Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Bloody Long Wait

Earlier this week, I was due for another antenatal check-up in the hospital. As scheduled, I was supposed to do a glucose/sugar, HB and First Tri-Semester Screening (FTS) tests. I never had any glucose nor FTS tests before so I didn't know what to expect.

I came to the hospital at around 8.30am starving because the glucose test would require my blood and urine samples taken when I was still fasting from the night before. The first thing I did after registering my name to the hospital was heading straight to the laboratory. Since it was not even 9am, I didn't have to wait too long until my name was called. The laboratory staff asked me to collect my urine sample. When I was done, I came back to the laboratory and the same lady drew a blood sample from my left arm. Meanwhile, I checked with her if she was taking my blood sample for all the three tests as per written in my appointment card. She nodded.

Up to this point, I thought that once my blood sample was taken, I could start eating some breakfast. I hate eating out of schedules because I have gastric problem. Fasting had definitely ruined my eating routines and I didn't appreciate that. I already packed, of course, PB bread plus a banana from home (what else?) and planned to gobble them right the lab staff drew my blood. I estimated that I could start eating my PB bread and banana around 9am max; then wait for my turn to see the Gynae. I had all this mapped out so well for days.

The yucky glucose water.

After the lab staff took my blood sample, she asked me to drink some clear water that was placed in a medium-sized paper cup next to me. She instructed me to finish this drink until the last drop then continue fasting until 10.40am. I shot her a quizzical look and she raised a smile. Fasting, again? I could not believe this. Moving on, I had no choice but accepting my fate to fast for another two hours despite my growling stomach and began drinking the water. God... One sip of this drink and I had pounding headache already. The drink was so so so crazy sweet! It looked like the lab staff used 100gr of sugar : 100ml of water ratio to produce this liquid. Sickly sweet J.Co doughnuts are way pale in comparison to this drink. I attempted to negotiate with the lab staff over the amount of the sugar liquid I could drink but she responded "Must finish it." Anyway, I drank slowly. Too slow until this lady asked me to continue drinking outside the lab and come back to see her when I was done.

I sat in the bench just in front of the lab. After few sips of this drink, I started gagging. Many people passed by the lab and some bothered to look at the miserable me. One middle-aged auntie approached me and asked about dr. Lee Ming. I didn't even know who this doctor was. 20 minutes later, I was still sitting in the bench quietly while holding the cup with one hand. How? I was not done yet with swallowing the acutely sweet water. Somehow it was easier to gulp down a bowl of TCM tea that has been slow boiled for 3 hours. I gave up, braved myself to find the same lab lady and showed her the cup with half of the sugar water still inside. She was so shocked that I still had not finished the drink because by right, I should consume the whole drink fast, not slowly.

I insisted that I would not be able to finish the horrendous glucose water because I started having headache and feeling very nauseous by now. Apparently empty stomach and a gross drink didn't go along very well. She talked to one of her colleagues then both of them met me outside the lab. The guy advised me to sit still and try not to vomit until the next blood and urine tests.

While waiting for my next round of blood and urine tests, I seated myself in a bench located just in front of the toilet. I was worried that I would vomit any time in public place hence the strategic seat. I regret not carrying any Minyak Kapak in my bag because the headache still lingered and could only massaged my temples to relieve the throbbing headache.

A couple hours later, I dashed to the lab again to take the urine sample container and so the lab staff could quickly draw my blood again and I could eat! This time around, she mentioned that my veins were so thin... She pricked a needle on my left arm, tried to move the needle a bit here and there for two minutes but to my horror, no blood was drawn. Imagine that... I suffered for nothing. Not long, she tried her luck with my right arm and thank God, she managed to take some blood out of it.

Done with the lab business, I walked fast to the hospital's cafeteria because I was famished by 11am. I deserted the idea of eating my PB bread and banana and settled for a plate of fried rice, which came out a tad overly salty than normal.

My salty late breakfast.

After I had my late breakfast, or brunch, I rushed back to queue for the Gynae. I was under the impression that I didn't have to wait too long to see her because my queue number was 10 and I had been in the hospital for more than 2 hours already. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Her nurse informed me that the Gynae was heading to the OT and would only be seeing patients again after 30-45 minutes. Whoah! Beat that.

On separate note, the long wait in the hospital had given me ample time to flip through some articles in Health Today and Forbes. I even remember one of the world's 20 most powerful women in business featured in the Forbes magazine that I read that day was the first female CEO of IBM, Ginny.

Alas, after waiting for about an hour, the nurse asked me to come in. My Gynae told me that my glucose test came back negative, despite the fact that I didn't finish the glucose drink for the test, and I won't have to repeat the test again. Yay to this. Next, the Gynae scanned Baby #3 and we were so happy to see the baby moving actively in the womb. We actually saw the baby jumped several times in the womb. My husband said the baby must have known that Mommy and Daddy came to see him/her hence the happy dance. My Gynae did quite a thorough scan to check the baby's head shape and fortunately, it looks good.

There.. there.. my little rainbow.

Baby #3 was 5.42cm long earlier this week, has limbs and strong heartbeat too.

While I was waiting for my hospital bill, my Gynae's nurse suddenly ran to me and questioned "Are you sure the lab staff also took your blood sample for the FTS?" I hurriedly put in "Yes! I was informed that the lab drew my blood for that purpose as well this morning." "Can you let me know which staff told you so because apparently they didn't take your blood sample for this test although it's already written in your card."  This was obviously another WTH news of the day after the glucose water. What nonsense is this?

Puzzled, I followed this nurse marching to the lab. A further check with a lab staff I had not encountered earlier revealed that the lab didn't collect enough blood sample of mine for the FTS thus they had to prick my arm one more time. #facepalm

4 needle pricks in one morning and bruised arms too. Beat that again. I guess I am simply so fated with syringes and needles this year.

Anyhow, I hope that the FTS result comes back normal!🙏

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