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:
- Fast from bedtime before the test.
- Arrive at location hungry, thirsty, and feeling generally nauseated because I’m pregnant and haven’t eaten anything.
- 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.
- Death potion is worse on an empty stomach.
- One hour after drinking death potion, blood is drawn.
- 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.
- 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.”
- Three hours after drinking the potion, blood is drawn one last time, and then I can eat something. Food has never tasted so good.
- 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.