Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Hypo vs. Hyper November 13, 2008

Gestational Diabetes is nothing to mess around with. I’m sure any form of Diabetes is dangerous when the Diabetic ignores his or her diagnosis and diet. Right now, as I type this, I have gone hypoglycemic. It is a terrible feeling. Since I have started diabetic meds it is important that I eat regularly, including snacks, throughout the day.

I got home from picking up Brianna and within minutes I was shaking and dizzy. Uh oh. I took out the glucose meter to check my blood glucose levels. Before I left to go get her it was 99. That’s a check 2 hours after breakfast and it’s a good number. Just an hour later it was all the way down to 68. Not good. Hypoglycemia starts at 70 for a diabetic. I knew something wasn’t right.

Immediately I popped open the jar of mixed nuts and started munching. Then I got the strawberry yogurt out of the fridge and slurped it down as fast as I could. I’ll recheck my sugar levels in 5 minutes. If they’re still too low I’ll eat an apple or maybe a peanut butter cookie. I don’t want to spike it, but I also need to get a bit above 70.

It happens fast. If hypoglycemia is left unchecked a diabetic person can lose consciousness. That’s not in the mix for me. Who would help? It is important that I am aware of the signs at all times.

Hyperglycemia is a bit more dangerous as I understand it. This is what fits me in the category of Gestational Diabetic. When I don’t eat right and take meds my blood sugars are elevated. Two hours after each meal my magic number needs to be below 120. If I have 2 slices of pepperoni pizza, for example, my number is usually around 175 as a diabetic. That’s a major no-no. Pasta, potato, rice, anything high in carbs or white flour or sugar will all make my numbers escalate.

The problem with this, besides the dangers to my health, is that it could affect the unborn baby in one way or another. The most obvious is high birth weight. The other problems that are much more serious are low blood sugar in newborn infant, trouble breathing, and still birth.

So it’s a bit complicated and takes some getting used to. I don’t like checking my blood levels 4+ times a day. It hurts and it’s inconvenient. I’d rather eat a baked potato with my steak rather than a side of broccoli. I want the occasional sweet treat.

It’s not just my good health that is a concern. When the health of another person depends on you and what you eat and how you monitor “things” then a new determination surfaces and you gain a self-control you may not have realized you have.

Strangely, I’m sort of thankful I’ve had this disease 3 times now. I have learned so much about how the body uses food for fuel that the transition from being a pregnant diabetic to a non-pregnant woman who needs to lose 50+ pounds is smooth. This is why I love the South Beach diet. Its menu is centered around the glycemic index — a very important tool for a diabetic.

My number after all of that drama is 91. The nuts and yogurt worked like a charm and I feel back to normal now. Off to eat lunch — a healthy one of course.

 

Crap News October 23, 2008

Tuesday I had to do my second glucose test. I drank the funky drink and an hour later they drew blood. I felt weird after drinking it, but I felt that way last time (a few weeks ago). I got the dreaded call. The nurse said in her nicey nice, sing-song voice that “we’d really like to see your number below 140, but it was 152”. That means I have to go off to the lab for the 3 hour glucose test. Like I have time for that.

I declined the HIV blood test this time. I figure since I passed it with the other 2 kids and they all have the same dad there is no need to repeat that one. I know I’m negative.

I also declined the cystic fibrosis test. Again, same dad for all three kids and the last two times I took it I was negative for the gene or whatever they are looking for.

My OB appointments will be every 2 weeks for now. If I test positive for gestational diabetes (and it’s not looking good for me), then I will also have non-stress tests every week right around the holidays. Doesn’t that sound like a boat load of fantastic fun? I know you’re all green with envy now because trying to find a babysitter for 2 doctor’s appointments a week every other week while juggling a preschooler’s schedule is so easy and having to abstain from any sweets during Christmas and New Years is easy peezy. Yep. You. Wish. You. Were. Me. I can tell.

I will survive and I know all of this is in the best interest of my baby. I understand why they operate in this fashion and I will submit to their testing and such. As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for non-stress tests once a week I would not have known I was in labor with Jeremy and things would have been a lot more complicated and stressful the day he was born. I’m sure several hours later I would have figured it out, but by then I would have been home alone with a 19 month old and 40 minutes from the hospital with a husband almost an hour and a half from home. I imagine an ambulance would have needed to be involved as well as a mad rush from the in-laws to come be with my little girl. I imagine Rich would not have made it to the hospital in time to see Jeremy’s birth. I imagine it would have been a horrible few hours.

So crappy news on the diabetes thing. But I’ll be fine. Just don’t slurp too loudly as you indulge in your sweet treats this holiday season. I might just reach through the wires and slap your face off. LOL!

 

Don’t Take the Fun Out of it August 24, 2008

That’s a joke. I have never been known to say that pregnancy is fun. Not even close. I suffer from a lot of things. One of them is called Melasma or the mask of pregnancy. It literally looks like my forehead is dirty. My brother, when I was pregnant with my first child, even said, “you have dirt on your head”. With each pregnancy it gets bigger and more noticeable. Nice.

Melasma on a forehead
The image is not me

Pretty, huh?
NOT!!

More fun side effects of pregnancy are spider veins. These sometimes wind their way into varicose veins. These suckers are painful as well as ugly. They often hurt as bad as they look.

Spider veins (also not me)

Now we’re sexy!

Varicose veins (not me)

That’s mild

Then we have stretch marks that can run from the thighs all the way up to the boobs. They are purple when they are new and whitish silver when they aren’t so new. They fade, but they don’t go away.

Stretch marks (not me)
on the belly

That’s mild too!

And on the boobs (not me)

So hot and steamy, right?

So the next time anyone who has not been pregnant complains about their aching tooth or their sore muscles or their abdominal cramp or their oh so bad day at work with their oh so rotten coworkers… well, I think I just might slap that person pretty hard. Maybe not physically, but in my mind there will be a whole bunch of face slapping going on.

One more fun, fun thing
I get to experience

The finger prick for diabetes

Whine over. Carry on.

 

Peace Felt Like My Own Skin August 23, 2008

Yesterday three things dove into my soul. Two messages in my heart.
“Do not fear”
“Trust Me”
Then I saw, for the second time in less than a week, a double rainbow. This time the rainbows were right outside my front door. I should have taken a picture. Beautiful and breathtaking and brilliant.

For those of you of less than a spiritual nature please do not judge. You just aren’t to the point in your life yet where these sorts of things make sense to you. Once you get there you’ll understand completely. It will come alive and you’ll get it and then you’ll see.

I can tell people have been praying for me and our baby. How? Because of the peace I hold in my heart. It’s almost tangible. It feels like a coat over my skin. Comforting, relaxing, sweet, tender, merciful.

I’ve been given a lot of advice from well-meaning individuals. Some who have a love interest in us. They tell me not to accept that something could be wrong with our child. They are praying prayers of positive words. Calling forth things as if they already are — health, intelligence, and so on. I appreciate those prayers. But when I pray, I cannot lie. I can’t tell God “thank you for this healthy, normal, intelligent baby” when in my heart I don’t hold that view. I pray “thank you Lord for whatever child you have blessed us with — thank you that you trust me enough to care for any of your children, whether normal or not — and please give me the strength and wisdom to endure any hardships”.

I know there are many, many Christian families who have been blessed with many, many different types of children. Some of them have become doctors. Some of them have become teachers. Some of them have become missionaries. Some of them have become competitors in the Special Olympics. Some of them can’t talk or move or feed themselves. Some of them have died before their 5th birthdays. All of their parents have prayed their hearts out for them. All.

So I can’t force myself to believe that God would spare me the pain of having a child who has a disability. I hope that He does. Not for me — my hope is for the child yet unborn. But I don’t believe for even an inch that God can be manipulated because I speak “positive words”.

I have read about 3/4 of the Bible so far this year and I haven’t seen one Scripture verse that teaches that you can call forth things with your words. Any time someone prophesied something that came to be it was because the Holy Spirit told them to. It was God’s idea first. Then He revealed it to the prophets. Then the prophets revealed it to the people. Then the events happened. It wasn’t in any other order. There were times that the prophets pleaded on behalf of the people. Interceded in prayer. There were times that God answered those prayers of intercession. But they didn’t say to God “this isn’t going to happen because I won’t accept it”. No. They were humble and respectful and most of the time in mourning for the nation of Israel. God does change His mind. God does heal the broken. But God cannot be told what to do. His plans are perfect and holy. Who are we to think we can “positive words” Him into acting in our flawed interests?

Having said all of that, I will not tell you how to pray. No. Never. You should pray how you are led to pray. You have your own relationship with God. I have mine. But be honest in your prayers. God sees your heart anyway. No sense in lying or pretending you believe something that He clearly knows you don’t. If you honestly don’t accept that our baby could have a disability, that’s fine. Pray like that if your heart is pure in that thought/belief.

Update: I had a regular OB appointment yesterday. They drew blood for the quad screen and did the glucose test. I’ll have results hopefully by Tuesday on all tests. I spoke in more detail with the midwife who saw me. She said everything else on the ultrasound looked normal — organs, bones, size, spine, development, shape of brain and skull. She also said in 14 years of being a midwife she has seen an uprise in finding cysts on the brain in babies in the last 5 years. She said she believes it is due to better sonographic equipment. She said there may be a time in obstetrics when a cyst (like what our baby has) is found that they will just call it a normal part of the baby’s development between such and such weeks instead of sending moms to a specialist. But, for now, all moms go to see specialists when this cyst is found. She said the vast majority of the time the cyst is gone by the time the mom sees the specialist. If it is still there, it eventually goes away and the specialist finds nothing else wrong with the baby. What he will look for on Wednesday at the ultrasound are the remaining six markers that indicate Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome).

I am at peace whatever may be. My husband is too. Of course, our hope is that our baby is just as fine and dandy as our other two children. But if he or she is not woven together as they are, we will survive. Actually, I believe we’ll more than survive. I believe we’ll be blessed beyond belief and that we’ll be a blessing to others who may experience the same things we have.

Plus, we’re all a little disabled. I can’t fly a plane. Why? Because I have bad eyesight. I also can’t sing very well. I am short and I can’t reach the top cabinets in my kitchen. I am not good at math. I can’t draw.

Thank you for the prayers, thoughts, support, and encouragement. Sincerely.