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Bradley and Me

Bradley and Me
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Hi and welcome to my blog. My name is Kathleen and I have had Type 1 Diabetes since I was five years old. I am engaged to a wonderful man and have two great college-aged kids. I wear an insulin pump, check my blood glucose many times daily and have a medical alert dog, named Bradley, who assists me with my diabetes management. He was a new addition to the family in November 2009. I also work as a registered nurse case manager for a local medical group and many of my patients are also diabetic. In this role, I assist them with care coordination and act as a health care resource. I hope that you find the information that you read about on this site useful and entertaining, too! Please let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you! Thanks for reading


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 Blog Entries
Dogs for Diabetics In The News - Oct 19
A wonderful article just came out on one of my friends, Kathy and her dog, Odetta,  from Dogs for Diabetics.  Read about her experiences with her D4D dog and more ...
more
But Why Can't I Pet Him? - Oct 12
I’m the kind of person, that has a hard time telling people “no.”  I like to keep everybody happy and avoid conflict.  So it is and has been a ...
more
A Typical Weekday With Bradley - Oct 11
Bradley is my medical alert dog for my Type 1 diabetes.  I often refer to him as my furry CGM.  It is a lot easier to listen to him tell me I need to check my blood ...
more
My Review of the JDRF Webcast on Complications Research - Oct 09
The Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation sponsors monthly webcasts to share information about Type 1 Diabetes.  Yesterday I watched the presentation by Barbara ...
more
Getting the Kinks Out - Oct 04
Bradley and I had an interview with a local community news and entertainment website this morning. The weather in downtown Pleasanton was gorgeous. The temperature was in ...
more
Dogs for Diabetics In The News
Posted: Oct 19, 2010 9:45:52 2 Comments.
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  • A wonderful article just came out on one of my friends, Kathy and her dog, Odetta,  from Dogs for Diabetics.  Read about her experiences with her D4D dog and more about the organization here:  Dogs Improve the Lives of Diabetics.

    It was a great article, Kathy! 

    Woof! from Bradley.

    But Why Can't I Pet Him?
    Posted: Oct 12, 2010 9:52:05 2 Comments.
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  • I’m the kind of person, that has a hard time telling people “no.”  I like to keep everybody happy and avoid conflict.  So it is and has been a challenge for me to tell people “no” when they ask to pet Bradley.  When I am out in public, I actually enjoy having people stop and ask if they can pet Bradley because it gives me an opportunity to educate them about Dogs for Diabetics.  The problem was primarily at work….

    Prior to getting Bradley, I met with Debbie, from Human Resources, and we talked about how my future service dog  would be at the office.  She had questions about things like, where he would sleep, would his being at the office interfere with other’s or my work duties, and other things along those lines.  Debbie was great and did some research on interacting with a service dog, or more to the point not interacting with a service dog.  She reviewed an e-mail with me that she put together on this topic and the fact that there would be a service dog on the premises, before sending it out to the entire company.  So when I brought him to work, no one was surprised to see him with me and they all had been given “the rules.”  But it is a totally different story, once you see Bradley in person.  He is a Lab and he loves people and attention and one look from those “warm pudding” eyes, as my friend Barbara would say, and people would completely forget all about “the rules.”  The first and foremost rule was this: (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1815_

    Thanks for reading!

    A Typical Weekday With Bradley
    Posted: Oct 11, 2010 10:16:16 0 Comments.
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  • Bradley is my medical alert dog for my Type 1 diabetes.  I often refer to him as my furry CGM.  It is a lot easier to listen to him tell me I need to check my blood sugar than a friend or family member.  Today, I thought that I would take you through a typical weekday with Bradley.  He sleeps on the floor next to me on a comfy dog bed.  At 5:45 am my i-phone alarm wakes me up to the Coconutz, from the movie ”Forgetting Sarah Marshall,”  singing in Hawaiian, “Nothing Compares to You.”  This song is our song, mine and Darren’s (not mine and Bradley’s), and reminds me of him and of our trips to Hawaii together.  It is a good way to start the day.  I usually hit the snooze, and use the additional nine minutes to motivate myself to get up.  I drowsily wake up and Bradley stretches and follows me to the back sliding door off of our bedroom.  He goes out and does his “business.”  I let him back in and he watches as I get ready for work.  This includes figuring out what I’m going to wear, hair and make-up, and grabbing a couple cans of TaB and a snack to take to work.  By this time he has usually alerted me to check my blood sugar, it is usually dropping a little bit in the morning.  I check, reward Bradley, and if my blood sugar is more than a 100, I set my alarm for 15-20 minutes so that I remember to check my blood sugar again.  It is a confirmation that Bradley is alerting on the drop.  He previously has alerted me on the rise too, but I have been trying to phase this out.  I want him to just focus on the drops now, as it is more of an emergency.  Bradley has been patiently waiting for his breakfast, which consists of 1 1/4 cups of Duck and Potato kibble.  Before I leave for work, I check on my blog and make sure that my post for the day is  up and that it is also posted to  Facebook and Twitter. (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1792)

    Thanks for reading!

    My Review of the JDRF Webcast on Complications Research
    Posted: Oct 9, 2010 17:24:58 0 Comments.
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  • The Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation sponsors monthly webcasts to share information about Type 1 Diabetes.  Yesterday I watched the presentation by Barbara Araneo, Director of Complications Research for JDRF, on the latest studies on diabetes complications.  There were between 90-100 viewers on average watching the webcast.  She focused on questions that were e-mailed to her prior to the webcast, as well as, additional questions submitted from the viewers during the presentation.  She discussed specific clinical trials on diabetes complications and the information that had been obtained from the studies.  Some of the studies have even shown some reversal of eye, kidney, and nerve complications.  She was very proud to be aable to share these successes.  For specific information on some of these clinical trials, see complications therapies.  She acknowledged that most of the research has been into the effects of hyperglycemia on Type 1 Diabetics but that they are going to be doing further research into the effects of hypoglycemia. (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1765)

    Thanks for reading! :)
    Getting the Kinks Out
    Posted: Oct 4, 2010 19:38:30 2 Comments.
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  • Bradley and I had an interview with a local community news and entertainment website this morning. The weather in downtown Pleasanton was gorgeous. The temperature was in the low seventies and the tables in front of Tully’s were filled with a variety of people; couples sharing coffee with their small dogs tethered under the table, girlfriends chatting animatedly, and a group of bicyclists stopping for a quick break. Bradley was on his best behavior even with dogs all around him, including a Dalmatian that was barking and begging for Bradley to pay some attention to him. I enjoyed meeting with Marnette and telling her all about “Bradley and Me” and look forward to sharing the article with you when it is available. Bradley even showed off for Marnette during the interview, by catching a low of 77 dropping from 150 and alerting as we were talking. Go Bradley! (Read more at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1644)

     

    Thanks for reading! :)

    Bradley's Pool Party
    Posted: Sep 27, 2010 11:23:49 0 Comments.
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  • I have always wished that we had a pool in the backyard.  I’ve had one in the past and the kids always enjoyed having their friends over for swimming and having a fun place to hang out.  Swimming is a good form of exercise and would help with my blood glucose control, too.  But more likely, I have found floating around on an air mattress in the pool a relaxing way to spend the afternoon, so it may be a little bit about me relaxing more than exercising.    It is a combination of the two, I am sure.  And now, ever since, I’ve had Bradley, I’ve wished that we had access to a pool for him to swim in.    I’ve listened to many a Lab owner, including my supervisor, talk about how they can’t keep their dogs out of the pool, because they love it so much.  I figured Bradley, my medical alert dog,  would too.  He’s a Lab, right?  They love water. (continued at
    http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1517)

    Thanks for reading!
    The Morning After (Oh, What a Night: conclusion)
    Posted: Sep 24, 2010 13:47:27 3 Comments.
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  • I woke up at 5:00 am and checked my BG:  525!  Of course I bolused, and then I downed a can of Tab.  At 8:00 am my blood sugar  had come down to 404.  I had a low cartridge alarm stating that I had only 12 units of insulin left….I actually loaded the cartridge about 14 hours previously with a 100 units (I use less than 30 units in 24 hours)!  I headed out to the living room with my blanket, wearing my jammies, and commenced recovering from the events of the night before.  It was going to be a day of catching up on sleep and letting my body recover from the assault it had endured just a few short hours ago.  (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1462)

    Thanks for reading!
    Oh, What a Night
    Posted: Sep 23, 2010 10:55:19 0 Comments.
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  • Last night I was feeling really tired.  Darren and I were watching television but there was not much on.  He was watching “True Blood,” an HBO show about vampires that I used to be able to enjoy but this season find it too graphic and gory.  I start by watching some of the scenes  through the cracks of my fingers covering my eyes and then end up  just not being able to watch it at all.  I took the opportunity to go to bed early and left Darren to finish watching one of his favorite shows.  About twenty minutes later,  I was up and feeling terrible.  I checked my BG and it was 38.  I went out to the living room and said to Darren, “I don’t really feel like dying tonight.  My blood sugar is 38.”    This after having a couple of glucose tabs and apparently going into the kitchen to have a bowl of granola cereal.  Little did I know that this was just a prelude of things to come.  I was a bit foggy on the details and needed to piece together the night with the help of my fiance and daughter.  (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1453)

    Thanks for reading.
    Ominpod Trial: The Decision
    Posted: Sep 22, 2010 13:48:41 0 Comments.
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  • Today was my last day with the Omnipod trial and the day of the AHA walk.  I had two pods that I used over a six day period.  On the third day with both trial pods, I had problems with my skin feeling itchy.  I also forgot a couple of times about one of them and caught it on my clothes.  I didn’t pull it off but it did tear a little bit.  Luckily, it hung on until the end of the day.

    After the walk, we came home and I unpacked my backpack that was loaded down with BG testing supplies, emergency glucose sources and things for Bradley.  I went through all the Freestyle strips for the Omnipod PDM, so I needed to carry my glucometer along as well.  We came home and relaxed a little bit and then decided to go out and do some shopping.  I transferred over all the necessities to my bag (or so I thought.)  When we pulled into the (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1375)

    Thanks for reading!

    Heart Walk
    Posted: Sep 19, 2010 22:48:14 1 Comment.
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  • We were up  bright and early this morning to participate in the AHA Heart Walk.  According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are more than twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke than those without diabetes.   Visit http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/heart-disease/ to learn more.  The ABCs of heart disease for diabetics are:  A:  Keep your a1c level less than 7.  B:  Keep your blood pressure controlled at less than 130/80 and, of course C:  cholesterol.  Your cholesterol should be at healthy levels to reduce the risk of plaque formation in your arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke (brain attack.)  Discuss with your physician what level he/she wants your triglycerides,  cholesterol, HDL and LDL, and your lipid levels to be.  If your levels are too high, they will likely recommend changes to your diet and possibly medications. (continued at http://www.bradleyandme.net/?p=1368)

    Thanks for reading!
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