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Guest Post: Project Greenlight.

I couldn't be more excited to be hosting Lindsay's guest post today.  Even though she and I have yet to meet in person, she's definitely a kindred spirit.  She's recently married, itching to start a family, and dealing with type 1 diabetes every day.  She has graciously offered to share her words here today, about her quest for a little baby of her own. 

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Lindsay and Mike, at their wedding

The anxiety sets in the second I set foot into the building, just like it always does.  There’s the all-too-familiar heartbeat that you can hear in your ears.  It’s so loud that you wonder if everyone else is hearing it too.  The stinging cold sweat that you can feel creeping up around you.  You know the one I mean.  I’m waiting at Dr. G’s office to find out the results of my latest A1c.  But this time is different.  This time, the result is going to tell me whether or not we get the green light to have a baby.  Gulp.  I hear her at the door.  She walks in with her sassy heels and perfect hair.  I can’t read the look on her face.  Oh God, oh God…is it good or bad?  GOOD OR BAD?  “Lindsay I couldn’t be more proud of you than I am right now.  Your A1c is 6%.”  The grin on my face and tears in my eyes say it all and I cannot wait to bolt out of there so I can call my husband.

But…to really understand what an achievement this is for me, you might want to know a little bit about where I was just a few years ago and what got me here.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on April 6, 2003, just a few weeks shy of my 27th birthday. I had been ignoring the signs and symptoms for far too long and had the weight loss and hair loss to prove it.  I was scared straight just after my diagnosis and became what I like to call a “model diabetic.”  I tested methodically, counted every carb and gave myself shots.  I never did get used to the way the Lantus burned when going in, but my A1c went from 15% to about 7% in three short months.  Great, right?  Well, yeah, it was.  But it didn’t last.

I had a very time-consuming job that had me traveling the globe and visiting countries with menus in languages that didn’t even use a familiar alphabet.  How was one meant to count carbs in a country where you were not even remotely certain of what you were eating?  After one too many experiences of fighting with Russian bartenders and Indonesian security guards screaming “I NEED JUICE RIGHT NOW” and them not understanding what I needed so desperately, I decided it was easier not to give myself insulin when I traveled.  This is bad, but it’s worse if you knew just how often I traveled.  And so my A1c climbed higher and higher.  It reached about 12% which is where it stayed for a good number of years.

I was in the midst of that cycle when I met my husband, Mike.  I was intensely private and protective about my diabetes, mostly because I was ashamed that I wasn’t taking care of myself.  I certainly didn’t want to show him my biggest weakness, but he already knew something wasn’t quite right.  He loved me enough to gently ask why he never saw me test or take a shot, and my fierce protective nature would bubble up and lash out at this wonderful man who was only trying to help me.  Thankfully, he stuck with me and loved me despite this nasty habit I had gotten myself into.  I realize now that because I didn’t WANT to have diabetes, I acted as though I didn’t.

After we were engaged, he encouraged me to give the pump a try.  I had been adamant against it because I feared being attached to something 24/7.  I had heard that the pump could truly be life-changing in gaining better control, so in May of 2008, I became a pumper.  While my A1c would dip back down to the mid 8% range here and there, it would always wind up climbing higher.  It was a roller coaster of management.  

In the midst of wedding planning, I Googled “wedding dress” and “insulin pump” in the same thread and found Six Until Me.  I read every single post of Kerri’s in the days that followed and forwarded the link to my family and close friends.  I was overjoyed that I had found the DOC through her and that I found a whole community of bloggers who not only felt the way I did, but who were brave enough to put it all out on the table for others to benefit from.  That kind of selflessness and courage is what changed my life.  I’ll say it again, because it’s that important to know.  The DOC, beginning with SUM, CHANGED MY LIFE.

My “cooler than the flip side of my pillow” husband and I have been married nearly two years now.  And we want a baby (a lot.)  About a year after our wedding, he said something to me that I will never forget.  It was the last shove I needed on the road to gaining and maintaining better control.  “There’s no time like the present.  We both want this.  If we’re going to have a baby, then we know what we have to do.  We have to get that A1c below 7% together and I will do anything I can to help make that happen.”  He used words like WE.  US.  For the first time, I realized I was no longer in this fight on my own.  I had a partner in crime who was going to help me get to the place I knew I had to be.  With Mike by my side and my army of DOC friends, I knew I could do this.  I am really proud to say that I have.  Green light?  It’s on.  (Right, Kerri?  wink)  

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Thank you so much, Lindsay, and I can't wait to introduce you to my family this fall!!

Comments

Hey Lindsay, my name is Lindsay also. :) Just like you, my husband pushed, I mean, encouraged me to give the pump a try. :) I was diagnosed with Type I when I was 18 and have had it for almost 11 years now. I am almost 15 weeks pregnant with our first child and so excited! My A1c is the lowest it has ever been (5.3%) and was 5.9% at conception. It's so hard but I know it'll be so worth it. Fantastic post! Good luck to you!

Lindsay, I am so excited for you. And I have tears in my eyes reading how your hubby said "WE have to." Hope to see you around Diabetic Mommy with good news soon!

GO YOU! That's a great improvement and I'm sure it helps a lot having someone to support you in your journey to get that wonderfu A1c. :)

I have to agree with you about finding SUM. The conversation, the stories, the humor has also motivated me to better care for myself.

I am definitely not in the age group that is looking to have babies and stuff like that. But I do look forward to reading stories and challanges about other PWD.

I recently started on a pump (April). I have had diabetes for almost 39 years. I have never had a A1c lower than 8.5. But now with the pump I am a 6.5. Thank you for your story and the stories that come from SUM.

Great work leading to great news, Lindsay and Mike! You are absolutely correct in saying that Kerri and SUM is life-changing. I can attest to that from the guy's perspective, like so many others. Wouldn't be here without the DOC!

Us is cooler than the flip side of the pillow.

Hi everybody! Thank you all so much for your great comments! You all have made my day by taking the time to read my little 'ole post. :) I really enjoyed writing and sharing and LOVE being a part of this community!!

Thanks for sharing Lindsay! You should start a blog so we can follow your process. I have my "green light" appointment on Thursday, so would love to read along with somebody on the same course :)

Lindsay, aren't you blogging somewhere? You're so articulate and your post is so moving, you ought to be. Your hubbie Mike's a keeper, we need more folks like him.

I'm glad you found the DOC, I just wish more folks would. Best of luck in your quest.

Babe, I am more proud of you than I can even begin to say. And I am forEVER grateful to Kerri and the rest of the on-line DOC for doing for you what we (your family) could not. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

Lindsay, Congrats on the 'green light'. I currently am on the pump and have an A1C of 8.2. I have been 'taking a break' with the strong regiment of Diabetes since my son was born 19 months ago. My first pregnancy was wonderful. All the hard work is so worth it. I am now, once again, on my 8th day of downloading, recording, hard core carb counting, and my 14 day average has dropped from 9.4 to 7.3, so it's the effort that you put into it. I only hope the next A1C will be near the 6% mark! We are hoping for our second. Fingers crossed. If you ever want to feel like you are not alone, visit my page. I am going to try to blog about my current medical experience. Wishing you all the best on this exciting, emotional journey that's in front of you.

P.S. Can anyone help me get connected with an online Diabetes community? Thanks

I have a very similar story. Diagnosed at 19, but not until my husband and I wanted to start trying did I really get it through my head that like it or not I was going to have to live with this disease. That was almost 6 years ago. So few people can really understand the feelings that go along with having to "get permission" to have a baby. Thank you for sharing and thank you spouses for being on this rollercoaster with us! GOod Luck Lindsay!

I have been diabetic for 25 years and my darling daughter will be 3 in December. My hubby, too, pushed me to get my sugars under better control when we were dating (He told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me and he wanted it to be for a good long time, so I better get crackin! ROTF!). He has supported me through it all, making sure I test, even when I yell at him for it. Between him and finding a FAB doctor, I now have this amazing person that I get to watch grow up every day. You CAN do it! Good Luck!

Wonderful guest post Lindsay, thank you for being so open and honest. That is very brave of you, and also does a great service to so many people out there going through similar things.

Lindsay,
What a wonderful post... thank you for sharing with us... it's just another fine example that it's going to be ok for my baby when she grows up.
Good luck with the baby adventure!

Lindsey -
Love that you got the "Green Light". I will tell you from "lots" of experience it will be a wild ride!!
I am a type 1 dx at almost 21. I have a 3 year old that was quite the fete to get and I am currently trying for #2.
GOOD LUCK!!!
PS...hoping you start your own blog soon ;)

I teared up at this...and I'm not overtly sentimental. LOL. This is so like my own story. I spent the first 18 years of my type 1 diagnosis with A1c's like yours - as high as 15% once. And it was meeting my husband and his "we" need to bring your A1c into range attitude that helped me find center.

My little one was born in February of this year and my A1c was 5.8% at her perfect birth. Ain't husbands grand? ;)

I absolutely love hearing these stories, I was diagnosed a year ago and they are stilll not sure if it's type 1 or 2 (pretty crazy). Anywho I have been worrying about having kids and what mommies have to go through trying to get pregnant or even after giving birth, so if anyone can point me in the right direction to read more or even tips about how to get ready, I would greatly appreciate it! My a1c is 6.1 and I can't really lose aymore weight. Anything will help!

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