During my 14 years with type 1 diabetes and my time spent interacting with the diabetes online community, I constantly hear the same theme: Doctors aren't listening to their patients, and their bedside manners are deteriorating. Every day, it seems, I hear about people who have been treated as if they are simply a number or dismissed as uneducated in their own health conditions.
My baby girl had just been born. I was in the postoperation room after going through a cesarean section. My husband went to get my parents, who had been waiting for twelve hours in the waiting room. A nurse laid my little girl in an incubator next to my bed and checked her blood sugar, which was normal, in the mid-40 range. Fifteen minutes later the nurse checked her again, and it registered in the mid-30s. I watched as the nurse fed my baby her first ounces of food. I was still too numb to even know that I had legs, much less to be able to wiggle my toes.
As I explained in my previous articles, I was pre-eclamptic and was admitted to the hospital at 37 weeks. I had a migraine that lasted for ten hours after I entered the emergency room. I had experienced migraines before and knew that Tylenol wouldn't ease the pain, so I went untreated even in the hospital. About twelve hours after admission, I was brought to the women's floor, where I waited for my already injected Levemir supply to diminish in my bloodstream.
Throughout pregnancy and all the way up until labor, I was adamant that I was not having a cesarean section. I was terrified of being cut open because I know that my healing time is longer due to my lowered immune system. In 2009, I had to go to the emergency room for an infection caused by cutting my leg while shaving, so how could I possibly heal after being opened up to birth a baby?
Editor' Note: This article continues Katherine Marple's series on pregnancy with diabetes as a complicating factor. For previous articles, enter her name in the search feature at the top right-hand of this website. The next installment, "Birthing Options," will appear on December 30.
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