In Which I Learn a Lesson In “Sweetness”

One of the standard screenings all pregnant women receive is a blood glucose screening to rule out gestational diabetes.  One hour before your appointment you drink a concoction made of sugar, orange coloring of some sort, and liquid hell.  Seriously.  When you arrive at your appointment they draw your blood and test the blood sugar levels.  They tell you it is not a fasting test and that you should just go about your day doing everything normally, except the part where you drink a death-by-sugar-and-coloring potion.

Both with the cheesedoodle and ten days ago with my snickerdoodle, I tested high and had to undergo the dreaded 3 hour test.

Here’s how the 3 hour test goes:

  1. Fast from bedtime before the test.
  2. Arrive at location hungry, thirsty, and feeling generally nauseated because I’m pregnant and haven’t eaten anything.
  3. Ushered back to the lab and blood is drawn.  The  technician then hands you a sugar-death-potion and tells you to drink it in less than five minutes.
  4. Death potion is worse on an empty stomach.
  5. One hour after drinking death potion, blood is drawn.
  6. About 1 1/2 hours after drinking death potion, I begin to feel woozy and light headed and the sudoku puzzles I’ve brought with me begin to seem incomprehensible.
  7. Two hours after drinking the potion the nurse calls me back to draw my blood another time.  She asks me if I’m okay because I look a little pale.  I feel like saying, “Well duh!  You’re forcing a pregnant woman into a diabetic coma.”  Instead I just smile and say, “I think the baby’s getting hungry.”
  8. Three hours after drinking the potion, blood is drawn one last time, and then I can eat something.  Food has never tasted so good.
  9. For the rest of the day have a vague headache from putting body through more than 12 hours of nutritional torture.

So I went through all of that on Monday, and late Tuesday afternoon got a call from the nurse to say that I have passed with flying colors.  My blood sugar numbers were textbook normal, which in a pregnant woman is actually abnormal (in a good way).  Her question: “How did you fail that first test?”

So here’s the thing.  They tell you not to fast for that first test.  What neither the doctor here, nor the doctor in Georgia told me was not to eat anything after taking the death potion drink.  I learned that this evening after looking up the numbers the nurse gave me.  I drank my potion, ate breakfast, and then went to my appointment.  You’re supposed to do that in the other order.

I am learning this too late to save me from another three hour test, but I share it with any of you who may benefit from my knowledge.  Don’t eat *after* the death potion, no matter how horrid and disgusting and nauseating it may be (and it’s all of those things to a factor of ninety-seven).  Trust me when I tell you that no breakfast is worth having to go through the three hour glucose test.

About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

6 responses to “In Which I Learn a Lesson In “Sweetness”

  • AJU5's Mom

    I was told to fast for an hour before going to the lab to drink the drink and then wait an hour (could leave if I wanted to) and then I could eat again. So, I always went early morning or mid-afternoon when I could easily go 2 hours without eating. But, it wasn’t easy…

  • Chrissy

    Thanks for the information, I will do that when I have to take the test!

  • Kristi-Anna

    I never had to take the 3 hour test, but I was never allowed to take the drink home with me, and was always told to fast to some degree. I always drank and prayed “oh please God in heaven… keep this orange crap down so I don’t have to do it again!” Seriously. Even the word crap. lol I also wasn’t allowed to leave, as you aren’t allowed to eat after you drink it… and so I sat. They also wanted to make sure I didn’t pass out… 😀 Glad you passed!

  • Peggy

    When you’re not pregnant, but have been having fainting spells and they “just want to rule it out” (diabetes, not pregnancy), they can order an eight hour version of this hell. (Be thankful it’s not considered safe for pregnant women). The experience is similar. I fainted 10 minutes after the “death potion” and spent the next eight hours drifting in and out of consciousness only to be told that’s how hypoglycemics typically react. Really? Thanks!

    Glad you passed and hope you’re feeling steadier today.

  • suzanne

    It’s so bizarre to me that twice now you haven’t been told that you can’t eat after you drink it! I think you should make your doctors go through the three-hour test just to show how important it is that they give their patients the full information! The first two times I did it, I had to drink it in the office and then wait….that was really fun the second time when I was trying to entertain an 18-month-old for an hour in a waiting room!

  • Tiffany

    Wow! I am so glad you passed! I can’t believe they didn’t tell you not to eat. I go on Wednesday for the first test. They gave me very specific instructions not to eat after I drink the stuff and even that I should not eat any sugary foods or complex carbs before drinking it. So…no cereal, juice, fruit, toast or anything like that. Basically eggs and veggies are my only option. I would be so angry!!!!

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