As some of you know, I was recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes. For the woman whose diet is pretty much all carbs, this diagnosis turned my world upside down. Whether it's my love affair with all things dairy, my favorite vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, beans), my sweet tooth, or the fact that I love breaded meat, my whole diet is pretty much shot. Worse, I have to poke myself 4 times a day. I honestly thought that once the IVF was over, my needle days were done. Apparently not.
Ever since the diagnosis, I have been feeling frustrated and anxious. I saw the doctor today about unrelated matters, and asked her whether I had done something to cause this. She reassured me that my eating habits were not to blame. I didn't do anything wrong. This just happens sometimes. I keep reminding myself of this, but I'm still feeling responsible and internally beating myself up because I feel that I have put my daughter at risk. However, I do recognize that beating myself up about it won't change anything, so while I am working on remembering that this is "just one of those things," I am also working on altering my diet as instructed.
So, yeah, about that diet-altering stuff. I was initially under the impression that this would not be terribly difficult. After all, only 2 of my 4 numbers during the test had been elevated and they weren't that high. I attended a class at the diabetes clinic on eating where they informed me that even though some things had carbs, I did not have to count them in my carb totals. Cashews, for example, were a free food. Carrots and tomatoes could also be eaten as often as I wanted, as could cheese. Anything that had fiber numbers in the carb count I could subtract out. Let's say a slice of bread has 9 carbs, but 2 g of fiber, I could count the bread as 7 carbs in my meal total. Hooray!, I thought to myself. I might be able to manage this after all.
Even so, I knew I had to make sacrifices. I gave up my Oreos and Cheez-its, french fries, and chips. I also gave up my sweet tea(!), soda, lemonade, and anything that wasn't water, V8, or unsweetened, decaf iced tea. Since my carbs were limited, I really wanted to make them count. The only junk food I permitted to remain was ice cream, as I could have a single scoop for my evening snack, as both a treat and a serving of dairy. Win-win!
I knew breakfast would be hard. It was not only my biggest carb meal of the day and now had to be the smallest, but it was pretty much just that--all carbs. I had to throw out everything I usually ate--a bagel, coming in at a whopping 50 carbs, before the cream cheese and jelly (I'm only allowed 45 at most for breakfast); breakfast cereal (all carbs); and orange juice (this is, after all, what is given to those suffering from hypoglycemia). No problem, I meandered through my freezer and located breakfast sandwiches that came in at a lowly 26 carbs. My breakfast range is 30-45, so I was clearly under, but I was determined to see a good number, particularly since I'd only managed 1 good number so far. I was left VERY hungry, as one small breakfast sandwich does not a meal make (I used to eat at least two), but having not been able to go to the store yet had made finding things in the house to eat rather difficult, and eating out was way worse.
So, I had my little sandwich and waited the requisite 2 hours before testing. Got a 119--cutoff is 120. Crap. I ate less than the minimum amount of carbs and was barely in the range. Coming after two consecutive high readings, I was not happy. Still, I was starving and it was time for a snack. I elected to have a V8, coming in at a whopping 15 carbs (snacks are 15-30). Although technically V8 is a "free" food, I elected to go ahead and count it in an effort to keep my numbers in line. Lunch time came. Range for lunch is 45-60. The previous day I had eaten 56 carbs and my lunch number was 100. Feeling pretty good about lunch, I ventured again into the 56 range. Lunch number--134! Crap part deux.
I had Greek yogurt for my next snack (19 carbs) to get some dairy and protein in, but was still feeling peckish, so I dipped into my bowl of cashews--a free food, so this should be fine, right? Wrong! As I am refilling the bowl, the bag informs me that each serving has 9 carbs. Aragh! So, since free foods aren't really carb free, and given that I can barely keep my numbers in line when I'm eating below the low end of the carb range, I'm not sure there's really such a thing as a free food--except maybe water. Harrumph.
It's now dinnertime. With the exception of my broccoli (which, although technically free, does, in fact, have carbs as my Google-Fu has just informed me), I managed to eek out a dinner with dairy, veggies, meat (chicken and fish), and bread that came in at 50 carbs (although I probably have to count it as 59 with the broccoli). Now, I must wait two hours and see what happens. Hopefully, my numbers will be in range, although with the cashew debacle from snack time, who knows what will happen. I will eat my snack tonight and then tomorrow will eat the minimum carb at each meal, making sure to count every carb. I will not count anything as "free" and will not subtract out dietary fiber from the count. I am hopeful that by doing so, I will get my numbers under control. If not, I have the sinking suspicion that I will soon be on insulin. More needles. Oh, joy. To this, I have but one reply. L'Oreal.*
*See previous post for reference.