In the previous post, I had spoken about the lessons I learned as I navigated my way through gestational diabetes. Today, I’m going to talk about the tools I used (and was given to me) to manage it.
The Meal Plan
Like I said in my previous post, meal planning was the highlight of this journey. I believe I got very lucky with my provider. My nurse truly took the time to learn what I eat regularly, my preferences and indulgences, and constructed my meals according to it. Because of that, it was easy to follow and adhere to.
Another thing that helped tons is My Plate. For the days when my food options are limited, My Plate presented a plethora of substitutes for my meal requirement of the day. It’s also available online, but my old soul really loved the booklet my nurse provided.
This is covered by my insurance, thanks to my OB’s prescription. Surprisingly, my nurse also provided me with one, so I had one reader for the house and another in the bag I would bring whenever we would go out.
There are a lot of options out there but my insurance only covered AccuChek. I ended up getting the AccuChek Guide. It’s pretty easy to operate and quite compact. It came with a carrying case that can house lancets and strips, as well as alcohol pads.
I downloaded two apps specifically for monitoring my glucose levels: Glucose — Blood Sugar Tracker and See How You Eat. I know AccuChek has their own app, but I liked that one better.
With this glucose tracker, I was able to set reminders when to take my readings. I was also able to generate reports of my numbers that I would send to my nurse every week.
SHYE is to make sure that I am eating right. It was something that my nurse looked forward to because she loved seeing how I plated my meals. Because portions were very much controlled for me, I made sure to make eating a treat. Seeing photos of my food also gave my nurse an idea of what I actually eat, allowing her to adjust my meal plan accordingly, removing my triggers and reducing my sugar spikes.
For both apps, you will have to pay for a premium subscription to keep all your data.
Unfortunately, even with my diet and 30 minutes of daily speed walking, my fasting number wasn’t going down. It was the one number we cannot control through diet and I was referred to another maternal diabetes specialist, who decided to put me on Levemir.
I looooved this pre-filled pen. I mean, it’s not like I was so happy to be put on it; I prefer pricking myself less thank you very much. But push came to shove and it was the best thing for our baby at the time. I would inject this in my belly at night, and it helps bring down my fasting blood sugar significantly.
I’m not as brave as I make myself out to be, and the first few weeks of being on insulin, I was still scared to inject myself. I had The Husband do it, and I can tell he was as nervous as me. The cold pack helped numb the injection site for a bit, but I do have to emphasize that the needle is very short and thin. After a while, I didn’t need the ice pack anymore, but it was nice to have it handy for the nights when I feel extra sensitive.
More Scans and Tests
Because of the insulin, my entire healthcare team has put me on close monitoring. I would report once a week for an ultrasound to check the baby’s growth (if he’s growing too fast, I will have to be induced to deliver early), and some days I would go straight to a non-stress test for the baby. I would also go in every couple of weeks for a biophysical profile. Then another visit to the OB to check on my well-being. I must have seen a doctor/nurse at least 3 times a week.
When I said in my previous post that I felt so safe, I was not kidding. Every step of the way, I was monitored (and well poked and prodded within reason), making sure that the baby and I are safe and within the normal limits. Because of this, they were able to catch my amniotic fluid levels on time, leading up to the delivery…
Which is another story for another time :)
How about you? How did you manage your GD?