A (3-Hour) Test of Patience

Do you remember me  telling you last week that I had to take the glucose test for gestational diabetes?  Well, I failed it.  Not by much — the normal limit is 140 and I “scored” 146.  Just enough to have to go in for the 3-hour test.


When I was pregnant with Violet, the same thing happened.  I scored 145 and had to take the longer test.  I was so nauseated the entire 3-hours that I seriously thought I was going to lose it all at any moment.  Back then, I had to go for the glucose test at the lab inside the hospital and they were kind enough to put me in a quiet room by myself and let me recline in a relatively comfortable chair.  I dozed and managed to make it through the ordeal.

And I passed with flying colors.

So this time I was anticipating extreme discomfort until I could get some normal food in me, since this test is given while fasting.  I had my glucola appointment yesterday.  At least I could just go in and get this nasty thing over with without having to go through the rigmarole of a regular appointment (I got all that done last week).  I brought my Kindle Fire and a paperback book; maybe I could finish the short novel in three hours’ time?  Hey, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.


I dropped Violet off at Mom’s and arrived at the Dr. office a little after 8:30 a.m.  After a few minutes, they called me into the back to get started.  One thing I like about this office is that I don’t usually have to wait very long to be seen.  They are pretty good about getting things done in a timely manner, which is great, because I can’t stand waiting for long periods of time when I have an appointment.

Last week, I had the choice of drinks:  either Lemon-Lime or Orange flavor.  I chose Lemon-Lime, because I’m trying to avoid artificial colors in our food.  This time, I had no choice.  Bright red Punch it was.


Fine.  Let’s get this over with.  I’m sitting in the blood-drawing chair waiting to get stuck for the first time.  (I had to give blood four separate times yesterday.)  Then the nurse says, “I’m sorry, but I forgot to put the drink in the fridge last night.  It’s warm.”


Fine. Whatever.  Mistakes happen.  She put some ice in a glass (but made a comment about not putting too much ice in the cup, because — you  know — a little extra water might completely skew my test results) and poured the warm, red, glucose syrup in to “chill.”

At least she found my vein on the first try.

Then I had to drink my “punch” as quickly as possible.  The nurse asked if it was cold.  I replied, “Only when the ice touches my lip.”

I got it all down without retching and was sent on my merry way, reminded that I had to return in one hour to get my blood drawn again.

Back out in the waiting room, I settled into a chair in the back corner (my favorite spot in any room) and took out my Kindle.  There were only two other people in the wait ing room, because it was still pretty early in the morning.  If I sit next to the window closest to the hospital, then I can get one bar of signal from the hospital’s wi-fi.  Facebook, here I come!  I started to send a message to hubby, telling him that our current favorite song was being performed on Good Morning America.  (Darius Rucker was playing Wagon Wheel.)

I hadn’t finished typing my message when the door to the back opened and the nurse called, “Jennifer?”

I looked up and stared at her for a moment.  Yes, she was looking right at me.  What did she want?  I had 50 minutes left before I needed to be poked again.  I liked the chair I was in.  I liked the song on the tv.  I wanted to stay right where I was.  As I started shoving my Kindle back into my purse, I grumbled (It might have been more of a whine), “What?”  Then as I got closer to the nurse (a different nurse than the blood-sucker) I repeated, “What?”

“You’re going to see Robin for your appointment today,” she said.

“I just had my appointment last week,”  I grumbled.  This really was a grumble.  I was specifically told when I scheduled this test that I wouldn’t need to see any doctors.

This nurse didn’t seem to care.  I was weighed, had my blood pressure taken and asked to pee in a cup.  By this time I am really irritated, but looking on the bright side at least I got to see Robin.  She delivered Violet and I didn’t get to see her at my last appointment.  I was shown into a room and told that she would be in to see me in a few minutes.

My stomach was starting to protest its nasty breakfast.  After several minutes, I tried laying down on the exam table.  That was uncomfortable, but I couldn’t decide if it was more uncomfortable than sitting up on the table.  Finally, I moved my stuff and sat down in the chair.

A while longer and I started sending nasty text messages to my husband.  My Kindle got no signal in the exam room (of course not), but my phone did.  Hubby must have been shocked by the amount of profanity spewing out of his phone.  On second thought, he probably wasn’t.

After thirty minutes of waiting in the tiny, warm exam room I was so frustrated and uncomfortable that I started crying.  That I was crying really isn’t unusual — I have always been a very emotional person (especially while pregnant).  But I really didn’t want to get caught crying when  if the Doctor finally decided to show up.  So I managed to pull myself together.

I could hear someone in the hallway telling another person that “she is in Labor Hall.  She’s not here right now.”

Mmm hmm.  That’s probably Robin she’s talking about.  I wondered how long until someone told me.  A few minutes later the nurse stuck her head in and told me what I had already heard.  She said Robin should be back any minute.  I hardly looked up from my phone to acknowledge her.  It was almost time to get my blood drawn again.

Forty minutes after being ushered into the exam room, a Doctor came in.  It wasn’t Robin.  She said, “Robin should be back soon, but I didn’t want you to have to wait in here too long.  And it’s almost time to get your blood drawn again.”

Uh huh.  Well, truth be told, I was relieved that someone had finally come to deal with me and get me out of this blasted exam room!  Doc was concerned that I had lost 2 pounds since last week and did I have any idea why that had happened?  Nope.  No idea why.  I was actually kind of surprised that I hadn’t gained more than the optimal 1 pound.  Doc began asking about swelling.  Had I been experiencing swelling?  Yes, occasionally my feet have been swelling a little bit.

I was wearing long, baggy sweat pants and the doctor leaned over and pushed on the front of my leg to test for swelling, but she didn’t pull up the fabric first.  “It is denting.”  It’s denting?  My leg is denting?  How can you tell??  I stared at the thick folds of fabric covering my legs and wondered how in the world this lady could tell that my leg was swollen and “denting.”  Nevermind.

I began, “My feet have been swelling occasionally, but I make sure to rest and–“  (I was going to say “put my feet up.”)

Doc interrupted, “What do you do for work?”

“I stay at home.”

“Wait.  You just said you need to rest.  If you stay at home, why do you need to rest?  What are you doing?”

Wait.  What?


What I should have done is just stared at her for a moment and then asked if she had really just said that.  What I ended up saying instead was, “Well, I do housework and I work in the garden and –”  She cut me off again.

Later last night, I was relaying this scenario to my husband over the phone and thanked him for never asking me why I need to rest.  (It’s really more a matter of resting my feet than anything.)  His response, “Well, you have a 3-year old.  That’s pretty much reason enough.”  Aww!  I love him so much!  He can be so sweet!  “Also, I know how much you liked ‘resting’ even before Violet came, so…”  

Yeah.  Sometimes he is sweeter than others.

So back to the doctor.  She was telling me that if I passed the glucose test, then the next time I would be seen I would need to get an ultrasound.  What she actually said was, “Your next visit or the visit after that.”  I informed her that I already had my appointment and ultrasound scheduled in three weeks.  She didn’t seem to believe me.  She said she’d take my paper up to the desk to make sure I had it scheduled.  I HAVE IT SCHEDULED!!!

Time to get my blood drawn again.

Back out in the waiting room, the place had filled up.  My corner seat was long gone, so I sat against the wall a few seats away from another lady.  Not long after I sat down, a man came in and sat next to her.  The stench of stale cigarettes really was overwhelming.  I considered changing seats, but just wanted to settle in and read my book.

“Jennifer?”  The receptionist called from the window.

“What?!”  I didn’t raise my voice (at least, I don’t think I did), but there was a lot of emotion in that single word.

“We need to schedule your next appointment.”

“I already diiid!”  My purse flopped onto the counter and I dug around for my appointment card.  Damn doctor didn’t know what the heck was going on.

“Oh yes.  I see it.  On June 24.”


“Okay.  Doctor just wasn’t sure if you had scheduled it or not.”


I went back out to the waiting room and sat far away from the stinky cigarette man.  Finally, I was able to read my book in peace, but didn’t get much read because I was starting to feel ill.  Not nearly as nauseated as I was four years ago, but enough to be really unpleasant.  The last twenty minutes of my time in the office was spent dozing with my head against my arm.

After three needle pokes in my right arm and one in my left (Who would have thought it gets more and more painful the more often you stick the same spot?) I was finally done.  The doctor had told me not to drive anywhere until I had eaten, suggesting I get some food in the hospital cafeteria.

Yeah, right.

I drove the three miles to Qdoba and rewarded myself with a big bowl of healthy Mexican food.  With some queso and chips on the side.


4 responses to “A (3-Hour) Test of Patience

  1. Oh dear!! What an ordeal. I am sorry you were pushed around and not really listened to. I hope your 3 hour test results are good. When do you find out?

  2. Pingback: Garden Update: June 7 | purplepixieindixie·

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