27 January, 2012

The Final Verdict

This morning, after kind of a rough start, I headed to the lab to do the dreaded 3 hour glucose test. I was prepared for a long wait and I thought I was prepared for all the poking a blood drawing...but I really wasn't.

If you don't know, they draw your blood not 3, but 4 times for this lovely little test. The first one {prior to drinking the sugary orange drink} wasn't so bad. I mean, it hurt, but what else do you expect from someone sticking a needle in your arm, right?

20ish minutes later, I got to have a nice big cup full of that orange stuff. It was gross. Much harder to get down than the last time. And then the nausea hit. Oh, it was bad. It was very similar to morning sickness. It came in waves and just wouldn't stop. Then it was time for my 2nd blood draw of the day. This didn't go well. She tried one spot in my arm and it didn't work. Since I was already nauseous, this just sent me over the edge. Fortunately, they had ice packs and she handed me one and drew from my hand. After she was done, she had me lay down in the back. It was oh-so heavenly! I only got up because another preggo doing the 3 hour test wasn't feeling well and needed to lie down. But, that seemed to make all the difference because I was fine for the rest!

I did learn one thing while I was there today, though, and I will share it with you. The difference between a good phlebotomist and a bad phlebotomist:

The good...

and the bad.

Since I was there all day I had the pleasure of having 2 different people drawing my blood. The first lady I had sucked. You know, the one who had to draw from my hand. Yeah, she also blew 2 of my veins which no one has ever had a problem with before {bottom picture}. Oh, and it hurt when she did it. The second one? I hardly even felt it. {top picture} Not that there is anything I can do about who I had, but really? Ow.

Afterward, Joe picked me up and we went home to have lunch. At this point, I was practically ravenous. =P There's something about not eating for over 12 hours that really just makes you tired, too. I spent the rest of the afternoon plopped on the couch. 

And then the phone rang, showing a Hawaii number... I didn't believe her the first time she said it... 

"The test shows you have gestational diabetes."

Seriously, I had to have her repeat it which I kinda think sunk the knife in a bit deeper. She explained that she was putting in for me to see a "specialist" to teach me about diabetes and diet and that I won't be able to go back to the same OB office. I have to have all my OB appointments at Tripler from now on. 

All of it just hit me really hard. It took all of 2 seconds after hanging up for the tears to start. And of course, the one time that I actually want/need to talk to Joe while he's at work, he was too busy to answer. I did get a call {and some texts} in to my bestie, which definitely helped. If nothing else, she distracted me which is necessary sometimes. 

It's just so frustrating. First there's the "why me?" questions. Why me? Why can all these other women eat everything they want, hardly gain weight and still not get GD? And then there's the blame game. What did I do wrong? When did this start? How could I have avoided it? Then there's my current favorite: As if I didn't have enough to deal with already. My body sucks.

The last one is really the hardest for me to deal with. I mean, really, was having asthma and needing medication while pregnant just not enough?! I've been sick and on medication practically all my life. This is the one time in my life that I just wanted to be healthy and not need anything...and I can't even do that! Pregnancy is the one time in a child's life that you can really take care of your baby and {for the most part} not worry about what you're doing wrong. Yet here I am every day...my body failing her. Asthma - not enough oxygen. GD - too much sugar, not enough insulin. It just sucks. And of course I wonder how all of this is affecting her and will continue to affect her as she gets older.

I know that diabetes is manageable - my mom and MIL both have it. I know it can be lived with and controlled. I know these things. I just didn't want to have to live with something else, manage another disease. I also know that it'll likely go away as soon as she arrives, but my changes of having GD again are increased as are my chances of getting Type 2 when I'm older...and I already have that chance because of family history. Oh, and bonus for me, it increases my chances of getting glaucoma which {again} is already in my family history. 

Then, just for fun, let's add on the fact that my aunt's diabetes made her kidneys fail and she's currently in the hospital with a life expectancy of a couple weeks at best. Now, I'm not saying that this is going to happen to me {at least not anytime soon}, but it definitely doesn't help things. 

I'm just very disappointed and upset. I've had a couple good cries about it, but I expect a couple more in the days to come. I just need some time to get used to the idea. Also, I have no freakin' clue what I'm supposed to eat now and I'm almost afraid to eat anything because I just don't know....and I have no idea when I'll be able to meet with that "specialist." 

So, please say some prayers for us. And if you have any GD diet tips/suggestions, please share them.

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18 comments:

Skinnie Piggie said...

Oh lady... I can't say anything to sympathize with you, but I am very sorry you have to deal with all of this! Praying for peace and that you get into the specialist very very soon!

Kaylee said...

I am so sorry. I had to take that long test too - and it was NOT fun. I don't have any good tips for you, but know I'll be praying for you.

Expat Girl said...

I'm so sorry to hear that but please don't put yourself through more pain by worrying about the baby. Your body is still a safe haven for her : )

Anna said...

Girlie, don't you worry one bit about it! That little girl is still just fine in your tummy - keep it in perspective: women get GD all the time, and the doctors know how to handle it. This is not something that is life-threatening to her or you, just something that means you need to be a little careful about what you eat. And the good news? The doctors can tell you exactly what to eat!

And it isn't always something you have done either - as you said, because of family history you are already prone to some of these problems, so maybe that was the very thing that brought it out in your pregnancy. Don't blame yourself for this, just look at it as one more way you can protect Charlotte by eating something that will be better for your body and for her.

I understand the frustration with feeling like your body is a constant failure - I feel that way often. One of the things that helped me through was to realize that even though my body fails me, God still thought I could handle kids. Before Eden was born, I would cry thinking about whether or not I would even be able to lift her out of her crib because of my back problems. And then I realized - GOD is in control! He knew I had back problems and still blessed us with this little girl. And now Harry too! Your asthma and this GD are difficulties to deal with, but God will use this to show how HE is strong enough to handle it for you.

Many prayers are going up for you - I miss you and love you so much, wish I could be there to help get ready for sweet Charlotte!

wHiT said...

awe hun! Sending you the hugest blog hug ever!
-wHiT

ROXY said...

I'm sorry about the results. I'm taking my glucose test this Monday and I'm nervous about it.

Amanda said...

It'll be fine once you talk to the specialist. Just look at it as doing what you need to do to have a healthy happy baby. Several of my friends went through it & they where fine once they got use to eating every few hours. Yay for getting to eat every few hours!! They enjoyed yummy strawberries with a dab of whipped cream as a snack. It can be done & you are stronger then you think when you are pregnant. God will take care of it all, just sit back and hand it over.

Erin said...

Ugh that sucks! I am sorry you have to deal with GD. I do agree that you may feel better after you get to meet with the specialist and have more information and a plan in place. I think it will help you to feel more in control of the situation.

Brianna Renee said...

I'm sorry. That sucks. I've had to take the 3 hour test but didn't end up with GD, however, I did have two very complicated pregnancies and I understand how stressful it is to have no control over your own body. It can make you feel helpless but it'll be ok. She's be fine and you'll be health...or at least healthier again.

Emily said...

I am sorry the test shows you have GD :( I just had an appointment with my Endo today for my Type One, so I can totally feel your pain. I pray you get peace about the situation soon!

Chantal said...

Ugh that is super frustrating :( The good news, I guess, is that you know what's up and you can do things to control it.

Southern Roots and Combat Boots said...

Oh, I was so hoping you would receive good news...So sorry sweety:( That really sucks! I know what you mean about feeling like your body is failing though...I was in L&D AGAIN last night because I started seeing spots, something they're telling me to look out for in the development of preeclampsia...Kinda scared me so I called and they pulled me in. After I gave my urine sample, it was confirmed, my protein count is elevated...SO DIDN'T want to hear that and I DID want to cry:( I feel like my body is failing baby girl too...BUT the midwife says there's nothing to control here because preeclampsia cannot be stopped if it's going to start...Sucks, but kinda takes the pressure off...I think you should see it the same way hun. It is what it is. Follow the doctors orders so you know you're doing your best and thats all you can do!!! Hugs to you and baby girl!!! Everything will be fine and you'll be holding a healthy Charlotte very SOON!

Bonnie said...

I know it's super difficult to not think about the future and the chances of developing diabetes later in life because of the GD and family history, but don't count all the chickens before they hatch. ;) The nutritionist will give you a lot of good information and I'm sure he/she is going to be able to answer all the questions you have. Pretty soon you're going to have a pretty awesome little lady in your arms and the GD will be just an obstacle you've overcome. <3

Katy said...

Sweet lady, I promise you it's all going to be ok. I had GD with my first 2 pregnancies and fully expect to be diagnosed with it this time as well (I've still got a few weeks before I'll have to test for that though). From the sounds of it your 3hr test went better (minus the initial nausea and crappy blood draw) than mine did last time.

You need to know one thing for sure, you did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG. Some women, even without any family history of diabetes, are just prone to GD. Yes, it does increase your risk later in life for the other issues you mentioned but its certainly not a death sentence or a guarantee for those things. Also most likely this will not affect your sweet baby's health. As long as you work to keep your blood sugar where its supposed to be she'll remain healthy. Right after she's born they will want to test you and her for a few hours to be sure that both of your blood sugars remain stable, but as long as the tests come back normal (and there's a high probability they will) then you'll both be considered free of diabetes.

Big thing for you to watch as far as diet right now is the number of carbs you take in. Unfortunately being more than 2 years since my last round of this I don't remember the numbers exactly. But I think the goal was to eat/drink no more than 15-30g carbs for a snack and at breakfast since your blood sugar is highest in the morning. I think lunch and supper I was allowed 45-60g carbs. Things like bread, rice, fruit, and milk will require the most portion control. For example one slice of bread is considered to have 15g of carbs. So a sandwich is gonna amount to 30carbs since meat and cheese and condiments are small enough in carbs not to count. An 8oz glass of milk has about 15g of carbs, as does the same size glass of juice. A reasonably sized apple I believe was also 15g carbs. So you can still have all of this yummy stuff, it just has to be portioned.Food labels will be your friend from now on, but there will be somethings as you can see that you'll learn pretty quickly. Most vegetables are pretty safe, but a lot of beans can be something to watch as well. Meat is also totally safe. I'm not sure how strict you are about caffeine, but most cans of soda have a little more than 30g of carbs alone so you'll want to limit that quite a bit more. Also, I'm sure you feel like you eat all the time already, but little snacks throughout the day will help the most. Because you have to watch your carbs so closely you won't feel as full after a meal anymore so you'll want to eat more frequently. In the long run this will help keep you blood sugar at a stable level anyway.

That's all I can think of for now (now that I've written something about the same length as your blog). I hope this helps, and whatever you do try not to be too hard on yourself. I know it sucks (I beat myself up pretty bad the first time around too), but it really is not your fault, a lot of women have it so you are not alone.

Priscilla said...

I've been reading your blog but don't think I've ever commented. I had Gestational Diabetes with my son. I was devastated at first, but once I got the hang of it, I realized it wasn't that bad, I felt A TON better and my weight gain towards the end was very minimal.

I'm sure you'll get lots of advice on here about it, if you have any questions feel free to ask. I am 19 weeks pregnant now, and I am sure I will have it again with this one. One good thing is you will probably have more ultrasounds and get to see and hear the baby more! Good Luck!

Amanda said...

I don't have any advice to offer.. but keep your chin up! As someone else pointed out.. the doctors know how to help you through this. Put your faith in them and God and you'll get through!

Jenn said...

Just stumbled upon your blog and am SO SORRY to hear about the GD diagnosis. :(

I feel your pain with the crappy needle-stickers as well... I have puny veins to being with, so if I'm stuck with anyone but a Level 5-Sharpshooting-Expert, I am screwed.

I'm a fellow pregnant milspouse and look forward to reading more! :) Good luck and try not to let the GD get you down!!!

Jamie said...

Sorry to hear the troubling news. You'll get through it though!