Monday, November 16, 2009

Orange You Glad I Don't Have Diabetes?

Just in case I wasn't having enough fun, in case I needed a little more adventure and intrigue, the nurse called me on Wednesday to inform me that I'd failed my glucose screening test. By one point.

Two thoughts went through my head. Primarily, I felt like things were starting to unravel with the pregnancy. Yes, I went there – as I always do. This wasn't just a screening test I failed, it was another Bad Thing that might be happening with the pregnancy, and why me? The other thought I had was: I get to leave the house. On Friday, I had to return to the doctor's office for a fasting three-hour long glucose test that would tell us whether I did, in fact, have gestational diabetes. The test sounded like a drag, but at least I would have a change of scenery.

The first hour went okay. I had the baseline test, and she only had to jab me once to get it (my arms still look like a junkie's from the multiple attempts in the hospital to get an IV in me). Then I drank the orange glucose drink, and it went down fine. Other than the long wait, I thought, this is no big deal. Then I asked if they could sneak me in with the doctor just to check the baby's heartbeat and ensure all was well, given the excitement the week before.

As I waited in an exam room for the doctor, a feeling of lightheadedness set in, which didn't surprise me. I'm the kind of person who needs to snack between meals, and never more so than during pregnancy. So I figured that the fasting would have this effect on me. By the time the doctor finished examining me (all was well) and they drew my blood for the second time, the feeling had intensified. They brought me to a different room where I could stay and wait out the second and third hours, and I figured if I just lay down I would feel better.

You know the feeling you have about tequila/Southern comfort/insert name of liquor with which you had some sort of unfortunate college-years encounter and now cannot even say, much less smell or even contemplate drinking? That's the relationship I now have with that orange drink, which I could feel sloshing in my otherwise empty stomach. As I sat in that room, waves of intense nausea and lightheadedness washed over me in succession. My husband went and got a nurse, whom I informed (possibly whining) that I would be unable to finish the test. She pleaded with me to finish – brought me a johnny and put cold towels on my forehead and the back of my neck to prevent me from fainting. My husband asked me if I could take my picture (he seems to enjoy capturing these charmed moments), and this time I didn't even care. The blood taker lady then came in for the second-hour test and told me that if I didn't finish, I would be treated as a diabetic – put on a special diet, the whole nine yards. The waves of sickness had let up a bit by then, so I somehow resolved to finish. And I did. Without fainting or vomiting. Victory, I'd say.

A huge lunch and a three-hour nap later, I had recovered from the ordeal on Friday. As I awaited the call with the results today, I knew it was unlikely that I actually had GD, but oh what the heck, I figured I may as well worry about it anyway. Turns out, I don't have GD. So the whole orange drink/near-fainting in the doctor's office thing was just for kicks and giggles.

As a practical matter for those of you who have the screening in your future: I now know that I should have fasted before that first test. The instructions I got from my doctor's office specifically said that no fasting was required, but since I only failed it by one point my guess is that would've made a difference. And it would've been a whole lot easier to fast before drinking that horror than endure the three-hour nightmare.

Also, while I am normal weight, because I have PCOS I had adhered to a pretty strict "good carbs" diet while TTC and for most of the pregnancy, because why not? I didn't avoid carbs completely, but I almost never ate "white" carbs, keeping almost totally to whole grains, and limited carbs and sugar overall. I was pretty disciplined about it, and after a while it wasn't even an effort. As my bump has grown, my discipline on this front has faded in direct proportion, and I'm afraid I may have fallen off the wagon a bit, particularly in recent weeks and with the arrival of Halloween candy on the scene. Although the nurse today said the one-point failure on the screening test now means absolutely nothing, I'm taking this experience as a wake-up call for me to get back on that wagon. Because it's healthy, and because what I put in my mouth is one thing that at least I can fully control.


missing_one said...

hey!! I failed by 4 points last week and convinced my doc to let me do the 1 hour again, this time she wants fasting which is fine by me.

so glad you don't have GD and another thing to worry about!

Michelle said...

I am glad that you do not have GD! I am sorry that you had a bad experience though. It sounds horrible!

PJ said...

Oh, I'm sure I will flunk that with flying colors.

Glad you're ok though!

kirke said...

Yuck....I can imagine the three-hour being a bit of a nightmare. I'm glad you made it through :)

Anonymous said...

So glad you passed the second test! I hear you with the carbs- I've fallen off the wagon since Hallowe'en as well, and with crunch time during the semester...and the scale reminded me this morning why that isn't a good idea!

Fingers crossed that you can have a relatively uneventful rest of the pregnancy (at least as uneventful as bedrest can make it).


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had to take the 3 hour test! My experience with it sounds much like yours. Starting about 30 minutes after downing the glucola, I felt like I was going to die/pass out/vomit, for the entire next 2.5 hours. I had to lie down in their room in the back with my sweater over my eyes, trying to breathe and not throw up. I'm glad you got through it and that you don't have GD!

Anonymous said...

Did they tell you if you were having a low blood sugar reaction (hypoglycemic)?

I had the 3 hr. test done a long time ago (not pregnant) and felt the same exact way. I stopped the test when my blood sugar was in the low 60's and I thought I was going to pass out. I hope I don't have to go through it again while pregnant!

Good Egg Hunting said...

Huh -- Jaci, thanks for the thought. I'm going to ask my doctor about this when I see her next week -- I wonder if any of the readings were low. Thanks!

Celia said...

I am so glad you don't have GD. My test is on the 22 and I am not looking forward to it.

If you do have hypogylcemia, it is a drag but dealable. If I don't eat every few hours I get a little disorientated and cranky/lightheaded.

Calliope said...

phew!! been thinking of you.