Friday, July 19, 2013

On Why I'm Glad I'm Not An Elephant

Did you know that elephants have a two year gestational period? TWO YEARS!

As I get further along in this pregnancy, and start to get bigger and more uncomfortable, as the doctor's appointments and the constant fiddling with carb ratios, correction ratios and basal rates continue, and as things just start to get annoying and old, I just keep telling myself "At least I'm not an elephant." Seriously, can you imagine trying to figure out basal rates for a pachyderm? Not to mention having to give birth to one? Not my idea of a good time!

So here's what's going on these days:

  • Near Constant Insulin Adjustment- They weren't kidding when they said you'd be adjusting things weekly, if not more often! My basal rates are steadily increasing, and there's always some sort of insulin adjustment that needs fiddling with. Some of it seems super random, too. For example, the other week, I suddenly needed LESS insulin from 12-3am in the morning, because I kept having marathon lows. This seemed so odd, because everyone kept saying I would just constantly need more, which was true for all the other times during the day. But, for that one week, 12-3AM needed an adjustment! This kid . . . so fickle!
  • Insertion Site Problems-So I started having some higher readings. Nothing too awful, but just days where I could NOT get my blood sugar under 100 no matter what I did. And, I finally figured out that my pump insertion sites (the skin/sub-cutaneous tissue where my insulin pump goes in and where the insulin infuses all day long) were starting to go bad on me after about 2 days, instead of my usual 3.  My endo said this is actually quite common in pregnancy, because after insulin resistance kicks in, you just start pumping SO much insulin into one site at a time, that the tissue just kind of gets overloaded and gives out and stops absorbing.  So, I've been having to rotate my sites more often now so they get some more breaks in between use. I'm supposed to try to experiment with using sites in other areas, like the sides of my hips/butt, my thighs, or on my lower back.  This is a problem for me, however, because I don't really have any fat in these areas, and it always hurts to wear my sites there.  Maybe this is TMI, but my back/thighs/bum have always been pretty muscular, and I don't really gain weight there, so there's not really a good "squishy" part to put a pump site in.  And putting a site into muscle not only hurts, but you don't get great absorption either.  So, we'll have to play around with that a bit. But, for now, changing my site out more often seems to be working.
  • Slower Digestion- Did you know that when you're pregnant, your intestines and stomach actually get squished to basically within an inch of their life?! It's pretty crazy. Google it, you will be amazed.  But, that is a big reason why a lot of pregnant women have problems with indigestion or constipation or only being able to eat a small amount of food at a time, because literally everything is squished in there! Well, it turns out that this can also slow down digestion, which has been giving me some trouble with managing my blood sugars. If I eat too big of a meal, it takes FOREVER to digest and my insulin works too fast and I end up going low, and then a little higher later when it all finally does digest. It's annoying, but not too hard to work around, thank goodness! I just try to avoid eating too much at once (which is pretty easy, because it literally hurts to eat a lot at one time anyway!)
  • Eye Problems-I had an appointment with my retinal specialist/ophthalmologist this week, and he noticed some more bleeding and leakage in the blood vessels in my eyes that weren't there before pregnancy. He didn't seem too concerned, and said that this is actually pretty common in Type 1's during pregnancy because of all the increased blood flow in your body that is a result of actually being pregnant.  He said the leaks were pretty minimal, that there's definitely nothing we'll do to treat them now because they're so slight, and that they will most likely clear up on their own after the baby is born.   He is going to follow me more closely, so he took a bunch of pictures of my eye during that appointment, and I'm going back in 6 weeks, and then again after the baby is born to get things checked out. It makes me a little worried, but I've had a few leaks before (20+years of Type 1 will do that, I suppose), and they've always cleared up on their own. Also, he's an awesome doctor, so I trust him, and he hasn't steered me wrong yet.  Seriously, I am SO blessed with doctors here in Columbus! I'm glad we stayed in this city long enough to have our first kid!
  • The Baby-I also had an appointment with my endo & OB this week. My A1C is 5.1, my thyroid levels are perfect for pregnancy, and the baby is growing exactly how she should be, so it is all good news! I'm at 27 weeks now, and will be having another ultrasound at 30. Then, at 32 weeks I'll start going in twice a week to my OB for non-stress tests until the baby arrives.  
And that brings you up to speed! I feel like time is both creeping along and flying by! I have a ton to write about labor & delivery information, too, but this post is already super long, so I'll save that for the next post! Until then!