On Friday, March 31st – both Dean and I went to the Quest Lab that is closest to our house to do my glucose tolerance test. Also known as the test that searches for gestational diabetes. Or, as Mr. Brimley would say:
Now, the reason I selected this particular Quest office was because they offered a 7:15AM appointment time, and when you are pregnant and fasting, a) the sooner you can eat, the better and b) I am still working, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t impact the office with my absence. As always, we came prepared – Dean had his laptop and I had our Nintendo Switch to play the new Zelda but first, I had to have my first blood draw.
If you get squeamish at all, it’s probably best to stop reading this. Go outside, take a nap, eat a snack – just dont read this. It’s not that anything I’m going to say is particularly gross, but it was quite unpleasant and to fully illustrate this, I am going to use some off-color language and some people dont want to read that or read about needles and blood draws. Now’s your time to bail out.
Okay, back to business. Normally, I have very good experiences at Quest because their phlebotomists have seen/done it all and can do a blood draw super easily. Well, this particular woman HAD to have been new (for several reasons). First, she tried to locate the vein in my arm which I know are semi-deep (which I did mention to her), but they are not difficult to locate by any stretch of the imagination. I have had enough bloodwork from a wide array of people who never have any issues to know whether or not I am a difficult stick. Well THIS BITCH puts the needle in my arm and she fucking moves it around. She is literally waiting for my blood to fill her vial but she either completely missed my vein, or she was just rooting around hoping she’d get lucky? I’d rather not be your goddamn pincushion so, no thank you, let’s not. She gave up on my arm, and said she is going to draw from my hand. Okay, not my favorite option, but sure – why not do it just this once? The first blood draw is to establish your fasting blood sugar, before you drink the glucose drink. This draw was moderately unpleasant but I was willing to bear through it.
Then I was given this to drink, within FIVE minutes:
I dont know what ‘Lime-on-dex’ stands for – but it should be called ‘thick, syrupy, almost-Sprite’ that I needed to consume far too quickly. I tried drinking it as fast as I could to minimize my suffering, but ended up only being able to take tiny Yorkie sips because it was just SO much sugar all at once. I managed to finish it within the 5 minutes, and we started the timer for my next blood draw (one hour from then). After about 20 minutes, I started feeling like absolute hell. My stomach hurt, I felt shaky, and all I wanted to do was go home but noooo, of course I have to sit here for another hour and a half – and then go to work! At this point, I can only describe my thought pattern as:
I started asking Dr. Google if this was normal, and everyone said yes – so I tried to relax a little but started feeling very anxious. It was like riding a sugary rollercoaster where I would feel okay for about two minutes and then just get intense pangs of gross nausea. Hour one elapsed (8:35AM), and I go in for my second draw. Here I thought maybe the vampire would try my arm again, or at least my other arm because they do come in pairs. NOPE. She very matter-of-factly states, “I am going to draw from your hands, ok?” I wasn’t exactly looking forward to experiencing more of her ‘let’s find a vein’ game, so I agreed. So this time she did my right hand, and STILL had a problem getting it. I was tempted to take the needle from her and do it my damn self. I can fucking SEE the veins in my hands, how are you this bad at this? HOW? Eventually she found the vein, did my blood and goes, “okay, your next draw will be at 10:35AM”.
This is a two-hour glucose tolerance test. I have the procedure mapped out in explanation in my bag, and that was not what was explained to me. So, I advocated for myself and told her that that is not what my OB explained to me, nor is that what is in my paperwork. She shows me the vials where it says ‘two hours’. and I said, “Yes, I’ve been here since 7:15AM. So two hours would be done somewhere around 9:35AM.” Even then she insisted that the time would be 10:35AM but she would ‘consult with her colleague’. I overhear her, and SURPRISE! GUESS WHO WAS RIGHT? Me, asshole, because I know how to use the internet and how to read a lab order. She corrected herself and that is about when I asked if it was okay for me to go sit in our car. The chairs were uncomfortable, and frankly – the ‘colleague’ receptionist who I will refer to as ‘old nurse’ was on my last goddamn nerve. Old Nurse made a lot of sounds just sitting at her desk (pain sounds?) that she clearly wanted other people to hear and ask her what was wrong, but I didn’t budge on that. She did make small talk and asked when I was due, so I politely complied and answered her questions and chatted a little. Then she tells me that she has ELEVEN grandchildren. Well that’s nice for you Old Nurse, but I am tired, feel like absolute shit, and have had pain inflicted on me twice at this point, I am done hearing your fertile family nonsense. I was allowed to leave and sit in the car only because Dean was with me and could watch me in case anything ‘went wrong’. As we are walking out, I notice that everyone else that has had their blood drawn by this phlebotomist ALSO has had their blood drawn from their hands. Hmm, were they all hard sticks too? Yeah, no.
The clouds started to part, and I felt SO much better after continuing to drink water and getting out off the office and into the car. I am much more comfortable in my own space – plus the car has cozy butt warmers!
Dean and I chatted and before I knew it, it was time to go back in. I looked at my right hand, and it had already started to bruise. Awesome. I sit down in the chair to do the last one, both hands already hurt and I am just accepting that this is what’s happening at this point. She drew from a vein towards the side of my hand that I have never experienced before. My entire hand started to ache, but I was DONE.
After we left, Dean and I stopped by Starbucks to get me a bagel and cream cheese and it was the best thing that I have ever eaten. I felt off the entire day, BUT…
My placenta is doing it’s job when it comes to processing glucose, I do not have the diabeetus!
I received the call yesterday that my levels were perfect at all three draws, so no need for further testing. Which by the way, the Dr’s notes and advice from her team said that they would not call me unless I had failed. When I saw the OB office was calling me, I said ‘uh oh’ and assumed I had failed. Nope, they called to tell me that and that we needed to up my iron a little bit because I am just a touch under where they’d like me to be. Seriously guys? Thanks for the momentary panic. Assholes.
Battle wound, at 5PM on Friday:
Anyway. I’ll have a really amazing update in about a week and a half, so make sure you check back after the 15th!