A few weeks ago I had posted on Facebook that I failed my 1 hour glucose tolerance test. Most of us who have been pregnant know what this test is but if you don’t, the test is done to help diagnose gestational diabetes which is high blood sugar during pregnancy. Women who are overweight, over the age of 35, and/or have a family history of diabetes are at a higher risk for gestational diabetes. Some women opt-out of the test but I decided to go through with it.
My doctor sent me home with a sugary orange flavored beverage and told me to not eat anything (fast) after midnight, before taking the test. The day of my test, I drank the beverage at home. An hour later my blood was drawn at my doctor’s office. The test may differ from where you go. Sometimes your doctor will ask you to drink the beverage in their office. They also offer other flavors such as fruit punch but to be honest, the all taste gross.
After failing the test, I was told I would have to go for the 3 hour test were I would drink the glucose beverage then have my blood drawn once an hour for 3 hours. I admit, I was avoiding it. I was dreading fasting then having to sit in an office for 3 hours. Finally after about 4 weeks, I sucked it up, found a sitter for E, and went in for the 3 hour Glucose Test. It did not go well.
I came in with my phone, phone charger and some headphones, prepared to get some work done and kill time. When I got to the office, the nurse quickly took me in and did my first blood draw before handing me that nasty orange beverage that I had to drink within 15 minutes.
Shortly after drinking the beverage, I started feeling horribly nauseous and hot to the point I was sweating. I asked the nurse if this was normal and she said no but some people do become ill. I then asked if it was ok to go outside to get some fresh air but instead, one of the nurses took me into one of the vacant rooms where I could rest in a reclining chair with the window open. The one nurse was SO kind and even brought in some wet paper towels to help cool me down. She checked on my every now and then to see how I was doing. The other nurse told me straight up that she didn’t think that I was going to make it through the rest of the test but I was determined to get it over with.
By the first blood draw after drinking the glucose beverage, I was still incredibly nauseous. I rested my eyes and an hour later came the 3rd blood draw. I was actually started feeling slightly better by then. I was well enough to the point where I was back on my phone, killing time on Facebook. An hour after that I was ready for my 4th blood draw. I had 6 pokes total becasue the nurse was able to take blood from my left arm for the first draw but not for the second So I asked her to go through my hand which she did (I know my veins well). She tried to take blood from that same hand for the 3rd blood draw but nothing so she went to my other hand. My last blood draw was also taken from my right hand. Fun times! 😉
By the time I left the office, I felt physically drained and even though I hadn’t eaten in about 16 hours (give or take), I didn’t have an appetite. To be blunt, it the whole experience sucked. I wasn’t expecting it to be fun but I thought I would at least be functional for those 3 hours.
Last Friday, on World Diabetes Day, I get a call from my OB’s office. The nurse had left a message on my cell phone but from her tone, I could tell the news wasn’t good. When I called back, I was told that I did indeed have gestational diabetes. My level was 176 at the second draw and 147 by the third. I’m honestly not quite sure what a normal blood sugar level is. It varies on what I’ve found on the internet but from what my OB’s office has said, anything over 130 is a concern.
My doctor’s office has referred me to a nutritionist and I’ve been waiting for them to call me back so that I can schedule an appointment. For now, I’m just trying to manage with what I’ve found on the internet. I’m attempting to cut carbs and it’s hard. I LOVE carbs. Now I’m just trying to figure out how to balance them. My diet needs to change drastically and the first few days haven’t been smooth. I’m hoping that once I do see the nutritionist, they will be able to help me figure this thing out and manage it properly.
Now that I have GD (gestational diabetes), a lot of thing are starting to make sense to me. From what I read, for most women GD doesn’t have any symptoms but in my case, I was feeling like crap. Mornings are especially rough and I figured it was just part of the pregnancy but now I know it’s due to my GD. Every morning I wake up feeling nauseous and sometimes dizzy. I’m hoping that once I can get on track with my diet, I will start to feel better. I’ll be 35 weeks on Thursday and it’s important that I get this managed asap since it’s late in the game.
Of course, I’m concerned for my son’s health as well. From what I’ve read and have been told, he can been born with low blood sugar, jaundice, and even breathing issues. My doctor is concerned that he might have a large birth weight. I’m scared, more for him than I am for myself. I feel like I’ve already failed him and he’s not even here yet. =( It has been comforting to read the stories of others and I really appreciate those who have posted their stories on my Facebook page.
Have you had experience with gestational diabetes while pregnant?