Otto Is New To The Crew!

Discussion in 'Prozinc / PZI' started by Logan & Otto, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Hello everyone! Otto was just currently diagnosed with diabetes in the past week. My boyfriend and I are beyond confused on what to do at this point and a lot of the articles and what not have not been a huge help. Information overload maybe? Or maybe sometimes you just need laymen terms! Am I right...or am I right? We are currently giving him 2 units of Prozinc when he is about half way through his food at 6am and 6pm. Please let me know if this is right or wrong.

    He is supposed to be going in for a glucose curve but we would like to do it ourselves if possible and try to be self efficient. I went out and bought a BG reader tonight (ReliOn Confirm) and here are the current numbers we have, which is only a few as we only found out last Friday.
    First blood results from vet (2/9) 630
    Blood results with our new reader before being fed/insulin tonight 437
    Blood results about 2-3 hours after the earlier reading today 396

    We're also worried about changing him to wet food and how we go about it safely. I know you obviously need to ease them into it. But I also read you need to adjust it? We are still giving him his normal dried food but we want to be educated before we switch to the Friskies pate.

    Honestly....we are just completely overwhelmed. We feel like we have no idea what we're doing. I just want to get this right so he's in a safe condition. And there is so much information we really do not know where to start. I saw these tracking charts as well on here and looked at one in someones signature...but none of the numbers and abbreviations made any sense to me. So hoping to get some more insight on that as well.

    Thank you in advance and please let me know if you need anymore information.
     
  2. StephG

    StephG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Welcome! Just wanted to give a very quick and basic response. Others will have so much more structured and informative responses-- they're so appreciated here!
    You're right, it's definitely information overload and laymen's terms are so much easier!
    Sounds like you're on the right path.
    We withhold food 2 hours before their preshot reading, test, feed, then shoot. Giving the shot half way through his meal is ok.
    Transitioning from dry to wet needs to be done carefully and slowly. Just switching to low carb can reduce numbers by the hundreds. Of course, switching too quick can cause GI upset. You'll want to test more often during the transition to prevent a hypo.
    The spreadsheet:
    AMPS- AM preshot number
    PMPS- PM preshot number
    +1, +2, +3 is how many hours after the shot. So you shoot at 6am: +1 (7am), +2 (8am), +3 (9am). Same for the PM cycle.
    A cycle is 12 hours, from shot to the next shot.
    U column is how many units you gave him.
    A curve is testing every 2 hours during the cycle.
    A mini curve is testing every 3 hours.
    Hopefully I haven't confused you more! The others will check in... Ask as many questions as you need to!
    Your kitty is handsome!
     
  3. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Hi and welcome! First of all, hugs to you! It is overwhelming at first, but I promise it will all get sorted as you go forward in this journey.

    Great job getting a meter and getting started with home testing! You are correct that you don't need to go in for a glucose curve at the vet. The numbers that your vet will get will likely be stress-inflated. If dosing is based on that, you can end up giving your cat too much insulin which can obviously be dangerous. Doing a curve at home is no problem at all and will give more accurate results.

    There is a link to setting up the spreadsheet here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/

    and understanding the columns here: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/

    .......lol...I was just typing an explanation and see that Steph is here too! She's given you a great explanation of that. :)

    Go ahead and get some Friskies if that's your choice for switching and make sure that your kitty likes it. Just give a tablespoon or so for now. Then get a few more days of tests under your belt and make sure you're comfortable with that, and we can see the results you're getting. Then we can help guide you through the transition off of the kibble. It's not hard, but you do want to make sure you're comfortable with testing first so you can keep an eye on his BG (blood glucose). Some kitties can have dramatic changes when the food changes.
     
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  4. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Oh, and ask as many questions as you can. We are all here to help, and we've all been in your shoes at some point. :bighug:
     
  5. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Welcome Otto and beans! Can we get your name if you’re comfortable sharing that? You’ve gotten great info already so I’m just here to say hi and add a little.

    It’s completely overwhelming at first and is quite a steep learning curve but you will get there. Please ask anything you like...that’s why we’re here! You can already see from your numbers how vet stress had Otto 200 points higher than at home...so glad you’re home testing! That’s key to keeping your baby safe.

    I don’t want to overwhelm so I’ll let you digest what you’ve got already but again please ask for clarification if you need and ask anything you want!
     
  6. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Welcome! You've been given good info by the others. I'll just encourage you to set up the spreadsheet we use here. It's looks a lot more complicated to use than it is, especially when you're already in an information overload state. :)
     
  7. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So should we not be giving him his insulin shots during his food or before? It's best to wait until after? This is just a general question without testing.

    And thank you! He is a one eyed wonder rescued from Baltimore, MD right near where the Baltimore Orioles play. He is a sweet boy and very funny.
     
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  8. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Yeah I decided pricking my boyfriend would be the best option since we've never used one before. Poor guy had to get about 6 pricks for me to figure out how the best way was. We tried the lancet as well as the little tool the machine came with. I felt really bad because Otto was NOT happy about the ear pricks. And we're still learning so it wasn't a one and done kind of thing. He probably got about 10 tries between the two shots we did last night :-( just hurts my heart.

    He has no problem liking any wet food so it'll definitely be an easy transition! And I will work on the spreadsheet for the next couple of days. I think I am just confused on when to test when we aren't doing a curve. He gets fed at 6am and 6pm and we're gone for work in between. So we aren't able to do every couple of hours. We want to do that this weekend when we have the time. But I just feel like I am so uneducated on the whole thing and overwhelmed haha. So I definitely have been loving all of the comments on here!
     
  9. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    You can feed first and then give insulin or give the shot while he's eating if that's easier because he's distracted by food. There should always be food given with or before a shot. Dont wait until after because if he has an off appetite day and won't eat you'll have given insulin and he could drop too low without a food "cushion". As little food as a tablespoon is enough before a shot.
     
  10. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Here's the basic testing routine we recommend:
    1. test every day AM and PM before feeding and injecting (no food at least 2 hours before) to see if the planned dose is safe
    2. test at least once near mid cycle or at bedtime daily to see how low the BG goes
    3. do extra tests on days off to fill in the response picture
    4. if indicated by consistently high numbers on your SS, increase the dose by no more than 0.25 u at a time so you don't accidentally go right past a good dose
    5. post here for advice whenever you're confused or unsure of what to do.
     
  11. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Absolutely! My name is Logan - and it's so nice to meet everyone! I didn't even think about that being the reason why his numbers were so high at the vet either when they first did it. So thank you!
     
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  12. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So we already have preset feeding schedules because he is a recovered fatty LOL and had to be on weight management food. So 6am and 6pm are our normal feeding times. So if his first meal and shot of the day is at 6am then we can test right before that, correct? And then how do we know what dose is safe? Is he getting too much with the current 2 units?

    If he's getting a shot at 6pm and we go to bed at like 9pm then would the bedtime test be worth it? We're gone for work right after we feed him and then get home around 5:30pm.

    What is a "response picture" and an "SS"? I'm sure I am asking a lot of questions that are available on the website and in stickied posts but it's just so much information I am a little overloaded so I apologize.

    Thanks!
     
  13. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    It is hard for those of us who work all day, but you can manage this even with a full time work schedule. It just means that dose changes have to move a little more slowly and with greater caution. Are you gone the full 12 hours, or only like 9 hours? One trick I did since I'm only gone around 9 hours is move my shot time really early, then go back to bed for an hour, then I can get a +2.5 or +3 before I leave in the morning. That also gives me time to get a +3 or +4 before bed at night. '

    It's not as good as getting +5 or +6 tests, but it at least gives an idea of what's happening during the week.
     
  14. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    It's really fine to ask questions! This website can be hard to navigate. Even if you're sure you've read something before, finding it again can be tough!

    SS means spreadsheet and response picture means the response to the insulin. If you were to graph the blood glucose (BG) numbers during a typical Prozinc cycle, it would look like a smile curve. That's the response picture.
     
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  15. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    And apologizes for post #13 - I hadn't seen your post #12 come though yet. So don't feel like you need to respond to that again. :)
     
  16. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So Monday, Thursday and Friday we are gone probably 11.5-12 hours. Tuesday and Wednesdays though I am gone for about 14 hours and don't get home until about 8, so Chris has to give him his insulin and food at 6pm without me. We wouldn't be able to do a pretest but we could do a probably +2 and +3. I know we could definitely do the +1 +2 +3 before bed at night no problem on my normal work nights. Mornings might prove to be a little harder. Especially since my boyfriend Chris leaves a little earlier than I do, and as of right now I can give the insulin by myself but definitely not the testing yet. Which is obvious. Sorry if my schedule sounds confusing. It's annoying as it sounds to work it as well haha.
     
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  17. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Oh, and as for testing (apologizes for making a zillion posts this morning!), one trick is to put some uncooked rice in a small sock, or little pouch of soft fabric, then heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds or so (depends on the microwave). Hold it against his ear until his ear is warms before you do the poke. That helps to get the blood flowing better in his ear first. Another thing is to make sure you're using larger lancets - 26 or 28 is larger than the 30's or 33's that come with most meters. The bigger lancets help get more blood. And make sure after you've done the test to pinch his ear a little to reduce any bruising from the pokes. Right now he's likely pretty dehydrated from the higher blood glucose numbers and from the dry food. Dehydration makes it much harder to get a blood sample. As he switches to wet food and gets better BG control, the tests will get much easier. Also, every poke helps "teach" his ear how to bleed, so even when it doesn't work, it's a step in making all of this easier. I promise that in time the tests will be no big deal, but they are really hard at the beginning. Hang in there and remember to give him a low carb treat every time you test so he has a positive association with it.

    Here are some options for low carb treats:
    Bonito flakes – these are sold in some grocery stores as a human food. They are tissue-paper thin bits of fish and are easy to sprinkle on food to get a kitty to eat. They last forever and are the cheapest option.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kaneso-Tokuy...&qid=1516455184&sr=8-3&keywords=bonito flakes

    The next two are expensive, but they are good quality and they are more what you would consider a typical treat – something your kitty can actually bite into:

    https://www.amazon.com/CATMANDOO-Fr...atcorr&keywords=freeze dried salmon cat treat

    https://www.amazon.com/CATMANDOO-Dr...r=1-6&keywords=freeze dried chicken cat treat

    These are probably my personal favorites as they look like what they are. Sometime a little too much so though in the case of the chicken hearts. It is an actual dried heart. I usually have to cut them into a couple of pieces since they are a little bit big and hard for the cats to bite into on their own. They also have little minnows that are the whole fish. And a variety of other options. Often the dog treats are a bit cheaper, and since it’s a whole, dried protein, it doesn’t make any difference if you buy the cat or the dog versions.

    https://www.amazon.com/Essentials-F...05&sr=1-4&keywords=vital essential cat treats

    .
     
  18. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Having a complete epiphany because I finally had something click in my brain and the spreadsheet now makes sense!!!! Phew. One thing down. Many more to go. But it is a relief knowing what everything means on this SS, etc. I did add it to my signature as well. And threw in the small bits of information I currently have. It's going to be scarce this week but I should get some really good information this Saturday and Sunday. And hopefully some more evening information.

    Does anyone use the little poke machine thing that comes with the BG thing? Can you tell how good my words are? LOL. I read online a lot of cats are scared by the clicking. Last night I decided to make the clicks around him casually, let him smell it, etc. We tried this on the lowest setting and it pulled blood from my boyfriends finger. And when we replaced the lancet and tried it on Otto it didn't pull anything. I just don't want it to pierce his ear.

    Also if for some reason I cannot get the hang of pricking his ears...does it hurt them to do the pads of their feet? I'm worried about him walking around on the hardwood and it getting infected or something - even though the needle is so small. I think we got a 30g?
     
  19. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
  20. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    My kitty gets pierced ears all the time. Their ears are very thin, and it happens. They heal quickly, so don't worry about it too much. I don't use the clicker, I just freehand it. Mine wasn't scared by the noise, I just couldn't tell exactly where I was poking with the clicker. Also, you have to sort of milk the ear a little to get the blood to bead up. You might also find it helpful since your kitty has dark ears, to put a very thin smidge of Vasoline or Neosporin on his ear where you are going to poke. It helps the blood to bead up better and be more visible against dark fur.

    Pads of feet are okay. I've read people warn about infection b/c they walk around in the litter box, but I haven't heard any reports of it happening. That might be a good question to ask in the Main Health forum to see if anyone has any experience with it. My kitty seemed to hurt more on his paws than his ear, but every cat is different, so give it a try and see what you think works best for Otto.

    Your BF is a trooper to keep letting you stab his fingers! Does he have your login on here so if he ever has a question when you aren't around he can hop on and ask?
     
  21. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    I always put the lancet in the clicky thing but didn't actually click it...just freehanded. I found it easier to hold that way, but as Djamila said couldn't see where I was clicking so it was better this way.

    I think the pads of the feet might hurt more because there are more nerve endings and there really aren't many in the edge of the ear...but whatever works best for you and Otto should be fine! If he hurts more on the ear, try the pad and see if that works better. :)
     
  22. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    I'm another one who puts the lancet in the trigger holder but freehands the poke. I gone through Teasel's ears many times but they heal over very quickly.
     
  23. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Boyfriend is not internet savvy or else I would totally give him my login information! Usually if he has a question he just asks me to asks the group.

    So we would like to start the canned food this weekend and I was reading the article about switching them. And I know it says to lower the insulin but how can you figure out how much to lower it by? We're currently giving him 2u's.

    Also we have been adding slowly to Otto's spreadsheet if anyone wants to take a look. Unfortunately there is not a ton of data yet since we're trying to get the hang of things and it's been a very busy week. I've had a lot of health appointments and long days. So we definitely plan on testing way more this weekend and didn't make many plans so we would be home.

    Pricking the ears is getting easier! Usually only takes me max 3 tries now but mostly 1 or 2. Progress!
     
  24. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    It's hard to know how much to lower the dose. We'd say first of all that a 2 u dose is higher than the typical starting dose of ProZinc - 1 u twice a day is generally recommended. If the vet started at 2 u because his first BG was 650 under stress-inducing conditions (vet visit) it could be too high.

    However - I recommend you stay at that dose for now, hold off on the full food switch for a bit and work on getting your testing mojo going. You NEED to be able to get a pre shot test done before EVERY dose to know that it's safe. Withhold all food at least 2 hours before those pre shot tests. BTW - you don't have to enter times on your SS in the existing columns. If you like that, though, you can insert a new vertical column instead of using one of the dose or BG columns already there.
     
  25. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Hi Logan! The columns on your spreadsheet that say AMPS and PMPS aren't for the times - they are for the blood glucose number. So if you haven't done a test at those times, you just leave it blank.

    The only way you would know how much to lower the insulin would be if you had more blood glucose numbers.

    I'm a little torn about how to advise you here, so I'm going to think "out loud" for a moment here and hopefully some other folks will chime in with their thoughts:

    Two units is a very high starting dose. Usually folks start at only one unit, and then slowly increase 0.25u at a time based on the data they collect. So I worry that with the food switch and the high dose, Otto could drop too low. And since you aren't getting tests regularly right now, keeping him safe through the transition could be an issue.

    Now for the other side - based on the limited data you have, it doesn't appear that 2u is too much for him, and even if he drops 100 points with the food switch, he could still be safe. The flaw in this is that we really can't know if this is true. It could just be that the four tests you've done have only shown high numbers, but there are long stretches of time where we have no idea what's happening.

    I think my gut is to say hold off on the food switch until you are more comfortable with the testing routine and know that you can keep him safe. I realize that means another week on bad food, but in the whole scheme of things, it's probably the safest route. Hopefully some other folks will share their thinking as well in case I'm being too conservative.
     
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  26. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Djamila and I are in agreement about holding off on the food switch until you can get more test data.
     
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  27. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Lol...we did it again! I wish their was some way to know if someone else was typing already!

    At least we are both thinking along similar lines! I like your idea of maybe doing a partial food switch - introducing the lower carb food in a small amount, but keeping the high carb food around until the testing is in place.

    And Logan, sorry we both corrected the spreadsheet thing - please don't feel like we're ganging up on you :bighug: Those things are hard to figure out at first!
     
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  28. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    No ganging up intended! :)
     
  29. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Oh no - no hard feelings here. I need all the help I can get! I appreciate reading both of the comments from each of you. This is all very helpful to me. Also good to know about the food. We will start giving him tiny bits here and there getting him acclimated and touch on the full switch of food in a week or two. I would really like to get two solid weekends under our belts so we can get a bunch of testing numbers.

    So I guess I am confused now what the AMPS/PMPS is supposed to be now on the SS. Is this when you test before food in the morning and the evening? Djamila, I've been looking at Sam's SS since Teasal's is a different reader I believe? So it's been helpful to look but I think from looking it seems like this is the number before you give any food?

    So we're hoping to start testing in the mornings... but obviously this number before we feed him and give him insulin is the number that would go in the AMPS and then the +1's etc. would be the hours after. And then in the evening this would be the same thing? Number right before he's given his evening food and insulin?
     
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  30. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Yes, exactly. The number right before I feed him and give him his injection. So this morning I woke up and tested and he was 291 (he's really sick right now, so running in higher numbers than normal). Then I fed him his breakfast and gave him his shot and any other tests I do today would go in the +2, +3, etc.
     
  31. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Yeah I haven't been getting home early enough to do the testing before he eats, Chris can't do that by himself right now. So if we're just testing after food, where would I put that number? Should I just write it in the notes right now?
     
  32. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    If you can test either while he's eating or immediately after if he's a quick eater that can give you a rough idea of what his pre shot BG was. Do you inject and feed immediately? Aim to withhold all food at least two hours before all this.
     
  33. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Chris (boyfriend) will feed him and usually half way through or after he's done he'll do the insulin. We have a feeder that Otto has to use his paws to dig for the food so it usually takes him about 30-45 minutes to finish. He eats so quickly we wanted to slow him down.

    I know it sounds silly but I don't understand the withhold all food at least two hours before. If we're feeding him in the morning and giving insulin, we could test right before no problem right? Same with nighttime?
     
  34. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    The reason for no food at least 2 hours before the pre shot tests is so you know the BG without food influence (that can raise it) and can then judge whether the dose you're planning is OK or too high for the actual BG.
     
  35. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Ok great - so right now we're doing fine in that sense since we have the planned feeding schedule and what not.

    So if we have days where we can't test in the morning, I'm just leaving that blank on my SS and noting that in the notes section. And then when we do the insulin at night then the pre-reading goes into the PMPS slot correct?
     
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  36. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Leaving the slot for when you can't test blank is perfect. That way we'll know. And yes! The nighttime pre-reading goes in PMPS (pm preshot).
     
  37. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Great! And the one last thing that I have on my mind right now. The test strips... expensive, holy cow. I just got a pack of 20 at Walmart by ReliOn to match the machine. But legit every time I mess up I feel like I am throwing $2 away haha. What strips can I use that are more price friendly that would work with my ReliOn Confirm?
     
  38. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    I've read here many times that those ReliOnstrips are only $30+ when you buy 100. The ReliOn Prime meter's strips are about $18 per 100. I also thought I read here that the Micro and Confirm use the same strips but don't quote me on that.
     
  39. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Seems like that's definitely the most expensive portion of this whole thing! Especially if you do a lot of testing. I will have to check Target's prices tonight.
     
  40. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Here is the meter I've been using recently (because it's cheap and I don't have to go to the store :):
    https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/8179/agamatrix-presto-blood-glucose-meter-kit-and-strips

    and extra strips:
    https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/8172/agamatrix-presto-blood-glucose-test-strips

    If you have a Kroger store (Ralph's, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, QFC, etc.), it's the same strips that they sell under their store brand, so if you forget to order, you can use those in a pinch. It might also be the same as the strips at Target/CVS, but I haven't verified that myself.

    and lancets:
    https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/1207/advocate-glucose-lancets

    I use 30 or 33 gauge lancets now, but I used to use 26 or 28 because it's easier to get blood, so you might prefer these for now:
    https://www.adwdiabetes.com/product/8014/trueplus-sterile-lancets-28g-100ct-pack-of-2
     
  41. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Well our morning didn’t go so well! Pricked the vein really good maybe a little too good...blood got into the reader (like dripped down into it) so it wouldn’t read any new readings. So didn’t get any morning tests for the SS. just went and bought a new one and starting the day now! Wish us luck! Lol.
     
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  42. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    LOL...oh wow! That's a new one! Hope you and BF weren't too traumatized by the gushing blood everywhere! I used to shine a little light behind his ear to make sure I didn't hit the vein after my first experience with that!

    And my pet sitter hit it once and of course Sam shook his head so I came home to blood splattered all over the place.

    Hopefully the rest of the day is a little calmer for you!
     
  43. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Thankfully blood doesn't bother us at all! And thankfully the readers aren't expensive.

    So we definitely got more readings this weekend, not as many as we would have liked, but we got some! I just don't think with our schedule we will be able to pull off any morning readings. And unfortunately today I won't get home until 10pm and can only test once tonight. But we plan on doing the same thing next weekend.

    Let me know if you guys need another weekend of testing! Looking forward to changing his diet soon once we figure everything out.
     
  44. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Are you referring to pre shot readings? Keep working at those because they're the most important readings. It might mean getting up a little earlier, etc. They tell you if it's safe to give insulin or not. You'll get there.

    The data you have right now suggests that he needs a bigger dose but that probably affected by the dry food. I think his numbers are high enough that you can start on the switch to low carb wet food. He has a lot of room to drop if the food change is going to cause that.
     
  45. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Ok great. We can definitely do that. Should we not give him as much dry food and substitute for the wet food? Or add in some wet food with his current food serving? This is the part I worry about because it's just so confusing to me.

    Will work on getting the pre shot readings done... Like I said unfortunately during the week it's so hard because of my work schedule and I don't get home in time to help Chris with the reading. We still definitely need two people. Ugh - feeling a little discouraged about this whole thing.
     
  46. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    You've said he likes wet food. Stock up on some Friskies or Fancy Feast pate versions. Gradually over days reduce the amount of dry and sub in the wet. Keep increasing the amount of wet until the dry is only a little sprinkle and eventually that goes too. Many people leave wet food out all day and if kitty is a hoover an automatic feeder can be very helpful. If you worry about the condition of the wet you can freeze chunks of it for later day snacks.
     
  47. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So it's not good for diabetic animals to get all of their food in two servings? We feed 5:30am and 5:30pm. And yes thankfully he will not have a problem eating any wet food..

    We did get our low carb treats recommended earlier in the thread over the weekend. And he is lovinggggg some freeze dried salmon.
     
  48. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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  49. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Two servings a day works for some and is usually recommended by vets. Many cats do better with multiple smaller meals a day. If you're out all day and want to increase the meals you could add a small one at bedtime. whatever works for your kitty.
     
  50. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    It can be challenging at first to figure out how to test quickly and calmly. Have you had a chance to watch any of the videos about how to home test?

    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/hometesting-links-and-tips.287/

    I'm wondering about you both needing to do the test? Are you holding him down? (please don't) While it can be tough at first to get into the routine, you want to be careful about overly restraining or stressing the cat during the testing process. My kitty was feral at the beginning of the process, so it was more than a little challenging to get him to stay still and allow me to touch him, let alone stab him multiple times each day, but with practice and lots of love and treats we got it worked out.

    You may find it easier to have just one of you test at a time, and to make sure whoever is doing it is relaxed and calm himself before trying to test. Our cats can sense our own fears and anxieties and will act out of that. If we are anxious, they are anxious. We end up communicating to them that there is a reason to be afraid of what is about to happen. One trick some folks here use is to sing quietly while they are testing. I'm not much of a singer and am pretty sure that would scare my cat, but I do either talk to him quietly or recite poetry :bookworm:.

    You mentioned that Otto likes the salmon treats. I would suggest making those conditional on the test. He only gets a salmon treat after a test (or attempted test). So warm the ear, stab, milk the ear, try to grab the test. Whether it works or not, give him a treat. Then if it didn't work, pause for a minute and let him go, then go get him and try again.

    Almost all of us do this on our own, so I promise you'll get there. It just takes some time, practice, and determination. Please let us know what specific struggles you're encountering and we can help with little tricks we've all learned along the way.
     
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  51. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Hello everyone! It's been a couple of weeks. After djamila's last post I did start doing these by myself. And Chris my boyfriend also started doing it by himself in the past two days since I'll be on vacation 2 times in the next 2 months. So we no longer have to hold him down! Have been keeping the spreadsheet updated as much as possible. Will be starting testing in the morning in the next 2 weeks since his numbers seem to be dropping some which is great. We're doing 2/3 dry food and 1/3 wet food. Been easing him into it very slowly since he's got GI issues.

    It's crazy how we already feel so much better doing this by ourselves and how much more comfortable we are. Otto also hops up when he sees us bring the testing kit out. Who would have thought!
     
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  52. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    What a great testing success story! :D Keep working at getting your full testing routine going.
     
  53. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Trying. Not going to lie - I hate waking up earlier than I have too in the mornings! And always running late. Bad mom. But I do understand we're reaching the point of where we will need to make sure it is safe to test before every feeding/shot. So I have to sadly give all that up shortly but for good measure obviously!
     
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  54. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Congrats!!! It’s a great feeling isn’t it? We all have been there...figured we’d never be able to do this alone and our cats would hate us...only to find that we test routinely and our cats come running at test time!!
     
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  55. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Yes! It's a great feeling. I knew we would get to this point but I didn't realize how quickly and how good it feels!!
     
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  56. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    That's fantastic!!!! I wish I could click on "like" a zillion times! I'm so happy for you guys! It is so fun (and surprising!) to see them come willingly to all of this. I think they figure out that somehow all of the poking is making them feel better. Oh...and also the treats. :p

    Now onto the next thing: have we talked with you about testing for ketones?
     
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  57. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Before we get to ketones I’m not sure what’s going on right now. We’ve had the same reader with zero issues with it today and have had numbers between 300-500 for the most part. Haven’t changed food levels in 3+ days. But the reader just said 73 and then we tested a second later it said 67 and then tested a 3rd time and it was 58. I’m trying not to freak out because his food levels have been the same as well as the insulin...
     
  58. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    No need to freak out. (at least not yet ;)) How long has it been since his last shot?
     
  59. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Soooo turns out our reader was just having a day. All is well. But I have AMAZING news. We have our first number in the YELLOW!!!!!! 236!!!!!!! Wooooohooo! Sad how excited I am about this LOL. :cat::bighug:
     
  60. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Hi everyone! We had a low of 179 today! I wanted to know how we understand lowering the insulin. Tonight we only have him 1c because we were worried about giving him 2c’s.
     
  61. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Also want to add we’re giving him now a half can of friskies and 1/3 cup of dry food
     
  62. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Next time this happens try stalling without feeding him for 20-30 minutes and retest. If the BG has risen you're OK to give the regular dose because the previous dose is wearing off.

    Keep working on those AM pre shot tests. You're seeing only half the picture in terms of safe dosing.
     
  63. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    We will definitely try that! So we’re about 4 hours after the shot and it’s down to 109. Is this okay? Should we give him a little more dry food?

    Just scared since we’re now so low with numbers..
     
  64. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    109 is still quite safe. They can go to 50 before you need to start intervening with anything carb-y. You can always give regular low carb wet food if you start to worry about a number.

    If you got him off of that dry food he might get to the point where he wouldn't need insulin. I will try really hard to make this my last plug for getting off the dry food b/c I know nagging is never helpful, but a cat that is put on an appropriate low-carb wet diet and given the right insulin support has about a 70% chance of going into remission within 3-6 months. After that, the odds of remission plummet. It's not impossible later, but the best chance is in the early days of diagnosis, and that chance depends in large part on the food they are given.

    The second half of that equation is the testing and dosing. It depends on being able to make appropriate dose adjustments and not just sitting at a dose for too long, or making dangerous changes. It's entirely up to you how hands on you want to be with all of this, but I want to make sure you understand that remission is a very real possibility for a lot of kitties, but it depends in large part on what we as their caregivers decide to do.
     
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  65. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So the reason we have to go slow with the transition is because he’s a rescue and has really bad GI issues from being unnourished. His stomach is like on the opposite side of his body and his intestines were inflamed and what not. A lot of issues. So we’re working on getting him to a full wet diet don’t worry! Slow and steady for us.

    I think we struggle with just trying to figure out what dosage of insulin we need to give him at a certain BG #. Last night went well and today he’s been back in the 300’s at 1c so we’re going to go a couple more days. We also need to switch our needles so we can better measure under 1c as well and will have to look into conversions!
     
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  66. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Hey everyone! Just another update since it has been a couple weeks. Otto has actually been insulin free for a few days. We haven't gotten to get the smaller needles but his BG levels have been in the 120-300 range as of lately. Is this a safe area to keep him? Should we try to get it lower than that? We have been so slammed with work that we haven't gotten the new needles yet but I am hoping to get them tonight or tomorrow. Let me know your thoughts!

    Edit: Chris also just tested his BG levels without insulin today and it is 84.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
    Reason for edit: Added current BG level
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  67. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    That dark green is lovely. You'd want his BGs to stay in dark greens to low blues without insulin for a lengthy period before concluding that remission is in the cards. Looking very promising. :)
     
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  68. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Fingers crossed! So I guess we will just continue to test and see how it goes. Get the smaller needles just in case. And not give him any insulin until it gets higher again.
     
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  69. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Looking good! The fact that he went down after eating the other night is a good sign. That usually means pancreas are working. :)
     
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  70. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So update, Chris got our PMPS wrong and the numbers switched. It was actually 58 earlier and then an hour later 73. Plan on testing him again soon... how come the numbers are so low with him on zero insulin for 3 days and on full wet food?
     
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  71. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    His pancreas is beginning to work.
     
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  72. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    So his pancreas working means after he eats the numbers get higher? Or lower?
     
  73. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 17, 2016
    Usually they’ll get lower because a working pancreas will put out insulin in response to food intake.
     
  74. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Ok great to know. I guess right now we will just be monitoring his numbers! And keep going without any insulin.

    Can he drop low (under 50) without insulin and being on low carb food?
     
  75. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Yes, some cats will naturally run in the 40's. As long as you haven't injected insulin you don't have to worry about a slightly lower number like that.
     
  76. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Wow this is great news!! Chris and I have been a little worried about all of that. Fingers crossed that we may be on the road to remission!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
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  77. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Please continue to test daily (at least twice). After 2 weeks of no insulin and numbers under 120, you can use the R word. If his numbers go back up you want to post right away because allowing him to run higher can reduce his chances of reaching a full remission. His pancreas is very fragile right now so don't get complacent about the testing. I can tell you from first hand experience how difficult it is to have a cat fall out of remission. It's very important to be careful with this.
     
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  78. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    I like "the R word" reminds me a little of Voldemort from Harry Potter :D. Ok this is very very good to know. We will definitely keep testing normally before feeding and add in a few others just to keep watch. We also got the smaller needles so that if he does get above 120 we will be able to give him under 1u of insulin.

    So should I post if they go over 120? Just want to make sure everything is clear right now since this is a crucial time.

    I really appreciate the kind words Sam! Thanks for making sure I am fully in the know of things with this. This forum has been a lifesaver - literally!
     
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  79. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Yes, post if he's over 120. We'll all keep our fingers crossed he holds steady in those lower numbers!

    PS: my name is Djamila. Sam is my cat. Though he does often walk across the keyboard and help me type...;)
     
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  80. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Wow that's a beautiful name! Thanks for the correction!! And yes fingers crossed big time.

    I'd say Otto would help me type but he's just food obsessed. Maybe if my keyboard was made of string cheese he would help. I think he misses being 20 pounds. He's also gained a little weight back (not sure how much) but we can tell. Coat has been INCREDIBLY healthy as of lately too, no more dandruff and looking straggly.
     
  81. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

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    Mar 2, 2018
    ...So cool and so fast Otto trial OTJ!!!!
     
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  82. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    What is OTJ? I'm still learning acronyms on here! Haha
     
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  83. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Off the juice. It’s our way of saying the R word.
     
  84. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018
    Off the Juice!! Right now Otto is trial off the juice (insulin)! So cool... go Otto!!!! :bighug:
     
  85. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    I'm cracking up right now!!! That is hilarious. Let's hope this trial of OTJ ends up going well!
     
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  86. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

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    Mar 2, 2018
    Otto’s green numbers look amazing!!!! Majis are not that low by far (we are using a pet meter which reads higher but even then Majis would not be as low). Good going! It seems the biggest change...if I’m reading this correctly, is as soon as you got Otto completely off dry food, the big drop happened- is that correct??? And then the need for insulin disappeared and you started getting those really great low numbers?
     
  87. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Yes once we got him off dry food it's been going really well. It just sucked because we had to take it 2x as slow as normal since he had previous GI issues. We're hoping the Friskies doesn't upset anything in the future but we will cross that bridge when and if it ever comes. And then I noticed his numbers were getting really low so we laid off the insulin one night, next morning they were still low and laid off the insulin again. And have been doing that since!
     
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  88. Magic Johnson

    Magic Johnson Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2018

    Just awesome...so awesome and it really happened so quickly - amazing how food is so key to all of this, just a slight (or not so slight change) can make such a big difference! Otto is a great example of how this works!!!!
     
  89. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Yes I agree completely! The food has made a huge difference. Staying positive that we're on a good road right now.
     
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  90. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Still doing well! Got close to 120 one of the nights but it was 117. Otherwise still in the low green.
     
  91. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2015
    Wow!!! Otto's looking great!!! Halfway there....:D
     
  92. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2013
    Very nice!!!
     
  93. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Woahhhhhhhh, living on a prayer.

    ....I mean I had to on that one LOL.
     
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  94. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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  95. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Hey everyone! Still going strong with low numbers however this evening it is 31 - is this okay?
     
  96. Kris & Teasel

    Kris & Teasel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2016
    Did you do a second test to make sure it isn't a wonky number from a faulty test strip or too little blood? He's not on insulin so it might be a transient low number.
     
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  97. Rachel

    Rachel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    With no insulin on board, that number should be fine...but I agree that it's probably not really that low. Most likely a wonky strip or something...I'd probably retest to be sure. :)
     
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  98. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Just letting everyone know we're all good! Thanks for the quick responses last night it is much appreciated. We're still going strong!
     
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  99. Djamila

    Djamila Well-Known Member

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    Aug 1, 2015
    Yay! Glad he's doing well!
     
  100. Logan & Otto

    Logan & Otto Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    So.............tonight is officially TWO WEEKS of being OTJ!
     

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