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Sweet Cleo - - 2.5 years Asthmatic..... 2.5 hrs. Diabetic

Discussion in 'Welcome to the Group - Post an Introduction Here' started by Jenafur & Cleo, Sep 13, 2019 at 3:39 PM.

  1. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    Hi All - -

    I was referred here by @Jill & Jade. My sweet Cleo is 11 years old and I love her SOOOOOO much. But, rather than go on and on (and on....and on) like I could about her, I will list some bullet points as to the current situation:

    Cleo's "ailments:"
    • 11 years old.
    • Feline Asthma / Chronic Bronchitis (Receives 1 ml of Prednisolone daily [for 2 years now]);
    • Slight heart murmur;
    • Liquid (benign) cyst on back/side (have it drained every vet visit);
    • Newly diagnosed / confirmed (as of just a couple of hours ago) as diabetic - - although at "beginning stages;"
    • She is beginning to lose a bit of weight but eats like a pig (i.e. diabetes?);
    • Naps more than "normal," and is just generally lazy;
    • Currently (as of a week or so ago) eating and LOVING the Purina DM (but, damn that stuff is pricey);
    • Is currently at vet, waiting for me to pick her up and is, I'm quite positive, pissed at me for leaving her.

    My "ailments:"

    • Scared to death I'm going to "eff" up the insulin thing and kill the sweetest cat EVER;
    • Take her to vet every 3 months or so for blood panel (this is me being paranoid that she MIGHT be dying from something and I want to catch it early);
    • Going broke with vet bills, meds, Ubers to/from, pet sitters (for the asthma...and now, soon to be insulin);
    • Loves sweet Cleo more than any human on this planet.


    Here's the kicker. My vet called me to give me "the news" a couple of hours ago. She said they would give me a demo on how to give the insulin. Then, pick a time that works for me to give every 12 hrs. (I am choosing 7:30). In that, I will be giving Cleo her very first insulin shot (see 1st bullet point under my "ailments" above)! AND, while we discussed me buying a testing kit (from Amazon...since she knows I like my Amazon), she told me to just give her the dosage (which will be small) and monitor her. And, if she acts not normally and it is past their business hours, to contact the ER vet. W-H-A-T?!?! She had to have heard the sound of pure panic in my voice!! Um....that is going to be a huge NO from me. So, I got ahold of my pal @Jill & Jade (whom I know she has experience) and she sent me a link to a testing kit of which I bought immediately (i.e. see going broke above). I mean, seriously...I do not think it is wise to roll the dice and pump my cat (the sweetest one EVER) full of ANYTHING and not have a sense as to what the heck it could (or could not) do to her!

    Anyway - I am basically freaking out. Perhaps over nothing (which is quite normal for me) but, I am still freaking out, nonetheless.

    I am leaving work here in about a half hour to head to the vet and pick up my Cleo. I will be given a demonstration and all of the stuff I will need to get this diabetes stuff under control.

    Please send pawsitive ju ju my way. And, honestly....thanks for reading.
     
    Jill & Jade likes this.
  2. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    @Chris & China (GA) @Idjit's mom @Bron and Sheba (GA) hi! Been a while and hoping everyone is well. Jade is good. I was hoping maybe you guys could give my friend here a bit of advice. I very much remember how scared I was and how much help this forum was. Furever grateful.
    I recommend that she wait until the Alphatrak comes on
    Sunday so I could go over and help her with the first test before she just shoots without Cleo ever having insulin before. Also, recommended FF pate as the rx is basically a waste of $. Will also help her make a hypo kit. Also, the vet told her that it seems to be an early diagnosis which ( to me anyway) implies that her BG isn’t through the roof. I cringed when she said they told her to shoot at 8:00pm and see what happens. I told her to wait until Sunday when the AlphaTrak arrives. Is this ok?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019 at 6:59 PM
  3. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Jenafur and Cleo, welcome to FDMB and the very best place you never wanted to be. Deep breath Jenafur! You are going to be all right! And @Jill & Jade was right to refer you to this board. I remember so well when she and Jade arrived and got the help she needed. You will too.

    There are alternatives to the Purina DM, much less expensive, for example Fancy Feast classics and Friskies pates from the grocery store.

    We were all scared, at least most of us were, at the beginning. Giving an injection is not the hardest thing you are ever going to do. All kinds of information to read, videos to watch and advice, suggestions and support as you learn.

    One thing that I recently learned because a member could not remember if she actually gave the shot or not..each morning when you go to use a syringe for the morning always put the two syringes you will need for the day into a glass or mug near your testing gear and use them each day. That way you will know if you have given the insulin. Sometimes we go into "auto mode" and then you wonder if you gave the shot..and you don't want to give another so you don't double dose. That's just FYI and a good practice to get into.

    Not sure you need to do this, but we will get some more experienced input on that, ok?

    You don't have to go broke because of the diabetes. As soon as we know what kind of insulin we can help you find the best price. Ditto for testing supplies and syringes. If Jill told you to get an AlphaTrak pet meter, that's a good one, but it and the strips are expensive. We can provide alternatives that you can rely on and that many of us use.
    Can't help with the Ubers, the asthma or pet sitters, sorry. But may be able to help with unnecessary vet visits by helping you learn to do your own testing at home and curves at home.

    Double NOOOOOO You will be testing and keeping the sweetest cat ever as safe as you can.

    So, housekeeping:
    Create a signature
    1. Setting up your signature (light grey text under a post). Here's how:
    click on your name in the upper right corner of this page
    click on "signature" in the menu that drops down
    type the following in the box that opens: kitty's name/age/date of diabetes diagnosis/insulin you're using and dosage amount /glucose meter you're using/what (s)he eats/any other meds or health issues (s)he has. You can add your name, and a geographic location (sometimes the country/time zone matters) Be sure to SAVE when you are finished.
    2. Another thing that will help us help you when you get started BG testing at home is to set up a spreadsheet like the one we use here. You will see how the trends and patterns emerge, and members can review his/her progress before offering suggestions or advice:
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/fdmb-spreadsheet-instructions.130337/
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/understanding-the-spreadsheet-grid.156606/

    Then before you inject any insulin let us know what that is and we can direct you to the appropriate insulin support group to read about that insulin.

    Testing is a process of practice and patience, for the human and the cat. You do not want to inject insulin without testing, if you can help it, to be sure the blood sugar level is high enough. You don't really know yet how the diet change has affected her, and testing will show you.

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

    Going forward, you can post in the Main Health forum HERE for help with testing, food, general health concerns or questions.

    We will help, it will be ok:bighug:
     
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  4. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    :bighug:
     
  5. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    She can use the AT meter, but with expenses climbing she might be better off with the ReliOn Prime and strips. She can get that and start testing right away, and return the AT to Amazon for refund?? That meter is a good meter, but the strips are so expensive and not readily available. Learning to test can go through a lot of strips.

    Good advice with the food suggestions.

    I am wondering just what the BG was at the vet that confirmed the diagnosis, a blood glucose level or a fructosamine. And I'm wondering what the insulin dose will be. Glad that you are going to help out, and prevent any huge starting dose without testing??? :eek: Um, no.
    "Will also help her make a hypo kit." Terrific and thank you. It's wonderful peace of mind to have ready.

    I'm glad that beautiful Jade is doing well, I hope you are also. Hopefully Cleo will be a good candidate for remission too. Tell your friend that this is doable, and she is more than capable of learning the sugar dance. You and Jade are positive proof. :)
     
  6. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Thank you so very much!!!!
     
    Jenafur & Cleo likes this.
  7. Bron and Sheba (GA)

    Bron and Sheba (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    Hi and welcome to fdmb.
    Yes it is very scary in the beginning, but I can promise you, you will be an old hat at managing FD in no time at all.:)
    We all felt as you do in the beginning.. read all you can about FD as knowledge is power.

    I would recommend you look at buying a human meter to test the blood sugars. They are much cheaper to run and our dosing methods are based on human meters.

    You do not need prescription food for Cleo. Any low carb food (canned) is fine.
    Have a look at these food links for suggestions. Look for foods with carbs 10% and under.
    http://www.felinediabetes.com/FDMB/threads/links-to-food-charts.174182/

    If you do not start the insulin straight away, I would recommend you test the urine for ketones with Ketostix which are available at Walmart or pharmacies every day. It is a simple test. Just dip the test strip into the urine and check the result exactly 15 seconds later against the colours on the side of the bottle in a good light. Anything above a trace needs vet attention.

    Keep asking questions. We are happy to help.
     
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  8. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
     
  9. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Thank you for helping!! :bighug:
     
  10. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    I just spoke to Jen. She ( and Cleo) are overwhelmed and exhausted. She will be on tomorrow to update us. Again, thank you for helping her. Means the world to know you have support. You guys are THE BEST.
     
    Jenafur & Cleo likes this.
  11. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    I have been checking in, wondering. It's been quite a day for both of them! Talk with her tomorrow then.
     
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  12. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday

    Thank you SO much, Jill.....for EVERYTHING! xo
     
  13. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday



    Thank you SO much.
     
  14. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Good morning Jen, how did the vet visit go? What are we working with?
     
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  15. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    I'm not sure if I am responding correctly re: format - but, here it goes. Today is a new day and I am trying my best to be positive.

    So, I ordered the AlphaTRAK 2 Blood Glucose Monitoring System Kit and it will not arrive until tomorrow (Sun.) before 8pm. My vet really does not want me to wait to give Cleo her first dose. Actually, they wanted me to come in this a.m. and have them do it and monitor her (since I would not be receiving my test kit until Sun.). I did not do this for a couple of different reasons: 1. It stresses Cleo out bigtime when we go to the vet; and 2. I am choosing to do shots at 7:30 am/pm and their office does not open until 8am....let alone getting her in and ready for test and shot. I just do not want to mess ANYTHING up and want to be "on point" when it comes to timing. Plus, I just want Cleo to be as non-affected by all of this as possible, which is why I am trying my best to keep a positive attitude.

    Cleo's BG was 367mg/dL @ 8:30am yesterday. I still have not started the insulin (see above). I want to...like right this second, but know that I must stick to my 7:30 schedule.

    My biggest concern: I have a full-time job and a side job and I worry that I cannot be home enough to monitor her. The guilt is driving me crazy, yet I cannot quit my job (or my life), just to sit here, stare at her, and cry. :(

    In that, I would like to start her shots tonight (1 unit of ProZinc) but, alas, I have to work. Will waiting until 7:30am tomorrow make a difference? I hate to even have to ask that question!!! But, I certainly do not want to give her her first dose and then take off for work. That is a big NO from me. Should I call into work? Again, I can't be doing this either....but, again...wouldn't this be considered a true emergency???

    My thought is that I could start her tomorrow a.m. at 7:30am (Jill said I could borrow her testing kit....thank gawd). This way, I can be home all day / evening to monitor her, without distraction.

    A few quick questions:

    What is the possibility that she die from her first dose? What are the MAJOR / SERIOUS signs that I should look for???

    Do you recommend the AlphaTrack app for record keeping or manual spreadsheet??

    Do you think it is okay to wait until tomorrow a.m.????


    I am beyond appreciative of all of your messages, your guidance, and your kindness. You have NO idea. Also, a very special thanks to Jill & Jade for talking me off the ledge this a.m. and offering to test Cleo while I am at work, if ever needed/wanted. I don't think she realizes that she should probably just move in already because I am petrified of something going wrong.


    **Please let me know if I should be posting somewhere else for my questions above. I am a bit of a scatter-brain today and I really just wanted to send a HUGE thank you for welcoming me.
     
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  16. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday

    Working with a scatter-brain today, honestly. I wasn't able to sleep much and the first thing I did when I woke up was to unpack the needles/disposal kit, make some space on my dining table for it (along with Prednisolone) for myself and my pet-sitter to "work." Have been reading the info my vet gave me and looking into the AlphaTrack app. And, of course....feeding/snuggling with Cleo. I am consumed by all of this.

    I did outline everything in a general response but, I really would like to thank you personally for checking in on me. I am beyond grateful.
     
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  17. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Ok,Sweetheart, climb down off that ledge, heights scare me and I don't want to even look up there. The 367 isn't great, but we've seen worse.

    Get your signature done and we can see all the goodies when you post. Saves so much time rather than going back thru previous posts trying to gather info.

    Yes, use our spreadsheet please. The members are used to looking at it and can see the patterns as you go along.
    Jill may be able to help you set those up if she's there with you.

    Then, you can copy your post # 15 or most of it and start a new thread in the Main Health forum, so more members can read and respond. We were all new once and there is tremendous support here.

    In the new thread on Main Health we can begin answering some of your questions, OK?

    Today begin to get Cleo used to testing and perhaps try testing her yourself.
    This by Chris & China (GA)
    Here's something I wrote up for others for testing...maybe it'll help you too!

    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

    For new kitties, using a heavier gauge lancet is also really helpful. A 25-28 gauge lancet pokes a bigger "hole" than a 31-33 gauge lancet does, so look for "Alternate Site testing" lancets that are usually a lower number

    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!

    See you on the Main Health forum and we will roll up our sleeves and start getting this sorted with links, input from the rest of the community and tagging the more experienced members as needed.

    You are going to be able to do this, have confidence in yourself..Cleo needs you sane and stable to help her. :)
     
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  18. Gypsy's Parent

    Gypsy's Parent Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2019
    I know how terrifying the initial shock of having a diabetic cat is. But take a deep breath. There's a lot to take in and it's going to take time to learn and understand. You have come here and THAT IS GOING TO ENSURE THE BEST OUTCOME FOR CLEO! The people here have managed diabetes in cats for many years. Your vet has likely never parented a diabetic animal.

    Home testing is important. It's not that hard, but it might be intimidating at first. Within 3-4 weeks, you'll be a pro. I've been giving cats subq fluids every other day for several years, yet was worried about BG testing. After a couple of sticks, I was no longer anxious doing it, just a bit clumsy as I hadn't gotten a technique worked out for my cat.

    Do you live near a Walmart? Go buy the RelioOn Prime ($9), 50 test strips ($9), lancets ($3) and Cinnamon graham crackers ($2.50, you need a reward for yourself). While you are there, pick up a few sample cans of Friskies PATE and Fancy Feast (Roasted, Flaked, Chunky) and see if Cleo will eat these. There is a food spreadsheet in a sticky under the Main Health Forum that you can consult for other foods. This is how to keep costs to a minimum. The AT test strips are $1 each vs $0.18 for the ReliOn. The minimum number of test strips is 2 per day (one before shooting insulin) and you will also need to do mid-cycle tests to see how much BG is dropping. Look at some spreadsheets and do some math.

    My work hours do not allow me to feed/medicate my cat every 12 hours. So I do my best which is 10 and 14 hour cycles. So be it. Weekends or days off are good times to get mid-cycle numbers during the day. Unfortunately, day and night cycles tend to be different.

    Some cats are fussy eaters, others not. My cat was a kibble-a-holic and I was desperately trying wet foods. I decided to try the prescription food from the vet and the cat loved it and we were home free and BG levels dropped her into remission. She will eat the Friskies, but not anything else I've tried (Fortunately I have two other cats that will eat anything).

    You are in good hands here; the people are both knowledgeable and caring and compassionate.

    Considering Cleo's BG numbers are not sky high, shooting insulin without taking a measurement may not be advisable. It could send her BG too low and that is very very dangerous. High BG, while not a good idea, is not nearly as dangerous as low BG.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 2:47 PM
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  19. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    Just spoke to Jen. We are going to give Cleo her first shot tomorrow evening. I’ll be there to show her how to test/ shoot. :)
     
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  20. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Jill, that is so great. Please, while you are there, perhaps sit with her to navigate through the forums. For example where the FAQs and Hypo info is, where the testing videos are and if she's on a computer - help her bookmark places she might want to look at again, but might have trouble finding.

    I saw that Jen was looking at the Prozinc info and I was so glad to see that! I am hoping that she's going to be able to work out times to test in between, before and after her jobs. She's a busy gal and it might be a challenge to work this new stuff in. But..the testing is so important to keep Cleo safe, and help Jen be more comfortable and not so worried.
     
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  21. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    I’ll go over early and help her with as much stuff as I can. I surely remember how stressful and scary it all was. Thank you again and again!
     
  22. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Wonderful, I hope to see more of her too, and we will all help as much as possible. Helping her with the hands-on is going to be a good stress reliever. I'm glad she has such a good friend.
     
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  23. Jerry dutchboy

    Jerry dutchboy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Big Welcome Jenafur and Cleo. I think we can all relate to your fears as we have all experienced them. I know how terrified you are feeling but believe me it will get easier with time. Save yourself some money on vet bills and follow one of the protocols on here and ask for help. Do the curves at home as you will get more accurate readings. I felt exactly the same way as you do, I took Jerry to the vet for his first curve as I wasn't testing ( when I think back I was clueless) and they called me a couple of hours in to come get him as he got SO stressed all his readings were in the 600s. I looked online and started testing myself. This forum and all of the wonderful individuals have gotten me to where we are today. I have a cat who is happier and healthier and I've kept my sanity (well sort of).
    I only go to the vet for his annual checkup and for any other issues that may arise NOT for his diabetes.

    You've got this, I know with the help you get here you will do just fine.:bighug:
     
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  24. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    This made me smile SO big last night. THANK YOU!!! Going to test her this evening and give first dose. Until then, we cuddle on sofa and rest up. ❣
     
  25. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    Just a quick note to say, "THANK YOU" again to all of you. I am indeed incredibly busy and might not be able to jump on here often but, that is in no way a reflection of how much I appreciate all of your advice/guidance.

    Me + Cleo = Can conquer ANYTHING!! ❣

    Thank you all again....so very much!!
     
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  26. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Jen, just a reminder. Set up the spreadsheet and start recording the data. That way if you run into anything you don't understand or have further questions about..it's all right there for someone to quickly review. If you are unable or just plain don't have the time to set it up, you can start a conversation with Marje and Gracie or Chris & China. Either will need to get some info from you and be able to quickly set it up for you. Then, even from your phone with Google Drive and Sheets, you can input and read the info too.
    Adding the spreadsheet link may require some signature space adjustment, be forewarned. There is only so many spaces allowed for the entire signature.
     
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  27. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday

    I did not start the insulin until 25 minutes ago. In that, I have recorded and uploaded the sheet. My only problem right now is editing the (quite lengthy) link. In time, I will figure that out and update....most likely tomorrow.

    Have a great night.
     
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  28. Jenafur & Cleo

    Jenafur & Cleo New Member

    Joined:
    Friday
    All - Jill is here and is BEYOND wonderful. We have made it through the first shot. :) I will conduct the +1 test, here in a few minutes.

    Thank you all again. I very much appreciate your support.

    Have a great night!
     
  29. Idjit's mom

    Idjit's mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Splendid! Tomorrow you can start a new thread in the Prozinc forum so that fellow Prozinc users can meet you and Cleo. The Main Health forum serves for diet, testing, other more general health questions and issues (or how to make a text link like Cleo's SS for the long spreadsheet link).

    This forum is only the welcome mat and serves to say hello and direct you to the other forums for information and support. Not as heavily monitored as the Main or Prozinc forums. See you out there, I will be watching for your new threads/posts.
     
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  30. Jill & Jade

    Jill & Jade Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2018
    I think she’s very overwhelmed. I remember that feeling as well.
    Good morning! Jill here... I just noticed that Miss Cleo went up at the +1 this morning. If memory serves me, that’s ok, yes? I’ll be going and checking on her in a couple hours. I should expect a lower # I believe?
     

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