Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It’s Day One All Over Again

I’ve finally done it. I’ve finally made the switch from PZI insulin to Lantus for Isabella’s diabetes.

I had been all set to talk to the vet about changing when Isabella’s cancer came back. That really threw me – all of a sudden I wasn’t sure I should bother trying to learn a new insulin if she was just going to die anyway. So I hesitated. I procrastinated. I stopped caring about her numbers.

Then someone on the Feline Diabetes Message Board said something that really hit home:
Don’t bury your cat until it’s dead.

The comment wasn’t directed at me, it was in someone else’s discussion. But I realized that I had done exactly that. I had given up on Isabella’s day-to-day disease because of something that might not be a problem for months and months. I had, in effect, buried her already.

Talk about a wake up call.

So I called the vet and got a prescription for Lantus. Today Isabella got her first taste of this spendy, recombinant DNA human insulin analog. In humans, Lantus is intended for once-a-day dosing. Cats, being the metabolic overachievers that they are, still need it twice a day. But only twice a day – unlike PZI and some other insulins, which cats can use up and spit out in a handful of hours. So Lantus will suit my inherent laziness very well indeed.

Hopefully it will suit Isabella too. I’d like to see her blood glucose numbers come down and for her to feel better. It would be good to see her put on some weight too (though that might be an uphill battle, what with the cancer and all).

Regardless, Isabella is now getting the Cadillac of insulins for her diabetes, and I’m a newbie all over again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Confessions of a Diabetes Slacker

Once upon a time, it was all I could do to focus on anything but Isabella’s diabetes. I worried about it all day. I surfed the web and asked questions on the Feline Diabetes Message Board. I tested her relentlessly. I obsessed over her blood sugar, made spreadsheets and graphs and scales of insulin doses.

But no more. Something has changed.

Isabella now gets tested twice a day before her shots. Maybe three times if I’m feeling really perky. I’ve quit trying to find the perfect dose and have settled on a fine dose, with minor tweaking according to her sugar level. I write down each blood test in a little notebook, along with the date, time and dose, but I haven’t touched a spreadsheet in months. And graphs? They’re history.

Depending upon who you ask, I’m either behaving more normally or being recklessly irresponsible. Near as I can tell, Isabella’s diabetes is exactly the same as always. I still get reading in the 300s. And 200s and 100s, with no apparent rhyme or reason. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to get a report that her fructosamine level reveals “poor control,” just the same as when I was obsessing.

I don’t know if I’ve given up because I’ll never get the upper hand on this damn diabetes, or have given up because the cancer will certainly win in the end, no matter what I do.

Poor Isabella. She’s on the losing end of all of these equations.