Saturday, July 7th, 2012
We woke up at 6:30am to head to my glucose screening test. I scheduled it as early as possible since I feel terrible when I don’t eat breakfast and I wasn’t allowed to eat anything until after the test was over. My OB office no longer will draw my blood since the first incident when they couldn’t get it to work and I cried the whole time. Now my doc just writes a script and I take it into a diagnostics location. I was a little late in scheduling the appointment and since Quest Diagnostics only allows you to schedule online, Chris ended up having to drive me 50 minutes away in Hamilton, Ohio.
I stayed relatively calm during the drive even though my biggest fear was waiting for me. IVs and blood draws are the most terrifying thing in the world to me. I have never been able to let anyone touch the inside of my elbow and I even get bothered by anything touching my wrists. After a lifetime of fear we have figured out that when I was 4 years old, I was strapped down to a table and forced an IV when a doctor had to look at my bladder. My mom could hear me screaming in the waiting room (my dad went back with me because mom knew she couldn’t handle it). Sooo… 22 years later I am still insanely afraid of any extraction from my body.
While sitting in the waiting room we see a nurse/phlebotomist park her car outside the door, come in to clock in, then leave to go get Burger King. Chris and I weren’t her biggest fan for obvious reasons but we were quickly called back with an small older woman.
She entered in my info into the computer and handed me the orange drink of sugary goodness. Most women hate this stuff from what I hear. But since I don’t eat sugar it was like a sweet treat from heaven. It was like Sunkist on crack! We then sat in a room by ourselves until… Robin walked in.
Robin was the nurse/phlebotomist who left to get her Burger King earlier (not my fav obviously). As she escorted us to the room I started to tell her about my insane fear and that I just needed her to agree to take it from my hand instead of my arm. I told her I can’t see the stuff she uses and I will cry a lot and it isn’t personal. She then gives me a look and tells me that we ARE doing it in my arm because it hurts less. I then started to cry. I told her I can’t. I can’t even have someone touch my arm there without a needle, etc. This is when Chris stepped in and became nose to nose with her. He explained that we either do it in my hand or not at all. She was raising her voice right back at him telling him she didn’t even know if she had a butterfly needle to do that. He rebutted that this just like any other business and he will leave with me right then if she didn’t do it in the hand.
I was in hysteria at this point and begged her to go look for this butterfly needle she needs. She rolled her eyes and left the room. Chris assured me that we were leaving and driving the hour back home if she came without one.
Luckily she had the right needle and we proceeded. Now the first time you get your blood drawn while pregnant they take a lot (it seemed like an eternity). But this time it was maybe 5-7 seconds, didn’t hurt and we were out the door shortly afterwards. But I continued to cry for about 30 minutes afterwards partially because these are always traumatic for me and partially because of… Robin.
Monday, July 9th
Due to the high amount of sugar I consumed on Saturday, my body crashed on Monday. It is like clockwork. I have sugar = 2 days later my eyes turn black, I am exhausted and can’t get out of bed. So I worked from my bed and napped a lot.
Tuesday, July 10th
Yay! It is baby doctor time! I always love going to the OB for checkups. I love hearing about her growth and how I am doing. I was really nervous about my weight gain because I was feeling pretty heavy but I had only gained 4 lbs over the past month. Heck yeah!
When Dr. Lum came in he had a disappointed look on his face. He said, “You didn’t pass.” What? What was he talking about? OMG. ”You’re kidding. I did pass. You are messing with me.” Nope… I FLUNKED the glucose screening test. I instantly started crying and Chris stood up to come stand with me to see what we needed to do. I had been so wrapped up in the actual taking of the blood that I forgot the reason we were doing it. We knew I was a high risk for it with all my sugar issues but had I really become diabetic?!
Dr. Lum told me that if I do have gestational diabetes that there are lots of things we can do to manage it- diet, pills, injections, etc. And depending on how I do with the 3 hour test, we can decide what course of action to take. ”I’m sorry… what? 3 hour test?” Yep. I had to have my blood draw FOUR TIMES within 3 hours. Pretty much my worst hell. If the devil created my hell it would be full of mean people and blood draws. But besides that I was more concerned that my sugar issues could harm the baby (child obesity, child diabetes, delivery complications, and worst case- still born). HOLY MOLY! It was like a slap in the face. Dr. Lum told me that even though I really failed my screening test, there is a chance I can pass the 3 hour test. He needed me to do the test right away because if it was really bad we needed to start treatment ASAP. I wasn’t feeling confident about passing it. It had become less about the blood and more about protecting my baby. Mama Bear was coming out.
Wednesday, July 11th
The pain of moving a million times when you take a lot of medication is getting into new doctors and explaining how severe my asthma and allergies are (plus the sugar issues). I found a new doc in Harrison, Ohio and scheduled my appointment two weeks in advance. It was planned perfectly so that I took my last Singulair pill on Tuesday night and I would get the new prescription on Wednesday AM. It was cutting it close but it was the soonest I could get it. I printed out paperwork to save time in check-in and left early Wednesday AM to be there by 8am. Chris usually goes to doc appointments with me 1. because I down play everything 2. so he knows how I am doing. I told him with all the doc appointments and since I was leaving early (Chris works late) that I could just go get this over with.
I was driving down Stateline Road when I heard, what I thought, was a rock fling up from my tire. Then an alert shows up on my dashboard for low air pressure in my front right tire. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! Luckily just as my rim began to grind on the road I was able to pull into an insurance building lot. Now, I am probably one of the best people to have around when stuff like this happens. I don’t panic or get upset. This stuff happens. No amount of anger can change it. So I call Chris and he and mom head my way. I even had a man show up who saw it happen from his yard and knew I couldn’t be far. Haha! I told him my husband was coming but thanks for checking on me.
Mom and Chris show up and he begins to change the tire to a spare. Mom tells me to jump in the van and we could make my 8am appointment if we hurry. Remember: I have to have my meds. SO we take off. I keep calling the office to tell them I may be a little late but they don’t open until 8am.
At 8:00am the receptionist answers. I frantically explain that I had a flat tire, I’m 6 months pregnant, have to have my meds but I will be 5 minutes late. ”Ma’am please hold.” When she comes back, we are pulling into the office. “Ma’am? Yeah… we are going to have to reschedule.” WHAT?! I’m here!!! ”I’m sorry.” Soooooo nooooo doc appointment. Again, mom and I are always calm in these freak situations. And plus, God could have put these road blocks up for a reason. I just wasnt meant to see that particular doctor.
We then drive to an old doc of mine from when I lived at home. He had moved locations and was now part of a large practice. His once, small office where he would do anything to accomodate was now ran by a large company. I walked in and explained my situation. The receptionist said they were booked two weeks out AND they would need my medical records SNAIL MAILED to them. I tried to tell her I cannot go a day without my meds. Didn’t work.
CHRIS FREAKED! ”Who turns away a 6 month pregnant woman who needs her meds when she is 5 minutes late?!” He was ready to wreak havoc. I ended up calling Dr. Lum and explained to his office what happened. They called in a 30 day supply and we livid a doc turned me away for being 5 minutes late.
OH, I am not done with day from hell like you would think: Later that evening Chris went to pick up my prescription that Dr. Lum called in… When he got there the pharmacist told him my insurance wasn’t valid. He called me and I assured him that was the right insurance card and there is no way it is canceled. The pharmacist called BlueCross BlueShield and they confirmed it was terminated. WHAT?!
I logged on to my BCBS account online to see that it was terminated 2 months prior. Huh? I’ve used it several times since then. I then called them- customer service closed 10 minutes before I called. I then called Optium Health (they are my COBRA people). They said I am current and no reason for BCBS to cancel me. So I had to wait until the morning to call BCBS at 8am. SO NO MEDS FOR ME TONIGHT. Not good. I’ll call tomorrow. Wait… tomorrow is my 3 hour glucose test at 8:20am. Looks like I will be stressing about three things 1. Do I have insurance 2. Do I have gestational diabetes 3. Four blood draws!
We didn’t sleep much.
Thursday, July 12th
To avoid another Robin situation I had called a different location in Colerain (which is closer anyways) and confirmed with a nurse they would take my blood from my hand starting at 8:20am.
As we drive to Quest Diagnostics (where I get my blood drawn), I started calling BCBS at 7:45am just incase there is a wait. By 8:05am it still said they were closed. Then it hit me, it is CENTRAL TIME. So I can’t talk to them until 9:00am EST. Grrreat. Oh well, I have to have this test, I’ll deal with insurance later.
We get to Quest and Chris and I are the only ones in the office waiting when I see… no… it can’t be. I look at Chris and say, “Is that???” Yep… Robin. Today she was at the Quest in Colerain! You have GOT to me kidding me!!!! At this point I start laughing. This week is a joke. How does this happen?!!?!
Robin comes to the front and says “Alicia Courtney”. When she looks up she says, “Ohhhh lawd have mercy. YOU DIDN’T pass?!?!” She continues to say “YOU?! You didn’t pass!?” We just laughed as she fanned herself. I bet she wasn’t expected us for the next three hours.
I actually think it was a blessing. Because it didn’t hurt when she did it the past Saturday I kind of knew what to expect. And get this. I didn’t cry! In between each draw Chris and I went and sat in the car to wait until the next hour when I had to go back in. I didn’t cry one time! I was able to get through all 4!
Before we left that morning I sat in our glider and prayed. I knew I couldn’t overcome my fear alone. I knew it was for Annalise. It wasn’t about me anymore. I had to protect her and if this test and meeting my fear head-on meant I could prevent her from having to deal with diabetes, then I was going to do it. I just needed God’s strength to get me through the actual act of it. And boy does prayer work! I breathed and prayed through each time and made it through alive!
Somewhere between those draws I was able to talk to BCBS. The guy was just as puzzled as I was. He said he would call me back. Later that afternoon I had a voicemail saying everything was fixed and it was just an error on their end in the system. WHEW! (I got my meds that night!)
Friday, July 13th
Really? Friday the 13th!? Although I am not superstitious, I also had the week from hell so who knew what today could bring. Today was the day I was going to hear from Dr. Lum on whether I passed or failed the glucose test. I waited until early afternoon and then I called the office. For 1.5 hours it went to voicemail. I started to panic but realized I had been through worse this week. Ha! Dr. Lum finally called at 4:30pm from his cell. I answered and he said, “YOU PASSED!” What?!?!?! I barely passed. I had flunked one of the tests and it was obvious that yes I have insulin resistance and sugar issues but I hadn’t gone full on diabetic! Best news of the week!
To celebrate we headed out to the lake house. We were actually celebrating Chris’s 31st birthday but I was also celebrating the end of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week!
Thankfully the week ended well and my health and Annalise’s health is great. I think that if I could get through this week… this being a Mom thing with be a cinch. Right?