Sunday, March 28, 2010

next goal... exercise

I still haven't had much luck with basal testing. I am often eating late which makes it hard to do the test. I tried to eat early (for me) tonight, and will see what I get tonight. My blood sugar control has been pretty good the past few weeks, although I still have some unexplained highs late in the late afternoon/early morning. I am going to a new endo on Friday (more on that later), and would really like to have all my basal tests done before then so he can look at them, so I will try this week.

Anyway, with my BS under pretty good control, my new focus is on exercise. I really want to lose weight before we start TTC, and even though I haven't been eating that much, it seems that as I get tighter and tighter control of my BS, it's impossible to lose any weight. I know that exercise in the answer, so this week, I'm hoping to incorporate an exercise routine.

Just as I've now make testing 8x/day part of my daily routine, I need to find ways to make it easier to exercise, or rather, more difficult to make excuses to not exercise. I've found that small changes have made it easier for me to test more often (such as leaving my tester on top of my desk rather than in my purse and under my desk), so I need to set myself for success with exercise too.

So, here's the new plan:

• Go to sleep by 11pm (NOT get in bed at 11pm)
• Wake up at 6:45am
• Work out from 7-7:45am
• Get on with the day!

My husband also wants to start working out more, so we're going to try to do it together. He's going to be my new trainer (now I just have to listed to what he says)!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

basal testing - no go

Two nights now I've tried to do my overnight basal testing, and couldn't do it on either one because of highs or lows.  Last night was horrible--went from the 200's+, then got sick to my stomach (not sure why, but it's been happening a lot at night), then down to 44, then up to 300+.  What a restful night was!  Felt horrible all day today too.

Then tonight, I keep going low!

This is why I hate basal testing... by the time I actually get to the test, I'm exhausted, and that's before I have to wake up all night to test!

Will try again tomorrow...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

week two - a struggle, but onto basal rate testing...

This past week for me in terms of managing my blood sugar and weight has been tough.  While during the day my blood sugar is pretty manageable (although I am going low a lot as I try to keep my numbers around 90), I'm really struggling with it overnight.  I'll test three times in the hour before bed and be fine, even seemingly dropping, and then by 4am, I'm in the 300's.  I've tried eating earlier, eating differently, adjusting my basal rates, even testing at 1am and 2am (at which time I'm still fine), and nothing is helping!  The only thing that seems to help is giving myself a HUGE bolus that is spread out overnight (with a combo bolus on my pump).  It is scary to give myself such a large bolus at midnight when I am only in the 120's, but for right now, that's the only thing that is working.

While struggling with my blood sugar is nothing new, the importance of each reading is heightened as I think about them in terms of how they might effect my body, and my ability to have a healthy pregnancy.  I wake up in the morning not only frustrated and feeling terrible when I see a reading of 300, but also upset and terrified at how readings like this will impact a pregnancy.  I know I need to fix the problem before I become pregnant, and I will, I just wonder if it's this hard before I'm pregnant, then how will I ever do it when I have to factor in the complications of pregnancy?

And, I've also been struggling with my eating.  The low carb thing has not been working that well for the past few weeks.  I don't seem to be losing weight (possibly because I'm going low more often during the day and having to drink soda/eat pretzels), and I seem to be having to take A LOT of insulin considering I'm not eating many carbs.  When I went to see the high risk OBGYN, she referred me to a diabetes center and I have an appointment with an endo there and a CDE in about 6 weeks, but for now, I'm trying to fix all these problems on my own, and I'm jut frustrated.  I feel like after a tough week with my blood sugar, and another week that I don't lose weight, just pushes back the possibility of getting pregnant even further, and I hate feeling like I can't move forward in the process!

So tonight I'm going to try to test my overnight basal right and see what happens.  Even though I HATE basal rate testing, I think it's the only thing that's going to help me get things figured out... will report back tomorrow on how that goes!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Prepping my body for pregnancy - week one a success!

As we're getting more serious about having a baby, I need to start getting more serious about my health.  While my A1C is close to being at a healthy level (last one was 6.6), I'd like to get under or closer to 6 in the next few months before we start trying to conceive (TTC).  And, even though the doctor told me I don't need to lose weight before getting pregnant from a medical standpoint, I would still like to lose about 15 pounds (she encouraged me to do this if I want since starting at a lower weight would make me comfortable throughout the pregnancy).

So, this past week,  I've been working on both my blood sugar and my weight, with good results.  My blood sugar has been in the 80's, 90's and low 100's for most of the week, which to me, is impressive.  I still have some highs when I wake up in the mornings, but I've been playing with my basal rates and delayed boluses, which seems to be helping.

Battling my blood sugar is a very similar experience to me as battling my weight.  I find that both my blood sugar and weight are under control when I'm eating healthy and walking a lot, and that both get completely unmanageable when I'm eating badly and not moving much.  In both cases, too, my emotions are almost entirely dependent on numbers.  I tend to let the numbers, whether on the scale or on my meter, define how I feel about myself.  It's amazing how much better I feel about myself when my blood sugar and weight are under better control.  It's like Good Annie is beating Bad Annie, and it gives me a huge feeling of accomplishment.

So, it's no surprise that this week when I've had great blood sugar numbers, it's because I've been watching what I'm eating, and I've tried to walk home from work (2.5 miles) a few nights since it was so nice out this week.  I've been doing the low-carb thing, because whether you like the approach or not, there's no denying that it makes blood sugar control so much easier. 

I don't know if it's been easier for me this week because I have a great motivation, or what, but hopefully I can keep it up for the next few months and into my pregnancy!

Spreadsheets, money, and decisions...

My husband is an excel junkie.  If there's something to track in columns and rows, he does.  He has spreadsheets that track his workouts, his weight (he's trying to slim down before we conceive too!), and also, our finances (if only I would let him track my blood sugar!).  Now that we're seriously thinking about having a child, we wanted to make sure we could afford it while still living in NYC, and so he checked his trusty spreadsheet...

And, it turns out, we are in fairly good shape to afford everything that we'll need to have a baby!

But, this brought up an interesting issue for me... staying at home vs. going back to work after having our baby.  When figuring out our finances, we realized that it really won't make much of difference financially whether I go back to work or not since almost my whole paycheck would go to paying for childcare (NYC nannies are expensive!).  So, the choice is really completely up to me.  I know this is a divisive debate, but I can't decide which side I'm on.

On the one side, I love working. While I am often stressed by my job, I thrive on the adrenaline.  I enjoy going to work (most days!), problem solving, navigating the political minefields that exist in the corporate world, and working collaboratively with my colleagues.  And, because I'm not exactly domestically gifted, the thought of failing at home when I could be succeeding at work terrifies me.

But, when I think about putting my 3 month old in day care, or leaving the baby with a nanny every day, it just seems so hard.  I can't help but wonder if it would somehow harm the baby developmentally, and would leave me someday regretting my decision.  I know I would feel inferior somehow for not working, but maybe I just can't fathom at this point in my life how rewarding being a full-time mom would be (although even as I type this and try to imagine it, I just can't get there).

Luckily I have some time to think about it, but at this point, I have no idea what I'll decide!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The first step...

Today, my husband and I went to a high risk OBGYN to find out if I am healthy enough to have a baby.  I am a Type 1 Diabetic, and know that tight control of my blood sugar is crucial to a healthy pregnancy.  For 12 years, I've lived with this disease, and have gone through phases with it, like anything else in life.  When I was first diagnosed, mostly out of fear, I was very tightly controlled.  I thought that if I ever went over 200, I literally might drop dead.  Apparently, I wasn't listening all that closely during my 5 days of training in the hospital since I'm pretty sure that not one doctor ever told me a reading of 200+ would result in instant death.  As I started to catch onto the fact that I would survive going into the 200's--at least in the short term, which let's face it, is all a 17 year old cares about--my control began to slip.

Through college, my first real job, getting married, and settling into everyday life, I've always been relatively careful about my control, but certainly not where most doctors would want me to be.  Even though I tested at least a few times a day and wore a pump, My A1C has wavered from the 6's when I was first diagnosed, into the 7's, up to its highest at 8.5, back down to the 7's, and most recently down to 6.6!

With the baby bug growing inside me, and my working hard to get my blood sugar under tighter control, my husband and I decided to see where we stood in terms of my health and how it would impact a pregnancy.  We are both excited, and anxious to have a baby, but had questions about my health, and how it would affect our future child.

I was terrified that the doctor would tell me that my 6.6 A1C was still way too high, and that I weighed way too much to have a baby.  To my complete surprise, the doctor was not concerned about my weight (I asked her twice just to be sure!), although encouraged my desire to drop a little weight before getting pregnant if that's what I want.  She also said I was pretty darn close with my A1C.  She recommends being under 6.0 before pregnancy, but said she considers under 6.5 to be safe.  I couldn't believe it.  She handed me a prescription for prenatal vitamins, told us to wait a few more months to get my A1C down as much as I can and to go off birth control, and out we walked.  I could hardly believe that I didn't get yelled out, or lectured, or upset for any reason.

Once I got over that, I REALLY couldn't believe that this woman, board certified and all, had just told me and my husband that in a few months, we could start trying for a baby!  She wasn't just telling me what I wanted to hear, but what was true, and I was shocked.  I had been telling myself for so long that I was too far out of control and too overweight, that I never objectively looked at the situation.  And so, together, my husband and I walked out of that office, and into the next stage of our life.

I'm writing this blog, not only to document our journey for ourselves, but for other Type 1 women who are going through a pregnancy, and want to follow a real life story, from just thinking about it, hopefully through a healthy birth.  I've done some research online, and mostly what I find are horror stories from medical organizations warning diabetics against birth defect, still births and major complications.  I've found a few real life stories from Type 1 women who have healthy babies, and would like to offer up my own story as well, from the very beginning.  So, join me on this journey if you want.  I'll share the ups and downs (both blood sugar, and emotional), and whatever else comes to me in between!