Thursday, October 25, 2012

Results, Anxiety, & The Future

In my last post, I wrote about how frustrated I was with the excruciatingly slow progress I'd seen in my blood sugars since changing my pump settings. More so than the actual results, the lack of control over my numbers is what has bothered me the most.

I had my quarterly appointment with the endocrinologist on Monday, along with my official A1c lab test. Since the at-home tests I'd done in previous months showed 6.8% (in August) and 6.9% (earlier this month), I was fully expecting it to be in that range. I explained everything that had been happening in the past few months to my doctor, but he said as long as it was under 7.0%, it was fine.

When I anxiously opened my results yesterday, however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was actually 6.4% (which translates to an estimated average of 132)--and my cholesterol and triglycerides were finally in the normal range, too. Yay!

Like I've mentioned before, I've always been harder on myself than anyone else (my endocrinologist included) is, but I'm usually pretty good at predicting what my A1c will be. This is one time I'm very glad to be wrong!

Even though we're not planning to have another child anytime soon (at least not until Baby Girl is a year old, another three months from now), the thought of the future is always in the back of my mind. The next baby deserves the same start on life as our first had, with all the attention I can possibly give to my health for his/her benefit. Since I have an IUD, we obviously have to consciously plan our next one anyway, but for us my diabetes definitely factors into that as well.

Another thing that has been weighing on me heavily lately is exercise...or rather, my lack of it. I've written several times in the past about working out, most recently in January when I asked my OB about exercising postpartum. Clearly I had on rose-colored glasses back then, because I definitely underestimated how difficult it would be to work in a workout with a full-time job and a baby (and house) to take care of.

My exercise "routine" thus far has been spotty at best. I get on my Gazelle or go for a walk when I have the time, but other than that it is nothing more than a passing thought on my way to do something else that has to be done. I know I need to make it a priority (especially as the future becomes more of a reality rather than a distant possibility), but it's just so hard.

Since my Chiari stuff started back in June, I've been having anxiety attacks on and off in the evenings. I would lay awake in bed trying to go to sleep, but I just couldn't shake the panic I got with that "about to pass out" feeling (though I never actually did check out). It got so bad that I'd get up and sit in the living room in the middle of the night trying to decide whether or not to go the ER because I was afraid I was actually having a heart attack. I'd eventually convince myself it was "just" anxiety, but that doesn't make the feeling any less real.

Earlier this month, my husband went out of town for business. The first week he was gone, I finally decided I couldn't take it anymore and made an appointment to get some anxiety medication. The decision to do so was extremely difficult for me because I knew it would mean I would have to stop breastfeeding (SNRIs have not been studied like SSRIs have in regards to breastfeeding), and even though Baby Girl was 8-1/2 months old at the time and down to one morning feeding, I had planned to continue nursing until she was a year old. After some discussion with the doctors and a call to my husband, I decided that our baby having a calmer, happier mom was more beneficial. And, like my husband said, she would be getting teeth soon anyway...little did we know, her first one would pop up less than a week later!

I've been on the medication now for two weeks and I can tell it's making a difference. I still had that anxious feeling quite a bit for a while, but it was definitely more manageable than before. Overall, I'm a lot less "on edge" and more positive about things, so life has been better in general. I'm hoping that now that I'm back on track mentally and emotionally, I can focus on getting there physically too. Maybe I can even lose those last 10 lbs! =)


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