Bianca Has Joined the OTJ Club
Proof that OTJ can happen very quickly on TR.
My Bianca was diagnosed with Feline Diabetes on June 3, 2017 after I had noticed drastic weight loss and she developed an awful new habit of voiding throughout the house. I didn’t even know cats could be diabetic – I thought she may have come into contact with a parasite when she went from a round little 11 pound kitty to a bony 6 pounds in just a few months’ time. No diet change was recommended initially but Bianca was prescribed Lantus insulin which I was taught by my vet to administer twice each day. Due to my lack of knowledge at that time I naively trusted my vets to advise fixed dose amounts adjusted each week from BG numbers recorded during in-office glucose curves rather than encouraging or even acknowledging the available option of home-testing. As a result of my compliance with blind-dosing over the next several months poor Bianca ended up suffering from a severe hypoglycemic crash on October 10th 2018. Fortunately I had recognized her distress quickly enough to transport her to the emergency vet clinic where she was in professional care literally within seconds of the onset her 1st (out of 2) grand mal seizures that night. She was safely stabilized but remained in observation at the hospital for 3 more days as a precaution because of the seizures. After her discharge we began working with a specialist at the same ER clinic who finally introduced us to home-testing and prescribed her the Purina DM food. However after the hypo scare I also began venturing into the online community of FD groups where I first learned about Tight Regulation and noticed that there were still some major differences between TR and the treatment advice I was receiving at the time. When I brought the information to my specialist she seemed offended that I was questioning her methods and tried to debunk all of the facts I had provided, particularly the necessary dietary recommendations and she insisted that Bianca’s expensive prescription dry food was perfectly acceptable and essential to the diet of a diabetic cat. My skepticism continued to fester but since I was at least home-testing I decided to try it “their way” just a little bit longer and see if anything improved. Unfortunately after about 2 months of specialist advising Bianca experienced another hypo episode on December 15th 2017. Luckily this time I had acquired more knowledge on appropriate hypoglycemia management and was able to successfully “feed the crash” and restore her BG to safer levels before her status required another round of emergency intervention.
I felt like I had hit a wall at that point because after almost 6 months I was becoming a complete nervous wreck, Bianca’s progress wasn’t giving any indication of stabilizing and my ability to fund all of her medical needs was burying me in serious debt. I finally decided to give the forum a try to see if TR could really be as effective as some of the success stories I had read. Bianca’s detox began on January 5th 2018 and during that time I transitioned her to the Fancy Feast Classic Chopped Grill canned diet which was lower in carbs and much more affordable to keep up with than the prescription DM food. Learning TR protocol as it was adjusted to fit Bianca’s specific treatment plan involved a lot of work and was full of new information for us to apply to her daily routine but our advisor was extremely patient and by the start of February I noticed Bianca’s typical BG ranges peaking more frequently between 200 and 400, whereas her peak BG ranges before TR had been averaging between 400-600 on a regular basis! We remained vigilant and between February and March her insulin needs had suddenly broadened to several hours of self-regulating her own insulin beyond normal dosing times, then became 2-3 days between needing more doses, eventually turned into a full week at a time and then finally spaced out into several weeks! I am humbled to admit that Bianca has officially proven herself capable now of living life “off the juice” and even her last “sip” of insulin was a full month ago on March 19th 2018. She has consistently self-regulated very normal BG ranges, has a healthy appetite and lots of energy, maintains an ideal weight, and a recent veterinary lab panel we had conducted on her officially declared my little lady to be in 100% perfect overall health!
I honestly still can’t believe how quickly Bianca’s status improved after transitioning to TR, especially after I tried so many things last year that made her life as a diabetic worse instead of better. All of our vets had told us that if a cat couldn’t achieve remission within about 3 months after initial diagnosis that they would likely be dependent on daily insulin and expensive prescription food for the remainder of their lives. While I HAVE and WOULD continue to do anything for my best friend, the idea of structuring everything I did every single day around her diabetes for what could potentially be many years left in her life was overwhelming and I was really losing hope in living anything close to a normal life myself ever again until we started this process and experienced firsthand how successful it could be.
Bianca has been my partner in crime for almost 10 years now and this is probably the happiest and healthiest I have ever seen her. I will be forever grateful to this forum and our advisor for the education and support and especially for the patience that helped us finally provide complete healing and restore peace and comfort to the most important member of our family. It was a lot of work but I think the best part about this success is a combination of the pride I feel in how hard I worked fighting for her recovery, how much time I put into getting educated on this disease so that I could truly understand what I was doing for her and why, how much faith I placed in listening to my advisor and working outside of my comfort zone to manage her daily care and most of all how rewarding it is for both Bianca and myself to finally be able to give our story the happy ending that it deserves.