In some ways, it felt like I was starting over again. And in some ways, I was. We had scheduled the repeat sonohysterogram (SHG, for short – seriously that’s a long word to keep typing, guys). At this point, I wasn’t afraid of these tests anymore. I had spent hours holed up in the fetal position crying after so many of them before. Sometimes from pain, but usually from humiliation. But the test I wasn’t prepared for, was the three hour glucose tolerance test.
I usually spare people the gory details of IVF and/or fertility treatments, and all that is involved. Up to this point I think I’ve spared all of you as well. If you’ve come this far I think you may be in it for the long haul, or I’m about to lose you. Regardless, it’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s part of my story.
Time had a way of ticking by painfully slow during testing, and the glucose test was no exception. For those who don’t know, you arrive to your doctor’s appointment stark raving hungry because you have to fast. They draw your blood for a ‘baseline’ number, or basically what your blood sugar is when you’re super hangry, and then you drink this nasty flat Fanta beverage. You sit there for the next three hours and they draw your blood every hour on the hour to check how your blood sugar fluctuates.
I promise it is every bit as horrible as it sounds. By the second set of draws they had begun drawing from the same arm, same vein, same spot. I was done. Every single stick I wanted to cuss someone’s face off. My anxiety was in full effect, and I felt like a pin cushion. On top of the psychological trauma being imparted upon me, I also started to feel light headed and nauseous. That’s the thing about the flat Fanta – it doesn’t always agree with you.
I made it through the test without returning the flat Fanta to its rightful owners, but my arms were hurting terribly. I was bruised and tired. A total of four blood draws in three hours did not fare well for my veins. My arms ached for days as I hid them under long sleeve shirts and hoodies. I feared what people would think, seeing both of my arms bruised in a rather precarious location (hello, IV drug use.)
The whole purpose of the glucose test was to determine if my body was insulin resistant because of PCOS, which is one major symptom of it.
Spoiler alert. I was.
Not really the biggest deal, but the go-to treatment for this is Metformin. If you’ve never taken Metformin, please do a happy dance for yourself. Metformin is usually prescribed to treat diabetes, but it is very hard on the body. Of course, this is what my doctor prescribed me. Some side effects of Metformin are: physical weakness, diarrhea, muscle pain, low blood sugar, and abdominal pain.
Just to name a few, because yes – there’s more. I had all of these.
I never fully adjusted to the medication.
Stay tuned for the next part.