Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Dreaded Glucose Tolerance Test

Recently I had to do the glucose tolerance test to test for gestational diabetes. My blood sugar was too high for the 1 hour screening test, so unfortunately I had to do the 3 hour tolerance test. :( I thought I'd share my experience with the glucose tolerance test because when I was preparing for it, I was searching all over the net for personal experiences. I read all the generic descriptions of what it was and how "most women feel more queasy from the 3 hour test than the 1 hour test", but I wanted a little more than that.

Preparing for the Test
You're supposed to carb-load before the test; some people have to eat extra bread or pasta, I had to eat a king sized candy bar each day for three days prior to the test. King sized candy bars never sounded so unappetizing. I don't think I will ever eat a Milky Way again. After some searching, I finally found out that the theory behind carb-loading for the test is (I'm paraphrasing here) to get your insulin really working so when you DO go in for the test, your body is ready. A study showed that low-carb diets prior to the test led to a greater number of false positives because their bodies were slower to produce the insulin needed to metabolize the sugar. Or some junk. It finally made sense to me - until then I kept thinking it seemed counter-intuitive to load up on sugar before you get tested on your blood sugar level!

Then I had to fast overnight...something like 10 or 12 hours...I can't remember which. Now, whoever thought it would be a good idea to load up a preggo on sugar and then starve her has another thing coming. Good thing the test was early so I could just be half-asleep through the start of it. ;P The night before, I prepared my bag of something to eat right after, water, and stuff to do. My husband was kind enough to come with me and keep me company, so he loaded up the laptop so we could watch a movie in the waiting room.

Test Day
I hardly slept during the night because when I was awake, I was worried that I would do something wrong and have to test again, and when I was asleep, I was having nightmares about screwing up and having to take the test again. :/ Finally, it was time to get up, so we got up, got ready, and got going.

I was the first one in the lab, so she got me going right away. She took a fasting draw (a baseline I guess), then gave me the lemon-lime drink. It was 100 g of glucose rather than the 50 g for the hour test. I had the orange flavor for the hour test, which I actually enjoyed. The lemon-lime wasn't too bad, but I could tell it was much sweeter and left a weird taste in my mouth. I suppose that's what kept me from feeling too hungry for the first couple hours, but within 45 minutes I wasn't feeling too crash hot. She took a draw 1 hour after drinking the glucose drink, then after 2 hours, and finally after 3 hours. We watched Baby Mama to pass the time - I thought that would be a fitting movie under the circumstances!

Hubby and I sat in the waiting room for the entire test; I could have gone in a back room to lie down if I wasn't feeling well. I much preferred stepping outside into the cold morning air and taking some deep cleansing breaths. The first time I went outside, I told myself throwing up was NOT an option, no matter how bad I felt, because I was not doing this again. Luckily, I didn't feel too close to vomiting at all - mostly I felt hot, like my heart was beating a little too fast, and a bit queasy. I think it would have been a bit easier to handle if the waiting room was cooler. She told me I could drink as much water as I wanted, too, so I think that helped.

By about 2 hours, I was feeling more normal, and by 2.5 hours, I was getting hungry. My poor husband was starving (he fasted with me). When she did the final draw, I asked what she recommended I eat to break my fast, and she said protein. We decided to stop at a breakfast place, where I had a cup of tea and loaded up on eggs, sausage, and bacon (my apologies to any vegetarian readers ;) ). I felt much better! I did not spend the rest of the day feeling sick or groggy, though I've seen other say they did. I think any fatigue I felt was due to my lack of sleep the night before.

The Results
I passed with flying colors! I called the doctor's office within a week to get my results because I couldn't wait to find out. I was truly more worried about the baby than myself because sweets are NOT what I'm craving and I would have no problem working on diet/exercise/whatever to control my sugar. I just didn't want to be doing anything that could affect the baby either in the womb or later on in life. I've read that there's a very small percentage of women who actually have GD, so I had statistics on my side.

So...I survived. I crossed another bridge in this pregnancy. I'm ok with it because this is the best I've felt during my pregnancy! I get lots of back pain, swollen and aching feet, leg pain, etc., but for me, that's all a piece of cake compared to the emotional side effects I've experienced. Don't get me wrong - I can still cry at the drop of a hat over the most benign things - but at least now I can see the humor in it, even while I'm crying. ;)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pre-Order a Book and Get a Chance to Win

One of my favorite bloggers, The Well-Heeled Society, has written a book called How to Stylishly Fall From Grace that looks interesting. If it's as well written and well thought out as her blog, I think it will be a fantastic read.

From her blog:

The book's main character Zoe is a fashion-forward, independent gal with a penchant for Broadway plays. It's at one of her Broadway play excursions that she meets a charming guy. Bald and child-free makes him an instant candidate for Zoe, and a year-long, long-distance relationship blossoms. He woos her with weekend “play dates” and whirlwind reservations for two, which eventually sweeps Zoe her off her feet. Or so she thinks, until she relocates her life, wardrobe and shoes to New York City to live with him...

For more information and how to pre-order, visit her post here.

As an added benefit, if you pre-order, you'll receive a signed copy AND be entered to win this awesome package, including a Marshall's gift card, some lovely body treatments, cute high heel cookies :D, and a bracelet supporting Domestic Violence Awareness. Good luck!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

It's been pretty widely discussed on news programs and talk shows that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month (which is a good thing), but there is another cause going on in October - Domestic Violence Awareness month.

One way you can help is buying shoes at Marshall's. They're giving $1 to Safe Horizon for every pair of shoes bought between now and October 16.

This cause was brought to my attention by this post from the Well-Heeeled Society. Keep an eye on the Well-Heeled Society for more information throughout the month.