Sunday, July 26, 2015

the finger sticks begin.

On Friday, I went in for glucose meter training. Technically, I already knew how to use a glucose meter, since I had Type II diabetes for a couple of years before losing the weight and sending it into remission, but I thought I'd get the meter itself at the appointment. I did not. That got called into the pharmacy. And the nurse training me got very suspicious when she handed me the meter to try myself and I asked for an alcohol swab.

"You look like you've done this before," she said.

I smiled and nodded.

I don't talk to a lot of people about how I used to be diabetic. It's not something I'm proud of. And when I did have it, early medical interventions made things way worse; the first doctor to put me on insulin kept jacking up the dosage even after I didn't respond well, and I ended up putting on something like 40 lbs. in a single month. And even then, my sugars didn't get under control until I was put on a medicine that basically talked to my liver and told it to stop pumping out insulin.

I also don't talk a lot about my gastric bypass surgery, which I had almost 7 years ago. I don't talk about it because when I had it, I was at an all-time high weight that was the equivalent of four top-of-the-pyramid cheerleaders. To be fair, nearly 70 lbs. of that came from the insulin and fluid retention, but still. It was a dark time in my life and one I don't care to revisit. Plus, I never lost all of the weight after my surgery. I lost nearly 200 lbs.,  but that still put me at close to 100 lbs. over where the height-weight charts wanted me to be, and about 35 lbs. over my personal weight-loss goal.

When you still look like a fat girl and you tell people you've had gastric bypass, they either assume that you were unsuccessful at it or that you're one of the sad folks who's gained all of their weight back. Prior to this pregnancy, I did have some regain from time to time. but I always nipped it before it got too bad and took the weight back off. This is one of the main reasons the massive gain from Jellybean has me so unhinged. I'm terrified the weight won't come off again, And all of the health problems I had pre-surgery loss, they're all coming back - the apena, the edema, the sciatic lower back pain, the shooting numbness in one or both legs, etc.

Except, I think, for the diabetes. This is one pregnancy nasty I may have been able to avoid.

My very first stick - the one that made the nurse suspicious - was 114. "That's really good!" she remarked, shocked that my blood wasn't made of taffy. I left the training feeling unexpectedly chuffed. I was going to be fine! No gestational diabetes for me!

And then, that night, my post-dinner reading was 140 - 10 over where they like to see it. There had been a touch of cornstarch in the sauce we made, and I had about 1/3 cup of brown rice. A friend who has Type II told me she can't tolerate brown rice even medicated, that it always spikes her sugars, so I made a note on my log and moved on.

The next morning, my fasting bgl was 96 - about 7 higher than it should be. I'd indulged in a small piece of chocolate cake for a late-night dessert, and figured that was the culprit. Again, I made a note and moved on.

And then something surprising happened - my post-meal readings for the day were all stellar. After a lunch of spaghetti squash chow mein and grilled chicken, I clocked in at 78 - close to low! Last night's pre-bed snack consisted of a piece of Ezekial toast with natural PB and a small sliced banana. The fasting reading today? 89. And that's with the banana!

So while I'll likely have to pay attention to what I'm eating, and skip as much refined sugar as possible, it looks like my bgl is going to behave through diet modification alone. Of course, I need to track my finger sticks for two full weeks before someone will make that assessment, but still. Early data is promising.

Since that's the case, I think I'm going to experiment a little with foods to see what does/doesn't spike my sugar. I'm making some oat bran with blueberries and almonds for breakfast, just to see what that does. Yesterday I had a whole wheat English muffin with egg and cheese (homemade) and my post-meal reading was 114, which was well within the good limits. So we'll see.

I've been so terrified that I'm going to get pre-eclampsia that in my head I already have it. But this? This makes me wonder if maybe I'll somehow avoid it. When I checked my BP last night it was 122/78 - perfectly normal. Is it possible that I will get through the rest of this pregnancy without any major medical meltdowns?

I sure hope so.

10 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you have to stick your fingers. I'm really glad that so far your sugars are cooperating. Hopefully they will stay that way!!

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    1. I don't mind the finger sticks. I mean, my tips will be sore at the end of the two weeks but it's not so bad. The sugars have been excellent since the first two readings, so I'm feeling pretty confident right now!

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  2. So, as someone who never had diabetes, even gestational until my last pregnancy when I hit the AMA of 35, I can tell you that in pregnancy, if you are going to get GD, you just are. You won't likely know if you have managed to avoid it until 28-30 weeks, and even then it can develop because it is the large, mature placenta that blocks insulin thereby raising blood sugar. So even if you figure out how to keep your sugars in the normal range now, that could change as pregnancy goes on.
    I was able to diet control mine perfectly, until the last few weeks when my fasting blood sugars we high no matter what I did. I ended up going on medication at bedtime those last few weeks.
    Just wanted to give you my experience and let you know it can just happen, no matter what you do so you don't get surprised or upset if it happens anyway down the line.

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    1. That's interesting. I asked the nurse who trained me if I'd have to repeat the finger sticks down the road and she said if my sugars were good now I wouldn't have to. I guess I'll have to check with my OB about that.

      And thanks for the words of wisdom. Still hoping I avoid this one pregnancy nasty, but good to know there may be a point where I can't, no matter what I do.

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  3. I'm so glad your sugars are good for now! I am going in for my 1 hour glucose tolerance test tomorrow. I didn't have GD with my first pregnancy, but I guess it is way more common with twins so I am scared of it.

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    1. Good luck! Hope everything turns out well!

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  4. That is great that you can control your blood sugars through your diet at the moment! Hopefully you will avoid GD! Either way, prepare and plan and do as much as you can to have healthy food around for after Jellybean arrives, because when you are sleep deprived and sore and all those fun things, eating good is the last thing on your mind. And if you do have problems later in the pregnancy, they may not abate straight away either. Having a plan will probably help, or at the least prevent you from gaining weight postpartum, which is what I have been doing!

    Yay for the normal BP!! I hope you can avoid that too!! And any other medical issues!!

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    1. Mr. Hope and I want to get a chest freezer and start making a lot of freezer meals ahead of time, so that the first few months of Jellybean's life we still have healthy things to eat.

      After such a rough pregnancy so far, I'm putting this one in the "win" column.

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  5. Wow...that's a lot to be thinking about. Good for you for tracking well and figuring out what foods to avoid and which ones are ok. I'm sure it's a hassle and I know how freaked you have been with the weight gain. Making freezer meals is essential for post-birth. And meal planning, too. It will keep you away from the high calorie/fat foods that are SO easy to eat when you only have 2.5 minutes to yourself all day. You are doing the right things so hopefully everything will even itself out and you won't develop the GD. My fingers are crossed for you!

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    1. Ack, replying to this very late. Have been awful about the blogging.

      I do have the GD, but it's a mild case that's controlled entirely by diet. My sugars only spike when I eat a lot of white flour or a lot of sugar, and even then they don't go that high. So, it's a mild inconvenience, but the worst part is just pricking my fingers 4x/day.

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