Diabetes on Birth Control

One of the biggest fears of any single young woman is getting pregnant. I feel this is tenfold now that I have Type 1 diabetes. The stress of affording my own health care is enough – I don’t want the added physical and emotional burden of surviving pregnancy with diabetes much less affording my child’s coverage (given the possibility that the child will also have diabetes). No one can yet prove that my diagnosis was a result of genetics, but they cannot disprove it, either. I’d rather not take the chance.

In the past five years, I have attempted different types of birth control. The pill was always the easiest and most reliable option, but low and behold, no matter how many different types I tried, it always had a negative impact on my blood sugar readings and insulin resistance. What does this mean?

Well, while on the pill, my blood sugar skyrocketed, and I needed to take more insulin to keep it stable, but then, during the week of my period when I wasn’t on the pill, my blood sugar plummeted so that I would experience severe lows and have to readjust my insulin to carb ratio. You would think I could account for this every month, and believe me, I tried, but there was no telling when that initial plummet would happen. Sometimes, it was a few days before my period; sometimes, a few days after. The following week when I started taking the pill again, my blood sugar would rise so that I would constantly be adjusting my insulin to carbohydrate ratio until I got it right. It seemed to vary month to month.

Because I was tired of the constant ups and downs and the effect the pill had on my hormones and my emotional sanity, a few months ago, I stopped taking it. Cold turkey. I knew my body before I started the pill and relied on its natural cycle, but that was before I committed myself to long-term relationships. Now it was time to trust it again. It certainly improved my blood sugar readings. Continue reading

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Screaming Babies

Tracy-Year-One012-webSomehow, I have found myself surrounded by pregnant women—the neighbor down the street, my supervisor across the hall, former college friends—everywhere I turn, people are having babies.

At 26, that should make me happy, right? My family asks when I’m next. Are there marriage talks in the works with my boyfriend of three years? Yes, it’s the first stable relationship I’ve had, one that even survived 21 months of long distance, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready for marriage.

I don’t even know if I want to get married let alone have babies. I feel like a family slows a woman down, that if I want to accomplish anything in terms of a career, I must put the idea of a family on the shelf and hike it up the chain solo. But everywhere I turn, women are asking how can they do both? Can’t we have it all? What if I don’t want it all?

A week after I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, I met with my nutritionist for the first time. Continue reading