Today on the Feline Diabetes Message Board I commented that taking care of Isabella's diabetes is a piece of cake. That may come as a surprise to people who are new to the diabetes game. It can seem overwhelming at first. It was overwhelming at first, but now, after two years, I've got it down. It's part science, part art, part obsessive-compulsiveness, but you too can manage your kitties diabetes and have a life. A regular life. Really!
Here's how diabetes fits into my day:
6am: wake up! Feed cats (OK, I admit I don't like this part. I never get to sleep in, even on the weekends. That sorta sucks.)
6:30ish: test Isabella's blood glucose and give insulin. This takes maybe five minutes. Less if I get blood readily. There are still times that she just won't bleed in spite of poking her full of tiny holes. And yes, she sits there and lets me poke the holes.
7:00am: off to work for me, off to naps for the kits.
4:15pm: home from work and feed cats again. If I'm smart, I pee before I leave work because they get really cranky if I run to the bathroom before popping the lid off the cat food.
4:30pm: test Isabella's blood sugar. This test is really just to satisfy my curiosity.
6:30pm: test blood sugar and give insulin. This is the test that matters because it tells me that she's OK to get insulin - not too low in the sugar department.
9:00pm: one last meal for the cats. This is the one that lets me sleep all night without listening to whining. Brilliant!
That's it. No big deal at all. If I'm home I may test her more just to see what's happening, but it's not required. I can and do shift her shot times if I have to be somewhere, but for the most part she stays on an every-twelve-hours insulin schedule. When I travel, I hire a sitter to come twice a day to feed and give insulin. I've asked the sitter to keep the 12-hour schedule, but I honestly don't know if she does. I just try not to worry about little things like that because Isabella has always done fine when I've gone away.
I admit that I lost plenty of sleep at first. I admit that I used to wait until the stroke of 6:30 before giving insulin (what if I was 10 minutes early? Or late? Gasp!) And I know I'm lucky to have a pretty predictable schedule that allows for a tidy routine. Some people have more chaos to work around. But regardless, taking care of feline diabetes takes about ten minutes a day. It really is a piece of cake.