Saturday, June 23, 2007

Why keep a log?

As you can see, Pearl's weapon of choice for logging is one of my Harry Potter fountain pens.

Whether you keep an online account, excel sheet or, like Pearl, the non-techno version of pen and paper, logging is very helpful. We do both. Pearl's way, and then I put it online, so we can keep the vet up to date by emailing, or now, by the blog.

Logging your BG results can help you manage diabetes by seeing trends in the numbers. The way you do a diabetic log and how it is written for best at a glance comprehension is to label your preshots am and pm: thus amps or pmps to establish what your number was. Notate the amount of insulin given after that. Right now I am still figuring out Pearl's optimum dosage, so I do more tests in between. To notate when a reading is taken, you use a +number number=hours after shot.


Today so far looks like this

amps 396 2.4u
+4 140 (niiiiiice)

Later, I will add more numbers. probably a +6 and a +8. I know that Pearl is going to peak somewhere in there, so I am not going to test nearer to the shot times as I am doing today.

Today's curve will be


What, you say? That is 5 pokes in one day! It's OK. If I showed you Pearl's ears, you would not even know which ear I test on. But even so, I don't like to subject her to tons of pokes. So, normally, I would do preshots only throughout the week and do curves or partial curves on weekends. It's less expensive (strips are the costly part of diabetes) and less annoying to Pearl. She mostly just doesn't care for her ear being held. Rather like Captain Sisko being seized by the ear everytime he comes across a vedik.)

If you do a curve, that means you track the BG levels throughout the day, either every two hours, or I prefer every three hours or sometimes just 4 hour spot test with a two hour middle. This will help you determine when the insulin "Peaks" or your lowest BG levels. You want your curve to be gentle, and insulins like Lantus, PZI and some even use Levemir are longer lasting and provide, in general, long, slow, calm curves. Other insulins like Humulin N, Vetsulin or Caninsulin usually peak early and may have very short, sharp curves. If this happens, you may want to investigate slower insulins. Short curves leave the cat too high much of the day.

Of course, with diabetes, your ideal isn't always acheivable and you take what you get, but a log of your tests can help you approach management with good data that you and your vet can use for good decisions.

And, besides, it's fun to use a fountain pen.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Pearl's "Sister"

My other cat is Sugar (yes, how ironic my non-sugar cat is named Sugar).
Pearl's favorite toy. Pearl doesn't see wonderfully and she is not a huge "player". She likes to run around very fast and howl like Tarzan when she is feeling good. She will chase a laser dot and she likes watching a feather disappear under a rug, but if she could talk, I think she would say her favorite game is "Chasing Sugar". It has taken 4 years, but they have finally gotten the rules down. Pearl chases. Sugar runs. As long as they are both in the mood and there is "no touchy touchy" it's fun. Well, to give you an idea of their relationship, just check this video out. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. I wanted to show that contrary to the pics posted so far, Pearl doesn't just lay around in queenly splendor.

Sugar will be getting her own blog one of these days.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Journey of Patience part

Well, lately this is where the "journey of patience" comes in. We are doing the sugar dance. 2.1, 2.2, 2.4. It's enough to make you crazy. If you look at Pearl's numbers this week, you can see she went quite low and it looked like 2.1 or 2.2 units would be good, but she is slowly going up again. Then she threw in an odd low preshot of 239. When you have a preshot number you are uncomfortable with, one option you have is to feed and wait a few minutes and test again to see if the level is going up. Then you can feel out whether or not to shoot at that time. Key words: a few minutes. 30, 40 minutes is usually sufficient. Yeah, you don't go back to bed for nearly 2 hours. Yeah, did that today. Argh. So, I missed the little window to maybe keep her on an even keel today. smaller dose, gentler curve. Yup. Blew it.

Tonight I have gone back up a tad in dosage to get her down a bit. With Pearl, apparently .1 or .2u reallly can make a difference. The way I am able to shoot such tiny changes is that PZI is a u40 insulin and I have u100 syringes. You can't go the other way, but this way you are able to make tiny changes. Which is rather nice on a cat like Pearl. This is the conversion chart I use. It's important to realize if you have a u100 insulin you can only use u100 syringes.

So, we trudge on. Just on the edge of figuring something out, but just not sure what.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Hi! I'm Pearl the Diabetic Cat

This is where I test Pearl. It's a handy spot in the kitchen, with the counter of the halfwall between the kitchen and the rest of the apartment handy with Kleenex for staunching a poke and to hold the meter and lancet device. It's a good set up as I can just reach right over Pearl. As you can see, she likes to just lounge there too sometimes.

This is Pearl. She is a black domestic short hair cat. She was diagnosed with diabetes after being on prednisone for what appears to be asthma for a short time. Once diagnosed, we got her off pred and onto flovent, which works wonderfully. Though many cats go into remission, it isn't looking like this will happen for Pearl. We recently (April 30) switched from Lantus to PZI as Lantus had stopped working well for Pearl. So now we are in our second month of PZI and numbers are looking much better again. I decided it might be a good time to start blogging for Pearl.

You can see our numbers since we got on PZI at a glance here. As we go on, I will try to post numbers here too.