my-speck

i'm pregnant and it's going to be a rollercoaster

glucose tests aren't fun and helpful advice from the local greek blood-testing community April 7, 2009

Hello Speck!

You’re bum-up this morning. Your dad says good morning or has a chat most days and he has a bit of a feel to see where you are, and it seems like your bum was right above my belly button, just to my right this morning. So a slightly different position to normal, as your head was to the left rather than the right. But you’re still sleeping as yet.

Feeling pretty good today. I had the dreaded glucose test yesterday, and it wasn’t pleasant, as expected. For some reason the endocrinologist wanted me to do the full two-hour test right off the bat, so it involves waking up in the morning, not eating and then traipsing off to the blood collection centre for two and a half hours. I went down to Annerley.

As there are a bunch of tests that you need to take when you’re fasting, it was peak-hour down there, and the local greek community was out in force. I caused a bit of a rucus as although I arrived fourth in queue, as I had an appointment, they slotted me in second. Between the old greek man who was really impatient and in a hurry, and his wife, who was quite happy to gossip and chat. There was a bit of confusion as the lady behind the counter had to explain what I was there for and why I was going first. So, all my medical history in the open, it was time for the opinions and advice to flow. Interrupted of course by short stints while everyone had their blood taken (including me), but carried on seamlessly between these interruptions. So, apparently: I look healthy; I am having a boy, because I’m all out in front, and other things that I’ve forgotten again; I’m lucky that I don’t have red swelling and pigmentation around my ankles, don’t you know that some of the women there had it and it just never went away (close inspection and umming and ahhing required at this point); its unusual that I don’t have the linea nigrea (or the black line of hair or whatever it is between my navel and pubis) – but I do have very white skin, so perhaps that’s ok (luckily no-one wanted to inspect my navel to verify my claims here); oh, and the book you have to buy is “women’s weekly food for kids” or something like that which tells you what to feed your baby up to the age of kindy, even including birthday cakes to age five (my son – presumably now a man in his forties – still loves his broccoli and everyone asks me how I did it – you just start at an early age); the general consensus is that glucose tests are stupid and make you feel very sick, apparently you can fake it by just drinking a coke and then having the test; and overall I just need good luck. Oh, and the last helpful piece of advice: now, when you are at home with your baby and your husband, everyone will have some advice for you, so make sure you don’t offend them, and listen, but you just do what you think is the best thing, won’t you now… :) This all in a combination of English with simultaneous translation and broadcast into Greek for two of the older women there whose English wasn’t up to the banter.

That was the highlight of the morning. After I actually gave the blood and drank the approx 500ml of glucose solution (which tasted much like five lemonades packed into a single can) I was fine for about half an hour. After which point the nausea kicked-in and I felt alternately like vomiting or pooing for the next hour and a half. And as the collection place was so small, there were only two collection ‘rooms’ and a bed only in one. And I was allowed one glass of water to sip for the whole time. I managed to get into the bed for a while after the waiting room cleared, but all in all sitting in a hard seat in a dingy little reception area while waiting for two hours to pass and feeling like death warmed up just really isn’t my idea of fun. All for you, baby. So now its just a wait for the results, which might take until tomorrow.

Hope its all good. As I said, today is great, no tests and I feel fine! I start antenatal active-birthing yoga tonight. Heard mixed reports about the place I’m going – sounds like it will be a little too chakra-centred for my usual preferred style, but looking forward meeting some women in the area who are due around the same time…

Love you
mum