Hunger and Boredom

Took my 3-hour glucose “challenge” today, and since it was SO fun for me (sarcasm adundant), I thought I would spread some of the ‘cheer’ by giving you a run-down of what this medical test entails.

First, why do they call it a glucose challenge?  To provide extra motivation, maybe?  Whatever the reason, I think they should change the name because glucose challenge makes it sound like I was there to run a relay or something.  But the glucose challenge is quite the opposite.  It requires that you sit at the medical office for 3 hours and do nothing.  Literally.  Sure, you can read or sew or Sudoku, but you are not supposed to get out of your chair with the exception of donating a vial of blood every hour.  The test is given to pregnant women to determine whether or not they have gestational diabetes, which is when the pregnancy hormones block the body’s production of insulin, which will make blood sugar skyrocket and potentially lead to a large baby.  Since I’ve had the condition for 2 of my previous pregnancies, I just might be a glucose challenge expert by now.  My husband wanted to know why couldn’t I just skip the one hour test and go right for the 3 hour test since we both knew that I would fail it since I am craving sweets and I’ve failed my last two 1-hour tests.  (MAJOR chocolate malt craving the other night, by the way.  If I do have the diabetes, it will stink to have to fend off one of those cravings with sugar-free chocolate…  somehow it’s just not the same.)  The Dr. wasn’t down with skipping right to the 3 hour test though, so lucky me, I’ve had to do them both.

Sure enough, I failed my 1 hour, which is why I got to spend my whole day at the doctor’s office waiting to get poked with a needle today.  And that’s not even the funnest part.  They make you fast from 10pm the night before until whenever your test is over, which for me wasn’t until 1:30 this afternoon!  They were a little late on my last blood draw, and I was on the verge of wreaking havoc in the office when they finally called me in.  Luckily, my daughter had gone to school with the nurse’s daughter a few years ago, so she recognized me and noticed the desperate look in my eyes, otherwise I think they might have forgotten about me.  One more minute, and I was going to carry out my plan to go to my car and scavenge for crumbs my kids left behind on the road trip to Illinois.  Luckily, it didn’t come to that, but asking a pregnant lady to go without food for over 12 hours is a pretty brave thing to do!

I forgot to mention that for 3 days prior to the test, they put you on a special diet.  I was like, oh great, here we go, but when I got the diet paper home and looked at it, the diet actually turned out to be the best part!  For 3 days, I was under doctor’s orders to load up on carbs, eat anything I wanted, and to make sure that I ate dessert with both lunch and dinner.  No problem, mission accomplished!

And a final note, before I take a nap, since they literally drained the energy from my body today in 3 separate installments…  they have a new flavor of the glucose drink you have to drink.  It used to be just orange, which tasted like orange pop, but today I was offered a cola flavored one also.  So I chose the new one because, what the heck, you only live once, and I’ve had the orange one more than a few times by now.  Which brings me to a question I have:  if there is 50g of dextrose in these little drinks, why don’t they taste better?  It’s not like they taste bad (the orange ones anyway), but shouldn’t something that is basically liquid sugar taste a little better?  I can think of probably about 50 things that would taste much better and have lots of sugar in them.  Why don’t they let me binge on candy and desserts before the glucose test instead of downing that drink?  And if I do have gestational diabetes, is it really the best thing for my body to be ingesting all this sugar just for them to test me?  And what do they need a whole vial of blood for every hour?  I am beginning to feel like someone’s science project!  I guess doctors know best, even though sometimes it’s hard (downright impossible for people like my husband!) to put your trust in them.  But back to my point…  if you ever have to take this test, I would stay away from the cola flavored glucose drink.  It’s not very good, and every time I think about drinking it, I feel nauseous!  It reminds me of the ‘flat cola’ remedy my mom recommended one time when I was sick as a kid.  I felt like I was going to throw up, even though I hadn’t, so she had heard somewhere that I should drink flat cola.  We just happened to have some in the house, so I tried it, promptly vomited everything up, and couldn’t look at cola for months.  And I still remember it.  Sorry Mom…  that one just didn’t work 😉 

3 thoughts on “Hunger and Boredom”

  1. It sounds like they changed that test in 16+ years. I remember Sarah downing orange juice with sugar added before the blood test. Plus 2 slice of white toast with 2 tablespoons of grape jelly. I tried it once, just to be a good husband, and I couldn’t get through that much jelly.

  2. They just love to torture people, don’t they? 🙂 Few know how to do it better than hospital personnel! 😛

    I wonder if they just want it to be dextrose? Regular pop uses fructose (high-fructose corn syrup), a different sugar. 39g of it typically, though Jones Soda uses 48g of “inverted cane sugar” instead, whatever that is. Do they put the sugar in upside down? 😮

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