Azi's Experience with Diabetes Home Monitoring

April 6, 2018

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM, and Azi Chegini highlight how doing home monitoring of diabetes for Spider gave her both hope and control in managing this condition.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Azi, you actually had to do this.

Azi Chegini: Yes, I actually carry the monitor with me if I’m traveling with Spider. Actually, you’ll find it in my bag.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Who taught you all this?

Azi Chegini: My veterinarian.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: With Charlie?

Azi Chegini: Absolutely. The conversation was just like you 2 talked about. It was, “Don’t let this intimidate you. This is really simple. We’ll go over it and it’s going to need some practice.” But I think that worked for me, and that’s how I pass the information forward to my friends and family or anybody who has a pet that is diabetic. You mentioned 3 things. They told me, “You don’t want to come here every time you have a question. You don’t want to come here every time you’re wondering, is he OK? Is his blood sugar low? Is it high? I don’t know which one it is.” Because you see those kinds of signs.

I think that was really important to me. I wanted to have some control. I wanted to feel that I have hope and control right there at home, or wherever I’m going to be with him. It’s easy to be able to call or fax or email the veterinarian or your technician in the hospital and say, “This is what I got, do I need to worry, what do I do?” There were some clear instructions given to me that if the blood sugar is very low—10, 20, or 30 mg/dL—you’ve got a problem. So, I do have syringes prepared and ready with honey and sugar water that I keep in the refrigerator just in case this happens in anybody’s home.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: We want every single owner of a diabetic animal to be just like you.

Azi Chegini: You panic when that happens, so you want to have an instruction ready for yourself of, “That’s what I’ve got to do.” In a way it’s interesting. It almost sounds oxymoronic. Using something that you carry or you have to learn how to do, instruments that are really going to help you, in a way has freed me from many things that were harder to deal with.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Because you have control, right? You have control.

Azi Chegini: Absolutely.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Where did you get the monitor? Did you get it from the veterinarian?

Azi Chegini: I got it from my veterinarian. They opened the case and they went through everything with me. As I said, it took me a couple of weeks with Charlie to figure it out. But I’ve got to tell you, you’re right: You’re afraid that you’re hurting your animal. You’re mirroring your feelings for them. With Charlie, I was using his ears. I would massage it and as I was massaging it I kept saying, “I’m really sorry, I’m really sorry, I’m really sorry.” As I was saying “I’m sorry,” I would do it. And then after a month, I got over it and the “sorrys” went away. I got the rest of it down.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: That’s a really interesting thing that you said. As veterinarians and veterinarian technicians, we appreciate home monitoring because it’ll give us better data and allows us to get better diabetic control. You appreciate it for that, but you also appreciate it because it gives you more freedom.

Azi Chegini: Absolutely.

Ruth MacPete, DVM: Peace of mind, like you said, the peace of mind to know. I do think that as pet owners you question, “Oh my god, are they low? Why are they doing this?” with every little thing. So, it’s great to have that control and that peace of mind.

Azi Chegini: That’s really true. I think for the first few months, the whole idea of what to look for is very confusing. When you panic, you see one thing and you think it’s another. You’re sure that’s low sugar, but maybe it’s high sugar. You’re right. Even though I answered that I do this every month, that’s why I carry spot checking with me. It’s so simple and if I have any questions, I don’t have to bother anybody and I don’t have to google it because I can’t get ahold of one of these guys. I can actually get facts, real facts, right away, right in front of me, and then I can panic after that.

Ruth MacPete, DVM: But you don’t have to rush him into the vet right away.

Azi Chegini: Right.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Right. Not only is better care, it actually saves you a ton of money.

Azi Chegini: It’s good medicine for sure. It’s a good standard for us as pet owners, and we can be better patients for these guys.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: For all the people watching PetConnections, and for any friends or anybody who you hear has a new diabetic pet, say yes to home monitoring.

Azi Chegini: Absolutely, no question. Make it an investment in your time and in your pet, you need to have one for sure.

Richard Goldstein, DVM, DACVIM: Wonderful, thank you so much.