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October 27, 2016
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My Boring Diagnosis

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I have many friends with type 1 diabetes. I have a few friends and many relatives with type 2 diabetes. I possibly have the MOST boring diagnosis story I have ever heard.
In 2003 I was pregnant with my son. I was given a glucose tolerance test at 28 weeks gestation. If you've never had one of these; they make you fast 12 hours and go to the lab first thing. They draw blood, then you drink a nasty syrupy concoction that is 75 grams of glucose.
They draw blood again after 1 hour and again after another hour. Then I asked the nurse for a place to lie down and I crashed out (my first clue my results might be high). In an hour, they woke me and drew more blood then sent me on my way.
I was starving, nauseous and exhausted and it was only 10 am. This is not a nice thing to do to a pregnant lady (or anyone else). I actually called in sick as I did not want to subject my co-workers to me. And I did not want to end up in jail on assault charges.
I was called the next day and told to get myself to the endocrinologist. The one I saw was very strict and, I later found out, very behind on her GDM (Gestational Diabetes Mellitus) research.
I went on Regular and NPH insulin MDI with 7 finger-pricks a day for the remainder of the pregnancy and the endo even managed my son's blood sugar by phone for his first few days! This hasn't been standard practice (for GDM) in over a decade.
At a follow up visit with her, she told me if I didn't lose 40 lbs and start exercising 60 minutes a day, I would get type 2 diabetes. The doc made it sound not only an inevitable diagnosis but also a foregone conclusion that I would fail. She did not inspire me, to say the least. I did not go back for a year.
I also did not lose any weight and did no more exercise than the average overweight mid-life mama of a newborn.
6 months later, we started trying for a sibling for my son. The first pregnancy after he was born, I lost very early.
The next pregnancy, my prenatal HbA1C (a standard test after having GDM once) was 6.0 and I was immediately referred back to the "good" doctor. This time I did my homework and went in demanding metformin, which is now being used not only for infertility treatment of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), but also in the first trimester of pregnancy because it appears to reduce the risk of miscarriage, which is why I wanted it. The doctor turned me down, had never heard of this use and said metformin was dangerous for pregnant women!
She also diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes on the basis of this prenatal blood workup. No glucose tolerance test, no insulin blood level tests - nothing else but an HbA1C taken when I was 6 weeks pregnant. This is contrary to all the protocols and standards that I have since read.
And that's my diagnosis story. Next up - how I took control of my own medical fate and found the endo who may just be the reason I got to rock my infant daughter to sleep tonight.

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