Diabetes Self-Management Blog

It’s a good thing kittens are adorable, because they certainly can be trying. After last week, I’m thinking about renaming ours Little Destructo 1, 2, 3, and 4. One more time chewing through tubing of some sort and the names may be changed to Sudden Death 1, 2, 3, and 4. If only, that is, they weren’t so adorable.

“They’ve been busy,” I told my grandson, who was in my bedroom picking up the debris from an overturned trashcan.

“They’ve been busy all morning,” he sighed. Then I saw the dining room. Yikes! I’m almost embarrassed to let the cleaning lady in tomorrow! Grandson has said he will pick up the chazarai and run the vacuum through the middle, but he hasn’t gotten around to it yet. I asked him which year he was thinking about pitching in. “Oh, October 2013,” he responded.

(Next time he wants something — such as a video game — RIGHT NOW, he may have to cool his heels.)

But, back to the chewed tubing. One morning, my blood glucose kept climbing for no apparent reason. Nothing apparent, that is, until I noticed little teeth marks on my insulin pump tubing, creating holes which prevented insulin delivery.

The next day, I started to hook up my IV antibiotics, only to find that the extension on my PICC line tubing had been chewed in two. Luckily, an extension is easily replaced. Good thing for whichever kitten was responsible it wasn’t the PICC line tubing itself. PICC lines aren’t as easily replaced.

Good news, however: I won’t have to worry about protecting my PICC line much longer. It’s getting pulled, just as soon as I can talk my visiting nurse into coming over to take it out. (I suppose a path should be cleared before I let her in, too.)

My doctor’s visit yesterday showed that, for the second week in a row, my white cell count, which measures infection, was in normal range and my sed rate, which measures inflammation, had dropped to within less than 10 points of normal. Also for the second week in a row, my cultures were negative. No bacteria!

I don’t recall if I told you that the stitches from my last surgery, in May, came out, and I’ve had an open wound that runs about 12 inches around the bottom of the back of my foot. The incision is from a second surgery to remove part of my calcaneus (heel bone), which was infected.

With the good lab results, the next step is for me to head back to the operating room for the incision to be cleaned out and closed back up. Then I get to come home and curl up in the recliner for a few days.

Hopefully, that will be the end of it. It will be surgery number six for something that began as a ruptured Achilles tendon (from walking up the back steps) in March 2009.

Hopefully, it will put a halt to the swinging blood glucose levels, too. They’ve been up and down and all around, depending on surgeries and infection levels, with my basal rates fluctuating 60 or more units a day at times.

I may be getting that more or less straightened out, too. Finally. When I saw my endocrinologist last week, he worked on helping me tweak my basal rates. They aren’t perfect yet (are they ever?), but the hypoglycemia has abated somewhat.

Now to get my HbA1c back down some. It was 6.9% last week. It will come. Frankly, I believe 6.9% is pretty darned good, considering.

Now, if only I could stop the kittens from chewing on my insulin pump tubing. Any ideas out there?

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Comments
  1. i have used a mixture of hot pepper sauce and water and spray it on cords to keep cats from chewing on them. as long as there’s not a short in the cords, it shouldn’t harm the cords or the cats. they shouldn’t go back to the cords after a taste of the hot stuff.
    hope this helps..

    Posted by sherri |
  2. Where do you wear your pump? I clip it to my pants and tuck the tubing in them. Then I wear my shirt out (not tucked in) to hide the top part of the tubing that leads from the pump.

    Posted by Babs |
  3. About 1 1/2 years ago our 3 kitten brothers were insane too! Don’t worry, they will outgrow this stage soon… now all they want to do is sleep! : )

    Posted by PamG |
  4. First, try a small puppy chew-toy. People don’t think kittens chew, but they do!
    Second, Keep the little monsters, er, darlings busy. A tired kitten is a well-behaved kitten. Recruit the neighbor kids to play with ‘em if you can - you’ll make friends all over town.
    Third, if they are in the house, and I assume they are, can you have one room you cat-proof, taking out everything you can think of as dangerous, and turn it into a playroom?
    Fourth, nasty tasting things ranging from Tabasco to dishwashing liquid applied to the tubing can certainly help. Also, can you tape the tubing down? If it doesn’t wiggle, it’s not as attractive to kittens.
    Lastly, remind yourself that the babies DO grow up and you will be rewarded with beautiful, friendly, socialized cats and it will all be worth it. Best of luck!

    Posted by Christine Richardson |

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