Reba’s Diary — living with diabetes

HELLO EVERYONE MY NAME IS REBA ST. VALENTINE
AND I AM A SURVIVOR.

Sweet Reba in the Grass

(This story was originally published on the old pre-blog DachsieHaven webpage and has been adapted as a blog post because Reba’s story needs to be told so people know diabetes is not a death sentence but the start of a new adventure in life and love)

I was found wondering in the woods south west of Roy in mid February of 2008. On St Valentine’s day I was picked up from my rescuers by Mom Anne and taken to live at DachsieHaven. I was all skin and bones so we went straight to the nice vets office on the way home. They weighed me….ouch I was only 14 lbs 6 oz and checked to see if I have a microchip….no I don’t so I won’t be able to find my old human family. Mom made an appointment to have me checked by the doctor the next afternoon and took me home and fed me a good meal and tucked me into a warm cozy bed by the fire.

2-15-08 — Just look how skinny I am all my bones are showing and I have no fat for padding so I have to stay on nice fluffy cushions.Today I went to the vet and had a full checkup and got all my shots. I got weighed again and I only weigh 14 lbs 1 oz. The vet looked in my mouth and found that most of my teeth are missing and I have a nasty hole where my caninreba 0001e teeth used to be that goes all the way up to my sinus. And I had all sorts of yucky greenish yellowy stuff up there. They gave me some nice pills to take with cheese when I get home…yummy. The vet also took my temperature and looked in my ears and eyes. Boy were my ears dirty but mom promised to clean them. Then a nice lady came in and took me in the back for blood and other stuff (yucky). That’s when the vet told mom that I am a very special girl and I am very lucky to be alive. You see I have type 1 diabetes and my blood sugar was so high I was in big trouble and there were nasty things in my urine that told them I would have died by the end of the weekend if I didn’t get a shot. The vet told us to go to the drug store and get insulin and pokey needles and to be back when the doors opened in the morning.

reba 00042-16-08 — Today I only weighed 13 lb 6 oz. I don’t know why I’m loosing weight when I’m eating like a little piggy. Mom was nice and she gave me a good breakfast before we went back to the vet just like they asked. They took me into the back room again and poked me. They told mom my blood glucose (bg) level was very high and I was a very sick little girl. I don’t feel sick I feel happy. I stayed at the vet all day and they poked me a lot of times but by the time mom came to get me they knew how much insulin I needed to take every day (4 units 2x). They also made mom promise to give me my shots twice a day 12 hours apart and to feed me some really good food at the same time. They also told mom I’m not allowed to have any treats except for healthy vegetables and sometimes some meat so I don’t mess up my bg between shots.

2-17-08 — I am glad we are getting my bg under control. I was always so very thirsty before we started giving me my shots. Mom was a bit grumpy this morning because she had to get up at 5:30am to feed me and give me my shot like it was a work day instead of a sleep in weekend day…but we got to go back to bed after breakfast so I was happy. We went back to the vet at lunch time and they poked me again. My bg was still a bit high so they upped my insulin to 5 units 2x. They told me I was looking much better and I was feeling so much better. I like it at my new home at Camp Dachsie.

2-22-08 — I like to lie on the big pillow in front of the woodstove with all my dachsie buddies. Look my ribs don’t stick out barely any at all.

Well mom has been giving me my shots every morning with breakfast and dinner and I am feeling really good. Mom spent a lot of time on the internet this week learning all she could about canine type 1 diabetes (I guess we are all type 1 if we are dogs). She signed onto a Yahoo group for the humans diabetic pets and got lots of good information about how to take care of me. We learned that diabetes is not a death sentence for a dog. Just like humans we can live long normal lives as long as we eat right and take our shots. Just like humans I will have to have my bg monitored and mom is looking for a nice canine glucose monitor to get for me so we don’t have to go the the vet to get my levels checked. When we checked my levels this morning I was very low. I really scared the vet tech and they gave me some yummy carro syrup. They said I should have been very tired but I felt great. We even walked up to the vet and I pulled mom the whole 2 blocks. I guess I can’t do anything the way they think I should. Well the vet said to lower my insulin back to 4 units 2x and to come back tomorrow at lunch time. Oh and I weighed a whole 14 lbs 6 oz and the people at the office say I look so very much better since all my ribs aren’t sticking out any more.

2-23-08 — I also love to kick back on the futon and look silly. I’m starting to look fat
and sassy too.reba 0044

We went back to the vet today and got our test. We were just about perfect so mom gets to keep up what we are doing and we get to go back next week. The vet also said that the advice that the nice people on the computer gave us was just right. Now I get to have lots of green beans with my dinner and breakfast plus for my lunch snack. I love green beans. I am also allowed to have broccoli and cauliflower but no peas or carrots because they are too high in sugar and will make my bg go funny. I am still always very hungry but I think I will get better about that soon too since I get all my meals and treats right on time now and I don’t have to be really hungry any more.

2-29-08reba 0045oh boy its a leap year day and I’m feeling great. Its been a great week at Camp Dachsie. I love to hang out with all my buddies on the couch. I’m the one in the middle…look almost no ribs showing. Now that could be because I am a little piggy but I think its the green beans that give me such a girlish figure. I can’t wait to go to the vet tomorrow and find out how much I weigh.

3-01-08 — Yippee I got to go to the vet again this morning. Its fun and I get to visit with all the nice people there. Someone told me I was supposed to be stressed when I go there but the people are just so nice and so what if I get a little prick with a needle mom does it to me twice a day. It only means that I get to feel better when its done. Mom tells me that my bg was at 99 today and it was 98 last Sunday so the vet says we get to keep on doing what we are doing because we seem to be doing it right. Also I am proud to say that I weigh 14 lb 8 oz this morning and everyone was oohing at how pretty and healthy I look.

3-2-08 — Today mom told me some really wonderful news. A nice guy from the diabetic doggie list is giving me a nice glucose meter so she can check my levels at home. This way we won’t have to worry about my being high or low because we can check without having to go to the vet….or mom trying to catch me when I go outside to tinkle. Mom and I are sad that his buddy Tobey went across the Rainbow Bridge last year but we are very thankful he decided to donate the meter to us in Tobey’s memory.
3-6-08 — We tooreba 0057k some more pictures today when mom noticed how fat and sassy I’m starting to look. I am 15lb 1oz today. I hate posing for pictures but well I guess she takes them even when I pout.

reba 0068Just compare this one to me at the water dish we took just after I came here. You can’t see my ribs at all and my shoulder blades aren’t showing. I just have a little monster ridge where my spine is but mom says that’s because I’m a little monster….just wait until I grow back into my paws then I’ll show her who’s little.

3-13-08 — Well I’ve had a great week. My bg seems to be staying stable. Mom is checking me regularly. I really don’t mind getting my ear poked for the test because its such a little poke and I get a really nice big piece of broccoli when I’m done. I don’t mind getting my shots either the new syringes mom got are so much nicer and I barely feel them at all. Since I was a very good girl today mom took me to Petsmart to get me a nice new collar. I picked the fancy green one with all the sparkles because I’m a diva.
3-24-08 — Today was nice and sunny so I went to play out in the yard and smell the flowers. I like the grass and the flowers bReba0085ut I don’t listen to mom very well when she tells me to stand still in front of the flowers to get my picture taken. Oh and we saw the nice people up at the vet yesterday and I was 15lb 10oz don’t I just look wonderful.

4-13-08 — Its a beautiful day today. The sun is shining and its nice and warm so I made mom walk me down to the vet to see how much I weigh now….a whopping 17.3 lbs….wow. Last week we changed my food to the regular stuff that everyone else around here eats because mom thought I had gained enough weight. This food has more grainy stuff so it helps me to keep my bg more level during the day. And now that the weather is getting better mom and I are going to start taking short walks every day to get me some muscles back. We have to be really careful because exercise changes how my insulin works so we have to figure out how much exercise to go with my insulin levels and food and treats.

05-30-08 –Today we went on our very first big outing. We went to the Medieval faire up at Port Gamble. I even got to walk around and visit with lots of new people.DSC_1894

Mom didn’t let me over do it because too much exercise makes my BG go funny. Since I was walking around so much I got a couple of green beans with peanut butter on them too keep me healthy.

We had so much fun and the people were really nice and everyone wanted to pet me. And when I got tired mom pulled me around in the big green wagon and then I took a nice long nap in my kennel. Then I got a picnic dinner because mom knows she can’t miss my dinner time and my shot. But I was having so much fun I didn’t even notice.

08-09-08 — In a twist that shows that life is stranger than fiction today I found my long lost daddy. I went camping with mom and dad and a whole bunch of friends in the SCA. Mom was talking to one of her friends who has a diabetic dachshund that she doesn’t see very often and told him that she now has a diabetic dachsie too (ME).  He had some sad news. His dachsie had died after wandering away from home the previous winter. This couldn’t be that much of a coincidence. They started comparing notes and then went back to camp and surprise there I was.

You see my name is not really Reba it’s Rosie and I lived with my mom and dad and my two doggie buddies in Roy but one day while I was out doing my business I smelled something interesting and I wondered off. Everyone at my house thought I was coyote food…nope I was hanging out at Camp Dachsie. Mom Anne used to joke that the only reason I survived out in the woods as long as I did was that I was in such bad shape no self respecting coyote would eat me. I’m sorry my dad thought one did.

Now instead of going home with Mom Anne after our camping trip I went to my real home and boy was everyone happy to see me. The nice thing is since we are all friends we will still get to visit.

As of our meeting with Rosie’s owner we are glad to report she is still very happy and very determined never to wander out of her yard again.

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