Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gestational Diabetes

So I took the 3 hour glucose test on Thursday, June 12. Late Friday afternoon, June 13, I got the phone call from the nurse telling me that 3 of my 4 numbers were too high. That earned me the official diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes (GDM). I started following the diabetic diet and testing my blood sugar on Wednesday, June 18. Today I gave my first week's worth of numbers to the nurse. After talking to the doctor, she called me back to tell me that he wanted me to start taking insulin once a day before bed. Groan. The needle that I inject myself with (in the belly) is very fine, and I can hardly feel it going in, but the insulin burns. With Esther, I would get a big red itchy spot at each injection site, and since you are supposed to choose a different site each time, my whole pregnant belly was leopard-speckled. When I told the nurse about this today, she said she would try me on a different type of insulin. I was very optimistic tonight for my first injection, but I think this new kind of insulin (Lantus) burned even more than the old kind! Too early for the red welt, though, so that is good.

Friday, June 13, was also the day that the veins in the back of my right leg started aching and throbbing in a sickening way any time I stood on it. That has never happened before, and it was very discouraging. I read that daily exercise would help my circulation, and I know it will help my blood sugar as well, so Monday morning, June 16, I started getting up a little before 6 a.m. to take a full one hour walk before Dan leaves for work. I am not usually very good at getting up early, especially not consistently, but this time I am extremely motivated by all of my desired health benefits. I have not missed a day since I started, and that is 9 days now!

A few days ago my leg stopped hurting. I imagine that this is due, in part, to the daily walk, but I think it also has to do with a few prayers I've said. I explained to God that I don't mind the morning sickness (which is still going on) or the gestational diabetes...I was expecting both of those things. But the unexpected addition of the leg pain seemed almost more than I could bear. Now the leg pain is gone, and I am so grateful. I think about it every day, and feel loved and strengthened by the thought.

Dan's New Nickname

Every morning, Dan makes himself the same breakfast: yogurt with GrapeNuts. He mixes it up in a big bowl and eats it on his way to work. Esther has become an integral part of this daily ritual, insisting on helping Dan with each step of his meal preparation. For some reason, she calls GrapeNuts "no nuts", an accurate name for them, since they contain neither grapes nor nuts. Whenever Esther refers to Dan's breakfast, she calls it "Poppy No Nuts." She mentions it from time to time throughout the day, and it always brings a little smile, especially to me. We know that she means Poppy's GrapeNuts, but isn't that a great new nickname for Dan all the same? Take my word for it, the next time you see him, Dan would really appreciate being called Poppy No Nuts.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Out of the fire into the frying pan

I had gestational diabetes with Esther, which means that with this pregnancy, instead of waiting to take the 1-hour glucose test until I'm in my 28th week, they wanted me to do it as soon as possible, even as early as 8 weeks. Because I was so sick, I knew that I couldn't go into the lab fasting and then drink that horrible glucola drink and then wait an hour to have my blood taken, because I would throw up. So I waited until this Monday to take the test, at 14 weeks, because I'm finally starting to feel like a human being again. I got the phone call today. My blood sugar was 158, and it is supposed to be under 135. Good times. The next step in this process is the 3-hour glucose test. This is an even funner test that you take if you fail the 1-hour test, in which you go into the lab fasting, get your blood drawn, drink the drink, and then get more blood drawn every hour for three hours. This confirms the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Then you get to start following the DIABETIC DIET, and doing finger pricks four times a day to test your blood sugar levels.

So finding out about this at week 14 instead of week 28 gives me that much more time to enjoy this whole process. But I definitely prefer what is coming to what is passing. I would give myself 4, 8, 12 shots a day and follow the strictest diet in the world as long as I didn't have to feel sick and throw up. So bring on the diabetes, it is definitely not as bad as the morning sickness.