Insulin Yes, Pills Not So Much

October 03, 2006

Nekko continues to look and act like normal this week. The change in her demeanor from just a week ago is tremendous. The trick now is to manage her medications so that she can stay healthy.

Giving her an insulin shot is relatively easy. Last night instead of picking her up to do it I reached down to where she was laying on the floor and petted her for a minute or so, and then gave her the injection. She didn’t even twitch. Far less stress and aggravation for both of us that way.

The pills she needs to take are another matter altogether. On Sunday I was successful in getting all three down her at more or less the right times. After the evening round of pills she stayed as far away from me in the apartment as she could get. Monday morning she didn’t let me get near her, so I wasn’t able to do either the insulin or her pills.

My fear is that suffering the indignity of the pills will drive her away from me all the time. She was never the most social cat, and has always acted a little wary of me. That I now occasionally scoop her up and force her to swallow pills isn’t going to help that dynamic. The consequence of not giving her the heart medicine is a gradual decline in her health and eventually death. Giving her medicine will keep her alive longer, but with an altered relationship between us. I’m hopeful that over time she become less upset at having to take a pill - especially when I am down to the long-term, once a day routine. (At present she is supposed to be getting Amoxicillin twice a day. This will end after 10 days or 20 pills - which ever takes longer.)

I recognize that the staff in a vet’s office don’t have the emotional attachment to my cat that I possess, and therefore it is easier for them to be matter-of-fact about prying her mouth open and giving her a pill. Hopefully I won’t have to resort to developing that kind of detachment in order to be successful with Nekko’s care.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.