i love you, but go away

From my diary:
I feel anxious today.  I failed my one-hour glucose test the other day and was forced to take a three-hour one, where they drew blood four times.  Mom said the same thing happened to her.  “It runs in the family,” she said.  “Grandpa on your father’s side, and Yiya and all of her siblings, except for Fey.”  Oh joy.  I don’t want diabetes.  I called the doctor today for the results.  Left a message with the A-K nurse, asking her to call me back when the results are in.  Then of course you analyze how long it’s taking for them to return the call.  If it’s the doctor who calls back, it’s bad news.  If it’s the nurse, chances are things might be okay.  I’m nervous.  Mostly I don’t like the idea that there’s something wrong with me.  A disease associated with fat people.  Yes, it’s common in Indian and Asian women, even the thin ones.  But I’m a redhead.  It makes me feel like a failure.  It’s embarrassing, being told you have diabetes.  I’m probably wrong, but in my head, it means I’m fat and unhealthy.  It makes me want to go eat everything full of sugar, just in case they say I have diabetes.  How do you get through Thanksgiving with diabetes?  I’m sad and feel lonesome and sorry for myself today.  And I’m resentful.  Last night, I tried to breathe through it, insisting to myself it was outside my control.  So there’s no point in getting upset.  There’s nothing you can do about it.  But holy shit, so help me if they say I have diabetes, I’m taking a sleeping pill and passing out for Thanksgiving.  There’s no way I’m tempting myself with family favorites or watching other people enjoy what I can’t.  How can an American enjoy Thanksgiving without hoards of stuffing and orangey discs of starch, with sticky nuts and glorious light brown sugar and maple syrup on everything?!   It’s not fair.  It’s not fair that I’m home crying in bed, worried, while he’s out at a bar past 1AM drinking with his friends.  I’m resentful of everything and everyone, which sucks.  Lea will make me feel better.

When it comes down to it, the only person I’d really call crying hysterically is my sister.  I have a handful of friends who I consider to be like sisters, and in theory, they’re all there on the list of middle of the night, drop everything, friends.  I bitch to them about my own sister, but somehow, in the moment, when I’m maybe making no sense, and the only sounds coming from my body are sobs and heaves, I call my sister.  I don’t do it because she’ll offer the best advice.  I do it because there’s a history there, and it’s less embarrassing with her.

It’s embarrassing when we break down, which seems like the wrong word.  Embarrassing. It’s a shallow feeling, implying you care what someone else thinks.  When you’re in it, forearms deep in emotion, the last thing you should be worried about is how you’re being received.  You don’t want to be judged, but coming unglued like that, crying and irrational, or fuck it, even completely justified and rational, it means you’re admitting that your life isn’t perfect. 

Everyone knows no one has it perfect, but when it’s you, revealing your own turmoil to someone, it’s sometimes just, well, embarrassing.  I guess that’s why I go to my sister first.  She doesn’t expect anything of me.  She doesn’t make assumptions or think I’m somehow less together.  She doesn’t roll her eyes or become overly concerned.  She listens—actually she’s not even a good listener—but really, she’s an extension of me, being my sister.  It’s like not telling anyone when I tell her.  And she always makes me feel less alone in the world.  Like no matter what happens, we’ll have each other. 

Friends are alarmed that I was just moments ago talking about their dramas, in a light banter, and now I’m on the phone sobbing.  And they will of course want to make me feel better, so they’ll listen and offer practical advice, just as I do for them.  And I’ll call certain ones for different things.  First I go to the ones I know won’t take my side, if there’s a side to be taken.  I go to the people who won’t just tell me what I want to hear.  Then I might later go to the second tier of friends who do a good job of cheering me up, but who usually, don’t add much insight.  Friends can be like perfume that way.  Friends get me to stop crying, start breathing, and sometimes get me to laugh.  And I’ll shake my head, agreeing.  It’s a sensible, constructive, break down.  I go to them for advice, not comfort.  Lea, though, is like a bowl of soupy ice cream, and I love her for it.  I’m so glad she’s coming for Thanksgiving, even when I’ll be sick of her after two days. Which always happens.  I think we get along best when we’re in different states, which is surprising considering how much we love each other. 



  1. AMEN! You are soo right about embarrassment and how we can truly trust our family to comfort us. And just think– your guppies will each have a sibling from their very first day!

    I hope this doesn't mean you flunked the diabetes test again?

  2. I feel quite similar about my sister, life really is better with a baby sister. No matter the fact that she lives in Oregon and I live in Florida, she is there for me.

  3. Wow. What is so crazy about this post is I did that last night. I was on my way home and broke down in hysterics and the only person I could think of to call was my sister. And she's not really a great listener either – but it was the point that I was talking to my sister, and that was all that mattered.

  4. I don't have a sister, or any siblings for that matter. I've always wished I did. But instead, I too have a handful of friends that are like sisters to me. I guess my Lea is my mom. I never feel embarassed with her.

  5. Sisters are the best in these situations. I'm the baby of the family and my sister coddles me. It feels good to call and say what is on my mind. They want us to be happy.
    Yesterday I called complaining that my blood test showed up as boarder line high cholesterol. What the eff? I eat a healthy diet, don't smoke, workout, do yoga…why me. I cried and told her I was dying. I'm sure she was amused. Sisters are good for that.
    If it makes you feel any better, these test can sometimes be off. I get a blood test every year and they are always normal, it could have been off.

    I think we get sick of our sisters quickly, because we are so much alike. But it is nice to have them near.

  6. First you're whining about not being able to drink at Thanksgiving and now about sugar? Get over yourself. You're having twins. It comes with the territory.

    FROM STEPHANIE: DON'T FUCK WITH THIS PREGNANT WOMAN TODAY. "Get over yourself?" That's the best you can do? It's my personal journal. Feelings don't know right from wrong. Please don't speak to me about "the territory," or I'll piss on yours.

  7. I could never love anyone more than I love my sisters.- Jo, Little Women

    Stephanie, your post made me think of Little Women. I don’t have siblings, but I love the idea of them. I have a friend that’s an ‘only’ too. We’ve adopted one another. It works : )

  8. I LOVE my sister too.. She taught me everything I know and is probably the best person in the whole world. When I need advice I go to her b/c she doesn't have any other agenda except my own happiness.

  9. SO TRUE!! I have many, many friends, but no one will understand me or listen to me like my little sister. Sometimes she seems like the older sibling when I call her freaking out! She's honest. She's raw. And that is why I love her. And yeah, we, too, get on each other's nerves when we're together for more than 48 hours! We once even cut a vacation short by 3 days because we were ready to beat the hell out of each other!!

  10. Aww, I just read your addition to this post with your diary entry. I'm sorry you're feeling so worried and sad. My thoughts are with you and I hope the results turn out okay. You will be alright, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Gestational diabetes does not mean that you are fat. This type of diabetes occurs when pregnancy hormones interfere with the body's ability to use insulin — the hormone that turns blood sugar into energy — resulting in high blood sugar levels. There is a higher risk with women over 30, and with multiples (I would assume since the hormone level is probably higher?). There is a higher risk if you are obese, which you are not. I am "fat" and I just had my first child. I am actually one of those fat people that have a medial "reason" for being fat. I don't eat very much at all, but I am extremely overweight. I was born with a heart defect and have abnormal thyroid levels. I am also severely anemic, which lowers my energy levels quite a bit… back to my point… when I took the test, I "scored" a 68… which is actually quite low. So being "fat" does not make you have this disease, or vice versa.

    As far as the uncontrollable crying… I completely relate, although I don't really feel better when I talk to my sister or brothers. The one that I could always talk to, who would make me feel better, no matter what, was my dad. No matter how much I failed, he never made me feel like a failure. He always told me how beautiful, smart, funny, and loved I was. He could not "make everything better", but somehow he could make me feel better about everything. I am crying (uncontrollably) right now as I write this. My dad died on October 22nd. It has been really hard and the worst part is not having that someone to call to make me feel better. Tuesday was my birthday. I did not get the customary voicemail message singing me happy birthday (he was a singer-used to sing in broadway musicals and with the Metropolitan Opera Company). I did not think that I would be without him at 33 years old. I am just so thankful that he made it to meet his granddaughter, I just wish that she would be able to grow up knowing him. I wish she would have the opportunity to call him when she needs someone to cry to. I guess that I will have to find a way to be that for her… I only wish he could tell me how.

    FROM STEPHANIE: Thank you. Thank you for educating and for sharing. My "good grief" post wasn't really about grieving, which is a healthy process. It was about the grief we impose on ourselves. You do not sound like someone who does this. I am sorry for your loss and understand your sadness. I know this seems very strange, stranger to stranger, but bless you. Really.

  12. if you want to go out until past 1am and talk about feeling vulnerable – email me. ;) you'll be fine so don't worry so much.

  13. Hahah! Piss on her territory! Do it! PISS ON HER FURNITURE!

    This is why I love reading your blog.

    Such a badass. You're stronger than you even realize.

  14. ugh, i want to cry. i don't have a sister, or brother for that matter. being an only child is not fun and i feel i'm really missing out on moments like this..you're so lucky to have someone like this to turn to. i'm not saying i don't have anybody, i have a really close cousin, who is just like a sister, but a sister relationship is one of the best gifts of life..enjoy it! i really do hope you feel better.

  15. Stephanie, you should totally vent (god knows I've been doing plenty of that lately, being 8mo along and all), but you do know that gestational diabetes does NOT equal diabetes, right? I'm assuming you do know, but your diary entry indicates otherwise. As far as I understand it, gestational diabetes is caused by the unique conditions of pregnancy, and your body's inability to cope with those specific conditions. It has nothing to do with you being fat(which you're not), redhead, etc. And if the end results indicate gestational diabetes, it's true that you won't be able to indulge this Thanksgiving, but there's no reason you can't enjoy the meal next year. You will return to normal once the babies are born. True, after that you will have to watch it a bit, since apparently women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy have an inreased risk of becoming diabetic some years after they give birth- but being diagnosed with GD (sick of typing it out) does not mean you will be diabetic in the sense that your grandfather was.

    And no, Barbara E., this is in no way a veiled insult- I recently went through this process and am trying to help a fellow pregnant woman feel better.

  16. Yes, I do realize it's only for the duration of my pregnancy, which I'm told should happen mid January! In other news, I just received word… from the nurse :)

    So no beeties here. Still, I have a new respect for those with Diabetes, a respect I never had when I worked on the Pfizer account for over two years.

  17. Hooray for good test results!!!!!!!! I always find that worried waiting leads to the best kind of relief and appreciation of how things could have turned out. I bet that the pie tastes all the sweeter this Thanksgiving.

    My youngest sister is the only person who doesn't look at me like I'm a crazy person when I sob hysterically. That reminds me…. I should call her and thank her for that!

  18. Hey, that's great news! Your are due in mid-January?
    I know what you mean about being embarrassed by your grief. I adore my sister but like you and Lea, we get along on short visits and when in different states. You are lucky to have someone to vent to. It is much healthier that way and a good listener will have you laughing snot through your nose after you have been crying for hours.

  19. Hi Stephenie,

    First your post made me cry, and then Inial's comment made my cry too :( I'm sorry to hear about all of these troubles. You didn't say, Stephanie, whether the second test did come back saying that you have gestational diabetes, but I hope that if it did, you'll take heart in knowing that you are by no means to blame, and that you'll get through this because you are an exceptionally strong person. I'm upset to hear that your husband was at a bar last night, though, when clearly — after taking the diabetes test — he should have been home with you. Anyway, Noisette's comment about gestational diabetes going away post-pregnancy is true, from everything I've heard, so fingers crossed this will be the same for you — if you indeed have been diagnosed.

  20. Stephanie,
    I wish I could do the same with at least one of my sisters… but I am glad you have a sister so you can "fall apart" without judgment. Best wishes, hope you are o.k.

  21. It's also important to realize that just because you have gestational diabetes doesn't mean you'll have to contend with it afterwards. And while the stigma is out there that the disease is associated with fat / unhealthy people, it's just that a stigma. You will be alright.

  22. Gestational Diabetes goes away after pregnancy/birth! That's the good news. I had it, it sucked but I got through it. I was on a low carb diet. It definately does not mean you are fat. Although, I sure thought I was when I was pregnant. Everytime I wanted to eat something that wasn't on my 'diet', I thought about the baby and how I didn't want him to suffer because I had to have the Pasta for dinner. If you have high blood sugar at the time when the guppies are born, they can go in to a coma or have seizures. Neither are fatal, but very scary at the time of birth. It is the most important to watch your blood sugar the last few weeks before they are born. Until then you have to be careful what you eat but can slack a little (which means you can have the stuff you want at Thanksgiving, just have to really watch it the few days before and after to make up for it). The more you don't watch it now, the more they will weigh at birth. Which for you is a double edge sword. Since you are having twins, they will most likely be lower birth weight anyways, but if they get too big they will have to be premies, because there is not enough room for both of them. I hope this helps or makes you feel better, or at least gives you a little more information to work with. Email me if you want, I would be happy to share more on what it was like. I also had a c-section (I've heard a lot of people with twins have them, even though I only had one baby) so if you want to chat about that too, I'm here.

    I love your posts and enjoy sharing in your pregnancy from MN. Thanks!!

  23. To Inial-
    I, too, feel sad about the loss of your father. I lost mine on March 1 of this year… he was 86. The most unconditional love ever! My mowing the lawn and swimming laps will never be the same without Dad to share them with. Now it is a chore to mow and swimming laps seems mindless.. this shall pass but for now, I would love to have just one more conversation about them with Dad. My heart goes out to you.

  24. Glad to hear all is OK! Every step of pregnancy brings tears and anxiety, no matter who you are- I found that was the hardest part of being pregnant, that loss of control. What's happening to your body is not 100% up to you anymore, and that is scary, no matter what!

    I had a bit of a falling out with my sister over the summer, she's my only sibling. I miss her so terribly right now, and your post made me miss her all the more.

  25. whew! yay! let's just blame it all on mercury being in retrograde….take a deep breath…dry our eyes…and hug our man :)

  26. Hooray for the good news! I'm so glad for you. Take it easy babe – it's an absolutely wild ride when those hormones are throwing you around the room. You'll survive. And then you'll get to take them driving like I am…son turns 16 in 8 days. And it was just a minute ago I held him in my arms, and now he's driving me around. Frightening. Anyway, so glad about the beeties.

  27. YAY!!! glad to read the results!! i'm smiling ear-to-ear for you right now :)
    i'm with jaime on this one. hello, my name is christina and i'm an only child. and yes it SUCKS! my mom always tells me to have 2 children. she says it was her biggest mistake to only have one b/c as she gets older, i get older…we all get older, she wishes i had someone in my life that i could always be bonded with….so we could be there for eachother through those life lessons. thank god for friends. friends that qualify for family caliber. when we break down like that, its such a raw expression of emotion…the last thing we want is to have to be a certain way for the person we call or worry what they are thinking. here's to looking forward to the thanksgiving yummies!

  28. Congrats on not having "beeties"! I work (interpreter) in a hospital and rotate through the OB/GYN clinic and so I work with LOOOTS of pregnant women. Like others have said, it's common to "fail" the 1 hour, but then pass the 3 hour test, especially when you were as close as you were to the limit.
    ps. I'm so glad you talk back to those who leave negative comments! Way to go…. Seriously, I don't understand mean comments. (different opinions, fine, but mean?) If I didn't like what you had to say, I just wouldn't come back. I, personally, DO love your blog, and frequently come back!
    Although, I gotta admit, that Melanie P has a lot more nerve than I do – Dude, seriously – do NOT f–k with a pregnant woman, especially one carrying twins, and who just went through FOUR. NEEDLE. POKES. in THREE HOURS. I mean, really.

  29. You're going to be alright, no matter what the results from the doctor's office are. If you have gestational diabetes, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to live with diabetes for the rest of your life. If you do, just remember that you had a wonderful childhood/young adulthood full of wonderful food…at least you have that memory.

  30. Glad the test results were negative. That's a load off.
    And just to prevent the anticipated onslaught of "you can't take sleeping pills while pregnant," my OB recommended I take OTC sleep aids too (since I no longer sleep, basically). I haven't yet, but may soon.

  31. Yay! Congrats Stephanie…phew. That's good news. You (everyone here) probably already know about Agave Nectar, but I wanted to post a link to it, just in case: http://www.sweetcactusfarms.com/ It's a natural sweetener, suitable for diabetics, etc. Tastes great in tea, cooked in pumpkin bread, drizzled on plain yoghurt…

  32. It must be tough to share your personal thoughts and feelings and have people judge them. I don't know how you do it, but I can see how you would benefit from so many people who support and care about you…

    Knowing how much I love to cook as well, I had an idea for you. Should it turn out that you won't be able to partake of traditional Thanksgiving fare this year, why not get creative with it and make it a one-off Thanksgiving. I googled this, the Diabetic Gourmet and they have Thanksgiving recipes. I bet there are ways to make it still a sumptuous, delicious Thanksgiving for everyone but this year, there will be a health twist. Hey – you can still have wonderful flavor with herbs, spices and things you may never have thought of. There's always tradition next year. This year is special x2.


    PS – I'm the same way with my sister in MA – I email and talk with her all the time but in person, we get on each other's nerves after a little while? Go figure.

  33. Thanks for your words. I understood your post about grief, it is a fine line. I don't know where I will be emotionally in time, but I hope that I can find that "healthy" way to cope. Sometimes I will find something funny and I will laugh… then think how my father would have thought it funny as well… then suddenly feel guilty about laughing since I should be sad (all the time?)… then realize that my father would not have wanted that… all in a matter of seconds. Like you said, feelings don't know right from wrong. It is just a rollercoaster right now, I am sure that having a 2 month old baby is not making it easier (or the hormones that are still surging-I am sure you can relate), but she does give me a reason to get up each morning…. whether I am ready to face the day or not!

  34. Not to come off judging or anything even remotely close to that…because like you say – this obviously is YOUR personal journal and you have every right to feel exactly however you feel…and I completely respect that.
    But maybe to help that 'wanting to sleep through the holiday thing' – try to think of all of those people all over the world who do not EVER get to indulge in those foods – and not because of health issues, but because they live in such poverty that they will never get the opportunity to even know what those foods are. I worked with some street kids in Ecuador last summer that were overjoyed with 'cold cereal' because it was a 'luxury' to them.
    Maybe you and your husband could both skip all of the over-indulging that day and volunteer somewhere serving food or something…and remember all of those kids who won't be as fortunate to have a great home full of love and great food like your kids will be :)
    Oh – and I love your blog too and read all the time – so definitely not meaning to mess with a pregnant woman! :)

    FROM STEPHANIE: Thanks Sunny. I do volunteer, and thankfully this year, since I don't have gestational diabetes, I'll enjoy the bounty (that will be excessive) all the more.

  35. Technically, I'd be at 40 weeks pregnant come mid-February, but I've learned recently that they don't like to keep twins in there that long, that the quality of your placentas break down at a certain point. Anything after 32 weeks is good. Not ideal, but good enough. 99% of births that come after 32 weeks turn out to produce perfectly healthy babies. With twins, they hope I'll keep them in until 36 weeks. The probability of a c-section is very high. They are currently both in breach position, though they tend to move a lot. Even if one is up and one down, my doctor said to expect a c-section. We’ll see. The goal is making sure they stay in until January, January 16 I’ll be at 36 weeks, when they think it’s ideal for them to arrive. But it’s too early to really know what will happen. Just an update.

  36. Congrats on passing the tests. Also, you're so lucky to have your sister. I have only one brother and we do not get along at all. He's the absolute last person I would turn to when I'm in need of a supportive shoulder. This is pretty sad and somewhat pathetic considering our parents aren't around either. So a close bound with your sister is indeed a blessing you can be thankful for when you sit down to enjoy all the Thanksgiving goodies : )

    Also to Inial, I know how hard it is to lose people that you love. People who always made you feel special. It's hard not to get that call on special days or enjoy ordinary things you used to do together. But trite as it may sound, time is a good healer. You'll never stop missing them, but the pain will not be so sharp in the months and years to come. And sometime soon, you'll find that you smile more often than cry when you remember them. It also helps sometimes just to think how lucky you were to have a wonderful father in the first place. Even if he couldn't be around as long as you wished, I'm sure the love he gave to you will stay with you your whole life through.

  37. I'm not pregnant and I don't have sisters – but I am prone to extreme emotions that require speeddialing my girlfriends. Sometimes I wonder if I'm manic (or pregnant) but my girlfriends are always there to remind me that I've been like this since high school, and won't it be fun when I AM pregnant? Also – do people with sisters wonder what life would be like without, and vice versa??

  38. I guess I could live without the starch on Thanksgiving (if absolutely necessary), but not with the husband who's out late drinking with the boys when I'm feeling fragile and scared, and pregnant with his babies. If a woman has to ask for her man to be there in that moment with her, to comfort and protect her from her own worry, then I don't know how to help that man. Yuck.

    FROM STEPHANIE: To be fair, he was in New York. I wanted to be in New York, but under doctor's orders, they didn't want me to travel. So I stayed back. And I was pissed about it. More pissed that he was out drinking, getting to be with his friends, while I was home worried, unable to fly, unable to be with my NY friends. I know I should feel happy for him when he's out enjoying himself. But I can't. When I'm miserable, he should be too. Immature, yes. I don't care. It's how I felt. Like I said, RESENTFUL!

  39. Congrats! And as someone who went through 1 labor and 4 c-sections, I can say with some authority that I'd take a c-section over labor any day.

  40. Stephanie –

    So glad everything came out OK. As for Stephanie P., in Texas we have a name for people like that – pendejo.

  41. Very glad to hear you made it through the test, and that you passed! I don't have a sister, but I have always wished that I did. Enjoy your Thanksgiving…with all the trimmings!

    Oh, and both my daughters and my husband were born in mid-January – gotta love those Capricorns!

  42. so glad it turned out well :) p.s. i didn't know you worked on the pfizer account… i worked on the online planning for pfizer pharm for 1 yr at my agency.

  43. I think what bothered me the most about this whole post was the line, "A disease associated with fat people."

    You are more worried about (always) how much you weigh than about getting a disease that afflicts millions, and which in your case would have just been pregnancy related. You really should do some research before making a statement that shows your ignorance. So sad coming from someone who is supposedly "educated."

    So now just because you came out of this without diabetes (even calling it "beeties" shows how much you DO NOT have a "new found respect" regardless of what you claim) you can go back to the wonderful facade of your life.

    And Amy…if you're referring to a female, it's "Pendeja" not "Pendejo."

    FROM STEPHANIE: Here we go. Listen, I was VERY aware when I wrote what I did that it wasn't an educated statement. My paternal grandfather, my maternal grandmother (and almost all of her 6 siblings) have diabetes. My sister-in-law had gestational diabetes, so believe me I know it goes away after pregnancy. And please, I worked on PfizerforLiving, specifically learning all about diabetes, both types, while on the job. And guess what, we still all joked about the possibility of losing our toes. My grandfather lost a leg. We still joked about it, and oftentimes the ones initiating the jokes were the co-workers with diabetes. It was their coping mechanism, maybe. My calling it 'the beeties" is something I've done for a long time, as far back as when I was in day-long meetings with Pfizer learning all about diabetes. I was terrified I had it, and encouraged Linus to lick my toes while I still had them. I discuss this fear in my book. It's a frightening disease when it's not managed. The good news is, it can be managed, and in some cases, prevented. Please don't preach to me about my insensitivity on my blog. The journal entry was MINE, for me, and I chose to share it with you. It wasn't a service announcement. Try to remember that. This site isn't intended to be politically correct. Sometimes I'll offend people. It's my journal. It's not CNN, and no, I don't think it's my "responsibility" to do anything aside from being true to my uninhibited writing.

  44. That is exactly why I have always wanted a sister, but then I realised I don't need one because my cousin is exactly that to me and even better we don't argue as much as siblings.

  45. Diabetes is controlled much differently today than when you were growing up. You can eat everything…just in certain amounts, and with proper checking. Aren't you talking about gestational Diabetes? Not one person I know (out of 11 friends!) continued to have Diabetes after their pregnancy…Please cut out the sleeping pill jokes. It's a bit offensive coming from a woman lucky enough to be pregnant.

    FROM STEPHANIE: It wasn't a joke. I am allowed to take 1 sleeping pill, actually, a half a unisom, to help with sleep. No joke, if I had to skip out on sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and syrupy acorn squash, I really would have slept through the holiday. Yes, it's about the company. But let me tell you, not being allowed to drink, when you want to, or eat what you want to, on the one day when all Americans eat until they unbutton, I would have slept through it. I didn't say a bottle of sleeping pills. I quite seriously would have taken my allowed dosage. That's how much food is a part of my life. Now you can go analyze how wrong that is, right along with me. Hell, I'm writing a whole book about it.

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