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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Thought Strikes.

I don't write about diabetes much here anymore because I have such a ridiculous relationship with it that I don't really feel like it's much worth discussing. I'm pretty terrible about taking charge of it -- basically it all boils down to that I need to get my ass back to my doctor and get a full panel redone (now that I'm not pregnant or nursing ad nauseum) and go from there.

I'm encouraged by the fact that I have been able to lose weight through diet and exercise, something I couldn't do before when I was diagnosed. However, the extreme numbness in my hands and feet (especially feet) is increasing at a steady rate and I feel low more often than not.

I KNOW.

But with money being so tight and knowing that my insurance company doesn't cover test strips anymore, I don't really know what to do. I know investing in my health today will save me money and help me live longer and that not being healthy now will only cost me both in a couple of decades, but that's still really hard to balance when we're struggling to cover all of our bills and put food in everyone's mouths and keep clothes on everyone's backs.

And the times I do check my blood sugar, it's ALWAYS FINE. Near perfect. Yes the argument could be made that I test so infrequently that I'm not catching the highs (though I always feel the lows) but highs are not something I experience. I had one high while pregnant with each kid. That's it. And most of the time my lows are because I pushed myself too far with too little fuel, so they're self-induced.

Anyway.

But it IS something I think about on regular cycles with the kids. Because me being type 2 increases their risk of becoming type 1, and to be honest I don't know if I could take one more health issue on top of everything else.

Something Kerri calls The Thought.

So I worry.

With every insolvable tantrum for Kiedis I worry he's having a low (he was born with a BG of 36, but that's kind of what happens when you don't let Mama eat anything but one meal for 36 hours) and I'm quick to give him snacks pretty much whenever because what if just cycles in my head and since he can't tell me what's wrong that's the gamble I have to take.

And then there's Tova. Big, beautiful, constantly-thirsty Tova.

The girl is obsessed with liquids. Milk mostly, but if there's a drink to be had within ten feet of her she acts like she'll die of dehydration if she doesn't get it. And of course with increased liquid intake you have increased liquid expulsion, so she's now in the same size diapers as her brother because nothing else could contain her bodily functions. For weeks it went on like this, an endless cycle of sippy cups and pants changes that made me worry she was actually over hydrating and how do you tell a one-year-old she can't have anything to drink?

Then The Thought crept in and made camp.

It's hard to tell if a baby's losing weight unless it's at a dangerously rapid pace, and even that is skewed. I did notice her face getting thinner, her rolls not folding quite as deep, her neck visible for the first time behind her dimpled chins. Is she just growing or is  losing weight? How do her clothes fit, are they getting too short or just loose around the waist? It plagued me with every diaper change, every sippy refill.

What if she's diabetic?


So I caved. At her one-year check up I caved in to The Thought and talked with the nurse about my concerns, our family history, the behavior I'd witnessed.

I thought they'd want to draw blood, run an A1C or something equivalent for babies. Hopefully she wouldn't have to fast or drink any glucose gunk. I braced myself for the litany of tests I have previously faced, saddened to have to share that experience with my daughter.

But no, they nurse just went into another room and came back with a meter not unlike my own. I had to hold Tova down while they pricked her, whispering in her ear the whole time It's going to sting but it's just a little prick and I know I know the squeezing part is the worst now you just have to let the lady put that red drop on the stick there and we can be all done, you're such a big brave girl as blood went everywhere, on her, on me, on the nurse, everywhere but the test strip. It took another round of the same thing, except add a very strong, very pissed off baby, to come back with a reading of 86, approximately two hours after her last meal.

Nothing to worry about but worry itself.

She's just growing and teething and really loves her some milk and I, I need to worry more about taking care of my own health than imposing those issues upon my kids.

But I do know that it was right of me to check, that I was following my mothering instincts, even if it turned out to be nothing. Because in the end, don't we always want things like that to turn out to be nothing?

I know I do.