Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Living with the Beetus

I'll try not to whine too much.

One of the frustrating parts of having gestational diabetes (GD) is that I'm supposed to eat protein with every meal and snack. There are only so many snacks involving peanut butter, cheese, or nuts a girl can take. I'm not a picky eater but one food I don't like (unless it's in cake or even fried rice) is egg. After my GD diagnosis I had four more meals in the hospital. My only request was that they not bring me egg (or, let's be honest, Salisbury Steak), and even then I still received an omelet and an egg salad sandwich. It's as though they don't know how to feed you when you have GD if you don't like eggs.

Salisbury steak? No thanks.
(Note: I've discovered that at the hospital you should ask for the non-advertised Indian menu. It's like getting the kosher meal on a plane. You don't have to actually keep kosher to get it, and it tastes a lot better.)

Fun fact about GD: you can't have milk or fruit for breakfast. So when I was on the phone with the Kaiser nutritionist asking for breakfast suggestions (since I can't have cereal, fruit, or even sugar free jam on toast), and told her I didn't like eggs, she still made two suggestions involving eggs. When I asked for non-egg breakfast ideas (for the love of God!) she suggested fish. For breakfast. To someone who is on bed rest and can't cook. But also: fish?! It's not a good sign when Kaiser's sample GD menu for a day's worth of meals and snacks starts repeating itself (peanut butter and crackers for two different snacks) as though they've run out of ideas. Honestly given my love of carbs, I'd rather be on a low-fat diet. (Yes, I know they're not great for dieting either, but still.) I'm starting to think GD stands for something else...

Even needlepoint Salisbury steak is sad.

In case you have the beetus and you're trying to figure out what to eat, this is what I'm subsisting on snack-wise. It may look like a lot but since I need to get a snack every two hours it gets old quickly. For every snack, I have a little from column A and a little from column B so I get protein.

Column A: Protein
Peanut buttter and crackers
Cheese and crackers
String cheese
Hummus and carrots
Trail mix (as long as there's not too much sugar from the fruit)
Deli caprese salad
El Pollo Loco pinto beans

Column B: Other snacks that won't spike my blood sugar
Whole wheat mini bagels with low fat veggie cream cheese
Bran and shredded wheat biscuit cereal
Kashi puff cereal (tasteless)
Whole wheat toast with sugar free jam
Whole wheat waffles with frozen (defrosted) blueberries
Non-fat plain yogurt with fresh fruit
Dreyer's low carb ice cream bars

For the first time ever our fridge is full. Mark has to go to the grocery store for me once or twice a week.

El Pollo Loco beans taste better than they look. (I'm not sure what the brown stuff in here is but the beans are vegetarian.) They definitely don't go with most things in Column B though (like blueberry waffles and ice cream bars).

Mark likes to test his own blood sugar from time to time. He claims it's because his father has diabetes, but my friends think it's because he likes to compete with me the same way he does with the "blood pressure game." (Mark likes to go to the pharmacy section in stores to test his pulse rate with the blood pressure gauge. Much of it is to compete with me which is pointless because he always wins. Then after I'm done he goes again because he wants his "score" to be left behind so the next person feels bad. Heartwarming.)

Mark gets ready to poke himself. It might be better if he aimed for the tip of his finger.

Mark in pain. Wuss. Some of us have to do this four times a day.

Brendan decided to get in on the blood sugar testing action. It's finger prickin' good!

At first I thought my having diabeetus was sort of a b.s. diagnosis. Mark's uncle said as much and he's a rheumatologist. However, I recently had my highest (worst) blood sugar level yet of 163 (it's rare that my after meal scores aren't between 95 and 130) after eating Chinese food. Mark then tested himself since he ate the same meal and drank a can of Coke. He scored a 122. Obviously there's something different about my glucose tolerance, plus I'm not going to chance the health of my babies. That means it's lots of peanut butter and crackers for me until about 5 weeks after the twins are born when I get tested again. (The bad news is that 50% of women with gestational diabetes become diabetic later in life.)


  1. My favorite afternoon snack was cottage cheese and fruit. I didn't eat cottage cheese so much before having GD, but it grew on me. I found that it had fewer carbs than even plain yogurt and it counted as a protein whereas yogurt fell into the milk/yogurt category (of which I could only have 3 servings a day).

    I couldn't stand eggs when I was pregnant, so I know what you mean. I had peanut butter on a single whole grain waffle every morning. Sometimes with a side of cottage cheese if I was really hungry.

    Are you sure about that last statistic? I thought having GD increased our risk of getting diabetes by 50%, not that 50% of us would develop it.

  2. I don't think I like cottage cheese, but then again I haven't tried it since high school or before. I'd try it again but don't want to commit to a whole container in case I don't like it.

    You're right. According to webmd,com:
    "Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 60% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later-in-life."

  3. The protein shakes I use might be good for you. They are really yummy (and I'm not just saying that because I sell them :) ). They are safe for pregnant women & diabetics (of course you should check with your own doctor though), and full of stuff that is good for you. Let me know if you want me to drop a sample in the mail to you.