Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wherein I Lose My Driving Privileges

Yesterday, I went in for a non-stress test at my local doctor's office. During these tests, I am hooked up to multiple monitors and unable to move as I uncomfortably lay on my back and focus on breathing. The length of the test depends on the babies and their movement/sleep schedule, but I am usually strapped down for about an hour each visit. Needless to say, the appointment is long and boring. With these factors in mind, I decided to drive myself the one mile to my appointment and leave Nathan at home so Eliza could have her afternoon nap as scheduled.

After some deliberation, I decided I should probably let my doctor know my gestational diabetes test had never been performed. I'm sure some of you are thinking, "Umm...shouldn't you have mentioned that weeks ago?" I guess the correct answer is yes. Yes,  I should have said something 5 weeks ago when the test is typically done. However, I could not bring myself to face the reality of drinking the most vile liquid substance known to man (well, woman).

When I was pregnant with Eliza, my sister came to support me during my gestational diabetes test. She was a few weeks behind me with her own pregnancy, and I definitely was not the greatest example of things to come. I sat in the doctor's office and audibly gagged and then cried as I tried to drink 8 ounces of a lemon-lime mixture that tasted "just like Sprite!" My sister, disgusted by the sound of gagging, nearly threw up several times and ultimately had to leave the room.  So, being the good 22 year old woman that I was, I literally kicked my feet in frustration and cried as the kind nurse told me: "If you don't finish drinking that glucola in the next 5 minutes, sweetheart, the test is completely useless." Somehow, between sobs, I managed to drink the rest of the lemon-lime nastiness. I then managed to keep the substance down for an hour like the test requires.  As soon as my blood was drawn, I promptly threw up and felt sick for the entirety of the day. With this traumatic experience firmly lodged in my mind, I didn't exactly jump at the chance to have the test done again. (Additionally, a full blood panel was done a few weeks ago and the doctor saw no signs of high blood sugar or diabetes. I also used this to justify not saying anything.)

The night before my non-stress appointment, my other doctor mentioned a new way of performing glucose tests. At his office, women can choose between drinking the disgusting sugary drink and JELLY BEANS.  Good doctor, where have you been all of my life!? I don't exactly love jelly beans, but eating 25 Jelly Bellies sounds like a walk in the park compared to the horrors of lemon-lime glucola. I decided I would go the Jelly Belly route (duh).

Sadly, Jelly Belly technology hasn't made it to Othello yet. The lab technician told me he had never heard of eating jelly beans as an alternative to drinking glucola. I immediately reached into my purse and produced the handout I had received the night before; it clearly explained that jelly beans were acceptable.  He glanced at the sheet for a moment and then said, "Sorry. You have to drink this fruit punch glucola in less than 5 minutes. That's the only option. We'll then have you come back in an hour to have your blood drawn. That's the policy."

I was alone, and I wasn't mentally prepared to drink glucola; I was prepared to eat some Jelly Bellies! Being a much more mature 24 year old mother, I took the fruit punch without flinching and promptly chugged its contents as a room full of lab technicians said things like, "My wife threw up when she had to do this" and "Please don't throw up. A woman did that yesterday, and it wasn't fun for any of us." I didn't disappoint them. 

With the glucola safely in my body, I went to have my non-stress done. I was feeling slightly nauseated, which was a combination of fasting for the diabetes test and drinking the glucola. The nurse remarked that I looked pale, and I told her I just needed to lay down. I also muttered something like, "I'm always pale" in attempt to show her I was feeling fine. For the next 45 minutes, the boys were monitored and everything looked perfect. Two nurses and a doctor came into the room to check my vitals and remove the monitors. Finally, it was time to sit up. With the help of the nurses, I was pulled into an upright position.

Taking my cue, I passed out.

The next thing I knew, I had a wet cloth on my forehead and fingers snapping in front of my face. I managed to say, "I'm okay. Just hungry." The fingers continued to snap, though, and I apparently passed out again.

I woke up and there were three nurses and a doctor in the room. My face was burning for some reason, and I felt my cheeks turning even redder as I fought off the embarrassment of fainting twice. Through my tears, I mumbled some sort of apology and then proceeded to faint again.

As with many things, the third time is the charm.  The nurses brought me snacks and drinks, but I still had to wait 10 more minutes before my blood could be drawn for the glucose test. I did not want to repeat the test again! The doctor heard (somehow) that I had driven myself to the appointment and made me call my mother-in-law to come and pick me up. He stayed in the room, watched me dial, and listened to the conversation to make sure I actually called her.

Cheryl came, my blood was drawn, and I was able to finally leave. Before I left, I was told, "You can't drive anymore." I haven't driven on my own in weeks (actually months), so this isn't a huge deal. I just hope I sufficiently recover from my immense embarrassment before my appointment next Monday.  I keep telling myself, "You're pregnant. It's okay to swoon." I'll let that be my mantra these last three weeks.


  1. Oh man! My midwife is letting me do grape juice. (I'm still not a fan, but what the hey.) I'm sorry you passed out, that is not awesome. At least this is soon coming to an end.

  2. Shut up! That is sucky. Hated that test.

  3. What else do they expect?? they make you fast when you're trying to feed two hungry boys? I would've fainted too. :) Hang in there, sugar.

  4. Oh wow. I passed out at work when I was pregnant with Nathan, before I even announced my pregnancy. That was fun trying to explain that one. Also, I've taken the glucose test 4 times and have found that only the orange flavored one is slightly tolerable (over lemon-lime and cola flavored... never came across the fruit punch).

  5. The glucola test has got to be some scam by the company that actually makes the glucola. Seriously. And my last doctor said I didn't have to fast, just don't eat a bunch of sugar. Like, I ate eggs and sausage for breakfast, then did my glucola. At any rate, I failed. I always fail. Because duh, when you are on bed rest, your blood sugar is always going to be high. Exercise uses the excess sugar. Plus, I was on progesterone shots, which elevated my sugars as well. At any rate, your experience sucked and made me mad. Whenever a doctor tells me I "have" to do something and have no choice, that's when red flags come up for me. There's always a choice.

  6. Man that stinks. You would have thought they would have gotten the clue the first time you passed out and then you wouldn't have done it two more times. I can totally understand your embarrassment though. When I was pregnant with Jade (maybe 5 or 6 months along) I passed out in the temple while doing sealings. Apparently the kneeling cuts off blood circulation and pregnant women have been known to pass out. I was pretty embarrassed, but it happens.


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