Monday, September 21, 2009

I Got the Diabeetus

I couldn't find the original video of when Wilford Brimley was "on" the Colbert Report, but this original PSA is still unintentionally hilarious. "I've slipped up. I've eaten ice cream and apple pie and I've done things I shouldn't do" sends the imagination racing, dunnit?

It's true. I had a score of 190 on my glucose screen (10 points from an instant gestational diabetes diagnosis), and although I scored a point or two below the cutoff on each blood test during my oral glucose tolerance test, my midwife wants to err on the side of caution and is calling it. I have my first meeting with a diabetes counselor and nutritionist tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have been inundating myself with a dizzying array of information on GD from the American Diabetes Association, WebMD and on eating a low-glycemic index/glycemic load (GI/GL) diet. I'm pissed that, after years of counting calories, grams of fat and fiber and logging minutes spent on a treadmill in an effort to manage my weight, that during my one chance to go all out, I have to start worrying about having a macrosomic baby.

I'm sorry, but that is just not cute. You might think this is an extreme example, but the grandson of one of my coworkers was 11 POUNDS (the mom had GD). All of the other complications that go with GD don't really scare me (except the injured shoulders, which I think only happens to giant babies). I know it's relatively common (4% of all pregnant women doesn't feel that common to me), and everything usually goes back to normal after the birth, but I don't give a shit. I'm being robbed of my archetypical pregnancy if I can't sit on the couch with a bowl of ice cream balanced on my tummy. No pregnant woman should have to count carbs and avoid desserts. It's cruel.

Getting enough calories when all I can eat is white meat, brown rice and veggies is hard - the first day or two when I started trying to manage my carbs I only got 1500 calories. Diet and exercise are the best ways to manage this, and I'm not kidding myself about that, but I still resent having to do this. To me, it's just one more big fat "No" that I have to hear.

And don't tell me "it's better for the baby! you'll feel great!" in that chipper, non-GD-having voice, because I'm not buying it. You get to eat cake. All I feel right now is desperate. I now spend my free time obsessing about the GL of foods (and trying to stay within 80-100/day), what I can and can't eat, and starting tomorrow I'll have to start test my blood four times a day to prove that I'm not cheating. Last week, on my way to the gym after work, I smelled cinnamon rolls and started crying.

I know I'm probably making this much worse for myself than necessary, and I should probably just wait to hear what the diabetic nutritionist says, but the "information" they sent me looks like it was written for a fucking fifth grader and suggests such snacks as "popcorn and meat". It's going to take all of my remaining strength to stop from rolling my eyes and saying "Don't talk to me like I'm a retard" to the diabetes counselor.

By the way, agave nectar is not as sweet as people say, even if it does have a GI of only 27.


  1. Oh honey, I'm sorry. Diabetes runs in my family so I'm familiar with the pain. I found it helpful to get experimental with spices to make food interesting even when the palate is limited, so hopefully that might help things be more appetizing to you. And maybe play around with different types of exercise (like yoga especially is good to prepare your body for childbirth, plus it has all kinds of other benefits for the body systems).
    I hope things turn for the better soon. Best wishes of health to you and your baby.

  2. That fucking sucks! It's bad enough that you can't drink, now *this*.

    Like you said though, it should be temporary. We never see probably 99% of our GD customers again, after they have the baby.

  3. Aww. Sorry you're going through this. All I can say is, "this too shall pass". I'm laughing though at the idea of a snack of "popcorn and meat". I sort of like that idea.

  4. It will probably pass right after the baby! and at least you found out now in the last trimester? Right? Oy. A girlfriend of mine had GD and was fine right afterwards and did not give birth to a ginormous baby, but she did find Greek yogurt, a club which I welcomed her to with open arms.

    Wishing you good thoughts.

  5. I had a borderline result on my first glucose tolerance test and I switched to a low GI diet until I got a repeat test. I was calling the Dr's office every hour until I got my results because I wanted a bowl of Froot Loops so bad!

  6. You poor girl. You're right about diet and exercise; there are only two ways to get GD, really. Either you are fat to begin with (clearly you are not) or you have a familial history of being predisposed to it. Other cases are EXTREMELY rare.
    So somewhere in your family tree is the woman who is responsible for you not being able to eat Cap'n Crunch or whatever. I feel very, very bad for your cinnamon roll situation. You can eat them as much as you want when you shoot out the baby, though. Retroactive pregnancy diet. Because GD won't continue after birth in a healthy-weight woman.

  7. I almost had to deal with that, but it turned out that my glucose test failure was due to eating at Panda Express the night before. Apparently sweet things from up to 3 days before can affect you the day of the test. I knew I was failing too because when I leaned my head against the wall in the waiting room it (my head) bounced. I was very lucky in that I mentioned the orange chicken to the tech taking the final draw and she explained about the 3-day thing, so though I had to take the second test (the one you fast for) I knew to eat right and passed just fine.

    Here's hoping your nutritionist is not an ice cream Nazi. :-)

  8. I had GD when I was pregnant too, and yes, it did suck! It was easily controlled with diet and exercise, though (and I wasn't even that good about the diet part). I used to make a dessert by blending ricotta cheese with sugar free Swiss Miss. It was chocolatey, creamy and really pretty tasty.