Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Its a scam I tell ya

So I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 33 of pregnancy. I was kinda surprised but went to their diabetes program and met two nurses last week - one who showed me the testing kit and how to use that to prick my finger etc for blood sugar testing 4 times a day and then to a nurse who talked re food.
This is a sample of what the conversations went like
So me- " Can I have a kit that I can test my arm as I type on the laptop for work and with the walker I need to have fingers and thumbs I can use that aren't too sore from testing... (a friend told me to ask for the arm tester as less sore)
nurse - " the blood sugar in your arm isn't as sensitive as your finger so not as accurate"
Seriously... Why cant they just say - this is all the nice insurance people who run the world will pay for.. Why tell me some lie that the blood running down in my arm to that same finger is different...
So Nurse diet lady : " You should have only put on 10 pounds for the whole pregnancy and also you're not eating enough - we have some ketones in your urine so your body is burning off its own fat for baby - so you need to eat more and eat more carbs"
Can anyone spot the problem with that sentence? So I have put on 22 pounds so far that is quite good my Doc says for being 35 weeks preggers. I have mates and family who put on 40-60 pounds. OK they could afford to while I was heavier but I swear most of my weight is in my boobs. Same size but Good Grief they are so much heavier. I feel like I have two cannon balls around my neck. I dread to see what happens when the milk comes in, I'll probably be crawling dragging those boobies on the floor as too heavy to lift upright...
Nurse diet lady: " So you need to eat every 3 hrs and do blood test an hour exactly after the three main meals"
me - " I have been doing OK with the snacks and meals - lot healthier than I was before and now I snack every two hours with a tray beside me near bed (where I work since been put on semi-rest) so I eat something small every 2 hrs (which stops the heartburn as well) and the bigger meals are also then not as big."
Nurse diet lady: " Well you cant do that"
me - "Why - seems good to keep blood sugar level and I eat small portions of things like yogurt, half a piece of fruit, my sugar free Jello etc, My doc is pleased with my little weight gain but healthy intake"
Nurse diet lady :" it will ruin the test results of the blood testing if you eat like that"
So I laughed because its obvious little to do with how I eat or what I should do but what their program is and there you go. She also went on about cooking from scratch. I said you do see the walker don't you. You do realize I cant cook every meal and that's why microwave is my best friend? She seemed shocked that I wasn't Martha Stewart and whisking my own sauces from scratch while knitting myself a cover for the walker....
And I would just put it down to my healthy paranoia of American Health System except EVERY BLOOD SUGAR TEST I have done since last Tuesday, EVERY SINGLE ONE - all 40 odd of them are NORMAL. Every one shows normal blood sugar levels. Fasting, not fasting all all normal!!!
Maybe my diet was already working in keeping it normal - as my friend said could be that only thing that I'm intolerant to is 100grams of pure sugar in a soda for the test.
So far I got another mail shipment of diabetes supplies for my normal blood sugar (as well as bag of them at clinic when I went). I see the crazy folks at Diabetes program Thursday. I'm sure they will think that the normal sugar is something they did. Its bloody not !
I haven't seen Michael Moores movie Sicko yet but sure will ring very true for me. I know I'm really really lucky to have health coverage but I keep thinking that someones scamming with me sending and using all these diabetes supplies. Like when they charge $14 for an aspirin in hospital kinda thing.
Anyway I'm off to prick my thumb which is only digit that seems to bleed easily. I know I'm blessed in that most folks don't get this after pregnancy so I can stop soon but even still - bitch bitch moan moan..
If you prick us do we not bleed... If you tickle us do we not laugh.. If you make us drink 100g of pure glucose does our blood sugar level not go through the roof for two hours and normal there after...


At 3:12 PM, Blogger jazz bird said...

Can you prick the side of your fingertip instead of the pad? I've seen it mentioned in some diabetes groups I joined during my own scare that it seems to be less painful, especially for typing. I don't know if that's applicable to all the testers, but worth a mention.

Sorry you're having to go through this, but hope you're getting some rest and not working yourself to death. That whole "rest" thing they prescribe is for the mind, too :) Get your sleep in while you can!

I miss being there for such a big moment for you :( But you know I'm there in spirit.

At 9:52 PM, Blogger Angoraknitter said...

I'm pretty sure that line about the arm thing is a load of bull. When I worked ICU as a nurse tech they always wanted us to prick on the side of the tips of the finger. It's the part that is still fleshy, but more towards the side and away from the center, and that's suppose to be less painful. But, any source of blood was good enough...so if patient was getting an I.V. or something like that...we could use that blood instead of a finger prick. Once I took care of a lady who was over-reacting to anticoagulants (maybe an overdose I don't remember), but we didn't need to make new pricks. I tested her sugars every four hours over 12 hours and always used the same hole...it just wouldn't clot off. All I had to do was give it a little squeeze and I'd get all the blood I needed.

You're right, the overall picture her is you are not experiencing abnormal blood sugars. The Fasting Glucose test is, by some, considered contraversal. I've refused it for my last two pregnancies. Most midwives don't do them unless the a woman is having abnormal non-fasting sugars.

Best of luck with that.


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