Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Glucose and Hemoglobin

These are two things in our blood. When a woman is pregnant, keeping tabs on the levels of these things is important. If they are not at the right levels, a pregnant women could be diagnosed with gestational diabetes and/or anemia. Here is the tale of my doctor's visit and the levels of these components in my blood.

My appointment was scheduled for Monday afternoon. Dan was going to meet me there. I spent the day hearing horror stories about the glucose test. I was to drink a horribly sweet syrup, wait around for an hour while my body took care of the 180 grams of glucose (roughly the equivalent 0f 4 cans of pop!), and have my blood taken. Luckily, I had my monthly appointment with my nurse practitioner scheduled for during that hour of down-time. I was a little concerned that the liquid would make me gag, and I was advised to choose the orange flavor.

We arrived and were promptly sent up to third floor OB. The woman behind the desk gave me a sheet and sent us back down to the first floor lab. The woman at the lab brought me into the back and sat me down while she retrieved the dreaded drink. She brought out two bottles--uh oh--and gave me a choice of fruit punch or orange. Being the obedient friend that I am, I chose the orange. She brought me a cup to pour the sweet nectar into. I did so, and although I had a whole 5 minutes to down the crud, I did it in about 30 seconds. It was fabulous! All right, that might be pushing it. But it certainly wasn't as bad as everyone had said. It was like McDonalds orange drink that hadn't been mixed quite right. Okay, first step done. The nice woman gave me a timer set for one hour and sent me back up to OB.

My regular appointment went just fine. She measured, prodded, and checked out my ears. What? Your ears? Yes. My ears. I have been battling a nasty cold, and she wanted to make sure it hadn't infected my ears. Now, back to business. My doctor was a sweetheart and actually chatted with us and answered questions for a long time, leaving us with only 15 minutes left on the timer! We put on our clothes (well, Dan never actually took his off, but whatever), and headed back down to the lab. I was excited. Almost done with this "dreaded" glucose test day.

After reading a bit in the waiting room, the same nice woman brought me back and sat me in the blood-taking chair. I am very good at having blood taken. Needles don't bother me and I have GREAT veins. Has anyone ever told you that you have great veins? It's quite a compliment! Anyway, the nurse proceeded to prepare the two vials and all of the equipment. She tied the rubber band thing on my arm and felt around. Nothing. No vein popping out to greet her and give her blood. She felt and felt. She tried the other arm. Even more of nothing. Back to arm number one. I didn't think she had actually felt anything, but she proceeded with the needle. I was right--she hadn't felt anything. This was evidenced by the fact that she prodded around with the needle after she had poked. Searching around in there for something to fill the vial. I was beside myself! It hurt! Finally, she hit something and SLOWLY filled the two bottles--one for glucose, one for hemoglobin.

After all of the hype, the worst part of the day ended up being the part I was least nervous about!

And the good news is that I haven't been called back about having wrong levels of glucose or hemoglobin, so all is good!

Next random pregnancy procedure, I'm ready for you. :)


julie said...

i get told i have great veins all the time, too! when they say it, don't you just give yourself an inner pat on the back? way to go, julie, way to go. way to keep those veins in shape.

glad to hear everything is good... gd is hellish (i know not from personal experience, but from watching a close friend deal with it).

Danb said...

Hemogloben and glucose levels... those two were near the top of my list of "MUST HAVES" when picking a great wife! WTG honney... =)

going back for that 3 hr test would have been complet torture... glad everything is good!

-Lisa- said...

hmm, how do you get "good veins" anyways? I've never actually had blood taken like that because whenever I tried to give blood, I had been to Haiti too recently.

Hmm.. if you can see the veins thru your skin, does that mean they're good? :) cuz they're awfully dark... (or maybe those are the wrong ones, they're blue...)
one more random thought that pertains to that last thing... did you ever hear the story that your blood is actually blue, but then when it reacts with the air it's turns red? I'm sure it's a wive's or (stupid person's) tale, but it would explain alot! tee hee... okay... enough with my long post.

glad the results came in on the good side!

lalimama said...

Yikes, this test was nothing to me, since I do have "good veins" but I had to take the 3hr test, and yes, that was the icky one. Glad you don't have to go through that. Yeah, healthy mama! Take care of yourself...these little procedures are nothing compared to giving birth. You'll do great.

gloria said...

I agree that the glucose drink isn't half bad. When I had it the first time (8 years ago) it was thicker, without carbonation, quite nasty.