Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let Me Eat Cake - or Not

I guess this blog has taken many forms over the past couple of years -sometimes just a "hey look what we're up to" and other times more of a "baby book" and then occasionally a place for me to just type stuff. Well I'll caution that this will probably end up being one of those latter, more self-indulgent type posts. But I kind of need it.

It's been a busy couple of weeks. When Discovery finally launched last Sunday things were finally set in motion for my trip to Houston to support the mission. I had been of mixed feelings about it. I really wanted to get down there for this one - STS-119 is our last major assembly mission and posed some interesting control challenges during the installation of the S6 solar arrays. So I wanted to be there to be a part of that and also to see my team one last time before I disappeared from work again for another 6 months on maternity leave. On the other hand - flying while 30 weeks pregnant is a little nerve-wracking and a bit cumbersome. In the end I'm glad I got to go, but I'll spare you all the details of my time there.

Before I left I had to make it to the hospital to do another 3 hr glucose test. I may have mentioned before that being on prednisone for my MG this time put me at a higher risk for gestational diabetes. Because of that, my doctor did my 1 hour glucose test at 15 weeks. I failed that, but then passed the three hour test a week or so later. Well by 30 weeks they were ready to test me again. This time we went straight to the 3 hr - do not pass go, do not collect $100. For those of you who haven't had this test - it's annoying. They stick you once, you drink the sweet drink and then you sit in the waiting room for the next three hours, reporting each hour for another blood draw. It's long and boring and by the end you're tired of having needles jabbed in your arm. In order to get it done I had to send Lily to day care on my day off. We missed our art class and I was really sad about that.

On Tuesday I flew to Houston and spent most of the day in mission control for Discovery's docking with ISS. On Wednesday I managed to find time to call the doctor to get my test results. Not so lucky this time - I failed the 3 hr test and am official diagnosed with GD. I was then left to my own devices to try to figure out what a GD diet might consist of and how to follow one while on the road in Houston. Let's just say that I don't think the sips of strawberry margarita I bummed off my boss or the cherry cheesecake in first class on the flight home would have been approved. I did force myself out of my La Quinta and away from the all-carbs, continental breakfast each morning, however.

I got back home on Friday and had my appointment with the GD dietitian today. It was overwhelming. I feel - ugh - overwhelmed. I came home with a little device to stick myself in the finger and draw blood 4x/day to test my glucose levels. There are strips and needles and monitors involved.

The good news is that the diet will probably be a little easier than I thought. Turns out I haven't been eating ENOUGH carbs the past 3 days and that's not good either (showed up in the ketones test). I'm still mourning the loss of my nightly bowl of ice cream, but it's only 9 more weeks - I can do this. Gone is my breakfast of cereal and fruit and OJ. But I can still have a little cereal as long as I eat an egg or some yogurt along with it. Maybe the diet part is kind of a good thing. It might be an opportunity to finally shake my soda habit once and for all and break the silly McD's once/week thing.

The bad news is that I just feel - ugh I dunno - like enough is enough. I'm tired of having to add all these little steps to my life because my body isn't functioning quite right. I'm frustrated that this GD diagnosis is most likely due to the fact that I switched from Imuran to Prednisone for this pregnancy. Childishly I just want it to all go away. I was okay with the whole thing until today, at the doctors, when the super nice nurse was showing me how the blood tester works and explaining that I'll need to keep it on my person at all times. And how I should stick a different finger each time (FOUR times a day!) - and be sure to call in and report the numbers! Somehow all these things to keep track of, these extra balls to keep in the air felt much much worse than the diet idea had just a couple of days ago. I held myself together until I was sitting in the car with Gordon on the phone. I said something about dropping off the prescription for the needles and just burst into tears.

But you know - it's only nine weeks - and it's for baby Koi - so it'll be okay. With any luck the sugar issues will go away when the baby is born. Right now I'm just hoping that changing my diet is enough. I'd really like to avoid adding any more medication to my daily regime. So keep your fingers crossed for me! When Lily was born, Dory brought me some yummy Blue Fin sushi to eat in my hosptial room. I think this time I'm going to request a big old pile of J.P. Licks ice cream!

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