I can imagine the conversation that went on between the two doctors who thought of the glucose tolerance test. I don't think they were really thinking of their patient's health when they did so.
Dr. #1: Hey, I have an idea of how we can test for diabetes!
Dr. #2: What's that?
Dr. #1: We can have them not eat any sugar all day and then give them a drink with more sugar than anyone could possibly take in one sitting...
Dr. #2: Oh, and then we can poke them with needles and drain their blood!
Dr. #1: Yeah, yeah! And then we can watch as they get sick!
What kind of sick doctors were those?
Yesterday was a hard day for me. I had to get the 1-hour glucose screen done to see if I'm at risk for gestational diabetes. They forgot to have me do it last month, so they asked me to do it ASAP...so we did, the day after our 28 week check up.
The instructions were to avoid all forms of sugar all day: fruit, juice, jam, etc. I then had a choice of one of two meals: eggs and toast for breakfast or meat and vegetables for lunch.
I had lunch. Two hours later I found myself at the hospital, trying to communicate with some very gossipy nurses (who were all much more interested in gossiping than in helping me out).
They gave me an orange drink that tasted like Fanta, only super sweet--like pop isn't super sweet already. I had five minutes to drink it. No problemo, I thought. But then I noticed that it was carbonated so that meant I had to battle the hiccups while trying to drink in a very limited time frame.
I read the bottle between sips:
Take only under the direction of a physician.
May cause vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, or fainting.
Man, those doctors sure were sick. Who gives someone enough sugar in one sitting that it can only be safely taken under the direction of a physician? And why would anyone want to drink so much sugar that they have any of the symptoms listed?
The first nurse had told me to come up to the desk after I had finished drinking it and they would have someone draw my "initial" blood. Apparently her shift ended while I was drinking because there was a new lady at the desk when I went up there and she told me that I didn't need any initial blood work done.
So I sat in my chair for an hour. Andrew read "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid" while I, at Andrew's insistence, began the third Harry Potter novel (I haven't even read the first one yet...)
Then a nurse came out and called my name. I looked all around for the nurse. It took me about two minutes until I spotted a short male nurse jumping up and down and waving his arms.
He was nice enough, but I think he was fairly new at his job.
I'm actually not sure if the reason it hurt so bad was because the nurse did a terrible job of sticking me, or if it is simply because I have 50% more blood coursing through my body. Either way, when we left, I was holding my arm and almost crying.
"Why are you holding your arm?" Andrew, who again didn't accompany me into the lab because he is terrified of needles, asked, "You didn't do that last time."
"Because it hurts." I answered shortly. I wasn't feeling too well.
By the time we got home I was ready for a nap. I felt like I had just eaten all of my Halloween candy in one sitting. In my family, Halloween candy usually lasts all year, so I don't even know how that would feel, but I think I have a pretty good idea now.
I took a nap and woke up feeling even worse. Eeww...I never wanted to see sugar ever again. I went out into the living room and lay down on the floor in the fetal position.
"Are you alright?" Andrew asked.
"Yes," I lied.
"Are you sure?" he probed.
"No," I said.
Andrew made me a quesadilla and then left for work. I ate and then got ready to go to yoga. Maybe that would make me feel better.
I then experienced some of the symptoms that I read on the bottle. I won't go into details, but we'll just say that I felt much better a few minutes later.
I left for yoga. It was canceled. No one had told me, so when I got there, no one was there. That was fine with me because I didn't feel too great anyway. I went home and did the same thing I had done just a few minutes before.
Instead of yoga, I attempted to clean the kitchen but my arm was pounding and it hurt to straighten it or lift anything with it.
So, instead of cleaning the kitchen, I phoned Andrew and asked when he could come home and take care of me.
I had killed enough time doing who knows what that he was already on his way home, hurray!
Andrew came home and made me dinner and rubbed my back and played with my hair. I'm so spoiled, I know.
While he was doing the dishes (see the part about my being spoiled), I decided to take off my bandage. I assure you that, although it doesn't look that bad in the picture, it looked pretty gruesome last night.
No wonder my arm hurt. It was all swollen and purple and had three little needle entrances in it.
Let's just say that Andrew and I both are hoping that I passed this test so that we don't have to go in and take the more intensive glucose screen. I really don't know if I'm up to having my blood drawn three times in one day. After all, I only have two arms.