Sunday, February 19, 2017
"How did you get started with this whole Service Dog thing?"
About June of 2015, I was at a doctor appointment for my diabetes (I see the doctor for my diabetes every three months to check A1C levels, circulation, and all of the usual stuff - A1C is a blood test that tells the doctor how my blood sugars have been for the past 3 months at one glance. They like that number to be between 5 and 7).
At this particular appointment, the P.A. wasn't happy with how I was doing. My levels were no where near where we wanted them to be, no matter what I was doing. It was very frustrating for me because I feel like I'm always failing, and when doctors keep telling me over and over again, 'You need to do better!", it feels like I'm hearing, "You're not good enough!" over and over and over again!
Anyway, I had been working extra hard, trying to get in tighter control over my blood sugar levels and getting stressed because I wasn't doing as well as I wanted and the stress make my numbers go up. And the the P.A. suggested putting a zap collar on me (teasing) when my blood sugar levels started to go up or down, I'd get zapped! Then she mentioned a dog! So I went home and started thinking.
I started looking up diabetic alert dogs and was extremely impressed with what these dogs are able to do! I started keeping track of options that were important to me and which dog training company met my needs. Some only trained dogs to alert to low blood sugar levels. I need one to alert to both low and to high levels. Some charge $25,000 and teach YOU how to train a dog. Other companies charged $15,000 and trained the dog for you. Some companies had a lot of bad feed back. Some companies had high ratings by the Better Business Bureau. All but one company wanted you to travel to their location so they could teach you how to work with your dog. Diabetic Alert Dogs of America hand delivers the dogs to their humans and spends at least two days teaching you how to work with your dog in your home, in the businesses you frequent, going to schools or churches to explain to the community about these Service Dogs. Due to a fall down a flight of stairs several years ago, I have constant severe pain and travel is extremely difficult for me.
The list of what I required made Diabetic Alert Dogs of America the perfect match for me. I spoke to a representative on the phone and watched the training videos on their web site (at first, I thought the training videos were silly, but now that I'm better educated, I see how important they are). After talking to other people, it was agreed that was the correct choice for me.
So that's how it all started. My main doctor for my diabetes is SO THRILLED I'm pursuing a diabetic alert service dog. I will be her first patient to have one (there aren't a lot of service dogs in this area).
I'm doing what I can RL to raise funds. I've given talks to some groups. I make items for people who donate funds. I hand out book marks with the information on them to everyone who shows interest.
I'm in need of someone or a group to step up and host fund raisers. NO ONE can do this by themselves! You've heard of the saying, "Many hands makes light work"? Well... Many WALLETS makes lighter donations that still get to the goal! THAT is why it's SO IMPORTANT to share, to nudge others and say, "Hey... read this and pass it on!" And if everyone who passes it on puts a few coins in.. and sooner or later, there will be someone who is able to make a larger contribution. If you aren't able to toss in a few coins, passing these links on to more people and pray... or even if you ARE able to put in some coins (or $5/$10/how ever much.... please still pass it on. Perhaps some folks will think, "Well, I could put in $5 from me, but I'll also put in $5 for another person who isn't able to.... and another $5, just in case there is someone else who would like to, but isn't able to.
I hate asking for money. My husband and I were remembering all of those years we helped out with "Dogs for the Deaf". We weren't able to put a lot of coin in, but we gave all of our DJing tips each time. Every bit helped. Just like now... every bit helps. It all adds up.
I'm noticing a lot of mistakes in my writing. I'm sorry. I'm still struggling with the effects from concussions.
Thank you for reading all of this babble! I think I just wanted to give you a look at how this all got started. My blood sugars have ALWAYS been all over the place. Some people still call it being a "brittle diabetic". I hate that title. My blood sugars are just messed up basically all of the time. I need help to get them in better control. Doctors tell me I'll feel so much better when they are in control. I have no idea what that's like. I've been diagnosed a Type 1 diabetic for over 32 years.
Thank you for listening!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Time for another update!
2017 has been rough. A blood sugar level that dropped way too low caused another fall in which I hit my head (again) and ended up with ANOTHER severe concussion. I was taken to the ER for CT scans and to be observed for awhile. I was required to see my diabetic doctor two weeks later. She read the reports and warned that I might have reached my limit for concussions. Thinking has been very challenging for me and I "lost ten days" (have no memories of anything that happened in that time) due to the concussion. I still have issues trying to think of words, but I can get to the word I need a lot faster than a month ago!
My A1C (a blood test that tells the doctor how my blood sugars have been for the past 3 months) went up again to 9.8. NOT GOOD! The doctor wants it between 5 and 7. So that tells them my blood sugars are not in control at all.. still... again. It's frustrating to never be good enough. They sent me to "Diabetic School" where I proved I KNOW everything that I needed to know, plus some. They were THRILLED to hear that I'm getting a Diabetic Alert Service Dog, because it will help insure that my blood sugar levels will NOT get too high OR too low, which will save my body from a lot of the harm that can easily happen to diabetics.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN TO A DIABETIC?
I thought I'd put this in because I haven't mentioned this for awhile.
1. Loss of kidney function - Would mean being on dialysis.
2. Blood vessels broken in the eyes - Usually leads to blindness, but they now give diabetics with eye damage, shots in the eye ball once a month to help keep them from going blind. My eye doctor told me it is a horrible experience and prays he won't have to do that to me. (Yes, he actually said "prays")
3. Amputation of limbs due to poor circulation - A lot of poorly controlled blood sugar diabetics start getting what is called "Diabetic nerve pain" in their lower limbs (you might have seen TV ads for medicine that helps relieve some of the diabetic nerve pain symptoms). If a sore develops, one of these diabetics won't feel it, and it can easily worse and develop into gangrene (if you want to Google images of this, you have a stronger stomach than I do!). Amputation of gangrene body parts does occur, it's very real.
4. Diabetics are also more prone to heart attacks.
What messes me up?
YES I test my blood sugar often, but levels change for a lot of different reasons (not JUST due to how much or what types of food a person eats)! For me, the biggest influence for high blood sugars is stress. Stress from my constant back pain due to a fall down a flight of stairs because of an insulin reaction (low blood sugar levels), stress from needing to see the doctor, stress from my Mom having stage 4 cancer, stress from forgetting words/events, stress from life. YES, everyone has life stresses and mine are no worse than anyone else's. They just effect my blood sugar levels a lot. It is another reason WHY this Service Dog will be so important. Dogs, esp. highly trained dogs, greatly help reduce stress!
What about the pump?
I've been asked why don't I just wear an insulin pump. Wearing a machine that has a needle sticking into my skin all the time is not any sort of quality of life for me. Some people can do that, and I'm impressed! More power to them! I can not. My mind isn't able to do all of the equations to figure out insulin adjustments. Math has never been my friend! The needle site causes me to itch. A Diabetic Alert Service Dog can alert to changing blood sugar levels 20 minutes FASTER than a machine! Why is that important? The sooner I am aware of changing blood sugar levels, the faster I can do something to correct it!
SUMMING IT UP
The Diabetic Alert Service Dog will reduce my stress, bringing my A1C levels down. The Diabetic Alert Service Dog will notify me of changing blood sugar levels 20 minutes prior to any machine. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I'LL NO LONGER TEST MY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS! I'll probably be testing a lot more!
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS
Please feel free to "bop me on the head with an IM"
in Second Life!
I'll be happy to talk with you
and give you information.
HOW CAN YOU HELP
GET THIS IMPORTANT DOG
* Hire Kiva & XMarieX Fairport to DJ at your events
* Purchase items from ~XM~ Designs, from Snowhawk's Labs
and/or MOoH! Pups on Pillows
* Donate at specially marked kiosks in Second Life
* Donate via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Donate at any Wells Fargo Bank to "MUSKETEER THE DIABETIC ALERT DOG"
* Donate directly to Diabetic Alert Dogs of America, HERE. who will be training
my Service Dog. (On the blue section at the bottom of the page, click on
"PAYMENT", click "BUY NOW"
In the description, type MUSKETEER PUPPY,
enter an amount and continue.
Verify the payment type (credit card, debit card or PayPal)
KNOW THAT YOUR HELP,
NO MATTER HOW YOU HELP
IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Saturday, February 11, 2017
THANK YOU to webspelunker for writing THIS article and getting the word out to more people!
The more who know, the more help.
Many wallets makes for AMAZING results, even if you are thinking, "I can't give much.". EVERY AMOUNT is appreciated! EVERY AMOUNT *HELPS*!
$3.00 might not seem like a lot of money to some people, but if 500 people give $3.00..... Do the math! No amount is "too little to do any good". EVERY amount HELPS!
(This is NOT the actual Musketeer Puppy - he will look similar.)
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
I've been trying to get started in getting a Diabetic Alert Service Dog for awhile. Thanks to fantastic donations, both big and small (EVERY AMOUNT HELPS!) and folks purchasing items I've made... I'm THRILLED to announce THE DOWN PAYMENT FOR MY SERVICE DOG HAS BEEN MADE!
NOW the real work begins!
Diabetic Alert Dogs of America is the company I'm going through because they have an outstanding success rate, have life time support, train dogs to alert for low AND high blood sugar levels AND they hand deliver the trained dog and spend at least two days training ME to live and work with the service dog where I live!
1. I'm #27 on the list of dogs to be located. Approximatively 8 weeks from now, I'll be on the top of the list and D.A.D.A. (Diabetic Alert Dogs of America) will look for my dog (already named Musketeer Puppy) according to MY needs and wants that I have communicated with them.
2. When they believe they've found the dog that best matches me and my situation, they will send me photos and video of the dog. It is up to me to say, "Yes! This is Musketeer Puppy!" or "Ummmm, not quite, please try again.".
3. When Musketeer Puppy has been located, D.A.D.A. will send me a scent kit. I'll provide scent samples (spit) of my low, normal and high blood sugar levels. I'll send the scent kit back and they will use the samples to train Musketeer.
4. I'll receive weekly updates, photos & videos that I WILL BE SHARING WITH YOU of what Musketeer has been successfully trained to do, what he is currently working on and field trips he's taken and how he did (to Target, Wal-Mart, restaurants, etc.)
I no longer have to have funds sent to me, people can donate DIRECTLY to D.A.D.A.
Go to http://www.diabeticalertdogsofamerica.com/ At the bottom BLUE part of the page, second from the right, click on PAYMENTS. Click BUY NOW. In the description, type MUSKETEER PUPPY, enter an amount and continue. Verify the payment type and know that your help is GREATLY appreciated!
(You MUST enter "MUSKETEER PUPPY" in the payment description, other wise those funds will be "lost").
The down payment is just the first step! PLEASE show you care & SHARE!
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Good News & Bad News
The GOOD news is that long time friend, Dal, of MOoH!, has made ADORABLE puppies on pillows with texture changing blankets to raise funds for my RL Diabetic Alert Service Dog!
You can pick up YOUR puppies from MOoH!, ~XM~ Designs or MarketPlace.
The BAD news...
I spoke to a representative from Diabetic Alert Dogs of America on Friday and was told their company received national publicity and now are nearing capacity for accepting dogs for the year. In fact, they will not be accepting any more dogs for 2017 after April 1st. That means.... If I don't have the down payment in by April 1, 2017, I won't get my dog until late 2018 because it now takes 8 months to train all of the dogs, instead of 6 months.
ALSO... the total price will be going up from $15K to $17.5K.
RIGHT NOW, I am only focused on getting the down payment of $2500 together.
Real Life donations (that won't require service charges for exchanging L$ to USD) can be made to MUSKETEER THE DIABETIC ALERT DOG at ANY Wells Fargo Bank. OR you can PayPal to email@example.com
Thank you for your help
Musketeer the Diabetic Alert Service Dog