Monday, June 29, 2009

Never Say Diabetes

Boy, it's just been one of those days for our old friend Rachel. We all know the type; First the dog wakes you up about ten minutes before the alarm. Then, while out shopping, you realize you've forgotten that valuable coupon that led you to shop at some suburban money trap like Bed Bath and Beyond in the first place. After you get home, you decide to help make dinner and you spill a cup of olive oil on the floor, which is now a pain to clean up and as slick as eel snot. No matter how many times you mop, the kitchen floor still shines like the sun and it's clearly the olive oil and not the Pine Sol making it gleam. Your stomach hurts, the laundry needs folding, it's raining outside and still hot as an oven. At some point you've got to accept the fact that this day is just the pits.

Flashback a couple of days, and things were going fine for Rachel Klug. She was in good spirits despite the fact that she had to get her blood drawn and had not eaten nor drank anything since the night before. I came to give her moral support and documentation as she chugged the ten ounces of a drink she described as, "sugary syrupy gross-ness." The liquid Rach had to drink, labelled "Zero Five Zero," was to test whether or not she has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition where pregnant women, who have never before shown signs of diabetes, suddenly have high blood sugar. This elevated glucose level can lead to hypertension for the mother. (By the way, is it just me or does "Hypertension" sound like a ride at a state fair? It looks scary, but is lame and smells like cotton candy and vomit.) Anyway, the babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes have some health risks as well, such as a higher rate for childhood obesity and several other polysyllabic, dangerous sounding conditions that no parent would want their child to acquire. I volunteered to chug a Zero Five Zero alongside of Rachel, but apparently I have zero chance of having gestational diabetes, and thus the nurse wouldn't let me have a bottle.

Rachel chose to get the bottle of Lemon-Lime flavored Zero Five Zero, which was a terrible choice. I mean, who in their right mind, when given a choice between Orange, Lemon-Lime, and Cherry flavor, goes with Lemon-Lime? Seriously, Lemon-Lime is the worst flavor Kool-Aid ever. In fact, it's not even a real flavor; it's a combination of two other failed flavors. It should just be called Citrus, or something like that. Anyway, Rachel got her comeuppance when she tasted the stuff. It didn't taste like lemons or limes, it just tasted gross. I got my comeuppance when the nurse gave me a dirty look for chanting "Chug, Chug, Chug" at 8:30 a.m. in a crowded laboratory room. After waiting an hour, the nurse drew some of Rachel's blood to test the glucose level.

After the chugfest, Rachel and I got to see the doctor. She said the babies are growing fine, have strong hearts, and are plenty active. Rachel's stomach measured at 34 weeks, meaning her stomach is the same size as a singleton pregnancy at 8 and a half months.

So anyway, remember that bad day I was talking about earlier? It didn't get any better for Rach when she got the call from the doctor telling her that she failed the test for gestational diabetes. According to the results of the test, Rachel's blood sugar tested at 136, and the cutoff for the test is 130. Now, Rachel must fast, go in again for more Zero Five Zero, wait three hours and then give another blood sample. I guarantee this time she doesn't choose Lemon Lime.

For our family and friends out there that may be worried about Rach, Red and Lellow, we assure you it's too early to be concerned. Gestational diabetes affects less than ten percent of all pregnant women, yet just about every friend we have that has had a child failed the one-hour test. Plus, Rachel is convinced her failure is more a result of the giant Shakey's Frozen Custard she ate 18 hours before the test than a result of her blood sugar levels. I'm convinced the Lemon-Lime flavor messed up the test. Nevertheless, the failure makes a bad day just plain awful.

But, the sun will come up tomorrow and again the next day. Rachel and I will head back in for the three hour test, and I will again ask the nurse if I can have a Zero Five Zero to drink with her. I will again chant "Chug." And I will again urge Rach not to choose Lemon Lime. It's not even a real flavor.

In honor of all of our bad days, here are some names that we will not name our kids: Sonny, Sunny, Raine or Misty.


  1. First of all, Rachel, I will continue to keep you in my prayers, to pass all tests in the future, and/or, if a no-pass grade is given (not "failure!!!!), that it is very minor and that all will be well with you, Red, Lello, and our favorite cheerleader, Billy.
    2nd, I'm very impressed with "polysyllabic"! Journalism grad or not, it's a very impressive word. (As a non-journalism grad, I just looked up impressive in the thesaurus to try not to use it again, but it didn't have anything more impressive than impressive.)
    And 3rd, it's unfortunate you keep running into nurses with less than impressive senses of humor. You just keep it up anyway - you probably brighten their days, whether they show it or not!

  2. awww, my rach. i hope texting you through your experience the other day helped. i wish i could've been there with you.

    all will be well... promise.

  3. I failed the one-hour test....then sadly proceeded to MISERABLY fail the three-hour test. The cut-off after the first-hour blood draw was 130, I believe, and I was over 280. Woops! It's super common with multiples pregnancies. Your number isn't that high for a one-hour test, so maybe you'll luck out better than I did. In any case, thanks to Atkins and reduced-sugar or sugar-free treats, it's not too horrible to live with it through the last 10 or so weeks.

    BTW, you're doing a kick-ass job and looking great! Your face isn't even all bloated and round...yet :P Keep those babies baking!

  4. Been there, done that! I failed the first one-hour-test by a few points but thankfully passed the three-hour-test. I blame it on the OB. He said I could eat before the one-hour. Whatever!