On Tuesday, April 8, 2008, I got up, drank a nice cup of strong black coffee (with no cream, according to the rules the nurse at my doctor’s office told me the previous day), got my older son off to school and my younger son settled at home with my husband, and then headed over to Sonora Quest laboratory for my blood work and 2-hour glucose tolerance test.
I wasn’t sure if the staff would let me leave during the 2-hour waiting period or not, and I hoped they would because the idea of sitting in the waiting room for that amount of time didn’t seem too fun, but in case they were going to make me stay there, I brought along some work folders, books, and stacks of coupons that I could clip, organize, and then forget to bring to the store.
The doors opened at 8, and several other people and I filed in to wait our turn to get poked in the arm. I got called back pretty quickly, and the technician took a couple/few vials of blood, then handed me the dreaded mega-sweet orange soda, said I had five minutes to drink it, and left the room.
When I have an unpleasant task to do, I like to just bite the bullet and get it over with as soon as possible, so rather than sip daintily for a few minutes I chugged the soda back as fast as I could.
When I was pregnant and doing this same test, the soda tasted nasty but I felt fine drinking it. This time, I felt pretty queasy pretty quickly. I spent the remaining four minutes waiting for the phlebotomist to come back literally praying that I wouldn’t puke and trying to keep my mind occupied by reading the fine print on the label.
I wasn’t too sure what the numbers on the bottle meant, but I was also pretty sure I had not consumed that quantity of sugar all at once in a really long time. One thing that jumped out at me was the rule that the patient should only drink water prior to the test, but no coffee, as it can alter the results. This bothered me a lot, as the nurse had clearly told me that black coffee was just fine. Why did she tell me that, when the label said not to? How would this affect my test?
A few minutes later the technician returned to the room, took the empty bottle from me, and asked that I return to the lobby and wait there for two hours. I asked him if I could leave the building and run errands and return around 10:30 and he said no.
So I headed to the lobby, found an empty chair near the back wall, and tried to concentrate on a work folder while what felt like tons of sugar rushed around my blood stream.