Thursday, May 23, 2013

When Being a Sharing Mom Isn't Good

I like to share. I like to give. But there are times when sharing and giving are just not a good thing. Such as medical problems.

I've had a pretty darn good week. Been happy with life in general and all is going well. Tuesday night I get a phone call that kind of shocked me but I was sort of expecting at the same time. The doctor's office had Rachel's blood test results. The nurse said, "Rachel has definite markers for insulin resistance and the doctor wants to meet soon to discuss the rest of the results. Can you come in tomorrow?" Ugh.

My initial response was a wave of guilt. I gave this to her. It's my fault she has it. How bad is it? Is it as bad as mine? Is she borderline?

Meanwhile, I'm trying to cook a quick and cheap dinner of burgers for the family but my mind is only on Rachel. I'm trying to keep myself together but the weight of the guilt is so heavy that I feel I might break down at any moment. Keep it together, Kelly!

I put the buns under the broiler to toast and set the timer but when I take them out one of the buns is on fire! I burned them! Well, that was the straw that broke this proverbial camel's back. I was cutting up a honeydew melon and trying my best to fight back tears but they started coming anyway. I didn't want this for Rachel! I didn't want her to have to fight weight all her life and have PCOS and tummy fat and all the other "fun" stuff. She's only 17 soon to be 18.

Chuck sees that a few tears have started coming and tells me to go to the bedroom. He's the psychologist of the family. So he wants me to talk and get it all out. I tell him about my horrible guilt. He tells me it's not my fault at all. I did not will this upon Rachel. And it's better to find out early than later in life. This way she doesn't have to go through some of the frustrations I have. Then I said, "And I burned the buns!!" and started crying pretty hard. Like the buns were the tipping point. Hahaha! He laughed and said it's going to be ok. Gave me a washcloth for my tears and said get cleaned up and then come back to the kitchen.

When I got myself back together and went to the kitchen to finish up, I find him scraping the burnt places off all the buns. He made them right again. Very nice gesture.

Sitting at the table, Rachel finds one of my hairs on her plate. I'm horrified, of course, and apologize. One of the initial side effects of taking the thyroid pills is hair loss and I have been losing a lot of hair every day. I'm rather self conscious about it. Charlie then makes a comment that I'm going bald as a joke. And once again, the tears start. Fortunately I was just finishing my dinner and once again Chuck sends me to the bedroom to have a talk.

I tell him I'm still feeling guilty and I'm worried about Rachel going through all of this stuff. It makes me feel terrible! And I'm a little sensitive about my hair coming out. I'm sure it'll grow back and it is only temporary but still....I don't want my daughter going through any of this! After a talk, I'm feeling much better. Chuck tells the kids why I'm upset. I've finally recovered from the initial shock. Rachel is taking it waaaaay better than I am! But still some guilt remains for me. I know it wasn't on purpose but it's still from me. Not a fun gift to get from mom.
Wednesday Rachel and I head off to the doctor. He gave us a lot of good news first. Cholesterol is great. A1C was fantastic! He said he could tell that she had been watching her carbs. Yay! She's not anemic at all.

Then the not-so-good news. Her fasting insulin was 23. He said normally he sees 5 or 8. Diabetics are around 20. But she is anti-diabetic. She's the opposite of a diabetic but that doctors now know her condition puts her at high risk for diabetes later in life. Many in my family have had diabetes so it's no big surprise.

Fasting glucose was 90. During the glucose tolerance test she had a huge spike in insulin and then it started dropping very quickly. She has PCOS. Elevated testosterone.

He was surprised she was able to drop her weight from 175 to 140. But she still has a little belly and he said it was because of the insulin resistance. And the acne was because of the PCOS and hormone imbalances.

The good news is that we caught it early. She is going to start some birth control to level out her hormones. One of the pills has to be made at a compound pharmacy. And she will start taking Glumetza (metformin) to help with the insulin issues. She was also advised to read The Insulin Resistance Diet book and do some form of exercise for 15 minutes every single morning before eating. Walking, biking, whatever. She was told never to eat carbs alone. Always have a source of protein with them. Keep carbs low. Eat 6 small meals per day to keep blood sugar stabilized.

She was a bit overwhelmed. But she handled it very well. I took notes for her so we wouldn't forget anything. She's not a fan of taking pills and I understand that. I'm not either! But she is looking forward to feeling better and getting her energy back and losing her belly and acne. A girl 5'8" who weighs 135-140 pounds shouldn't have the belly she does. She knows that. So she's excited about getting things under control but didn't want to have the issue.

This isn't what I wanted for her. I didn't want her having to take pills and going through all the side effects. At least she doesn't need the thyroid meds even though her thyroid was a little low. She also had an elevated liver enzyme that he was slightly concerned about so we will retest next month.

All is going to be ok. She will get the PCOS under control so she won't have problems getting pregnant later. Hormones will get straightened out so she isn't feeling low. She'll lose her belly and her acne will go away. And she'll be more interested in watching her carbs. Her boyfriend is being supportive and said he wants to learn to eat lower carb as well.

The meds will take about 3-6 months before we start to notice a difference. That goes for both of us. The doctor's wife has the same thing and had to take meds and she's down to a size 6 now so I do have hope.

I do realize that popping pills isn't what we'd necessarily want. At this point I'm willing to give it a try. If it works, then I'll be one very happy Texan. Rachel is handling it like a champ so far. I'm proud of her. I had told her in the past that she might have this. She's more worried about taking metformin than anything else. She doesn't want the side effects but Glumetza side effects have been way better than just the regular metformin. Way better!

And me? I'm getting over the guilt now. It's time to look forward and realize it was very good to catch this early. Life is still going great for me. I have people I love in my life who love me back and I'm on the right track. Rachel is getting to take care of her condition early in life so it doesn't become a problem later. So I'm pretty darn happy. :)


  1. I understand your feeling completely, Kelly. I have two daughters and I passed insulin resistance to both of them. Not only that but I also passed Bipolar Disorder to them. Both of them are grown now and they decided not to take the medications for both. I carried a lot of guilt for a long time. It is hard watching them act impulsively and make bad decisions in life because of the Bipolar. All I can do is offer help when needed and pray for the best. You have given Rachel a good start with getting her educated and teaching her to eat healthily. Give yourself a pat on the back.

  2. You all caught it early!!!! That is the most important part of this all for me. How many women don't realize the have a problem until they are trying to get pregnant and cannot? You just cut out some major heart ache of the unknown for your daughter. I get the mommy guilt but it is not like you share thing part of your genes on purpose. I hope your feeling better now.

  3. Yep, so sorry Rachel has to go through this, but at least now you know and have a plan of attack. My BS on vacation has been all over the map since I am not eating the healthiest meals or eating at the same time each day.

    I actually am looking forward to getting back to a normal cooking schedule, and think I am going to be doing a lower carb meal plan.

    Yep, I never eat a carb by itself, if I eat an apple, I dip it in peanut butter - it doesn't give my insulin a spike when I do that.

    Hugs! (and p.s. the burned buns would have set me off too!)

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  5. Your mom guilt is so normal. It IS wonderful that you've gotten the diagnosis early. She won't have to suffer as long as you did or wonder why she has a belly (and blame herself for something that's not her fault). I bet she would not trade you for another 'non-insulin-resistant-no-PCOS mom.' Hang in there!

  6. P.S.-I have also cried over burned food at the end of a stressful, frustrating day.

  7. AWWW!!! Sending warm wishes and hugs to all of your family!!! Roz

  8. Aw, I'm sorry. Don't beat yourself up. It sounds like you are being proactive with your daughter.

    I don't have kids yet but I sometimes wonder about what I'll "pass on" to them...bad knees, anxiety....the list goes on!

  9. Stop been negative, you are a lovely person with a big texan heart. xx

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