Thursday, July 12, 2012

Glucose Screening Story

I finally arrived at the point in my pregnancy to take the glucose screening. Going into it I really wasn't concerned. I figured I either have gestational diabetes (GD) or I don't. But really was leaning more towards I don't.  I followed all instructions for the test. I was nervous about drinking the juice. I'd heard and read how awful it was.  
     Yeah, I pretty much LOVED it. Given I've had an affinity for sweet things, especially since second trimester started, but I wasn't expecting how much I'd like it.  They said I had to drink the 10 or so ounces in ten minutes or less. Ummm, it takes me half a day to finish a can of soda, how on earth am I gonna do this? Well, I thought ahead and brought a straw, but I ended up liking it so much that I drank the first half in two minutes alone and had no issues finishing it.
     The fact that it tasted amazing to me sealed the deal for Nick and he was sure I had "The Sugar." I rolled my eyes. All I thought was that it tasted like slightly sweeter and thicker orange kool-aid (Oh yeah!) He had good points though that I could be feeling awful and as soon as I get sugar in me I feel great. 
   [ I would like to note that on my previous appointment my OB wanted to check my thyroid levels.  I've been donating blood for 10 years now and have never once had an issue with getting a vein to go.  They've always gotten it first time every time.  Even when I've had blood drawn at the doctor's office when I was younger, never an issue. Bring in pregnant Jessica and this is what happens. I had to get jabbed four times and have two different people try. I had a great attitude about it. I could tell the poor girl was just having a really hard time and getting flustered. (Also of note: the original technician was cross-eyed and slightly shaking and legitimately stuttering which got worse the longer it went. I can't make this up, but she was REALLY sweet!) ]

     So I go in for glucose test and have the same girl, but try to be real encouraging since she remembered me.  Unfortunately we were on a time restriction, so after trying (and failing) once she called the second girl in.  I went home and waited next to the phone for my results. I went on with my day in late afternoon got the call from the nurse that I was 6 points too high and that I would have to do the 3-hour long test. I had to get in touch with the lab and schedule to have it done within a week. I called immediately and left a voicemail.  Now, this was HOURS before they closed and no one called me back. So I waited until a few hours after opening the next day and called again. This time I was more stern in my message saying I needed this test done in a week, it was my second time calling and that I'd appreciate a call back so I can get this scheduled.  Naturally they called two hours later when I was in the shower.
     Up until this point, everything in my pregnancy has been really great.  Morning sickness was everyday, but only once a day and at approx the same time...I can deal with that. Everything has measured great, checkpoints happened when they should. NBD. So I really didn't look much into GD assuming I'd be fine, just like everything else.  I knew enough to know that I couldn't really do much to stop it from happening. I know several girls who are incredible healthy and got it and a few unhealthy girls who didn't.  Now that it was a possibility I started researching.  Yikes! It can be really dangerous, especially if not treated.  When I told people I had to do the 3-hour everyone had sympathy, but I ultimately decided that I would rather be 6 points over the 'safe zone' and have to have further testing than to be 6 points under and not be sure.
     Luckily Nick was able to come with me to the test. (God bless him!) The lady I scheduled with said the last thing I ate should be between eight and fourteen hours prior to my 9am appointment, so nothing after 1am. As with most pregnant women (really anyone,) if I go without food for more than three hours, I become the Crazy-Pregnant-Lady, or as I like to refer to it, CPL.  In all efforts to be as non-bitchy as possible I had some scrambled eggs with ketchup about 12:15 am. I get called back to check in by a woman named Rachelle (imagine Coach Beaste from Glee with slightly darker skin and add 10-15 years.)
     First thing she asks is if I have my orders. Deer-in-headlights look from me "No, I was just told to come here, my doctor should've sent them over. She's just next door if we need to go get them."  She then realized the purpose of my visit was for the three hour glucose screening. So she sits down and asks when I last ate. When I tell her shortly after midnight she freezes, looks at me like "You weren't supposed to do that." I quickly defend myself and say the lady told me not to eat anything eight hours prior so nothing after one.  She sorta took attitude and was like, it's eight to fourteen,  you just took it literal.
     At this point I'm just telling myself to relax, I'm just grumpy because I'm hungry (and I have three more hours until I can eat!) but I'm silently cursing her out and that if they preferred ten hours prior then they should have told me that! Sweet Nick was standing behind me and I'm sure he could see the anger radiating off my back, so he jumps in to try and defuse and asks her if they get many pregnant women who can't eat and if they're usually on edge. I think that is quite diplomatic of him. It lets her know to back the heck off and me know to calm the heck down, haha! She replies with, "Oh yeah. Tell a pregnant woman that hasn't eaten for eight hours that you're going to poke her and that she can't eat for three more...they're all grumpy. But maybe they should have studied better for the first test!
     I don't remember having EVER wanting to punch someone in the face so bad.  I'm sure my whole body twitched when she said that.  This isn't something you just study for!!!! Zero patient skills.  Anyway, we finish with triage and she takes me back and is the one to draw the blood. Great.  I am beyond words at this point and doing my best to stay calm. I wasn't really nervous for the outcome, but more the test itself. I'd read horror stories about it! Nick explained to her what needles have been like this pregnancy and asked if we could get the kind that stays in there and just cover it in between each hour. Unfortunately they couldn't. At this point I imagine myself getting pricked 16 times over the next three hours (they needed an initial sample plus one every hour for the next three hours.) That's it for me and I just turn my head and start crying. Silent cry but with many, MANY tears. I apologize and try and smile and say it's just nerves and I'm a little overwhelmed. She had turned my chair and as a result I couldn't see Nick (my pillar!) and just tried to get my game face on. For as awful as she was with personal dealings, she was equally wonderful at her job. I didn't feel the needle enter all and she got it first try!
   She brought me the bottle of Glucola to drink (I remembered my straw again.) Friends who've read/seen Twilight, you know the part where they bring Bella the blood and she drinks it and feels better instantaneously? That's what this was like for me. Then I drank too fast and it hurt my tummy a bit, but YES! I had calories in me and it lifted my mood a little bit.
     We went and waited in the waiting room, as sitting in the car was not an option. After about 20 mins passed I leaned on Nick's shoulder. I was about to fall asleep until I could tell that he was close to snoring. There was another pregnant lady (tiny asian) who was there doing her screening too. Knowing how I felt, I'm sure she didn't want to have to sit through someone else's husband shaking the room with his snores, so every 30 seconds or so I would fidget or bump him so it never quite got there. Well, Rachelle walks in and just said "NO SLEEPING!" to which I reply "Why?" She responds by saying I'm just like a little kid! The other girl that was working (Rachelle's opposite) leans over the counter and explains about metabolism changes when sleeping so that I can understand.  Sheesh! It's not like I was going to 'disobey,' it's just that sleeping seemed like the best way to pass the time and I wanted to understand why I couldn't.  We sat there for a few more minutes and I remembered we had a new board game sitting in the car. 
     When I went back for my next blood draw he went and got it. We took over a corner in the office and played. Naturally we invited the other lady to come play but she was reading so she opted out. Holy cow! That sure made the time go faster. We cleaned up and it was time for blood draw three. When I came back out we played Kings Corner for the last hour.  So much more enjoyable. By the end of our time there, I got in a good mood and Nick got really bored (an hour of that game is a long time!) 
     We left the hospital and nothing sounded good to me to eat (surprise, surprise) but Nick wanted Five Guys. The fries and coke were delicious and so was the burger.  I was told I'd get a call the next morning with the results. I was pretty exhausted as I'd only gotten 5 hours of sleep, so I went home and pretty much slept the rest of the day away. I felt overall run down, but it was ok, lazy day needed.  I didn't feel ancy at all, I figured I couldn't do anything now, nor could I have ever, so I just waited.
     The whole next morning when by and I hadn't heard from my OB's office. I figured that if it was important they would call me and if I hadn't heard from them by 2pm I'd give them a call. Well, they got in touch with me at 1:30pm and said my tests came back good! It's still important that I watch and keep my glycemic index down low, but that I was just fine. Phew! I figured as much but it was still a relief to know for sure. 

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