Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Four! Hours! Of Glucose!

Okay, that was brutal. I flunked my one-hour glucose test and had to do the four-hour one, a fact I am loath to mention publicly for fear that my mother will take it as permission to call up and harangue me for my eating habits. The poor woman has invented a strain of diabetes that "gallops through both sides of your family." Seriously, she says this. And yet I cannot place a single blood relative in the diabetic tribe. Not a one. My grandpa's mother had it, and died of it, quite traumatically after fasting on Yom Kippur; I have to assume that this handed-down tragedy has tainted her view of my genetic insulin-resistance. Either that or she's cuckoo -- you take your pick.

Anyway, so the test: Aieee! I had to fast for eight hours before -- no problem, I just rolled down the hill to the hospital first thing in the morning, sans coffee and breakfast. And then the process was this:

Blood draw, right arm.
Sit around.
Blood draw, left arm.
Sit around for 1 hour.
Blood draw, right arm. (Shit! OW!)
Sit around for 1 hour
Blood draw, left arm. (What the FUH! OW!)
The End

It truly does not sound like much, but an hour is an odd amount of time. Not long enough to leave, not short enough to fly past. There wasn't an internet hookup at the hospital, so when I realized I had to check in with work, I had to run like a bunny up Valencia to sit outside a coffee shoppe with free WiFi. Have you ever smelled coffee and pastry while in the middle of a 12-hour fast? While pregnant?! For that matter, have you ever run like a bunny while pregnant? Imagine a pregnant, hungry, cranky bunny with a laptop. Now take away the cute ears. That was my first hour.

Second hour, I thought, oh, I'll try to lie down. To minimize the amount of space I would take up, I leaned sideways over the magazine table. This resulted in a cramped arm, many hairy eyeballs from actual sick people also in the waiting room, and no respite from my misery. I tromped around the block, Twittered that I was starting to feel a little stoned from the lack of food and blood situation, and sat in an alternate waiting room till my iPhone alarm buzzed me back over to the lab.

Third hour. First of all, I knew I was i bad shape when I almost started crying during my blood draw. It does hurt more when your veins look like you're an extra from Trainspotting, but come on! Labor? Delivery? A pin-prick? BUTCH UP, PEEGEE! At this point, I couldn't really focus on the book I was reading, which is really a testament to how bad I felt, because it was written by the amazing Jennifer Egan. (She's too good even to envy.) At one point I actually went down the street to the hospital's coffee cart, scoped out the snack I'd have, and wrote down the address so I could be sure there was no delay in getting the cab right where I needed it.

Final blood draw: Oddly drained, I called the cab, made for the coffee cart, and pounded espresso (sorry, kid) on my way up the hill. Then it was leftover Turkish food and -- and then I was supposed to sit and work. There was no work. There was only a deep, chaotic sleep so sweaty and heartburny, it was like napping in a crockpot. I awoke with a headache, drove to my therapist's office, and announced my intention to just quit this whole pregnancy business.

After a good night's sleep (made even more sound by the absence of my husband's snoring -- i had no idea THAT was what was keeping me up!), I felt worlds better. I mean even better than I'd felt in weeks. Plus, my feet were normal-sized, and when I opened my eyes, I suddenly realized why the previous night's dinner had been so lifeless: I'd been so out of it, I'd left the kasha out of the kasha varnishkes. Murgatroids!

So the wasted day stunk, but the leeway I gave myself in its aftermath turned out to be the tonic I needed. Here's hoping this is the start of a third-trimester trend.

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