Newbie looking for advice

Discussion in 'Lantus / Basaglar (glargine) and Levemir (detemir)' started by C.W. Gortner, Dec 7, 2017.

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  1. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Hi everyone,
    I've been posting recently on the forum since my ex-feral, indoor-only senior cat Mommy was diagnosed with diabetes and pancreatitis last Saturday and ended up hospitalized for three days with a 700+ BG reading. The thread is here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hoping-for-some-advice.187493/#post-2083403

    I have an excellent internist overseeing her care, but he's never going to win an award for Mr Friendly of the Year. I dubbed him Dr Dick because he's very arid and clinical; after her ultrasound at the hospital, he called to dourly inform me that Mommy also has stage 2 kidney disease (though upon further research on my end I discovered her kidney impairment isn't severe and much in line with what you'd expect in a cat of her age, as she's probably 11 or 12) and that her prognosis is "quite poor." We made the heartbreaking choice to euthanize her on Sunday night because of Dr Dick's prognosis, but then she rallied at the hospital in the late afternoon and started eating. Although she's lost a lot of weight, down to 6.1 lbs from 9 lbs last year, when we went to visit her she purred and gobbled up the Fancy Feast Classic Beef we brought her. She didn't look to us as if she was at death's door yet. So, we decided to give her a chance. She's a tough cat. She survived for years as a feral in a public park until I rescued her and her son, Boy. They've lived with us for 7 years.

    She's back home now, on 2 units of Lantus 2x a day, as her initial dosage of 1u 2x a day at the hospital wasn't long-lasting enough, according to Dr Dick. She's tolerating it well. She's more energetic and eating, only her FF Classic, no dry at all - she never ate much dry anyway - which she wasn't doing much of in the week leading to the crisis. Unfortunately, she's drinking more than seems okay, about 2 cups of water a day. She's also peeing about every 2 hours or so, not massive amounts, but still . . . I'm measuring her water bowl, which holds 3 1/2 cups of water. On the upside, she's more active, especially at night - which is common for her - as well as hungry, so I'm feeding her as much as she wants to eat because she's so underweight. She's currently consuming about two to three 3 oz cans of FF daily, so her appetite stimulant is definitely working. She's also on an anti-nausea med.

    I tried to home test her BG this morning before her shot with my brand-new AlphaTrak 2. It was a bust. I had everything ready, the meter coded to the strip, etc. I pricked her, managed to massage up a bead of blood on the side of her ear, but in my haste, I smeared the blood onto the strip and received an error 2 message, probably because I didn't touch the strip to the blood, but tried to scrape it up instead, which smeared the blood across her ear. So, I screwed up and lost a test strip. She was fine with all of it, until Boy sauntered into the room, curious, and she just wanted to get away from me to join him. I know it takes practice and patience to home test, I'm watching all the videos on YouTube that I can find, so I'll try to test her again later today at the 4-hour-mark, as I went ahead and dosed her with her a.m. shot. I've also downloaded the FDMB template to record her BG measurements.

    In my long-winded way, my question is this: she still seems symptomatic to me, though much improved overall. She's only been on Lantus for four days (they used a short-acting pump insulin the first 2 days at the hospital to stabilize her), so I'm not sure if it actually takes time for Lantus to build up in her system? I've read all the stickies here about the depot part of the insulin, but when I asked Dr Dick about it, he waved my concerns aside, saying Lantus was a slow-building insulin after each shot, as in, it starts to work several hours after the shot. He didn't address the depot issue at all, and actually said he doesn't want me testing her at home this week, but he can bite me.

    Should I be concerned that her peeing / drinking still seems excessive or just wait it out a bit? She has a follow-up with Dr Dick next Tuesday. I feel like an idiot, but the BG testing makes me nervous, probably because it's a prick, blood, and I need to practice to get the hang of it.

    Thanks a lot!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  2. Carol in Chicago

    Carol in Chicago Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Welcome. Congrats on all that you are doing to help Mommy! Others will be along to comment on the insulin dose. They will recommend much smaller dose changes to fine tune insulin dose for Mommy. Right now, my advice to you is data is the single most important thing - you are already collecting lots of data re: water intake etc. Blood glucose data to include both pre-shot checks and also spot checks through the day and night are very important. It does take time to see improvements, so don't expect excessive hunger / thirst to resolve immediately. It also sounds like there is more going on with Mommy so BG might not be the only thing to address.

    I'm so glad you made the decision to home test. Don't let the first experience stop you. Please try to get other tests. If she is tolerating it, make sure she continues to see testing as pleasurable (with treats, pets, praise). Most of us use human meters because of the cost. You might consider that. Do you have a handle on how to set up a spreadsheet? I would suggest that be the next thing to focus on.

    You got tons of great advice from some very experienced members on your earlier post - please keep asking questions, I can see many different recommendations for lots of different conditions (DM, CKD, constipation, neropathy etc). We love to give advice and share experiences, but it can be a lot to take in.

    I'm so happy she is home with you and obviously doing better. Be confident you are doing the right things to help her - it is working!
     
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  3. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Thank a lot. I had assumed her symptoms wouldn't resolve right away but it's good to have that confirmed. I had to ask. Helicopter daddy :) Yes, I have the spreadsheet set up in Google Docs. Just need to get some data to put in. I'll continue to try today to test her, around the 4-hour and 7-hour mark of her a.m dose and right before her 9 p.m dose. She's eating quite a bit, and tends to eat more late at night, after we go to bed, so obtaining fasting results might be more difficult, but for now, I just want to get an initial home test done right!
     
  4. Bronx's dad

    Bronx's dad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    Dr Dick :p, that made me laugh! Sounds like Mommy didn't want to cross the bridge, she's in good hands. Feline Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. Most aggressive increases would be to follow the TR Protocol if Mommy does not eat any dry food.
     
  5. Carol in Chicago

    Carol in Chicago Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Eating is good. For a cat in her condition, I would not want to focus on fasting. The pre-shot tests should not be food influenced which only means no food 2 hours before that test. Agree with you approach - get good at testing, make sure she enjoys it and then build up to a schedule / routine. First priority is keeping her safe with a non-food influenced pre-shot (every time), next priority will be to determine when her lowest BG number typically occurs and what it is. I think most folks here have some helicopter in them, so you are in good company!

    With regard to your spreadsheet, I would suggest you record the dose by day for as long as you have info - even if you don't have test results, folks will benefit from knowing how long she has been on 2U (and when the dose changed). Use the comments to make any important notes about her behavior or eating. Please note also that there is a tab for lab results. If you don't have much in terms of BG data yet, it might be good to include recent lab results especially if you have questions about kidney or other issues. Again - lots of experience here and we love to help.

    As for Dr. Dick - he works for you, and you are hiring him for his expertise. Don't expect him to be impressed with home testing or even approve of you making dose changes. Again - be confident in all you are doing to help Mommy - her behavior is telling you it is working. :cat:
     
  6. Gill & George

    Gill & George Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    Hello and a very warm welcome to LL

    No it took about 8 weeks for me to see a reduction in those symptoms, that coincided with Georges BG range generally falling below the renal threshold which for him was below 200 (or there abouts).

    It is a slow acting insulin, as in it onsets at around +2 (but note that this varies from cat to cat) and you will see it's full effect at around +6 (but not always). However, and this seems to be a point that a lot of vets seem to miss, you will not see the full effect of a dose immediately, it takes a while for the depot to build and stabilize (up to 6 cycles), this is the reason that frequent dose changes are usually discouraged, as doing so can result in you overdosing your kitty.





    I have a similar problem if my kittens come in the room when George is getting his am BG check (he is in remission now), if Mommy ges fidgety, one thing you can do is scrape a blood drop onto your nail, and then that should make testing it easier (you do need to make sure your nail is clean).

    Do you think you could share your spread sheet on your signature??? If / when you need help it will be extremely helpful to be able to see what data you have quickly and concisely.



    On another note, after reading your previous post,
    I would not recommend using freestyle strips with your AT2 meter, they are not made by the same company and as such there is no guarantee that you will get consistent or accurate readings.
    My advice, if you want to save money on strips, (and why wouldn't you ) would be to get a human meter and the accompanying strips, choose one where you have easy access to strips.
     
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  7. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    I shared my spreadsheet in my signature. The 12/5 readings were taken at the hospital; we picked her up that evening. On 12/4 in the evening, they tried 1 u of Lantus, but increased dose to 2 u the next day in the morning. For now, she is on 2 u 2x daily.

    I'll request copies of her labs on Tuesday. Her creatinine was 2.4.
     
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  8. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Welcome to Lantus and Lev Land!

    Yeesh! I really dislike when vets won't fight for our kitties. Diabetes is a manageable condition. Whoever heard of an endocrinologist tell a newly diagnosed patient tell them to give up and die?

    One thought about getting used to poking... What gauge lancet are you using? In the beginning of this process, it's a bit harder to get blood. The more you poke, the more the capillary bed along the edge of the ear develops. It might be easier if you use a wider gauge lancet (e.g., a 28 or 29 gauge) until both you and your kitty get comfortable and then you can switch to a thinner lancet (like a 30 or 31 gauge). If you're not already doing so, remember to give Mommy a treat every time you test. She'll learn to associate testing with a treat.
     
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  9. Carol in Chicago

    Carol in Chicago Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Excellent! Now you just need a few tests to "fill in the blanks". The only other suggestion I have for you right now is AMPS / PMPS should be BG numbers. We don' use specific times much because members are all over the world.

    It helps to put you timezone or region in your signature, but the whole reason the SS is in offset hours is because we are all in different timezones.
     
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  10. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Just an update: Everything is looking good thus far. Mommy is eating very well. She's looking and acting much better, too. I haven't tested her BG yet at home (I know, bad daddy :) ) They're doing a fructosamine test next week on Tuesday at her follow-up appointment, and I just need a little more time to get used to all this. The BG testing part was stressing me out and starting to make her nervous, too, because she could sense my anxiety. I failed again yesterday to get the blood on the strip correctly (apparently I'm all thumbs) and I don't want her to associate home testing with repeated bad experiences, so I called my internist Dr Dick for advice. He assured me that I needn't worry about home testing her this week, so I'm going to give her and me a break. He said it's highly unlikely she'll go hypo right now, given her overall astronomical BG values when she was hospitalized, and her current dosage. I'm keeping a close eye on her, in any event. She's eating three full cans of FF a day. She's peeing less, she pooped, and her energy level, her coat, the brightness in her eyes, are all noticeably improved, so she appears to be moving in the right direction. I hadn't realized how truly sick she was until I see how much better she is now. How can I not have seen it?

    I'm fully aware that I need to get over myself and home test her BG regularly. Dr Dick said after our follow up, I should start; as I expressed concern over my current ineptness, he told me that at our appointment, he'll show me how to do it easily and to please bring my monitor. He's the best veterinary internist in the SF Bay Area - he should be, at his prices - and despite his frosty demeanor, well known for his expertise. Like I said, he's not Mr Gregarious, but I'm going to follow his advice for the moment. I can't conquer Rome in a day. I need to pace myself.
     
  11. MrPawsKitten

    MrPawsKitten Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2017
    Just want to reinforce to test test test. Paws was sent home with instructions to do 1U of insulin twice daily for a week then do a curve at the vet, home testing not necessary. But I'm addicted to data so decided to test, and it's a good thing bc he went hypoglycemic 5 of the next 6 nights even after reducing his dose.

    The testing gets a lot easier once you figure it out. Hit the sweet spot on the leading edge and make sure the ear is warm before testing and you'll be an expert in no time.

    And welcome to the forum, I'm so glad Mommy has such a caring parent. This forum is definitely the best place you never wanted to be.
     
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  12. MrPawsKitten

    MrPawsKitten Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2017
    Oh and I forgot to mention, it took Paws over a week to get back to his usual self, once his BG levels fell down below 200, so don't worry about that just yet.
     
  13. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    I'll try it again this weekend, with my husband assisting me. I've been attempting it alone after he goes to work, so perhaps I just need an extra pair of hands, as I seem to be all thumbs.
     
  14. Chris & China

    Chris & China Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2013
    Here's something I wrote up for others that needed help with testing...maybe it'll help you too! (substitute "her" for "him"...LOL)

    It can be really helpful to establish a routine with testing. Pick one spot that you want your "testing spot" to be (I like the kitchen counter because it's got good light and it's at a good height....it also already blocked 2 escape routes due to the wall and the backsplash) It can be anywhere though...a rug on the floor, a table, a particular spot on the couch...wherever is good for you. Take him there as many times a day as you can and just give his ears a quick rub and then he gets a yummy (low carb) treat. Most cats aren't objecting so much with the poking..it's the fooling with their ears they don't like, but once they're desensitized to it and learn to associate a certain place with the treats, they usually start to come when they're called! Or even when they hear us opening the test kit!

    You also have to remember...you're not poking him to hurt him
    ...you're testing him to keep him safe and understand what's going on inside his body. There's just nothing better than truly understanding what's going on inside your kitty's body and with this disease, the more knowledge you have, the more power you have against it. The edges of the ears have very few pain receptors, so it really doesn't hurt them. Also, if you're nervous and tense, it's going to make your kitty nervous and tense too. As silly as it might seem, try singing! It forces you to use a different part of your brain!

    It's also important to make sure his ear is warm. A small sock filled with a little rice and microwaved or a small pill bottle filled with warm water (check temp against your wrist like you would a baby bottle) works well.

    When you're first starting, it's also important to use a lower gauge lancet, like 25-28 gauge. Most of the "lancet devices" come with 33 gauge lancets and they are just too tiny to start with. The bigger lancets (that are lower numbers) make a bigger "hole". As you poke more and more, the ears will grow new capillaries and will be easier and easier to get blood from...we call it "learning to bleed"

    Finding the right "treat" will be a great help too! Freeze dried chicken, bonito flakes, little pieces of baked chicken...whatever low carb treat you can find that he really enjoys will help him to associate the testing with the treat! China's Achilles heel was baked chicken, so I'd bake a piece, chop it into bite sized pieces, put some in the refrigerator and freeze the rest to use as needed. It didn't take long for her to come any time I picked up the meter!

    Another thing...since you're using the AlphaTrak.......a lot of people don't know how to use them right. On the sides of the strip there's a little black area....there's a tiny "wing" that sticks out from there. You just touch the tip of that to the blood drop. It should "suck it up" into the strip. The AT is kind of hard because you do have to put the blood along the side of the strip instead of right at the end like most human meters.
     
  15. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Thanks for all the advice!
    Mommy isn't the issue here. She's quite tolerant and doesn't seem to feel any pain when I poke her. It's me. I just can't get enough blood to well up to touch the strip to, and then I get nervous because the meter times out. I re-insert the strip, try again, and get an error code because . . . well, because I messed up and contaminated the strip. I do massage the sweet spot on her ear to warm it up and after the poke, to encourage blood flow. I'll try the warm cloth next. I'm also using the lancets that came with the AT2, so perhaps they're too thin to start with. Today, I got an Error Code 3. I think it's because I didn't get enough blood onto the strip for the monitor to read. I double-checked the monitor, which is brand-new, with a control strip, and it's working, so it's probably me.

    I realize it's very important to test her BG levels at home, and I don't intend to not test her. I simply have to keep trying. I'll give it another attempt this weekend, as I said, with my husband helping me. Between positioning her near the light to see the vein, getting the test strip into the A2 and poking while waiting for the right icon to show up on the screen, then achieving enough blood for the strip, I'm screwing up. She's not producing much of a droplet, either, though supposedly AT2 doesn't need much, so either the lancet is indeed too thin or my tactic is at fault. I know where to touch the blood to the strip on the side, but I'm poking her on the upper part of her ear, between the vein and the edge, and she has fine fur there, so I might need to poke the inside part of the ear's sweet spot instead to avoid the inevitable smear on her fur. And I need to slow down. After two tries, she starts to get impatient, which is understandable.

    I'll get the hang of it. I know it's a risk to shoot blind, but she almost died last week. She needs insulin, and though I feel guilty that I'm currently shooting without knowing her BG level, I have a hypo kit prepared and am watching her closely for any signs. I'm only human. I can't expect to get everything right the first few times. She was diagnosed 5 days ago and she spent 3 of those days in intensive care; it's not a lot of time to learn the ropes, and at discharge no one took the time to show me how to test. The truth is, for me at least, the BG testing isn't as easy as all the videos make it seem. It will become easier in time, of course. All I can do is practice until I get it right.

    What I'm going to try tomorrow is have my husband take control of the monitor. I'll poke, get sufficient blood to well up, then have him insert the strip and touch it to the blood while I hold her. As long as we can obtain an initial result, it's fine. Then I'll practice more on myself to be able to test her when he's at work. With me, it works, but my fingers bleed. Her ear isn't bleeding much. If we fail, then we might have to try with her paw pad instead, but she doesn't like having her paws handled, so poking her there could present an additional challenge. Her ear doesn't seem to bother her at all, so I'd really prefer to get that site to work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  16. Sienne and Gabby (GA)

    Sienne and Gabby (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Great info from Chris! As I mentioned previously, a wider gauge lancet (lower numbers indicate that that there greater width) will help until the capillary bed builds up. In addition, cats do not have a great deal of pain receptors in their ears a fact that can provide us with a bit of reassurance about poking. Treats will also help to reinforce that there's something "good" associated with testing. (It's especially helpful if your cat is food motivated.) Freeze dried chicken was a favorite of my FD kitty and is a huge motivator for my civvie.

    I respectfully disagree with your vet about testing. Even though you don't have much data, look at the drop in numbers on Mommy's SS. What often happens is that when numbers drop by a substantial amount (or drop low or drop fast), your cat's system overreacts and releases a stored form of glucose along with counterregulatory hormones. This is a protective mechanism that shoots number back into the stratosphere. We refer to this as a bounce. The numbers at the vet may have been due to stress or due to bouncing. Now that your kitty is at home, there isn't the stress related to being at the vet's office and numbers are probably lower. In addition, if you're seeing reductions in urine output and/or water intake, it's a signal that numbers have come down. The problem is that you don't know how much lower the range may be. You're also giving your cat low carb food. If this is a change, numbers will be lower.

    Just to offer another observation about testing, at least with the Tight Regulation Protocol, the initial dose of Lantus is based on weight (initial dose = ideal weight in kilograms x 0.25). For Mommy, the initial dose would be 1.0u. (If you end up following the Start Low Go Slow Method, the starting dose is 0.25u.) Given that she's underweight, the dose could be a bit lower. She's getting substantially more insulin right now. All of that said, she may need more insulin BUT, if it were me, I would be testing so I knew what was going on. I'm also making these observations with the full disclosure that I was a testaholic. I like data. For all of us, having the data lets you know when Lantus onset and nadir occur as well as how much duration you're seeing.. That information will help to inform all of your decisions about dose and safety.

     
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  17. AZJenks

    AZJenks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2014
    A couple more tips to consider on getting a workable blood drop:

    For reasons that remain a mystery to me, one ear tends to be a better bleeder than the other. For Jenks, his right ear is much easier than his left, even after all this time. If you're having trouble getting blood from one ear, try the other if your kitty will let you.

    Also consider trying to smear a thin film of Vaseline or antibiotic pain relieving ointment on the test site before poking. This will make the blood bead up on top of the film instead of wicking away onto the fur.

    If necessary, you can scoop the blood drop onto your fingernail and then test it from there so you're not trying to juggle a strip, a meter, an ear, and a drop.
     
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  18. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    I find that using the "rice sock" to warm Teasel's ear helps a lot, especially in the cold weather. Take an old, clean sock, put about a 1/4-1/2 cup dry uncooked rice in the toe, tie it off and microwave long enough to get the sock quite warm but still safe for bare skin. Test it on yourself. Hold it on the ear you want to test for 15-30 seconds and it should be easier to get it to bleed.
     
  19. Chubba (GA)

    Chubba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2017
    Welcome. Just remember you are doing the best you can for Mommy right now. You are giving her insulin and are trying to learn how to test her sugar. It takes time for her ears to learn to bleed and practice so that you are comfortable with it. I was terrified when my husband texted me from the vets and said Gizmo is diabetic. We are going to be giving him insulin shots twice a day. I shot insulin blind for awhile (few months) because I didn't know any better. What I didn't know was that Gizmo is an acro cat (high dose kitty), so thankfully he was alright during that time period. I had a hard time getting comfortable giving him shots and spent many nights in tears over worrying that i "messed up" his shots. Then I learned about home testing and I was scared not to be testing, but just couldn't understand how I was going to poke Gizmo's ear (I don't do well with blood). My husband tested at first while I held Gizmo. Just like you mentioned. It really is easier with two people when you are learning. We eventually got to the point where just one of us could test (usually him at first). I had a lot of wasted strips and many more tears. And Gizmo seemed to know when the meter beeped, he was finished (whether it beeped because I got an error or a reading). I actually thought about turning the beep off several times. Gizmo's ears wouldn't bleed at first either. I made a rice sock like mentioned above and it helped tremendously with the getting enough blood issue. Even now (10 months into the journey), if Gizmo's ears are cold I have trouble getting them to bleed. But most of the time, testing and giving his shot are like second nature now. Sorry for rambling, just wanted to let you know that we've all been there and things will get easier! :bighug:
    Mommy is lucky to have someone willing to help her with her diabetes.
     
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  20. Stacy & Asia

    Stacy & Asia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    I second Jenk's bean's suggestion. Having something oil based on the ear, like neosporin will make the blood form a nice plump drop and it won't disappear back in to the fur. It helps a lot. The lancets that come with the AT are 28 gauge and those are really large, so you're good there. It may not be as easy for you as the videos make it look, but once you do it successfully a time or two, it will be a non issue and it will become so simple, promise. Lucky that you have a very tolerant cat that makes for easy practicing. I would be concerned for hypo on that dose too, and you can't always tell by their behavior, unfortunately. When you can tell by their behavior, it could be a really bad situation. Keep trying, you'll get it, but please try to make it a priority so you can keep your cat safe.

    Lots of people here have respected and well qualified vets, but I've yet to hear of a single vet that knows even half of the collective FD info on this board, no joke! Quite the opposite, many people here end up educating their vets on FD (if the vet is unpretentious and willing).

    Testing is so important, you can do it, it will get easy in no time.
     
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  21. Beenie (GA)

    Beenie (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2017
    Hi and welcome!:)

    Just a few tips I can share-

    Meter shutting off: I used to put the test strip in just enough for it to stay in the meter but not turn it on yet. That would be the last step so I had plenty of time.
    I also did testing on the floor and not on a counter. So if little miss thing would decide to move out of reach I would have to slide down over to her but all the testing stuff had to come with otherwise it would be out of reach. So I finally put everything (meter with test strip inserted, 3 lancets, warm rice sock, Neosporin, tissue) on a hard plastic plate. That way if she moved away slightly I could grab everything all at once.

    Not familiar with the Alpha Track but what I used only needed the teeniest tiniest drop of blood which really helps. I used this meter from Walmart. Its inexpensive and so are the strips compared to the Alpha Track.
     
  22. C.W. Gortner

    C.W. Gortner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    I finally did it, I got a test result today at 12:57 p.m., so almost 4 hours since her 9 a.m. morning dose. Her BG was 396. I would have preferred lower, of course, but at least I did the test and she squirmed just a bit because I double poked. That got me the droplet, plus, per advice here, I first used Neosporin on the area. By myself, too, as hubbie had a dental appointment and I was fretting.

    She's been eating regularly, and quite a bit, so she definitely had a decent load of food in her belly at the time of the test.
     
  23. Stacy & Asia

    Stacy & Asia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Yay! Awesome job! So glad you were able to test, and by yourself too. I know it's tough at first, but you'll be a pro in no time! ;)
     
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  24. Carol in Chicago

    Carol in Chicago Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Whoo Hoo. Congrats on getting the test done and by doing it solo!
     
  25. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Hurray for your first successful solo test! :D
     
  26. Girlie's mom

    Girlie's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2017
    Here's are some BG testing links that I found really helpful:

    Home testing links and tips

    Testing and shooting tips

    I use the AlphaTrak 2 as well. I never could get the hang of manual testing, so I still use the lancing device that comes with the AlphaTrak. Girlie approves of this as she did NOT like my manual attempts!
     
  27. Beth 73

    Beth 73 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2016
    Hi Chris ! You have gotten lots of great advice from very knowledgeable people here on this wonderful board . Although it’s a lot to digest your willingness to care for Mommy will carry the day :bighug:. Keep being patient with yourself and soon , with the advice and help of this board, you will be an old hand at all of this :) Many hugs and prayers of encouragement coming you and Mommy’s way :bighug::)
     
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  28. Marje and Gracie

    Marje and Gracie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    We’ve thrown a lot of info at you. I’m glad you got a test and Darrah linked some posts for you.

    I did see that you are feeding her as much as she wants. You might want to read this post from our most experienced member on Feed Kitty As Much as they want? It has some important points for you to consider.

    Welcome to the group and keep your questions coming.
     
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  29. Stephanie & Quintus

    Stephanie & Quintus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    I wasted tons of AT2 strips over the last 10 days, but have now got the hang of it. The vet techs gave me some tips. Here's how I do it:

    • as mentioned, don't turn on the meter or put the strip in all the way. just prepare the meter with the strip half in and keep it within arms reach
    • I've found the easiest way to prick Quintus's ear is when he's on my chest or in my lap cuddling (he's that kind of cat). I have the meter and needle handy, and cuddle him, rubbing his chin, head, etc. I'm lucky that he's very tolerant and lets me hold his head in a hand and tilt it this way and that without interrupting his purring. So I hold his head in my hand, still scratching somewhere with a finger or two, while holding the needle in the other hand, and I basically "close in" on an ear and prick (about 1mm from the edge).
    • I don't worry about having pricked well or not, I just make it quite fast and continue the chin-scratching. Of course he flinches a bit when I prick but goes back quickly to enjoying the chin and forehead rubbing.
    • I put the needle down and check if there is a drop of blood or not, with my cellphone flashlight if the light is bad (all that without interrupting the cuddle session). (Realising now that the fact Quintus is blind probably helps me here.)
    • If I see blood, I hit the AT on switch, let it cycle through the first screens, then push the strip fully in, pick it up and let it cycle until ready (still cuddling Quintus, you get the idea)
    • Then again, I hold his head gently and the ear (shortly) while I apply the end of the strip to the blood
    • This is where the vet tech advice is precious, and I wasted a lot of strips because I was doing this bit wrong: there are two little bumps on the side of the strip. You want to touch the blood with one of those. But you don't want to come to the blood droplet at an angle, you basically want the strip to be in the same plane as the ear so the drop of blood goes underneath the strip but where the bump is. I was putting the strip at a right angle as if I was trying to dip the little bump in the drop of blood, but it's more like you want to flatten it with the strip. Not sure if my explanation is clear, I didn't really get it until they showed me.
    hope this helps!
     
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