Bring On The Dreaded Orange Goop! The Truth About Glucose Tolerance Tests
So here I am, preparing for probably my least favorite prenatal visit of all…The dreaded Glucose Tolerance test. This is a routine test given to pregnant women between 24-28 weeks. This tests to see how the body processes sugars, therefore determining whether or not Momma has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is fairly common, and usually clears itself up after giving birth. It does, however, often require at the very least dietary changes, and in the worst case, insulin injections. Often if a woman has gestational diabetes, it poses risk to both her and her baby, and the babies of diabetic mothers are often born overly large, and end up requiring a C-section delivery. So it is very important that all expecting moms be tested for this.
While it is an essential test during pregnancy, it is a VERY unpleasant one. You go to your doctor’s office or a lab, whichever happens to be the case. You’re not supposed to have anything to eat or drink beforehand, so a morning appointment is best, the earlier the better! Otherwise, you just might find yourself ready and willing to commit serious felonies in exchange for a cheeseburger! Once you arrive, they give you a highly concentrated orange (or sometimes lime or fruit punch flavored) drink that contains a TON of sugar. They will probably tell you it’s like drinking a flat soda, but I tend to disagree with that statement. I would better describe it by saying it would be similar to the frozen OJ concentrate you can buy in the freezer section, thawed, and without adding water. It is thick, it is sickeningly sweet, and on an empty tummy, it is absolute torture. They expect you to down in in 5 minutes or less, and then you have to sit and wait for an hour. You’re not supposed to get up and walk around, and you can’t even chase the gunk with water. And if you happen to get sick, you get to go home and come back and do it all over again. So NOT the most pleasant experience. After the hour is up, they will draw your blood to measure sugar levels and see if your body has processed the “drink” efficiently and properly. I usually end up looking like a pin-cushion afterwards, as they never seem to be able to find my veins…It takes 4 or 5 tries most times. If your levels are normal after the blood draw, congratulations, you’re done! If they come back questionable or on the high side, you get to come back for another round…..
And here is the 3 Hour Glucose test…The worst of all! You go in again, and they give you the same drink, but with DOUBLE the sugar content. It’s like drinking syrup. They usually take your blood before you drink it to establish a baseline, and then every hour for 3 hours after you drink the glop. At my lab, they at least sit you in a separate waiting room and even give you a blanket if you want to take a nap. (which isn’t the easiest thing to do when you feel like you’re about to projectile vomit!)
I had to take the 3 hour when I was pregnant with Sophie. It was MY fault, because I unknowingly threw off my original glucose test, and it came back at a 199! Which is just about diabetic levels….Was I actually diabetic? No. I made the mistake of sipping on some soda when I woke up that morning and in the car because I was thirsty, and I also made the mistake of chewing gum. Yes, it was sugar-free, but apparently, that doesn’t matter. It still affects the way the sugar in your body is processed. So I was terrified I was diabetic, and had to endure the 3 hour test, just to find out I was fine, and I had unwittingly sabatoged the first test! And to make matters worse, I had to sit in the waiting room with some woman who was absolutely obsessed with reality TV and wouldn’t stop talking about John and Kate Plus 8 and the Duggar family…for 3 whole hours! The woman was on her 9th pregnancy herself, and said she wanted to contact TLC and get her own show. Now, I have nothing against John or Kate or any other TV families….I just don’t watch a lot of TV, therefore had NO idea what she was talking about! So I obviously didn’t get my nap,lol…
So now I get to gear up for the dreaded test…I go to my doctor on the 7th, and he already informed me that during that visit, they’ll be giving me the forms to take to the lab for the awful test. I’m sure I will be fine. I am not taking any chances this time,lol… No soda, no gum, no walking around when I am supposed to be sitting…Heck, I won’t even so much as sniff a candy bar, lol This time I am not going to make myself endure the agony that is the 3 Hour Test if I can help it!
As unpleasant as this test is, it is a very important part of receiving proper prenatal care. It cannot be skipped. The test is not only for your safety, but helps ensure the health and well-being of your baby. I would much rather choke down the nastiness that is the sugar drink than take any chances when it comes to my health or Xander’s health. I am just grateful that after this one, I am DONE.
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