Diabetes is a treatable, manageable condition. You can maintain your sanity and your cat's health, all on a reasonable budget. Read Betty's story
It transpired that my first glucose attempt was accurate and I impressed Gareth and Ruth. They both said it was some feat because it took two of them to test my moody girl! Betty's dose was increased 2IU twice daily and I did another curve a week later. Again her levels were high, 25.6 - 33.8. Two days later, on the 17th December, she also developed the dreaded diarrhoea. She had tried so hard to bury it, that it got into her paws and I awoke to poo paw prints all over the kitchen. Smart.
So her dose was increased to 4IU and her diet changed to Hills D/D. On the 20th I awoke to my most frightening episode yet. I was pretty hungover from my office Christmas party and I had given her evening dose irresponsibly late at 12am. I got up at 7am to check on her and spent 20 mins frantically calling her name. I eventually followed what sounded like a bird twittering, and found her wedged in a small space with her face pressed to the wall. I pulled her out and hugged her but she was pressing her face hard into my clothes.
When I put her down she started walking in circles with her face pressed against the wall. Betty was blind and confused. I thought it was the brain tumour at first but then realised it could be a hypo attack. She had one once before but she just had weak back legs as a symptom. Nothing as scary as this. For the next two hours I rubbed honey on her gums intermittantly and gave her food. After food her glucose level was 4.6. She recovered slowly and her dose was reduced down to 3IU twice daily.
I was due to do another glucose curve on New Years Day but found I only had two strips left. I tested anyway and got one very low reading of 2.5. After consulting with Ruth, her dose was reduced again to 2IU.
She had a glucose curve at the vets on 3rd January and her readings were 5.9 - 12.1 which is reasonable control (the aim for diabetics is 5.5 - 10). They were probably elevated due to the stress of being at the vets too. I'm becoming a bit of a pro now so I continued the readings the following day and got 4.5 - 8.7.
She had her second dose of the drug on the 4th January. Ruth found an irregular heart beat which caused a scare for me, but her heart was confirmed fit after another ECG. Phew. The beat was put down to the thickening of her throat tissue and the subsequent effect of the breathing effort on her nervous system. A side effect of the growth hormone.
At first Ruth wanted to decrease the drug dose to try and calm her diarrhoea. But the glucose readings point to potential remission. So she prescribed a supplement to aid digestion and said that if I could cope with the poo (Ruth didn't say poo) then they would keep her on the same dosage. She also suggested reducing her insulin to 1IU and testing again today.
So far I have 6.3 before food and insulin and 12.1 3 hours after.
It is quite a rollercoaster treating my furkid. With every gain comes a side affect. I have to watch out for gum ulcers now. The supplement she is on can cause these. There's a hole in my bucket...
Through all the drama, Betty still seems comfortable and happy, (apart from when that dimwit lady let her dog sniff at Betty in her basket. It was horrible. Betty did a Tasmanian devil impression. How I did not punch that woman I don't know! I think I was just emotionally spent.) and very loving.
More dosage and poo reports to follow...