What To Expect From a Water Deprivation Test:
For a while now (approx 6 months) i've been experiencing terrible thirst, exhaustion and constant headaches. I didn't really think much of my symptoms and it wasn't until I told my mum I was drinking 9 litres of water a day (yep, that's not a typo, nine litres) and her practically forcing me to the doctors that I thought, 'hey there might actually be something wrong with me..' I won't go into boring details but the long and short of it is, if you're experiencing sudden and incurable thirst go to your doctor. Seriously! I hate to sound like your mum but it could be something and nothing (too much salt in your diet) or it could be something potentially very serious like diabetes. After a round of tests everything was showing fine but after a couple of fainting fits and an increase in my water intake, I was booked in for a water deprivation test to see if someone could figure out what was wrong with me.
Now, deprivation tests are incredibly rare and most of the time not necessary - 9 times out of 10 the doctors can find a cause straight away and fix it. The doctor that conducted my test told me on average he does between 10-40 a year so in the grand scheme of things, not that many. So understandably, Googling 'what happens on a water dep test' and 'can I take my laptop to a water dep test' brought up nothing so I stubbornly and angrily told myself that after my test i'd blog about it so if even one person finds it, reads it and knows what to expect, i've helped someone.
I can happily and easily say that the test wasn't as bad as I thought as yes my hospital (Pinderfields in Wakefield) were fine with us bringing our laptops in for some entertainment so seriously - buy sims, write up some blog posts.. anything that keeps your brain ticking.
In terms of the actual test, I was basically locked in a room with a male doctor and a female nurse and made to go to the toilet every hour with blood taken every three hours. I was hooked up on cannula so the bloods were an absolute breeze (personally).
I was kept without water from 8.30am until 4.30pm when I was allowed a drink of my choice (hospital coffee never tasted so good!) and allowed to leave although for some, the test can last another 2 hours (with fluids in the last two hours). The hardest part for me, personally, wasn't actually the lack of water but the lack of food. You are literally only allowed dried foods (which is harder than it sounds!) I'd taken sweets, pasta, crisps and soft mints but wasn't allowed any of them: allowed foods are biscuits (great when you're thirsty.. not!), hard boiled sweets and that's about it. You're not allowed gelatine or anything with a high salt or water content. As you can imagine, when you're sat in a room, bored and restless you just wanna eat so that part, for me, was awful.
also took loads of magazines and a book but ended up being too tired and too headachey to read them which wasn't great as it left me with nothing to do - rookie error! If you're into knitting or crosswords or any other grandma influenced hobby, i'd seriously recommend taking that along. No-one will judge you for taking loads of things to keep you entertained but you will hate yourself if you end up bored. For me, I wish i'd downloaded more apps (games, duo lingo etc), taken a blanket (you will end up tired and probably freezing) and maybe some colouring or something to keep me entertained but not something that would induce or aggravate a headache. I wasn't allowed to walk around the hospital or go outside even with someone monitoring me for fear that I might get too weak / dizzy etc but its always worth asking and I was allowed to nap which was great because like I said - the test really takes it out of you.
Surprisingly, the next day actually left me feeling much more lethargic and light headed -my doctor told me I should have had the day after off work which I really wish someone had told me before! The lack of water and constant blood taking really effects you so you will wake up the next morning feeling a mix between flu and a hangover. Luckily this only lasted for the day after for me, but it really wasn't a great feeling!
If you have any questions about how you're feeling (seriously, again, go to the doctor if you're experiencing extreme thirst, I won't tell you again!) or what else to expect from a WD test please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at georgia_cwood and i'll do my best to help. It's scary feeling like this with no end in sight so please don't suffer alone.