Going to try and home test Delgado's blood today.

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by edenbee, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Jan 28, 2018
    I am finally getting up the courage to test my cat Delgado's blood at home. I have all the right equipment and my vet was more than fine with this as Delgado is VERY scared and stressed when I take him there to get tested which may effect the numbers.
    I am going to watch a video on youtube while I do it and just copy it step by step. My vet also had me watch him test over a week ago in his office. Delgado is a mellow cat when he's home and I am hoping he just lets me do this while he is in my lap.
    I gave him his insulin shot of 1.5 units at 12;30pm. And I took up all his food and treat dishes at 2:30pm. I left the water out but he's not drinking much. I was thinking of doing the test at 6pm. Hopefully this is okay!
     
  2. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Good luck! Take a deep breath and be sure his ear is warm. If you have any problems, post and we’ll help you.
     
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  3. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Good for you! Being very matter of fact and clinical will help and, as they say, fake it until you feel it. Once you get more comfortable with it you’ll be very glad to have the peace of mind it gives. :)
     
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  4. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Good luck!!!!! It takes a while to get the routine down. Don't worry if the first attempt doesn't result in a successful test-- just give Delgado a treat and praise, and try again later.

    By the way, you don't always have to remove all food before the test. We do recommend that the "pre-shot" tests (to make sure it is safe to shoot insulin) be done without food influence, but what that means is that food is removed for the previous two hours. And for other tests it doesn't matter as much.

    Your 6pm test will be roughly in the middle of the "cycle", so it should be a good first hint of what this dose is doing for him. What kind of insulin are you using?
     
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  5. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thanks all! I did forget about warming his ear up first! Oh, I didn't know that about the pre-shot test. I get it now. He is not at all happy with his Orijen treats not being out so I may give him the test at 5:30. I am TOTALLY faking it until I make it haha.
    I am giving him ProZinc. He threw up yesterday morning which hasn't happened since his dose was adjusted so it seems like a good time to finally try this.
    I will try not to be upset if I can't do this today...if he runs or whatever. If I fail he gets his favorite treats and some petting and I can try tomorrow. Whoever recommend those Orijen treats to me...wow does he LOVE them! More than the LivALittle ones and he loves those.
     
  6. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how it goes!
     
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  7. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Okay I will!
     
  8. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Well I really tried. He didn't like me poking his ear at all and kept swatting my hand. But he sat next to me ling enough for me to get a small amount of blood out of his ear. But it wasn't enough because the meter wouldn't read it. So I stopped when he got up and walked away. Now he's happy eating his treats. I was REALLY close to doing this correctly but it just wasn't enough blood I guess and I don't want to torture him. I will try again tomorrow I guess.
    I forget...does the strip need to be thrown out once the countdown is over? Or can you use the same one again for another try?
     
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  9. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on the try!! Good that you got as far as getting a drop!!! even if it was a very little one. You'll get it next time.

    If the strip got blood on it you'll have to throw it away, if it's like new and totally clean, and you just left it on the meter too long, just get it out and in again
     
  10. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    If you get any blood on the strip you need to toss it. Start a little desensitization tonight. Just take him to the testing spot, pet him for a few min, give him a treat and let him go. Do it several times throughout the evening and tomorrow if possible. Add some ear rubs, again without the poke, as soon as you think he’s ready, then when you’re both relaxed with that, try the poke.
     
  11. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Okay thanks! I feel a bit let down I wasn't able to do it but I know I was REALLY close. Enough that I saw blood in his ear and tried to get it on the meter. I could have brought him back to the couch and kept trying. He was barely upset. But I figured 4-5 times was enough and he got up and slowly walked over to his food dish letting me know "enough! time to feed me!"
    So I feel like I did okay. My husband had a video on of how to do it and he said I was perfect but for my hands being a little shaky the first few tries. he just didn't bleed that much.
    I need cotton pads and maybe some vaseline I think. The vet actually took a few tries to get a drop from him too when he showed me how to do it. Delgado sort of purred through the whole thing too.
    The strips that came with the meter say for cat 22. The ones I bought online say cat 7. So I assume when I use the strips that say 22 I calibrate the meter to that?
    The meter actually said Err 3 I think when I pressed it against the ear. I think I pricked my own finger at one point and it was mine. I was a little nervous at first! Good to know I can reuse untouched strips!
     
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  12. Smokey and Jessica

    Smokey and Jessica Member

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    I find it easier to test with Smokey on my lap so I can pin him if he starts to wiggle. Treats definitely help and it only took a couple days for him to start purring and sitting with me while I set everything up because he knew the food was coming. Now if I even go near where keep the testing stuff he starts purring and gets really excited if I touch it. He knows the sound of the zipper on the meter case now and comes running when he hears it! They learn fast and I think food motivation is the best tool.
     
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  13. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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    Are you using the Alpha track meter? @JanetNJ can give you info on its use. It’s a little different from the way my human meter works. I think there’s a trick to holding it to best suck up the blood.
     
  14. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    If it's an Alphatrak you need to touch one of the tiny protruding points on the side of the black dot into the drop and that sucks in the sample like a straw. Don't put the drop On the dot.
     
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  15. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    You change the meter code according to the code number on the vial. If you look carefully at the end of the strip where you see a little black semicircle on each side, there's a tiny little finger protruding out of the semicircle. That little finger has to pierce the bubble of the blood drop in order for blood to enter the strip and generate a reading. Another thing that helps is to only partially insert the strip into the meter, poke to get a blood drop and when you have it, push the strip all the way into the meter. That way it won't time out while you're fiddling to get a drop.
     
  16. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yeah definitely!
     
  17. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yes its an AlphaTrak one
     
  18. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yeah I tried not to...also I was told if I get a lot of blood I can simply put the meter on the lancet blood drops.
     
  19. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Okay that sounds good! Cause I definitely don't want to fee rushed and maybe I was holding the meter wrong. Cause I did get some blood out for sure. Tried to squeeze more out but its so thin there he was pulling away.
    having him on my lap to do this may be best..its where he is 8 hours a day anway!
     
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  20. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    You only need a tiny bit. You can scoop the drop on your nail so you can let the cat go. See the little part sticking out in the picture? That’s what you want to dip one into the drop. 3DF2ED06-D23A-4061-927A-B83730DF9E98.png
     
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  21. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    oh okay! Thanks! I actually think I just did the meter wrong now. Cause I did the rest right and had a drop of blood.I will do that next try...either on my nail or on the lancet instead of smushing it around his bobbing ear.
     
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  22. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Going to try to test Del's blood again today...I think I know how to do it a lot better now.
     
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  23. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Good luck!
     
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  24. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thanks! He has vomited twice this week so I am taking him back to the vet. Dose may be too high..but I want to get a reading and then compare it to the vets.
     
  25. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    If you use a human meter the reading will be lower than the vet, just so you understand. They are similar at low numbers and quite different at high numbers
     
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  26. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Okay thank you...I have the animal meter just because I am new to all this and I wanted to get the same thing the vet uses for now.
     
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  27. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    I did it! My husband held a light on the ear so I could see the vein better. I just went right for the vein this time...he did try to run off and I let him as I had a drop of blood in my finger from him. Reading came in at 116 and he got his shot at 12:15pm today. I think that is pretty good! And also 100 lower then the last vet test. I made sure to give him treats and petted him and then he ran to the door. He gets to play in the hallway as a reward which he loves. I sat there with him for an hour and petted him. I feel bad he ran from the prick I may have been a little rough but my hand as steady and I had no nerves. It was actually very easy mainly because Del is just so so good and is so attached to me. He ran off for about less than two minutes. Now I don't feel so worried about the vomiting! He was 220 last test at the vet's office. I am going to email my vet and tell him this...maybe the dose is off hence the throwing up. Thanks everyone so much!
     
  28. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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  29. Nan & Amber

    Nan & Amber Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on your first test!!!!!! Whoo-hoo!

    Echoing Kris-- can you clarify when that 116 was in relation to when you gave the shot? We are all in different time zones here, so clock time doesn't mean much-- the way we tell time is in hours past the last shot, as in, two hours post-shot is +2, four hours is +4, etc. If the 116 was before his shot, that would be a bit low to give insulin right now, but if it's in the middle of the cycle (+4 to +8), it's a great number!
     
  30. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Hi! Just wanted to jump in too..as Nan and Kris said, 116 was a bit low to give a shot on, but if it was mid-cycle. that was fine! If that was the preshot, I'd make sure to test again as Kris suggested to be sure he doesn't go too low.
     
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  31. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    He was 550 to start with and was on 2 units.Very sick.Then he was vomiting so we went to 1.5 and he was over 200 at the vet.
    today was 116 about 5 hours after the shot...I can't take it again tonight he's still not over this afternoons drama but the vet said drop it to 1 unit now as his nerves are VERY bad at the vet when they do the test there.
     
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  32. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    The test was 5 hours after the 1.5 unit shot.
     
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  33. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yes it was mid cycle. His shot was at noon NYC time...and then around 5pm NYC time..EST...so five hours after the 1.5 shot. Second shot was dropped to 1unit as per vet instructions after mailed him...he is on my block and I have his cell number....
     
  34. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    I don't have anything to add to the excellent "poking strategy" advice others have given, but just wanted to send along my encouragements! I took my 40 minutes to get Quintus's first test in. He didn't move from the pillow (that's how he is, old and patient), but it was just me being incapable of first getting blood, then getting it on the strip without it timing out, then simply getting a reading. So well done to you!
     
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  35. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thanks! I think I really could have done this first or second try but my hands were shaky and I didn't get how to use the meter. My cat is just so good and reluctant to leave my lap. I just hope its as easy next time because now he will know what is coming...sorry my post was lacking in info and didn't fully explain things.. I was just so excited to tell everyone I managed to do it haha...the graphic above on where to put the blood drop is great...as is everyone's questions and advice. I am really a newbie still...
    This board is really helpful I am so glad I found it. Hard to imagine going through this without this board and that link above about when to give Prozinc and another message board is wonderful. I give it another go in two days.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  36. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Doing another home test today. Waiting the six hours from his 1 unit of insulin is not fun as he keeps looking at his food and snack dish like WHAT THE HECK but I am hoping to be able to get the test done again. I hope he can make the connection to feeling better to getting stuck with all these needles because I feel so bad...
     
  37. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    He will get used to the testing, specially if you give him his treats he will relate the testing with getting some yummy treats and I think they do understand you are doing all of this for his own good
     
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  38. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thank you...it was a little rough but when he ran I could tell he still wanted to be on my lap so I just kept trying.
    He was 109 six hours after the shot and he is now on half a unit of insulin. I test again in two days. It is a bit tortuous for him but he forgives easy.
    He got a lot of treats and love after.
     
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  39. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    good number. if you could set up a spreadsheet that would be really helpful. If you have any trouble setting it up someone can set it up for you.
     
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  40. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yeah good idea...I think one of the things I bought actually came with one...right now I am going for every 2-3 days at half a unit and see how he does. I REALLY think his numbers were so high due to his absolute terror at the vet.
     
  41. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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  42. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thanks!
     
  43. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Delgado is off insulin now for 48 hours because he is testing so normally at home that the half unit may be too high. I check his blood tomorrow and see what his says after two days of no shots.
    All I can say is I am SO glad I decided to test at home though last time was kinda rough!
     
  44. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Keep on testing, and let's hope he stays too low for insulin! That would be great!
     
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  45. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Yes! We are hoping! Going to test again today at 7pm nyc time and see what it reads after 48 hours with no shots.
    I have to go to Florida Sunday-wedneday and my husband is a little nervous to be in charge of monitoring Delgado during this but I told him if he sees ANYTHING weird at all just take him to the vet. I am the only one who can do the bloodwork.
     
  46. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    You haven't tested at all in 48h?
     
  47. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    No. I emailed my vet wed night and gave him Delgado's numbers which were 167 on half a unit. He said retest in 48 hours without any insulin then contact him with the results. So we will take blood soon. It's still hard for me to do or I would take it every day. But mainly due to me having issues getting a blood drop testing is not the easiest. He is doing well right now...eating and drinking normally. Playing a little. Been keeping a very close eye on him and will test in a. few hours. Last shot was wed afternoon.
     
  48. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

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    Right. What is making testing difficult? Lack of practice? ;-) (or is there something else I missed?)
     
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  49. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    I am just tentative because I really need to poke his ear and then I feel bad. Got a lot of blood today and he barely winced BUT he read at around 470.
    So he goes back on half a unit tonight and for the next 3 days.
    I have a question that is maybe dumb...
    Are the Orijen freeze dried treats the same for cats and dogs? Because Del loves them and the dog ones are so much cheaper. Ingredients look the same I just don't want to do the wrong thing.
     
  50. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

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    Freeze dried meat is the same for both. Good job getting the reading
     
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  51. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Thanks just making sure!
    It would be nice if he was in remission but those numbers are way high. Once again I am SO happy to be able to do this at home.
    He did seem a little out of it today...
     
  52. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    They should be the same so you can just break them up into smaller pieces for your kitty. Double check the label.
     
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  53. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Okay will do!
    Thank you...
    I guess him going into remission within a month would be too much to hope for...but maybe it's a good sign for the future. Poor guy has been through so much with the thyroid but I guess all of the older kitties have their issues.
     
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  54. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Another massacre of a home test...but managed to get the blood. Delgado seems like he is on the verge of a possible remission maybe. Not sure how this works...he tested 116 at half a unit last week...so my vet said drop it down to a little less than half a unit...cause when we stopped the insulin for 3 days he shot up to 440.
    Today on less than half a unit of proZ twice a day he was 224. Emailed my vet and waiting to hear back now. Not bad numbers I guess but not low enough to try going off the insulin I would think. Trying to get a third of a unit in that syringe is not that easy! I really have to admit I hate doing this...thank god its treatable but my poor cats ear is like bright red now and sore.
     
  55. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Hey I feel dumb but We took del's blood a few days ago and it was 400. We took it the next day and it was 280.hes been doing really well at 120 etc every week.My dumb question is I calibrated the machine by mistake before I used it. We are set at 7. Then I used that same strip to take the test as it was not tainted with blood etc as didn't poke him yet. Should I have used a new strip sun cause I calibrated it? Or are the strips only unusable when they have blood smeared on them from a failed attempt? Cause it was a non used strip I just pushed it in too far...
     
  56. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    Oops I read above and was told as long as there is no blood on the strip I can use the same one. Okay so thats not why he was high then. Maybe its the switching cat foods. I think I did everything right and the 400 reading is correct. Maybe he needs to go up to a full unit again. Sorry kinda freaking out because he's been so good on half a unit and now he's like 400 half the time on it. Its never easy!
     
  57. Sharon14

    Sharon14 Well-Known Member

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  58. edenbee

    edenbee Member

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    okay yes thank you!
     

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