Love Rescued Me, too

Here’s a post from a fellow schnauzer lover (remember, I may have Type 1 diabetes, but my mini schnauzer Xena stole my heart forever, and she will  always be the best dog ever 🙂 )This fundraiser only runs through the end of this week, so please order a t-shirt TODAY at https://www.habitbrands.com/c1890_north-carolina-schnauzer-rescue !!!

Love Rescued Me

As you well know, Miss D wouldn’t be the crazy, silly, absolutely adorable doggie I am if not for my furever mommy and her friends at NCSR. Now they are asking for our help!

PLEASE RE-POST AND SPREAD THE WORD

Just in time for Christmas gifts, or even a gift to yourself! NC Schnauzer Rescue (NCSR) is excited to partner with HABIT brands and will receive $10 for every “Love Rescued Me” t-shirt sold!

For 10 days only, starting November 10th, get your t-shirt here, $10 will be donated, and you will love a rescue at the same time. 

love rescued me..#8
$10 can go a LONG way for a rescued dog, and can help fund:
  •  a month’s worth of heartworm protection
  •  needed vaccines like rabies & distemper
  •  spaying or neutering
  •  dental care
  •  medications for special needs rescues
NCSR is a 501c3 non-profit, all-volunteer rescue group.
Together, even more dogs can be rescued by love!!!love rescued me...women's long sleeve love rescued me...junior cap sleeve love rescued me...women's short sleeve love rescued me...men's short sleeve

Of Puppies and Babies

Last night as my husband and I were chatting before bed and planning out the rest of our week, somehow the topic of babies came up (maybe because we have several friends with new babies, and others are pregnant, etc), as well as the topic of our family getting another dog sometime.

It’s been a year now that Xena has been gone, but I swear sometimes I still think: “I need to make sure to let her out to go potty before we go to bed.” Often, I don’t put down the recliner foot rest without checking for her underneath. I’ll come home after being gone a while, and look for her to greet me at the door. The house just seems empty without a dog, especially since I’d had Xena with me for almost 13 years. I work from home a lot, and wish she was still here to keep me company, to go on walks, to demand that I throw toys for her. She was so full of personality and spunk – the best miniature schnauzer, best dog, best canine friend I’ve ever known and had the luck to have in my life for as long as I did.

My husband said he would be totally on board at any time if I wanted to get another dog. And every now and then, I see rescue dogs come in, or get an email about a schnauzer puppy, and I’m like, “Ooooooo, I could get this one!!!” But then, reality sets in. Work is crazy busy for me right now. I’m in the midst of revamping my entire lifestyle around food and exercise, and working towards having weight loss surgery to help me get my active life back and to help make sure I am healthy and around for many, many years to come. Type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 job in itself, and will be even more so once I have the surgery. I can’t bring a new dog into the family when I’m already being pulled a hundred different ways. It just wouldn’t be fair to the dog, or to my husband and daughter.

Then there’s also the baby thing. Despite mulling over the pros and cons on several occasions, I don’t think I’ve quite resolved in my head and heart that I’m never going to have another baby. In the back dark recesses of my mind I frequently hear, “If you lose a ton of weight within the next year or so, it may help your fertility issues as well, and you MIGHT get pregnant!!” But really, do I WANT to be pregnant or have a baby at 41, 42, 43 years old/ however long that would take??? I just don’t know. And until I know with absolute certainty that we’re never having (or adopting) another baby, I also don’t want to bring in a dog to add onto the already monumental responsibilities of our household.

So, there’s the conundrum. It’s doubtful that I’ll solve it anytime soon. But boy, will I always have some seriously wonderful memories of Xena, the Warrior Schnauzer, and she will always hold a special place in our hearts and our family.

I miss Xena so much....

 

Wordless Wednesday – Xena

Best.Dog.Ever.Warrior Schnauzer for sureI know this isn’t very “wordless,” but last night I was going through old pictures and found a lot of Xena that I had forgotten about. So many memories came rushing back…I still miss her so much, and the pictures reawakened that ache in my heart for her. She died in April of this year after being diagnosed with Lymphoma in February. Xena had always been the picture of perfect health, and miniature schnauzers can live to be between 14-16 years old, sometimes older if you’re lucky. I thoroughly expected her to live to be at least 15, so when she started getting sick right before turning 13, it was hard for me to comprehend.

It was such a sudden thing – one day, I noticed the sides of her neck were crazy swollen. Took her to the vet, they aspirated the lymph nodes, and confirmed lymphoma. Rather than put her through the suffering (and no guarantee of survival or longevity) of chemotherapy at her already advanced age, we opted to treat her with steroids and various supplements in the hopes it would slow down the growth/spread of the cancer. I talked to vet techs and friends who knew of dogs and cats that lived with lymphoma for 6 months to a year or more before succumbing. Xena only made it about a month and a half.

Maybe one day (when I can write about her without bursting into tears like I am now), I will share stories of how smart, funny, and amazingly awesome she was. A true Warrior Schnauzer that I will love and cherish forever.

The Good Old Days Before Diabetes

As I approach my 40th birthday, I find my friends and I talking more and more about how things used to be, what we used to look like, what we used to do in our lives before kids….we’ve done a lot of reflecting back on the “good old days” and what we think of ourselves now as compared to then, whenever “then” may be.

Andy Bernard from The Office kind of summed it up for me in the series finale when he said, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

In 1994, I didn’t know I was in the “good old days before diabetes.” Rhonda B.D. = Before Diabetes(I also had no clue about how to style my hair or wear sweaters that didn’t look like my grandma lived in the southwest and knitted them for me. Oh, 90s – you were so cruel in the fashion-less sense that you gave me.) This picture was taken literally days before my diagnosis. I see a healthy, young, fresh face with big Brooke Shields eyebrows. I was dating a boyfriend (that I should have broken up with months ago, but instead, he broke up with me post-diagnosis. Creep.), was still in college, still not knowing what I would “be” when I grew up. I vaguely remember this day at a family get together – laughing at some awful joke my Dad told, trying to get my Mom to let me take a picture of her, hugging my grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles….and it’s blatantly devoid of diabetes. I had no clue how dramatically my life was about to change. Ignorance was bliss.

Fast forward to today…..I look nothing like this picture. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for almost 19 years. I am married to a loving & devoted husband, I have a beautiful & healthy daughter, and work as a Project Manager at a tech company. (Me? Technical? Funny.) Since that day in 1994, my grandparents and my Dad have passed away. I have loved and lost many people, and many things. I had the joy of owning and being owned by a miniature schnauzer named Xena for almost 13 years. I’ve experienced many accomplishments and failures. Met goals, and thrown other goals aside. I’ve seen some friends come and go, made new friends, and had many friends and family by my side through thick and thin.

And even though I frequently reminiscence about “good old days” like the ones before my diagnosis, or the ones in college with my friends when I was thin and carefree….I can’t help but take a moment to appreciate that THESE are also now the good old days. I love where I am and who I’ve become. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my life – as hectic and painful as it can sometimes be, and as hard and frustrating as it is with diabetes in it, it is still mine, and everything that has happened before now led me up to this point. Every day is not bliss, and I have my share of struggles, but that is life. Today is my last day of being 39, and tomorrow I will be 40. While it may just be another milestone birthday in the grand scheme of life, I do recognize that I have so much to be thankful and hopeful for…maybe I should catalog this era as the “good new days” instead. The Good New Days

D-blog week Day 3: Memories

Today we’re going to share our most memorable diabetes day. You can take this anywhere…. your or your loved one’s diagnosis, a bad low, a bad high, a big success, any day that you’d like to share.

I was diagnosed with type 1 at age 21, and I always felt like a very responsible and alert patient. I was old enough to where I paid attention to my body. I knew the immediate and dire consequences of lows, as well as the long term effects and possible DKA issues with highs. Even when I was diagnosed, it was early enough to where I didn’t have to be hospitalized, and I’d never had any diabetes issue that had caused me to call 911 or go to the hospital.

So it seems fitting that my most memorable diabetes day occurred when I was 34 years old, single, living alone (well, alone from other humans – my dog Xena, the Warrior Schnauzer was a constant companion) and had a low so bad that I honestly think I could have died. And no one would have known.

I was having a busy work day, and was working from home. Typical day, really, and even though I sit at a desk all day doing project management stuff, my brain was in high speed mode and I’m sure that assisted in burning off some sugar. Lunch time rolled around (well, kind of a late lunch since it was close to 1:30pm), I got up from my desk & walked across the house to the kitchen, turned on the oven, and put in a frozen chicken pot pie. No judging! I love a good chicken pot pie on a cool spring day. Set the timer to go off when it was done. At that time, I was bolusing for meals about 30 minutes ahead of eating, and did not have a CGM. Took my insulin when the pot pie was within 25 minutes of being done, and settled back at my desk to wrap up some emails.

A cooked Marie Callender's chicken pot pie, ou...

A cooked Marie Callender’s chicken pot pie, out of the box. Mine did NOT look like this, and was burnt to all tarnation once I recovered from the low enough to rescue it from the oven. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Got caught up in work – was instant messaging with several people about some questions they had. Didn’t have a clue or recognition that my sugar was tanking. I remember sending one co-worker an instant message response, then with no warning, everything went black.

I think I heard the beeping of the oven timer going off, but it sounded so far away and unreal. I opened my eyes to see Xena looking at me, very concerned. Why she was looking at me at eye level and sideways when I should be sitting up at my desk, I wasn’t sure. Oh, my head was on the floor, along with the rest of my body. Hmmm. I tried to lift my head up to make the room orient correctly, and I couldn’t. Every limb felt like it weighed 800 lbs, and I was weak beyond belief. I don’t know how I summoned the strength, but I eventually started crawling out of the room because I knew I couldn’t stand up. On the way out of the room, my arms gave way and I clocked my chin on the floor, and busted it pretty good. That would be an interesting injury to explain.

I made it to the kitchen, pulled myself up enough to open the fridge and grab some juice and start drinking from the carton. Juice was dripping everywhere, I smelled my burning chicken pot pie, the oven was still BEEEEEEPING relentlessly, but I didn’t care. I don’t know how much I drank, but I collapsed on the floor and absorbed it for a while. Fifteen-wait-fifteen was not happening that day.

When my sugar had come up enough for me to actually stand up, I took care of everything – removed the charred pot pie, turned off the oven, cleaned up the kitchen floor, and checked my sugar on my meter. It read 37. A couple minutes later I tested again and it read 55, so I was definitely on the upswing. I can only imagine how low it got for me to pass out, because I HAD passed out and gone unconscious. For about THREE HOURS. I knew it was 3 hours because the time stamp on the last instant message I sent my co-worker was at 2:15pm and now it was close to 5:30pm.

Looking back, I assume that while I was unconscious, my liver clued in and squirted out some last little stockpile of sugar that it could create that allowed me to become coherent enough to pull myself awake, maneuver through the house and get to the kitchen for juice. What if that hadn’t happened? What if I’d had seizures? What if?? Being single at the time, I could have easily died that day. That still freaks me out.

I hope that if you read this and you are single, or you are ever in a situation where you are alone for any span of time, please take some precautions and protect yourself against lows. Be even more alert and cognizant of what your body is doing. Get a CGM if you can afford it. Be well, and live long!!!