This is an edited version of a post from my blog written in 2009.
I had gestational diabetes with all five of my children, born in 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, and 2004. As a result, I’ve been researching diabetes as it relates to me for over 20 years. During my second pregnancy, I found out the test for gestational diabetes was actually a screening test to see who would become Type 2 later on in life. It wasn’t until after that they realized that women with elevated glucose levels during pregnancy had certain complications. Large babies with underdeveloped organs is the one that stands out the most in my mind. Knowing that my odds of becoming diabetic because of having gestational diabetes *five* times were high, plus having a family history (my mom is diabetic as was her father), I knew that it was almost certain that I would become diabetic. I accepted that, but tried to hold off the inevitable as long as possible.
Although I was never really into exercise, I was never overly overweight. Yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds, but I didn’t look like the diabetes poster adult. In late March 2008, I went to the doctor with knee pain. He wanted to run some blood work, including an arthritis panel. Since my appointment was early and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet, I asked him to all do a fasting blood test and
A1c. Three days later, my doctor’s nurse called me to tell me that I had Type 2 diabetes. My fasting glucose was 129 and my A1c was 6.9, not dangerously high but high enough for the diagnosis. Typically a diagnosis is made after two fasting tests of 125 or higher, but given my personal and family history my doctor and I didn’t feel the need for a second test.
Luckily (or not), because of my previous experience with diabetes, I felt like didn’t go through a lot of the normal emotions that most diabetics go through when they first get diagnosed. I knew it was coming. I was just hoping to wait a few decades. There are days that I just would like to say, “Ok, I’m tired of this diabetes thing. Where do I go to send it back?” Unfortunately, as we stand now, there’s no cure. Once you have diabetes, there’s no giving it back. It’s yours to keep forever and ever.
That is totally not fair! Last year I got a new pair of shorts that were too big. I could take those back! We opened a package of hamburger one night that smelled bad. I got to take that back! Why can’t I take this diabetes back?
So what can I do? I can help raise money and become an advocate so that maybe they’ll find a cure in my lifetime and I can give back my diabetes. Maybe I’ll have the peace of mind knowing my children won’t have to test their blood sugar, watch carbs, or avoid eating a whole bag of M&Ms in one sitting when the mood strikes them. I don’t know if it will happen, but all I can do is try!