Gestational Diabetes and Blood Glucose MonitoringHolly Whitney
Today was my counseling session to learn more about my gestational diabetes diagnosis. It was a two hour appointment in which I met with three different women—the diabetic educator, the dietitian, and the pharmaceutical counselor.
They were all quite lovely and I kind of wanted to hug them when we parted.
The diabetic educator spent nearly an hour with me going of my health history and discussing what it meant to have gestational diabetes. Part of that included a short film on gestational diabetes that reinforced the idea of monitoring my sugar levels, eating right, getting exercise, and taking medications if necessary. It was a little on the cheesy side but did clear up a few questions I had about what causes gestational diabetes and what that means for me and my baby in the long run.
Next up was my meeting with the dietitian. We also spent nearly an hour together but this time we talked about one of my favorite things—food. We discussed what I like to eat on a regular basis and what I should be avoiding over the next 8 weeks while I work to control my blood sugar levels. Then she put together a meal plan of sorts for me listing the types of foods/food groups I should be choosing from and the amount I should be eating throughout the day. One of the things that surprised me the most was that I’m not to eat fruit for breakfast. Apparently that is when blood sugar levels are at there peak and the fruit can make my levels soar if I eat it too early.
I was given a schedule to eat breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and two snacks in the evening since I have a tendency to stay up sort of late. The entire thing seems pretty manageable and not entirely unlike Weight Watchers. Except of course the goal is for me to gain 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound a week rather than lose any weight.
Finally I met with a woman from the pharmacy who came bearing gifts of a glucometer starter kit. I was less than thrilled to see her. Every experience I had with finger pokes to draw blood have been painful. What I learned today though was that there was a reason for this. It isn’t that it necessarily has to be painful but the fact is that the generic lancets the nurses use are a “one size fits all” type to get through even the roughest skin. That coupled with the fact that they tend to poke you on the pad of your finger where all the nerve endings are rather than the side equals pain for folks with daintier fingers.
The glucometer was nothing like that. The needle was about half the thickness of a generic lancet and I could dial in how much penetration was necessary. A quick poke on the side of my finger and it was less painful than the cat scratching me.
In my head I had built the whole experience up to be this terrible thing. The reality of it is that it really isn’t that bad. I don’t even need my husband to help me with the testing process. It is just that easy and painless.
Did you pass your glucose test? If not how are you dealing with the diagnosis of gestational diabetes?