Challenge Accepted: A Glucose Challenge Rage Comic Tale

Turns out I’ve got a history of gestational diabetes in my family. So naturally, this means a baseline glucose challenge test WAY earlier than most people.

“Piece of cake,” I thought, naively – and pardon the pun.

So a few weeks ago, I had these grand plans of showing up to the lab, chugging my 50g glucose solution like a champ and owning my one-hour glucose challenge numbers. That was the plan, anyway. Here’s how it looked in my head:

Glucose Challenge Accepted 1

But see, the night before the test, I literally slept a whopping 45 minutes. I dropped Larry off at the airport since he was flying out of town for work bright and early that morning. Then this happened:


Or, more specifically, a Dunkin Donuts bacon, egg and cheese on an English muffin… about an hour before my test. I get to the lab and get handed what looks like a giant bottle of Triamenic. Stupidly, I pour it a cup and drink it like it’s some fine wine. It tastes pretty gross but I manage to keep it down. After an hour, they take 30 minutes just to try and get a damn vial of my blood. (Note: I am a terrible blood draw.) 3 sticks and 2 bruises later, I make my way home. I feel like garbage.

My midwife calls me a few hours later. “Yeah, you really failed your test,” she said. “Your glucose was 187.” I explained that I didn’t sleep, that I had eaten right before, so she recommended that I do the one-hour test again.

You know where this is going: challenge accepted.

So I head back to the lab and this time I toss that 50g glucose solution back like I’m a damn freshmen pledge of Delta Zeta eager to earn my black pants badge of pride. I’ve had a good night’s sleep, I hadn’t eaten… I had it in the bag. Even the blood draw only took 5 minutes. Once I got home, I felt like poop and crashed for a few hours. I totally rocked it, I thought.

BAM! Glucose measures at 168 this time around. Midwife orders the three-hour glucose challenge.

Glucose Challenge Accepted 2

So this past Monday, Christmas eve, I make my way back to the lab. I’m instructed not to eat or drink anything after midnight, which I obey. I’m to come with a bottle of water and a protein snack to consume upon completion of the test. Larry drops me off, bright and early, then heads back home to make me some hard-boiled eggs while I wait. Meanwhile, they hand me a bigger bottle, this time full of a 100g glucose solution.

At the prompting of a friend, I asked to have an IV put in for my blood draws, since I knew that I was super-dehydrated from fasting and if I’m not allowed to hydrate, I may as well be a zombie because ain’t no drop o’blood coming out of me if I’m not well hydrated before a blood test. I had to wait a half hour for the IV team to show up… and they bang it up. While massaging a huge bruise on my right hand, I toss back the 100g solution.

When the IV team comes back an hour later for my second draw, that IV too, fails. Cue: gigantic bruise on the side of my right arm.

And then… then there was no stopping it.

Puking Rainbows

The IV nurse and I had this near-choreographed dance of vomit: me, shooting a projectile of orange-colored puke as she deftly swung a trash can in front of my face, like some weird vomit ballet. Amazingly, I get it all in the trashcan – and I mean all of it. I puked so hard I started coughing uncontrollably (thanks, pregnancy rhinitis!) and then instantly began sobbing. It was not one of my prettier moments in life.

The nurse got Larry; he said that he didn’t realize I was throwing up as it just sounded like I was having a coughing fit. He’s a kind one, he is.

Sobbing, embarrassed and exhausted, Larry helped me out of the lab and into the car. I sobbed quietly to myself the whole ride home. I called my OB’s office, telling them that things hadn’t gone so well; they told me they’d call me back. Once home and still too queasy, I passed on the offer of freshly hardboiled eggs and opted for a nap instead. I woke up three and a half hours later with a raging headache.

The OB called me back and said that based on my first two numbers (fasting and first hour), things looked normal. It would have been better to have all four numbers but for now, it looked fine.

So, good news: I (most likely) don’t have gestational diabetes (right now).

But at around the 20 or 26 week mark, I get to do the one-hour test all over again.

i give up


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