneously).
It SCREAMS if I ignore the calibration prompt and it can be extremely loud and hard to ignore. Actually, it screams if I ignore any of the above prompts.
Although this little black box saves my life by giving me what my physical body can’t, it bullies me. Yes, I can change the tone of the above prompts, but it will continue to bully me until I respond. Oftentimes it bullies me all night long, keeping us from sleeping or dreaming, for that matter.
Yes, it is annoying. Yes, I feel bullied. But I can’t live without it. I can’t complain because it keeps me healthy.
I can live with a bullying black box. It helps me live by my own decree: