Somehow, just weeks before I'm due, my gynae is convinced that I have gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). After admitting me last weekend to monitor my blood glucose level, I was referred to endocrinology specialist, Dr Dato' Faridah.

As a result, I have to monitor my blood glucose daily at home. I'm not so pleased with it, but I am not one who dare to go against doctor's order because I know they have my best interest at heart. So I had no choice but to purchase the blood glucose monitor device:

The hospital recommended Accu-Chek Performa as it is the most accurate
This device can be bought at any reputable pharmacy. It comes with 25 test strips (where you deposit the blood sample in order for the device to read your blood glucose level), a pen device which is the pricker (you can set the prick level - the pharmacist recommended that I used the lowest level which is '1' as it is less painful), 10 refillable needles (I have to change the needles after 3 times due to hygiene and since the needle may not be as sharp as before after prolonged use) and of course the device itself. I bought mine at RM199 at a pharmacy in Prima Gombak, nearby my house. I also have to buy the alcohol swabs (RM6.90) to sterilise my finger before I prick it (it seemed scary the first time I have to use it).

At the point of purchase, the pharmacist helped to set the device and explained to me on how to use the device even though the nurses at the hospital have explained to me before I was discharged (after all, it is the same equipment). Somehow, I find the explanation useful as at the hospital, the nurses helped to change the test strip and the needle pricker used was different from the pen device in this set.

Initially I did not dare to prick myself so I asked Suami Terchenta to prick me. To my surprise, it did not hurt (unlike when the nurses did it at the hospital). I guess it has to do with the prick level set by the nurses. Since level '1' already draws sufficient blood from my finger without pain, I stick to that level until now.

So, now we come to the blood glucose reading.

Although I am not fond of doing the tests every day, it is interesting to read the test results. I have to do the test 6 times a day - before/after breakfast, lunch and dinner. My pre-breakfast readings (fasting) normally hover between 5.4 - 5.5 (my doctor claims this is borderline), while my pre-lunch readings are lower at 4.2- 4.7 (maybe because I don't snack in between breakfast and lunch, and I walk to the food court to buy lunch). My pre-dinner readings are higher - between 4.8 - 5.4. I guess because by night, my metabolism slows down even though I'll be busy in the kitchen preparing dinner.

My post-breakfast readings tend to be consistent if I only have a bowl of oat for breakfast. But if I add muesli, nuts and fruits to my breakfast (as recommended by the dietitian), the reading will be above 5 and even reach 7 (but still within the targets for control for non-fasting condition). Post-lunch and dinner are even higher - average is 8.6.

So during doc's visit to my room today, she took a look at my blood glucose journal and noted that at above 8, she should be prescribing me with insulin shots to manage the blood glucose level. Luckily, I also jotted down my food intake in the journal so she agreed that maybe this week the insulin shots can be postponed if I reduce my rice to half portion instead of one portion and reduce anything cooked with soy sauce.

She also asked me to continue with the oat breakfast and incorporate a bit of walking (around 10 times going back and forth at home) but not to overdo it in case I start my early contractions again. I immediately like Dr Dato' Faridah again because unlike the dietitian, she gave me a more practical advice that I can easily follow.

Some mothers can enjoy food to their heart's content before they deliver but unfortunately, that's not the case for me. Apa nak buat, for the sake of the baby and to avoid being stuck with diabetes at a later stage of my life, I have to control what I eat and become vegetarian (huhu...). Caiyok Carneyz! Only 3 more weeks to go (plus 60 days of confinement food!) \O/

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