Sigh of relief. Well, at least I think so.
I do not have gestational diabetes.
In fact, my test results showed completely the opposite. Which could mean the presence of another issue, but could just be a result of an unlucky combination of factors.
On Tuesday night after my after-dinner snack, I started fasting. I woke up Wednesday morning, Benjamin took Owen to school and I headed for the doctor’s office as soon as it opened. I brought my computer and planned to get work done in the waiting room since I knew I was going to be there for 3 hours. First they took a urine sample to see if there was sugar present. If there was, I think they could diagnose diabetes from that, and perhaps I wouldn’t even have to do the test at all. Not sure about that, though, because they declared mine “negative”, handed me the ice-cold glucose drink, and started the clock. 5 minutes to guzzle the sugary drink. Not so bad when it’s ice cold.
I was hungry when I arrived, and it’s no wonder that feeling magnified when I sat down in the waiting room knowing that I was going to sit there, without food or water, for the next 3 hours. Brutal. I started working, but about 45 minutes in my eyesight was getting blurry and I felt hollow inside and a little shaky. I knew it was from the fasting/sugar high/sugar crash that my body really isn’t used to, but instead of causing a fainting or vomiting scene in the waiting room, I decided to head back and ask the nurse if I could put my feet up because I felt pretty woozy and shaky. She took my 1 hour blood draw and then showed me to a big chair (very much like the one I used to have to use every time I got blood taken as a kid/teen because I used to pass out a lot — I was a weenie). I leaned back and closed my eyes for 45 minutes. I felt weak, no doubt due to the fact that I hadn’t eaten in a while, but thankfully I had nowhere to go.
At the 2 hour blood work I was feeling a bit better, so I headed back out to the waiting room to work on some spreadsheets and powerpoint slides. Fun, eh? By the time the 3 hour needle stick came around I was so starving I would have eaten the nurse’s arm off if I hadn’t packed myself some snacks. As soon as she pulled that needle out, I shakily stuffed my face with 2 granola bars, an apple and half of my water bottle. The nurse made me finish an orange juice and sit for a few minutes to make sure I was ok to drive. I felt ok and was on my way.
I had already planned my route home around getting an egg & cheese sandwich and a decaf latte. Drive through. It was glorious. It was gone before I even left the drive through lane.
In the afternoon I got a call from the after-hours nurse. “Are you feeling ok? Your glucose level at the 3rd blood draw was super low. Like, dangerously low.” Frankly I was a little confused by the phone call, since I was feeling fine after eating all day long. I was just happy to hear that I didn’t have gestational diabetes!
My numbers were:
- Fasting: 75 mg/dL (normal range 65-95)
- 1 hour: 116 mg/dL (normal range 65-179)
- 2 hour: 114 mg/dL (normal range 65-154)
- 3 hour: 33 mg/dL (normal range 65-139)
Apparently the very low 3 hour puts me in the “hypoglycemic” camp. I’ve always been a self-diagnosed hypoglycemic… if I don’t eat small meals/snacks regularly, I bonk. If I exercise on an empty stomach, I bonk. If I don’t have my emergency granola bar on hand, I tend to get really hungry, and sometimes shaky and starving to the point of needing to sit down. When I’m hungry, I’m HANGRY. But stuffing my face always fixes it pretty quickly. I kind of thought this was normal, and it’s never really been an issue since I know this about myself and rarely let myself get to that shaky/fainty point.
The nurse seemed very concerned by this number, and after some Googling I can see that low blood glucose can sometimes indicate another health issue (pancreatic tumor, kidney issues, endocrine deficiencies, etc.). But given the fact that I’m pregnant and hadn’t eaten in 15 hours and my body is not used to processing large amounts of sugar or carbs, my doctor is not terribly concerned. So… neither am I.
Just happy I don’t have gestational diabetes!
Prior to this test my doctor said she wanted me to have the gestational diabetes test done TWICE during my pregnant, because having PCOS puts me at higher risk of having it. I’m not sure if this still stands, or if maybe she will just let me do the one hour test, fasting, the next time. Because I don’t want to do this 3 hour shenanigans again!