Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Glucose Tolerance Test

I spent Monday morning in the lab for my 3 hour Glucose tolerance test. It was not a fun experience. Here's the deal:

*This is a fasting test, so you can't eat for 8-12 before the test. You can drink water before the test, so when you get hungry, drink water.
*They actually draw your blood four times - once upon arrival, and once every hour after you drink the sugary orange drink, for three hours.
* You cannot leave the lab for the duration of the test.
* You cannot recline, sleep, talk a lot, or move for the duration of the test. All of these things retard or elevate your metabolism, which will affects the sugar level.
*The drink is double the concentration than for the Gluconse screening. You still have to drink it in 5-10 minutes, and tell the technician when you've finished the drink.
* You're not allowed to drink much water for the duration of the test.

This test is cruel. Pregnant women should not be forced to fast. I woke up at 5 am, my usual breakfast time, and I had to settle for water. I was tired, hungry, and queasy from the sweetness of the drink. I did bring stuff to read, but I couldn't concentrate. The technicians were very friendly, and it helps not to be cranky with them (especially if they're stabbing you once every hour). Linda set the timer and would give me a heads up before the next time she had to poke my arm. I mentioned I was feeling queasy, so she let me have a little water. I did close my eyes for a few minutes towards the end of the test without getting into trouble.

Should you have to take this test, make sure you schedule it for the morning- I went at 9:30 am. That drink is disgusting at double the concentration, I think, so drink it fast. Lastly, relax. You have to be there for at least three hours, so don't fight it. Bring some music, find a corner in the waiting room, and take off your shoes (if there's carpet).

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