It’s pretty easy to pretend to be a non-diabetic on the phone. But doing it in person takes a little more planning and preparation.
They were doing fasting blood tests, looking at lipids/cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure, pulse, height/weight, BMI, heart activity with a resting EKG, etc, etc.
Seemed like the glucose test was trying to weed out any pre-diabetics, so they were definitely focused on that. I say “pre-diabetics” because certainly if there were any actual full-on diabetics they would not have gotten as far as the physical, they would have just told them on the phone and that would have been the end of it.
Since they were filtering out diabetics (among many other things!) I wanted to make sure my A1C would be okay. The physical was quite a while ago, but at the time I wanted to check and I did a home A1C test, and it was fine. They wouldn’t see anything there.
I scheduled my appointment for the afternoon. It’s a bit easier to have a few hours to get settled and flat instead of rushing there in the morning and trying to have your BG flat.
I had to remove my pump and Dexcom. Those might have raised some red flags for them! As it turns out, I would have to remove my pump and Dex a total of 7 times from the beginning to the end of this grand adventure. That is something I got extremely used to!
Not being able to have a pump, I used Levemir that morning.
Also, since it was a fasting test, I couldn’t show up popping jelly beans in my mouth if I was low! So I bought some bottles of water. Not the re-usable kind, but the throw-away plastic kind with a label on them that makes it obvious that this is nothing but water. And the night before I made some sugar-water and put that in the bottle. Taking a few sips from a plastic water bottle that looks like water would be perfectly reasonable to do at a fasting blood test.
I liked the water trick, and I would continue to use it in the months that followed. Point made, sugar-water looks like water!
I was flat and stable all morning, 80-90. But then driving down to the physical, the excitement and cloak-and-dagger nature of it all got my adrenaline going. I spiked up to 135, and I corrected and kept checking it. 30 minutes before I was 120 but dropping. Kept checking…
A few minutes before I was scheduled to go in, I was at 100. It’s now within “range”, but there is no way I should show up for a fasting test and be at 100. I didn’t want to be a “pre-diabetic”, screw that. I have been doing this too long to only be pre-diabetic. I did a small IM shot in the car and then headed in.
I did a lot of talking and time-wasting to allow the IM shot to work. It would have helped if I knew the exact schedule for everything, but they had forms for me to review and sign. And the EKG and BMI and blood pressure tests and all the rest of the tests, and the discussion of the treadmill testing that was going to be performed. So I wasn’t clear on when they would draw the blood.
I excused myself to use the restroom, but that was really just to test my BG. I was 86 and it was dropping down slowly…but you know what? If this thing is going to blow up, I didn’t want a small little firecracker, I wanted it to blow up as a huge explosion in my face. Screw that 86, this is an 18 hour fasting test, there is no way I should be 86! I wanted to be at the bottom of the acceptable range.
So I went back in and made a little more chit-chat. Small talk, lots of questions. Kept dragging out some time until I felt like my BG would have dropped enough to be ready.
Then I went for it and said, “Can we just get the blood tests done first and get that out of the way? Since that’s the worst part of all of this?” So I controlled the timing a bit more instead of letting them dictate it all.
Blood test done, then we went through all the other tests. Like I mentioned above, a bunch of things for them to test. When they were hooking electrodes on my chest, my stomach made a loud rumbling sound, almost like it was on cue. “I haven’t eaten for 18 hours!!”, I said. Just to emphasize why my BG would be right on the lower end of the range. (I really had not eaten in that long!)
After it was over, I just had to wait for the results.
A week later, my results came back and I got an email. Everything was perfect - cholesterol, EKG, BMI, blood pressure - check, check, check.
And my blood glucose number? It was 69, which she said was perfectly normal for an 18 hour fast. I had freakin’ nailed it!
In the email I was informed that I had passed the physical and had been accepted into the study.
Then my blood ran cold and I got chills…
What had I done? This was not a good mix. They were going to run me on a treadmill test that was designed to break me, where I was supposed to hit the stop button or wave my hand at them to signal I couldn’t go any longer.
And I knew I would never quit. This whole thing was a very bad idea. No good could come from it.
So of course I started training.