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First OGTT tomorrow - really scared

Discussion in 'Emotional and Mental Health' started by starry-night-sky, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    Last month I had my first appointment at the Endocrinology department and the consultant referred me for an OGTT. The appointment is tomorrow. Just a little background on me, I have always had a phobia of blood tests. I used to refuse them until my health issues got worse and I knew I needed to have one. I was so scared before the first one that I cried in the waiting room. I have been suffering from symptoms of low and high blood sugar for over 2 years now. I had a hba1c last year which was normal and another hba1c test at my first Endo appointment (although I still don’t have my results)

    I get my partner to come with me to all my blood tests. I use EMLA cream with an occlusive dressing at every test. On my last blood test (hba1c at Endo clinic) I used clingfilm instead of an occlusive dressing which I regret, because when I took the clingfilm off, the cream had spread everywhere and I could feel the needle going in (I hadn’t felt it on previous tests)
    The nurse struggled to find a vein and I kept working myself up and panicking, when she did manage to find one, as I said, I could feel the needle go in, which made me feel dizzy. I was scared and just wanted to get out of there.

    I also lie down (I couldn’t do it sat up) put headphones in and listen to music/watch a YouTube video to distract myself. I read online it helps to drink plenty of water and keep warm, so I’ll take a water bottle with me and wear a cardigan and maybe some gloves too, if it will help.

    What I’m scared of the most is if I can feel the needle going in again, and also because of the lack of food, I’m scared of feeling dizzy. With other blood tests, I’ve eaten enough food before hand, and felt fine. With one, I only had some snacks before, not a full meal, and I felt dizzy afterwards. It took at least 10 minutes for me to feel better and I had some graze boxes before I left the room.

    I am very worried, I have never had two blood tests in one day, I’m scared of something going wrong, I don’t want to feel the needle or feel dizzy/pass out I have never passed out but I have felt dizzy. I can’t eat anything from 8pm tonight and hope the lack of food through the test doesn’t make me feel dizzy/pass out. Obviously this isn’t a question, just want to get my feelings off my chest and see if anyone has advice.
     
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  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hello @starry-night-sky (lovely name by the way :)).

    A lack of food should not cause dizziness, so you should be fine, however make sure you drink lots of water, wear a very warm coat and make sure you are super warm before your injection, so keep moving and keep warm, it helps the veins and ensure's there's no messing about when it comes to the test.

    What's causing your anxiety ? I know I get a little anxious but with having this condition we need to find a way to manage our fears as we cannot avoid blood tests. How about doing a meditation before the test, 'Calm' is a free app you can download. Distraction techniques do help of course, a friend pinches the skin between her thumb and forefinger when she has a test and the pain diverts her attention away from the blood test itself which helps her manage her anxiety, but getting to the bottom of this will help you cope better for the future.
     
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  3. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Hi Starry. As a retired nurse I suggest you ask the nurse to put a ‘butterfly’ in. It’s a needle that can be put in once, then stay there for both blood tests. Saves you a second jab.
     
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  4. eggs11

    eggs11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm a pain to get blood out of, which made me a bit phobic too, so like you I used to get anxious - however these things have helped;
    * as you mentioned - be as warm and as hydrated as you can - this makes the veins much easier for the nurses to find and so everything is over much quicker.
    * @Rachox mentioned butterfly needles - they always use one for me too (and now I know why!)
    You are doing the right thing by distracting yourself with your phone too.
    Explain you need to remain lying down for a bit after the test in case of dizziness.
    It is good you usually have your partner with you - my brother came with me to my diagnostic one and he kept distracting me with small talk which helped.
    The more tests I've had done the easier it has got, I ask for the same nurse each time now as she is very good at getting blood from me - so if you get a nurse who is skilled at doing it, make sure to ask for them again when booking in the future.
     
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    #4 eggs11, Mar 19, 2018 at 11:04 AM
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  5. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Hi there - I'm very fortunate that blood tests don't particularly bother me. They'll never be on my Top 10 things to do, but needs must.

    Again fortunately, I have veins like the channel tunnel, so they can usually see them without feeling, but one thing I do do, is, on my way to the test, I make sure I wash my hands in warm water, then keep my hands warm. Even though I usually have my blood drawn from the crook of my elbow, it all helps.

    When I had some done a couple of weeks ago, it was during that dreadfully cold period (and I generally feel the cold) , when I pulled my sleeve up, I gave the crook of my elbow a good old rub, and was fine.

    I'm sure you'll be fine, and as Rachox suggests, they're likely to only want to use the same place for the two tests, so once the first one done, there's nothing more to feel and you can relax.

    Good luck with the OGTT.
     
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  6. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    You've already had lots of advice, so I'll just add that I'll keep my fingers crossed for you tomorrow. Hope everything goes very smooth and you'll have the sweetest nurse there is! Fear is a horrible feeling.
    Will you let us know how it went tomorrow?
    Good luck!
     
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  7. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    The only other thing I'd add, @starry-night-sky is to take something with you to do, during the two hours, or however long your blood test is.

    You'll be required to sit pretty syll during the 2 hours, so a book, tablet, puzzle book, knitting or whatever you might like to do. Time passes when you're clock watching, so a distraction is good.

    If you're not sure you'll have wifi where you're having your test, you could always download a couple of programmes to iPlayer, or from Amazon, or whatever. It could help take your mind off the whole thing.
     
  8. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    Is it a two hour test or an extended four hour test?

    Going by your first post, you are getting both high sugar levels and low sugar levels.

    Do you know why you are getting a oral glucose tolerance test?

    I have had quite a few tolerance tests. They will fit a cannula. Ask for a butterfly and warn them of your phobia.
    I always take loads of things to do, like my music player, book, pad, ask for access to the WiFi.
    I always ask for my readings, note them down on paper or your phone.

    At my first I went hypo. They started giving me lucozade, butties, even chocolate, that didn't turn out ok! If you know of any food intolerance, don't let them push you into eating them.

    I never went dizzy fasting, but tell them if you do.

    Good luck for tomorrow.
     
  9. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    I have always been scared of anything involving blood and needles. I used to be petrified of injections at school, as they always made me feel dizzy. I got a ringing noise in my ears afterwards, and my vision went funny. I had to lie down for 10/15 minutes after each injection. I don't even like having my blood pressure taken! I have to lie down every time and keep laying down for a few minutes after.

    The first time I pricked my finger to test myself, the sight of the blood made me feel dizzy. I had to put everything away and lay down in bed..

    That is a good suggestion about the relaxation app, thank you. I do listen to spa/relaxation music on youtube when I'm cleaning the house, so I might give that a go tomorrow :)
     
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  10. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    It is a 2 hour test. I will take some travel brochures as I'm going on holiday in August, so I can plan what to do there. I will take some magazines too.
     
  11. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    It is a 2 hour test. It was suggested to me by the Endo and I told him I would like to have it done. I can't remember if he explained why I should have it.

    That makes me feel anxious about the cannula. My partner had one fitted at a hospital appointment last year and I couldn't even look at it, the sight of it made me feel dizzy.

    When I was posted the appointment letter, it came with instructions about the test, explaining I can't eat from 8pm, and can only drink water after that time. It doesn't actually say anything about a cannula, it says

    'How is the test performed?
    Your urine sample will be tested whilst you are at the Unit. You will have a finger prick test to estimate your sugar level. This involves a sample of blood being taken from your finger and a further blood sample from your arm (vein)'

    'Is the blood test painful?
    No, but slightly uncomfortable. The area is cleansed with antiseptic and punctured with a sharp needle to obtain a blood sample. You will be given a glucose drink and after two hours the blood test (from the vein in your arm) is repeated.'

    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but is a cannula something different to a blood test needle?

    The booklet also says I get the urine and finger prick results on the day, but the blood results will be sent to my GP within two working weeks.
     
  12. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    We only normally have a cannula fitted when we are having multiple infusions or bloods drawn. It would be very usual to have one for a 2 hour OGTT as you only have one lot of venous blood drawn at the 2 hour mark.
     
  13. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    Sorry, did you mean it would be very unusual?
     
  14. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    When I last had a glucose tolerance test I had a finger prick and a venous sample taken at the beginning, and then a finger prick and venous sample taken at the end.

    So two of each type of test.

    Hope it goes well tomorrow, and please pop back and tell us about it. :)
     
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  15. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    I will definitely let you all know how I get on tomorrow. Thank you very much for the support and wishes. :angelic::)
     
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  16. Bluetit1802

    Bluetit1802 Type 2 (in remission!) · Guru

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    Oh yes, so sorry. It would be very unusual to have a cannula for a 2hr OGTT

    Good luck.
     
  17. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    I am here now. It turns out I DO have to have a cannula fitted. I don’t have a choice. I was very scared and burst into tears. Having the next blood test at 11. This will be the longest two hours of my life. Fortunately the cream worked and I couldn’t really feel anything.
     
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  18. eggs11

    eggs11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well done @starry-night-sky - you've got through the hard part now - great that the cream worked. Have fun thinking up a great treat you can reward yourself with later when it's all finished - a new top, a new book?
     
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  19. starry-night-sky

    starry-night-sky Other · Member

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    At McDonald’s now eating some lunch. As I said, I couldn’t really feel anything when they put it in, but it hurt when they took it out. I didn’t look so I had no idea what equipment there was, but it felt like it was stuck to my skin with tape, that did hurt when it came off.

    I’m scared of blood tests but a cannula is a step up from that for me, so is scarier.

    They took a finger prick before I had the drink (4.9) but I think they forgot to take the second.
     
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  20. eggs11

    eggs11 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear it hurt when removed, but well done for getting through it, you can relax now, enjoy your lunch. :)
     
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