I figured I would be better off typing this out while everything is still fresh in my mind.
First off, today started out good. I woke up right at my alarm, at 6 a.m. which reminds me how I could never work another job requiring me to wake up before the sun rises…but in this case, I was ready to go. My appointment was scheduled for 7 a.m. I showered, got dressed, and took my anti-nausea medicine with some water, per my doctor’s instructions. I was also told to fast for 10 hours before the test. Not easy for me since I eat little things ALL THE TIME. But, I managed.
Driving along…driving along…I told Mike he didn’t need to go with me to this test. I brought some work-related items with me to go through while I waited. No traffic, good music, good moods, sun was out, snow was melting. Created a Nick Drake station on Pandora. Good vibes.
Got to the diagnostic center right before 7. Signed in with the registration lady and waited a few minutes before Lynn, the nicest phlebotomist ever, came to bring me to the lab.
For those of you who don’t know, you are pretty much required to have a glucose screening test done towards the end of your second trimester. This tests you for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar condition that some women are unlucky enough to develop during their pregnancy. Since it doesn’t really produce any symptoms, this lovely test is the only sure-fire way to find out if you have it. Here is the dumb part: A positive result doesn’t necessarily mean that you have gestational diabetes. It just means that more testing and pricking is required (i.e. glucose tolerance test). Stupid pricks.
So Lynn brings me to the lab, and sets a small bottle in front of me explaining that I need to drink it in less than 5 minutes. The first bottle she gave me was frozen solid, so I was pleased, until she noticed it too and went to get me another one. She said not to listen to all of those horror stories I was told by my friends about how gross it tastes, blah blah. She said they switched the flavor to lemon-lime, and now far less women actually get sick from it.
I start drinking, and was pleasantly surprised. Now, by no means would I ever choose to drink this, but it wasn’t as bad as I had pictured the taste to be. I still held my nose like a little kid and drank it all down. I was quite pleased with myself, because I didn’t even feel the least bit nauseous! Lynn gave me a sheet of paper, outlining that I would need to walk back to the lab at 8:10 a.m. She told me to read the list she gave me. This basically included “Do not leave the facility/ waiting room”…”You may use the restroom”…and “If you start to feel light-headed or queasy, tell the front desk immediately”
So I head back to the waiting room and take out my work items to sort through. It was merely alphabetizing some inspection forms, but busy work that needed to get done. In the background, Nancy Grace was playing. I realize how much I actually hate her while being forced to listen to her shenanigans. About 30 minutes pass, and I’m starting to lose focus. I figure, this is understandable since I have nothing in my stomach but this ultra-sugar water. It gets so bad that I have to put my work documents away. I just sat and focused on assclown Nancy Grace, and kept looking around the room.
At this point, I was starting to feel queasy and quite light-headed. I got up, and noticed the only two registration clerks were helping two people check in. I didn’t want to be rude, so I waited. Then I promptly changed my mind because things were starting to spiral out of control. I got the one woman’s attention who check me in, and told her I was feeling queasy and quite weak. She told me to go ahead and walk back to the lab to see Lynn. I grabbed my stuff and made my way back to the lab. I don’t even remember the walk. When I saw Lynn, she assumed the hour had gone by and it was ready for my blood to be drawn. When she looked up at me from her laptop screen, she must have known something was wrong and grabbed my arm and guided me to a chair in the back. I guess I was trying to tell her I was weak and dizzy, but I wasn’t making any sense. She told me I was whiter than my coat (no pale jokes!)
As she brought me to the chair and reclined me back, she told me that the paper said I shouldn’t have walked back to her, but should have gotten a receptionist. I quickly told her that I did, and she instructed me to walk back. Big mistake, I guess!
I started sweating profusely through my shirt (gross), and everything I could hear was garbled and muffled. The room was spinning. Then I felt like I was going to vomit. I asked her if she had a trash can. She said, “you better try to hold it for 20 more minutes, or we’ll have to do this all over again!” She got me an ice pack and put it behind my neck, turned up the fans in my room, and turned off the lights. I focused so hard on not puking. I still can’t believe that I was able to hold it. She guided me in a relaxation exercise which very slowly started to work. I could feel my body relaxing, and my head stopped spinning, and I was much more peaceful. A few nurses checked on me randomly.
In the background at one point, I heard Lynn call up to the front office saying, “We’ve told you guys before, you cannot send patients back here if they tell you they are feeling weak or light-headed, you have to call us to come get them. This girl nearly passed out before she even got to the lab. I barely got her to a chair. What is wrong with you?!”
Lynn came back and checked on me shortly after that. She told me the reason I should have never been allowed to walk back by myself was because I definitely could have fainted in the hallway without anyone ever knowing, and who knows how long I would have laid there for. She also said if that had happened (which we were moments away from), they would have had to bring me to the ER because I’m pregnant. And it’s never good if you fall while pregnant, obviously. So that was scary to even think about.
Shortly after, Lynn took my blood. I surprisingly didn’t care at all about that. I usually get so amped up and nervous when I have to give blood. At that point, I don’t think I cared what was going on. She got me some cheese and crackers after that, and proceeded to ask if I wanted the good news or the bad news first.
UGH. I had indeed failed the glucose test, after all of that drama. Fuck. All for nothing. And now I would have to schedule the 3-hour glucose tolerance test at another date/ time. These are all things I should have heard at my next doctor’s appointment, but Lynn was nice enough to tell me ahead of time because I guess there is a special office I can go to with reclining seats and TV stations. She said to specifically tell them that I did not do well with this test and nearly passed out, so I need to be somewhere with an easily accessible bed/ recliner in the event that it happens again.
The only nice thing about the 3-hour test is that the sugar amount is only half what was in the drink I had today. It’s a fruit punch that they give you, and then they prick your finger 4 times in the three hours following consumption. She seems to think I will pass with flying colors. My doctor also thought I would pass this one without a problem, so now I’m just annoyed. Diabetes does not run in my family, or Mike’s for that matter. So I don’t get it.
So that’s my glucose failure story. It was really the scariest feeling ever. I’m not happy about it. I told Mike about it on my drive home and he said, “That sounds about right.” I swear he thinks I’m being dramatic. I should have made him come with me!
Now I’m going to try to nap for the next few hours and forget that this day happened. I can’t wait to tell baby girl about all the problems her mama encountered along the way. She will probably still end up being a daddy’s girl and hating me 🙂