Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Learning curve

"When Zoë come?" Benjamin asked this evening.

"In a couple of months," I answered.

"Maybe open your tummy door and just get Zoë here, Mom," Benjamin suggested. "That'd be great! That's a great idea! Just open tummy, get Zoë out!"

He's a little excited to meet this mystery person, as we all are. I've reached the point of my pregnancy where it's offensive when people don't notice I'm pregnant. We had the missionaries over for dinner and for dessert we fed them a box of lemon cookies that Andrew had picked up for me pre-diabetes. The plan was actually to have strawberries for dessert. Andrew cut them all up and didn't even add any sugar (just for me)...and then he upset the bowl when he was getting it out of the fridge and the strawberries went all over the kitchen floor. Boxed cookies was our spur-of-the-moment backup plan.

"Hey—that expires on my due date!" I protested jokingly. "I could potentially eat those!"


But apparently the missionaries didn't hear that because later when Andrew mentioned that he's a grad student and that I stay home with "our 3.5 kids" the missionaries were flabbergasted.

"Wait? Three-and-a-half?" one asked. "I didn't know you were expecting! When's your due date? Wow! That's coming up soon!"

"Yeah," I said, standing up and holding my stomach. "This isn't usually how I look."

Not that they should be looking but you'd think they might have noticed I've begun to look like I swallowed a watermelon. I mean, when we showed up to church last Sunday (late) we ran into my friend Annie's family (also late). Annie recently had a baby and she actually burst out laughing as she took in my belly.

"Look at you!" she laughed.

I'm still not exactly sure how I was supposed to take that. Knowing Annie, it was a good laugh but part of me wonders if my skirt was tucked into my underwear or something like that (it must have been a good laugh; Annie would have told me if my skirt was tucked, I'm sure).

I guess I'm not too offended when people don't realize I'm expecting because it means I can't be as big as I feel, but at the same time I'm feeling pretty large so it's almost validating when people notice the baby belly (because there's another human being in there). I suppose overall it's safer for people to assume this is just how I look rather than guess about a baby...

Besides, I was a slightly-too-large Duke Women's Basketball shirt that Andrew picked up from a friend in his program who'd attended a game where they were just handing out free shirts left and right—so this guy picked up enough shirts for everyone and their dog. (When Benjamin saw me wearing a Duke shirt he decided he needed to wear his "gook" shirt as well, but we couldn't find it and he was devastated).

Today was filled with trying to figure out diabetes again. It's been more frustrating than I thought to get to this point.

When I was diagnosed with Benjamin, I was handed supplies literally seconds after failing the test. I knew immediately that I had failed, I was immediately ushered into a room with a nurse who showed me how to work the lancing device and monitor, I was given haphazard instructions from my doctor about "balancing meals and snacks with protein" and "trial and error" and stuff like that. I walked out with a prescription for more supplies. My insurance covered 100% of everything. And then three weeks into my diagnosis, when we were still in the trial and error stage, Benjamin was born.

This time? Oh...the headache.

I'm pretty sure it's already been two weeks since I had my three-hour test, right? In Benjamin's world there's only one more week until he's born. And we're just getting started here—today was my first day checking my blood sugar levels!

When I met with my doctor last Thursday she said I needed to go to a class but that I should get my supplies so I could have some baseline numbers for the class. On my printout from my visit a prescription for my supplies was listed, so I went to the pharmacy and they had...nothing. So I called my doctor to see if I could get that rectified and instead some nurse called back to say that I couldn't have my prescription filled until I attended the class.

That's what I did for two hours on Tuesday afternoon. The nurse at the class gave everyone a "free" monitor and instructions to call our doctor and give them the information for our monitor so we could get a prescription for the test strips and so forth. Even she seemed surprised that no one had been measuring their glucose levels yet, but no one had.

So I got home and called to tell my doctor's office what monitor I had and what test strips I needed to go along with it.

Soon after I got a call from the pharmacy saying that my doctor needed to pre-approve diabetic supplies with my insurance. So I told them that it'd be great if that happened. They faxed my doctors the information.

Today I got a call from my doctor's office saying that the monitor I got at the class isn't covered by my insurance and that I need one by Abbott.

"Great!" I said. "I have one of those monitors from my last pregnancy and I know it's here somewhere but I haven't found it yet. I did find the box for it but all that was inside was my leftover lancets. Let me look for the monitor a little longer and call you back."

So I looked and looked and looked and basically tore our closet apart and eventually found my little pouch with the monitor inside. Triumphant, I called the doctor's office back to tell them the style of my kit and they called in my prescription for test strips. But Andrew had the van, so I didn't go pick them up until after I got the kids in bed (fortunately the monitor I got at the class came with enough sample test strips that I was in fine shape for today).

I got all the kids in bed and rushed to the pharmacy before it closed.

"That'll be $30," she says.

"Is that with both my insurances applied?" I asked (because I'm insured not once but twice).

"It is," she assured me.

Good thing I'm only diabetic for the next 68 days (but who's counting) because I have to fill this prescription every 25 days. And good thing I have insurance because...what the $138 for 100 test strips?!

I looked at some Wal-Mart brand strips that are much cheaper but they don't fit with either of my monitors, which means I'd have to buy a new one. The monitors are surprisingly inexpensive (all brands are, really) but this particular brand had mixed reviews (as in 50% 5-star and 50% 1-star) so we figured we'd just eat the cost and stick with the more reliable monitor since testing is such a pain anyway and I hate when my numbers aren't right.

This morning two hours after breakfast I was at 120 mg/dL and it made me sad because that's about the highest I'm supposed to ever go. But my fasting number was good this morning and my numbers after lunch and dinner were good, too.

Mostly I just hate measuring servings of food and timing my meals. I feel as trapped as if I'm feeding a newborn (but I'm not; I'm feeding me). I eat (20-30 minutes depending on how fast I can get the kids to eat) and then I take the kids on a walk (15-20 minutes, because my numbers won't be good unless I do) and by that time I only have about an hour before I have to test my blood sugar. And then after that I have only an hour (max) before I have to eat again because I'm not supposed to go longer than three hours without eating, but also I have to not eat for two hours so I can test my blood sugar, but also I'm supposed to snack before meals, but not too close to meals.

And it just gets complicated. Like, how am I going to get the kids settled so that I can take a nap before my alarm goes off to remind me to measure my blood sugar so I can eat again?

This afternoon I didn't get around to my snack until around 4:15 because the kids were being crazy. But then the missionaries (finally) returned our call to tell us they'd be over for dinner at 5:30. And then I was panicking because...was my snack too close to my meal? And then I'd precounted strawberries as one of my allowed carbs so I didn't eat much pizza (because pizza—need I say more?) but then Andrew dropped the strawberries and suggested cookies instead and I didn't want to sit there and figure out how that would all work with my meal plan so I waited until the missionaries left and then ate the few strawberries that managed to stay in the bowl (which was about the amount I needed to count for my missing carb).

In short: this can be hair-pulling infuriating at times. I'm sure I'll fall into some sort of groove sooner or later and I'll learn what things push my numbers too high and what things don't.

Tomorrow I'll go in for another 17P shot, but it'll be my 30 week shot, which means I'm almost finished with those!

Andrew's currently dying of allergies. He got a bloody nose last night—in his sleep—which is how I know it's allergies even though he still thinks he's getting sick (and maybe it's both, but it's definitely allergies). Fortunately he's lucid enough when he sleeps that he does stuff even if he doesn't remember doing it. He was a bit in a panic this morning when he woke up with bloody hands, but he managed to not get blood all over the sheets, so that was good. He'd grabbed a bunch of tissues and held them on his face and then left them on the night stand.

Benjamin found them when he came in to check on me during my nap (when my alarm went off, because he's a sweet boy).

"Ew! Ew! Gross!" he said. "Who pooped in that kleenex?!"

"Oh, that?" I said, glancing over at Andrew's side of the bed (I hadn't even noticed yet). "Daddy got a bloody nose last night, so that's blood on the kleenex, not poop."

"Oh. Daddy's blood sugar got everywhere!" Benjamin observed. There were several bloody kleenexes. It was rather morbid.

"That's not really his blood sugar," I said. "It's just his blood."

"Oh, just his blood?" Benjamin echoed.

"Yeah," I said.

(And Miriam tested her blood sugar along with me today by poking her finger with a barrette and pretending to squeeze a drop of blood out. It's been one day, kids. How obsessed are they going to get over the course of two months?)

I don't really have to worry about allergies in the spring, which is great because I can just enjoy the spring. Except that I'm pregnant. And what is with those ornamental pear trees?! Why are they so popular?! And why do they smell so bad?!

They don't smell good at the best of times but when I'm pregnant those trees are gag-worthy. I can't stand them. And they are everywhere.

I walk outside and think to myself, "Ew. What died?!" And then I remember that our neighbour has an ornamental pear tree in their front yard and I say to myself, "Oh, nothing died. It's just spring."

Did their tree bother me last year? No. Did their tree bother me the year before? Nope. But this year I'm ready to go chainsaw happy on the putrid thing.

My only consolation is that ornamental pear trees are not nearly as popular here as they are in Utah, where it seems they grow row up on row, lining every sidewalk, dotting every lawn. Here not everyone has one, and that's nice. I imagine it's because things are more willing to grow here—so why plant a tree that smells like something died when you can plant something just as pretty and get it to grow just as well?

Anyway, I talked to Andrew about getting allergy shots because he's just so miserable (and getting bloody noses throughout the day and night isn't fabulous as far as things go) but he said, "No way! That involves shots!"

And I was like, "Dude. Don't even talk to me. I'm going to go stab myself in the finger now. On purpose. Yet again."

Shots aren't that bad (I say flippantly...the day before my appointment with the loathed Fiery Butt Dart (which I'll probably complain about tomorrow)).

2 comments:

  1. Poor you! Eating as a diabetic is no picnic, that's for sure! (And I would have picked up the strawberries and washed them and eaten them! I am glad you got some.)

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  2. I agree that Bradford pear trees stink! That's cute about Benjamin saying daddy's "blood sugar" was in the kleenex, and that Miriam was checking her sugar level, too!

    Sorry you are so miserable all the time.

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