Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday’s Five: Pros of Pregnancy & Diabetes

Okay, sometimes while being prego and having T1D it seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel and maybe it was a really really really bad idea….. But not always, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and as I’ve said before and if you really do your research and talk to doctors, nurses and CDEs that actually are truly familiar with and know their stuff regarding T1 and pregnancy they will also tell that with tight control a very healthy happy pregnancy and baby are to be had!


So here are my top 5 pros of being pregnant while dealing with  diabetes…

1.       Easier places to hide an insulin pump. With a growing belly I have an easier time hiding my pump in that space between belly and hip. Even with tight shirts my pump is harder to see. One of my big apprehensions for getting a pump was that I like to wear dresses and it’s hard to find a place to hide a pump while wearing a dress. This has for the most part flown out the window. With my growing body I’ve got a bigger “pocket” or hiding place in my chest to place my pump. Now no third weird looking bump when trying to wear a dress. No one even knows!

 2.       More baby pictures!!! Having a high risk pregnancy means many more ultrasounds than that of the average mamma to be. I think I’ve heard that the average is 2-3 during the entire 9 months. I’m 20 weeks and I’ve already had 3, that’s one every 6 weeks. Now we are down to every 4 weeks!

3.       More doctor appointments. I’m sure that this will eventually get old, but I actually look forward to each doctor appointment and the close monitoring. I know that very close attention is being paid to me and baby. It’s kinda nice having all the attention focus on me for once.

4.       Healthy eating. My eating habits were not the best before my T1 diagnosis. My normal on the go meal instead of a quick salad as I might choose now was an entire Totino’s Pizza or pizza rolls. Other regular food choices included frozen burritos, fast food or a bowl of cereal. Or a box of macaroni and cheese and maybe adding a can of tuna with of course more cheese. Breakfast if I even ate it, Pop Tarts or some other sweat substance with not much real nutritional value.  Veggies, didn’t even consider them. I don’t know what my eating habits would have been like had I gotten pregnant without diabetes. Not that I wouldn’t care about taking care of my baby but the diagnosis was a huge eye opener. I can imagine that I would have really truly taken the term “eating for two” for real and kept with the fast food, and other junk food never really thinking about it. Of course fast food I’ve craved more being pregnant and I have given into those indulgences even more than I think I should or than I normally would, but I do still make veggies and healthy choices a priority. Even the cookies I made last weekend were healthier. Packed with raw sugar, but less than what was called for, organic oatmeal, ground flaxseed, almonds, raisins, cranberries and the indulgent part… semi sweet chocolate chips.

5.       Eating in moderation. Okay, so this kind of goes along with eating healthy. Since I have to watch my BGs so closely I can’t just eat what I want when I want, not even an apple or banana. Yes, I’m making sure to eat plenty for little girl as well as myself, but over eating after I’ve eaten what I’ve given enough insulin for is not really an option. At least not for me.  I’ve found for me it’s best to try not to let my eyes get bigger than my belly because I still can tend to get full quickly. So I portion out my meals and snacks and eat what I bolus insulin for. If I decide I want more, then I need to bolus more insulin and wait 15-20 minutes for that to kick in. By the time that happens my food has most likely settled and I’d no longer want what I thought I did. Therefore, this should keep from excessive weight gain.  I know that every person, every body type is different so I know that what works for me to control weight gain like this won’t necessarily work for someone else.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Following Doc’s Orders: Eat Frozen Yogurt

Yesterday I mentioned in my last post that I was considering going low carb to maybe help with the insulin resistance in pregnancy. That afternoon I ate lunch a little later than usual but my BGs spiked before even eating lunch and I waited about 40 minutes after taking my insulin before eating. Even still with the waiting and accurate amount of insulin I still spiked up to 208 about 2 hours after lunch. Frustrating. I emailed my CDE asking for her advice on going low carb and she called me not long after to talk to me and answer any questions and try to ease my fears. Since I haven’t mentioned it lately, I still think she’s great! I have such a great support system with both her and my high risk OB. They are pretty fantastic. Anyway, so this is what I learned and she said about low carbing it. Being prego going low carb is a big NO NO! She said that it’s not healthy for me or the baby. There are nutrients in the carbohydrate foods that both of us need. Those are things that I pretty much figured but I had read that some T1D pregos have done the low carb thing to help minimize the highs. I don’t care how much insulin I need to take, I’ll take whatever is needed to work, I’m not trying to avoid taking insulin, I’m trying to avoid the highs. What I did learn from Deb is that apparently the minimum requirement for pregnant women on a daily basis is 160 grams of carbs. Now, if you are not diabetic and have never paid attention to carb counts I’m sure that sounds like a lot, but really it’s not at all. If you are a regular soda drinker one can of soda typically has about 35-45 grams of carbs. An everything bagel from Trader Joe’s has a total of 60 grams of carbohydrate, 1 individual serving size bag of Cheeze-its has 25 grams of carbohydrate. A peanut butter protein Kind Bar has 17 grams, and a Burger King Whopper Jr and small fry has 76 grams of carbohydrate total. I know that these are random food items, but see, I’m hoping that those items help you to see how easy it is to eat way more than 160 grams of carbs in a day. Deb told me that if I do want to stay on the low end of the carb spectrum that she would like for me to ration out my carbs this way:

Breakfast (because it can be the worst meal of the day to send BGs sky high): 30 grams

Morning snack: 15 grams

Lunch: 45 grams

Afternoon snack: 15 grams

Dinner: 45 grams

Evening snack: 30

I have been having about 30 grams of carbs as an evening snack in a mug of frozen yogurt. I’ve found that either the brand Skinny Cow ice cream or frozen yogurt do not mess with my BGs the way regular ice cream or frozen custard does. It’s a total miracle! I hadn’t admitted to Deb that I was already eating that just about every night, but after she told me the breakdown of the least amount she would like for me to eat as I listed above she went on to say to enjoy food. Stop stressing, that this is going to happen, my insulin needs will continue to increase and we will get it worked out. She said to eat fun things. She is the one that actually brought up and encouraged me to eat Skinny Cow bars! That’s when I admitted to my indulgence and she said I should try plane vanilla frozen yogurt with pumpkin pie spice. I did and it’s to die for. She also said that if I want something close to apple pie to chop up an apple, microwave it until soft and add pumpkin pie spice to that as well. I will be trying this one FYI! 

 Altho I have her tips and “ permission” and her encouragement does make me feel a bit better. I did end up spiking after the frozen yogurt last night and wouldn't come down to under 140 till almost 4 this morning.  I’ll be sending her my numbers later today for more adjustments because I’m really not happy with how yesterday and the night before looked. You know the t-shirts that say “Stay Calm…” with whatever after it? I need one that says “Stay Calm and dose insulin and enjoy your food”. Here’s to insulin resistance and pregnancy! I’ll do my best as always, and keep eating to keep little girl fed.
***As usual, these are just my opinions, thoughts and what my doctor/CDE has told me. I am not a medical professional in any way shape or form. If your doctor, nurse or CDE says something different, please follow their advice or ask them questions regarding anything that I have written. Please do not take any of what I say as medical advice.***

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's A!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We’re having a…………!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



No names yet that we can agree upon so right now I’m calling her my little joy most of the time, if not that then just baby girl.


I know that it’s been a while since I’ve written. Not a whole lot new to tell. I’ve been blessed that I still haven’t have a lot of the normal pregnancy issues. My biggest issue for the last week has been really bad back pain already. I’m carrying her all in the front, belly and boobs and I guess it’s messing with my back already. Between my back hurting and not being able to get comfy in bed, peeing at least 3 times a night and my Dexcom waking me up to alert me to highs and lows I’m not getting the amount of sleep that I should. Which I know is messing with my BGs. But so far I’m thankful I haven’t been as sleepy as I’d have thought. With my back hurting the way it is, and then when I had the cold just a bit before that I’m not getting to go on my walks or work out or do yoga the way I had hoped to continue during pregnancy. We’ve also been incredibly busy around the house between getting Brad’s office moved to the basement and turning that into her nursery and then at the same time renovating the bathroom. Although I haven’t really been able to help with any of that, between going to look at and pick up items for the bathroom in the evenings and trying to stay on top of house work I’m having a hard time trying to find time to attempt yoga or anything anyway. I think it would help my back a lot and my BGs…. Which leads to the next subject.   I’m already starting to head into the insulin resistance part of my pregnancy. That’s been a whole lot of fun. I’ll be 20 weeks tomorrow, so half way there if not more already! Depending on if she comes early or not. It’s flying by! Between an infection and a cold I had a few weeks back at first I wasn’t sure if I was already developing insulin resistance until my doctor discovered the infection via blood/urine test and then the following week I developed a cold.  After that I seemed to be in the clear for a little bit longer, but about week 17 or so I started noticing higher numbers and my need for more insulin. At times I think it’s not freaking me out the way I thought it would but then there are times like last night as I was laying in bed trying to read and seeing my numbers climb despite the basal rate changes that my CDE made to my evening rates yesterday I tear up and start praying my heart out that these crazy BGs don’t affect baby girl. I try to remember that it’s not the short term high but the long term that will hurt her, but it’s still not pleasant to be going through. With last night and even today’s numbers not being what I want to see I’ll probably be sending my numbers into my CDE again Thursday if not tomorrow. I don’t think that waiting until next Monday will be a good idea. I’m contemplating switching to a low carb diet if I’m going to have real issues with getting things under control. Up until now I’ve been doing really well and had a fantastic A1C. Last month it was 5.6 which was a record for me. Last week when I got blood work done it came back as 5.1!!! That’s amazing and that what I’m trying to hold onto and pray I can continue through the rest of my pregnancy.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

While Keeping THE Secret-Week 10

As of yesterday I'm 18 weeks! Wow how time is flying by. Next Thursday we find out if Baby is a boy or a girl! So excited for that. I can't believe the we are only 2 weeks away from the half way point! For all we know we could have already hit the half way point if I have to go early, but Lord willing I will be able to go up to the full 40 weeks and let little one come naturally with no induction.

Here is what was going on at 10 weeks....

July 16, Week 10:

Wow! Today is officially the first day of week 10 and boy do I feel like a COW! So far I have not had a constant desire to devour everything in front of me. So far I’ve felt way too bloated and get really full really quickly that I can’t eat much in one sitting. This is something to get accustom to because I have unfortunately forgotten at times that I can only eat so much, pre-bolus before eating and then I get full really fast with more insulin on board than the food that I thought I would be able to eat. Then of course I drop and I have to chug juice or something. This is the first day that I have really been eating what feels like eating for 2 may feel like, but it’s not because I’m really hungry. Yes, I have been hungrier today than I feel like I have in 10 weeks, but my BGs keep going down. I know that the typical type 1 will start getting crazy excessive lows between weeks 8-9, and I guess I’ve had more than before but I kinda think that’s because I’m so afraid of highs right now and I know that I’m over calculating carbs and insulin, which I know is also not a good thing at all. So today, I’ve grazed, and grazed and grazed. I know I’ve read that for the typical woman it’s best to eat 6 small meals a day or to eat every 2 hours to help with this bloating/full issue. This is where the issue with T1D comes in. To make sure that not too much or too little insulin is on board and to make sure that BGs stay steady and not roller coaster or run high it’s best for someone like me to eat every 3 to 4 hours, not every two. Today, that’s not really been possible. I’ve been snacking every 2 hours at least, if not every hour. I don’t want to put anything else in me, but as I watched my Dexcom screen earlier my BG was slowly creeping down again. I ate a handful of potato chips and that seems to have finally kicked in because I’m now going up a bit. I know, my last choice of snack not the best but I really am trying to stay as healthy and nutritious as possible with my snack/meal/and low treatment choices as I possibly can. This has been hard because veggies are gross to me right now, really really gross. I can eat something one day and the next I almost lose my stomach if I don’t get away from the smell/sight of it fast enough. Thankfully, this is the extent of sickness for me. I really am not having too bad of an issue with sickness, it’s just veggies/salads that I’m really struggling with. I hate that, because I so want to eat healthy and get the best nutrients that I can and being disgusted by veggies just stinks. (Literally) So today since I’ve been grazing I think I’ve done pretty well staying away from the bad unhealthy things that I could be devouring. I had my normal breakfast of oatmeal with almond milk, about a 4th cup of blueberries, a table spoon of peanut butter and an orange on the side. A couple hours later it was raisins and almonds, a little after that yogurt. Not long after that was lunch of a peanut butter and honey(from a local bee keeper) on whole grain bread. Then of course I couldn’t go more than an hour after that then I had a cheese stick and some more almonds and some cashews.  Then I had the potato chips and another cheese stick. I was really hoping to go without eating something until dinner time which is usually between 6:30 and 7, but now I’m eating a Aldi Kind bar knock off. I was starting to get a tad bit queasy and now my BG is creeping back to lower 80’s again. Plus I want to get a work out in still before dinner. So back to this bloating issue…. I know I shouldn’t be showing yet, but dang this bloating is crazy! At week 8 I had two random people actually say something about when I was due. Really?! I know I had a bit of a tummy pooch before but this is just a bit of a bummer. A friend of mine who is 11 weeks ahead of me is not even showing yet, I look more preggers than she does! I think that my biggest concern along with weight gain is that if this isn’t giving the secret away then as much as I’ve eaten today may. We just told Brad’s family this past weekend. This Saturday we are telling a couple of really good friends of ours, Sunday we are telling my family and then after that we’ll start making more phone calls. There are a couple of other people I have to tell before I even tell work because I’m afraid once I tell work it will end up on social media or…. through the grape vine, my bestie growing up who still talks to the owner of the company I work for will find out that way. This is way more complicated than I imagined and we gotta start telling soon. I have my second doctor appointment tomorrow, which is actually my first prenatal appointment since the first was just the ultrasound. Which by the way, that was one of the most amazing things ever! It was such a relief to see that everything was okay. I know I don’t usually look forward to doctor’s appointments, and I’m sure I will start to get sick of them, but for right now I’m looking forward to and excited for each of the upcoming ones that I already have scheduled. I know that they will put my mind at ease. I’m really not complaining about any of this, just telling how it is for me so far as a T1D who is growing a human in her belly. Yay! This is so exciting! I think now that we have at least told Brad’s family it’s becoming more real. I’m so overwhelmed at times over the past week with happiness that I cry happy tears of joy. That’s mainly when I’m in the car and I’m listening to Jonathan David and Melissa Helser’s newest album. Some of their stuff just gets me, and I end up crying thank yous to Jesus. I’m so amazed!

Friday, September 5, 2014

What Does The Body Of A Diabetic Look Like?

What does the body of a diabetic look like?

 We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ethnic origin, religious and social backgrounds. We are all unique, but all share some common tell tale signs. You would never know just by looking at us on a daily basis. You may not even know on a regular basis if you don’t see a diabetic managing their chronic illness. Some of us have learned an art of hiding it from you and have no desire to share this information with anyone other than close family or who they deem to be important or need to know. Others of us would like to make the world aware of our disease and educate everyone we can. You might get a glimpse of what you  might assume to be a cell phone, pager or camera but what is really an insulin pump. You would never give it a second thought, unless you where one of us, because seeing someone like us out in real life is so far and few between.  

 So what does the body of a diabetic look like?

 If you look closely you will see multitudes of very small dots on finger tips and calluses from finger sticks.
  You will see tiny dots on a stomach, sides, shoulders, legs, hips, thighs or arms. Dots from the needles of insulin injections, insulin pump infusions sites or CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) sites.
  You very well may see skin irritation from these sites and or the skin tape/tac that is used sometimes to keep these things in place.
  In the summer you might see a circular like tan line from a sensor and or infusion site/tape.
  Sometimes you might see a bruised vein in the arm from getting blood work done and a nurse didn’t know what they were doing or couldn’t find a vein at first.
  You might see one of us looking like we are having a hot flash or a dazed and confused look on our face due to a sever blood sugar low reaction.
  You might see a bruise or a scrape on a body part that was a wound from a clumsy mistake that was made during a blood sugar low.
  Occasionally you may see a bruise from an insulin injection, insulin pump infusion site or CGM site that developed after a blood vessel was hit during the process of trying to stick the need in the correct spot.

I started thinking about these things this afternoon after I for some reason decided to count the little dots on my love handles and stomach. Since I use my sides more often than my stomach I only had 6 dots on my stomach and 10 dots on my left side and 16 on my right. Most are pretty faded, but they are still there. I also have a couple of tan marks from my infusion sites from the last weekend when we were at the lake and I’m sure to have a tan mark on my thigh when I remove my sensor that I’ve had on for quite some time.  
Are there other physical signs not listed that you get or have?