Water, Water Everywhere

“Frank,” I said, “we’ve got to stop meeting like this.”


Frank glanced over my way and gave a curt “meow” before going back to lapping water from the running faucet of the bathroom sink.

Some days, all I want is to be able to go to the bathroom unaccompanied. I swear Frank can hear me think about maybe going to the bathroom and makes a run for it in order to get there first. By the time I’ve hobbled the five steps it takes to get there, he’s sitting on top of the, um, throne, staring at the faucet and waiting for me to make the water magically appear. It seems to have something to do with my hand, but he isn’t quite sure what. Frank is not the smartest cat in the litter.

His sister, Yuki, also has her water moments. She used to be a faucet cat, too. At times, she could be seen lapping water from the top of Frank’s head as he lapped water from the bottom of the sink. Of late, however, she’s taken to drinking from any glass or cup sitting around.

She started off this year by knocking over a glass in her attempt to quench her thirst by drinking some watered-down soda at the bottom of a glass. My continuous glucose monitor receiver was lying on the table. It is not waterproof. What it is now is toast. Soggy toast to be sure, but toast all the same. It’s in the process of drying out. Hopefully, it will have a full recovery, since it’s out of warranty and I really don’t want to buy a new one.

But my own personal favorite water story is this: WooHOO! For the first time since April 8, when I had surgery to repair my ruptured Achilles tendon, I got to take a nekkid shower! I’m so excited! (It also doesn’t take much to make me happy.)

I can ‘splain the “nekkid” part. No, I do not shower with my clothes on. However, I’ve been having to shower with a plastic thingy over the dressings on my foot and leg. While I’ve given it a “bird bath,” my left leg has not seen running water below the knee in nearly nine months…until now. I cannot tell you good it feels — not only to let the water run over all of me, but to take a shower without dressing my lower left leg in rain gear.

And there’s more! I’ve now graduated from gauze pads, gauze rolls, and an Ace bandage over that, to…two little bandage strips. It’s also the first time in nearly nine months that my lower left leg hasn’t been covered up (except for dressing changes). Well, I have a sock on now because I slathered Bag Balm all over my foot and leg to get rid of the crocodile skin. (Bag Balm comes in a square green tin and I get it in the pet section of Wal-Mart or at a farm supply store.)

My excitement at being able to do silly little things like take a nekkid shower and to just slap two bandage strips on my heel and leg has me thinking that’s it’s not the big things that drive you nuts: it’s the little things.

For example, it’s not that you can’t get around that well; it’s that you have to have somebody carry your dinner plate to the table for you because you can’t carry your dinner and use a walker. (In other words, you’ve lost your independence.)

It’s not that you have diabetes; it’s that people feel free to tell you “you shouldn’t be eating that.”

It’s not the insulin injections; it’s the frustration of having your blood glucose whack around all over the place.

I’m sure you can think up some of your own “little” frustrations. (Feel free to share them.)

Speaking of which, I reached another milestone just this morning: I walked into the kitchen, made a sandwich and got a glass of ice, and then walked back into my office/den — carrying them — all by myself. No walker; no cane. WooHOO again!

Now all I have to do is keep Yuki’s snout out of my glass.

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  • PamG

    Great news Jan! So glad to hear your Achilles tendon is finally almost healed! Watch out for those silly kitties- our 3 like to trip us!

  • Still too fat

    If your cats show an unusual interest in water, it may be a good idea to have them checked for diabetes too. It’s not uncommon.

    And on a completely unrelated note, I was listening to Talk of the Nation on NPR yesterday and they featured health reporter Dan Hurley discussing his book Diabetes Rising. Among many interesting observations, he cited statistics regarding the relationship between starvation and resistance to diabetes. Essentially he stated that if your family has gone three generations without suffering severe malnutrition, your chances of developing both type 1 and 2 diabetes rise significantly. The speculation seems to be that our bodies have adapted so well to dealing with occasional periods of famine, that they are unequipped to cope with prolonged abundance.

    Might be worth examining in a future blog.

  • Tom Hargis

    I’m glad to hear that you have about recovered from your achilles surgery.I have been following your story from the beginning,because I have acilles tendonois.With all the problems that you havehad I am afraid to have anything done to mine.Keep up the good work on the stories about diabetes,as I have diabetes as well.

  • Jan Chait

    Tom, just because I couldn’t seem to get through with just one simple surgery doesn’t mean the same will happen to you. In fact, the odds are against it. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Even with all of the problems I’ve had, I’d do it again. A ruptured Achilles tendon is no fun!


  • Lorraine

    Hi Jan,so glad to hear about your nekkid shower. Glad you enjoyed it. Due to a colostomy that part of my body has not been nekkid for almost 10yrs. I adopted 2 kitties at 2 years old in 2008 and at the time had a leaking bathtub tap. My male kittie decided that is the best water he has ever tasted and where he goes his sister follows. Finally after 3 months the tap was fixed(apartment living) but this did not please kittie. He did not like his bowl of water but it sure was fun to put his paw in and slpash the carpet. So I bought a fountain for them. They love it but it is also a pain as I have had trouble with it leaking. Anyway just an idea.
    Regards Lorraine