Tag Archives: diabetes

Holding on to positivity

Wow it’s been some time since I last updated, though I have been nothing but free. I guess it’s the anxiety that I was facing within myself.

The last time I wrote, we had just receieved our first beta. That was 2 weeks ago though it feels like 2 months. A week passed by dreadfully slowly with me second-guessing every movement I felt and basically going mad and the date for the 2nd beta came by – 6 days after the first.

I reached the hospital bright and early at 7 45 am, mainly because I thought that would mean I would receive the results earlier and also as I has resumed work that week and had to go back after the blood test. While taking my blood, the nurse told me that for susbequent betas (I have 4 more including that day’s), I would ONLY receive a call if the levels were off. Meaning, if I do not get a call by 3 30pm, it means all is fine.
I almost screamed out loud!!!! That would put me in level ultimate high anxiety the whole day!!! I gulped and prepared myself for a torturous wait. Luckily, work helped the day move faster and things only got bad from 2pm onwards when every flicker from my phone set me on a panic attack.

Thankfully  3 30 came and went and there was no phone call. But the pessimist in me just needed to make sure so I called them about 4pm to check if everything was indeed okay. The only thing the nurse would tell me over the phone was that my Beta had crossed the 1000 mark and that was what they’re looking for.

BIG SIGH! (Though according to my calculations it should be around the 1700 range)

I walked around the next 2 days trying to be as positive as I could though the worry was getting deeper and deeper. The first scan was coming up and I was freaking out. 

Would the heartbeat be strong?

Would there even be a heartbeat?

Would there even be a fetal pole?

What if it was just an empty sac?

What if it was ectopic?
I was killing myself with my doubts and it did not help that it was already protected time at work so I was basically at home, armed with the dangerous tool called Google to further feed my insecurities.

Finally the day of the scan  – 8 days after my 2nd beta – arrived yesterday and V came to pick me up after taking half a day off from work. We reached SGH around 1 15pm, had my blood taken for my 3rd beta (they would call me by 9am today if something was the matter) and waited for the scan. I sneaked a peek st the papers and saw that my 2nd beta reading was 1910! yay!!
I literally felt like I was going to throw up – and it had nothing to do with the hormones. As I sat there, I was so thankful for V who had been nothing but positive and upbeat enough for the both of us. When it was finally our turn, we both walked into the ultrasound room. As I undressed and lied down, V was told to stand behind the screen (away from me) and that he would be called over after the sonographer had finished. 

This was literally the longest 10 minutes of my life. My sonographer has the worst poker face in the world and kept sighing and looking worried. I was so close to just breaking down on the table when she let out a hugeeeee sigh. I was close to taking the metal equipment and hitting her on the head – JUST TELL ME ALREADY!!

Finalllyyyy she called V over and in the most unexcited voice EVER said 

‘Ok you are pregnant ah. Here is the baby’

OMG!!!!!!!!!! THERE WAS A HEARTBEAT!!! FLICKERING ON THAT SCREEN!!!!!

I burst into tears and the emotionless robot went on about how she can’t tell us anything more than that there is one baby (she kept repeating the term ‘just one ah’ as if it was a bad thing) and that I would have to wait for my appt with Dr Yu (in abt 15 min) to know more.

With a flourish of ‘thank yous’ to the humanoid, we left the room with the beautiful picture and just outside at the corridor, I hugged V so tight and started crying. One of the nurse saw me and immediately came over and hugged me and when I showed her the ultrasound, she was sooo happy for me. Soon a few more nurses came by and they were all hugging me and congratulating me and telling me not to cry and I just felt so warm inside.

This is Why I would recommend SGH Care centre hands-down – though they torture me with their ridiculous beta results protocol. 

They are just so genuine and care for you sincerely and I truly felt so comfortable at Care. It was just like being at home.

Anyway soon it was our turn to see Dr Yu. She was happy for us but practical- we were only 6 weeks past and had to cross the remaining 6 weeks carefully. Baby’s heartbeat waa strong at 110 (YAY!!) and measured around 4mm.

However she reminded me about my diabetes  (damn totally forgot about that) and insisted I follow up with the hospital’s diabetes clinic as the first trimester is crucial for gestational diabetes.

So we spent the next 90 minutes meeting up with my diabetic nurse, learning how to prick myself, setting up 1001 appointments and buying the blood glucose monitor. From this week onwards, I have to prick myself SEVEN times a day, twice a week and email the results to the nurse.

I’m quite worried about this esp since I’ve fallen off the ‘eat healthy’ bandwagon a little due to the stress. I still keep away from sweets but my carb intake has been off the roof. Looks like it’s back to the healty lifestyle for me. Dr Yu mentioned that babies could be abnormal if the blood sugar is not controlled and no way am I going to allow that to happen! 

For now, I am going to enjoy this sense of relief and work hard on the blood sugar part. 15 days till my next scan and although it will be nerve-wrecking, I think it will be easier now that I have something good to hold on to.

xoxo

p.s. It is 1030am on Saturday and no call from the hospital – 3rd beta is clear too! yay! 

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Sugar, Sugar.

As mentioned in my previous post, my life was shaken when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Never did I think I would be facing this so early in life.

Image result for diabetes type 2 symbol

So once I was mentally ready, I went back to SGH and we were discussing our options for my second fresh round when Dr Yu suggested that I go for the comprehensive blood glucose test.

Brief history – As a PCOS-sufferer, I have a high risk of insulin-resistance, when coupled with the fact that my mum had gestational diabetes when she carried me – is the final nail on the coffin. Dr Yu had been bugging me to test for diabetes since 2 years ago and all I managed was the pin-prick test, which showed a borderline result. That meant that I did not have diabetes but was at high risk. She had told me to go for the comprehensive one but I had been pushing it back because it requires me to take a full day of work (when I had already missed so many due to the treatments) and also because I frankly did not want to know. I guess you could say I was in denial of what I knew was inevitable.

So fast forward to the current time. I knew I had nowhere to escape and also, I wanted to do whatever it took to prevent any further miscarriages. So I did it. I went to SGH early one morning after a 10-hour fast and got my blood taken. Then I was told to drink this cup of saccharine sweet solution (basically glucose dissolved in water) which I think I enjoyed a little too much (haha maybe that should be a sign I had diabetes). The cold water helped it and I was paranoid that I would puke it out as the nurse on duty kept reminding me that if I were to puke it out, I had to come back another day to get it all done again – which I definitely DID not want. Thankfully, no puke.

I then had to wait for around 3 hours and get my blood taken after that. I can’t recall what I did to pass the 3 hours but I think it involved reading a book, having breakfast and doing my marking. Finally, I got my blood taken again and was sent off home. Frankly I did not think much as I had convinced myself I was not diabetic. The signs were staring at me in my face – weight gain, increased thirst, dark sports around my neck, blurred vision – but I conveniently pushed them away.

A couple of days later, I was having a meal with my colleagues when I received The Call. Yes, I was diabetic. I needed to go down to collect a letter to bring to the polyclinic for my diabetes consultation. At that moment, it did not sink in yet. I did not know to what extent my life would be changed, just that I had another issue to add on to my already growing list of health issues. I went by the meal in a daze and went to SGH immediately after to collect the letter.

The very next day, I went to the polyclinic for the consultation and I think that was when it hit me. Everyone at the diabetes clinic was..well..old. I was clearly the youngest there by a mile and that shook me a little. The doctor took my blood and I waited a while for the results. My sugar level was at 7.1, and people normally go on medication if it is above 7. However, seeing that I was trying to conceive and am still relatively young, the Dr did not want to give me medication and instead advised me to control it with food and exercise.

I walked home from the polyclinic in a turmoil. I knew I had to make a change – and this time, it as not just to fit into that dress or for a slimmer face or get that annoying aunty to shut up – it was for my life. From that day itself, I made a decision to change my life around. I knew my weaknesses were sweets and carbs (which is basically almost every food worth eating).

I made some drastic changes in my lifestyle which included

  • cutting out rice totally
  • removing all forms of white sugar from my diet including sweets, drinks and desserts
  • exercising at least 2 to 3 times a week

Oh boy, it is TOUGH. 80% of Asian food is rice-based and everything that I LOVE! I had to say bye to briyani, chicken rice, chai peng, zhi char and so much more! I also have a very very sweet tooth so I had to bite my tongue to ensure that I kept to my decision Рwhich was so difficult especially when colleagues and family celebrated birthdays with decadent cakes, meetings were supplied with my favourite nonya snacks and I had to say bye to that refreshing glass of coke and iced green tea.

But this time it was different. I knew that if I did not do what I had to do, it could have serious implications. I have enough diabetics in my family to have seen the ugly head of diabetes, from life-long dependence on medication, amputations and even death. As hard as it was, I stuck to it and used it as a chance to lose some weight before my 2nd cycle. Those around me expressed awe at my determination and said “I wish I could be like you” but no, I wouldn’t wish this illness on ANYONE. I am not being healthy because I want to, but because I have to and that, is a very thin and sad line.

However, the hard work did pay off. I managed to lose about 7kg in 2 months. I was shocked but realised just how much my body was dependant on sugar. People noticed the change and I felt good about it and it compelled me to keep going. Each time I missed eating rice, I went on the weighing scale to remind myself how far I had come. After 3 weeks, the daily cravings were gone and I was more comfortable with my new regime of salads, salmons, chicken breasts, quinoa and lots of green veggies.

2 months into it, I am now about to incorporate rice back into my diet (WHAT?!?) because I don’t want the lack of carbs to affect the embryo. Also, these past 2 months, we have mostly been cooking our own meals to ensure that we eat only what we can and want. However, in the upcoming 2WW, it will be difficult for to cook as I have to be on bed-rest most of the time, so I have asked my mum to help with daily meals and it is quite selfish of me to insist only on low-carb meals which she is not used to cooking. I have decided on brown and red rice with a low glycemic index (GI rate) so as not to affect my new lifestyle too drastically.

Being diagnosed with diabetes was initially similar to a death sentence for me, but now I realise that it was a wake-up call for me to claim my life back. It is a difficult journey but I am determined to milk it for all it’s worth!