Friday, May 02, 2008

Month Seven: Part Two

I have the one-hour glucose test to screen for gestational diabetes today. It involves drinking a sugary substance, waiting an hour, and then having your blood sugar checked. I've heard that the test can make you feel horrible and the drink is disgusting, so I wanted a little more information. As usual, I turned to the internet. And I'm finally wising up. Instead of googling "glucose test disgusting", I googled "glucose test not that bad." And what do you know, there are people for whom it's not that bad! And that's all I need to know about it before I have to do it.

5/1 (later...)
And the verdict is... not that bad! Really! The drink was not tasty, not something I'd order in a restaurant, but do-able. It was about a cup of very very sweet, slightly syrupy, slightly carbonated soda. And if it made me feel weird at all, the weirdness was indistinguishable from my base level of pregnancy weirdness, so I couldn't tell. Apparently some places have flavors, but this was just Sugar Flavor, and a real waste of calories as far as I'm concerned. I understand the need for ingesting a specific, measured amount of sugar for this test. But in this age of standardization and international corporations, why couldn't the standard measure be a certain number of glazed doughnuts? I'm sure that Dunkin makes his "donuts" pretty standard everywhere. They could've given me a choice between drinking their stuff and bringing a sticky dozen with me to my appointment. One for the midwife, one for the lab tech, one for the nurse, one for the receptionist, eight for me. Maybe I'll bring that up the next time I'm in the office.

Blood sugar affects mood, right? Pregnant women tend to worry, right? So, a pregnant woman with screwy blood sugar is likely to be both irritable and anxious already. As such, the call from the nurse, with the news that the glucose screening test has been soundly and decisively flunked, is not likely to result in a measured, reasonable response. It's much more likely to result in some tears, a certain amount of slamming things around, and possibly also a smattering of oaths. Like this one: crap. And this one [censored]. And this one: [extra censored]. And then back to: crap. But don't worry. I held off swearing until I hung up the phone.

This flunk doesn't mean I have gestational diabetes, it just means I probably do. It also means I have to take another, more serious, test next week (no food for 11 hours, followed by a blood draw and a big glass of that awesome drink-that-isn't-doughnuts, followed by three more hours of fasting and a few more blood draws). I feel jittery and weak if I don't eat for two hours. How is fourteen hours of fasting going to feel? Again: crap.

If I were feeling more like myself, I'm sure I could take this development in stride and just do what I had to do without making a big deal of it. But I'm not, so I'm not. I'm having a hard time eating again today, and it's driving me crazy to be both hungry and unable to swallow anything without really concentrating. Tiny bites help, as do crunchy fruits and vegetables, but it's hard to get a lot of sustenance out of nibbling radishes and grapes.

Well, if I do have gestational diabetes, maybe it explains all this energy level and appetite nonsense. If I start eating three (!) eggs for breakfast every day, maybe I'll finally get that pregnant energy surge everyone talks about.


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