Before I go to my comprehensive physical exam at Lahey’s Medical Weight Loss Center, I need to get a battery of blood tests (diabetes, thyroid, etc., etc., etc.). They want to know of any metabolic or physiological issues that may cause my weight issue (versus my general personal gluttony).
I decided this Tuesday was as good a day as any, so I cleared my morning schedule and prepared to fast. No food and drink (except water) for at least 12 hours before the tests.
After 7pm on Monday, I closed my mouth and went to watch TV in the bedroom. Figured it’s easier to avoid any temptation calling to me from the kitchen if I’m further away.
LAZINESS + GRAVITY = SNACK AVOIDANCE
I spent most of Tuesday morning at the clinic donating 6-7 vials of blood. Blood was drawn from my left arm first and the initial batch included an immediate pass/fail exam. My blood sugar level needed to be below 120 for them to proceed with the time-based diabetes testing. The phlebotomist (fancy-pants medical term of the day) told me my blood sugar level was 104.
Hooray! I passed! I can give EVEN MORE blood today! That’s…ummm…great?
The diabetes test assesses how my body processes sugar. Now that they had my baseline, they needed to dose me up with sugar, so I drank a small bottle of orange fluid that tasted like flat ultra-sweet orange soda. I was instructed to return to the lab in an hour to give another blood sample. However, I had to follow the rules – very little walking, no food, and minimal (if any) water.
Went to the lobby (land of comfy big butt chairs!) and cleaned out my email box. I had a lot of email to sift through. It was a productive hour.
I returned to the lab as scheduled. They drew blood from my other arm and told me to appear for the last test in another hour.
That second hour was a lot slower. I had a book, but wasn't in reading mode. My stomach was a little queasy (no food…that syrupy liquid…ick). Plus, I think I was crashing from a sugar high; I was incredibly drowsy. I just wanted to curl up on a couple of those wonderful lobby chairs and take a nap. Fear of public humiliation kept me awake.
People watching was mildly entertaining. Who knew there were so many old people hanging out in hospitals? I mean, it totally makes sense, but I was surprised at just how wildly disproportionate the senior:youth ratio was.
I wonder if they bus them in from the senior housing complexes around town. Or maybe there are special senior discount days? Now there’s a Groupon I don’t want…but I digress…
Tired, hungry, and grumpy from the sugar crash, I finally got the last blood drawn approximately 2 1/2 hours after I originally arrived. They hit up my left arm again, which now sports a petite bruise (blood test battle wound?).
I won't learn the results of the major blood letting until next Friday's appointment with the Doc. I don't know all the other stuff they tested for, but I don't think diabetes is an issue and I doubt my thyroid's a problem. My cholesterol may be a little high, but I really hope that's the worst of it.
We shall see! (insert VERY scary music here)