Friday, December 02, 2005


So, the doctor has officially diagnosed me with gestational diabetes.

The first thing he had me do was to meet with a diabetes counselor, who gave me a glucometer and showed me how to check my blood sugar. This was on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I dragged myself to Wal-Mart to buy more test strips, but was told that my doctor had forgotten to call me in a prescription for them. I called my doctor, but he isn't in the office on Wednesdays and didn't return any phone calls from either me or the diabetes counselor. On Thursday morning, my glucometer completely failed to register my reading. Four bloody finger sticks later, it turned out to be a problem with the test strips-- but I didn't have any other test strips to use, because the doctor had not called in any prescription for them for me. I called the manufacturer and they assured me that this is a very rare problem that test strips sometimes have. Wouldn't it be just my luck to get saddled with a rare problem first crack out of the box? Do I ever buy anything that isn't defective? Is there any transaction I can get into that comes off effortlessly?

On Thursday morning, he called in the prescription for the test strips. I dragged myself to Wal-Mart to pick them up. Then he called me yesterday to put me on some medication, so I had to drag myself right back to Wal-Mart to pick that up too. And he's just got wonderful bedside manner; when he spoke to me yesterday, he said "Well, so you've got gestational diabetes, huh." (And this AFTER I had already been testing my sugar for two days on his orders.) I was, shall we say, less than thrilled. This seemed to surprise the poor doctor. Since he knows I just moved here and have no friends, and he knows I have my own business and two jobs and three kids, my reluctance to also meet with total strangers, show them my blood, and tell them everything I ate today must have come as quite a shock to him.

The dose he prescribed for me is, as I discovered today, the maximum dose anyone should have of this medication. So this morning when I woke up shaking with a blood sugar of 55, which puts me over the line into hypoglycemia, I called his office. When he called me back to reduce my dosage, the conversation went something like this:

Doctor: Yesterday you didn't seem too thrilled with this situation.

Me: Oh, ya THINK???

I guess most of his gestational diabetes patients are just absolutely thrilled with the diagnosis and they all worship at his feet for his wisdom and graciousness in filling their lives with medication and finger sticks and meetings with diabetes counselors and trips to the pharmacy and spending their mornings on hold with test strip manufacturers. Especially at holiday time, when (according to Utah tradition) plates of cookies and candy fly fast and free around the neighborhood, in such quantities that no one can actually eat them all before they go bad. What the hell does the guy expect from me? Am I supposed to send him flowers or something?

So, today I've been totally hypoglycemic all day long. I've had to eat candy just to stay awake. My blood sugar levels have been hovering around 50 all day. I can barely climb the stairs and I can't hold a thought in my head for more than 10 seconds. There's not much anyone can do about it except to wait for the excess meds to wear off.

In one week I've gone from diabetic to hypoglycemic, I can't work, I can barely stand up, and evidently I'm supposed to be just thrilled to be on this rollercoaster, because it's the polite thing to do? Forgive me if I tell all non-essential persons in my life to take a long walk off a short pier.