26 September 2013

Goodbye meewah*betic...

...Hello Mind Body Sugar!

Thank you for letting me share my diabetes life with you here at meewah*betic.  As you've noticed my posts have been few and far between.  Its partly due to the fact that most of my free time is spent chasing a soon to be one year old little munchkin but it is also because I've been considering a change in my blogging life for some time now.

And that change is my new blog called Mind Body Sugar.

I’ve been toying with the idea for Mind Body Sugar for some time.  I believe that living with diabetes is more than testing blood sugar and counting carbs. A big part of it is mental attitude, mindset, and emotions.  I also believe that taking an interest in a physical activity not only is a positive influence on diabetes but also overall well being and attitude. When it comes to diabetes I believe that the mind, body, and sugar are all interconnected and each one plays a role in managing this disease.

My goal for Mind Body Sugar is to be positive and proactive in managing diabetes. This is my journey in making my life with diabetes better. I plan to share posts on the mental and physical aspects of managing diabetes, things that I’ve found useful, and things that are or aren’t working for me on this journey.  I want to keep my posts focused on the three themes of mind, body, and sugar.

So if you've enjoyed following my diabetes journey here I hope you'll join me at Mind Body Sugar.

09 August 2013

Blog much?

I used to blog.  But then I had a baby.  And then I went back to work.  So, yeah.  I don't blog much these days but I'm working on getting back into the swing of things.

So why don't we catch up with a virtual coffee date?  (I got this idea from With Faith & Grace)

If we were having a coffee date I'd tell you that...holy crap my daughter is 10 months old!  And in October she will be a year old!  Time sure is flying by.  My little munchkin is the love of my life!  And she is keeping me on my toes - crawling all over the house, starting to pull herself up to standing, eating table foods like a big girl, and babbling away in her little baby talk.

If we were having a coffee date I'd tell you that...speaking of coffee, I'm really starting to dig the cafe culture here down under.  I avoided caffeine my entire pregnancy and about the first 5 months after my daughter was born.  I eased my way back with tea, then a latte here and there, until finally I tried the flat white.  I think it might be the national drink of Australia.  Its my go to caffeine fix and its what Australians do - they all drink coffee, grab coffee, have coffee dates.  I swear there are a dozen cafes in the shopping mall here, where back home there would be one Starbucks.

Jervis Bay

Wine glass Bay, Tasmania 
Cradle Mtn. & Dove Lake, Tasmania
If we were having a coffee date I'd tell that...we are really enjoying our time in Australia and have had the opportunity to do some traveling and see other parts of the country.  And it is a beautiful country.  We spent Christmas at Jervis Bay - Holy white sand and clear blue water!  I swear it seems like every beach here is absolutely stunning.  In January we spent a week in Tasmania.  We did a few days on the coast at Freycinet national park and a few days at Cradle Mountain national park.  Both were beautiful - we loved the clear blue waters on the coast and the crisp air in the mountains.  Despite being the middle of summer here - it got pretty chilly in the mountains.  Our little cabin had a wood burning stove that we would light at night and my little gal was mesmerized by the dancing flames.  And then we spent 4th of July weekend at Uluru.  A completely different landscape and seems to be smack dab in the middle of the continent with nothing else nearby.  It was our first taste of the outback and we really enjoyed the quiet peacefulness of the place.

Uluru sunset with my little gal
If we were having a coffee date I'd tell you that...my diabetes has been... so so.  Kinda meh.  Kinda not on my mind lately.  I wrote in my last post how I haven't been as OCD about my diabetes and its been a good change.  Though the numbers are creeping up and up.  My last A1C was 7.  Still a decent number, but I'd like to tighten it up a bit.  I'm starting to see more and more numbers above 200, I've been eating a lot more sweets than I used too, I haven't been physically active.  So...I'm going to start focusing on my diet more, making better choices, doing some exercise.  We got a bike trailer for our daughter and I'm looking forward to some family bike rides in the near future.

If we were having a coffee date I'd tell you that...my mom and dad will be visiting us in October!!! Its only a few short weeks away.  I'm so excited and can't wait for them to see their granddaughter.  I did make a trip to the states back in April and loved that my whole family got the chance to meet my little girl in person (though traveling solo with a baby was...challenging).  She has grown so much since then and it will be great to have family here.

It was great catching up!  Whats new with you?  

22 January 2013

Relaxing my Grip on Diabetes

For much of my diabetic life I would say that management of my disease has been intense.  I strived for perfect blood sugars 24/7.  I logged my blood sugars religiously into a fancy excel spreadsheet thinking that the more data and charts I had could help me to solve the diabetes puzzle.  I thought it could give me the answer to perfect blood sugar management.  I wanted to get my A1C under 6 and my multiple finger sticks between 80-120mg/dl.

I didn't get my A1C under 6 and the zig zags and curves of my BG charts just left me more frustrated.

Since I've had my baby I've stopped aiming for perfect, instead focusing on good enough.  In my past, striving for perfect led me into way too many lows.  With a baby now, I can't afford to be going low once or twice a day.  Its just not safe with a little gal to look after, especially when its just the two of us at home most days.  Taking care of myself during a low is hard enough sometimes.  I can't take the risk of looking after my girl with a low blood sugar.  This was drilled into me by my endo and I've taken his words to heart.

So I've loosened up.  My goal is to keep my BGs steady and minimize lows.  I still do all the correct diabetes management practices - weighing and measuring foods, counting carbs, testing 6-10 times a day, correcting highs, etc.  If my BG is 150mg/dl I don't sweat it.

But I don't use my fancy spreadsheets anymore.  And it feels good.  It feels like diabetes is just another thing I do.  Like brushing my teeth.  I check my BG, take an appropriate action (eat if its low, correct if its high) and move on.  I don't agonize over it.  I don't let it consume me.  It feels simpler now and I like that.

My last A1C was in December and it was 6.8.  If I can keep it in the 6's I'm doing all right.  Its not the 5's.  Its not perfect.  But I'm okay with being good enough right now.  

15 January 2013

Things I've Learned Since Having a Baby

  • I can check my BG while holding the baby - Not as easy as it sounds and definitely shouldn't be attempted until the little one can hold their head steady.
  • Little hands like to grab pump tubing and once they get a hold its really hard to loosen that grip.
  • Little feet get easily tangled up in pump tubing.
  • Little feet don't care where your infusion site is - when they are being fussy they will continue to kick away until they are asleep.
  • My pump is spit-up resistant - its gotten doused several times, in fact I think some dried spit-up is permanently stuck in the battery cover.
  • Waiting to recover from a low feels like an eternity.  When a baby is crying it feels twice as long.
  • Babies don't understand the phrase, "But I bolused. I HAVE to eat RIGHT now!"  The more you try to reason, the more they cry.

10 January 2013

How She Got Here

I previously wrote about the sadness and disappointment I felt over having a natural, normal childbirth taken away from me because of my diabetes.  I wanted to let nature take its course, my baby would come when she was ready, when mother nature deemed it was time.

Instead I checked into the hospital the evening of 14 October to have my labor induced.

Gosh I look exhausted for NOT having
gone into labor!
The first thing the midwife did was hook me up to a CTG machine - it measures the baby's heart rate in response to changes in the uterus.  I had been going to the hospital twice a week beginning at 36 weeks to have this monitoring done so it was nothing new and every scan had been normal.  Before they administered any drugs to bring on labor they wanted to make sure the baby could handle the contractions of the uterus.  By measuring the baby's heart rate they get a sense of whether labor can proceed.

At this time I was not having any labor contractions just some braxton-hicks contractions - I could feel my uterus tightening but it wasn't painful.  I watched the graph plotted by the CTG machine   Each time I felt a tightening my baby's heart rate dropped.

I had done enough reading to know what this meant.  It meant that inducing labor could be too stressful for the baby. The midwife left the room to call my OB.  I didn't need her to explain anymore to me.  At that point I knew I would be having a C-section.

It all happened so fast.  My OB was on scene within 10 minutes then I was whisked to the operating room and was having a spinal block administered.  A sheet was draped across my chest and the surgery began.

So tiny in daddy's arms
It was weird - being aware and alert of what was happening but not feeling anything.  I could hear the doctors and nurses talking, I could feel tugging and pushing on my abdomen.  Then the sheet was lowered and the doctor lifted my daughter up so I could see her.  She was crying and the first thing I noticed was all the hair she had on her head!  (Just like how her momma was born!)

The midwife took her, weighed and measured her (7lbs 7oz and 18.5in), swaddled her up then held her up to my face so I could look at her.  And I sobbed!  I cried because I was so happy and so in love with her.  I kept saying, "She's so beautiful!" and "Oh my gosh she has so much hair!".

Then my girl was off to the nursery with my husband while I was put back together and stitched up.

A common occurrence with babies of diabetic mothers is that their blood sugar is low when they are born.  This is because  (no matter how hard we try) diabetes is a tough disease to manage and our blood sugars aren't perfect 24/7.  So our elevated blood glucose goes through the placenta causing the baby to produce extra insulin.  When the baby is born that high source of glucose is gone but their little pancreas is still producing extra insulin so they are at risk for hypoglycemia.

When they tested my little gal's blood sugar in the nursery the meter just read "low", meaning her BG was to low to register a numerical value!  They had to give her a feeding tube to pump her full of formula to raise her BG.  Poor little gal!  All this was happening while I was still in the operating room getting stitched up.

By the time I was ready and my girl's BG stabilized it was almost 2 hours before I was able to hold her.  I was so happy to finally get to hold her and have her close to me.  To see her and touch her and know that she was healthy.

In the end it didn't matter how my girl was born - natural, c-section, in a cave, in a taxi.  I was filled with so much love and happiness at the sight of her.  She is a part of this world now, healthy and thriving, and it doesn't matter how she got here.

08 January 2013

Miss Me?

Me and my little gal one day after she was born
Wow!  My last post was way back in the middle of September.  Where have I been?  What have I been up to the past three months?


I had a baby.

And that pretty much sums up my life for the past three months.

On October 14th 2012 I welcomed my daughter into this world.  She is three months old now.  My life since then has been filled with caring for her - nurturing her, watching her grow and being in awe of this perfect little person.

There is also the diabetes.  That is always there.  But it has taken a backseat in my life.  And I'm ok with that.  After years of it being the forefront of my life and a source of angst and frustration I'm lightening up a bit.  It feels good to not have diabetes at the center of my life.  I have a daughter to look after now.

18 September 2012

Pregnancy with Diabetes - My Reality Check

For 34 weeks I've been growing and nurturing a little baby inside me.  It still amazes me to see this little person on the ultrasound and feel her moving and kicking and rolling around.  Nature and biology have come together so perfectly to develop this little person - my body doing what its meant to do - sending signals, shifting hormones, and shuttling nutrients to this new part of me.  Its doing all of this on its own.

And its just happening.  Naturally.  And I feel like this is a normal pregnancy.

But its not.  Its a diabetic pregnancy.  And because of that little d-word the risks of the abnormal are multiplied.   And because of what can happen in a poorly managed diabetic pregnancy - intrauterine death, placental dysfunction, macrosomia, pre-ecclampsia, (insert your own adverse pregnancy outcome here) - nature won't be allowed to completely take its course.  I won't spend the last few weeks drumming my fingers, nesting, and waiting for the signs when labor begins to head to the hospital.  Instead my baby will be closely monitored and my labor will be induced earlier than my due date.

All of this is just in case.  Just in case weeks and months of normal tests and normal blood sugars and normal growth and completely normal pregnancy somehow might take a turn for the worse.  In the eyes of the medical community a diabetic pregnancy is a high risk pregnancy and interventions are the standard of care.

But I don't feel high risk.  My pregnancy has not been a poorly managed diabetic pregnancy - my blood sugars have been normal and in the words of my OB the pregnancy and baby's development has been completely average - with average being exactly what we want.  Everything has been normal.

It seems like my risk of adverse outcomes and complications should be lower at this point.  Yet my diabetic pregnancy will be treated like its been poorly controlled.  I feel sad and disappointed that in spite of maintaining as normal a pregnancy as posible I'm still considered high risk even though all indications point to a normal, complication-free pregnancy.  

I had a hard time accepting that my pregnancy would go down this path.  And I shed some tears over the natural birth experience that diabetes has taken away from me.  In my mind I felt that my baby should be born when she is ready, not at some pre-determined date (I didn't even really put much stock in my so-called due date).  Mother nature has been doing this for millions of years and I wanted to put my faith in her to know the right time for my baby to born.

At the same time I want the safest delivery for my baby.  I have complete faith and trust in my OB to do what is right for my baby and my diabetes.  My delivery will be in the hands of Western medicine.  Stories like this help reassure me that everything will be ok.