How Often Should I Test? (cross-posted)

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by Arkali, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Arkali

    Arkali Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2018
    I just realized this might be a better place to ask this question. Sorry for cross-posting; I'm still new.

    I'm currently testing every three waking hours (today is a bit off, but in general). Gypsy's newly diagnosed, and Lord knows I'm new at this. But someone else commented that I'm testing like someone would if they were doing TR. We're on SLGS.
     
  2. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Somewhat related--my vet wants to do the first curve at Gypsy's checkup. It's not scheduled yet, but supposed to be 1 - 2 weeks from when we brought her home. I'm okay with that. But for changing her doses, I think I'm going to have to do the curves, otherwise that's going to get expensive real quick.
     
  3. Shawna & Davidson

    Shawna & Davidson Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2014
    Hi...

    You can do the curve yourself at home if you have a day off and can test over a 12 hr period, not to mention save a lot of $$ that your vet would otherwise charge you. You might be confused as to what the curve is as you indicate you’re okay with your vet doing it, then you say you’ll do it to determine the doses? Maybe I misread it, but the curve is done to see where the nadir is (lowest BG) and these numbers are used to determine the dose. We don’t give a dose for the am or pm ps numbers, we give it for the numbers at the nadir.

    How much to test, IMO initially if you’re now test as often as possible so you can post the result and others can provide suggestions from there. if you work, try to get some tests I; before you leave and when you get home. Set an alarm to get some tests during the night. Check Davidson’s SS, as I test often and when he drops low, I tests LOTS. This allows me to predict what he will do, although he does pull some tricks here and there as all cats will do. The more info we have will allow us to recommend a dose increase or decrease, see bounces and duration on a dose.

    There’s lots to read up on and you’ve got some great help here on this site.
     
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  4. Jill & Scooter

    Jill & Scooter Member

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    Mar 7, 2018
    Good job testing! Gypsy's numbers look good for just starting out! Keep posting and the experienced members will help you with dose adjustments as needed.
     
  5. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    You don't need to test every 3 hours, every day.

    Think of your spreadsheet like it's a puzzle....if you have pieces sprinkled around, it's easier to see the whole picture.

    Always test before shooting....after that, test at different points in the cycle.....Like one day test at +2, +5, +8.....another day test at +3, +6, +9

    Once you get enough data and understand more about how your cat responds, you can test less often
     
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  6. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Max only had one curve by my vet and that was after his first shot of lantus. To be honest I wasn’t going to test at home but became a testaholic. I was scared of a hypo.
     
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  7. Shawna & Davidson

    Shawna & Davidson Well-Known Member

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    I like that “testaholic”.....yes, random tests are very helpful. Sometime +1 or +11 are useful from time to time, and as Chris said - random helps a lot.
     
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  8. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2017
    I have to test frequently - Luci caught me by surprise early on - with some really - I mean REALLY low numbers! Scared the bee-jezus out of me! :eek::eek: So now I have to look at her and think to myself - what am I going to do with this low/high start? Test, test, test...feed HC or MC if necessary to try to keep her safe. :DAfter a while you'll see your spreadsheet start to look like something - well you'll see a trend...when is Arkrili typically going to be low? When is she usually high? You can look at Luci's SS - she's usually always higher at AM and PM - except for every now and then she likes to throw me a curve ball - just trying to keep me on my toes - always guessing with my girl...:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    Read the stickies and try to absorb as much info as you can...it's a lot...but it's a great source of information from those who've been there, done that! Save your $$ for supplies, cat food, etc. You're going to need it...no point in paying the vet for what you can do at home - by the time my vet wanted to see Luci back for a check up - I had a spreadsheet loaded with two weeks worth of data - saved myself an appointment and who knows what else. :bighug:
     
  9. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thanks, Shawna! I'm not looking forward to getting up at 3 a.m. for testing, but I'll do it if I need to--thanks for the tips :)

    To clarify the bit about the curve, I've read the page that talks about how to get a curve at home, so understand the concept though I haven't done one yet. What I meant is that I'm okay with the vet doing Gypsy's first curve. But I then went on to say (not very clearly--sorry!) that if I need to get a curve every week to determine insulin doses / changes, I'd want to do those myself. If the vet's doing them all, that's going to rack up $$ quickly. BUT, I don't want my vet to think I'm blowing her off. (a) I want her continued input, and (b) I need her to write the occasional scrip. I'd also like to (subtly) steer her toward this forum and catinfo.org. And I think the way to do that and not be in a combative relationship with her is to let her do this first curve and take the printout of the SL,GS protocol with me. Also the page on neuropathy (I don't think she's aware of that due to a comment she made about weak legs usually being seen in cases of low blood sugar). And I'm also going to print out Gypsy's spreadsheet to take with me. If you have any other suggestions of information to take, I'd love to hear it :) But I like my vet a lot and want to work with her. And if that means letting her take a curve every three months or whatever, I'm okay with that.

    Sorry for the initial confusion--I knew what I meant, it just didn't make it into my post. And I edit books for a living--you'd think I'd know better :) Thank you so much for your awesome advice and your patience with a newbie!
     
  10. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thank you all so much! The info about the jigsaw puzzle was SUPREMELY helpful. And I know Gypsy will want to give y'all kisses for saving her from the 15 hours of every-3-hour testing :) That really cleared it up for me. I'll take another test (Hi, I'm Anne, and I'm a testaholic!) tonight and then tomorrow I'll try to cut back to around 4 tests or so. And also not stress out if I can't test her exactly at X time.

    Somewhat related--if you end up testing at a halfway point, do you round up or down? For example, say I shoot at 9 a.m. but then test at 1:30 p.m. Would that be +4 or +5? Or doesn't matter, just be consistent in how I round up or down?
     
  11. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    It would be +4.5

    It would go in the +4 cell and you'd put ### @ +4.5 into the cell.....you will have to color-code it yourself though

    If you look at China's spreadsheet, you'll see I did a +3.5 tonight
     
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  12. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    I used to email my vet Max’s spreadsheet every few weeks. He never suggested I bring him in for a curved after seeing them. He was the one who pushed me to test and showed his students that came through his office the spreadsheets.
     
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  13. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Good call, thank you! And omigosh, I'm envious of all that blue and green. But we'll get there :)

    @tiffmaxee -- that's a great idea. I will definitely ask the vet about that. I think *I'll* breathe a little easier letting the vet do this first test, but I'll get an email address and see if we can start doing monitoring that way. Lord knows it would save time and stress for both Gypsy and me, and then we can just do checkups. Thank you!
     
  14. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    We've been doing the sugardance for over 5 years!

    And yes, I hope everybody gets to where China is....or better! OTJ!!
     
  15. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    We've been doing it a week now. So we're serious newbs :)
     
  16. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2017
    Unless your vet is a very close personal friend, I highly doubt that she'll perceive your efforts as 'blowing her off'. I told my vet that I was working with the help/direction of the Feline Diabetes group on line - he said he'd heard of them. I gave him the website. He wanted me to do the same - bring her in for a curve...right.

    I sent him a copy of my SS - with all those tests...He was very impressed! Told me that if all of his patients were like that .... well he said I was 'the perfect patient'...why can't everyone do this??? He was very happy with the information - had a few questions for me about why I changed the dosage (yes, I changed the dosage based on advice I'd gotten here on FDMB - and because Luci hit a very low number and earned a reduction of only .25)...He did not understand that this journey requires a lot of dose changes - sometimes an increase, sometimes a decrease. That's why we do all the testing - so we know when kitty is getting enough - too much - not enough...and it changes all the time!

    If anything your vet is highly unlikely to perceive your efforts as 'combative'. Provide the information to your vet - but you sure don't need for them to do curves or any further blood glucose tests if you've got your testing materials and keep good records. As for other health issues your kitty may have - well that's another matter - but for diabetes - you've got the best group of people here - who (yes, it's hard to believe) have far far more experience and expertise among them than your vet could get in all her years of practice (not slamming vets here - but they learn a lot of different things about how to treat a large variety of illnesses/diseases in animals)...unless they're specializing in endocrinology and diabetes they just can't devote the time/attention to learning about fine tuning insulin dosages, testing and paying attention to your cat as far as this disease goes.

    My vet is happy to write a script and/or provide input as needed...but does not pressure me to bring her in for unneeded tests. I collected urine and took that in to the office for analysis - that was the last time I went there...after that it was a dental cleaning/exam...related to her diabetes but not the reason for the visit...and so it goes...proceed as you wish - but just saying - your vet should find your efforts admirable! I do!
     
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  17. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Thank you, @Sue and Luci -- we're doing the best we can. I'm just happy I have all three cats on canned food now. I'm still mad about that. The pet food jobs do a great job making it seem like dry food is healthy. Thank you again!
     
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  18. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2017
    You're so welcome! I was hoping I was helpful and don't come off sounding like a know it all...I certainly don't...but have had experience with several vets and this insulin thing...they just don't know a lot of FD! Don't you find that is true with human docs too? They just can't know everything about everything - that's why they send you to specialists - even my doc said she was told to go see a Dermatologist for skin checks...and she's a doctor! You'd think she would be able to recognize skin cancer when she sees it? Or how about a cardiac arrhythmia - ventricular tachycardia? Not so much...off to a Cardiologist for that one...so it's not a confrontational thing if you share all of your info with your vet...and I'd say - if they get upset about your learning more about FD and trying to do everything you can to help your cat...then it would be time to look for another vet...:rolleyes:

    Dry food...oh my...don't get me started on that one. I'm so angry with the pet food industry as a whole.:mad::mad: I feel that they are wholly responsible for the poor health of so many animals. The shelves are filled with dry poison...poor quality...pitiful excuse of grains and whatever they put in them with big logos about hairball control or senior pet, etc. In the meantime we're buying it up by the millions of dollars worth annually and their profit margins must be astronomical because they're not spending any money on R&D to see what kind of diseases are befalling our pets because of the food their being fed. It's pathetic.:arghh:

    So it's up to us - those of us who've learned that we've been feeding our cats terrible foods...to change the way we do things. We're enlightened...but not everyone else is - including our veterinarians...who want to sell product - unfortunately their products aren't much better than the stuff we can buy in the stores!:D And it's terribly expensive to boot! I researched the DM formula the vets office convinced me to purchase for Luci - found it was all loaded with carbs. I feed it to my civvie...and even she doesn't love it...what a waste of money!:( So now we're just a FF family around here - easily available, affordable and the carb content is easy to locate (thanks to Dr. Pierson's food chart)!

    Keep reading the posts here...read all the stickies...great information from wonderful people. Hang in there! It's a journey, a marathon if you will...not going to fix this FD in a week or two...we're all here to help and support you :)
    :bighug::bighug::bighug:
     
  19. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    I totally agree. And I don't think my vet is as knowledgeable as she could be on this issue. But she's willing to work with me and isn't... what's the word? I'm not caffeinated yet. She doesn't talk down to me and is willing to listen. Anyway, I'm going to take her in for this next checkup just to set my mind and hers at ease. I also want to make sure Gypsy's gaining weight and all that good stuff (she was poor as a snake a week ago!) But I'll definitely see about doing email checkups because long-term I'm not going to be able to / don't want to take her in for curves and constant checkups and whatnot.

    And you were very helpful--not a know-it-all at all :) {{{HUGS}}}
     
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  20. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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  21. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Oh, thanks! I may have to get that. Also monitoring my Cavalier's weight. She's a bit of a chunky monkey right now. Since she's 25 pounds (and needs to lose), it would be great for her.
     
  22. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

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    Nov 15, 2013
    Your welcome. Definitely worth every penny. I helped a friend get her cat down from nearly 19 pounds to 15. She weighs once a week now and he’s doing great.
     
  23. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    condescending??
     
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  24. Arkali

    Arkali Member

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    Aug 1, 2018
    Yes!!!! Exactly. Thank you :) I'm guessing lots of y'all have been there, done that :)
     
  25. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2017
    Sometimes when people don't talk much they don't know (don't have an opinion on the subject)...ever notice that? Could be she has no expertise on the subject at hand ... :)
     
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  26. Rebecca.garfie

    Rebecca.garfie Member

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    Jun 25, 2018
    Just scrolling through and trying to read things and learn more which I did on your post. I never knew how to input the half marks so I learned how by your post thank you but how do you color code yourself nevermind I figured that out and thanks for wonderful info
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  27. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2013
    One of the best things you can do is read other people's posts....you never know when someone will ask a question you never even thought of asking.

    Also, as different people explain the same thing, someone is going to explain in a way that you understand. You can have 5 different people try to explain the same concept, but until one of them says it in a way that makes sense to you, it doesn't do any good.
     
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  28. Rebecca.garfie

    Rebecca.garfie Member

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  29. Sue and Luci

    Sue and Luci Well-Known Member

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    Nov 3, 2017
    At the top of your spreadsheet - look to see if you can find the little paint can. Click on the can to open a color grid. Select the color you'd like to fill your box with...highlight the box first, because once you click the color, it'll fill that color into the selected grid box)
    upload_2018-8-10_4-38-40.png
     
  30. Rebecca.garfie

    Rebecca.garfie Member

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    Got it thanks
     
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  31. Shawna & Davidson

    Shawna & Davidson Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2014
    You also know where you can find help when it's urgent and needed ;)
     

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