14 November 2016


As I mentioned in my latest update post - you can catch up here - last month I had my Glucose Tolerance Test - also referred to as GTT. As I've not had the greatest of pregnancy's and as my BMI is a bit on the chunky side I was referred for this by a consultant after my 20 week scan. I'd heard no end of stories and hardly slept the night before preparing myself for the horrific event, frantically Googling for all the information I could find. In reality though it wasn't that bad at all. Afterwards I thought I would share my experience in hopes it might chill a few first timers out - or at least give them something very honest to read 3am before their test! I apologise in advance as I do have a bit of a moan about my hospital, but it should mostly be informative. It is also terribly long - sorry about that!

You are instructed that you need to fast - everything apart from water - from 10pm onwards. Unfortunately, I was currently going through horrendous bouts of acid reflux and heartburn and after a long while Googling I found that you shouldn't really have any Gaviscon or Rennies after 10pm as it could effect the test. As this was the case I had my last bit of food at around 5ish in the afternoon so I didn't wake up with crippling heartburn at 2am.

So there I am, generally a little bit grumpier than usual as I can't have my morning brew - I was affected so much more by the lack of tea in my system than I was by the lack of food! - all ready to make my way to the hospital for 8am. When I arrived there I checked in like I normally would for a scan appointment and was told to take a seat and the nurse would come and get us. This confused me a little as I had gone to the appointment on my own - armed with my Kindle, colouring book and Spotify to pass the 2 hour wait ahead of me - who were us!? A very quite member of staff then came out and a bunch of women got up and went into the "Parentcraft" room. It wasn't until the lady who had checked in in front of me went into the room that I realised "Oh! So This is a group thing?" I was completely expecting to be called into a little room, have my blood taken and then potter about for a few hours. I'm not sure whether this is just my hospital or not but this was how they did it at mine.

Around 12 of us sat down and were called in to a quiet, curtained, corner of the room to have our first lot of blood taken and receive our ridiculously sugary drink in order that we checked in. The first woman who took my blood was amazing, her skills with that needle will go down in history. I was then handed my drink and - after asking! - was advised to drink it in 5 minutes and then I would be called in 2 hours to come and have my second blood test. To be completely honest, I have heard horror stories about this disgusting, orange drink, none of which I actually agree with. I mean, yes I won't be picking it up in the shops anytime soon but it really wasn't that bad. To me it tasted like McDonalds Still Fanta but with a very thick, treacle like texture. Now, I do have quite a sweet tooth so this might be why but I downed it in one and settled in for my long wait.

As the time passed a few of us chatted and tried to spur each other on a little bit, some women sat and read and other's went for a quick nap. By the end of the 2 hours I was starting to feel a little dehydrated and really just wanted my duvet and a massive cup of tea. Finally my name was called and we got ready for the second blood test. This is when for me, it started to go a little downhill. The original nurse with super blood taking powers had swapped with another woman and I'm not sure whether she just wasn't as confident or that the lack of food and water for the last 14 hours had taken their toll but she couldn't get a single drop of blood out! Cue my worst nightmare! I'm awful for taking blood - especially if I haven't eaten - I tend to go numb, go pale, be sick and then faint. After a good 5 minute of trying and of me trying not to pass out she finally got a mere 3cm of blood into the vile. I asked her if that would be enough - she toddled off to check - and thankfully said yes and told me to go home. I had a quick drink of water, nibbled on my Alpen bar and walked to the bus stop so I could head straight home and to Subway!

However, this didn't completely go to plan. After 40 minutes on a stuffy bus I started to feel a little sick. My poor bruised vein was throbbing and although I tried my hardest to hold it together I had to hop off the bus early. I collapsed outside the bus stop, threw up in a hedge and basically sat on the floor like a drunken student at the end of freshers week. It was not one of my finest moments, I've got to say. I eventually got back on another bus and finally got myself a mighty footlong Subway. For the remainder of the day, I was completely wiped out and snoozed on the sofa from a complete sugar crash.

They usually say that no news is good news and if there is anything to discuss they will give you a call otherwise your safe to carry on scoffing as much chocolate as you desire. Behold, the next day I receive a call from an unknown number and my heart sank. I listened to my voicemail and fortunately it wasn't a call to say I was positive for GD. Unfortunately, it was a phone call to say that my second blood test had clotted and was completely unusable so therefore I had to come back in and do the whole thing again. Fuming was an understatement. After a long conversation of me trying to barter with the midwife on the phone - with no help what so ever - I unceremoniously cut off and went and cried in the ladies loo's at work.

Personally, I won't be doing the test again. This may be a very selfish thing to do but until I have any symptoms or they find glucose in my wee I won't be worrying about it to much. I have taken some precautions as to my diet and after some Googling have changed to eating a little more healthily and trying to avoid too much sugar just in case but all in all I won't be giving it another go. It's a really important thing to check for but in my case, I really don't agree it was necessary. If your in the same position then I do know they offer a week long "prick test" which monitors your blood sugar 6 times a day. This might be an option if you are really concerned.

- Wear comfy clothes and take entertainment. You are in for a long wait so you need to be comfy. Layers are best so you can put on/take off as needed. We were in a stuffy room and boy do I regret wearing a big snuggly jumper! If I did do it again, I will also be the crazy lady who brings a pillow with me!

- Take a bottle of water and a snack for after the test. Although I felt fine after the test keeping hydrated through out my journey home may of prevented me from being so poorly.

- If it can be, arrange for a lift home via a relative, friend or taxi after the test unless you live close by. My 40 minute journey home on public transport was horrendous and I wish I had just paid £11 and got a taxi home.

- Trust your gut! I had a feeling when I saw my second blood test that something was wrong. I was advised by the midwife that the women taking my blood were just support staff who weren't trained to know if the blood they've taken is enough/in good shape and I wish I had just asked them to take another sample instead of heading home.

I hope this helps anyone going in for their GTT and although I had a crappy outcome the overall test part wasn't that bad - I just wanted to have a good moan! - so I please do not worry. It is always a good thing to be tested for.

1 comment :

  1. Its really interesting to hear others experiences of this - mine was different, it wasn't a group session! I failed mine unfortunately so I'm testing for sugars and on medication. And no more cake for me until baby is born...Christmas is going to be tough! xx