Overwhelmed & an idiot (me, not the cat)

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Myrtlesmum, Apr 13, 2017.

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  1. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    My cat Myrtle was diagnosed with diabetes yesterday. Her reading was 19 (Australian) at the vet's which I think is the same as 342 US. I think it may have spiked at the vet as she was completely freaking out as she gets SO car sick (more than any other cat I've ever had). The only symptoms I noticed were that she was drinking and peeing more than usual - hasn't lost weight or had a change in appetite. Anyway, the vet gave her a dose of insulin yesterday (we starting on once a day) and I gave her one this morning - she seemed a little off and we went to the vet again today and her glucose has come down to 12 (216). I insisted on a full blood panel to make sure nothing else is going on with her. I had 2 cats who passed away in recent years due to CRF and I was hoping to get a few years of healthy kitty enjoyment out of this one as she is only 10 years old (7 when I adopted her). Oh well, I love her and will do what has to be done even if it means I never sleep again like last night just watching her to make sure she didn't crash & googling.

    On the my being an idiot side of things, my vet told me I can re-use the insulin syringes up to 4-5 times. So I was just looking at it and seeing if it was possible to measure a half dose and when I re-capped it, I stuck myself with it (quite a bit of blood). I'd used it on Myrtle this morning so I washed my hands with antibacterial soap about 3 times and poured some antiseptic on it - hope it doesn't get infected..... I am fairly clumsy (especially with no sleep) so it got me to thinking - what would happen if I accidentally stuck myself and it had insulin in it?

    Thanks for listening and I look forward to going on this journey with you all (although I wish none of us had to!)
     
  2. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Syringes dull with each use making subsequent injections more painful. Please don't reuse them. It makes me wonder what else your vet cuts corners on.
     
  3. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
  4. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Thanks JanetNJ - yes I was wondering about that, I probably will only use once. To be fair to my vet, he knows that the majority of his patients' owners aren't in a high socio-economic bracket (including me) and is just trying to help us out to reduce costs where he can - I don't think that he cuts corners in his own practice though.
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I'm glad to hear that. I also worry about contamination.... Stuff on their skin and fur being introduced into the vial itself.

    I just lost a cat last week with crf... It's terribly sad.... Diabetes isn't like that at all. It's can be a pain to work your schedule around, but it's not a death sentence, and in many cases the cat can go into remission such as mine did.
    Since your cat hasn't lost weight or had trouble walking, you probably caught it early which is in your favor and ups your chances of remission.


    We use a spreadsheet on this site such as the one in my signature to track our numbers so people can give advice. (We have one for us and world numbers). Please consider using it if you would like dosing advice.

    Also you can set up a signature with info like date diagnosed, food you're feeding, insulin type and dose, and any other health concerns. Just select your name in the upper right corner of the screen and choose signature.
     
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  6. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Welcome! I grin....what would happen? You'd get to eat chocolate! :) Seriously it's not going to cause an issue, believe me - you're not the first....and neither was I! In fact I have a little 'pokie' healing now where I didn't pay attention to my gathering up the 'stuff' and poked myself with the needle. Even after literally thousands of shots over many years between my 2 extra sweet boys, I STILL do it...

    HUGS!
     
    Yong likes this.
  7. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Welcome Myrtle and her Mum!
    I think there's a good handful of people here (including myself) aren't really high on the socio-economic bracket either. Some ways we "save" money is by using a human meter to test kitty's BG, feed Fancy Feast pate and Friskies pate (non-indoor formula) instead of expensive prescription diets.
    Here are the link instructions for things Janet mentioned above.
    Signature: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/editing-your-signature-profile-and-preferences.130340/
    Spreadsheet template: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    And it's good to read about this ahead of time: http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-to-treat-hypos-they-can-kill-print-this-out.15887/

    I think there is at least 1 other member in Australia, I will see if they are still active and maybe they could give some places to order supplies for better prices. :)

    Please feel free to ask any questions on the Main Health Forum! :bighug::cat:
     
  8. Yong

    Yong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Hi again Myrtle and Mum, the other member who may still be active is @Bron and Sheba. There were 2 more but they haven't logged on for over a month. Looks like one of them got their kitty in remission last month and is no longer active.
     
  9. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Myrtle and Mum and welcome to the forum. :) Can you tell us your name please?
    I live in Sydney (Australia). Where do you live.?
    It is great you have joined the forum...it is one of the best things you can do for Myrtle and also for yourself as there are many wonderful knowledgeable people here who can help you.

    Can you tell us what insulin you are using please? And the dose of insulin.
    Insulin is most effective when given twice a day (12 hours apart) to cats.
    We would not recommend you use the syringes more than once. Apart from the needle blunting and making it more painful, there is the risk of contamination of the insulin when using a used syringes and also the risk of causing an infection at the injection site in the cat. These are avoided by using a new syringe each time.
    If you can tell me what insulin and syringes you are using, I can help you find some cheap ones to buy.

    Have you thought about testing Myrtle's blood sugars? We recommend you do this as it will keep her safe from low blood sugars and will also be able to tell you how well the insulin is working, and give you peace of mind. It is not necessary to keep going back to the vets to have the blood sugars tested....you can do that yourself. This will save you money.

    Has the vet discussed feeding a low carb diet to Myrtle.? It is not necessary to feed the prescription diets from the vet. They are not only expensive but are no better than canned cat food from the supermarket or petbarn.
    If you are using dry food we recommend you swap to wet (canned)food and with the carbohydrate content no higher than 10%. Here are two links to suitable canned food available in Australia.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/...anned-food-suitable-for-diabetic-cats.134090/
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...k5NN-xwH54OsF0NqZZfnrtuI/htmlview?pli=1#gid=0

    I know all this will probably seem overwhelming to you at the moment.........we all felt the same in the beginning. But you will soon find it all much easier. Knowledge is power. There are many yellow stickies at the top of the page. Reading those will help you get started.
    Ask lots of questions...we are only too happy to help you. We have all had diabetic kitties and understand how you are feeling.
    Bron
     
    Bobbie, Barbara & Uncle and Yong like this.
  10. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Hi Bron, thanks for the warm welcome sorry I didn't know how to quote just a piece of your post so I did the whole thing... It's lovely to meet you but I wish it was under different circumstances.

    My name is Andrea and I live in Melbourne, Myrtle is on Protaphane (Isophane) 1.5units twice a day. Pre diagnosis I had her on 1/2 Royal Canin weight control food (wet and dry), Hills C/D (prone to UTI's) and some Fancy Feast. Vet says she has to lose weight so now on the RC weight control and I am gradually replacing some of her diet with grain free (the same ones on the list) trying to move her over to grain free completely eventually... I went to the pet store and bought the grain free straight after her diagnosis and she seems to really like it.

    The syringes I use are BD ultrafine 0.3ml 31G for insulin 100 iu - if you know somewhere I can get them cheap that would be great! Found one place online but the shipping was almost as expensive as the syringes.

    Myrtle is a difficult to handle cat so I'm not currently testing bg but vet suggested I monitor her urine for general trend and to liaise with him over the phone.

    I am going back to work tomorrow after having had leave for the last couple of weeks and worried about leaving her alone. I have other stressful things going on in my life and this is about to send me over the edge. I also don't think I will post or visit this forum much anymore either - everyone here is lovely, well intentioned and knowledgable but all this info and "help" is stressing me out. I posted on the Think Tank forum http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/how-do-people-cope.176420/ about how stressed I am and how I don't think I can at this stage do BG's and I know that the people who responded are well meaning and have my cat's best interests at heart but telling me that their cat almost died and mine might too or that I have to monitor 3 times a day when I just stated I may not be able to at all is NOT helpful. It just raises my stress levels to heights I didn't know I had - at this stage I might end up being the one going to hospital! ;)

    My vet is very experienced and well respected and I'm just going to have to close my eyes and trust him - take the info I can find online and do my best. I really really don't want Myrtle to become sicker or die - I know what it's like to lose those I love :(. But I have to know both my limits and Myrtle's

    Thanks for listening Bron & take care.
     
  11. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    in the other post you said you were "terrified" she would hypo while you were at work. This is why I suggested testing before shots so you would know where she is. For most people testing relieves some of that stress. It's why I started. I didn't test the first six weeks until my vet raised my dose and it made me nervous. Plus it's a lot cheaper than bringing the cat to the vet for curves every couple of weeks.

    It's ultimately up to you what you decide to do. If you don't want to, then don't. Or maybe you are like me and need a few weeks to get comfortable with the rest of it first before feeling brave enough.
     
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  12. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Hi again Andrea! You just hit the 'emotional overload wall'....take a couple of days, breathe, think about all that's been said...and it will begin to feel better. With everything you have going on, it's no wonder you're feeling overwhelmed. When you're ready again, we'll still be here waiting with open arms...when you joined and posted, you became family...

    HUGS and hugs,
     
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  13. Bron and Sheba

    Bron and Sheba Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi Andrea,
    I am so sorry you are finding this so stressful........but it is a fairly normal reaction to getting a diagnosis of diabetes in your beloved cat. We all understand how you feel. :bighug::bighug:
    Everyone can only do what they can manage and we all understand that. There are a lot of people who work full time and still manage successfully to Go to work and still keep their cats safe. There is a link to doing this and I will try and find it for you later.
    But please do keep posting here. I can promise you, you will find this whole thing much easier as time goes by and this group is the most supportive group of people you will ever meet in this world :)
    I am glad you are swapping over to low carb food as some of the food you have been feeding is quite high carb. ( I did the same thing!) Try and get over to all wet ( get rid of all dry as it is higher carb and has very little moisture in it) if you can. If Myrtle is prone to UTIs a canned food diet with extra water will help a lot.
    One thing I would do is ask your vet if you can swap Myrtle over to Glargine (Lantus) insulin. It is a much better insulin for cats and is a longer lasting insulin and has a much more gentle drop. It still needs to be given 12 hourly. I'm not sure what Myrtle weighs but I would start on 1 unit of Glargine insulin twice a day and see where that takes her blood sugar. We go up in 1/4 unit increments.
    When my cat Sheba first was diagnosed, she was put on Glargine insulin and a low carb diet and after three months she went into remission for almost three years. So it is possible for a cat to go into remission, especially in the early stage after diagnosis. Glargine is the insulin most vets put diabetic cats on out here in Aus.
    What sort of a eater is Myrtle? Is she a grazer or does she eat it all at once?..
    One thing you could do ( which a lot of us do) is buy an automatic feeder like this below. I have one and used it every day. You can program it to open while you are at work and leave some food in it so she can eat it when her blood sugar is at the lowest level. Putting canned food in it is fine. That way you will know she can get some food to help her blood sugar from dropping too low when you are not at home.
    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/AUTO-Dog-Pet-Feeder-Dispenser-Food-Bowl-Cat-6-Meal-Automatic-Program-Digital-LCD-/111845728553?hash=item1a0a866129:g:GIoAAOSwAKxWZ-to

    Another thing I would do is make sure you have some honey handy in case you ever need it. I am not saying this to frighten you but to make sure you are prepared in case you ever need it..... we all do this.
    Testing the urine is fine, but it does not give you an accurate reading of where the blood sugar is but what has been happening over the time since she last peed. If you feel this is all you can manage than just do that but be aware of its limitations. This is the way a lot of people manage their diabetic cats, but is not ideal.
    But after a couple of weeks please just think about trying to test the blood sugars. It sounds scary but really it is very very easy. And we will help you get started and support you all the way.

    With regard to the syringes, I bought mine from my local chemist. I found he was as cheap as anyone. I paid $29.50 a box of 100. Glargine use the same syringe. If you go to your local chemist you can tell him they can be obtained from Symbion PDE - 097853

    Sending lots of hugs and remember you are not alone in this. We are all here to help and we all understand as we have all been there:bighug::bighug:
     
  14. Myrtlesmum

    Myrtlesmum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2017
    Thanks for your reply and words of encouragement. Yes, she is a grazer and I do leave food out for her (she only has tiny nibbles and eats what she needs so I won't need a feeder) and I always have honey on hand. I managed to get a glucose reading from her last night and I'll see how cooperative she will be ..... I'm back to the vet tomorrow so we'll see what he has to say. Thanks again
     
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