Gestational Diabetes

Long story short, I failed my three hour test too.  The ensuing week or two have been a nightmare of blood sugar measurements, chickpeas, fish, and eggs.  But I have been managing.  For the most part my numbers seem to be under control.

This is the first time in my life I have had a really serious illness.  It is scary.  After receiving my diagnosis, I cried for a few days.  I felt dirty.  I felt like I’d brought this on myself by being fat.  The truth is that in early pregnancy, I had a toddler and a full time job, and my father had just died, and my husband was on a surgical rotation.  I really didn’t pay as much attention to diet and exercise as I should have.  I was also very tired, which made it hard to exercise.

In retrospect, I had terrible fatigue that did not lift during my second trimester.  That was a clue.

In a way this diagnosis is a good thing.  It is teaching me to focus on taking care of my mind and body, as opposed to all the other things I have been worrying about.  It is an early warning sign that I am predisposed to Type II.  It has taught me how to eat in order to manage my weight, and that I am able to do that.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to before, but just that I was clueless and needed some kind of structure and guidance.  I didn’t understand about carbs and glucose and insulin and that too much free glucose was making me fat, and I also didn’t understand that I could get immediate feedback on what I ate by testing my blood sugar.  It has taught me that exercise is not optional.

I would like to think that this diagnosis is a strong impetus to make some positive changes in my life.

I failed…

…my one hour glucose tolerance test.  I scored 152 (passing at my doctor’s is 135, some people say 140–but anyway people have results like 70 or 80, so 152 does not seem good).  For breakfast I think I had two hard boiled eggs and a glass of milk, and maybe a bite of sandwich.  But I ate it as I went out the door, so probably within an hour of the test.  I wonder if that might have screwed up the results.

But during my last pregnancy I passed with 120, even after eating breakfast.

I have to go for the three hour tomorrow.  I was afraid of that.  Some of my friends who had it said it was really difficult and unpleasant.  (Heh, but less than eight months ago, I watched my dad die of brain cancer, and I survived.  I really shouldn’t be scared of a bad day.)  I will have my blood work at the same lab where we had to take him, using a wheelchair.  It is also the building where my mom’s oncologist was.

Some days, I really just want to move.

Regarding diet and exercise, I’ve been as careful as I know how since my last doctor appointment on April 13th where the doctor berated me for my weight gain.  But before my May appointment, I put four pounds on anyway. :/   I don’t know how they can tell me that.  When I weigh myself (on a digital scale) my weight can go up and down by four pounds in a single day.

I did have a HA1C test earlier in pregnancy which is supposed to be related to your average blood sugar over the previous three months; that one came out normal.

My last pregnancy was problem-free.  This one seems to be having a lot more hiccups.  I will be really, immeasurably relieved when this stage of my life is done.

29 weeks–Third Trimester

So this is the third trimester of what is my second, and probably last, pregnancy.

I am feeling better than I did at this point in my last pregnancy, maybe because it is summer or maybe because I have been drinking a cup of raspberry leaf tea daily, or maybe because my mom is not getting chemo, or maybe for no reason at all.  I don’t seem to have the extent of trouble breathing that I did last time, which is a relief.  Maybe I’m just not far enough along yet.

My mom has her annual CT scan coming up in a month.  I have just tried not to think about it.  Whatever happens is unlikely to be as bad as what we already went through.  She says at her age she does not care about five years this way or that.  *sigh*  I do care, and I have no idea how I will go on once she is gone.  My world is already so empty without my dad.  I know that one has to accept different stages of life, but it is nice to be someone’s child, and far less nice to be only a mom.

My dad is gone.  I miss him.  Lately, I had the first two dreams where he came to visit and I could talk to him.  I woke up feeling satisfied, as though I’d actually been able to meet with him.  I can’t remember much of the dreams, but I remember that it wasn’t *quite* him; he seemed older than I remembered, and as though he had lost weight.

I am getting to be friends a little bit with our next door neighbors.  It is nice after a long period of loneliness.

I had another friend in the area whom I considered relatively close; she kind of disappeared after I married, though I know she has remained close to other (longer-time) friends of hers who married and had kids, and even to their children.  She lost a parent a while ago and (before I knew what it was like) I did my best to be supportive.  But I guess then we just drifted, and when my dad passed, she didn’t really get in touch or anything at all beyond a Facebook comment.  I found out she was leaving town via an invite to her going-away party.  I didn’t go; I used to go to her parties way back when but they were far away, in a sketchy area that is scary after dark, and with a baby in utero and a toddler, it was way more effort than I’d make for someone who didn’t really seem to consider me a good friend any more.  I used to be single, childless, and thirtysomething too and I remember all too well how it felt when I’d still be going on bad dates and my friends would get married; I often didn’t really want to be around them because I felt left behind and it hurt.  I know she felt the same way as we talked about it back then.  I never expected to be the person on the other side of that equation, the one who got married and moved on, but when I did I really did my best to not leave her (or anyone else) behind.  I had always meant to have her over once, and while I guess there was nothing left of that friendship to lose, when she left this part of the country it still felt like a loss.

My second friend lives in Europe.  She moved there after her PhD.  It’s a decade since our PhD’s.  For the most part those of us who couldn’t find a decent academic job changed fields, cut our losses, and moved on, but my friend just kept insisting that she wanted to do what she trained in and that our field was the only thing that was “fun” for her.  She did a string of postdocs that did not really help her become more employable, before ultimately finding an entry-level job she is miserable in, while she continues to look for more postdocs.  She has no real long-term life plan, and no interest in meeting anyone or having a family.  She writes often about how miserable her job is, but I am at the point where I feel like I don’t know what to say to her any more; there are many things she could do to get out of her current situation–online classes she could take to train in other things, etc.–but she seems determined to stay stuck.  I think she reminds me of aspects of myself that I don’t admire.  I wish I were not so passive, and that I were more self-confident.

My husband’s residency drags on.  We are just now close to the end of Year 1 of 4, and then there are probably two more years of fellowship.  I feel like I spend all my time sacrificing for his career, and then he still complains constantly that he doesn’t have enough time to study  and didn’t do so well on his last set of exams.  I am physically tired and therefore finding it hard to take care of Baby #1.  She is becoming increasingly wiggly and strong.  She will be 18 months soon, and (on the same day) it will be fifteen months since my dad fell ill.

So that’s my update.

There isn’t time — so brief is life — for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. there is only time for loving — & but an instant, so to speak, for that.

-Mark Twain

Spring Update

I am no longer in intense pain over the loss of my father.  It’s more of an ache, that I expect I will feel forever.  When he died it was like a big boulder dropped into a small pool, and the big splash is over but the ripples will go on for the rest of my life.  I remember how right after he passed I missed him so much that I felt like my missing him should wring out the air and bring him back.  I have not had any “signs” or any such since.  People say “when something he would say pops into your head, that is a sign.”  Well, that happened when he was alive.  Things people say pop into my head all of the time.  I don’t think it’s a “sign” of anything, except that I have a good memory.

My husband and I don’t discuss my father’s illness or death, ever.  I’m pretty sure he wants to just forget it all, and he thinks I have forgotten it too because I never talk about it.   I think about it 24/7 though; it is part of me, and it is never more than a few inches away from my mind.  He wouldn’t understand.

Pregnancy seems to be going OK.  I feel like a big fishtank with bubbles in me (baby kicking).  I have been gaining weight despite my best efforts…I no longer eat anything that has added sugar in it, and I haven’t eaten anything unhealthy in forever.  I am increasingly afraid that I am helpless against fat and that I am going to be fat forever.  I have no idea how I will exercise with two small children.  I work full time, so I leave them alone enough as it is.

I have been thinking how nice it would be to live in a place that has good weather most of the year.  (It seems like the only place in the US that fits this bill is San Diego?)