How sweet it is

One hundred per cent of the times I’ve been stabbed with a needle at the laboratory in the hospital – the one I now go to for blood work in case I pop suddenly and they need all the information they can get – the nurses have been perfectly successful.

That in itself was reason enough to really enjoy my experiences there.

But yesterday, I also discovered that they’re pretty understanding people too, and now I like them even more.

I had to go get a routine glucose test yesterday, since I’m now in the ripe old stage for being able to detect gestational diabetes. Only, the test I got wasn’t the routine one. My doctor is concerned (and frankly, so am I) at how quickly I seem to be packing on weight, so he sent me straight to the two-hour test, which I understand is a much more painful experience that the typical one-hour test.

Here’s what happens: You have to have your last anything to eat 12 hours or more before the test. I was driving the night before my test, so my last thing to eat was 14.5 hours before my test. (Sleeping on an empty stomach with heart burn is not something I’d recommend trying.) I arrived at the hospital to preregister, like I was told, and I waited 15 minutes while old people got confused about what they were at the hospital for. Then, my number was called and I handed over all of my information and the clerk looked at me like I was an idiot and told me that I don’t have to register for a glucose test, just go upstairs, dummy. Then I went upstairs, where the new clerk asked me if I’d preregistered, and she managed to do an impressively good job of hiding the fact that she was really unimpressed when I told her no. Then I waited  another fifteen minutes.

With me so far? This is when the test gets fun.

So then I gave a few vials of blood and was handed a small bottle of a sweet, orange drink that contains 75 grams of glucose that I had to drink in 10 minutes or less. I found it not vomit-inducing, as I’d been warned, but still a little unpleasant and difficult to chug. I read the fine print on the bottle and wondered why it said “for non-pregnant adults.” but then the nurse made fun of me for reading the fine print and encouraged me to keep drinking, so I finished it. Then I got to sit for an hour without eating, drinking, or moving, and I got my blood drawn again. Then I got to sit for another hour without eating, drinking, or moving and I got my blood drawn again.

By the end of the process, I had gone 17.5 hours without eating – that’s pretty rough for a pregnant lady.

Plus, during the test, the sugar crash made me drowsy, sluggish, and a little bit cranky.  I was feeling kind of bad, because I was kind of secretly cursing my doctor a little when the rumbles of hunger or overwhelming tiredness were at their worst, but then I got my blood drawn the last time and the nurse made me feel a little more justified.

“Oh, you must have failed your one-hour test?” she said.

“No, I never had the one-hour test.”

“Oh. Well diabetes must run in your family.”


“Oh. Well your doctor is just mean, then.”

I wonder if she’d be willing to come with my to my next appointment.



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