I didn't really know how to expect my treatment to affect my life when I first found out. Actually, I still don't fully know. But one thing stood out to me immediately: We had to stop trying for a baby.
We'd been trying for a while, though I wasn't to the point of obsessing, charting my cycle, and calling my husband to meet me at home during lunch because my temperature just jumped half a degree. But still, we're ready to start a family.
And now I'm on birth control.
You can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby as a diabetic, but you have to get your blood sugar under control to make it happen. Plus, I have one other factor to consider: Like many diabetics, I also have very high cholesterol.
Actually, high cholesterol doesn't affect pregnancy much. But when my doctor said I'd have to start cholesterol medication but that she understood if I was too overwhelmed to start right away, I decided that the more overwhelming prospect was to not do everything possible to get my health under control... Get my cholesterol down, please!
But I also told her that I want to have a baby as soon as I'm healthy enough to do so, and she explained that I absolutely must not become pregnant on cholesterol meds. She clearly felt that hormonal was the best stand-alone method, and in fact insisted that condoms alone were "not good enough," considering the risks. So we discussed options and I left with a pack of Crestor samples, a prescription for NuvaRing, and a promise that she had no worries about me stopping both once my blood sugars are normal and stable enough for pregnancy. Oh, but not until I got the scary "worst-case side effects of cholesterol meds" warning about cramping muscles. Even though I know the serious side effects are rare, it still scared the crap out of me.
And reading the NuvaRing information before starting it today, all those warning sections were scaring me all over again. Diabetics with certain complications (none of which I have, most likely) were listed under "who shouldn't use this product," and Diabetes in general was under the list of conditions that indicate a need to discuss NuvaRing with your doctor (which I already did, of course). Scary, scary, scary.
And here's hoping that this hormonal birth control doesn't throw a wrench in the gears of my improving blood sugar (it can raise it), and that it doesn't make me crazy depressed (the pill did). But I was the one who mentioned NuvaRing as a specific option, because I've been told before that it has the lowest dose of any of the current hormonal birth controls. I'm hoping that will mean fewer side effects, as a previous doctor suggested to me.
So there you have it. I originally went to the doctor about cracks at the corners of my mouth, and now I'm on insulin and birth control and will soon be starting statins... all of which are a little scary for me. This is a topic to be fleshed out in another post, but I'll just say: All of this has me praying for the first time in years.