Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fetal echo cardiogram and 22 week checkup

I recently had my first of two fetal echo cardiograms, and also my 22 week checkup (I think most people do this at 20 weeks, but mine just happened to be on 22). The fetal echo cardiogram was a one hour peek at Baby B’s heart via ultrasound to make sure the blood is pumping and everything is functioning correctly. The results are in, and everything looked great, at least as far as they could tell since Baby B again wasn’t very cooperative in being in the right position for a great look (noticing a pattern?). It was a very peaceful test as I got to sit in a dark room with soothing music while the cardiologist looked at the heart on her own monitor. They didn’t have a screen for me to see, so it was an hour of pure relaxation.

I couldn’t get over, however, that the cardiologist (who I assume is pretty smart and well trained), asked me if I take insulin after I told her I have type 1. In disbelief I said yes, and then she asked me if I had been taking insulin before I got pregnant. I couldn’t understand how this medical professional, a cardiologist, no less, didn’t get that as a type 1 diabetic, I need insulin. Those kinds of questions irk me to no end! But, other than that, she was nice and gave me a good report, so besides her obvious ignorance about diabetes, the test went well overall.

I also had my 22 week checkup. They baby’s heart was beating at 155 beats per minute and everything seems like it’s progressing as it should. My weight gain is now right on target since the last checkup, but my OB told me that I should now try to gain ½ a pound a week, which is making me nervous. I’m concerned that I’m going to gain a lot more than that, and I haven’t been doing much to stop that from happening now that I can eat again. So, I really need to start eating better to make sure my weight gain doesn’t accelerate too quickly.

In other news, I sadly need to do a 24 hour urine test, which is basically collecting urine over a 24 hour period of time to make sure the pregnancy isn’t putting too much stress on my kidneys. I was hoping to avoid this one, but no such luck. I am so NOT looking forward to that one, but luckily you can do it on a Sunday. So, I guess two Sundays from now when I do the test I’ll be stuck in the apartment! I am certainly not going out lugging my “collection vessel” around.

Overall, my blood sugar is still trending a little higher than I like, but nothing to be upset about. I’m still increasing my basals to keep up with the higher numbers. I’m feeling great, otherwise, and am enjoying the second trimester.

Also on my list for the next few weeks is registering for gifts. There is so much out there, I hardly know where to begin, so if any of your moms have suggestions, let me know!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

D-Blog Day (a day late)

So I’m a day late, but I’m taking part of my first diabetes community post for D-blog Day. D-blog Day was started on November 9th 2005 during Diabetes Awareness Month, to help unite diabetes bloggers and create awareness about diabetes.

This year, the prompt is: what are 6 things you wish people knew about diabetes? So, here are my 6, although I think I ended up writing about what are 6 things I wish people knew about me and my diabetes rather than diabetes in general.  Oh well!:
  1. Diabetes is not as easy as it looks. I am one to talk about my diabetes in my everyday life with friends and co-workers as it comes up (a low blood sugar here, a low pump reservoir there), but I am not one to complain about it, or to really discuss how much it takes out of me, both physically and emotionally. I don’t often stop to think about how demanding this disease is, and as a result, I don’t think the others in my life really do either. It’s not just the testing, or the bolusing, or the ordering of supplies, or the carb counting, or the side effects of low and high blood sugars that get to me. It’s the combination of all of it, and the fact that no matter what else is going on in my life, I can’t forget about my diabetes—ever. Diabetes is a constant nagging, and I have a “dia”-log that runs through my head all day, every day: Woke up low this morning, need to grab a juice box before getting in the shower. Need to test again before getting on the subway. Need to grab something for breakfast when I get to work so I don’t bottom out again. Need to test before eating breakfast. Need to count the carbs in my breakfast. Need to bolus for the carbs. Need to test again two hours later. And by then it’s only 9:30am! I sometimes think that because I take fairly good care of myself, people don’t think diabetes is that serious, or that hard to take care of. Even though I am able to be under good control, not a day goes by that I don’t wish for a cure that will take this harassing disease away from me.
  2. Diabetes terrifies me. I suppose this is linked to #1, but one thing I really never share is how terrifying the long term effects of diabetes are to me. I myself rarely think of the long term effects, because honestly, I can’t bear to face them. I don’t want to imagine myself without eye site, or kidney function, or even without one of my limbs. Right now I feel like a healthy person, and except for my diabetes, I am pretty healthy, so having to face the fact that diabetes may eventually take a more pronounced toll on my body is scary.
  3. There is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. I know this topic has been discussed ad-nauseam on various blogs and sites, but all the time I run into people who just don’t get the different between type 1 and type 2, and it’s irritating. Just the other day, I had a cardiologist ask me, after I told her I am a type 1, whether or not I was taking insulin before I got pregnant. Questions like this make my blood boil, and I wish people, especially those in the medical profession would learn more about the difference between T1 and T2. I often feel embarrassed when I tell people I have diabetes, because I know that more often than not, they think it’s may fault or that I could get rid of it if ate better/exercised more/lost weight. I wish I could tell people I had diabetes without the sense of shame that I sometimes feel.
  4. Even though I look OK, I often don’t feel well. From day to day, I look like a healthy person. You wouldn’t know I have diabetes to look at me. But, I am often battling symptoms that no one knows I am dealing with. I will sometimes be high, and feel horrible, but I can’t go home from work or take a break every time I go above 200. Or, I might be low, but demands of the day don’t allow me to take a 15 minute time out like I might want to. Or, I might be exhausted because I was up all night fighting a high or low blood sugar. Most days, at one time or another, I am fighting the symptoms of some kind of blood sugar abnormality, but I don’t/can’t stop my life for it, and I usually don’t even tell those around me what I am dealing with because if I were to complain every time this happened, people would get sick of it real fast!
  5. Yes I can eat that—or—yes, I could eat that, but I don’t want to. Telling people I have diabetes is sometimes interpreted as an invitation for people to tell me how to eat. I had a pharmacist once tell me that I CAN NOT have glucose tabs because I’m a diabetic and sugar is bad for me. I’ve also had many people give me a hard time for passing on some of the sweeter treats in life from time to time. People don’t get it. I know what I can/should/shouldn’t eat, and those things aren’t always the same from day to day. I may be OK with eating ice cream one day, but if I don’t feel like wasting the last few units of insulin in my pump another day on something sweet, just let it go, and don’t make me feel like a party pooper because I pass on something from time to time.
  6. I don’t care to hear about your mother/grandmother/second cousin who died/had an amputation/is on dialysis from diabetes. Again, when people find out I have diabetes, it’s like they feel compelled to tell me to take care of myself because they know someone who died a horrible death or suffered major complications from diabetes. I am sorry for that person’s struggle, and for the suffering that comes with it, but I really don’t want to hear about that. I know the odds that I’m up against, and it is hard enough living with this disease without being reminded of the doomsday scenarios that are possible.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Officially over the hump!

I'm 21 weeks as of yesterday, which officially means I'm more than half way through this pregnancy.  In some ways, it feels like its been eons since I first saw the word "pregnant" pop up on my digital home pregnancy test, and in other ways, I feel like it just happened this morning.  Although I've been through a lot already during this pregnancy, I still feel that hasn't been as intensive as I thought it would be (yet!). 

Although changes have definitely been taking place in and on my body, I still sometimes don't feel pregnant.  It's hard to explain, but I still feel like me, and sometimes I do forget that I'm growing another human being inside of me. I have, however, become much more relaxed about life in general since getting pregnant, which is the complete opposite of what I thought would happen.  But, nothing in the world seems that important right now, other than my health and the health of my child.

This week I started to put on my very first few pregnancy pounds.  It's taken me a while to put on weight since I lost weight from being so sick the first trimester, but I'm afraid they're going to pile on quickly, so I need to be careful and focus on eating better now that my stomach is (mostly) cooperating again.  I must admit, it's a bit unnerving to look at the scale going up and to think that's a good thing when I've fought my weight for most of my teenage/adult life, but I know that's what is supposed to happen.

I'm still waiting for Baby B to give me a good swift kick, but I do think I am starting to feel the baby rummage around in there.  Sometimes my stomach gets hard, which I've been told are Braxton Hicks contractions, and it's incredible to think that my body is reacting to the other person I'm carrying.  We know that Baby B can hear us now, and I laugh hysterically every time my husband talks to the baby, because he's convinced he needs to scream in order to get through my stomach and into the baby's ears.

In terms of diabetes, my numbers have calmed down a bit since I raised my basals last week.  I'm still seeing some more highs than I like, but it's much better than it was.  I'm already getting nervous for my next A1C in December, but I'm doing the best I can.

On the pregnancy itinerary for this week is a fetal echo cardiogram where they'll get an up and close and personal view of Baby B's heart to make sure everything is in working order.  I'm just excited that it means we'll get to see the baby again!

And most importantly, today is my husband's birthday, so I'm very much looking forward to a great bday dinner with him - his last one as a non-parent!