Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gestational Diabetes: is it worth the torture to know?

I finally went in to the clinic to get my 3 hour glucose test. This test is supposed to tell me whether or not I have gestational diabetes. To be frank, I'm not a very medically minded person (which may or may not be why I'm dating a med student). I'll most likely be corrected by before-mentioned boyfriend later on, but from the research I have done, the most severe side effects of gestational diabetes is a corpulent baby. Now, I'm going to recount for you the adventure I had today, and will conclude with a decision on whether or not it was worth knowing.

We'll begin with what I learned today.
1. Don't read interesting books while in a taxi
2. Cardigans make you feel less frumpy when you're wearing sweatpants
3. I can reach the clinic by taking the Brown Line to the Red Line
4. Someone sitting on the floor of a train car is not noteworthy to regular commuters
5. In the end, friends are the ones who save lives
6. That being said, have one come and get you from the clinic when you go in for 3 hour glucose test, and have them bring an apple.

I got up at 8 a.m. again, which has been happening with amazing frequency. I was supposed to be fasting, so I skipped breakfast (which was difficult because our living room and kitchen are just one room... the food was staring at me). I dressed comfortably for my day, but did decide to wear my cardigan with daisy buttons, just to make my life a bit more sunny. The taxi I called for arrived promptly at 9. So far so good. I gave him the address on West Howard Street in Evanston and off we went. I picked up the book I'd brought and apparently was quite engrossed because it wasn't until we were pulling onto Ohio Street that I realized I was Downtown. ??? He was taking me to Hubbard Street. (If you think about it, the only difference between a "w" and a "b" is that your mouth closes.)

So I had him take me to the nearest subway station and that's when the real adventure began. I called the clinic and had them tell me what the closest train stop was near them, and then took the Blue Line to the Brown Line to the Red Line all the way to Howard. I arrived at the clinic at 11:15, almost two hours after my original plan. Luckily I was just going back to the lab and didn't need an appointment, just a ballpark arrival time. They ushered me in quickly and I waited for my turn in the windowless room of torture. (At this point, it had been exactly 12 hours since I'd eaten.)

Finally in, it was explained to me what exactly would happen. "We're going to draw your blood now, and then have you drink this (holding up a bottle of orange flavored syrup), and then draw your blood every hour for three hours." So... that is what happened. They pumped sugar into my empty stomach and took my blood every hour for three hours. (I now have a bruise on my arm where they drew blood four different times.) Not much happened while I was at the clinic. I actually walked out the door thinking to myself, "well that wasn't so bad," even though it was already 2:30. Upon reflection, that judgement came a bit too soon.

It started with a dull throbbing in my arm where they'd drawn blood. I'd gotten myself back to the train station with no problem, and seemed to be fine on the Red Line train, albeit tired. It wasn't until I got off the train for my transfer that I started feeling ill, and suddenly, I was counting the steps to the nearest bench. I started sweating profusely, which must have looked absurd because the platform was quite breezy. I found myself thanking God for the mere mercy of the wind.

When the train came, I had to wedge myself into a crowded car and stand. After the fourth episode of falling backwards onto people, I found a wall to stand against. I probably could have used the "I'm pregnant, could I have your seat" thing, but was afraid the words coming out of my mouth would exhaust me too much to actually get into the seat. A very few minutes later, I sat on the floor. Just about when i could actually feel the sweat running down my back, I got cold. So there I was, a shivering, sweaty mass nearly passed out and huddled on the floor of an overstuffed train car. At that point, I called the college campus main desk.

I got lucky. I knew the person working, and was able to explain exactly what had happened. They knew someone on the school security staff and had them pick me up (thank you, Josh). The wonderful security man (didn't catch his name, but a thanks goes out to him, too) took me to my apartment and made sure I got through the gate. I walked through the door and grabbed the only thing I could think of that took no preparation: an apple. Let me tell you right now, that was the most amazing apple I have ever eaten. I almost ate the core. From there I moved on to a banana, a bagel, and (when I was sure I could do so without personal injury) I baked some chicken nuggets.

Now, nine hours after the experience, I am able to look back at my day with some smiles, some wisdom, and the knowledge that I've conquered the Tetris game on my phone (three hours in a waiting room had to get me somewhere!). But with all that knowledge, even with the amazing revelation of how wonderful an apple can be, is it truly worth it to know whether or not I have gestational diabetes?

I think no.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this story is even better a second time. You are really a great person Samantha, keep on trucking and know that you can easily tell some fool sitting on the L to move their bum ass and give you a seat. Hell, you could probably just stare at them and they will get off the train completely, haha.