Apr 10, 2017
So, yeah, I have gestational diabetes. My three hour test came back positive, so I got a lovely little test result notification in my email yesterday informing me of that and saying that I’d need to meet with a nutritionist. Needless to say, it majorly stressed me out and I basically came home from church and sat by myself and researched stuff and cried a lot.
This morning I was referred to the nutritionist/diabetes wellness center and they got me in this afternoon. Usually I make a point not to google medical stuff on my own, but in this case I’m glad I had looked things up yesterday because I went into my appointments today feeling a lot more informed and, as a result, understood what they were talking to me about. And I was able to ask better questions, which was helpful.
The first half of my appointment was with a lady at the diabetes wellness center in the hospital. She explained to me what gestational diabetes is–basically the same as normal diabetes where you have extra sugar (glucose) in your blood and can’t make enough insulin to keep up, but with gestational diabetes the placenta gets most of the blame. Then she showed me how to prick my finger and take my blood sugar levels with the little device thing. I’ll have to do this four times a day–before breakfast, two hours after breakfast, two hours after lunch, and two hours after dinner. During those two hour stretches I’m not allowed to eat anything, but I can drink water. Once it’s been two hours and I record my blood sugar level I can have a (very specific kind of) snack.
When I told Bryan about this schedule he assumed that it was just for the next week or so until I went back for my follow-up and could prove that I had gotten my blood sugar levels back in the normal range.
This is until the baby is born.
The second half of my appointment was with the nutritionist. She went over all things food. The main thing I need to watch for is my carbs (because carbs are/become sugar). So I have to count my carbs for every single thing I eat. And I have to eat them at very specific intervals.
When I wake up in the morning, I take my blood sugar. Then I can have breakfast, which can’t include any fruit (too much sugar will spike my levels after not eating all night) and needs to include 30 grams of carbs (about the equivalent of two slices of bread) and 1-2 oz of protein. I write down what time I started eating breakfast and two hours later I take my blood sugar. During the two hours I can only have water. Sometime after I take my blood sugar I need to have a snack, which needs to include about 30 grams of carbs.
Lunch is 60 grams of carbs and 3-5 oz of protein, followed by two hours of nothing except water if I’m thirsty, followed by another reading of my blood sugar level, followed by another snack of 30 grams of carbs.
Dinner is also 60 grams of carbs and 3-5 oz of protein, nothing but water until I check my blood sugar two hours later, followed by a final snack of 30 grams of carbs and 1 oz of protein. Then I’m done eating for the day.
Along with my meals and snacks I can also have things like 1/2 cup of broccoli which don’t count as carbs or protein, but which, ya know, are good for your body. They gave me a couple of booklets with lists of what things count as carbs and protein and how much they count for. There are also a bunch of things like broccoli and peanut butter and a billion other things which I don’t have to count toward my carbs if I’m only eating the equivalent of about five carbs or less, but which I do have to count toward my carbs if I’m eating a bunch of it.
I asked if I can ever eat dessert and she said that I can, but I of course have to count it toward my carbs and I should only do that occasionally since it takes away from being able to eat real food with actual nutrients. Buh.
So this is my life now. I’m currently recording every single thing I eat and drink in a composition notebook so I can record what I ate and what time I ate it and what my blood sugar levels were at what time. This way I can keep track of things as I go and it’s an easy reference for me and my doctors/nutritionist when I go in for my appointments. On top of that, I’m also tracking it all in MyFitnessPal because when I enter things there it shows me the carbs and protein for everything I eat, which is especially helpful when I’m eating things that don’t have a nutrition label right on them. And I also have to write down all of my blood sugar readings in a separate little booklet thing they gave me.
That being said, I can’t help feeling that every random fad diet I’ve tried in the past (vegan, that dumb 30 days of whole foods one that I can’t remember the name of right now, counting calories) has prepared me for this. What would have been monumentally overwhelming with no reference point and no tools to work from is instead only just regular overwhelming with a small but important pool of resources to pull from that I’m already somewhat familiar with.
And also, I just keep thinking over and over again how grateful I am to live in a first world country with good insurance and good medical care. It would be so much worse to have all this going on and not be educated or equipped to do anything about it. There are so many places in the world where that’s just not the case and, while I wish everyone had access to good medical care, the fact that I do is something I don’t take for granted.
Anyway, there’s a lot more I could say about this, but most of it is really boring and it’s getting late, so I’ll just quit while I’m ahead. But thanks so much for your comments and texts and emails yesterday. I didn’t respond to all of them because I was just too emotional and wiped out, but I read them all and they meant a lot. I mean it when I say I’m not writing about any of this for attention–truth be told, I’d rather hide under a rock and not tell anybody–but since I committed to write every day and this is what’s on my mind, it’s just what you get. But thanks for being so nice about it.
And if you’re wondering how I got my 1 oz of protein in with my bedtime snack tonight it was with a small version of my chocolate peanut butter banana smoothie which I ate in a bowl and pretended was ice cream and… a hard boiled egg. But at least I ate the egg first and then ate the smoothie cuz ending on the egg just would have been weirdy town.