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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not a Goat

Thanks to everyone regarding my last post.  This disease is an emotional one as well as a physical one, but I'm so glad I have this platform to gain support and have virtual arms wrap around me.  Things have leveled out, finally, and I feel confident going forward.  

I just wanted to update you all that our appointment went great!  We have a perfectly healthy little baby with all the right organs in all the right places.  But you'll have to wait on the gender announcement for a few days.  We have a few people we need to tell first, like grandparents and stuff.  

Boy or girl, I am just so happy with this gift that I want to burst.  I'm also glad it's not a goat. 

My Worst Night Ever

Last night was, by far, the worst night I've ever had with diabetes.  I set a new record for myself for a low, not that I'm bragging in the least.  I still feel scared writing this down, because I'm not really sure how I'm alive. 

It all started when I was battling a high for 3 hours before bed.  It was a nice Bell curve high that made me want to use my CGM for target practice.  I stacked bolus on bolus as well as having an increased basal to make this high go down.  Normally this practice results in me going low, in fact it usually does.  But it's usually nothing I can't handle, and I'd rather be low than high right now.  So when I finally when to bed at 160 mg/dL with an arrow going down, I thought I would coast to a landing around 100 mg/dL and have a nice flatline that I normally do overnight.  

I woke up at 1 AM completely drenched in sweat, the only thing waking me up was Constance blaring at me.  I don't remember walking to the kitchen, but I got there somehow.  I put the strip in the meter and pierced my left index finger.  Five seconds later . . . 

22 mg/dL 

That's the first time I've ever had a number lower than my age.  Surprisingly, I didn't really get scared at the number.  I just remember thinking, "Uhhh, I probably need to correct that."  I ate a banana while making a peanut butter sandwich.  I finished it off with some cranberry juice.  I considered that it was probably an overcorrection, but I was freaking 22 mg/dL!  I was in survival mode.  So when I woke up again at 2 AM to a high alarm, I laced in 2 units for good measure.  It was hard to go back to sleep at that point, but I finally did at 3 AM.  

My alarm goes off at 5 AM, and I decide to snooze due to last night's festivities.  I also decided to go ahead and bolus for my breakfast so the insulin could be working while I snoozed.  Bad idea!  Trey and I slept through the 2nd alarm and neither one of us woke up until 6:30 AM.  Actually, Trey woke up and was standing over me with a glass of juice.  "Baby, you're sweaty.  Here."  I mumbled and eventually woke up, but Trey had to pull me up into a sitting position.  I drank the juice while he walked me to the kitchen.  I tested, this time on the left middle finger:  22 mg/dL.  I heard Trey gasp, and I whispered, "That's what I was last night."  "What?!"  I made my cereal and sat down on the couch, all while Trey was following me like a hawk.  "I'm hovering until you come up."  I smiled, finally feeling better but cold from all the sweat.  

How could this happen?  I reached my lowest threshold twice in 6 hours.  I'm grateful for my CGM and my husband, because I honestly don't know if I would have woken up without them.  I feel horrible this morning, even thought I should be looking forward to our gender ultrasound later this morning.  The last 24 hours have been the worst ever for me with diabetes.  At this point, I don't care if our child is a goat, as long as their healthy and haven't felt the effects from all this.  That's what makes this post so hard. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What Matters to Me

Merry post-Christmas, everyone!  I hope you all had a great holiday and got to eat some bolusworthy food and your BGs behaved well.  I experienced some food guilt, which seems to be subsiding for now.  My mind is filled with all things baby right now, especially after seeing family and getting ready to find out what little Ferbie is on Thursday.  So I hope you'll indulge me for a few posts (as if this blog hasn't been baby-filled already).  

One thing I noticed when I became pregnant is that for as many "Congratulations!" I received, I got just as many "What are you going to do about . . . " inquiries.  And the "abouts" ranged anywhere from breastfeeding to attempting natural childbirth to vaccinating.  To be honest, I hadn't thought about half of these things before I saw two lines on my bathroom counter.  I simply knew that I was pregnant and this child was mine and I was responsible for it, that was about it.  

Now that I've had a few months to think about it and get used to this whole parenting idea, I've realized that a lot of that stuff is exactly that . . . stuff.  I don't think my kid will care in 20 years if I had an epidural or even a C-section when they were born.  I'm pretty sure they're gonna care that they're here.  And whether or not I make my own baby food or buy it from a jar, I'm pretty sure they won't care as long as they're fed.  My list of things that I care about are extremely short compared to those that "everyone" (you know, the proverbial "everyone" that is really no one) seems to think I should.  

The one thing that matters to me more than anything is that my child has a good character.  To me character is defined as that choice you make when no one else is looking.  Children are a gift from God, so my main job as their mom is to make sure they don't grow up to be heathens.  That's what matters most to Trey and me, not whether or not their mom could breastfeed for 3 months, 6 months, or one whole year.  

So for every "It's best for your child if . . . " statements, I'll simply nod my head and smile.  I'm not going to think I'm any less of a mom if my child has an organic apple or a store bought one.  It's a freaking apple!  If they say "Thank you" after I hand it to them, that's more important to me than where the apple came from.  And I also don't think any less of any mom if they choose to vaccinate, can't breastfeed, or chooses any other method of parenting that they think is best for them.  It's not my child; I simply care that they grow up to be somewhat good people who open doors for the elderly and know how to wait their turn (hello, frantic mall shoppers).  

This might be a pregnant hormone-fueled post that I might end up regretting later.  But I just think someone needs to say this, so it might as well be me.  So long as they're dressed and fed and eventually learn to be grateful and love the Lord with all their mind, body, and strength, I could give a rip about everything else. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

16 Week Goodies

There has been a lot going on this week pregnancy-wise, even though I didn't have an appointment this week (shocking!). I'm starting to feel like I should get paid for going to the doctor, because I'm there enough for at least some part-time pay. Maybe if I learn to do some filing I can save on some of the copays?

First of all, I've really started to pop this week. All of my pre-pregnancy pants cease to button anymore, and I bought my first pair of maternity jeans last weekend (which I L-O-V-E!!!). I'm starting to walk around with my pants unbuttoned with a shirt over the zipper, hoping that no one will point out that my fly is constantly down. I'm kind of glad that I'm finally start to feel pregnant on the outside, instead of from the inside out. Speaking of morning sickness, my pukies have definitely subsided in the past week. But I still have the occasional morning upchuck, which I've come to accept as part of my routine. 

My 16-week pot belly.

Also, insulin resistance has started to rear its ugly head. It started out sporadically, so I wasn't sure if it was the real thing or not. But after 2 days with lunch post-prandials in the 200s for a couple hours, I knew something wasn't right. And after a post dinner high of 180 mg/dL that stayed with me for 5 hours, I decided to make some changes. I've upped my insulin:carb ratio from 1:10 to 1:8 and increased my daytime basals by 0.1 units. I don't go back to my endocrinologist until after the New Year, but I can't wait on his guidance to wrangle in these numbers. My changes seem to be working so far, but the lows still plague me. But I'd rather they plague me than any stubborn high.

And finally, I'm getting kicked! I felt what I thought was the first kick last week while Trey and I were out to dinner. However, it didn't really feel like a kick, but more like Ferbie was doing flips inside me. Like when you dive into a pool and do a flip in the middle of the water. They like to do it a lot in the mornings, right after I get to work. For a good 30 minutes or so, I can feel them their doing gymnastics's routine. They also like to do it when Trey gets home from work. It's like they hear his voice and go crazy in there! I know it will be awhile before I feel them on the outside, but I'm loving these little flips.

I don't have any more appointments until after Christmas, so hopefully Ferbie and I can endure the holiday festivities without totally succumbing to the insulin resistance nightmare. In the meantime, I'll be here--getting kicked.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grateful to Celebrate

Yesterday was my 5th anniversary of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Given that fact, I probably didn't "celebrate" in the way I should have.  I didn't have anything truly "bolus worthy" like a cupcake, nor did I really make a big deal out of it other than a Twitter update.  In fact, yesterday was more reflective than anything, surrounded by my normal Sunday activities--church, laundry, and some light Christmas shopping. 

Thinking back to that day, more than anything I'm extremely grateful.  I'm grateful that I made it through diabetic ketoacidosis and surviving a blood sugar above 1400 mg/dL.  I'm grateful that I've avoided any complications to date, even if my diabetes is still young--I will continue to celebrate that fact as long as it's true.  I'm grateful that I've managed this disease on my own from the very beginning with an average A1c of 6.5%.  I'm grateful that I haven't let this disease define who I am, and never will. 

Diabetes is hard and diabetes sucks, big time!  I've certainly had my breakdown moments, like when I threw my CGM across the room when I was over 400 mg/dL (thank you, bad insulin).  And I don't want to count the number of times I've gone to bed crying into my husband's arms because of a stupid number.  These moments happen and will happen again, and I've learned that they need to happen because it's my nature to be emotional and let things blow once in awhile.  I can't be ashamed of my tears, because they remind me that I need to rely on God. 

I hope to be here another 50 years with this disease.  Maybe there will be a cure, maybe not.  Personally, I'm not holding my breath.  Right now, I just want to celebrate the fact that I AM HERE, when I shouldn't be.  So many things in this life don't matter.  But those that do matter, I want to celebrate.  I want to celebrate my family who poured over me in love in those first few weeks after my diagnosis.  I want to celebrate my wonderful husband whose arms are the safest place in the world.  I want to celebrate my friends and everyone in the DOC. 

I want to celebrate simply because I can, and that's something worth celebrating. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fifteen Weeks

Yesterday, I had my 15-week checkup with my OB.  Even though my appointment was scheduled for 10:45 AM, I didn't get called back until 12 PM.  My measly snack of a pear was long gone, so it was a good thing that this appointment was very short.  

After waiting for what seemed like forever, the nurse finally calls my name.  She instructed to go to the designated "Pee Room" and give a sample, standard procedure these days.  Then she took my blood pressure, which was significantly better than what it was last time but still above normal.  I've noticed that my blood pressure is always lower if I can manage to get some exercise in the day before.  I know I need to make it more of habit, especially later in my pregnancy.  Finally, she took my weight, which has yet to move +/- 2 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight. 

Next, I make it to the room where Trey was waiting on me.  Another nurse came in and said she was going to use a doppler to find the baby's heartbeat.  For those that don't know, a doppler is like this wand thing connected to a huge iPod looking thing, and they put the wand on your belly to find the baby and listen to its heartbeat.  She asked how far along I was and when I said 15 weeks, she said, "Ok, so they'll still be pretty low.  I'll need you to unbutton your pants and lie down."  I lie down and expose my belly for her, and she waved the wand thing over my belly, bellow my belly button, from the right to the left.  A few seconds pass and then I hear "Whump-whump-whump."  I immediately smile and the nurse said, "Oh yeah, there it is.  156--that's very good."  I always like getting that confirmation that there's still a baby inside me and they're doing well; it's easy to not feel pregnant all the time especially when I have no proof of it yet (i.e. no baby bump).  

A few minutes later, my doctor comes in and he looks as ravished as I was.  I know doctor's have long days, too, so I was understanding.  He asked me how I was feeling with fatigue and nausea, and I brought up the fact that I have been having some heartburn.  I know heartburn is not uncommon during pregnancy, but I've had a history of chronic heartburn since I was 19.  I've been taking an antacid daily for the past 8 years, even before I was diagnosed with D.  He seemed a bit concerned that I was having heartburn above the capacity of my antacid, but I always feel better once I take my pill at night.  Everyone is happy with that solution for now.  

I also brought up my lack of weight gain, and he told me he was absolutely fine with it.  He said he normally doesn't see a lot of weight gain in his patients with preexisting diabetes.  He did suggest that I go ahead and try to add 300 calories to my daily intake (1% milk, here I come!).  Next he instructed me to lie down so he could measure my belly (I swear, everyone wants me to expose myself in this office.  Next time I'm coming with no pants just to make things easier).  He took out a tape measure and measured from my pubic bone to the top of my belly button.  He seemed very pleased with the number (17 cm) because he finally smiled and said "That's great!"  

I scheduled my next ultrasound for 3 weeks from now, where we'll get to find out what this baby actually is.  That will be a nice post-Christmas present!  Then Trey and I went and grabbed some burritos that we ate in about 5 seconds. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cry Me a River

I've always been a pretty emotional gal.  It doesn't take a lot for me to shed a few tears, especially when I'm stressed out.  So when I got pregnant, the gamut of my emotions hit a whole new level thanks to all the lovely hormones.  Here is a list of things just in the last month that have left me shedding enough tears to fill a trough: 

  • My vacuum broke.  I've had this thing for over 5 years (hey, it's a Hoover) and it's served me well between my apartment and the two houses I've lived in since being married.  But recently it refuses to pick up anything.  I will spend 45 minutes vacuuming the whole house, only to still find a layer of dog hair on the top of the carpet.  I broke down and swore to make all our pets outdoor inhabitants for the rest of their days. 
  • I literally have not had time to go grocery shopping.  I don't know what it is about this time of year, but we have something going on every weekend for the rest of 2011.  So I spend my week nights catching up on laundry and taking care of the animals that by the time I think about heading to the store it's already 8 PM.  Plus the fact that it gets dark immediately after lunch, I just want to go home and hide.  
  • Any blood sugar over 250 mg/dL.  While my A1c is the lowest it's ever been since birth, it certainly hasn't been without some scary highs that seem to be magnified with being pregnant.  I usually get frustrated after the number doesn't come down after 5 minutes and I put my basal on 200% and stare my Dexcom into falling.
  • Feeling the baby "bubbles".  That's right, I'm 15 weeks along, but I'm pretty sure I felt little Ferbie doing flip flops in there yesterday.  I tried to hold my reaction to a smile, but I ultimately started crying.  It seems even happy things lead to tears.  My make-up has no hope of staying on all day.  
  • Christmas songs.  I can't handle it!  I freaking tear up anytime I hear "The First Noel" or "All I Want for Christmas is You".  This whole magical season has turned me into a sentimental basketcase.  Thank God I haven't heard "Christmas Shoes" yet or I'm sure I'll just melt into a puddle. 
I know these swinging emotions are just part of the process and ultimately a temporary thing for this little person inside of me.  I just hope he or she is used to having a momma with some wet cheeks, because I think it's only going to get worse when they get here.   The crib bedding we decided on arrived in the mail yesterday, and I'm keeping this thing in the plastic for now to save it from my tears. 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.