Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Vampire-types be damned!

To start with, I’m all for the medical system. They do good stuff, and I think it’s good to have reassurance that nothing’s wrong.

SIDE RANT #1, involving my belief that if there are no signs, symptoms, or family history of complications, perhaps the mother should be allowed to say “no” to extra tests, especially when they involve needles, and, subsequently, lots of stress. (And yes, technically, I have that right. But the “encouragement” from the doctors, and the “direct orders” from El Husbando always make me think that yes, this is a good idea, or at least not worth the battle.)

So, a few weeks ago, the doctor gave me a form for my glucose tolerance test. No big deal, I was told; you just drink a very icky orange drink, sit for an hour, and get a little finger-prick. Fine.

So I went to the lab on a Friday afternoon, and brought a book with me. The orange drink was just like a very sweet – and quite tasty – orange pop…for the first half of the bottle. Given only 5 minutes to drink it all, I came out of the gate too strong, and had to talk myself through the rest. Bubbles = bad. Too sweet = bad. So, there I am, feeling icky and bloated and you know when you can feel your breath getting worse, because you’ve just poured a ton of sugar into your mouth, and you’re not allowed to rinse it, and I have a moderately-interesting book, but my other option is Oprah… it was a long hour. (It would have felt shorter if I was properly informed – I find that dreading something makes it come faster.) Anyway, they called me in to take a vial of my precious life fluid, instead of just pricking my finger, I was not only sleepy, dopey, icky, and foul, I was in a biting mood.

But, it was over with. Done. With only minimal emotional scarring.

AND THEN (dun dun DUN)…

I went in for a routine checkup at the Mat Clinic (and brought Chris along for fun), and the doc gave me another testing form… for the fasting, 2-hour glucose tolerance test. My initial numbers came in just 0.3 below the “you have gestational diabetes” cutoff. My first concern, of course, was that, since Chris was a witness to this, that I wouldn’t be able to pretend everything was fine/shirk future needles. My second was MORE NEEDLES!

SIDE RANT #2, involving the fact that a) you don’t give a hypoglycemic 75 g of dextrose and then make her sit still for an hour. That’s just dumb; and 2) if I have gestational diabetes, the whole system is broken, since the treatment for GD is eating pretty much the way I do, exercising often, not gaining too much weight, etc. and my only recourse would then be to stop everything I’m doing, and sit on the couch with bonbons, in protest.

I booked the day off on Thursday, stopped eating on Wednesday at 9 pm, and got to the hospital, weakly, at 8 am, where they promptly took my blood. I pulled out my knitting and sat…and sat… and was finally given the orange pop at 9 am (they needed to test the sample before I got to drink it, for some reason). So, I sipped and sat… and sat…and knitted…and sat, and eventually, about 7 hours later, an hour had passed, and I got to go give another blood sample.

SIDE RANT #3, involving the fact that yes, student nurses need to learn on someone, but why does it always have to be meeeee?

This one hurt. A lot. I tried to keep the sad little whimpering noises to myself, but didn’t do a very good job of it. And then I went back to the waiting room to sit… and knit… and sit sit sit sit. (and did I like it, you ask? Not one little bit!). Four days later, the third hour of the two-hour test had passed, and I got called up for my last stabbing. I proffered my previously-poked-but-not-as-hurty arm, and they took the last sample. And then booked me for an appointment with a dietician for Friday.

SIDE RANT #4, involving the fact that I was booked for an appointment with someone who may or may not be a registered dietician, that barely answered any of my questions (and when she did, it was with rote answers), that was a vegetarian, AND that referred to herself at least three times in the third person (I ask you!)… but mostly, I’m upset that I was sent for this meeting BEFORE the test results came back.

YET ANOTHER SIDE RANT, involving the fact that, after the results came in, right at the beginning of our appointment (and came in at the low end of normal, thank you very much), I still had to sit through the “consultation”, in which I was told that my one sip of juice-mixed-with-water every morning (quality control for Chris’s juice) is too much, and I should cut it out. Also, vegetarian athletes consistently perform better than meat-eaters… (I’d LOVE to see that reference.) I have no problem with health professionals telling me what to do, as long as they are more qualified/educated than I am. And don't refer to themselves in the third person. Grr.

So, this human pincushion looks like a crack addict. I have track marks and bruising (one elbow looks like I’ve been vampired, and the other is just one giant bruise), and all for nothing. Don’t tell me it’s for peace of mind! My mind was already at peace! More importantly, my elbows were both at peace, and I had lots of blood.

Mumble grumble…


Garrett Family said...

I never had to go through all that - thank goodness - but it sounds horrible and icky.

It does get better. After the glucose test, I don't think there's much more in the way of blood tests or needles until D-day. If you plan to go natural, make sure Chris is advocating for you because, in my experience, they want to do whatever they want with you and you will be in no mood for talking and explaining your decisions.

By the time, you do this again, you won't even notice your fear of needles (I know because I'm in the same boat!)

Anonymous said...

Here's a reference for your dietician/nutritionist:
Vegetarian - Hippo
Carnivore - Cheetah
Which one is the athlete?


Woody said...

Well, you know my thoughts on the medical system and their unnecessary, over-involvement in low risk pregnancies but I'll stop there. I'm sorry that you had to go through this. I hope the rest of your pregnancy is a wonderful, stress free experience. AND if your doctors push you to do something you don't want to - send them my way and I'll sit on 'em...same goes for Chris!!!