When we last left off, I had just drank a bottle of super sweet orange soda pop at a Sonora Quest laboratory as part of my two-hour glucose tolerance test to check to see if I had Type 2 diabetes, and I settled in to a chair in the lobby to wait two hours for my next blood test.
The phlebotomist who took my first blood sample knew why I was there, and bless his heart, he sort of took me under his wing that morning. Every ten minutes or so he’d check on me to make sure I was doing okay, and he offered me the use of an empty exam room so I could “sleep off all the sugar” if I wanted to.
Although I was feeling pretty woozy for that first hour and it was all I could do to concentrate on the work I had brought along, I stubbornly insisted that I was just fine and would stay right in the lobby. After all, if I could remain in the lobby and work, it meant everything was okay, right?
So I sat there, glued to my chair, trying as hard as I could to convince myself everything was okay when clearly, I could tell that something was very wrong. I felt light headed and had a lot of trouble concentrating.
When he saw me reaching for the bottle of water I had with me the phlebotomist quickly called out to me that drinking water during the test was a major no-no. He said the water would dilute my results and that I had to allow my system to process the sugar without the help of any other liquids.
Since he was so friendly and chatty, I decided to ask him about why people were not allowed to leave during the two hours. I told him I was guessing it was because some folks might eat or drink something during the time and throw off the results even further.
I was surprised when he explained that the reason people were not allowed to leave the premises was because some folks end up passing out from all of the sugar in their bloodstreams, and they couldn’t risk having anyone out running errands and then having an adverse reaction. He said others become ill and throw up, and then the test has to be redone at a later date. As he put it, “We don’t care if you eat or not during this time. If someone wants to mess up their results, that’s up to them. But we don’t want anyone to pass out while they’re out driving.”
Then he looked closely at me, and said “I think the fact that you have not thrown up is a good sign,” and he went back behind the desk. Finally, some good news was coming my way. But as I would find out the next morning, even if you don’t end up returning the orange pop during the two-hour glucose tolerance test, it does not mean all is well.