Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Thoughts on the Glucose Tolerance Test

***DISCLAIMER*** This post is heavily opinionated. I don't mean to annoy anyone with it, just sharing MY side of the "glucose" story. And trying to make others feel better about glucose testing. 

I wrote this back in March after reading enough blogs on how awful that 5 minutes of drinking a goopy substance and sitting in the doctor's office for one hour was. I was also very hormonal. 

March 12, 2012

My thoughts on glucose testing: I’ve been diabetic for just over four years now, which I guess leads to this bright side; I don’t have to take the glucose test. Wah, wah, wah. I read a blog over the weekend or was listening to a podcast about a pregnant woman wooing over taking the glucose test. 

I would happily trade pancreai (that is my plural of pancreas) and drink some goopy substance and sit in a doctor’s office for one hour to avoid this:

-5:30 a.m., wake up and poke finger … be happy that I am under 100 or be frustrated that I was 82 at bedtime and 114 when I woke up. Why is my sugar rising over night?

-Take a unit of insulin to cover the adrenaline of getting ready in the morning

-8:30 a.m. poke finger again. This poke when too deep and now my finger is throbbing and bleeding

-Realize that my blood sugar went up even more and inexplicably. Although I am starving, now I have to wait an hour to eat my breakfast … so again, is one hour of a “gross” substance sounding so bad? Why do I have to wait? It is recommended that I correct and get my sugar to 110 before eating. Once it is there, I need another 15 minutes for my meal-covering insulin to kick in. That is the routine for the rest of the day. 

-Its evening and dinnertime … if my sugar is normal, I can eat. If not, I have to wait. It helps to poke the finger an hour before dinner in case I am high. Oh, but this time I am low? Great … eat just the right amount of a snack so that I am not too low or too high for dinner.

-Two hours post dinner and bed time. I miscalculated. Now, I can’t go to sleep until I bring that number below 110 and it is 180 right now. If I go to sleep at 180, chances are I will wait up anywhere from 170-220. It is suggested I not go above 140 ... do the math.

-So I correct my number, wait it out and go to bed. But wait, insulin stays in your system for five hours. Two hours into my slumber, I am woken up by sweat dripping down my forehead and down my back. Apparently my body wishes to be sensitive to the insulin today and I am now 43. 

-Get up and eat a piece of chalk. Well, chalk with a bit or fruit punch flavor. They are glucose tablets taken for low sugar.  Now eat four pieces of it and try not to go downstairs and eat a box of sugary cereal that is hanging out in the pantry.

Does a few ounces of disgusting, goopy substance sound so bad now? Does one hour of waiting in the doctors office sound so bad now? At least five minutes of every hour is dedicated to diabetes in my day. That is about two hours of every day. 

I can’t just sit down and eat. I have to think an hour before eating to check my sugar, then calculate the amount of carbs I am going to eat, factor in fat and protein to determine how quickly my body will convert it to sugar … correct if I am high and reverse correct if I am low. 

Oh and a few weeks ago, I had a malfunction and went without a pump for two days.
This isn’t meant to be a whine session, but an awareness session. Being diabetic is a full-time job. Being pregnant and diabetic … well, it isn’t easy. But it also doesn’t have to be hard, either. Right now, I feel very out of control with my body and my sugars are all kinds of unexplained. 

August 15 Update:
Even being diabetic, I've had some of my doctors try to schedule me for a tolerance test. I politely declined. The other part about being diabetic and pregnant is the amount of doctors and doctor appointments. I see a midwife/OB monthly, like all pregnant women. But I also see a perinatal specialist, an endocrinologist and a diabetes educator. Within six months, I had hit my maximum out of pocket for the year with my insurance, which is a good thing ... no more bills for the rest of the year. 

Again, this isn't woe-is-me-I-am-pregnant-and-diabetic ... there are many differences between a diabetic pregnancy and a "normal" pregnancy, I have to be careful about what I do, how I stress, what I eat, etc. just like everyone. The difference is that all of those things can send my blood sugars into a raging high zone or scary zone. It's almost like "50 First Dates," you never really know what you are doing to wake up to! 


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