As in my sweet little self…Did I ever mention that I am a diabetic type 2? Well there it is. And I’ve been one for about 6 years now. I was diagnosed when I was 24 and have been living/dealing with it ever since.
I bring it up now for a couple of reasons.. The most important is that I’ve finally taken charge and have decided to really take the reins. It’s funny how life planning makes you aware of things you might never have cared about until you had to think of someone else besides yourself. And that’s the hint.
My husband and I got married last year after being together for 10 years!!! I know, we were practically common law but that’s the road we took and I don’t regret it.
Like I said, I was diagnosed about 6 years ago, right around the time my own mother passed away with complications of the same disease. All this family and marriage stuff got me thinking, and well, I want to be around for awhile. I thought a lot about my mother these past few years and having gotten married, I started thinking about what having a family really meant to me. It meant the world.
My husband and I were ready. Starting a family was, without a doubt, the biggest gift we could give each other, not to mention the fact that my husband was convinced he would spawn his own super villain group. Case in point—our children must have super villain related names, says my husband.
So anyway, with some planning under our belt, my husband and I decided to really start taking an active role in our own lives when it came to health. For about 4 months now we’ve started the walking every other day thing and the eating healthier thing. And from someone who never used to worry about that kind of stuff, it’s become something I’m completely obsessed with.
The first act of this “Re-awakening”-a name I’ve chosen for this chapter of my life because it both sounds kitschy and I used to RPG the Vampire the Masquerade game….but I digress. Back to the first act: I basically decided to see my internist back in June and really and I mean really started listening to what he had to say. My doctor said that if my husband and I were really going to be serious in having children than I was going to have to take better care about of sugar intake.
I’ve been on oral medications to regulate my levels but not really paying attention to all the food I was eating. Or at least close attention to what I was eating. Part of this was due to being focused on work and distracted with stress related to my living situation (a story for another day). In any case, even though I wasn’t eating an insane amount of ice cream or chocolate bon bon’s, I still needed to regulate all kinds of things.
So the new plan included checking my sugar levels 7 times a day, before and after a meal, walking and exercising daily, and seeing a bunch of doctors before I could even think of trying to conceive or TTC. I started reading Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-existing Diabetes, which has been a lifesaver and super informative, and I recommend to any diabetic woman considering pregnancy. I found that there wasn’t a lot of literature about being type 2 and getting pregnant, that there was more literature on being type 1 or getting gestational diabetes, issues not exactly the same as type 2 conditions.
One of the first important issues I was told to watch out for was getting my A1c to a safe level, which is below 6%. A1c is the test I get every 3 months to test for the level of glycated hemoglobin in the blood or what MayoClinic explains as:
The A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control. And if you have previously diagnosed diabetes, the higher the A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications.
As of June, my A1c was a wopping 9%-poor! But as of July, it’s gone done to an 8%-still high but at least I was on the right track. It’s my hope that by September, I’ll be at a safe 6% or lower. I, and this is a first, have actual faith that this will happen. Why, you say? Because it’s just not about me anymore.
I’ve been reading about the dangers of a high A1c when pregnant and complications include all kinds of birth defects. So when you consider all the possible issues a normal pregnant woman could have without being diabetic, than why wouldn’t you try to control something you can? That’s where I am. I want to be in the best health before I can even think of TTC. My internist suggested I see a high risk OB. So I did.
I actually saw my cousin’s OB who then recommended an additional OB and that additional OB recommended that I see an endocrinologist and a second internist. (phew)
So I have a full suite of doctors attending me. I should feel so lucky! And in a way, a very, “Wow, I’m seeing so many doctors who care about me”, type of way, I am. I won’t know what the Endo thinks until late August, as he’s on vacation until then. But I have faith that though I may not be in perfect health at the moment, I will be.