Saturday, May 12, 2007

I missed my calling. Or not...

Warning: Another diabetic post.

So first it was the shots. And they hardly freak me out at all anymore, nor Jess. But then after his vet visit this week, I was instructed to wake up at 4:30am that night (exactly 8 hours after his evening shot) to test his blood glucose. Ok, I said. How? That's when they told me I would have to make my cat bleed onto a very tiny strip of paper inside a delicate machine that turns itself off if you don't use it within like 15 seconds. Oh.

I went to Walgreens and bought the glucometer and supplies, and dutifully woke up at 4:30. However, I utterly failed to test his blood. I now think it was because I was wussy about it and didn't want to stick him hard enough to make him bleed. Here's the thing: I hate blood. I am not in the medical profession for a REASON, people. I can't watch while they draw my blood and I would rather be completely knocked out cold than be aware of anything medically intrusive happening to me. So this was a tall order.

I gave up and we all went back to sleep. I tried again Thursday night and was finally successful - in part because I practiced on poor Jess before we went to bed, to make sure I could do it. That first poke was pretty awful; I won't go into detail, but it bled a leeeetle bit more than it was supposed to. Jess was really a sport though. He was annoyed, but forgot as soon as I gave him treats.

Anyway, his nighttime number looked good so the vet said to stay the course on our current dose of insulin. Cool. Then came today, when I was home with him all day long. And I noticed that he slept a LOT. Like, more than usual. And he seemed kind of groggy when I would wake him up by petting him. He was still good-natured, just...sleepy. I trusted my instincts and pulled out the ole' glucometer, and sure enough, his blood sugar was pretty low. Not dangerously low, in fact it was in the "normal" range, but it was pretty low considering he was due for another shot in an hour. After consulting this feline diabetes website I found and calling the ER vet for advice, I waited an hour and tested it again. It has gone up a little, but not much. And he's not eating as much or as enthusiastically as usual. So I'm waiting another 20 minutes and I'm going to have to test him AGAIN. I just want to make sure his numbers are going up, not down, before I go to bed. And I skipped the nighttime insulin shot, btw. My regular vet will get a phone call Monday to consult about lowering his dosage, as maybe it's working a little too well.

BUT -- and now I have finally reached my circuitous point -- I can't believe I'm actually capable of sticking a lance in my kitty-handsome's ear and getting it onto the tiny strip before he flicks it everywhere (live and learn, my friends), and get a reading before the glucometer shuts itself off. Rock. On. I hate blood, yet I am doing this. So, yay me. And yay, Jess, for improving so quickly! On that note, I leave you with Jess's very explicit comment on the whole prickly affair...

3 comments:

Crazy MomCat said...

I'm glad everything is working and you're getting used to it. In a way, you will be a trained diabetic even though you do not have the disease. Part of the hardest part (for me) after accepting I have to test all the time was not growing complacent about it and just not doing it. I'm still working on that part...

Babs said...

You rock! I can't stand blood either... and the whole process sounds incredibly hard. Isn't it amazing what you can bring yourself to do?!?

p.s. Jess is still one handsome devil ;)

Dipu said...

Post all the kitty diabetic posts you want! It's a new and scary time and of course it's gonna be foremost on your mind. No one here's gonna make fun of you for that.

Glad to hear you're both getting the hang of it. Isn't it amazing how finely attuned to their moods and symptoms you become while you're going through this, and how you find that more often than not your instincts are correct despite your lack of medical training? I'm sure those people out there with kids have NO idea what I'm talking about...