Friday, May 5, 2017

Diabetes, part 2

This is NOT a topic I had wanted to come upon again, yet here we are.

In a post that I linked above, I talked about my unexpected run (hah) with gestational diabetes and how this is something that is now underlined in my medical history.  Last year, I vaguely mentioned that my yearly follow-up test didn't go in the direction I had wanted, but I figured that this was a function of a lack of sleep and its associated effects on my hormone (and carb consumption) level.

Now, I had not been perfect throughout life, leading a high-ish-carb existence as many do.  However, after pregnancy, I got used to eating a modified diet already.  I pretty much quit eating candy because somewhere in my mind had an apprehension of that.  After nursing, I stopped eating oatmeal and fruit in the morning in favor of Greek yogurt, eggs, and protein powders/bars.  In this past year, I've had boba drinks (a cultural staple, ha ha!) maybe twice, and I always get them "half-sweet" or even unsweetened.  My Starbucks orders were 1 pump or sugar-free, and I don't even go nearly as often as before.  I tracked my intake for months as well.   I don't get out as much as before and to top that off, work from home mostly now, so access to baked goods, sweets, and any of my other beloveds went way down.  Physical activity hasn't really ever been a problem because I've prioritized exercise as my "me-time."

So this is kind of how my test results have been over the years:

  • Pre-pregnancy: Unfortunately, was never formally tested, but all worksite biometric screenings (random blood sugar pricks) came out fine.

  • Very beginning of pregnancy: Normal A1C (average blood sugar over a 3-month period) result, which leads me to believe that I did not have blood sugar issues prior to this point.

  • Last third of pregnancy: Majorly failed glucose tolerance test and controlled diet for remainder of pregnancy -- from my glucometer, I did see I had a legitimate issue controlling blood sugar after eating certain foods/amounts.

  • Two months post-partum: No tests done on me until this point -- A1C went up by .1 from initial pregnancy number, 2-hour glucose tolerance test (the "gold standard" test) passed, worksite biometric screening was fine

  • One year post-partum: A1C went up by .1 again, now at "pre-diabetic level," although worksite biometric screening went fine

  • Two years post-partum (present): A1C unchanged

Although there was no change from last year, I considered this present result a blow because I couldn't rationalize it (aka., blame it on lack of sleep) at all.  But I guess rationalizing it doesn't matter.  I could tell myself that A1C tests can be off (by as much as .5), but it doesn't change the fact that I had legitimate issues controlling my blood sugar for a period and have a huge elevated risk of diabetes in my future.  I don't know if it's a matter of "when" instead of "if," but I don't want to go down that route.  I got a taste of life with diabetes and know far too many who deal with it regularly.

I'm back to micro-managing my intake.  I'll track for a while until it becomes habit and take controlled breaks from tracking, but I think I will need to keep breaks to no more than a month just to be sure I don't veer off.  I even started doing random blood glucose checks since I still have my meter and found cheap-ish strips on Amazon.  My doctor would not write a prescription since she said my "prediabetes" (quoted) was minor.  Uhhh.....  One night recently, I decided to eat a measured cup of rice for dinner with nothing else, and... holy post-meal glucose!  That, to me, justified everything I have been doing.  I had lots of issues with rice and beans when I was pregnant, so it was no surprise... though still shocking... to see a number that high.  Another hour later, it did go back down, so it does seem like whatever is going on is abnormal but not so abnormal that a doctor would jump -- though they should!

Just as when I first faced this while pregnant, I was very "woe is me," but after these couple of months, I feel this is an opportunity for me to be healthier and address things like the endless cravings I am used to having.  Back to the whole rationalization thing, I've accepted things and am not overly embarrassed anymore, because whether any of this is my fault or not, the end result is the same -- eating less of the things I shouldn't, anyway.   While I can blame my old eating habits (since I have no family history), I know there are plenty of people who eat worse and have no issues.  But regardless, again, blame won't change anything, so I can only just accept full responsibility for myself from this point on.

Sorry for the wall of text and the TMI.  I think this post is a backdrop for reviews I do here and on YouTube going forward, and maybe there's another in-between person like me who might be able to relate to all of this.  Stay tuned for some follow-up posts about what I've been doing and my progress.  I will be formally tested again in the next couple of months, so let's see what happens.


  1. Ugh, I'm sorry you're dealing with this! (Grrr - 'pre-existing condition'.) This was one of the things that scared me while pregnant - there is some evidence that East/ Southeast Asians are predisposed to gestational diabetes compared to other ethnic groups, plus the higher risk of developing diabetes following pregnancy.

    That said, type 2 diabetes is very manageable and lots of people manage to lead happy and healthy lives with some adjustments. (I LOLed at boba, but if I had to monitor my rice intake...well. GAH. You have my sympathies.) Literally nothing about this is your 'fault' in any way, honestly, so there is nothing to be embarrassed about!

    1. I LOLed a bit (nervously) at "pre-existing" condition.

      I didn't even think of this as being a possibility for some reason, which was part of the shock. I know I got tested at my first prenatal appointment due to the ethnicity risk, but I passed that and didn't think anything more of it until the big failure later.

      Thanks for the encouragement! I think people just have a lot of conceptions regarding how one "gets" diabetes, so even when I hear it's not my fault, I still feel the blame because I had those ideas, too. Also, as more people ask me about this, it's like the first thing they tell me is because I did or didn't do something, or how could this happen because I do or don't do XYZ... which is frustrating.

      I'm going to follow up on a whole post about paradigm shifts, which should be fun to write!

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