finger Last Friday, one of the nurses from my OB/GYN called to let me know I had failed my 3 hour glucose tolerance test and that I have Gestational Diabetes. To say I was shocked is an understatement. I listened to her succinct directions calmly, but as soon as I hung up my phone, the tears streamed readily. What had I done wrong? What would happen to Bub? I felt such guilt that I had failed yet another of my children. I immediately looked online for answers (in my experience, never the greatest course of action when emotional); the American Diabetes Association website mentioned GD increases the risk of stillbirth. That’s when I really lost it. Completely and utterly. Have I mentioned the guilt? Luckily, between Chris, my dad, and mom, who relentlessly read loads of research on Gestational Diabetes while I was sobbing, the risks and worries I was so afraid of were more for untreated or undiagnosed GD cases. This was a huge relief! As for the guilt, as one PAL mama pointed out to me, I didn’t get GD on purpose, so why all the guilt? I am so thankful for all the encouragement I received within a couple hours of that phone call.

After calming down, and getting some reassurance from Chris that we would do whatever it takes to get the condition under control ASAP, I began to look at ways to immediately alter my diet. Within an hour of the original call, I also had an appointment with the nutritionist on base for first thing Monday morning (I’d have gone in that very minute if they’d have been able to squeeze me in). Friday evening, and all weekend, I did my best to follow some of the suggestions to alter my diet that were clear and easy to follow.

Yesterday morning, I met with the nutritionist and learned I had most likely been eating too little, in addition to consuming the wrong combination of foods. For instance, I love fresh fruit. Unfortunately, fruit alone can cause your blood sugar to spike. I am now combining it with a protein source (such as 22 raw, unsalted almonds) for a healthy snack. Who knew a whole banana was crazy packed with sugar? I left that one hour appointment with a new understanding of how I could still eat many of the foods I had been eating; it is just important for me to balance certain things the right way. And to think I had been eating too little! With my height and weight in mind, I was given an allotment of 45 grams of carbs for breakfast, 55 for lunch, and 60 for dinner with 3 snack allotments throughout the day of 30 grams of carbs each.

Additionally, after meeting with the nutritionist, I had an appointment with an RN who specializes in diabetes education. She gave me lessons on using my new gadget–a glucometer. I am to track my glucose levels 3 times a day; once when I wake up before any food or drink, once after my biggest meal, and once before bed. I was initially nervous to do so remembering other blood tests in which a finger prick meant a slice on my fingertip and soreness for a couple of days. Not so with this crafty little device! The worst part is the clicking sound it makes; were it not for that aspect, I’d never even know my finger had been poked.

I have to look at this curveball as just another part of our journey, one filled with hope, love, and support from family and friends. Instead of my initial doomed feelings, I’m going to choose to look at it as a way to improve my health and nutrition in the end benefiting my entire family. As long as Bub is healthy, I’ll poke my finger 20 times a day! Speaking of that…I have one last test before bed…

What curveballs have you faced in your PAL? How have you empowered yourself to handle these obstacles? I’d love to hear your stories!

 

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