A Diabetes Story: My Diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes
When I first heard the words gestational diabetes I sat on the examination table and blinked at the doctor. What proceded out of his mouth was a flow of words, reasons, statistics and information that was a lot to take in and to take in pregnant…even harder. I went to my scheduled appointments, recieved my monitor and papers to chart my numbers, my diet, my activity, my life basically. I went from trying to eat healthy, splurging from time to time, to now almost feeling obsessed with what I was eating. How much I ate, how many carbs were in what, making sure I had my snacks. It was overwhelming in the beginning. On top of that change, I now woke up not to a cup of coffee or breakfast, but to this little machine telling me to put my droplet of blood on the strip sticking out of it. I had to test my fasting blood sugar first thing. It was hard. I had trouble wrapping my mind around it to remember to do it each morning. Having been through the gestational diabetes machine four times now, I have found some things that no one really told me but became helpful to me and allowed me to work within this diagnosis without it becoming consuming.
*It’s a diagnosis, it’s not you. Don’t forget that amidst all the testing, extra appointments, medicines, and diet. You are still in the captains chair and you have the ability to optimize your health and well being.
*Never underestimate the power of a good dietician. I thought it would be boring or unnecessary to see a dietician. Little did I know that she would become one of my best allies. I received so much encouragement and help from learning about what diet worked best for me. On follow up visits, she helped me adjust my plan and reassured me about the healthy choices I was making. Some foods are hard to just stop. Dieticians have a grab bag of great substitute foods that can curb cravings like my salty/sweet addiction, and help you not feel like you had to give up everything you loved about food.
*Glucose Monitors have help numbers to call when you need assistance. Use them. Beginning a new diet, new routines, and now add checking your blood sugar can be an overwhelming time. I got the basics of my machine when they showed me in the office, but once home I went blank on some things. Use the number for customer assistance the monitor company provides. There is no reason to add stress to this situation when there are people ready and able to direct you in using your glucose monitor.
I hope this small list of tips and encouragement will help you go through the rest of your pregnancy with confidence. Here’s to normal sugar levels and happy, healthy new babies!