Opinion

Putting a finger on it with a little one coming

Testing my blood sugar multiple times a day is one of my least favorite things about being a type 2 diabetic. And that’s why I get lectured every time I go see my endocrinologist because I don’t do it regularly anymore. It’s been more than seven years since I was diagnosed and I like to think I’ve got a handle on this thing. Last week, though, while I was on vacation I was given new motivation to test regularly — I’m pregnant. First, let me say this: woohoo! My husband and I are thrilled. This is our first child. We celebrated our anniversary last week, as well, nine years married and 13 years together. One of the reasons I wanted to wait was because I knew that being diabetic would create additional challenges in pregnancy like testing my blood sugar a lot to make sure I was in good control to prevent complications. There’s also a possibility I may have to take insulin later in the pregnancy and I’ve only been given insulin while in the hospital to have my appendix out in 2003. My dad was a type 1, or insulin dependent diabetic, and he taught me how to give him injections when I was 5 or 6 years old. It’s something I have always hoped to avoid. Now, though, I have realized that I will do anything to make sure this works out. I am really excited to be a mom and I guess those protective instincts are kicking in. So if sticking myself regularly to test my blood sugar and even take insulin is what I have to do then, I will, even though I admit I pouted about it last week during my first OB appointment. My poor right hand is starting to look abused. Well, at least my finger tips, as I use the lancet to poke my fingers to get a drop of blood to feed into the test strip on my glucosometer to find out how my blood glucose level looks in the morning, before lunch and before dinner. I was informed that my obstetrician expects me to test four times a day. This is going to take a little effort to build up to since I don’t always test once a day. Yes, I am a bad, bad diabetic. Well, I was, at least but for the next seven months or so I will try and be a good diabetic on top of being good about all the other things pregnant women are supposed to do. You are supposed to eat right, take vitamins, exercise, avoid caffeine and drink lots of water, among other things. Fortunately one of my food aversions is diet cola. Generally I drink a diet cola of some sort on a daily basis but don’t bring that near me now. Blah. And among my cravings has been things I normally have to choke down like vegetables. I’ve been all about the carrots, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, celery and more lately. And man do I love salads more than ever. But I’m not sure if I can totally give up coffee. I don’t drink it much anyway because it rips a hole in my stomach due to the acidity but I do enjoy a cup or two a week. Oh, sure, some people will say that’s probably fine but remember I’m pretty motivated to do this right. I might get a little neurotic about it, in fact. We’ll see how I manage coffee. I admit that I got myself an iced latte the very next day after being told to avoid caffeine. But maybe that’ll be the last cup of coffee. I’m also trying to avoid sugar like I did during the initial days following my diagnosis. It’s not too hard. I’ve picked up some sugar free treats for those times I long for something sweet. But keeping bread and potatoes to a minimum is more of a challenge than I expected. I hope that I can keep this up. I’m not the only one excited about this baby. My husband’s entire family is over the moon, especially his parents, to the point that our guest room has already been re-painted plus the old cruddy carpet is gone and replaced with nice wood-like flooring. All we need to do is put the new light switch plate (I picked out a Winnie the Pooh plate at Babies R Us the weekend before last) and outlet covers on then we can start furnishing the room. And I’m only seven weeks -- give or take a week -- pregnant at this point. But this is the first grandchild for my in-laws and my mom. And my older sister can’t wait to be an auntie. She doesn’t have kids of her own so she’s looking forward to spoiling mine then giving it back. Heh. By the time you read this I will be getting the results of my first ultrasound which is scheduled for today. I hope that we get to hear the baby’s heart beat. I suspect once I hear that I won’t need any further motivation to keep my diabetes under control and my pregnancy on track.

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