Update on the gest. diabetes

My first doctors appointment having to do with gestational diabetes was this morning. I met with a diabetic specialist and it went really well.
Pretty much we talked about what Gestational Diabetes means for me, what it is and what it does – we went through a lot of literature and then she taught me how to operate my glucose monitor. I have to check my blood sugar 4 times a day – when I get up in the morning and then one hour after every meal. I also have to check my blood sugar if I’m feeling hyperglycemic … which lovingly enough I already had to do this afternoon. And that entails 2 additional blood sugar pokes to make sure my blood sugar is rising after I’ve had something to eat or drink that’s a fast acting insulin food … like orange juice or a few hard candies such as lifesavers.
I’m looking for diabetic friendly recipes so feel free to point me in that direction or share some from your recipe index with me. Nothing with sugar substitutes though, they are from the devil, I will not eat them.
A few of the not so fun things I heard today were that I’m at a pretty high risk of having type 2 diabetes ALREADY. They’re checking my blood often to see if they can determine this. I have a doctors appointment on Monday with my OB and I’m hoping to get some more insight as to why and what this all means. I failed the glucose tolerance test with such furvor that I guess we’re ruling everything out, which is good. But I hate to hear those words. I do not want to have type 2 Diabetes.
The only factor that even fits our bill of health with this pregnancy and my developing gestational diabetes is the miscarriage we had last May. Every other factor is a big ZERO on the ranking sheet. So hopefully the type-2 stuff is just that, stuff, talk, worries … nothing concrete.
I meet with a dietitian on Tuesday to plan my meals and really get into the nitty gritty of what to stay away from, etc – but for now I have some generalizations to work with. Fruit, which I love and eat often, is something I have to be careful with because of the natural sugars. I can’t have fruit in the morning or cereal, really – and this is going to be hard. But not too bad. I can do it. I can pretty much eat all the vegetables I want, which is awesome. I eat an entire bag of brussel sprouts for lunch some times – I love veggies. So thats good news.
Breads and things are good – I just have to watch quantity and type of flour/sugar content. And protein is my friend also.
I’ll probably have to see my OB more often and also go into the hospital for Non-stress tests as frequent as once a week, where they monitor the baby’s movements and his heart rate. We might have another ultrasound, depending on how I measure to watch his size and all of this could result in (worse case scenario) delivering him before his due date or taking him by c-section. I might have to have that amniotic sac test to see if the baby’s lungs are developed also. All things we hope to find out on Monday and further doctor’s appointments.
So – lots of information, which is wonderful – and lots of things to watch for. I’m very healthy otherwise, which is a huge plus and all the people we’ve met with so far have been beyond helpful and wonderful. We’re feeling very at ease about all of this. Please pray for minimum complications and a healthy delivery. And also that I don’t have or will develop the Type-2 diabetes.

Gestational Diabetes

Well suckity suck. I have gestational diabetes.

At my last doctors appointment they found too much sugar in my urine – and then after checking my blood they found that my sugar levels were too high. So I had to take the 3 hour glucose test, which happened this morning and by 5pm tonight I had a call from my doctor telling me I didn’t pass.

The good news is – this happened so late in the pregnancy that there’s no real concern for the baby or myself – just a need to regulate my blood sugar and a possibility of needing some insulin. I have to call tomorrow to make an appointment with the diabetes teaching team and learn how to do a few things, like check my blood sugar and the like.

I had to take the 3 hour test when I was pregnant with Jessica too, but I passed that one. I guess all that running after Jessica this pregnancy isn’t exercise enough. HA!

I’ll try to keep this site updated with the progress and information as I get it.

And I’ll be sure to write my blood sugar a love letter to let her know how appreciative I am of all her lazy-ass friends invading my body.

In the middle of Target

I have vivid dreams at night and almost daily I end up telling Aaron, at one point or another, “I had the weirdest dream last night.”

It’s kind of expected at this point, it happens so often. Yesterday my dream was that I finally put my foot down and we had 3 more kids. He waited about 12 hours before he gingerly asked me, so … is that what you’re doing? Putting your foot down?

I howled. But then for a hot second I wavered. And then quickly rounded out to: um, no. It took me a long time to be ok with being done having kids. You might remember the vasectomy story I told here years ago, but what I didn’t tell you is that in the middle of all of that, I was being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and my endocrinologist told me not to have any more babies. I needed to be done, it wasn’t safe for me any more. Being on the way to that decision on your own is one thing, being told to finalize it and it was over, period, is a much different thing.

Mourning the motherhood stage of newborns was a weird and awfully long season for me. As friends continued to have babies we would go back to the drawing board and ask ourselves (and my doctors, repeatedly) if it was ok, now? Could we do this, again, now? We had some hopeful answers along the way but they all ended with “high risk pregnancy” no matter what.

Clearly, we haven’t gone that route. When our youngest went to school my ovaries were white hot with wonder, I wasn’t ready to be done. I wanted more. When our oldest entered middle school, I freaked out and prayed for a miracle. Maybe I could just get better?

Each stage has brought it’s own bittersweet beginning and a very definite ending. And the white hot need is gone, the fever has passed. We now own furniture that will last beyond spit up, walkers, crayons and food stains. We’ve leaped to the other side, which has never been more apparent than on my trips to Target this week.

I can walk into a store and tell my children to meet me somewhere in 15 minutes. They are earning their own money, making (laborious) decisions about how and what to spend it on, and they are stewarding their small wages on their own. Learning. I don’t need to hover. If they spend $6 on something that breaks, they learn that waiting for something is always more satisfying than impulse buying, and they’re out their hard-earned cash. Which we talk about in terms of how long it takes to earn it. So a remote control toy might cost $50 but to our son, that’s mowing the lawn 7 times.

But that’s not the point here, while I was walking around Target giving my kids the time it takes to ponder and decide over something magnificent … all I heard was crying.

Other peoples children were throwing fits, mothers were often just deaf to it – because, sanity, but I had a flashback to being in their shoes. I hated going to stores when my kids were little like that, especially if we were primed for a meltdown. Around lunch or nap time or just before dinner. I don’t have to think about those things anymore. We go to the store whenever we need to, no big deal.

And it got me thinking about allllllll of this. Mourning the stages, but also being so grateful to be over some of those insurmountable humps. My kids throw tantrums still, don’t get me wrong, just not in public. And when they’re being unreasonable I can actually reason with them and tell them to knock it off or we can have a conversation and decide together.

I walked around Target listening to all the complaining of other kids, the crying from the toddlers, the whining from the not-quite-big kids and I listened to the moms, out of their minds. They just needed a shower curtain, or a birthday gift, or the happiness of Target to get them through their day. They just needed a break. To put their kid in cart and wander the aisles of a place they don’t have to clean, where problems don’t pop out of the leaky faucet and you can stand still in a row of pretty lamps.

The standing still, you guys. The not being needed because your kid is otherwise engaged (trapped in a cart) possibly with a small screen and you can use your brain to look at something other than the wall at home.

I remembered.

I remember.

Summer is a weird time no matter the age of your kids, I’m learning. Or is it just different as they get older? But still heavy handed on the needs? I’m still deciding.

What really hit me was realizing I had moved passed something.

And being ok with knowing it was over, and excited for the next part.

Rise again

My mind is going in so many different directions right now. I’m in the middle of some amazing projects, and we’re living life full time while the darkness that clouded my summer has lifted … I don’t know where to start.

Black and white

It’s so worth it to duck your head in the middle of the weakness and fight like hell. I wanted to give up on a number of things this summer, everything felt overwhelming. The looming indecision and all the unknowns, and on top of that, dealing with new health concerns and equipment. I’m not completely out of the woods yet, metaphorically, we have so much more work to do on my book and sifting through emotional baggage and literal baggage – but every day feels simpler than the last.

So much emotional clutter has been lifted.

This summer I started an insulin pump as part of my (type 1) diabetic care plan. This decision was mine, it’s something I researched last year and ultimately wasn’t able to move forward with. But for various reasons this summer I went ahead with it.

However, the day of my install appointment when I arrived at the Hospital, I started sobbing. I was late to my appointment even though I was early to arrive. I couldn’t get control of myself to walk in.

Good news is I made it through the appointment, and in the months that followed, although I couldn’t talk about it without crying, and very few people knew what I was going through, I did get better results with my blood sugar control. I gained confidence, support, and another stripe on my “Jodi can do this” list.

A few weeks ago I was still struggling with this change. There’s a medical device hooked up to me at all times. A part of the identity I was used to was replaced with a new one I haven’t known how to own yet. I branded myself as sick and broken and I tried to crawl my way out of that existence every day, unsuccessfully. Plenty of people with type 1 diabetes live healthy, vibrant lives. They’re athletes, mothers, fathers, and they live long enough to have grandchildren. This can be true for me, also.

A seismic change occurred for me when I opened up about how I was struggling in an online support group. Another member said “Some people don’t make enough serotonin, so they provide it. What if you could look at this through that lens? Your body doesn’t make enough insulin, so you’re providing it. That’s all! You are not broken.”

I am not broken.

I am not broken.

This might seem easy to you, from the outside I can even see how this perspective is attainable and something to grasp for.

The problem isn’t in the symptoms for me. It’s the fact that before I was even diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I felt broken in so many other ways. Why wouldn’t it manifest itself into something physical, chronic and potentially debilitating.

It just became the name for the rest of the pieces of me I couldn’t put back together. And hooking myself up to a pump with tubing that I have to constantly be aware of, sleep with, and an infusion site on my person at all times- was as if I was walking myself to my funeral without telling anyone I had picked the date to die.

I can’t type that without crying.

It was game over for me.

But you guys, I’m still here. I’m not broken. (!!!!!) I can’t tell you how long it’s taken me to believe but how instantaneous it sunk in and changed everything when I finally did.

Hiking in the Catskill Mts

I had a plan for my life, like most of us do, and not one thing has gone according to plan. It’s always changing. And when we finally let go of our plans, we might also finally grasp just how wide open this life can be.

Things feel light these days. Open, happy, simple. Not without overwhelm or struggle. Definitely not without reality. Just, free.

We can do hard things. We can climb the mountain of disappointment or dreams that have died – and when we reach the summit – may our breath be taken away by the view. Something so completely different than we could have ever imagined.

The place of next steps. One at a time.

We can keep going.

you’re beautiful, you’re enough, you’re free

As graduation and wedding season are upon us I've been reflecting a lot on where I was 13 years ago and what I thought was ahead of me. Sometimes I still feel like the 19 year old bride with everything figured out and more and more I feel like a timeless

Some of you might know that I did the ‪Whole30‬ about a month ago and, as chronicled on this blog over the years, I’ve struggled with my body image/self acceptance/weight/food and have an autoimmune disease (type 1 diabetes) thrown into the mix. Which means, unfortunately, I’m always aware of the food I eat and where my body is on the scale of what’s considered “healthy” and “unhealthy”. And my doctors appointments remind me regularly if I forget.

A couple weeks ago I was walking downtown and passed a couple of elderly women on a walk. I would guess late 70’s, maybe early 80’s. I overheard their conversation – one said to the other “I’m doing everything they’re telling me, avoiding all the right foods and I still can’t lose weight!” and in the middle of the sidewalk, just past these lovely women, I started laughing out loud. All to myself. It was such a gift to hear this. By my own standards these ladies were lovely, healthy, fit. They were walking, their bodies were clearly able. And still at 75 or 80 they focused on, are struggling with and constantly debating their weight. They’re still keeping track.

I’ve done so much reading in this area about the metaphysical effects of our emotions, the spiritual impact of ailments and sicknesses, and expectantly waiting to get better through the food I eat, the miles I can walk, and the punishments I can dole out to my physical self. I keep waiting to get to the age where all of a sudden I’m comfortable with my skin, comfortable IN my skin, and each passing year I achieve this more and more. However, in the back of my head I’m still chasing a healthier, thinner, faster, leaner, more flexible me.

I do not have this figured out but I’ve also tried, um, everything out there. Fad diets, cleanses, boot camps, etc. They all have one thing in common: me.

And through my exhaustive research, I’m fairly certain the only allowable food all of these plans, diets, formulas have in common is Mustard. You can eat mustard, if nothing else, for the rest of your life and fall into each and every category of “diet” and be A-Ok. (You’re welcome.)

Here’s where I’m going with this because I have to remind myself of this daily, if not hourly, as I work towards the kind of self love and acceptance I want my own daughter to experience by virtue of learning from me: it doesn’t matter.

Or, sadly, it always will.

My mom just celebrated her 60th birthday and I shared this story with her and asked her for some wisdom as a matriarch in my life. What has she learned that she can pass to me? She also works with the elderly at a local rest home – she’s the activities coordinator for the home so she gets to play and listen and love on the people we so often discard as used, broken, old, even useless. Here’s what she shared with me … her residents might have dementia but the impactful hurts of their life they’ll always remember. They might not know where they live but they remember what their mother in law said to them 60 years ago, and it’s become a piece of who they are.

I’m afraid I’m holding on to words from loved ones, hurts from regrets, what if’s of my past, and the dangerous loop hole of never being enough. It could be that watching my mom turn 60, which my dad never reached, has been an impactful experience this past week. Thinking through life, what matters, what should have weight and what shouldn’t, coupled with my personal struggle to listen to my body, help it and support it is all I needed to get to a place where I can say to my reflection:

You are exactly who you’re supposed to be,
dressed exactly as was meant to be.
Say goodbye to the former me,
come and rest in peace and see:

you’re beautiful,
you’re enough,
you’re free.