27 NovIssues

Ugh. So I failed my first gestational diabetes screening. I went in today for my big long OGTT. Four blood draws in three hours. To my midwife’s credit, she can draw blood like nobody. Anywhere else & I’d be coming home with seriously messed up arms (typically takes between two & four tries with fishing before anyone can get a hit on a vein, which is then no guarantee that the vein doesn’t “pop”). No problems, no bruises, no hematomas, no fishing, no “popped” veins… you have to actually really be looking to even see the needle marks. It was nice not to have to worry about the needles so much for a change.

This is pushing some of my major buttons… (Me? Issues with food, western medicine, & needles? Oh. Oh yeah, I guess that is me…). Even though 85% of women who take the second screening pass just fine (and of the remaining 15% there’s still a 25% chance it was a false positive), I’m still freaking. And I think it’s peculiar that pregnant women are screened with a test the American Diabetes Association says should be used “rarely, if ever” because of reproducibility, & accuracy levels prefering to use the fasting blood glucose levels. But. You know, I have *issues*.

I had finally gotten to a point where I was resolving some of that residual self-hatred over food & body issues from my ballet years. I had just barely gotten over my mistrust of any kind of medicine to see a midwife during the time I was pregnant with M (before that it had been a full decade since I’d seen any kind of doctor, though I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant if I hadn’t been able to suck up my issues & get in for care). Food & the whole medical scene are inextricably linked for me — during ballet, I was continually being told I needed to lose weight. I dropped to a 17% body fat level, my metabolism was running on around 1000-1200 calories a day. I’d go to the doctor & say, “I’m shaped funny, my belly sticks out.” Unsympathetically they’d ask “are you pregnant?” No. “Then you have a body image issue & probably an eating disorder.” Doctor after doctor. I saw doctors, RNs, dieticians… same ol’, same ol’.

Yes, I probably did have disordered eating by that point, but the fact of the matter was there was something else wrong too that no one was even bothering to check for because you know teenage girls, they all think they’re fat, right? In February of my 18th year, the last doctor I ever saw figured it out. She ran through the usual suspects, “pregnant?”, no, “eating disorder?”, no (well, maybe), “hmmm…” So we did the gyn-thang, and she crinkled her forehead. Another “hmmm.” She said, finally after poking and prodding at my insides, “Well, there might be something… usually if there’s a cyst, I can tell. And there might be something, but I can’t tell. Why don’t we set you up for an ultrasound?” This progresses to a final diagnosis of ovarian cyst that we find, upon surgical removal, is 6 pounds, 21 centimeters long, 20 wide, and 10 deep.

Body image distortion in-fucking-deed.

Who was it that said the surest way to drive someone crazy is to repetitively tell them two contrary & mutually exclusive pieces of information are true?

After college, I went through another two years of nutritional education & got my Certified Nutritionist certification, thinking knowing *more* about food would help me resolve my issues, as well as be a resource for others. No. It didn’t. At all. To the contrary, now some of them are really deeply ingrained. I had finally managed in the last few years to feel ok not micromanaging my food. No more measuring, weighing, recording, obsessing… finally ok to eat & know that I’m ok without all that. Sure I do a nutritional analysis every once in a while because I can’t shake the habit, but… I can do it for information now & not be obsessed… and usually I find that I’m doing just fine.

If I hear back tomorrow that I didn’t pass it — I can say buh-bye to that because it’ll be right back to the measuring, weighing, recording, obsessing with the additional pleasure of getting to poke & measure & record at a whole new level. I hate it. All I want to do for Thanksgiving is find myself a deep, dark cave to retreat into & hide.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there is the potential for less than optimal outcomes in GD & that there is a place for conventional medicine & this may be one of those places… but it doesn’t make me any happier about it. It makes me want my deep, dark cave to hide in, and it makes me feel like a pissed-off, cornered cat. All I want to do when approached is bare my teeth & claws and scream like a banshee.

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