When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated! I knew the road ahead would be a long one – full of new adventures and experiences. I knew that there would be things that I would run into that would be unpleasant. There was the morning sickness (I did not throw up a lot, but always felt nauseous during the first trimester). Then there was the never-ending heartburn, trouble sleeping because I could no longer sleep on my stomach, and of course…the swollen feet. But of all the unpleasantries, one stands out from them all…the absolute worst part of my pregnancy was the mandatory glucose testing.
Pregnant women typically undergo glucose testing between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. The reason for the testing is to check for gestational diabetes.
The glucose testing procedure involves drinking a liquid solution that contains glucose. After 1-hour, your blood is drawn to check your blood glucose levels. If you do not pass this initial test, you have to return for a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. Yep…3 hours! This involves having your blood drawn prior to drinking another glucose cocktail, and then you have your blood checked three more times at 60-minute intervals. What fun!
Needless to say, I did not pass the initial 1-hour test and so, I was subject to the 3-hour glucose test. I was already unhappy about having to spend my entire morning sitting in a blood lab…but what unfolded ended up being the single-most horrifically embarrassing moment of my entire life (so far).
My husband came along and dutifully sat by my side as I had my blood drawn and consumed the disgusting sugar-filled beverage (they tell you it’s just like drinking a Sprite…it’s not)! Then my other-half ran to his office for a bit, because we didn’t both need to be missing out on an entire morning of work. The plan was that he would head over and visit when I was getting close to finishing up, we would grab some lunch, and then head back to work.
If only it went as planned.
Roughly 30 minutes into my first 60-minute interval, I was suddenly (and I mean totally abruptly) overcome with nausea and I started to vomit. Since this was so abrupt and sudden, I was still sitting in my chair in the waiting room (surrounded by a multitude of other patients getting blood work). Literally, the vomit just started spewing from my mouth (sorry for the disturbing image). I was so taken aback and ashamed. I leaned over to the side of my chair and as soon as there was a pause, I made a mad dash to the nearest restroom (hoping that it would be unoccupied). And yet…I still couldn’t make it to the restroom before another round of vomit made its way up and out of my mouth and out onto the floor. I could not contain it. I desperately pushed open the bathroom door and heaved myself at the toilet. I sat there until I was certain that it was over. I washed my hands and face and then I sat there for several more minutes, because I couldn’t bring myself to walk back out into the waiting room full of people who had just witnessed me at my absolute worst.
Anytime I’ve ever been sick, I’ve always been able to make it to the bathroom (or a trash can, at least) before I blew chunks…but not that day.
With tears in my eyes (yep…I cried…nauseous, embarrassed, and hormonal) I timidly stepped back out into the waiting room and approached a technician. I informed her of what had happened and profusely apologized for the mess I had made in their waiting room. She politely said that it was alright, it would get cleaned up…but, since I had vomited, my glucose test was over.
It was over! I had mixed emotions about this. First, I was relieved that I would not have to sit there for 2-1/2 more hours with the same people who had just seen me spew my breakfast (along with that delicious glucose beverage)…but then I realized that this probably meant that I would have to go back in for another 3-hour test. That was something I just could not handle.
I made my way out to the parking lot to get some fresh air. I called my husband and told him my embarrassing tale…he immediately came to pick me up. He was so sorry that he had not been there to help me through that horrific experience. Probably for the best though, I may have vomited all over him.
Needless to say, I called my OBGYN and informed her of the horrific happenings, and I begged…BEGGED her not to make me go back for another 3-hour test. She said that would not be necessary, but that since the tests had not gone well, they would need to have me test my glucose levels at home for the next 2-3 weeks, as a precaution.
Pricking my finger after every meal and logging my food/drink intake for 2-3 weeks? I was not super psyched about the incessant needle poking, but if this was what I had to do in order to not return to the lab for additional glucose testing, I was all for it!
Two weeks went by quickly and when I turned in my log, my doctor said that everything looked normal and that I no longer needed to test my glucose levels!
When I look back on this experience (almost three years later), I’m still horrified and extremely embarrassed. I know that the odds of me being the first patient to vomit all over the lab’s waiting room is unlikely (although, I doubt it happens all too often), but it was still, without a doubt, the absolute worst experience of my entire pregnancy.
When I think about the possibility of having another child, my reservations include having to suffer through glucose testing again. Not that it will stop me, if another baby is in the cards for me one day. But you know…I would, without hesitation, sign myself up to do the daily glucose testing at home, if it meant that I didn’t have to go into a lab for the glucose tolerance testing. It was really that bad.