Look into my eyes.

Look into my eyes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Thinking back to beginning

In the fall of 1999 I came down with a stomach virus.  I was off work for 2 weeks.  Afterwards I felt find until around January.  I was not attempting to loose weight but I was starting to loose weight.  I was also eating very differently due to my body cravings.  I would eat dinner and fall asleep watching TV and wake up at 1 or 2 in the morning not understanding why slept through the phone ringing or the doorbell ringing. 

During the winter months I had a medical procedure done and had many blood tests but nothing showed up as a problem.  I continued to loose weight without trying until the spring.  I had been using the scale in the nurse's office at school during this time until one Friday morning.  I weighed myself and calculated that I had lost more than 70 pounds.  The two nurses in the room were congratulating me on the weight loss until I told them I was not trying to loose weight.  They both became concerned and told me I had made an appointment with my doctor.  So on that Saturday I was told that I had Diabetes and immediately admitted to the hospital.

After changing doctors I found one that explained that I was not a Type 2 diabetic but that I was
Type 1.  My life of insulin injections started.  Life changed but I was happy to be alive.

Now jump to 2006.  I adopted a kitten and started training for him to become an assisted touch therapy animal.  This meant that he went with me everywhere.  We adopted a nursing home in Valley Park.  Every week would visit with people and Cosmo was always willing to sit and listen or act silly and play.  Cosmo learned where the residents rooms were at and he would decide the order in which friends were seen. 

When Cosmo was one and half years old I figured out he was alerting to my blood sugar levels.  He was very accurate.  I started taking him with me everywhere.  He would come to school on my "sick" days as the "classroom" pet.  But this meant I could work and not have to take time off from teaching.  This also meant that I could leave my home and not have to worry as much about being found unconscious in a store, parking lot, or in my home.  

Take another jump to 2014.  In October I felt a lump on Cosmo.  After a surgery was performed and a biopsy completed it was determined that he had Feline Vaccine Associated Sarcoma.  The vaccines he was given during the summer had created the cancer.  1% of all cats vaccinated get this type of cancer.  This type of cancer does not respond well to typical cancer treatments so now he is going to have his leg amputated.  This is not a decision that I want to make but Cosmo has saved my life so many times how can I not save his.   As you can imagine when Cosmo and I are out in public we are looked upon as an oddity.  Now that he will only have 3 legs I am not able to put him and I through even more embarrassing times.

Over the last 4 months Cosmo has not been able to alert as accurately.  I am not sure why but I can't imagine that things will get any better.  So I am on a new path to attain a DAD, diabetic alert dog.  This adventure is making me open up and tell people about my medical condition and also to ask for help.  My friends will tell you I am very independent and rarely ask for help.  But I am in need of help.  The choice to get a DAD is not one that I wanted to make but one that I had to make.  So now I am in need of more help then I ever thought I would need.    The choice of organization was very difficult.  The group Service Dogs by Warren Retrievers is the company I have chosen.  I have to raise $25,000 in order to get a DAD.  After raising the money it will take a year to get a dog.  So until then I am daily danger.  The following is a little information about how Cosmo has helped me as well as how a DAD works.


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