In Which There Are Many Phases
Managing blood sugar during pregnancy doesnt come easily.
By Kathryn Foss
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
December 2008 — One of the bright spots in my pregnancy thus far has been my body's magical ability to naturally lower my blood glucose levels without medication. Apparently this is one of the natural phenomena associated with the first trimester. As a diabetic, I have really taken advantage of this. I have been eating things that I would never have considered acceptable food before the pregnancy. More bread, a little sugar here and there, more fruit than I would normally be eating. Yet my blood sugar during pregnancy have been great.
Or they had been, until suddenly last week, when one of my post meal numbers was crazy high. I define crazy high as a number that makes you say ‘no way' and then you proceed to shake your monitor, change the lancet, thoroughly scrub your hands like a medical professional, load a new strip and do it all over again.
When the same crazy high number comes up again, you move on to the ‘recap' phase. This is where you think really hard about what it was you just ate two hours earlier, and knowing that what you had would never make your blood sugar that high, you proceed to ask your significant other if mayhap he witnessed you eating something that you cannot remember. Pancake syrup straight from the bottle, for example.
When he says ‘No, you had just what I had', it's time to move on to the "comparison" phase. This is where you force anyone else in the room to have their finger pricked and their blood checked in an effort to prove that your faithful monitor has finally crashed and burned. Why else would it be offering up such inaccurate information? (Sadly, the husband's blood sugar was, as usual, annoyingly low.)
And this in turn, ushers in the ‘panic' phase. As a first-time diabetic pregnant woman, I tend to freak out a little more than most. I immediately start to think of all the horrible things that my high blood sugar during pregnancy is doing to our unborn child, and while I am in the panic phase, Christopher quickly moves into the ‘calm the pregnant woman down' phase.
Now, if you think all of these phases sound exhausting, you are right. The good news is that because I am pregnant, I get worn out easily, so by the time the ‘panic' phase rolls around, I usually only have the energy to get myself worked up into a frenzy for about 5 minutes. Which in turn makes the ‘calm the pregnant woman down' phase much more effective. My sweet husband reminds me that my A1C is good and that I get to see the doctor in 2 days, and by then I am usually ready for a nap anyway, so all returns to normal.
And so it was last week. I went to my doctor and she took one look at my numbers and declared that I had moved on from the ‘1st trimester honeymoon' phase to the ‘2nd trimester insulin resistance' phase. Her recommendation was that I begin taking insulin as soon as possible, which naturally brings us to the "insulin" phase.
I always imagined that I would be pretty freaked out if the day came when I had to inject insulin, however, seeing as it's not all about me anymore, I'm pretty cool with it. It turned out to be a rather straightforward process. I went to an insulin education session and was given about 15 different pieces of literature having to do with every aspect of diabetes, and then a very friendly nurse initiated me into the world of insulin injecting.
The dramatic Kathryn imagined a huge syringe with a 5-inch needle, but the reality is a clever little blue and orange pen with a nearly invisible needle that fits neatly into a purse, pocket or other small place. So far, this insulin phase has been non-eventful, which in both the world of insulin and the world of paranoid pregnant women, is a good thing. I have been taking it for a week now and playing around with the range my doctor gave me. My post meal numbers are really starting to come down, my fasting numbers are getting lower and I seem to have more energy and not so many post-meal slumps. This has led me into a peaceful and calm phase, which is indeed, the most pleasant phase so far.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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