The Texture Of Things

Dos: Sugar Sugar

July 1st, 2008

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For those who are not in the know, pregnant chicks get subjected to a certain kind of torture, right around 24 weeks* along (*out of 40, which, if you’re me, HA HA HA HA HA HA!). That torture is the glucose testing.

For the first test, you (and here, “you” reads as “amy”) go in and drink this dense, mostly flat, nasty-ass orange soda. If you are lucky, it will very, very cold. You score extra points (with yourself only) if you are a normally a diet soda drinker and can choke this stuff down without wishing you were either unconscious or, worse, a fan of orange soda. You then sit in the waiting room for an hour, get blood drawn, and go home, where you will wait for the call telling you that you flunked the test and must undergo the second leg of this wretched journey.

The second test is a three-hour glucose test, where you (and again, here “you” reads as “amy”) are instructed to follow a “special” diet for three days, ending with fasting for the night before the test. The diet is a best described as a trap.

It’s a trap!

This “diet” is basically three days of carb loading.

Then you (and this is where it gets hypothetical and I’m drawing on my memory of being pregnancy with the tot and recent instructions from the nurse) go in, have 7 pints of blood drawn, and then drink a dense, mostly flat, nasty-ass lemon-lime soda. If you are lucky, it will be very, very, very, very cold, but let’s be honest here – dry ice couldn’t get this stuff cold enough. Then once an hour for three hours, you have another 15 pints of blood drawn, and then you go home and wait for the nurse to call you and tell you that you flunked this test too, you failure of failures.

Or so I’ve heard.

This time, it started much earlier for me. At nine weeks, I got to do the one-hour test because I had Gestational Diabetes with the tot. I barely passed it, but then, I hadn’t kept down anything to eat or drink in, like, a week or more, and that can mess with how your body processes sugars. Still, my OB told me she was fine with the numbers and I could expect to repeat the test later. My perinatologist told me she wasn’t fine with the numbers and I could expect to fail the test later and require insulin.

Quite a vote of confidence, wouldn’t you say?

At nineteen weeks, I saw the dietitian, who was perplexed because technically I hadn’t received a diagnosis of GD but who gave me a glucometer and a GD diet anyway and sent me on my way.

At twenty-four weeks, I flunked the one-hour test, right on time, albeit barely.

At twenty-five weeks, I did my three-day carb-fest, arranged for babysitting, packed up my billion and four papers to grade while I sat in the waiting room waiting to donate more blood to the sweet tooth vampires that live in the OB’s lab, and happily (HA HA HA HA HA HA!) marched my butt to the OB’s office to drink the world’s worst limeade.

And I flunked the test without even trying. My fasting sugar level (the one before you drink the nasty) was already capital-F Flunking.

Sing it with me: Flunking!

So I got sent home to eat exactly the prescribed number of carbs at exactly the prescribed times, track my blood sugars, and call back, um, yesterday (I should really do that today) so they can tell me if I need insulin yet. (Short answer is no, I don’t, and that’s why I haven’t made it a priority to call: my numbers are fine now that I’m out of carb-loading hell.)

None of this exceptionally crappy. I did the GD diet with the tot and I can do it again, but it is generally a drag. Fortunately I am not typically driven by pregnancy cravings, so that helps. Where the experience goes solidly south will be when my fasting numbers, which cannot be controlled by diet, go high and insulin is my only recourse. Oral meds are out because of my sulfa allergy. The mere thought of sticking a needle in anything other than a pincushion makes the panic vomit rise in my throat.

So, yeah. It’s gonna be a long ride from here ’til the end.

There had better be a kick-ass prize at the bottom of this cereal box, is all I’m sayin’.

1 Comment »

  1. KLee says

    Erg. Sorry to hear of your pregnancy-induced woes. I know it’s not any sort of fun at all, but like you say, the prize at the end will be so worth it.

    I hope that you continue to not need insulin, and that you are as healthy as the proverbial horse. Love to you, and many, many hugs. 🙂

    July 1st, 2008 | #

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