Luanne, my friend from high school and her husband Jim are arriving here Tuesday night, so I have been busy getting things ready for their visit. They will stay in the Texas room, so that is very comfortable. It's actually an efficiency apartment, so they will have everything they need there. I've been trying to think of things to do while they are here. They were here a few years ago and we did some sightseeing, but there are many more things we can do. We are anxious to see them.
It's a good thing they didn't come the last two weeks because we were sick. We got the "Texas Crud" which is a bad cold that lingers for going on two weeks. Terry got it first, then when he was going strong, I started in with it. But we are both better now and fortunately for us, the coughing has not lingered. With some people, they continue to cough for weeks, so I am glad we are not doing that.
Duchess is doing okay. I am reading all I can about canine diabetes and I'm finding that most vets just encourage you to inject twice a day with checks periodically at the vets. The forums I am on do not subscribe to that theory and encourage home testing of your dog. The reason being is that food, exercise and insulin all conspire to regulate blood sugar and too much or not enough of any one of those items can cause highs and lows in blood sugar. Lows in dogs are particularly dangerous because the dog cannot tell us they are getting dizzy or crashing. If they are asleep, they can easily slip into a coma, so home testing is important. In fact, most of the people on the forums seek out a vet for the initial diagnosis, and that is the last time the vet actually treats the disease. They do all their own testing and adjust doses depending on what is going on with the dog. They even do their own glucose curves which tell what is happening during the day starting with a fasting blood sugar.
I do think home testing is what I am aiming for, because many of these people have been able to slow or halt the advancement of blindness in their animals which tends to have a rapid onset after the initial diagnosis. We do know that Duchess is developing cataracts, so she will still have regular vet visits, but I am hoping to do a reasonable job of keeping her blood sugar under control. We are still working at getting her regulated. I do have the pet testing kit now and have tried it a couple times. She tolerates it well and it is a little easier than I thought it would be. She is a sweetie. I want to do what I can to help manager her disease and keep her healthy. I made her a Scottie bag to carry all her supplies. She has her test kit, small and large sharps containers, extra test strings and lancets, a cold pack insulin container, and her medical folder with all her information. Here is a picture of the bag. Hers is on the left, while my bigger bag is on the left.
A few weeks ago two of my nieces, Michelle and Staci, drove down here from Indiana to see Mom. They were here for about five days. It was a whirlwind while they were here. Their days were filled with shopping and playing cards and they even twisted my arm into playing cards with them a couple evenings. It was fun and I think they enjoyed their time here. It was cloudy some days, but they did have some sunny warm days as well. It certainly was warmer than Indiana at the time.
Our street dinners have started. The residents of each street sponsor and prepare a dinner as a fund raiser. This helps us to keep our assessments low. Ours was two weeks ago, just prior to our getting sick. We prepare a pork loin dinner which is very good. Today Mom and I went to the roast beef dinner. It was very tasty and we both brought part of it home. The hall was really hot tonight and I wondered if the air conditioning was even working. It normally keeps us cold and today it was very warm. The place was packed as well. They normally limit the tickets to the capacity of the hall, but with people going from 4 to 6, it can handle many more. They actually had to set up more tables tonight. I think their dinner was a great success. Terry doesn't go to the dinners because he cannot have salt. But he's gracious about not minding if I go with Mom, so he fixed something here at home.
Our park seems to be fuller this year than it has been for several years. There has been some turnover, with some older members passing away. It seems younger people are coming in looking for cheaper living in the winter and it is fairly inexpensive to live here. And it's a nice, safe community as well.
I have been taking Spanish lessons since the beginning of January. A lady in the community visits several of the parks and teaches us conversational Spanish. She is very dedicated. She surely has been trained as a teacher, because her techniques are very good. She is very encouraging. We laugh and have fun. She enjoys teaching and it shows and we all enjoy learning from her. Half of the class is made up of French Canadians. They already speak French and English and are learning Spanish. They learn very quickly too. They seem very dedicated. I really must practice for next week. It's a review week and I want to be sure I can put into practice some of what I've learned.
That brings you up-to-date with what we've been doing. We are beginning to plan our exit from the valley. I plan to have back surgery when we get to Indiana, so we may be leaving earlier than usual.
Till next time. . .