If ever there was a short cut to madness, I think being pregnant and having diabetes may be it. The never ending pressure of walking a tightrope of blood sugar control, combined with the guilt of what might happen if you get it wrong could easily be overwhelming.
To try and maintain my sanity, Iâ€™ve decided to develop a coping strategy, which actually seems to be a reasonable approach to take at any time, not just during pregnancy.
- First, remember that this is perfectly possible. Itâ€™s not as if Iâ€™m trying to single-handedly land a Ford Mondeo on Jupiter. Thousands of other people have managed this successfully before me.
- I understand my diabetes (as much as anyone can) and the basics havenâ€™t changed. So in theory I know what Iâ€™m doing. That should give me confidence.
- Blood tests must not become an opportunity for constant self-criticism, so:Â Â Â Â
- Iâ€™ll celebrate the positives. Blood sugars in range will be greeted with the words â€śI am a diabetic geniusâ€ť said in varying tones and accents to add a bit of variety.
- Out of range blood sugars will be greeted with a muttered swear word, from an increasingly varied vocabulary to relieve fury and frustration. Then rather than worrying about them, Iâ€™ll try to work out what caused it, what I can do to fix it, and how to stop it happening again. And if it appears completely random, Iâ€™ll highlight it to look at later in the context of a few daysâ€™ results to try and spot any patterns. In the meantime, just blame the dodgy pancreas and move on.
- This behaviour must be stopped after birth â€“ because you just know that the babyâ€™s first words wonâ€™t be â€śmummy is a diabetic geniusâ€ť, theyâ€™re much more likely to be â€ś**** **** 11.3 ****â€ť
- Letâ€™s try and be rational about this. The recommended range for blood sugars in pregnancy is an ambitious below 5.9 in general, and less than 7.8 an hour after eating. And thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m striving for. But the world will not end if I am a 10 for two hours. My amniotic fluid will not suddenly transform into glucose syrup and cause no end of irreparable damage. Undesirable? Yes. End of the world? No. Try to maintain some perspective.
This of course all goes out the window when Iâ€™m shouting at my pump because Iâ€™m high and canâ€™t work out why and itâ€™s not coming down. But humour me, it makes me feel better to at least think I have a strategy for all this.
Any more tips for staying sane?